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Role of Women in Religion

From: Vijay Srinivasan (Vijay_Srinivasan_at_praxair.com)
Date: Sat Jan 25 1997 - 13:11:57 PST

Dear Prapatti Group Members

Smt. Kalyani Krishnamachari raised a very interesting question about the role 
of women in spiritual pursuits.  Shri Mani provided the example of Maitreyi of 
BU.  But that was more an exception rather than a rule.  (I learned most of the 
Desika stotras from my grand mother).

Contrary to earlier days, I find women of today are taking more active part in 
philosophical and religious discussions.  Particularly, in North India women 
are the main torch bearers of our Bhakti religion.  But for their efforts much 
of what is left in our day-to-day practice of religion would have been absent.  
Women  are also breaking some of the traditional barriers.  Lots of women 
prefer to chant vedas.  Incidentally, now-a-days Svaram is not considered as an 
important part in vedic chantings.  

It is also very interesting to see a new trend in our Sthri-Dharmam.  Women of 
today confidently dismiss (with great conviction) those part of the shastras 
which would like them to believe that service to their husband and family is 
enough to grant them the highest goal.
  

Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan