Woman’s liberation – Is every woman really liberated or the woman’s liberation is misused by a few privileged? The answer needs a deep insight and analysis.
Women need justice in the society, family and workplaces from the discrimination, insult, injustice, autocracies done to them for the simple reason that they are woman, which is not the mistake of their own. It is important that people around should know her real value and respect her many credits than projecting her few flaws. Various people disrespect woman in all the possible ways they know. Snatching genuine opportunities, disrespecting her talent, dominating her for being a woman, insulting and torturing her physically and mentally are some of the common problems faced by woman all around the world. She is treated as a slave and not as a fellow being. Women need justice and woman’s day is celebrated to high light these issues, empower woman, and enable her to enjoy her life. Woman should realize her own power, talent, liberate herself from her self-sympathizing attitude, depression, frustration, and also help others to come up in life. These are the big issues that are focused on the woman’s day. In between these hard big issues, a minor issue conveniently takes advantage and evades every ones attention. I want to target on this issue – misuse of the power of liberation by woman itself.
- Many women due to immaturity feel that the advice and good values taught to them as a breach of independence and retaliate towards others in the harshest way. It is a common issue most families face in this modern world. What does woman mean by liberation – should not be corrected even for mistakes? or do they need liberation from a good protected family life? It is not possible for anyone to live life according to a person’s likes and dislikes alone without caring for the society or the family, because we are a part of that. A family always protects one because she may suffer out of immaturity. Ofcourse a woman has every right to decide and live life according to her own decision. But she must have the maturity by growth and not by age to decide about her life, else she will be a problem for the society and the family. They may not be aware of their wrong doings, but it is explicit and others may view it clearly and a family always protects them from that. Whether it is the family or the society, a man or a woman, discipline is the need of the hour. If we fail to discipline our self, then the law or the society will take its due action.
- It is not only men who dominate woman, many women also dominate their fellow woman. When someone is weak, instead of transforming them to a strong person everyone takes advantage of the opportunity to discriminate or dominate them. A woman making a hue and cry about domination has no right to dominate others by the position, power or wealth. Woman’s liberation should not be used for taking revenge and doing the same injustice and mistakes that men do. Woman’s liberation is not just suppressing men; instead it is the empowerment of woman, so that she will build a healthy family, society and nation.
- Getting birth as a woman is rare and supreme. Each woman is unique and so special. Unfortunately, many women want to lead their life like man and do the same autocracies they do. Where does the woman’s liberation lead a woman to? Power of a woman is beyond comparison. One has to realize this infinite power and use it in a most successful way. Woman has their own responsibilities, which no one can share or do it. Only a woman has the power to run a family in a most successful way. When woman want to pass the responsibility to someone in the name of liberation, then only her children will suffer. In the modern world ego has become the greatest obstacle in running a happy family.
- Woman has equal power and talent to build a strong family and society. She needs to be highly educated and cultured. A woman is protected in a family in many ways because a disturbed woman can never make a family successful or be a part of a healthy society. Only then the family will flourish in her glory. Only the nations that have respected woman have flourished in the world. Woman who reach high position with their education and talent unfortunately show their arrogance and high handed behaviour towards others. Is it not the same arrogance we oppose in men? Any person in position is disrespected for their arrogance. In spite of the high education and liberation, many women have ruined their life as well as the life of others by their arrogance and ignorance. As a result of the liberation they end up with shattered families and lead life in frustration, loneliness, and depression. Liberation is a sharp tool and it has to be used very carefully, else it will destroy the very holder. Why should any woman use liberation in the most negative way?
Woman should be respected by others, at the same time a majority of the responsibility lies with the woman to behave in a way so that others will respect her automatically. Respect and love are the two things that need to be given and cannot be demanded. Woman must stand by her principles and right values. She must maintain her dignity in thought, word and deed.
This blog focuses only on a meager percent of the women in society who fail to recognize their responsibilities in the name of liberation. Either for a man or a woman, ego is a negative trend. It spoils the family relationship and separate one from the family and friends. Woman’s liberation should not be misused to build one’s ego. It will not help the person, the family, or the society.
Again I emphasize that this blog is not for the woman who experience slavery, discrimination, injustice from the society and family for being a woman. This blog attempts to throw light on the women who ignores the families and insult the very people who have raised them to power and position in the name of woman’s liberation. If liberation is misused it will harm the very person who misuses it.
On this woman’s day of 2014, being a woman, I post this blog because woman is prakriti, she has infinite power in herself. Let no woman misuse this infinite power out of ignorance. Our liberation should not make us blind and arrogant. The true liberation of a person is in the thought and not in the action.
It is easy to learn, but difficult to teach. Learning process to a large extent depends on the teacher and the teaching. Teaching is an art, and it improves gradually with dedication and sincere effort. To exactly reflect what one has learned is a skill. A good teacher uses proper methodology and suitable techniques to make his point clear. A good teacher never gets disappointed when the students do not understand his teachings. Instead, he strives more to improve his skill. A good teacher has always undergone proper training and learnt his subject of specialization in a proper manner and he replicates his understanding in a productive way, so that many more can be benefited from it. However, a Guru is more than a teacher. A Guru dispels ignorance. A Guru not only teaches the subject, he becomes the role model for the student. A student follows his lifestyle and behavior. He is looked upon with respect by all. A Guru’s job extends beyond the working hours of the day. He imparts the subject matter as well as good values to the students. Seekers of liberation need a Guru of such caliber than a mere teacher. Since what they seek is very subtle they need proper guidance, else they will be left in the dark. Their area of analysis is entirely different from the worldly matter that they are familiar with so far. Each student looks for a role model who practices those teachings so that he can follow the teachings with confidence, and the Guru is that role model.
A Vedanta Guru should be well versed in the scriptures and must have spent a considerable period of life studying the scriptures under a well versed Guru. Only such a Guru knows the proper way of teaching this profound subject. Such a Guru is known as ‘srotriyan’ in Sanskrit. A person, who always remains in the contemplation of Brahman, gets detached from the worldly life. He is called as ‘Brahmanishtan’. The teachings of a ‘Brahmanishtan’ are of very high standard and it will be difficult for the beginners to follow his teachings. He may be a very good teacher but not suitable for a beginner. A ‘utthama Guru’ (suitable Guru) is a person who is both a ‘srotriyan’ and a ‘brahmanishtan’.
A Guru does not expect any favors from the students; instead he imparts the subject along with good value to the students. He concentrates on his teachings and always contemplates on the Truth. It is the duty of the Guru to know the grasping capacity of the students and impart the knowledge accordingly. He never discourages or disappoints the students by his teaching, words or by his behaviour.
In the scriptures, there are many conditions laid out for a Guru. In my view, though in the modern times all those conditions cannot be followed, a Guru must atleast be a dedicated and sincere person with good values. There is nothing wrong in receiving gifts for proper teaching. However, if receiving gifts become the central point, then teaching takes a back stage. A person cannot be made or trained to be a Guru. A student looks upon a person who has imparted good values, advices him in challenging times and teaches him the subject as a ‘respectful Guru’.
IN SEARCH OF PERFECTION
Every one searches for that one thing which does not exist anywhere – perfection. Nothing in this world is described as perfectly good or perfectly bad. Everything is a permutation and combination. No one can extract a single thing from this combination without its opposites accompanying it as its side effect. When we get something as really good its demerits always follows it. Likewise, when we get something bad some of its merits follow it without noticing. No person is perfectly good or perfectly bad. The same is applicable for situations and objects. If we search for perfection that does not exist, it is ignorance.
When we want good things to happen, then we must have the capacity to view as well as extract the good things out of life. This is the only possible thing that can be done. Instead if we target on the negative qualities, we will be never satisfied in life. When we view the positive qualities, even the negative qualities accompanying them will not affect us. A person or a situation is said as good or bad depending on the majority of the qualities that prevail in them. No one can exactly define what is good or bad. If a person’s values and actions help many people to a large extent, then he is considered as a person with good values. If his values and action disturb others to a large extent, then he is considered as a person with bad values. A person can change his values only by proper advice. He must be made to realize his mistakes in the most dignified way; else it will lead only to more confusion and traumatic situations. If a person is deeply rooted in negative values and ideas, then it will take a long time for him to realize his mistakes and come out of his beliefs. In such people even their positive qualities are ignored by others.
If one always projects their negativity or view others negativity, then their nature will become more negative. In my view, one must learn to ignore negativity and enhance the positive qualities in oneselves and try to view the positive nature of others, else our life will be spent in worrying, correcting and grudging on others. One must learn to manage negative situations suitably. Only such mentality succeeds.
Perfection is a concept; it differs with different people. It also differs in the same person at different stages of life. Searching for perfection will only lead to a dissatisfied life. No one acts according to our idea and views. We can expect or perform a work only to a general rule of perfection. If we personalize it, then it will lead to a total dissatisfied life.
THE IMPACT OF KARMA
In life, at many times we are cornered by challenging situations. Sometimes we are cornered by our own faults and sometimes we are innocent, but unable to prove it. In spite of our repeated sincere efforts, we will not be able to come out of that veiled corner. Even people close to us cannot help us to come out of that terrible situation. It is a common experience regardless of the age, gender, nationality and so on. Seeing our desperate situation some will pity us, but most of the time we are labeled as inefficient, not-intelligent, untrained to cope up with the situation and the labels go on. We ourselves also label us in similar manner and make the situation more worse. The labels and comments of others will not affect us unless and until we take it inside ourselves. We may view such situation as ‘bad time’, and run from pillar to post to rectify it. It only drains the money and energy, but has little or negligible effect or impact.
Spirituality views such situation as the impact of negative karmas. Any person is in the grip of the karmic influence. If there are no karmas, then there is no birth. The matter of concern is, we must be able to deal with that trying situation. The solution Vedanta advices to deal with such challenging situations are, “give maximum sincere effort, without getting wavered or discouraged by the failures”. Until the bad karmas get exhausted, one has to wait patiently and there is no way out to oppose the negative karmas. For the time being, one has to accept the failure and learn from the mistakes. The effort taken to perform the duty must be sincere with dedication. Failure and success are both temporary. For instance, if a student gets scared by failures and lose interest in the studies, then his future will be at risk. Instead, if he is sincere and hard working, he will be very proficient in his area of interest, and his sincere efforts will pay him one day in the most successful manner. This is the concept Bhagavan Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, “Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits, let not the fruits of action by thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction”, (2,47). It may be hard to digest these words, because we all target the results while doing our duties. Bhagavan Krishna says that if we work keeping only the result in mind, the thought of the result will influence the work, and the work will not be perfect. Instead if we work with full dedication, we will be free from the grip of karmic influence. We are satisfied with the work itself and the results follow automatically.
Sometimes the contrary may also happen, we will be showered with success. This is the impact of the past positive karmas. Two things normally accompany success; they are pride and arrogance. Our success is due to our present effort and the past karmic influence. If we fail to remain equipoise in success, arrogance and pride becomes the vehicle to bring us down.
In my view, it is very important to be equipoise in success and failure. One should inculcate the habit of sincerity and dedication because they are permanent, and it is to be applied in all the duties we perform. Success and failure are passing phases, one can learn from it and leave it there and go for the next phase. Any person will have the karmic impact, but one can be free from its grip by being an equipoise person. Wrong karmas of the past come to us as present challenges. Help from others in times of challenges is a return of our past good karmas. Right response to the challenge at present is the right karmas done in the present and this reduces the suffering.
IMPORTANCE OF RELIGIOUS RITUALS
India is a vast country and every part of India has different rituals and customs. Hinduism is a religion that involves many rituals. Many are ancient and some are newly formed to suit the convenience of the people who follow it, however rituals are rituals. When a whole nation follows different rituals, it becomes necessary to know the importance of these rituals. Any ritual ultimately leads to the realization of the Supreme Reality. Different ways and methods are followed to realize that Supreme reality. The methods may differ according to the people who follow it, but the Reality is non-dual.
One has to concentrate on the essence of the ritual. When some procedure or method goes wrong while performing a ritual, it implies lack of concentration. The fact is, if the mind is not concentrated, there will be delay in understanding the Reality. An unclear mind veils the truth. When a mistake is done in a ritual, normally people get scared that God may get angry with the whole family and take it as a bad omen. They have more belief in superstition than in God. Such thoughts are immature thoughts. If such ideas persist even among matured people, then it is absolute ignorance. People who follow rituals follow Saguna Brahman (Brahman with attributes). God is worshiped by performing various rituals and during that process one must try to understand his nature. This is the whole idea about worship and rituals. Instead, if we worship for our material gains and accuses Him for not giving success, it is only a child play and God is not responsible for it. Any ritual has to be understood in its original sense. Ritual is one of the ways of understanding the Reality and it is targeted for the people who are of vibrant nature and fail to meditate in silence. If the ceremony becomes an entertainment and social gathering, then the rituals will not serve its purpose.
Most of the religious rituals involve charity. Charity purifies the mind and it gives a feeling that others problems are our own. Instead if the charity is given with much aggrandizement, then it is not charity, it is an advertisement for our wealth and status.
Many things together make a ritual, and each of them has to be followed with utmost care. In modern times most of the ceremonies are celebrated as an entertainment or get-together. In my view, it is a challenge to perform any ritual as they did in the ancient period, however a ritual can be performed in modern times to purify the mind. A ritual itself is a great purifier; instead if we disturb the mind for petty things, then the performance of the ritual will not serve its purpose. A responsible person should understand the underlying principle of the ritual and perform it with a stable mind.
Technology has made the world very small and has made faraway places appear as very near. Travelling has become so easy and this is an added advantage to cover distance. In the modern era, there are only a very few people who have not moved outside their own place. People move for different matters – from trade to entertainment and for just having fun. When people return back, they always bring with them many things and the most important among them is culture. Similarly when people go from their native place, they too carry their own culture with them. This makes India a multicultural society and Indian culture is widely spread across the globe. Like any matter, mixing of culture brings many positives and some negatives with it.
Basically, a culture is based on the nature of the people, the environment in which they live, their requirements, desires and needs. This world is so beautifully divided and each division or group of people has an entirely different culture of their own. When a person enters into a new culture, he is very naive to that culture. It is the responsibility of the people in that culture to guide him with dignity and respect his individuality. That naive person must feel comfortable and relaxed; it is at this point a culture gets its credit. This matured behaviour enables one to adapt to that new culture with interest and respect. In contrast, if a naive person is ridiculed, insulted and criticized for not being aware of that culture, it creates only negative feelings towards that culture and the people who follow it. It is the responsibility of all the people around him to make him feel comfortable. This is absolutely lacking in this vast technological world, where a naive person is always insulted and criticized for his ignorance. Such harsh behaviour will only bring back negative reaction in a way or other.
Similarly, when people come back to their place of origin, they always try to superimpose their newly practiced culture on the already existing culture. This brings utter chaos. A culture which is suitable for one environment may not be suitable for another environment. Basically, it is the freedom of every individual to select the culture they want to live in. In my view, when one tries to superimpose one’s culture on others without understanding their situation and freedom of choice, one gains only hatred feelings instead of love and respect.
When cultures exchange, we gain knowledge. When cultures mingle with each other, we may give a back seat for our own culture too.
When cultural differences are not dealt properly, it causes mental trauma, especially in young children and elderly people. They are forced to adapt to different cultures, without considering their individuality or power of adaption. If they fail to adapt, they are rejected and neglected. There is nothing wrong in any culture, but when a culture is forced on others then it becomes ugly.
Regardless of the culture we live, it is important not to forget the basic nature of a person – a human being. Utmost importance, respect and acceptance have to be given for this basic nature as a human; culture takes only a back stage. If the basic humanness is respected, then everything falls back to place as in a jigsaw puzzle.