Saturday, April 14, 2007

Swami Vivekananda on Woman and Divine Feminine

Swami Vivekananda (January 12, 1863 - July 4, 1902) was a Vedantic monk who at one time saw women as an obstacle. However on realising the highest truth he saw no distinction between sex and saw in women the presence of the Divine Mother.

Swami Vivekananda worked effortlessly to try and uplift the plight of women, in particular Indian Women. These are few of the collection of his thoughts on women.

~ Soul has no sex, it is neither male nor female. It is only in the body that sex exists, and the man who desires to reach the spirit cannot at the same time hold sex distinctions. (CW ,V.4, P.176)

~ The best thermometer to the progress of a nation is its treatment of its women.

~ There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved.

~ Woman has suffered for aeons, and that has given her infinite patience and infinite preserverance.

~ The idea of perfect womanhood is perfect independence.

~ It is very difficult to understand why in this country [India] so much difference is made between men and women, whereas the Vedanta declares that one and the same conscious Self is present in all beings. You always criticize the women, but say what have you done for their uplift? Writing down Smritis etc., and binding them by hard rules, the men have turned the women into manufacturing machines! If you do not raise the women, who are living embodiment of the Divine Mother, don’t think that you have any other way to rise.

~ [Talking to an American audience] I should very much like our women to have your intellectuality, but not if it must be at the cost of purity. I admire you for all that you know, but I dislike the way that you cover what is bad with roses and call it good.

Intellectuality is not the highest good. Morality and spirituality are the things for which we strive. Our women are not so learned, but they are more pure.

~ In India the mother is the center of the family and our highest ideal. She is to us the representative of God, as God is the mother of the universe. It was a female sage who first found the unity of God, and laid down this doctrine in one of the first hymns of the Vedas. Our God is both personal and absolute, the absolute is male, the personal, female. And thus it comes that we now say: ’The first manifestation of God is the hand that rocks the cradle’. (CW V.4 p.170)

- Swami Vivekananda / credit
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