Women in Hinduism

Written by Sulaiman Razvi

Women in India has been suffering for ages. Hindu scriptures treat women as a commodity, and equates them to animals. Even a Brahmin woman is like a Shudra as per the Hindu scriptures. Hinduism deprives women of their basic rights. In Hinduism only the wife has to fast during Karvachauth but not the husband. The wife has to wear Mangulsutra and apply Sindoor to signify that ‘She is the property of others’ just like a board is set up in an open land stating it’s owner but the husband has no such thing to wear. If the girl is born in inauspicious months then she is termed as Manglik, and per this superstition the husband of such girl dies soon so she is made to marry a peepul tree or a dog but on the other hand there is no such thing for a man. As per Hindu scripture the wife either has to lead a life of celibacy after the death of her husband or mount husband’s pyre on the other hand there is no such option for husbands. The husband is free to marry another wife after the death of his wife and can marry many wives even when the wife is alive. Only the son can light the funeral pyre of his parents while the daughter is barred from it. Hindu culture is a male dominated culture, women in Hindu society has been submissive while men are aggressive.

 

Contents

Preference of son over daughter

Purpose of creating women

Women are of sinful birth

Nature of women

Women’s testimony not valid

Women equivalent to dogs, pigs

Women are devoid of intellect

Women should not be given freedom

Woman is a child production machine

Women are bad luck

Beat woman

Barred from studying Vedas, to perform sacrifice and to worship

Women are like Shudras

Duty of a wife

Women are sex maniac

Can’t choose husband

Derogatory remarks against women

How to determine the nature of women

Proud wife should be punished

Widow burning

 

Preference of son over daughter

Leave aside giving equal rights to women. There is hardly any verse in Hindu scriptures that prays for the birth of a daughter while there are several verses and especially dedicated hymns for the birth of a Son. As per Hindu text the son saves the father from the hell called Put hence he is called Putra (Son) while a daughter is Duhita i.e. one who does bad. Hindu scriptures has a ritual called Pumsavan Sanskar for the birth of a son. There are thousands of verses in Vedas but not even a single verse prays for the birth of a daughter. The Vedas rather say,

Atharva Veda 6.11.3 Prajāpati, Anumati, Sinivāli have ordered it. Elsewhere may he effect the birth of maids, but here prepare a boy.

It is mentioned in Grihya Sutras,

Sankhayana Grihya Surtra 1.19.6 …Pragapati has created him, Savitar has shaped him. Imparting birth of females to other (women) may he put here a man

There are especial hymns and verses in Vedas which prays for the birth of a son like Atharva Veda 6.11; 3.23 and 7.48 and verses like Atharva Veda 14.1.22; 12.3.47; 2.36.3, 14.2.72, Rig Veda 3.31.1; 10.85.42-45 and so on but not even a single verse wishes for a daughter. As a result of these verses female infanticide is still in practice. India looses millions of unborn female baby every year,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/9054429/India-most-dangerous-place-in-world-to-be-born-a-girl.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/jan/09/india.sarahboseley     [10 million foetuses aborted in India]

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-loses-3-million-girls-in-infanticide/article3981575.ece

http://zeenews.india.com/exclusive/female-foeticide-death-before-birth_3547.html
Krishna Yajur Veda also has reference about female infanticide in Vedic period where in Aryans used to abandon female girl,
Krishna Yajur Veda 6.5.10.3 “…Therefore they deposit a daughter on birth, a son they lift up…”

 

Following is the reference about Kashyap Rishi recommending Pumsavan,

Srimad Bhagavatam 6.18.54 Kaśyapa Muni continued: If you perform this ceremony called puṁsavana, adhering to the vow with faith for at least one year, you will give birth to a son destined to kill Indra. But if there is any discrepancy in the discharge of this vow, the son will be a friend to Indra.

Garuda Purana goes a step ahead and says that the wife giving birth only to daughters should be abandoned,

Garuda Purana 1.115.64 ”A barren woman shall be abandoned in the eighth year after marriage; a woman whose children die in infancy shall be abandoned in the ninth year; a woman who gives birth only to daughters shall be abandoned in the eleventh year and a woman who speaks unpleasant words shall be abandoned immediately.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

It is mentioned in Smritis that a wife who drinks liquor, who is barren, who hates her husband’s people and who bears only females should be superseded.

Yajnavalkya Smriti verse 73 The liquor drinker, the diseased, the cunning, the barren, the killer of wealth, the unpleasant spoken, who bears female children should be superseded, so also (one) who hates people.

Manu Smriti 9.81 A barren wife may be superseded in the eighth year, she whose children (all) die in the tenth, she who bears only daughters in the eleventh, but she who is quarrelsome without delay.

Narada Smriti 12.94 Let not a husband show love to a barren woman, or to one who gives birth to female children only, or whose conduct is blamable, or who constantly contradicts him; if he does (have conjugal intercourse with her), he becomes liable to censure (himself).

It is mentioned Shatapath Brahmana that a wife who has no son is a discarded wife and possessed with destruction,

Satapatha Brahmana 5.3.1.13 And on the following day he goes to the house of a discarded (wife), and prepares a pap for Nirriti;–a discarded wife is one who has no son…hail!’ For a wife that is without a son, is possessed with Nirriti (destruction, calamity)

 

Devi Bhagavatam 2.6.36-48 ”…Once while he was listening to the religious discourses of the Munis, he heard unmistakeably the Munis telling that the man who is sonless can never go to the Heavens; so he must get a son somehow or other…” Tr. Swami Vijnananda

 

Devi Bhagavatam 1.4.15-27 There is no prospect in the after birth of the sonless; never, never will Heaven be his. Without son, there is none other who can be of help in the next world. Thus in the Dharma S’âstras, Manu and other Munis declare that the man who has sons goes to Heaven and the sonless one can never go to Heaven. The man possessing a son is entitled to the Heavenly pleasures can be vividly seen, rather than imagined. The man with son is freed from sins; this is the word of the Vedas…

Brahma Vaivarta Purana Ganesha Khanda 2.16-31 …The life of a woman who has no son, is useless…

Skanda Purana V.iii.103.121-140 “…A son saves the father from the Naraka called Put. So he is called Putra by the Self-born Lord himself. The house of a man without a son is a void…King Raghava (i.e. Dasaratha) convened an assembly of sages for the sake of (obtaining) a son since the seat of Indra occupied by him was purified by sprinkling water. Residence in Svarga is not (possible) without a son, O son of Pandu. Hence Dasaratha performed an excellent Yajna for the sake of sons. Rama, laksmana, Satrughna and Bharata were born to him…” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Himavat and Mena the parents of Parvati said,
Skanda Purana I.i.20.60- “…For the accomplishment of the task of Devas a good daughter has to be begotten. It is for the benefits of Devas, sages and ascetics. (Of course) the birth of a daughter may not be pleasing to women. Still, O lady of splendid face, a daughter has to be procreated. Mena laughed and spoke to her husband Himalaya: ‘What has been spoken by you (is true). Let my words be heard by you now. O my lord, a daughter is the cause of misery unto men. So also, O highly intelligent one, she causes sorrow unto women. Hence ponder over this for a long time yourself with your keen intellect. Let what is conducive to our welfare to our welfare be told, o lord of Mountains.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

When highest authoritative text like Vedas and other scriptures like Puranas, Brahamanas doesn’t wish for daughter, we can conclude why female foeticide was prevalent in ancient India and still many Hindus prefer son over daughter. When asked, Hindus reply that they prefer son because it’s only the son that can perform certain rites like funeral rite of parents, the son looks after the parents in their old age etc.

Brahma Purana 113.75-76 “In the case of the people of all castes, a woman in her monthly course should be avoided for the first four nights. To prevent the birth of a female child, one shall avoid the fifth night also. Thereafter he shall carnally approach her on the sixth or other excellent nights even in number. Boys will be born (if intercourse is carried out) on even nights and girls on nights odd in number.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Garuda Purana I.178.27 “A woman desiring to beget a male child must drink ghee medicated with seeds of Matulunga and roots of Eranda.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Manu Smriti 3.262-3 The (sacrificer’s) first wife, who is faithful and intent on the worship of the manes, may eat the middle-most cake, (if she be) desirous of bearing a son. (Thus) she will bring forth a son who will be long-lived, famous, intelligent, rich, the father of numerous offspring, endowed with (the quality of) goodness, and righteous.

Narada Purana 266-8 “The devotee shall worship at night, a jar filled with the boiling decotion of (the pieces of twigs) of a milk exuding tree and on the next day in the morning he shall repeat the mantra ten thousand times. For twelve days the woman should be bathed with that water. If this is performed, even a barren woman shall beget sons of longevity in life. The woman who is desirous of a son shall silently drink in the morning the water charged with the mantra in a leaf of the holy fig tree. The mantra should be repeated hundred and eight times. The procedure should be continued for a month. Even a barren woman will beget a son with all good makrs.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Skanda Purana III.i.15.47-51 “…There is a Tiirtha there, well-known in the worlds as Hanumatkunda. It suppresses all great miseries. It yields the benefit of heavenly pleasures and salvation. It subdues the suffering in hells (Narakas). It liberates (people) from poverty. It bestows sons on those who are sonless and wives on those who have no wives.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Atharva Veda 6.81.3 The Amulet which Aditi wore when desirous of a son, Tvashtar hath bound upon this dame and said, Be mother of a boy.

Rig Veda 10.63.15 Vouchsafe us blessing in our paths and desert tracts, blessing in waters and in battle, for the light; Blessing upon the wombs that bring male children forth…
rv 10.63.15

It is mentioned in Shastra,

Sankhayana Grihya Sutra 1.19.3-6 When he has finished, let him murmur, ‘Into thy breath I put the sperm, N.N.!’ Or, ‘As the earth is pregnant with Agni, as the heaven is with Indra pregnant, as Vayu dwells in the womb of the regions (of the earth), thus I place an embryo into thy womb, N.N.!’ Or, ‘May a male embryo enter thy womb, as an arrow the quiver; may a man be born here, a son after ten months. ‘Give birth to a male child; may after him (another) male be born; their mother shalt thou be, of the born, and (to others) mayst thou give birth…

 

When there is already a male child then why wish for more male children? Dayanand Saraswati founder of Arya Samaj recommended Niyoga for procuring sons even when the couple had a daughter. Why so much discrimination against birth of daughters? Various other texts like Sankhayana Grihya Sutra 1.16.11; Narada Purana II.56.320-325; Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 6.4.20 also prays and gives instructions which secures the birth of a male child.

 

Purpose of creating women

Brahma Vaivarata Purana 61.22-41 ”…There can be no creation without a woman. This is why at the command of Lord Krisna, Brahma created the woman to entice the heart of lustful people. The beauty of a woman is the seat of illusion, the bar or bolt (or obstacle) in the way of a man’s act or Karma, the impediment of meditation and the harbour of evil…” Tr. Rajendra Nath Sen

Srimad Bhagavatam 3.31.40 The woman, created by the Lord, is the representation of maya, and one who associates with such maya by accepting services must certainly know that this is the way of death, just like a blind well covered with grass.

Maya means illusion, deceit and fraud. Maharishi Manu writes that after creating women god allotted to them dishonesty malice, bad conduct etc.

Manu Smriti 9.17 (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.

It is also mentioned in Mahabharata,

Mahabharata 13.40 The Sruti declares that women are endued with senses the most powerful, that they have no scriptures to follow, and that they are living lies. Beds and seats and ornaments and food and drink and the absence of all that is respectable and righteous, indulgence in disagreeable words, and love of sexual companionship,–these were bestowed by Brahman upon women.

 

As per Mahabharata, God created women to make men unrighteous,

Mahabharata 13.40 “Bhishma said, ‘It is even so as thou sayest, O thou of mighty arms. There is nothing untrue in all this that thou sayest, O thou of Kuru’s race, on the subject of women. In this connection I shall recite to thee the old history of how in days of yore the high-souled Vipula had succeeded in restraining women within the bounds laid down for them. I shall also tell thee, O king, how women were created by the Grandsire Brahman and the object for which they were created by Him. There is no creature more sinful, O son, than women. Woman is a blazing fire. She is the illusion, O king, that the Daitya Maya created. She is the sharp edge of the razor. She is poison. She is a snake. She is fire. She is, verily, all these united together. It has been heard by us that all persons of the human race are characterised by righteousness, and that they, in course of natural progress and improvement, attain to the status of deities. This circumstance alarmed the deities. They, therefore, O chastiser of foes, assembled together and repaired to the presence of the Grandsire. Informing Him of what was in their minds, they stood silent in his presence, with downcast eyes. The puissant Grand sire having ascertained what was in the hearts of the deities, created women, with the aid of an Atharvan rite. In a former creation, O son of Kunti, women were all virtuous. Those, however, that sprang from this creation by Brahman with the aid of an illusion became sinful. The grandsire bestowed upon them the desire of enjoyment, all kinds of carnal pleasure. Tempted by the desire of enjoyment, they began to pursue persons of the other sex. The puissant lord of the deities created Wrath as the companion of Lust. Persons of the male sex, yielding to the power of Lust and Wrath, sought the companionship of women. Women have no especial acts prescribed for them. Even this is the ordinance that was laid down. The Sruti declares that women are endued with senses the most powerful, that they have no scriptures to follow, and that they are living lies.

 

Women are of sinful birth

Krishna said,

Gita 9.32 ”For those who take refuge in Me. O Partha, though they be of sinful birth- women, Vaisyas, and Sudras even they attain the Supreme Goal.” Tr. Swami Nikhilananda

Mahabharata 14.19.61 By adhering to this religion, even they who axe of sinful birth, such as women and Vaisyas and Sudras, attain to the highest goal.

Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.46 “Surrendered souls, even from groups leading sinful lives, such as women, the laborer class, the mountaineers and the Siberians, or even the birds and beasts, can also know about the science of Godhead and become liberated from the clutches of the illusory energy by surrendering unto the pure devotees of the Lord and by following in their footsteps in devotional service.” Tr. Swami Prabhupada

Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.54 “O my friends, O sons of demons, everyone, including you (the Yakṣas and Rākṣasas), the unintelligent women, śūdras and cowherd men, the birds, the lower animals and the sinful living entities, can revive his original, eternal spiritual life and exist forever simply by accepting the principles of bhakti-yoga.” Tr. Swami Prabhupada

 

Nature of women

Manu Smriti 2.213-214 ”To defile men is the nature of women, hence the wise are never infatuated nor un-circumspect about them. Man, by nature, is subject to lust and anger; women are quite competent to lead even the wise men astray, not to speak of fools, (their easy victims).” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Mahabharata 13.19 Women, in particular, the Rishis have said, are false in behaviour. When human beings are such, and when women in particular have been declared in the ordinances to be false, how, O sire, can there be a union between the sexes for purposes of practising all duties together? In the very Vedas one may read that women are false.

Lakshmana addresses Sita in the following way,

Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, Sarga 45.29-30 ”Thou art a very Goddess unto me, I therefore dare not answer thee. What thou hast spoken, O Maithili, is nothing surprising for females. Such is the nature of womankind on this earth. Women by nature are crooked, fickle, devoid of religious knowledge, and bring about difference between father and sons.” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Devi Bhagavatam 1.15.1-67…The fools do not understand how the women suck the blood out of persons like leeches, for they get themselves deluded by their gestures and postures! The lady of the house, whom the people call kântâ, the beautiful one, steal away the semen virile, the strength and energy in the way of giving them happiness as sexual intercourse, and their minds and wealth and everything by their crooked love conversations; so see what greater thief can there be than a woman? In my opinion, those that are ignorant are certainly deluded by the Creator; they accept wife to destroy their own pleasure of happiness. They can never understand that the women can never be the source of pleasure; they are the source of all miseries

 

Testimony of women not valid

A women should give witness for women likewise a Shudra for Shudra, Dvija for Dvija but in some cases (in which witness given by anyone is allowed) women’s witness is not valid at all. It is mentioned in Manu Smriti,

Manu Smriti 8.77 One man who is free from covetousness may be (accepted as) witness; but not even many pure women, because the understanding of females is apt to waver, nor even many other men, who are tainted with sin.

 

Chanakya Neeti Shastra 1.15 Do not put your trust in rivers, men who carry weapons, beasts with claws or horns, women and members of a royal family.

 

Women are equivalent to dogs, pigs

Manu Smriti 3.239. A Kandala, a village pig, a cock, a dog, a menstruating woman, and a eunuch must not look at the Brahmanas while they eat.

Atharva Veda 04.5.2 …Lull all the women, lull the dogs to sleep, with Indra as thy friend!

 

Shatpath Brahmana says that dog, Sudra and women are untruth,

Satapatha Brahmana 14.1.1.31. And whilst not coming into contact with Sûdras and remains of food; for this Gharma is he that shines yonder, and he is excellence, truth, and light; but woman, the Sûdra, the dog, and the black bird (the crow), are untruth: he should not look at these, lest he should mingle excellence and sin, light and darkness, truth and untruth.

Hindu text often compare woman in her menses to dogs and pigs, and such things are still in practice. A Hindu temple board decided that women should be allowed inside temple only after the machine detects that they are not in their menstrual periods,
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3332227/Hindu-temple-declares-allow-women-enter-scanning-machine-designed-check-going-menstruating.html

Another humiliating thing is that when a woman barged into a temple for worship, the idol and temple were purified by cow urine,
http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/women-barge-into-temple-that-prohibits-women-priests-purify-it-with-cow-urine-after-they-leave-248748.html

As its a tradition in Hinduism that anything can be purified with cow dung and urine, read the article Importance of Cow dung and Urine in Hinduism.

Garuda Purana ch 231 “A Brahmana having touched a dog, a Sudra, or any other beast, or a woman in her menses, before washing his face after a meal, shall regain his purity by fasting for a day, and by taking Panchgavyam.” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Markandeya Purana 35.26-28 “…After touching a menstruous woman, a horse, a jackal, and other animals, or a woman recently delivered of a child, or people of low caste, one should bathe for the sake of purification…”

Brahma Purana 113.140-7 “…A person who is conversant with righteousness becomes purified by taking a bath if he touches these: a medicant who is not worthy of being fed (?), a heretic, a cat, an ass, cook, a fallen man, an outcaste (a person ostracised), a Candala and those who bear dead bodies, a country pig and a woman in her monthly course…” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Kurma Purana II.17.26 “One shall avoid an article once smelt by a dog and cooked again. So also the article seen by a Candala, or a woman in her menses, or smelt by a cow, or seen by a fallen men, shall be avoided.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

 

Manu Smriti 4.208 Nor that at which the slayer of a learned Brahmana has looked, nor that which has been touched by a menstruating woman, nor that which has been pecked at by birds or touched by a dog,

 

 

Women devoid of intellect

Swami Prabhupada founder of ISKCON writes,

”To understand Brahman is not the business of teeny brain. Alpa-medhasam (BG 7.23). There are two Sanskrit words: alpa-medhasa and su-medhasa. Alpa-medhasa means having little brain substance. Physiologically, within the brain there are brain substance. It is found that the brain substance in man is found up to sixty-four ounce. They are very highly intellectual persons. And in woman the brain substance is not found more than thirty-four ounce. You’ll find, therefore, that there is no very great scientist, mathematician, philosopher among women. You’ll never find, because their brain substance cannot go. Artificially do not try to become equal with men. That is not allowed in the Vedic śāstra. Na striyaṁ svatantratām arhati (Manu-saṁhitā). That is called śāstra.”- A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Lecture on BG 16.7, 2-3-1975, Hawaii http://vanisource.org/wiki/Lecture_on_BG_16.7_–_Hawaii,_February_3,_1975

 

He also writes,

”…Generally women are very much passionate and are less intelligent…” A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 4.27.1 [ http://vanisource.org/wiki/SB_4.27.1 ]

Devi Bhagavatam 9.38.1-6 ”…O Bhagavân! The woman kind has been created by the Creator as devoid of any Tattvajñâna or true knowledge…” Tr. Swami Vijnananda

Rig Veda 8.33.17 Indra himself hath said, The mind of woman brooks not discipline, Her intellect hath little weight.

 

Acharya Medadithi writes on Manu Smriti 9.18,

”Destitute of Organs.’- ‘Organ’ here stands for strength; courage, patience, intelligence, energy and so forth are absent in women” Tr. Ganganath Jha

 

Women should not be given freedom

Hinduism says that woman is dependent and not fit for being independent, she is incapable of being independent.

Narada Purana, Uttarabhaga 24.46-47a “O Brahmanas, the following fall into hell: viz.- a woman who behave according to her own sweet will…” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Manu Smriti 5.147-148 By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house. In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent.

Yajnavalkya Smriti verse 85 When a maiden, her father; when married her husband; and when old, her sons, should protect her. In their absence, the kinsmen (should take care of her.) The women are never independent.

Mahabharata 13.45 There is the well-known declaration of the scriptures that women are incompetent to enjoy freedom at any period of their life

Rishi Ashravakra said,

Mahabharata 13.20 “Ashtavakra said, ‘Women can never be their own mistresses. This is the opinion of the Creator himself, viz., that a woman never deserves to be independent”

Garuda Purana 1.115.63 ”The father protects her in childhood, the husband in youth and the son in old age. A woman is not to be allowed to stay independently.” Tr. J.L. Shastri

Vishnu Smriti 25.12-13 Not to act by herself in any matter; To remain subject, in her infancy, to her father, in her youth, to her husband; and in her old age, to her sons.

Baudhayana Dharma Shastra 2.2.3.44-5 Women do not possess independence. Now they quote also (the following verse): ‘Their father protects (them) in childhood, their husband protect (them) in youth, and their sons protect (them) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.’

 

Swami Prabhupada writes,

”… woman is not supposed to take sannyāsa. So-called spiritual societies concocted in modern times give sannyāsa even to women, although there is no sanction in the Vedic literature for a woman’s accepting sannyāsa. Otherwise, if it were sanctioned, Kardama Muni could have taken his wife and given her sannyāsa. The woman must remain at home. She has only three stages of life: dependency on the father in childhood, dependency on the husband in youth and, in old age, dependency on the grown-up son, such as Kapila. In old age the progress of woman depends on the grown-up son.” A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 3.24.40 [ http://vanisource.org/wiki/SB_3.24.40 ]

 

 

Woman is a child production machine

Mahabharata 5.39 ”The fruits of the Vedas are ceremonies performed before the (homa) fire; the fruits of an acquaintance with the scriptures are goodness of disposition and conduct. The fruits of women are the pleasures of intercourse and offspring.” Tr. K.M. Ganguli

Narada Smriti 12.19 Women have been created for the sake of propagation, the wife being the field, and the husband the giver of the seed. The field must be given to him who has seed. He who has no seed in unworthy to possess the field.

Manu Smriti 9.96 ”Women are created to conceive pregnancies, and men are created to impregnate women. Hence, like the act of procreation, the religion duties of the husband and wife are correlated. This is said in the Veda.” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Skanda Purana V.iii.103.9-16 “[Atri said]…It is cited by expounders of the Vedas that a woman is one who gives sexual pleasure and a son…” Tr. G.V. Tagare

 

Women are bad luck

Garuda Purana 1.64.8 “Woman with hairy sides and breasts and high lips: husband dies soon.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Garuda Purana 1.64.11-12 ”little finger and thumb of a woman placed on the ground do not rest there: she will become a widow and of ill repute. Woman who shakes the ground as she treads, kills her husband quickly and lives like a mleccha woman.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Garuda Purana 1.65.57-60 (-> Samudrika) a round face: prosperity, lady will beget son, a long face: poverty, misfortune, great sorrow, a square face: coward, sinner, rogue, a depressed face: issuelessness, a short face: miserliness” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Garuda Purana 1.65.114 ”long neck of woman: destruction of family.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

 

Beat Woman

Garuda Purana 1.109.31 ”Wicked persons, artisans, slaves, defiled ones, drums and women are softened by being beaten; they do not deserve gentle handling.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

 

It is mentioned in Tulsi Ramayana,

ढोल गवाँर सूद्र पसु नारी। सकल ताड़ना के अधिकारी।।३

Tulsi Ramayana, Sundar Kanda, Doha 58.3 A drum, a rustic, a Shudra, a beast and a woman all these deserve to be beaten up.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 6.4.7 “If she does not willingly yield her body to him, he should buy her with presents. If she is still unyielding, he should strike her with a stick or with his hand and overcome her, repeating the following mantra: “With power and glory I take away your glory.” Thus she becomes discredited.” Tr. Swami Nikhilananda

But a wife cannot beat her husband,

Shiva Purana, Rudra Samhita 2, Parvatikhanda section III, 54.53-55 “If she desires to beat her husband in retaliation, she becomes a tiger or a wild cat. She who ogles at another man becomes squint eyed. She who partakes of sweet dish denying the same to her husband becomes a pig in the village or a wild goat eating its own dung. She who addresses her husband in a singular becomes dumb. She who is jealous of a cow-wife becomes ill-fated in matrimony again and again.” Tr. J.L. Shastri

Skanda Purana III.ii.7.43 “On being struck, if she were to strike him back, she is reborn as a tigress or a cat…” Tr. G.V. Tagare

 

Barred from studying Vedas, to perform sacrifice and to worship

Before teaching Veda to students, a ceremony is to be performed called Upanayana. After this ceremony the Dvija students are made to wear sacred thread. You may have seen Brahmins wearing this thread but have you ever heard of women wearing this thread? It’s because women are not allowed to study the Vedas. And as per Hindu scripture people who have gone through Upanayana ceremony alone are eligible to read the Vedas. It is mentioned in Agni Purana,

 

Agni Purana 152.9-12 ”…The women are not entitled to utter the Veda Mantras, and hence they are not invested with the holy threads, but their marriage ceremonies should be celebrated by repeating the sacred hymns of the Vedas.” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Matsya Purana 154.156-74 ”Women are by their nature meek and weak, women cannot study the Sastras.” Tr. Taluqdar of Oudh, edited by B.D. Basu

Maharishi Manu writes that marriage for a woman is equivalent to study of Vedas, which means they should not study it,

Manu Smriti 2.66 This whole series (of ceremonies) must be performed for females (also), in order to sanctify the body, at the proper time and in the proper order, but without (the recitation of) sacred texts.

Vishnu Smriti 27.13-14 For female children the same ceremonies, (beginning with the birth ceremony, should be performed, but) without Mantras. The marriage ceremony only has to be performed with Mantras for them.

Hindu scripture even punishes people in hell for reading Vedas in presence of women and Shudras,

Narada Purana I.15.100-1 “I shall mention the fruits of sins accruing to those who engage themselves in the recitation and study of the Vedas in the vicinity of women and Sudras. Listen to it attentively. They are compelled to stand with their heads down and legs upwards. Thus, they are nailed to two pillars and are compelled to inhale smoke continuously in this posture. They stay thus for the period of year of god Brahma.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Manu Smriti 2.67 ”The sacrament of marriage is to a female, what initiation with the thread is to a male. The service of the husband is to the wife, what his residence in the preceptor’s house, as a religious student, is to the husband; the household duty is to a woman, what the making of burnt offerings is to man.” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Below is Buhler’s translation,

Manu Smriti 2.67 The nuptial ceremony is stated to be the Vedic sacrament for women (and to be equal to the initiation), serving the husband (equivalent to) the residence in (the house of the) teacher, and the household duties (the same) as the (daily) worship of the sacred fire.

Maharishi Manu clearly writes,

Manu Smriti 9.18 For women no (sacramental) rite (is performed) with sacred texts [Vedic Mantras], thus the law is settled; women (who are) destitute of strength and destitute of (the knowledge of) Vedic texts, (are as impure as) falsehood (itself), that is a fixed rule.

 

Mahabharata 3.204 [Markandeya Rishi said] As regards women again, neither sacrifice nor sraddhas, nor fasts are of any efficacy. By serving their husbands only they can win heaven.

 

It is mentioned in Linga Purana that women are not authorized to perform worship [i.e. to lead prayers/sacrifices],

Linga Purana Section II 20.1-3 ”Rudra, Mahadeva, the grandfather stationed in the mystic diagram is worthy of being worshipped by the Brahmins, Ksatriyas and Vaisyas as well. For the Sudras the service rendered to a worshipper is enough. Undoubtedly women are not authorised to perform worship. If the worship is conducted through leading Brahmins, women and Sudras shall derive the same benefit.” Tr. Board of Scholars, Edited by J.L. Shastri

Padma Purana V.20.23-27 “A woman should never worship a salagrama. If a woman who is a widow or whose husband is alive, who desires her well-being in heaven, touches through ignorance a salagrama, she would, even though she is endowed with good character and virtues, be deprived of her collection of religious merit and would quickly go to hell…” Tr. N.A. Deshpande

Vishnu Smriti 25.15 No sacrifice, no penance, and no fasting is allowed to women apart from their husbands; to pay obedience to her lord is the only means for a woman to obtain bliss in heaven.

It is mentioned in Bhagvad Purana that, Ved Vyasa composed Mahabharata out of compassion for women and Shudras as women and Shudras are barred from the study of Vedas,

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.4.25 ”The degenerated twice-borns, the Sudras and women are barred from the holy truths of the Vedas, and, out of compassion for them, Maharshi Vyasa composed the Mahabharata.” Tr. J.M. Sanyal

Brahma Purana 64.19 ”In regard to the people of the first three castes the rite of holy bath and the reception of Mantras is in the manner mentioned in the Vedas. The utterance of the Vedic passage is to be avoided by women as well as Sudras.” Tr. J.L. Shastri

Women are not even allowed to utter Om and Vedic Japas,

Narada Purana, Uttarabhaga 61.51-53 “The procedure for the holy dip and the repetition of Japas is, in regard to the three castes, the same as mentioned in the Vedas. O fair lady, in regard to the Sudras and the women the repetition of the Vedic texts is to be avoided…” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Narada Purana III.70.72-73 “This is called Visnu Gayatri which removes all sins. Tara=om., hrt=namah, then bhagavan ending in the dative case, then vausdevaya. This great mantra consisting of twelve syllables gives enjoyment and salvation. This is to be used without tara=om by women and sudras but by the twice born it is used with tara=om.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Skanda Purana V.iii.228.9 “The following six things cause downfall of women and Sudras: japa, penance, pilgrimage, renunciation of the world, practice of Mantras and initiation for the adoration of a deity” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Some apologists put forth their arguments that many verses of Vedas were revealed to Rishika (female Rishi) so there is no prohibition for women from studying the Vedas.

What apologists do is they quote some particular incidents out of context and try to interpret it in their own way. Vedas even have verses spoken by a prostitute, the Rishika of some verses is a prostitute, it doesn’t mean that common women should also be engaged in prostitution. As you may know the Rishika of Rig Veda Mandal 10 Sukt 95 is Urvashi. Urvashi was a Apsara (Nirukta 5.13) and Swami Prabhupada writes that ”Urvaśī, a prostitute of the heavenly kingdom”,

”Mitra and Varuṇa chanced to meet Urvaśī, the most beautiful prostitute of the heavenly kingdom, and they became lusty…” A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 9.13.6 http://vanisource.org/wiki/SB_9.13.6

It is mentioned in Devi Bhagavatam,

Devi Bhagavatam 9.1.96-143 “…those that are sprung from Tamo Guna are recognised as worst and belonging to the unknown families. They are very scurrilous, cheats, ruining their families, fond of their own free ways, quarrelsome and no seconds are found equal to them. Such women become prostitutes in this world and Apsaras in the Heavens…” Tr. Swami Vijnananda

 

This is one of the old trick of Hindu apologists. They quote verses praising goddesses and present it as Vedas praising common women. Hindu apologists should provide reference showing that common women can also study the Vedas. Some people may argue that Urvashi was not a prostitute but they can never deny the fact that Urvashi was an adulteress. When trying to show equality among castes in Hinduism, Apologists often say that ‘Vasistha was born of a prostitute but became a Rishi‘, He was born out of the mind of Urvashi the prostitute but not born from her womb. So apologists changes their stand to suit their vested interest. Renowned Hindu scholar Madhvacharya writes,

“…Those of the first three castes who are sincerely devoted to the Lord Hari (the purifier) are fit to acquire knowledge as given in the Vedic texts. And the women (of the celestial order) are also eligible for the study of Scripture; and they are Urvasi, Yami (the wife of Yama), Sachi and other goddesses, (as also the wives of Rishis)…” Madhvacharya on Brahma Sutra Pada 1, Adhyaya 1.1, Tr. S. Subba Rau

Madhvacharya affirmed my statement that study of Veda for women is limited to special women like Urvashi, Yami, Sachi etc. which means that common women cannot study Vedas. Krishna says in Gita,

Gita 9.32 ”For those who take refuge in Me. O Partha, though they be of sinful birth- women, Vaisyas, and Sudras even they attain the Supreme Goal.” Tr. Swami Nikhilananda

 

Hindu scholar named Swami Swarupananda writes,

”Of inferior birth…Shudras because by birth, the Vaishyas are engaged only in agriculture, etc., and the women and Shudras are debarred from the study of the Vedas.”

[Swami Swarupananda on Bhagwad Gita 9.32, page 216, Advaita Ashrama, Published by Swami Chidatmananda, President, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, Almora, Himalayas] also available online at http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbg/sbg14.htm

 

Swami Nikhilananda writes,

”The Vaisyas are engaged in agriculture and trade; women and Sudras are debarred from the study of the Vedas. Therefore all these classes of people remain outside the Vedic scheme of salvation…” [Swami Nikhilananda on The Bhagwad Gita 9.32, page 233, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1944, Printed in USA by The Haddon Craftsmen, Inc.]

http://www.estudantedavedanta.net/Srimad%20Bhagavad%20Gita%20with%20Commentary%20-%20Swami%20Nikhilananda%20(1944)%20%5BEnglish%5D.pdf

 

Another scholar named Swami Sivananda writes,

“…Women and Sudras are debarred by social rules from the study of the Vedas…”

 

 

Women are like Shudras

Women belonging to upper three castes are not Shudras but are treated like Shudras. They are considered to be on the same level as the Shudra. Hindu text often mention Shudra on par with Women,

Manu Smriti 5.139. Let him who desires bodily purity first sip water three times, and then twice wipe his mouth; but a woman and a Sudra (shall perform each act) once (only).

Manu Smriti 11.153. But he who has eaten the food of men, whose food must not be eaten, or the leavings of women and Sudras, or forbidden flesh, shall drink barley (-gruel) during seven (days and) nights.

Brahmanda Purana 2.3.15.56 ”The leavings of food from a Sraddha should not be given to women or Sudras.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

 

Mahabharata 13.128 That man who thinks it all right when a Sudra ignites the fire upon which he is to pour libations or who does not see any fault when women who are incompetent to assist at Sraddhas and other rites are allowed to assist at them, really becomes stained with sin.

 

Manu also states that during the period of a vow it is not proper on any account to talk to a woman, a Sudra and an outcaste,

Manu Smriti 11.224. Let him bathe three times each day and thrice each night, dressed in his clothes; let him on no account talk to women, Sudras, and outcasts.

 

 

Duty of a Wife

Devi Bhagavatam 6.18.7-24 ”…The eternal Dharma of women is to serve their husbands; whether the husband be a saint or a sinner, the woman, desirous of her welfare, should serve her husband in every way…”

Manu Smriti 5.155-6 No sacrifice, no vow, no fast must be performed by women apart (from their husbands); if a wife obeys her husband, she will for that (reason alone) be exalted in heaven. Afaithful wife, who desires to dwell (after death) with her husband, must never do anything that might displease him who took her hand, whether he be alive or dead.

 

Baudhayana Dharma Shastra 2.2.3.47 Those (women) who strive (to do what is) agreeable to their husbands will gain heaven.

 

Garuda Purana 1.95.24-26 ‘‘The highest duty of a woman is to carry out the behests of her husband. Sixteen nights subsequent to the month menstrual flow are the nights of rut for women. The husband shall restrain himself during the parvan (full moon and new moon days), when the stars Magha and Mula are ascendant and on the first four nights. Thereafter, on even nights, he will be able to beget a healthy son of auspicious traits. If the woman is in a mood to receive him on any night he should satisfy her remembering that lust in women is terrible.” Tr. J.L. Shastri

 

Devi Bhagavatam 3.19.11 ”The women are able to attain heaven and emancipation, if they serve their husbands…” Tr. Swami Vijnananda

 

Mahabharata 13.59 As women have one eternal duty, in this world, viz., dependence upon and obedient service to their husbands, and as such duty constitutes their only end, even so is the service to Brahmanas Our eternal duty and end.

Narada Purana I.14.17 “If, out of wickedness, a woman does not render physical service to her husband, she must be punished by abandoning her for twelve years, without giving her financial assistance.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Hinduism also says that a wife should stick to husband even if the husband is foolish, devoid of qualities, beats her, is impotent etc.,

Manu Smriti 5.154 Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife

Skanda Purana II.iv.4.74 “Even if the husband is poor, fallen, foolish or wretched, he is the refuge unto his wife. By abandoning him a woman falls into hell.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Skanda Purana III.ii.7.15-44 “…The duties of chaste women have been enumerated by Sage Vyasa. She takes food after the husband has taken food; when he stands, she stands up together. She goes to bed after he has gone to sleep, and gets up before him…She does not speak out the name of her husband in order to give him long life. She never mentions the name of another man too. Even when dragged by him, she does not cry aloud. Even if she is beaten by him, she continues to be gracious. When he says, ‘Do this’, she reples, ‘My lord, be assured that it is done.’ When she is called, she leaves off the work on hand and goes to him quickly (and says) ‘Wherefore, O lord have I been called? Be pleased to tell me that…She partakes of the leavings of her husband’s food, fruit etc. liked by him. She completely avoids watching community festivals etc. (if he is not accompanying her). She should not exhibit bold wilfulness in anything except during sexual dalliance. She should always express her interest and delight whenever her husband shows his interest. She should never transgress the words of her husband… She should never stray from her husband even if he is impotent, miserably placed, sickly, senile, infirm or unsteady…If a woman transgresses the injunction of her husband and performs holy rites, fasts and other observances, she takes away the longetivity of her husband. After her death, she falls into a hell. A hot-tempered woman who, when addressed, gives rude reply, is reborn as a bitch in a village or as a vixen in a desolate forest. This is said to be the greatest and only sacred observance of women that they should resolve to take their food only after worshipping the feet of their husbands. (A chaste woman) should not occupy a seat higher (than that of her husband)…On being struck, if she were to strike him back, she is reborn as a tigress or a cat…She who sets aside her husband and partakes of sweet dishes alone, is reborn in a village as a female pig or a bat feeding on faeces.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

This is how women are punished if they don’t obey their husbands and uses harsh words against them,

Devi Bhagavatam 9.35.1-44 “If any woman, being very furious with anger, chastises and uses harsh words to her husband, she goes to Ulkâmukha Kunda for as many years as there are hairs on his body. My servants put fiery meteors or torches in her mouth and beat on her head. At the end of the term, she becomes a human being but she has to bear the torments of widowhood for seven births. Then she is again born as diseased; when at last she gets herself freed. The Brâhmana woman, enjoyed by a S’ûdra, goes to the terrible dark Andhakûpa hell, where she remains, day and night, immersed in the impure water and eats that for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Her pains are unbounded and My messengers beat her severely and incessantly.” Tr. Swami Vijnananda

 

Women are sex maniac

 

Skanda Purana V.iii.121.7-9 ”Ordinarily sexual appetite is very strong in women. Especially during menses, they are afflicted all the more by the arrows of Kama. Shunned or neglected by their husbands, women naturally think about paramours.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

 

Mahabharata 13.19 Verily, women are exceedingly fond of sexual congress. Among a thousand women, or, perhaps, among hundreds of thousands, sometimes only one may be found that is devoted to her husband. When under the influence of desire, they care not for family or father or mother or brother or husband or sons or husband’s brother (but pursue the way that desire points out). Verily, in pursuit of what they consider happiness, they destroy the family (to which they belong by birth or marriage) even as many queenly rivers eat away the banks that contain them. The Creator himself had said this, quickly marking the faults of women.

 

Chanakya Neeti Shastra 16.2 The heart of a woman is not united; it is divided. While she is taking with one man, she looks lustfully at another and thinks fondly of a third in her heart.

 

Padma Purana II.53.11b-20 …O lord of gods, the vulva, and also the tips of the breasts of women, throb. They do not have patience…

 

Shiva Purana, UmaSamhita 5.24.16-36 ”There is none more sinning and more sinful than women. Women are at the root of all sins…Women usually do not observe the limitations of conventional decency. If at all they stand by them with their husbands it is because no man makes advances to them or because they are afraid of their husbands…They carry on their dalliances with any man ugly or beautiful…Even women of noble families aspire for the life of lascivious women who in their prime of youth adorned with lovable ornaments and beautiful wearing garments move about frivolously…Women become desperate when they do not get men…women are not satiated with the number of men they cohabit with. O excellent sage, there is another secret of all women that immediately on seeing a man their vaginal passage begins to exude slimy secretions. On seeing a man fresh and clean from his bath with his body perfumed with sweet scents, the vaginal passage of women begins to exude like water dripping from a leather bag…on hearing her words Narada was satisfied in his mind. Considering it to be the truth. Tr. J.L. Shastri

 

Garuda Purana 1.109.35-40 ”A delicious fatty meat diet, pleasing dress, glowing wine, fragrant scented pastes, and sweet smelling flowers kindle passion in women. It can be said with certainty that even during the period of celibacy the god of love is busily active. On seeing a man pleasing to her heart the vagina of a woman becomes wet with profuse secretion. O Saunaka, it is true, definitely true that the vaginal passage of a woman begins to secrete profusely on seeing a well dressed man whether a brother or a son. Rivers and women are of similar nature in their love of freedom to choose their own course. The rivers erode the banks and the women undermine their own families. The river undermines the banks and the woman causes the fall of the family. The course of rivers and women is wayward and cannot be checked. A blazing fire cannot be satiated with sufficient supply of fuel; the ocean can never be filled to satiety by rivers flowing into it; the god of death is never satiated by the living beings (whom he smites) and a passionate woman is never satiated with man.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

 

Can’t choose husband

 

Devi Bhagavatam 6.22.31-36 “…The girl must accept him to whom the father betrothes. The girl is under every circumstances dependent. Never do they get any independence…” Tr. Swami Vijnananda

 

Manu Smriti 5.151 Him to whom her father may give her, or her brother with the father’s permission, she shall obey as long as he lives, and when he is dead, she must not insult (his memory)

Hinduism gives a list of girls that must be avoided for marriage but there is no mention of how a girl should choose her husband,

Narada Purana I.26.3-14 “A twice-born should marry a virgin who is endowed with good features and beauty, who is born of a good family, who possesses good qualities, whose conduct and habits are good and who practises righteous activities. The intelligent Brahmana should marry a girl beyond the seventh remove his father and fifth remove from his mother; otherwise he is on a par with the defiler of the preceptor’s bed. A sensible man should not marry a girl who is sickly, whose eyes are round, who is born in a family of ailing persons (i.e. with unhealthy heredity), who has too much of hair or who has no hair at all or who is garrulous. A wise person should not marry a girl who is hot-tempered, too short, too tall (in stature), who is wanting in any limb, who has an extra limb (i.e. physically handicapped or abnormal), who is mad, or slanderous. One should not marry a girl with heavy, big ankles or long shanks or has masculine features with traces of moustache and beard and is hunchbacked. A prudent person should not marry a girl who laughs without reason, who stays in others’ houses always, is habitually contentious, wayward and ruthless. A sensible man should not marry a voracious girl whose teeth and lips are too large and thick, who snorts and grumbles, who is very dark or red in complexion, or who is cunning and mischievous. One should not marry a girl who is always given to weeping, is of pallid complexion, who is despicable, a chronic patient of cough and Asthma or of somnolent nature. A sagacious man should not marry a girl who habitually speaks worthless and meaningless words who is interested in antagonizing the world, who is in the habit of scandalising others or is a thief. A worldly-wise man should by no means marry a girl whose nose is too long, who is a liar, and a cheat, whose body is covered with hair, who is arrogant or a religious hypocrite. If the marriage had taken place during childhood when the real nature had not been realised and if her defect is realized after maturity, he should by all means forsake her. If any woman is always harsh and ruthless to the husband and children but is favourably disposed towards others, he (the husband) should by all means forsake her.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Manu and Swami Dayanand Saraswati had similar views,

“Let a man never marry one who is pale and anaemic, nor one who is altogether a bigger and stronger person than himself or has a redundant member,* nor one who is an invalid, nor one either with no hair or too much hair or too much hair,** nor one immoderately talkative, nor one with red*** eyes.” MANU 3: 8.
“Nor one with the name of star,* of a tree,** or of a river,*** or of a mountain,**** nor one bearing a name denoting low origin,^ or servility,^^ nor one named after a bird,+ , a snake, ++ nor one whose name inspires terror.” MANU 3: 9. These names are despicable and belong to other things as well.+++
“Let him choose for his wife, a girl who has a graceful figure without any deformity, who has a pretty name, who walks gracefully like a swan or an elephant, who has fine hair and lovely teeth, and whose body is exquisitely soft.” MANU 3: 10.” Satyarth Prakash, Ch 4, p.89-90, by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Tr. Dr. Chiranjiva Bhardwaja

 

Derogatory remarks against women

Krishna said,

Varaha Purana 177.17-22 “Looking at Narada, Krsna bent down his face in shame. He then told Narada in detail about the nature of women and their conduct leading to sin. ‘They have no consideration of time, of secrecy of what they do. Still they pass to be virtous. Women irrespective of their age, whether they be girls, teenagers, middle-aged or advanced in age, get their passion excited at the sight of a handsome man. O great sage, this is natural to them.” Tr. Venkitasubramonia Iyer, J.L. Shastri

Devi Bhagavatam 1.5.83 ”Falsehood, vain boldness, craftiness, stupidity, impatience, over-greediness, impurity, and harshness are the natural qualities of women.” Tr. Swami Vijnananda

 

Garuda Purana 1.109.33-34 ”The diet of a woman is twice as much as that of a man; shrewdness four times, energy is six times and amorousness is eight times as much as that of a man. It is impossible to overcome sleep by sleeping it off; to overpower a woman by loving her; to smother a flame by adding fuel and to quench thirst by drinking wine.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

Chanakya Neeti Shastra 1.17 Women have hunger two fold, shyness four fold, daring six fold, and lust eight fold as compared to men.

 

Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Brahma Khanda 23.14-39 ”…The heart of women is keen like the edge of a razor…Immodesty and daring characterise their conduct, and their deeds are tainted with defect and hypocrisy. O Lord of the universe the lust of a woman is eight times as great; hunger twice as great and cruelty, four times as great as the lust, hunger and cruelty of a man…” Tr. Rajendra Nath Sen

 

Manu 7.150 (Such) despicable (persons), likewise animals, and particularly women betray secret council; for that reason he must be careful with respect to them.

 

Rig Veda 10.95.15 Nay, do not die, Pururavas, nor vanish: let not the hideous wolves devour thee. Female friendships do not exist. With women there can be no lasting friendship: hearts of hyenas are the hearts of women.

 

Bhagawad Purana 9.14.36-38 “Urvasi said: My dear King, you are a man, a hero. Don’t be impatient and give up your life. Be sober and don’t allow the senses to overcome you like foxes. Don’t let the foxes eat you. In other words, you should not be controlled by your senses. Rather, you should know that the heart of a woman is like that of a fox. There is no use making friendship with women. Women as a class
are merciless and cunning
. They cannot tolerate even a slight offense. For their own pleasure they can do anything irreligious, and therefore they do not fear killing even a faithful husband or brother. Women are very easily seduced by men. Therefore, polluted women give up the friendship of a man who is their well-wisher and establish false friendship among fools. Indeed, they seek newer and newer friends, one after another.” Tr. Swami Prabhupada

 

Garuda Purana 1.115.59 ”The prosperity of a kingdom comes to an end with the curse of a brahmana; the spiritual power of a brahmana comes to an end with his sin; all decency in conduct of life comes to an end if residence is taken near cowsheds; the family is ruined if women rule.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri

 

Chanakya Neeti Shastra 12.18 Courtesy should be learned from princes, the art of conversation from pandits, lying should be learned from gamblers and deceitful ways should be learned from women.

Chanakya Niti Shastra 2.1 Untruthfulness, rashness, guile, stupidity, avarice, uncleanliness and cruelty are women’s seven natural flaws.

Hinduism also views barren women and widows as degraded women,

Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Prakriti Khanda 29.42-53 “…Whoever eats food offered by a childless widow or a woman in her menses dwells in the pit of red hot iron for a century. Afterwards born by turns

Devi Bhagavatam 9.33.20-50 “…He who takes the food of a childless widow and the same of any woman that has just bathed after menstruation goes for one hundred years to the hot Lauha Kunda (where iron is in a molten condition). For seven births he becomes then a crow and for seven births he becomes born of a washerwoman, full of sores and boils, and poor. Then he gets purified.” Tr. Swami Vijnananda

Vishnu Samhita 65.33-35 “Having seen an insane, intoxicated or deformed person he shall turn back in his journey…Similarly, having seen persons clad in Kashaya (yellow-tinged) or dirty clothes as well as Kapilas, barren women, eunuchs, haunch-backed persons one shall refrain from starting on a journey.” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Apastamba Samhita 9.24 “Boiled rice should not be partaken of in the house of a barren woman. He, who unknowingly eats at such a house, is consigned to the hell of Puyasam, after death.” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Agni Purana chapter 230 “…A pregnant woman, a widow, drugs such as the Pinyaka, etc., a Chandala, a member of the Shvapacha or any other vile caste, a butcher, or a killer of birds, should be removed from the presence of a man, about to start a journey…” Tr. M.N. Dutt

Hinduism says that whores becomes widows and barren in next life,
Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Krishna Janma Khanda 85.105-116 “…A whore after having suffered the torments of hell called Raurava for a long time attains the form of a useless worm for a century and by turns for seven birth she attain the condition of a widow, a barren woman, an untouchable woman of low class and a woman with her nose cut…” Tr. Rajendra Nath Sen

Hinduism even says that one should avoid the sight of a widow, a barren woman and equates them to bastard, theives etc,
Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Krishna Janma Khanda 78.33-41 “O father, now I am going to describe to you things whose sight is sinful. Bad dream is the root of sin and sole cause of calamity. The sight of the following…the cook of a S’udra, one who burns the corpse of a S’udra, a Brahmin who eats food prepared in connexion with the funerals of a S’udra…a S’udra, a widow, a Candal…a bastard, a thief, a liar…a Brahmin who is the husband of a barren woman, a S’udra who commits adultery with a Brahmin woman…” Tr. Rajendra Nath Sen

Hinduism also equates whores to childless widows and prohibits eating their food,
Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Krishna Janma Khanda 85.53-61 “…O lord of the Vraja, a Brahmin who accidently uses food offered by a woman in her menses, a whore, or a childless widow undoubtedly consumes odour. He always leads an impure life as long as he lives…” Tr. Rajendra Nath Sen

Skanda Purana III.ii.7.50-52 “A widow is more inauspicious than all inauspicious things. Never can there be accomplishment of anything when a widow is sighted. All widows except one’s mother are devoid of auspiciousness. A wise man must avoid their blessings, like serpents. At the time of the marriage of a girl, the Brahmanas shall recite thus: ‘She shall be the constant companion of her husband whether he is alive or not.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Following verses shows how a widow should lead her life, it also talks about tonsuring widows,

Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Krishna Janma Khanda 83.92-124 “A Brahmin widow should daily take boiled rice with ghee at sunset and never cherish lust in her heart as the S’astras hold. Such a widow must not put on fine clothes; she should avoid the use of spices, incense, oil, wreath, sandal, conch-shell, vermillion and ornaments. She should put on dirty clothes and remember Narayana alone. She should not use sweet-meat and must avoid riches (or splendour)….A widow sleeping on a bedstead causes the downfall of her husband; and if she mounts a car, she goes to hell. A widow ought not to polish her hair or cleanse her body. And if the clusters of her hair be knotted, she may shave them off even in places not meant for pilgrimage. A widow should not anoint her body with oil. She should not see her face in the looking-glass or behold the face of any other man. She should not witness an opera, dance, a grand festival or see the face of a dancer, a singer or a well-dressed man. She should always listen to pious narratives as recited in the Sama Veda…” Tr. Rajendra Nath Sen

Skanda Purana II.v.11.36 “A kingdom without Vaisnavas is like a widow with tresses of hair not removed or like Vrata (without taking) holy bath or like Dvadasi with Dasami overlapping it.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Skanda Purana III.ii.7. 67-68 “A widow who habitually lies on a couch causes the downfall of her husband. Hence she should resort to the habit of lying on the ground, if she desires for the ultimate happiness of her husband. Cleansing of the body with fragrant unguents should never be indulged in by a widow. She would never make use of sweet scents.” Tr. G.V. Tagare

Baudhyana Dharma Sutra 2.2.4.7-9 A widow shall avoid during a year (the use of) honey, meat spirituous liquor, and salt, and sleep on the ground. Maudgalya (declares that she shall do so) during six months.

 

How to determine the nature of a woman

Wondering how to find if a woman is a whore, adulteress or murderer of her husband? Need not worry, Garuda Purana has a list that can describe her nature. I am using translation of Board of Scholars edited by J.L. Shastri,

 

Garuda Purana 1.65.112 If the palm is placed on the ground and the little finger and the ring finger do not touch the ground, she is surely a whore.

Garuda Purana1.65.115 stout neck: she becomes very fierce. Squint in the eyes, dark blue or tawny in the eyes, roving eyes: absence of chastity

Garuda Purana 1.65.116 If when she smiles two dimples are seen in the cheeks, she is surely one adulteress.

Garuda Purana 1.65.117 …if the buttocks hang down, she kills her husband. A mustache-like growth of hair above the upper lip is inauspicious for the husband.

Garuda Purana 1.65.118 Hairy breasts are inauspicious and uneven ears too are inauspicious.

 

 

Proud wife should be punished

Matsya Purana 225.132 ”The woman who is disobedient to her husband on account of being proud of her brothers, etc., should be driven out of the house by the king.” Tr. Taluqdar of Oudh, Edited by B.D. Basu

 

Manu 8.371 If a wife, proud of the greatness of her relatives or (her own) excellence, violates the duty which she owes to her lord, the king shall cause her to be devoured by dogs in a place frequented by many.

 

Widow burning

Garuda Purana 10.42 “When a woman burns her body with her husband’s, the fire burns her limbs only, but does not afflict her soul” Tr. Ernest Wood and S.V Subrahmanyam, Edited by B.D. Basu.

 

Brahma Purana 10.75 “Dying Immediately after the husband is the greatest duty of women. This is the path laid down in the Vedas. [77] The woman who follows her husband shall stay in heaven for as many years as there are hairs in a man’s body, viz. three and a half crores of years.” Tr. Board of Scholars, Edited by J.L. Shastri

 

Parasara Smriti 4.28 “A widow, who immolates herself on the same funeral pile with her deceased husband, resides in heaven for ten millions of years, which is the number of hairs on the human body.” Tr. M.N. Dutt

 

For more information read the article Sati Pratha: The burning of widows.

 

Even a animal like cow is given more importance and respect in Hinduism than women. Women are treated like a commodity. Hinduism has deprived women of their basic rights. It confines them to four walls of the house. Women in Hinduism is nothing but a child production factory and sex object. I have not added many verses in this article because other articles already deals with it.

 

Recommended reading

Sati Pratha: The burning of widows

No Inheritance for women in Vedas

Female foeticide- The bitter truth

Women and Vedic Dharma

The Menace of Dowry and its Origin

Women in Hinduism: Conflict between Swami Dayanand and Internet Arya Samajis

The Status of Women as Depicted by Manu in the Manusmriti

Is Widow remarriage permitted in Hinduism?

Condition of Hindu women in India

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