Conversation 015 – Women in the material world

For a spiritual seeker, too much involvement in worldly affairs is a very dangerous thing. Material world revolves around attraction between the sexes.

This post is not to undermine the importance of women or the fair sex but the effects of over indulgence that causes damage. The conversation reflects this sentiment:

Seeker 1: Why does our puranas and ithihasas always seem to reflect the fair sex in a poor light considering the fact that they provide the environment for shelter and growth of a living being and make supreme sacrifices?

Seeker 2: It is a common misconception. At a majority of places, importance of women is stressed. It is only through the grihastha ashrama (Household life through the institution of marriage) and begetting of children and leading an ideal life that one gets liberated from the cycle of births and deaths.

Panchakanyas (Five virgins) – Ahalya (Wife of sage Gautam), Tara (wife of the supreme monkey king Vali) and Mandodari (wife of King Ravana) from Ramayana and Kunti (Wife of General Pandu) and Draupadi (Wife of Pandavas) from Mahabharatha are embodiment of virtue and womanhood and are considered as models of ideal women. The well-known Sanskrit hymn that defines the Panchakanya as:

ahalyā draupadī kunti tārā mandodarī tathā
pañcakanyāḥ smarennityaṃ mahāpātakanāśinīḥ 

which means: Ahalya, Draupadi, Kunti, Tara and Mandodari. One should forever remember the panchakanya who are the destroyers of great sins. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panchakanya).

Puranas are great in the sense that they also show the life of non-ideal men whose lives got ruined because of lusting after women and the women taking advantage of that to get the benefits. Such examples are an eyeopeners for us that kindle us to lead an ideal life.

First, you will be amazed to know how women think about themselves!

Seeker 1: Tell me that Gyan. I am very eager to know it. It is so valuable to lead a good life.

Seeker 2: Yes. This lesson is taught about the king Pururava enchanted by the celestial girl Urvasi and falls to her whims. It is in the 9th Canto: Liberation, Chapter 14: King Purūravā Enchanted by Urvaśī (https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/14/) – verses 35 to 38. Urvashi herself counsels Pururava about the general nature of women! It’s worth reading the entire story.

Seeker 1: 🧞‍♂

Seeker 2: Urvaśī 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.”

and later in Srimad Bhagavatam, King Pururava himself regrets his behaviour. See what he says…

“Because I allowed my intelligence to become dull and because I failed to control my senses, the great confusion in my mind did not go away, even though Urvaśī herself gave me wise counsel with well-spoken words. How can I blame her for my trouble when I myself am ignorant of my real, spiritual nature? I did not control my senses, and so I am like a person who mistakenly sees a harmless rope as a snake. Therefore, one should never let his senses associate freely with women or with men attached to women. Even those who are highly learned cannot trust the six enemies of the mind; what to speak, then, of foolish persons like me!” All these comes in the 11th Canto: General History, Chapter 26: The Aila-gītā (https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/11/26/)

Seeker 2: Thus, it is to be realised that this material body is a piece of dull matter that will be later burnt, buried or eaten away by scavenging animals like foxes or vultures. Only the good deeds get carried forward in the form of good karma in subsequent births or renunciation and surrender to the Supreme that gives liberation from future births!

This is such a simple truth but in this present materialistic world no one puts their brains to understand it. The girls, the boys, the adults everyone hanging around with their gadgets waste their valuable time in mindless pursuits. It is high time we realise that and the purpose of our very existence!


Author: Rajini

"Knowledge is the ultimate perfection of self-realization.". (Srimad Bhagavatham 3.26.2) Trying to seek that knowledge through life experiences that leads to compassion, dispassion and ultimately satisfaction.

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