Being a Homemaker: Honor or Disgrace? by Devaki Devi Dasi

I arrived in Kolkata on the 17th of November to offer a two-day seminar for the ladies over the weekend. The local devotees had chosen the topic “Being a Homemaker: Honor or Disgrace?” – a highly relevant subject for the young generation of ladies in modern India.

We had dedicated the entire Saturday and Sunday for this seminar – with a morning and afternoon session, and the temple provided the lunch prasadam for all participants. More than one hundred ladies eagerly participated, and we conducted the event in a spacious flat near the temple. I had compiled course materials, which were also translated into Bengali and Hindi. In this way we could welcome a maximum of participants, offering simultaneous translation into Hindi and Bengali.

I have certainly noticed, that the young generation of ladies in India are very eager for a professional career, thinking it to be great progress for a woman to enter the work force and earn money. Even amongst practicing devotees I have observed a strong trend towards economic development and material progress being the main and foremost goal in life. In a country like India, where spiritual traditions had been strictly maintained until recent days, it indeed seems so appealing and progressive for young ladies to abandon these seemingly old-fashioned customs of ladies being mainly engaged in the home taking care of the husband and children. Thus the ladies in India are now dreaming of becoming independent career women, and it appears all so attractive and glittering! read more

KRSNA CONSCIOUS MOTHERHOOD

(An expectant mother, who is also a devotee book distributor, submits a question to H.H. Bhakti Vikasa Swami. He gave a short answer and asked one of his female disciples to give further advice.)

QUESTIONS

 Dear Guru Maharaja read more

“Mother,” no other address

The nutshell of education is defined by Canakya Pandita that “Who is pandita, learned?” So he does not say that one who has passed MA, PhD, DAC, no. He doesn’t say that. He says, “Any person who has learned to see like this.” What is that? Matrvat para-daresu: “Everyone’s wife should be considered…” Para-dara. Para means others’ wife. Matrvat, mother. Therefore the Vedic system is, when we address another woman, “Mother,” no other address. “Mother, can I do this? Would you like this?” The address should be “Mother.” Practice.

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.23 — Honolulu, May 23, 1976)

 ‘Your question is how much or how little brahmacaris should associate with the unmarried brahmacarinis in the temple. As brahmacari you should not mix at all with brahmacarinis. Actually they should not at all see the face, but that is not possible in your country. But so far as possible, remain separate and talk almost nil. Brahmacari is advised not to go near a young woman anywhere. A brahmacari should always address every woman as mother. In your country it is a little difficult, but the principle is to avoid. To talk secretly or privately is strictly prohibited. If you want to discuss philosophy and other matters you can discuss publicly in a meeting, but not privately. A brahmacari and unmarried woman in the same room together alone is strictly forbidden.” (SPL to Sankarsana, 30th September, 1972) read more