BRIHAD MANU SIKSHA #24

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TOPIC 13 LAWS CONCERNING WOMEN
  • Nothing must be done independently by a woman.
  • Woman should never seek to separate from husband, father, son.
  • Woman should always be cheerful, expert in house management, careful in cleaning and economical in expenditure.

  • At the time of betrothal of the daughter, the father gives over the authority over his daughter to the son-in-law.
  • Usually ‘irreconcilable differences’ between husband and wife are over small things. In the Vedic system big effort is put into matching the partners.
  • Woman’s ever-changing nature is attractive, but it should be connected to something stable, just like a flag connected to a flagpole.
  • In the Vedic times, if the woman has difficulties in relationship with the husband, there are other relatives in the house that can give stability.
  • 15:00 Woman taking ‘spiritual’ shelter of guru.
  • Perhaps better than taking emotional shelter of Guru is taking shelter of Krishna – one can tell Him anything.
  • But same principles apply even to men, since the soul is feminine. The disciple should be faithful to deceased guru, just like wife to a deceased husband.
  • Wife is cheerful if the husband takes care properly and supports her, but she has to also make that endeavor. Cheerful means using a lot of energy, so there has to be that input of energy.
  • Wife should always obey the husband and never do things that are displeasing to him.
  • Husband and wife relationship may continue in Vaikuntha.
  • After husband’s death wife must live very simply rather than think of other men.
  • Having a son is more important for the men; woman may be elevated just by being chaste, a son is not necessary.
  • The husband gets all the karma; the wife gets all the benefit; where is the equality?
  • Women may take 2nd husband in following circumstances (according to Parashara, in Kali-yuga): if 1st husband long remains unheard of, if he dies, takes to asceticism, loses his power or becomes a degraded person. However, the main principle is to follow husband under all circumstances. In Kali yuga the above may be used, but problem would be defining these situations properly.
  • A widow who maintains brahmacharya goes to heaven after death like a brahmachari.
  • 38:40 Duties for remarried women are different than first married, but most remarried cannot tolerate them. Remarried woman’s profit is just being in the stable environment. She has to adjust with husband’s existing children, their mother, husband’s friends etc. She cannot claim control over all those.
  • Certain things in the marriage yajna are only done for women who get married first time.
  • Violating duty towards the husband the woman is degraded in this world and the next.
  • If wife dies before husband he burns her with the same fire used in the wedding, and may remarry lighting a new fire.
  • Man may remarry because he is independent. Woman is dependent.
  • If man thinks of his wife he will take birth as a woman; woman thinking of husband will either go with him or take birth as a man.
Discourse 6 Vanaprastha Ashrama
TOPIC 14 THE LAWS FOR HERMITS
  • There are many categories of vanaprasthas according to their vow; they are not necessary chronological.
  • Vanaprastha may be with or without the wife.
  • Regarding Parashara mentioning cases for remarriage – those are valid provided there is no children.
  • At Vanaprastha stage the wife may follow the husband at her own risk. In vanaprastha husband is not dependent on wife, but accepts her voluntary services. If he is still dependent on her, that is not vanaprastha, but the last stages of grihastha.
  • Just as a brahmachari, there is no mention that a vanaprastha is tough and nasty towards women.
  • Vanaprastha may just sit in one place, or may travel. In any case, grihasthas always want to know what to do and will come to them for advice.
  • Vanaprasthas do not work on expanding their facilities or social considerations.
  • Couple who do not have children and do not want them are not really grihasthas, they are vanaprathas.
  • Vanaprasthas may continue their daily sacrifices or not; those who continue are generally with the wife.
  • Vanaprastha should also give in charity according to his means.
  • Vanaprastha should not ask for charity. It is a serious position of not trying to increase one’s material assets.
  • As vanaprastha one is friendly towards all living entities, one does not make friends and enemies on social considerations.
  • Vanaprastha should not consume honey, horseradish, muhrooms, intoxicants – all things that create more passion or ignorance. One should consume things that are pure and come without much endeavor.
  • Vanaprastha taking medicines – better to take medicine if that allows one to perform more service.
  • Bati cacari – there is no preparation where there is too much ghee, there is not enough chili.
  • Vanaprastha may eat once a day, every 2nd day or every 4th day. He may observe eating according to the Moon phase (Candrayana fast)

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