Sai Darshan Home
Date:19 Nov 1996 Occasion:Women's Day Place:Prashanti Nilayam

The Glory Of Bharat's Women

Fear of sin has gone
Evil deeds are rampant
Devotion to God is wavering.
To fight these tendencies
Chanting the name of the Lord
Is the only remedy, oh man!
If women go out for jobs
Who will take care of the homes?
If husband and wife go to offices
Who will look after the children?
Earning money may solve some problems
But how will it resolve domestic problems?
Truly speaking, working women
Do not enjoy much happiness

Loving Embodiments of the Divine Self !

It is not my view that women should not get educated. They should have education. You may also take up jobs. But you should live up to the obligations and glory of womanhood. The first title given to a woman is Grihalakshmi (the goddess of Home). A woman is expected to confer all prosperity, honor and good name on the home and the family. She is characterized as Grihalakshmi and not Office- Lakshmi.

Another title for a woman is Ardhaangi (The better half). This means she is the better half of the husband and not a partner in his job.

The third title is Illalu (the Mistress of the Home). She is the mistress in the house and not in the office.

Dharmapathni is the fourth title conferred on a married woman. This implies that the home is the dwelling for all righteousness. The home is the birth place of all the Dharmas (rules of right conduct) hollowed by usage from ancient times.

What we have to safeguard and protect today are Truth and Righteousness and not the nation. When Truth and Righteousness are protected, they will protect the nation.

Hence, righteousness should be fostered in the home. A home is no trivial place.

The home is a veritable university teaching many subjects. The home is a center of comfort and pleasure conferring joy; The home is a shrine that can make even the creator, Brahma, sing and others dance. The home with the husband is a school for the wife. (Telugu Poem)

The home is the abode of Dharma. which protects and safeguards the country. The home is the beacon which illumines the world and sustains it. Women should realize that, irrespective of their education or position, their foremost obligation is to protect the home. For lakhs of students and children who go to school, the mother is the first teacher. From the moment of birth, for every one the mother is the preceptor. If such a teacher leaves her home to teach other children, who will teach her children?

For Bharatiya women, the first duty is to reform the home and run it along ideal lines.

The home (and the family) is the basic social institution everywhere in the world. When the home improves, the whole world will be better.

In this phenomenal world, whatever pleasures and satisfactions one may derive elsewhere, if there is no joy at home, it becomes a veritable hell. The home is heaven itself. It is the duty of women to maintain it as such.

There is a proverb in the Andhra country: First care for the home and then think of other things. Since ancient times, Bharats name and fame have rested on the greatness of women. [Bhagavan sang a song in Telugu, praising the greatness of Savitri, who made the Lord of Death restore the life of her husband, the power of Chandramathi, who stood by her husband's determination to sacrifice everything for Truth, the chastity of Sita who went through an ordeal by fire, and Damayanthi, who shared all her husbands troubles with fortitude. Bharat was noted for such heroic women, whose chastity and courage are an example for all humanity]. To be born as women in such a country where there were such heroic women, is indeed a privilege. Should not the sacred river Ganga be worshipped as a mother? Is not Bharat the home of Gomaatha. Bhoomatha and Vedamaatha - the land in which the cow, the earth and the Vedas are worshipped as a mother? It must be realized that it is not proper for Bharatiya women to forget their sacred vocation and engage themselves in outside activities contrary to their great heritage.

[Bhagavan sang a song glorifying the quality of forbearance, which was the hallmark of people in this sacred land, the love for mother and the Motherland, and the readiness even to sacrifice one's life to uphold ones honor. Unfortunately these values have been lost today]. Bharat was the leader for the entire world in the realm of spirituality. Hindu tradition stood for the welfare of all mankind all through the ages. To uphold these ideals, the kings and women in ancient Bharat made great sacrifices. Everyone must take a pledge to revive and uphold these great ideals.

The great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and the supreme Purana, the Bhagavatha, have taught the great lesson for all mankind regarding the disastrous consequences of uncontrolled immoral desires. Ravana, who was a great scholar and warrior, became victim of an evil passion. Hiranyakasipu met with his end because of his intense hatred for God, despite the fact that he was a master of all sciences and had acquired many powers by his penance. Duryodhana was the victim of incurable jealousy and insatiable desire for power and property.

Many women have played a great role in the past in trying to restrain their husbands from indulging in evil deeds. Mandodari was a notable example of such a woman who tried to impress on Ravana the error of his ways. But Ravana paid no heed to her.

Women are the embodiment of the Divine spirit! At least from now on you must strive to sanctify the home and turn the family towards the Divine path.

Women must realize the enormous power of the mind for good or evil and see that its power is used only for doing good. The mind can make a person a demon or Divine. The mind is under the control of the intellect. The intellect is governed by the Atma. Self-realization will bring about control over everything.

The dire conditions prevailing in the world are known to everyone. The root cause of all this is the failure of people to realize their inherent divinity. Excessive desires, fueled by selfishness, are the cause of all troubles. The primary requisite is confidence in one's Self. Without that confidence, nothing can be accomplished.

Men are in quest of peace. But how is it to be secured? Faith in God is essential. That faith has to be generated in the family. Then alone the children will develop sublime thoughts. They are the future citizens of the nation. Hence they have to be brought up well. Unfortunately today mothers in affluent families neglect their children. They leave the children in the care of nannies and the children have more love for the nannies than for their mothers.

In ancient times, children who were fed on their mothers milk developed into good persons. Today the children are fed not on mother's milk but on tin milk. With the result the children develop a tin mentality.

If the mothers take care of the homes on right lines, they will be protecting the nation. Mothers should foster in the children love for truth and righteousness and tell them stories about the lives of great men and women. In olden times, the elders used to tell the young children all about the nations great heroes and saints. Where are such elders today?

Modern youth even mock at such old people. It is the seed sown by those elders which has kept our ancient culture alive to this day. Only the women of the nation can revive and restore to its glory the ancient culture of our land.

The culture of Bharat is a hallowed one. Everyone got up from bed with the name of God on his lips. You are all aware that in Kasi (Varanasi) there is the practice of reciting the name of Rama in the ears of dying persons. The idea is to remember the name of the Lord at the time of death because of the belief that ones rebirth is related to ones thoughts before death.

Teach the children sacred things and not nonsense verses. In the old day, the first words a child was taught at school were Om Namassivaaya (the five-letter Divine mantra) or Om Namo Narayanaaya. Today the sacred ritual of initiating a child is taught a nursery rhyme like Baa baa black sheep, or Ding dong bell, pussy is in the well. Is this the kind of stuff that should be taught to our children? What should be implanted in the hearts of our children are sacred names like Rama and Krishna.

Chaitanya used to exhort his tongue to glory in chanting sweet names of the Lord. Govinda, Damodara and Madhava [Bhagavan sang sweetly the song of Chaitanya]. How should devotees conduct themselves today? Their looks should be cool and soothing like the moon. Their speech should be soft like butter. Their hearts should be sweet like honey.

Seethalakshmi (who had spoken earlier) had quoted part of a poem of Swami. [Swami recited some other passages from the poem]. Oh brother, open your eyes and see the Lord Sai, who is in your hearts and not in Shirdi or Parthi. Fill your hearts with divine thoughts and feelings.

How do devotees behave today? Thinking that God is in Badrachala, Tirupati, Badrinath, or Kedarnath, they prepare themselves for long pilgrimages. But they will not appreciate the statement that God is in ones own heart and there is no need to go out in search of Him. They have no faith in the God who is so close to them. They are prepared to incur any expense to go in search of God who is declared to be in some distant place. The statement that God is somewhere else is Bhrama (delusion). The truth is God is within you. People forget that the divinity within you is there to guide you. Everyone should be good, think good, and do good and enjoy good results. This is true Vedanta.

Have full faith in God as your Indweller. Develop pure sublime love. That alone will be lasting. All other qualities come and go. Learn to live in love. Women are the fountain-source of love. Bhakti (devotion) is considered a feminine quality while Jnana (wisdom) is considered masculine. Let me not be misunderstood if I say that for the presence of all the male devotees present here, women alone are responsible. It is they who by their sacred feelings brought their men folk here. Their work is sacred in every respect. They seek not only to sanctify their lives but the lives of all others in the family.

Women are not to be treated lightly. The Gita says that women are endowed with seven kinds of powers while men have only three. It is sinful to look down upon women.

Consider, for instance, this fact. There are any number of women who have tried to bring back their dead husbands or to venerate their memory. How many men have done likewise for their wives? Many hasten to acquire a second wife.

In this respect, Bharat has been an example to the world.

Wherever women are honored. there is prosperity and happiness. Women should never be slighted or treated with disrespect. A home in which the housewife sheds tears will be bereft of all prosperity. This is the ancient conception of the role of women in the home.

[Bhagavan concluded His discourse with the bhajan: Prema Muditha Manase Kaho].