On 22nd February evening, there was an event ‘Celebrating the glories of our mothers‘ at Institute of Spiritual Culture, Mayapur.
The event focused on importance of mothers in a Krsna conscious society. First of all, sanyasis enlivened the audience with their words of wisdom. HH Candra Mauli Maharaj emphasized that women should be honored and respected for a happy society. Next, HH Bhakti Purusottama Maharaj told that women are greater than men in a different way. They control husband and children with their loving nature but not by externally showing themselves as masters. He shared an example that ladies serve all and then had food, this way they gained respect of other family members. He also mentioned that earlier women took care of finance and there were no separate accounts for husbands, wives as is the case in today’s society.
Then, HH Smita Krishna Swami told that HH Bhakti Purusottama Maharaj gave an image of vedic families of ancient India. This is missing in case of western societies (and if we see in most Indian metros with culture of working women). He said that both men and women should be first seen as devotees although they have different functions. He went deeper into the topic of changing social structure and highlighted the problems in today’s society. For instance, due to changing economic situation, people in west have to work till almost end of their lives. That leaves little room for them to follow ‘varnasrama’ social structure (specifically vanaprastha and sanyas) as prescribed by Lord Krsna. Speaking on the subject of women, he said that we are talking of respecting women for it is lacking in society and everyone is in mood to exploit one another. He said that even in today’s complex situation , if everyone including women know their obligations and rights, then situation can improve. In other words, to reinstate position of women would need qualified men, women and society leaders as per Krsna.
Next, senior vaisnavis shared their realizations. One of them cited that day’s (22nd February) morning class where topic of addressing women as ‘Matajis’ or ‘Prabhus’ was raised. HH Candra Mauli Swami had answered that saying within term ‘mataji’, the word prabhu is included. Some of the other points that were discussed :
Women should act properly to get due respect.
Mothers need to be Krsna conscious , then they can be very important example for child’s bhakti.
One mataji told priorities for a Krsna conscious mother : 1. kids, 2. husband followed by 3. sankirtan/ other Temple sevas.
Then, there were brief plays titled ‘Role of physical mother’ and ‘Importance of Spiritual mothers’. Finally, there was a short kirtana and prasadam for all devotees.
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