Vedic Equality and Hinduism

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The deity for arts, music, poetry, speech, culture, and learning is goddess Saraswati in the Hindu tradition. Music and dance, states Tracy Pintchman, are "intertwined in Hindu traditions", and women in Hinduism have had an active creative and performance role in this tradition. The Devadasi tradition women practiced their arts in a religious context. In south India, some of these women were courtesans, while others chaste. In poetry, 9th-century Andal became a well known Bhakti movement poetess, states Pintchman, and historical records suggest that by 12th-century she was a major inspiration to Hindu women in south India and elsewhere.

The role of women in Hinduism dates back to years of history, states Pechelis, incorporating ideas of Hindu philosophy , that is Prakrti matter, femaleness and Purusha consciousness, maleness , coming together to interact and produce the current state of the universe. Although these ancient texts are the foundation upon which the position of women in Hinduism is founded, Hindu women participated in and were affected by cultural traditions and celebrations such as festivals, dance, arts, music and other aspects of daily life.

Despite these liberating undercurrents emerging in its historical context, Sugirtharajah states that there is some reluctance to use the term "feminism" to describe historical developments in Hinduism. In the colonial era s, Hindu women were described by European scholars as being "naturally chaste" and "more virtuous" than other women. In 20th-century history context, the position of women in Hinduism and more generally India, has many contradictions.

The women's rights movement in India, states Sharma, have been driven by two foundational Hindu concepts — lokasangraha and satyagraha.

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These ideals were used to justify and spur movements among women for women's rights and social change through a political and legal process. There has been a pervasive and deeply held belief in modern era Western scholarship, states Kathleen Erndl, that "in Hinduism, women are universally subjugated and that feminism, however, it might be defined, is an artifact of the West". Western feminism, states Vasudha Narayanan, has focussed on negotiating "issues of submission and power as it seeks to level the terrains of opportunity" and uses a language of "rights".

Many [Western] scholars point out quite correctly that women are accorded a fairly low status in the Hindu texts that deal with law and ethics Dharma Shastra , what is not usually mentioned is that these texts were not well known and utilized in many parts of Hindu India. Custom and practice were far more important than the dictates of these legal texts. There were many legal texts and they were not in competition with each other; they were written at different times in different parts of the country, but all of them were superseded by local custom.

There is a sense of dissonance between scripture and practice in certain areas of dharma , and the role of women and Sudras sometimes falls in this category. Manu may have denied independence to women, but there were women of some castes and some economic classes who endowed money to temples. It is important to note that there is no direct correlation that one can generalize on between these texts and women's status, rights or behavior. Ancient and medieval era Hindu texts, and epics, discuss a woman's position and role in society over a spectrum, such as one who is a self-sufficient, marriage-eschewing powerful Goddess, to one who is subordinate and whose identity is defined by men rather than her, and to one who sees herself as a human being and spiritual person while being neither feminine nor masculine.

Postmodern empirical scholarship about Hindu society, states Rita Gross, makes one question whether and to what extent there is pervasiveness of patriarchy in Hinduism.

Kathleen Erndl states that texts such as Manusmriti do not necessarily portray what women in Hinduism were or are, but it represents an ideology, and that "the task of Hindu feminists is to rescue Shakti from its patriarchal prison". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the position of women in the religious texts of Hinduism.

For the position of women in India, see Women in India. Science Technology. Arts Humanities. Popular culture. By country.

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Main traditions. Vaishnavism Shaivism Shaktism Smartism.

Ethics in Hinduism - Oxford Scholarship

Rites of passage. Philosophical schools. Gurus, saints, philosophers. Other texts. Text classification. Other topics. Main articles: Devi , God and gender in Hinduism , and Hindu deities. Goddesses in Hinduism are very common. Main article: Hindu wedding. A wedding is one of the most significant personal ritual a Hindu woman undertakes in her life. The details and dress vary regionally among Hindu women, but share common ritual grammar. Main article: Sati practice.

Earrings from India, 1st-century BCE right. Many classical Indian dances such as Bharathanatyam and Kathak were developed by women in Hinduism. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Widow-Burning in early Nineteenth Century India".

Vedic Equality and Hinduism: A Reformist Agenda: Dalit Emancipation and return to Vedic Brotherhood

Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. Hinduism: Past and Present. Princeton University Press. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. Where women are worshipped, there the Gods are delighted. But where they are not worshipped, all religious ceremonies become futile.


Hindu goddesses: beliefs and practices. Sussex Academic Press. Women's Studies International Forum. Unlike Jewish, Christian and Islamic monotheism, predicated on the otherness of God and either his total separation from man and his singular incarnation, Hinduism postulates no absolute distinction between deities and human beings.

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The idea that all deities are truly one is, moreover, easily extended to proclaim that all human beings are in reality also forms of one supreme deity - Brahman, the Absolute of philosophical Hinduism. In practice, this abstract monist doctrine rarely belongs to an ordinary Hindu's statements, but examples of permeability between the divine and human can be easily found in popular Hinduism in many unremarkable contexts".

Retrieved 16 March Kumar, M. Kumar Deep and Deep Publications. Volume 1 The Vedic age p Bridewealth and Dowry. London, H and Holm J. Indian Economic and Social History Review. London: Routledge. Sati, the Blessing and the Curse. Sati: Historical and Phenomenological Essays. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publ.

New York: Routledge. Graham and Kathryn Hall, Routledge; Quote - "In this Hinduism Smritis doctrine, sexual matters are not to be legislated but are left to the judgment of those involved. Oxford University Press. Cite error: The named reference "olivelle" was defined multiple times with different content see the help page. They live very virtuous lives according to their own usage. They have no sexual intercourse except with their own wives.