[Advaita-l] Thanks for the replies on should women read the Vedas?

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 24 10:56:42 CDT 2009

> However, I have seen and heard of some women purohits in India and 
> abroad and have seen women well versed in vedanta and scriptures. I am 
> sure in the centuries to come, women will enter this field with 
> enthusiasm. Note: In many families, women perform the home pooja to the 
> deities installed in the family home. So with the appropriate training 
> and nurturing of abilities some should be able to do this work 
> professionally.

One can never predict what the future will bring, but it seems to me there

is a lot of misunderstanding and misplaced ideals going on.


There is no prohibition on any human being performing domestic pooja, except

for observing rules of pollution properly. There is also no restrictions on women

being well versed in vedAnta. The reservations are all about women officiating

as purohitas for vedic rituals.


The life of an officiating purohita is not easy. He has to always be on call, to

use contemporary jargon, to perform various rituals. Births and deaths do not

happen according to anybody's schedule. It would be so much more difficult

for a mother of dependent children to be ready to perform a funeral on short

notice, as compared to a father of the same children. Getting trained for and

being a purohita is not like getting a secular education and being a lawyer or

a doctor or a scientist or a real estate or insurance agent.


On the flip side, while there is all this debate about women learning the vedas,

the vast majority of men are abdicating their duties in this regard. Why isn't

there more debate about why there aren't more boys being trained to be

purohitas? Compared to other religions, the percentage of the Hindu population

that is getting qualified for the sacred profession is ridiculously low.




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