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