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

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Tue Sep 29 00:47:26 CDT 2009

Hare Krishna

A word of clarification would be appreciated on the following 

There is also no restrictions on women being well versed in vedAnta. 

>  does this mean that a woman can be a well versed one in recitation of 
vedAnta vAkya-s and 'recite' vedAnta maNtra-s with svarA-s during her 
discourse on vedAnta topics?? From this can we infer women can learn 
vedAnta or upanishads in a traditional way and 'chant' the mantra-s with 
svara-s??  Kindly clarify here whether 'well versed in vedAnta' means 
recitation of vedAnta/upanishad maNtra-s & its meaning  OR mere 
understanding of the vedAntic theory in general sense??

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 

>  does this mean, if a woman is 'free' from her physio-sociological 
obligations & commitments, can do the rituals & officiate the vedic 
functions??  I am not clear here restrictions on women here is due to her 
obligations & commitments to the society in general & her family in 

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.

>  I do agree that 'paurOhitya' is a sacred profession but it is equally 
true that the 'saMbhAvane' in the form of 'dakshiNa' what they get is 
significantly low when compared to other professions.  Here in South India 
I myself seen that a professional cook would get Rs. 600 to 700 per day 
whereas a R^itvik would get somewhere around 400 rupees for the whole 
chandi pArAyaNa or veda pArAyaNa!!  Ofcourse, there are some exceptionally 
high-standard purOhits who even have their own copter to fly from one 
place to another!! I was seeing an interview in a Kannada News Channel 
recently, wherein I've seen a purOhita, who is running his own temple in 
US who has undergone pilot training & now running his own copter to go to 
one place to another to perform vedic rituals in-time :-)) But, fate of 
most of the purOhits here in India is just hand to mouth only.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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