Continuing our evaluation of Manu Smriti, let us now review the third allegation on Manu Smriti – that Manu Smriti is grossly anti-women and denigrates the Matri Shakti (motherly force).
We have already discussed how Manu Smriti has been grossly interpolated. However it is very easy to identify the fraud verses and separate them from the original Manu Smriti.
If we review this original Manu Smriti, one can proudly assert that there is perhaps no other text in world (except Vedas of course!) that accords so much of respect and rights to women. Even the modern feminist books would have to seek further amendments to match up to Manu Smriti.
I am yet to read a text that so unambiguously proclaims that women form the foundation of a prosperous society.
3.56. The society that provides respect and dignity to women flourishes with nobility and prosperity. And a society that does not put women on such a high pedestal has to face miseries and failures regardless of howsomuch noble deeds they perform otherwise.
This is not merely a flattery of womenfolk. It is a truth – very harsh for those who denigrate women and the sweetest nectar for those who glorify the motherly force. This law of nature is applicable to a family, society, cult, nation or entire humanity.
We became slaves despite all our greatness because we neglected this advice of Maharshi Manu. We did not heed to this advice for centuries even after invasions, and hence our situation turned from bad to worse. In late nineteenth century, thanks to efforts of reformers like Raja Ram Mohun Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Swami Dayanand Saraswati, we started considering the Vedic message seriously and hence observed a gradual upturn.
Many conservative Muslim countries of today consider women as half-intelligent and unworthy of equal rights at par with men. Hence these places are worse than hell. Europe followed the derogatory Biblical concept of women for ages and hence was among most superstitious places in world. Then, thanks to reformation era, things changed and Bible ceased to be taken seriously. As a result rapid progress happened. But now women is typically stereotyped as a sensual object of pleasure and not as a respectful motherly force. And hence, despite all the material progress, Western world is still inflicted with insecurity and lack of inner peace.
Lets review some more shlokas from Manu Smriti and attempt to imbibe them in our society:
Importance of happy women
3.55. A father, brother, husband or brother-in-law should keep their daughter, sister, wife or sister-in-law happy and pleased through gentle words, respectful behavior, gifts etc. Those who desire prosperity should ensure that women in their family are always happy and do not face miseries.
3.57. A family where women remain unhappy due to misdeeds of their men is bound to be destroyed. And a family where women are always happy is bound to prosper forever.
3.58. A family- where women feel insulted or discriminated against and curse their menfolk- is destroyed in same manner as poison kills all those who eat it.
3.59. One desiring glory should ensure that he keeps women in the family by giving them respect and pleasing them with good ornaments, dresses, food. Women should always be revered under all circumstances.
3.62. A person who does not keep her wife happy causes misery for entire family. And if wife is happy, entire family appears as happiness incarnate.
9.26. Women give birth to next generation. They enlighten the home. They bring fortune and bliss. Hence women are synonymous to Prosperity.
This shloka forms the basis of women being called Ghar ki Laxmi or ‘Goddess of Fortune in Home‘ in India even till today.
9.28. Woman is the source of all kinds of happiness in all generations – be it from children, or from noble benevolent deeds or through conjugal bliss or through service of elders.
In other words, woman is the primary source of bliss in many forms – sometimes as mother, sometimes as daughter, sometimes as wife and sometimes as a partner in spiritual deeds. It also means that participation of women is necessary for conduct of any religious or spiritual activity.
9.96. Man and Woman are incomplete without each other. Hence the most ordinary religious duty would demand participation of both.
Thus, those who deny Vedas or Vedic rituals to women are anti-Hindu and anti-Humanity.
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