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Yajnaseni – A Synonym Of Indian Woman

4099 words - 16 pages

Indian tradition has awarded highest regard to a woman, considered her a mother, who is regarded as the epitome of purity and inviolability. India has always had a special place for women in almost every ritualistic practice in the society. A woman is free to take part in any spiritual and social service unlike many cultures in the society. And women from time immemorial have exhibited their dynamic energy, devoted efforts and dedicated service for their family, society and every other field where they have got an opportunity or platform to perform. Indian aesthetics, philosophy and tradition have expounded various qualities of women.

The ultimate reality is one and the world of beings is its manifestations. The Upanishads declare that “ekam sat viprah bahuda vadanti” means—there is but only one reality in this world. Man and woman are the two manifestations of one supreme power. The refinement of man and woman mark the essence of civilization. They appear different in form and function but the fact remains that they are equal in strength, power and disposition. And yet they are different and unique. It is in man, that a woman finds her end or fulfilment and vice versa. This unique relationship is described in Indian philosophy as Shiva and Shakti, or Purusa and Prakriti. Purusa is the conscious principle, the force or the energy while Prakriti is matter, gross, but active. It is in their union the very evolution has taken place. Philosophically the doctrine of evolution has great significance in inter relating matter, life, mind and spirit. In Indian mythology, Shiva and Shakti are represented as two sides of the same divinity. Hence there is a beautiful depiction of this union as ardhanᾱreeshwara —half man and half woman. It is a union of both.

However these lines in one of the ancient texts of India sound sarcastic in the present milieu. Plight of women seems to be an integral aspect of human civilization, magnified in Indian sub-continent. In fact, a woman, who is instrumental in bringing about not only the process of procreation but also in many altruistic services in a family and society, has always been among the underprivileged and under-represented class of the society apart from being a habitual prey to conscious and nonchalant injustice/deprivation enthused by her family and society overall. A practice, which connects all the ages since centuries, is unfortunately prevalent in India and other parts of the globe amidst worldwide protest against gender discrimination. In India, societal system preferably prescribes patriarchal structure where the privileged sex, the male, gets the right to take important decisions and significant steps to steer either the family or the society in a whole. As a result, birth of a male child is still considered auspicious and the birth of a girl child is often held ominous in many sections of the society. An increase in the number of male child is a much coveted possession in a family. From the very...

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