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Chapter V

Education is necessary for both men and women. But, education for women has to be in accordance with their special needs. Educated women are really the promoters of Dharma for the whole world. Parents too must co-operate in getting them equipped with proper education. Women should not be given freedom in certain matters. I will not approve of their being given such freedom. They must be made into ideal women; their education must be so shaped.

Unbridled freedom is destructive of Dharma; besides, women will, by this means, harm themselves. Mixing in society without any discrimination will produce results that are ruinous. Of course there were educated women in the past also, but they never gave up their Dharma, they never forgot the goal of Atmadharma. Vidya or education must be built on the basis of Viveka or Discrimination. Sulabha, Savithri, Anasuya, Gargi, Nalayani and other such models of chastity, devotees of the Lord like Meera, yoginis like Choodala, all were born in this Bharathadesa and by their adherence to Dharma, they strengthened Dharma. Once, when Sulabha was discoursing on the Atma with all her scholarship and experience, even Janaka was astounded! It is through the example of such great and holy women, with their character and conduct inspired by Bhakthi and Jnana, that even today simplicity, humility and devotion shine in the hearts of the women of Bharathadesa.

Women should draw inspiration now from them; efforts must be made by them to live as these did in the past. The Hindu woman must ever have before her as her guide the ideal of Dharma and progress in spiritual discipline. She can master any subject related to the objective world which has gained prominence today; but the welfare of the spirit should not also be forgotten; she must get interested in Vedanthic study which cultivates the Inner Vision. A woman without this training is a rock without support, a danger to herself and others, a very unbalanced individual. Sulabha and others who pursued such studies became Brahmavadins of great fame. India produced several such saints and scholars, among women. Pundits and Vidwans used to approach such women for inspiration and guidance. Next