|Every girl in India must aspire to be like Savitri, |
whose love could not be conquered by death,
and who through this tremendous love
snatched back from even Yama,
the soul of her husband.
—Swami VivekanandaImage source: Wikimedia Commons
- Every American woman has far better education than can be conceived of by the majority of Hindu women. Why cannot we have the same education? We must.[Source]
- Every girl in India must aspire to be like Savitri, whose love could not be conquered by death, and who through this tremendous love snatched back from even Yama, the soul of her husband.[Source]
- In what scriptures do you find statements that women are not competent for knowledge and devotion? In the period of degradation, when the priests made the other castes incompetent for the study of the Vedas, they deprived the women also of all their rights. Otherwise you will find that in the Vedic or Upanishadic age Maitreyi, Gargi, and others ladies of revered memory have taken the places of rishis through their skill in discussing about Brahman. In an assembly of a thousand Brahmanas who were all erudite in the Vedas, Gargi boldly challenged Yajnabalka in a discussion about Brahman. Since such ideal women were entitled to spiritual knowledge, why shall not the women have the same privilege now? What has happened once can certainly happen again. History repeats itself. All nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women. That country and that nation which do not respect women have never become great, nor will ever be in future. The principal reason why your race has so much degenerated is that you have no respect for these living images of Shakti. Manu says, "Where women are respected, there the god delight; and where they are not , there all works and efforts come to naught." There is no hope of rise for that family or country where there is no estimation of women, where they live in sadness. For this reason they have to be raised first.
- Our women are not so learned, but they are more pure.
- The Hindu woman is still superior to all other women in the world —her rights. The right to possess property is as absolute for women in India as for men — and has been for thousands and thousands of years.[Source]
- The Hindu women are very spiritual and very religious, perhaps more so than any other women in the world. If we can preserve these beautiful characteristics and at the same time develop the intellects of our women, the Hindu woman of the future will be the ideal woman of the world.[Source]
- Your foreign born ladies are always crying over the hardships of the Hindu woman, and never care for the hardships of the Hindu man. They are all weeping salt tears. But who are the little girls married to? Some one, when told that they are all married to old men, asked, "And what do the young men do? What! are all the girls married to old men, only to old men?" We are born old -- perhaps all the men there.[Source]
From Complete Works, Volume V—[Source]
To make a beginning in women's education: our Hindu women easily understand what chastity means, because it is their heritage. Now, first of all, intensify that ideal within them above everything else, so that they may develop a strong character by the force of which, in every stage of their life, whether married, or single if they prefer to remain so, they will not be in the least afraid even to give up their lives rather than flinch an inch from their chastity. Is it little heroism to be able to sacrifice one's life for the sake of one's ideal whatever that ideal may be? Studying the present needs of the age, it seems imperative to train some women up in the ideal of renunciation, so that they will take up the vow of lifelong virginity, fired with the strength of that virtue of chastity which is innate in their life-blood from hoary antiquity. Along with that they should be taught sciences and other things which would be of benefit, not only to them but to others as well, and knowing this they would easily learn these things and feel pleasure in doing so. Our motherland requires for her well-being some of her children to become such pure-souled Brahmachârins and Brahmachârinis.
Main article: Swami Vivekananda's quotes on ideal Indian womanhood
- In India the woman was the visible manifestation of God and that her whole life was given up to the thought that she was a mother, and to be a perfect mother she must be chaste.[Source]
- O India! Forget not that the ideal of thy womanhood is Sita, Savitri, Damayanti. . .[Source]
Main article Swami Vivekananda's quotes on Sita
- I know that the race that produced Sita— even if it only dreamt of her— has a reverence for woman that is unmatched on earth.
- Sita is the name in India for everything that is good, pure, and holy; everything that in woman we call woman. Sita— the patient, all suffering, ever-faithful, ever-pure wife! Through all the suffering she had, there was not one harsh word against Rama. Sita never returned injury. Be Sita.[Source]
- Sita is typical of India— the idealized India. The question is not whether she ever lived, whether the story is history or not, we know that the ideal is there.[Source]
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