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Histoic Women of Bharat


Women enjoyed intellectual freedom in ancient India and were able to attend gurukuls alongside boys in their pursuit of knowledge. During the Vedic Age, women like Gargi, Maitreyi, Lopamudra engaged their learned counterparts in debates while women also composed many hymns that are there in the Vedas. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Histoic Women of Bharat

WEL COME TO Indian Scriptures
Vedic Scriptures
The Vedas are the primary sacred texts of the
Hindus which command the highest authority. Since
they were not authored by man but revealed by God
to the enlightened rishis they are
self-authoritative, needing no external
endorsement or legitimacy. Next in importance are
the Smruti shastras. Smruti mean "remembrance".
The Smruti shastras were written by great seers
based on the teachings they remembered from their
spiritual masters. The authority of these
shastras is derived from the spiritual standing
of their authors and their congruence with the
Vedas. Yet, since the Smruti shastras are
man-made, they are considered secondary to the
Shruti shastras. The Smruti shastras include a
large number of heterogeneous works like the
Dharma Shastras, the Itihasas or epics (Rarnayana
and MahalJharata), and the Puranas. The source
of the Dharma Shastras lies in one of the six
Vedangas (limbs of Veda). Among the Vedangas, the
Kalpasutras deal with the correct performance of
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Women in Ancient India
Women enjoyed intellectual freedom in ancient
India and were able to attend gurukuls alongside
boys in their pursuit of knowledge. During the
Vedic Age, women like Gargi, Maitreyi, Lopamudra
engaged their learned counterparts in debates
while women also composed many hymns that are
there in the Vedas. Therigatha or Verses of the
Elder Nuns is a Buddhist Scripture and is the
earliest known collection of work composed only
by women in 600 B.C. This short collection gives
us a peek into the life of women and is a
glorious affirmation of the status of women who
were equal or more to men in spiritual
attainment. Contributions to Therigatha come from
a bereaved mother, a nun who was formerly a
prostitute, a wealthy heiress who gave up her
riches and from the Buddhas stepmother, Maha
Prajapati. Bhikkuni Samyutta is another rich text
that details the role of women in the early
Sangha. The status of women in the Vedic age and
thereafter was quite exalted in ancient India.
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Women of Bharat Historic
Annie Besant
Among the foreigners who made India their home
and strived for the revival of the countrys
glorious heritage, the legacy of Annie Besant
stands unsurpassed. She was a writer and orator
and with passion, power, eloquence and sincerity
of conviction she sought to awaken India from her
deep slumber and recognise her spiritual
greatness. She felt that Hindu religion was as
vast and deep as an ocean which enabled both
extremes- the great and the strong to love and
have his or her own religious experience and at
the same time its shallow ponds for the weak and
timid to safely swim.
She felt that education and religion were
interconnected and Manava Dharma could be graded
according to the inner nature and inclination of
each. Before she came to India she passed through
various phases of housewife, trade unionist,
feminist, atheist and Fabian socialist. One of
her greatest contributions is to bring forth to
the world, the renowned philosopher J.
Krishnamurti. She had brilliant facets to her
character and was described as a Diamond Soul.
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Lakshmibai Kelkar Mausiji
Lakshmibai was born in the Mahal district of
Nagpur in the year 1905. She was named Kamal
meaning lotus. Her parents were Bhaskar Rao
Datey, a Government servant and Yashodabai a
homemaker. In those days of British rule,
purchasing and reading papers like Kesari
written by Lokmanya Tilak was looked upon as an
act of treason if one was a Government servant
but her mother would purchase the paper and call
all the ladies for a combined reading. Thus
Lakshmibais deep love for the motherland,
organising capacity, fearlessness and dauntless
spirit came to her from her parents. As a child,
the songs, rituals and stories of Hindu legends
left an indelible mark on her young mind and she
loved going to the temple.
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Mirra Alfassa
Among the Western Gurus who propagated Hinduism
while making India their home, the name of Mirra
Alfassa or Mother Mira of Pondicherry shines in
the list of saints and seers who tried to bring
about a fundamental change in human existence
along with her Master Shri Aurobindo which they
believed would culminate in a Divine Life on
earth. They believed that there was a new
Spiritual Power in the universe called
Supermind which was an extension of the Divine
Consciousness and which could descend into the
earths atmosphere and effect changes in
individual consciousness thus ushering a Divine
life on earth.
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Mother Sarada Devi
In India, the name of one woman stands out as an
epitome of self-sacrifice and purity who looked
upon herself as a mother of all beings serving
them as her children throughout her whole life.
This was the great Holy Mother Sarada Devi. She
was the spiritual counterpart and wife of the
nineteenth-century mystic saint of Bengal Shri
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Mother Sarada Devi is
considered the ideal for women in the modern age
on account of her simplicity, purity,
unconditional love, selfless service and
spiritual illumination. She exhorted everyone to
develop a personal relationship with God and
strive for discrimination and ecstatic love for
the Supreme Being.
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Rani Durgavati
Rani Durgavati was born in the year 1524 at Banda
Uttar Pradesh in the fort of Kalanjar. Her father
was the Chandel ruler Raja Keerat Rai and her
mother was the daughter of the famous Rajput King
Maharana Sangha. From a very young age she was
well versed in horse riding, sword fighting and
archery. She soon grew up to be a brave and
beautiful woman and in order to strengthen the
dynasty her father got her married to Dalpat Shah
who was the eldest son of King Sangram Singh of
the Gond dynasty. According to legends she had
many suitors but Dalpat Shah was greatly
attracted by her courage and beauty but being of
a lower caste was not at first granted
permission. When he was persistent he challenged
her father in battle and won her hand.
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Rani Chennamma of Kittur
Rani Chennamma was born in the small village of
Kakati in Belgaum in the state of Karnataka in
the year 1778. Her father was said to be one
Dhulappa Desai and finding her to be very
intelligent he encouraged her in the knowledge of
all fields. From a very young age she received
training in sword fighting, archery and horse
riding and got private lessons at home. She read
Basava Purana and the epics of Ramayana and
Mahabharata including various history books. She
was also said to be a very good hunter.
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Rani Padmini
Among the great women of India, the name of Rani
Padmini of Chittorgarh occupies a place of prime
importance as an icon of national honour. Her
tale of courage and sacrifice emphasises the
importance placed on the honour of Indian women
and the sanctity of marriage. In order to avoid
capture and dishonour at the hands of Muslim
invaders, the women of the royal Rajput clans
would perform Jauhar or self-immolation. The
Rajputs were a fiercely proud and independent
clan, with ideals steeped in tradition and
Rani Padmini or Padmavati, as she was named at
birth, was the daughter of King Gandharvasen and
Queen Champavati of Singhal. Not much has been
mentioned about her childhood and early life,
except for the fact that she grew up into a very
beautiful woman.
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Rani Rashmoni
In India Lord Shivas consort Mother Parvati or
Shakti is considered as the dynamic creative
mother aspect of the Godhead. She cannot exist
without Shiva and Shiva cannot personify without
Shakti. She is the one who creates and at the
time of dissolution, it is she who destroys or
swallows her own creation. According to the
Tantras, the Supreme Energy which is the highest
personification of God is feminine. Thus she is
contemplated as a Goddess under various names
like Durga, Devi, Kali, Lakshmi, Uma, Parvati etc.
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Rani Lakshmibai
Lakshmibai was born in the year 1828 (though some
records state the year as 1835) into a Marathi
Brahmin family in the holy town of Varanasi. Her
parents were Moropant Tambe and Bhagirathibai.
She was named Manikarnika at birth and was
nicknamed Manu. She lost her mother at the tender
age of four and it was her father who was
responsible for bringing her up. Her father
worked for the court of Baji Rao Peshwa of
Bithoor district who was very fond of her and
treated her like his own daughter. Her studies
not only included formal education but also horse
riding, archery and armament training. Most of
her childhood was spent in the palace and her
playmates included Tatya Tope and Nana Sahib.
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Women In Jainism
Jainism is one of the most ancient religions of
India with its core focus being on Ahimsa or
non-violence. Also, the main emphasis in Jainism
is on liberation of the self or Jiva from rebirth
through control of passions and cultivation of
Supreme knowledge. This is achieved by stringent
disciplines and strict adherence to the doctrines
of Jainism thereby eliminating the effects of the
consequences of millions of lifetimes to achieve
liberation. When this happens one becomes a
Jina or Conqueror and has no rebirth. The
ethical system of Jainism is based on Right
Faith, Right Thought and Right Conduct.
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