Book Reviews

    Posted on June 7, 2016, 1685 unique views

Jahnava Devi Dasi (SNS)

The book "Women: Masters or Mothers?" by H.H. Bhakti Vikasa Swami is in my humble opinion a unique contribution to our society which is yet to be built. Unfortunately we all witness the bitter fruits of the Western culture in every field of human life in this dark age. This book brings a hope that there is genuine, selfless care for womanhood still living in the timeless tradition of Vedic culture. Boldly presented by Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja solely through Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, this book will be apreciated by generations of Vaishnavas to come.… Read more…

Hemalata Thakurani Devi Dasi (DDG)

This book to me, as an older woman, looks very positive. These thoughts are very much need! It's really a big problem when women prefer their career and employment at the expense of their family and above all, their children. This attitude of women, when they are intolerant and feel superior to their husband whenever he stumbles or makes a mistake, is from my point of view de facto reason of family breakdown.… Read more…

Phalini Devi Dasi (ACBSP), India/USA

Women: Masters or Mothers? called by the author a “tract,” is much more than just a religious pamphlet. It is a deep and thoroughly cogent treatise on the current social anomalies within ISKCON (mirroring the social aberrations of the Western world) and how these incongruities relate to and have arisen due to our members remaining too much influenced by Western society.… Read more…

Malyahari-kunda Devi Dasi (KRKS), Almviks Gard (Rural community), Sweden

Despite Śrīla Prabhupāda and our previous ācāryas explaining clearly why daiva-varṇāśrama-dharma is of great importance for devotees and ISKCON as a preaching movement, there is still sometimes some confusion as to how it should be introduced, what aspects are of more or less importance, the speed at which we should endeavor to establish it and so on. The dharma of women, strī-dharma, is unfortunately often brushed aside as something of lesser importance — or even totally neglected — as it is viewed by many as impractical, too idealistic and even exploitive… Read more…

Sri Brajalila Devi Dasi (JPS), Flight Lieutenant (Retd), Indian Air Force, Bangalore, India

I am very grateful for having come across this book, Women: Masters or Mothers? but I lament not having come across it earlier, for I would then have avoided many mistakes in my life. I was born and brought up in a simple South Indian family. My mother always dreamt that her daughter should be an independent woman. It didn’t take much time for me to develop this desire and prove my worth. To enjoy power, respect in the society and have some important identity.… Read more…

Sudevi Devi Dasi (SNS), Belgrade, Serbia

Women: Masters or Mothers? gives profound psychological, social, and above all spiritual insights into the actual role and position of women in society. In the material world people tend to decide what is right and wrong based on their selfish standards. They don’t think about what Kṛṣṇa wants, and what He said and so their whole so-called knowledge and perception is based on the mental platform. On that mental platform, one is simply pulled this or that way by the material senses.… Read more…

Su-gita Vani Devi Dasi (JPS), Mayapur/Thiruvanantapuram, India

Women: Masters or Mothers? is refreshingly dif ferent in that it makes us halt and review the direction our movement is taking and the path that we, its individual members, are treading. His Holiness Bhakti Vikāsa Swami appears to have delved deep into the recesses of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mind and instructions before coming up with a searchlight to show us the way ahead.… Read more…

Svayam-rasesvari Devi Dasi (LOK), Vallabh Vidyanagar, India/USA

I was raised in America and came of age during the rise of the women’s liberation movement and the sexual revolution. Luckily, I was too young to participate in all those so-called newfound freedoms, but unfortunately they did have an effect on my consciousness. I came across Śrīla Prabhupāda’s teachings quite late in my life, but it was not hard for me to see that Śrīla Prabhupāda was presenting the Absolute Truth. I could easily see that Kṛṣṇa had designed a template for a perfect society.… Read more…

Bhagavat-priya Devi Dāsi (MVS), Civil Engineer, Indian Army, Jamnagar, India

I read the book, Women: Masters or Mothers? and really appreciate Mahārāja producing such a publication. Śrīla Bhakti Vikāsa Swami has presented a realistic view of todays culture through his divine and realized knowledge. He made the point in the book that everyone should respect women and also gave the way for women to be respected in society. In the modern age women suffer due to the cruelty and brutality of some of the members of society.… Read more…

Line S. Blom Van den Schoor, Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophy, Copenhagen, Denmark

How do we continuously keep Śrīla Prabhupāda’s ISKCON on the right track being loyal to the aim that he as the founder-ācārya had set for our movement to save the entire human society? HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami gives a clear and unambiguous answer to this question in his book Women: Masters or Mothers? … Read more…

Kurangi Devi Dasi (RND), Zagreb, Croatia

What is our nature, role and responsibility as women? How can we be successful and happy? The book Women: Masters or Mothers? gives us the answers. Bhakti Vikāsa Swami presents Śrīla Prabhupāda’s teachings with respect to this topic in a condensed and clear way.… Read more…

Vrndavanesvari Devi Dasi (GKG), Bachelor of Commerce and General Laws, Mumbai, India

Women: Masters or Mothers? explores all the significant features of a woman’s life and her role, and gives the authorized Vedic viewpoint on them supplemented by pertinent quotes from Śrīla Prabhupāda and śāstra. One of the instructions that I found striking in this book is how a wife should submissively serve her husband with dedication in all situations.… Read more…

Dr. Ritu Sethi, MBBS, Consultant Radiologist, Gurgaon, India

After attaining the best possible education and getting a so-called good job in the medical field, I realized that my life was nothing but a series of serious mistakes, one after another in the search for material sense gratification. My entire thought process changed after I seriously started hearing and reading the teachings of His Holiness Bhakti Vikāsa Swami Mahārāja and realised that a confused upbringing and the search for material sense gratification is spoiling the women of this generation… Read more…

Indira-sakhi Devi Dasi (BVKS), Mayapur, India

This book discusses all the important aspects of a woman’s life, such as marriage, childbirth, education, and career, and provides the authorized Vedic perspective on them, being full of relevant quotes from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s teachings and theśāstras. It encourages open-minded readers to question their own preconceived notions and the fact that today’s society largely rejects traditional culture, which was superior, as primitive and exploitative.… Read more…

Gita Govinda Devi Dasi (BVKS), Mayapur, India

Dear Ladies, The choice is yours. The modern society is going in the wrong direction at a very high speed, and those women who want to escape from degradation can escape by following the guidelines in this book. Women in the modern age especially need such guidance, because this is now not available to us from any other source. By imitating the Western and materialistic lifestyles, the degradation among Indians is now even worse than that among Western people.… Read more…

Bhakta Piyush and Madhavi Devi Dasi, Mayapur, India

This book makes no apologies for its stand on rules and roles. The controversial topic of the female-bodied soul is ongoing; one should understand it carefully, because it’s not about putting down females but def ining the use of the bodily machine for elevation. Even for the male-bodied there are def ined rules according to one’s duty. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness neither is put down, yet for both male or female a role is def ined within certain parameters, the aim being elevation to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.… Read more…

Lalita-sakhi Devi Dasi (BVKS), Physician, working as a geriatrician, Dallas, USA

Women: Masters or Mothers? is a detailed study of the past and present position and situation of women throughout the world. The book compares the modern-day condition of women in general to how things were some years ago in various cultures around the world, and not just in India. Anyone with an open and unbiased outlook, can see on reading the book, that life was much happier then and people were much more content. Mahārāja gives detailed explanations on topics like why women need to be protected and why women should be married.… Read more…

Gauracandranana Devi Dasi (BVKS), Graduate Librarian, Teacher and Mother, Kranj, Slovenia

I thank Mahārāja for taking the time and effort to write this book for the benefit of all the members of ISKCON who want to follow Śrīla Prabhupāda’s teachings and make them the only goal of their lives. I welcome the publication of Women: Masters or Mothers? by His Holiness Bhakti Vikāsa Swami. Being categorized as an ‘educated Western woman’ and being thus conditioned in that way, I was not even aware that for years I was unconsciously competing with men and acting contrary to my dharma (according to the guidelines for society that Kṛṣṇa Himself had set). … Read more…

Manavi Devi Dasi (BVKS), Zadar, Croatia

An excellent, śāstric, educational and practical guide for all, but especially for souls in female bodies, who wish to know how to attain perfection in life by acting according to their conditioned natures. By reading between the lines, we can perceive the author’s desire to protect us, and his sense of care, responsibility for the future generations of our society, and the mission of his beloved spiritual master.… Read more…

Suprita Radhika Devi Dasi (BVKS), Mysore, India

Success of any society depends on many factors of which the role of women is one of the most important. Arjuna points out in Bhagavad-gītā that preservation of women’s chastity is essential for the upkeep of civilization. Therefore, it is essential that women’s roles are understood properly. This book is an excellent work on this subject. We should be highly indebted to HH Bhakti Vikāsa Mahārāja for bringing out this book at this crucial juncture.… Read more…

Madhura-lila Devi Dasi (BVKS), Civil Engineer and Interior Designer, Ahmedabad, India

Women: Masters or Mothers? is a book containing spiritual guidance for women from scriptures and Śrīla Prabhupāda’s teachings. A woman who follows the instructions given in this book will make her home and family happy in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By developing the ideal qualities of a woman as described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (for example, Arci, Devahūti etc.) she can please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Her ideal example, behavior and purity will inspire others in her family to become devotees.… Read more…

Puspanjali Devi Dasi (BVKS), Baroda, India

Women: Masters or Mothers? is a milestone towards the establishing of daiva-varṇāśrama which is the remaining 50% of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s mission. In this book HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami reminds us of and reinforces Śrīla Prabhupāda’s teachings regarding women’s and men’s roles in society according to their socio-physical conditioning in this material world. With strong grounding of sadhu, guru and śāstra, the author gives a clear understanding of how to balance our sva-dharma and ātma-dharma and ultimately become free from material bondage and go back to Godhead.… Read more…

Jahnava Devi Dasi (BVKS), Govindadvipa, Northern Ireland, UK

Women: Masters or Mothers? is a must read for men and women in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It discusses the importance of introducing daiva-varṇāśrama within our society, which would provide an equal opportunity for all devotees to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, while acting according to their prescribed duties. Varṇāśrama-dharma is essential for the living entity on their path back to Godhead as stated in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa (3.8.9):… Read more…