Home > Reader > Women: Masters or Mothers? — A book by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami > Women: Masters or Mothers? Book Reviews
Bhaktin Laveena Madhan Kumar
Posted on June 1, 2017
As a woman, there are 'n' number of things I have learnt by reading these two books of HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami—“Glimpses of Traditional Indian Life" and “Women: Mothers or Masters?” (now Mothers and Masters). Although I was raised in a "modern independent Indian environment” in which many things mentioned in those books are considered quite backward, after reading about exemplary women in the Bhagavatam, I feel that this is the actual (and natural) way for me to live, if at all I have any desire to go back to Godhead.
Mothers and Masters is truly an eye opener. As I go through purports, lectures and conversations of Srila Prabhupada, I realize that the teachings given by Maharaja in his book are non different from them. Earlier I never considered those things because I was unaware of them. But after becoming aware of my role in a woman’s body by reading Maharaja's book, and then finding the same instructions in Srila Prabhupada's books and lectures, I desired to be the kind of woman that Srila Prabhupada has mentions in his books. Examples of chaste women like Mother Sita, Devahuti, Kuntidevi, Mandodari, Gandhari and many other are to be followed by all women. Srila Prabhupada expresses this desire in his books, lectures and conversations and Maharaja repeats these instructions in his book.
Everyday I share these teachings on online women-only groups and many of them feel inspired and thankful to receive them.They also admit that they never heard of (or gave importance to) many of these things prior to receiving these teachings from me.
This book brings forth the need for varnasrama-dharma encourages devotees to take up this vision of Srila Prabhupada seriously. I now share this desire after listening to Maharaja's lectures on the importance and urgency to establish farm communities and look forward to moving into one. Reciprocating my desire, Krishna blessed me with a devotee husband who is also willing to join a farm community in the near future. Maharaja's strong lectures help us realize that by living in cities we lose a lot of time that could otherwise be used for Krishna conscious activities. Our children can be saved and can learn bhakti from the very beginning of their lives by staying in devotee association only, taking prasada that is sown, harvested, cut, prepared and served by devotees. They don't have to go to slaughterhouse education schools in which women grow up in an environment that mostly leads to a life of prostitution. These schools allow free mixing of boys and girls, because of which women tend to switch relationships from one man to another. This book is also special because it also speaks of the duties of men.
I felt disheartened to hear that a ban had been placed over this book because I really owe a lot to Maharaja for completely changing my life through the teachings he has presented in his book. I know I am not perfect but I am at least trying. When we went to distribute Maharaja's books during Karttika 2015 in Vrndavana, many devotees appreciated the book and I particularly remember that Guru Krpa Prabhu (ACBSP) said, "This is what Srila Prabhupada wanted!"
I pray that Maharaja continue spreading Srila Prabhupada’s instructions as they are for the benefit of all devotees of the Krsna consciousness movement.