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. That it is so is perhaps not surprising as this tendency merely reflects the view of mainstream society that the role of a mother and wife is, simply put, not very important. If you want to “be someone,” if you want to be viewed as doing something valuable for society, you must have an education and a job. Then only are you viewed as someone contributing to society. If you merely do your duty as a mother and wife, you may even be seen as a parasite or a lazy person. Women: Masters or Mothers? explains nicely and clearly why Śrīla Prabhupāda spoke and wrote quite often about the important role women have in society as devoted mothers and wives. The book makes it clear why strī-dharma is very much relevant for the women of ISKCON here and now if we want to show the world a positive example of stable family life, happy children and harmonious marriages. At the present moment there is dissonance between the ideals and principles as presented by Śrīla Prabhupāda on the role of women and the way these ideals are understood and practiced. As is pointed out in the book, an immediate change may not be possible, but at least the ideals should be upheld, strived towards and propagated so that gradually we will move in the right direction, and the sooner the better.
Bhakti Vikasa SwamiWomen: Masters or Mothers? — A book by HH Bhakti Vikasa SwamiBook reviewsMalyahari-kunda Devi Dasi (KRKS), Almviks Gard (Rural community), Sweden