Friday, June 23, 2006

Is this anti-feminist?!?!?

Just curious; in today's women's lib and feminist world, what would the "forward looking" culture think about this shloka? Is this denigrating ? Male Chuvisinistic? Patronizing? Suppressing ? Or does it still describe all the qualities that a man can look for in a wife in the 21st century?

ಕಾರ್ಯೇಷು ದಾಸೀ ಕರಣೇಷು ಮಂತ್ರೀ
ರೂಪೇಚ ಲಕ್ಶ್ಮೀ ಕ್ಷಮಯಾ ಧರಿತ್ರೀ |
ಭೊಜ್ಯೇಷು ಮಾತಾ ಶಯನೇಷು ರಂಭಾ
ಷಟ್ಕರ್ಮ ಯುಕ್ತಾ ಕುಲಧರ್ಮಪತ್ನೀ ||

If you can't see the kannada script, click on any one of the images below to read either in Kannada or Samskrita:


Karthik said...

man this is what you are going to expect.. but all man knows this is not going to happen.. So dont you worry ..

All these in a single woman come on . give me a break .. Its just you to think of an Ideal situation.. :)) hahha

(Take this in light mood bud)

vinzy said...

what made you think this as anti feminist? this describes how women are and the roles played by a single female as wife, as mother as a guide ……kshamayadaritri this means what ever the issue she is ready to forgive, this is rarely seen in a male being…
This sloka is not anti feminist nor is it telling any body to look for these qualities in a wife. Instead it is describing the qualities of a women and telling us that.. “This is women respect her.”

This is my opinion

Karthik said...

vinzy ..

The last line suggets that, one woman having all these six values is recognized as 'kuladharma patni'.. So according to this shloka .. if she doesnt have any one of these qualities, she is not dharma patni ..

So it is not just telling the qualities of women... it is telling these qualities make a woman dharmapatni..

The question here is why such restrictions to make a woman dharmapatni? And that too in the age of 21st century.. Does it still hold good..

Shloka clearly suggests the male domination and looking female as a toy.. I dont agree with the Shloka..

Marriage is mutual binding.. to make it a great relationship both man and woman have to work hard, but according to this shloka.. it looks like kavi wants all the responsibality to be taken by woman to make it good relationship..

If there is a corresponding shloka also for men , I would have not at all argued so much.. As per my knowledge there is none for man.. That shows this is male Chauvinistic shloka and we have to forbid this

Prathibimba said...

Sorry for the delay. I was out of town for a week.

First of all Karthik, I do agree that you cannot find all these qualities in any single woman; for the simple fact that no one is perfect. Also, no man(so I not a Male Chauv Pig)...

But I disagree with you on your second comment. If you go by the shloka, it gives so much respect to women and elevates their status to a counsellor(mantri) for the husband, mother , consort and companion in addition to daasi. If you call this as chauvinistic, then what about all the great stories of our mythology ? Seeta, Ahalya, Taara, Draupadi, Mandodari, Sati Anusuya, etc who glorofied 'pativrata' ? Do you mean to say that what they did was demeaning?

I was hoping to get some views of the fairer sex... enu maaDodu .. yaaroo commente maaDlilla...

Nidhi said...

Expectations from a prospective ! Will sound good on a matri ad

Nidhi said...

All these still hold good in today's world....a woman by default has these qualities, and can elevate to take these positions as a wife....but "daasi"??...hmm, adhu saavitri, seetha kaalakkene sari, pativrata, patiseve adhella duty antha yaaru madalla...preethigagi ganda hendathi e kaladhalli daasa-daasi ashte.

Prathibimba said...

I do not think daasi should be taken in the literal sense of the word :-)

Madhooo said...

No, I don't think this shloka is anti-feminist alla. It just portrays all the roles that women play. In fact, namge khishi- namma bagge intha shloka idhe antha.;)))

Shashi said...

May be there were such women in the past.I mean in the olden days.Also society then was definitely male chauvunistic.

So one should not assume that it is applicable now.It would be too utopic to do that.But speaking positively, you can find women atleast tending towards the qualities mentioned in the shloka.

Karthik said...

One thing what I am not understanding is.. how is it giving respect to women by saying 'ಶಯನೇಷು ರಂಭಾ' come on guys..

The second line acc. to me is the mere expectation .. no giving respect

Kishan said...

Interesting Post pratapa...

I dont think it is male Chauvinistic, nor supressing, nor is it patronizing...

well I ll post some more...when I come a hurry right now..

Kishan said...

I think the context matters here..
may be 1000 + years ago this shloka was relevant..
I guess now it has to be seen as an expectation...

Even the fairer sex hve an expectation..may be like...

kaaryeshu "Dishwasher"
Karaneshu "CEO"
Roopecha "john Abraham"
bla bla bla blah blah.....

Bhojyeshu "5 Star Hotel"
Shayaneshu Tiger *wink*
Shatkarma yuktha,
A Smart Handsome Man!

what say Ladies?

SimblyDimply said...

If I am not wrong, that shloka is from Manushastra na? Manu's works I am afraid, were reflections of a contorted male-dominated world that existed then. Well, the shlokas intent is not MCP-ish. It describes an ideal or "complete" woman from a man's perspective. And, every wife in a fulfilling marriage dons those roles quite naturally. Be it dwaparayuga or kaliyuga!

Coming to the words, ಕಾರ್ಯೇಷು ದಾಸೀ : that is objectionable for two reasons: 1. it does not speak of gender equality in a marriage and 2. the dasi role seems to the be the first; whether it was intended or not, the semantics tell us it was.

I feel the woman need not feel servile towards a man -atleast not in a marriage - this reeks of unhealthy societal stereotypes, that unfortunately exist even today in some pockets of our society.

But, I am sure this shloka describes what you are looking for Pratapa! -
adigemaneli daasi..
hendathi hange idre vaasi ..

Prathibimba said...

Haahaahaa... Finally someone who fights... Deepti, firstly, whether I agree with everything you say or not, I love the 'padya' that you have penned at the end...Cool :-)

On a serious note, I assume that daasi should not be taken in the literal sense of the word(as I have mentioned in an earlier comment). When someone says 'thaggi baggi naDe', according to you that also would become something like daasatwa...

karyeshu daasi probably means someone who can adjust to life of her husband... Now it might be an object of discussion as to why only the wife should adjust! Lets discuss that sometime later :-)

Enough arguments here....

Enigma said...

well i donno if these qualities exist. nut i have seen gusy who have too mcuh of expectations frm girls/wife. they think by default all girls shuld cook clean do thinsg for guy :P
tht ticks me ff and i make sure i don't do teh thinsg and tell them iam not used to doing it :P

i rarely find guys who are mature and resonble

Anonymous said...

hey Pratap. ninna ye blog odid mele. I remember hudugirella bheemana Amavasya divsa vratha irthare bheemanagge iro vara sigli antha. namma vedadalli hudugarige olle vadhu sigli antha bedkolo vratha ilva??:)


Prathibimba said...

Shashi : Saying that girls of today dont have these qualities is probably insulting them ... alwaa ? indina naari yaavudralli kammi ? ;-)

Lakshmi: Ayyo... all guys are always praying that they get a good wife! So they are always in mano-vrata :-)

Anonymous said...

its all appropriate and nice may be you would also want to add
" divorce'shu hurricane ..todays woman is like a hurricane in divorce she takes everythingwith her!!

ramesh raju said...

Dear Karthik,

What made think that the sloka is anti-femine and is full of male domination? Read the following paras!

The Sanskrit sloka:

Karyeshu dasi, Karaneshu manthri;
Bhojeshu mata, Shayaneshu rambha;
Kshamayeshu dharithri, Roopeshu lakshmi;
Satkarma yukta, Kuladharma pathni.

is not related to anti-feminism. The verse is a praise of women.

The sloka says that: A homemaker (wife) must be a good worker just like a house-maid; a good adviser like a minister of King’s court; a caretaker like a mother; Romantic like Rambha, in bed room; a pardoner just like a goddess of earth; a beautiful like Lakshmi, the goddess of leaning and wife of Brahma; and perfect duty minded one.

Women have more patiency and are more responsible unlike Men by nature.That is why there are no slokas in Vedas related to husband's qualities. Men are successful by their responsibilites and Women are successful by their virtues. A woman can either build up a family or ruin a family. This is a well-known fact. The future of a family depends only on women. With out a man, a family can exist, but it does not exist with out a woman. Men are just money earning machines and are security guards to their families.

Women are worthy to be praised in the creation, as they play lion’s role in family life. They are worthy to be called as domestic goddesses. Vedas says that they can step out of the house only if the husband is irresponsible and incapable. A man leads most comfortable and blessed life if his wife is a homemaker. God has imposed Man to earn by sweat, and to act as a security for his wife and children. He (God) imposed women also to look after him, the children and the house.

A company can flourish if HR executive executes the commands of the Managing director. Both HR and Employees have to be submissive towards the boss. In this example the Managing director symbolizes the husband, HR symbolizes Wife and Employees symbolizes Children. In the same way, family cannot flourish if there is no hierarchy. In the god’s creation, every male of the species acts as an earner and protector of the family and every female of the species are homemakers of their families.

Men are courageous than women by nature. That is why, Husband acts a head or King of the family and Wife acts as a Minister or Executioner of the family, and Children as Members of the family. What happens if all the employees of a company feel to be equal to the status of managing director? What happens if there are two presidents for a country? What happens if there exits two captains in a ship?

Although husband and wife are equal in status, each one has to perform their unique duties. A woman, who feels herself a kitchen rabbit, is not worthy to be married. This is because such women are usually of tomboyish and boisterous type and they can easily divorce thier husbands. The place of homemaker is not a curse, but a god's boon to women. What happens if a horse does the work of donkey and vice versa? Hence, if a woman does have the above qualities, her family will flourish like anything. Even society respects her.

A woman, as a homemaker is worth to regard as a complete woman. The Sanskrit sloka holds for not only women of ancient society, but also to the modern women, because newly married couples are getting divorced with in few days of married life. Modern women, unless and otherwise they satisfy the above Sanskrit sloka, they can not lead a happy family life. However, the only secret of a successful family life is that Husband has to love his wife and a wife has to submit herself to her husband with adjustment mentality.

From Ramesh Raju

ramesh raju said...

The sanskrit sloka is okay, but from where it has been drawn? please mention the book name, chapter number and the verse number.

vidya said...

I agree with shloka. Women should have all these qualities to be a ideal wife. And by nature woman has these qualities too. But there should not be much expectations from men.
For example, regarding 'karyeshu daasi' - since now a days in most of the families both husband and wife are working, husband should not expect her to do all household work. Because she also will be tired like him when she come back from work.
ok.. will join this discussion later.. lil busy now..

Anonymous said...

Most important thing is to understand the in depth meaning of the sanskrit poems.
karyeshu dasi means not exactly one who works like maid.But what is the main quality we look in maid is LOYALITY.
Karaneshu Mantri means one who advises during the critical times, if you look at history chanuyka played such an important role in chadragupta's life. The quality we are looking here is INTELLIGENCE.
Bhojyeshu Maatha,while feeding food who thinks like mom. A hotel waala or a chat waala will not give you food unless you pay money but a mother no matter what time it is if you say you are hungry she cooks and feeds food to your hearts content.The quality we are looking here is unconditional love.
Shayaneshu rambha: in hindu mythology rambha , who is apsarasa sthree is pictured as a very beautiful dancer damsel in indra's (king of god's)court.Rambha is known for her beauty and she pleased gods. The quality we are looking is who tries to cheer up the devas for good cause.
Roopecha lakshmi. Goddess lakshmi is godess of wealth and consort of sri maha vishnu. Dispite her riches she is dedicated when Sri mahavishnu took incarnation as srirama, she followed with him during vanavasa instead of sitting in vaikunta,Here the quality we see is the DEDICATION and HUMIlITY.
Kshamaya dhatithree.While forgiving one should be like mother earth.Quality here is boundless compassion.
So guys try to understand in between lines. The author here is saying a kula dharma patni should posses the qualities like loyality,intelligence,unconditional love, cheers for good causes, deidcation,humility and boundless compassion.
The most wonderful thing about our ancient literature is every thing there is bhavishyotthara purana.
The author here is saying these are the qualities an ideal wife should posses.
The same literature said where the sthrees(female's) are worshipped there resides the god.worshipping here means not literally doing pooja but RESPECTING and UNDERSTANDING.
A Female is given utmost importance in indian mythology. Maatrhru devo bhava comes before pithru devo bhava and aacharya devo bhava. Even the swammiji's who take strict penance and the whole world including father should do Namaskaram to swaamiji and only exception is mother even after taking sanyasa ashram Swamiji has to do namaskaram to his mother.
So any sanskrit verse you have indepth hidden treasures . If you cannot understand ask a right person but do not misinterpret.
There is certain literature to guide men too.

Anonymous said...

Awasome explaination of this sloka.
thanks for posting this discussion.
Somethings to learn and implement..

eskay said...

Very well explained. Hope that the female too appreciate it!!!!