34856_Women_of_Bhakti_Clean_16x9Once a social worker questioned Swami Vivekananda, “It is great to see you work towards empowering women. I want to reform them too. I want to support this. What shall I do?” Swami Vivekananda replied, “You do not have to do anything. Just leave them alone. They will do what they have to do.”
This is all that is needed. Women just need to be themselves – their elegant, graceful, blemishless, divine self!
Today, in our efforts towards the so-called women liberation, we have misunderstood the word “equal”. Equal does not mean similar. Equal means equal opportunity, equal esteem, equal respect, equal honor, equal importance, but not similarity in behavior or action. If we bring in similarity in behavior and action, we will bring out the ‘woman’ from women. And as a result, only inefficiency and disorder will prevail, which seems to be the case now.
Guru Maharaj once sang these lines of the revolutionary poet Subrahmanya Barathi, “…pattangaL aaLvadhum sattangaL seyvadhum, paariniR peNkaL nadathavandhdhom, ettu maRivinil aaNukking kaebeN, iLaippillai kaaNendRu kummiyadi”, and asked me what I understood from these lines.
I said, “I think it means women have come to rule scholastically, and create the laws for this world. Women are no less to men, in reaching the heights of knowledge.”
Guru Maharaj said, “That’s right…but why do you think the poet says ‘kummi adi’?”
I didn’t have an answer.
Guruji replied, “Wise men do not utter even a single meaningless syllable in their works. The phrase ‘kummi adi’ here, is not a mere addition to fit the line into a particular tune. Here, after having exalted women for their importance in the society and its making, the poet chooses to say ‘kummi adi’, because ‘kummi’ is a very graceful traditional folk dance performed by girls in the villages of Southern India. The poet mentions it here, to emphasize the fact that, as women start playing an important part in reforms and social structuring, they should not let go of their innate feminine nature, their intrinsic elegance and grace, their natural poise.” Needless to say, it was yet another time, I sat there in total awe at the way Guru Maharaj went ahead and explained this further.
It reminded me, in Sri Guruji’s work Kalidharma Undhiyar, The Master completes every verse with the phrase ‘undhi para’. Undhi parathal, like ammaanai, kolattam and kummi, is a game played by girl children in South India in olden days. Girls dance, sing and rejoice during undhi parathal, singing the praise of God. These verses convey the same message that The Master explained. All of us in this world, who are gopis, should strive to spread universal love, being epitomes of elegance, poise and refined feminism.
All that the Gopis knew was unconditional, selfless love. They were never separated from Krishna by thought, word or deed. Thereby, whatever they did was an offering to Krishna. They were eternally happy. In their world, every step was a dance, and every word was a song.
Once a devotee walked upto Guru Maharaj and submitted some small booklets on Gopika Geetham from Srimad Bhagavatham to Him.
Guru Maharaj exclaimed, “Oh! The song of the Gopis! A book just on that? You may distribute it to the gopis in our satsang”.
The devotee said, “Now that would be tough for me. Could You please tell me who are the Gopis in our satsang?”
Guru Maharaj replied, “Find them out for yourself! The ones who are forever cheerful and happy, they are Gopis. Krishna doesn’t like those who are gloomy and grim. Gopikas are always cheerful and happy.
“Cheerful, happy and content, Guruji?”
“Yes…always cheerful, happy and content”
May this be our vow this women’s day! To create a positive impact on the society, by being our elegant, graceful and feminine self. To do all that we do, by thought, word or deed, as an offering to Krishna, and thereby do it with selfless love. May we always be cheerful, happy and content. May our heart and soul be so hidden in Krishna, that the evils and perils of the world have trouble finding us. And may the Universal Mother, the Embodiment of Pure Love, Radha Rani, bless us for the same.
Happy Women’s Day!


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Nirmala Giri says:

    How wonderfully has Guru Maharaj elucidated the term ‘kummi adi’!! ‘Equal’ has been so aptly the author of the article.


  2. sreeush92 says:

    WOW totally awed by the writing ..Kudos Janani ji..
    Lovely explanation by our Gurunathar..let is celebrate womanhood just how he has explained and humbly seek his blessings to be blessed by the mother Radharani..
    Happy women’s day to you
    Jai Gurunath


  3. Shyamala says:

    Lovely Janani.


  4. Nisha Giri says:

    Beautiful article Janani. How true! May we all be cheerful, happy, content Gopis!


  5. Saraswathi says:

    Very beautiful interpretation by G and well expressed by you, Janani. Kudos…


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