Glory of Bharath  »  Glory of Womanhood
"This land of Bharath has given birth to
many noble women like Savitri,
Who brought her dead husband back to life;
Chandramati, who extinguished wild fire
with the power of truth;
Sita, who proved her chastity
by coming out of blazing fire unscathed and
Damayanthi, who reduced an evil minded hunter
to ashes with the power of her chastity.
It is because of such women of character
that Bharath has attained the reputation of
Being the land of plenty, prosperity and opulence".
-- Baba
Since time immemorial, the sacred land of Bharath has been enjoying peace and prosperity because of men and women of character. Savitri, with the power of her character, overcame many obstacles to bring her dead husband Satyavan back to life. Sita came out of blazing fire unscathed when she was asked by Rama to undergo agni pareeksha (the test of fire) to prove her chastity as Ravana had held her captive for ten months in Lanka. Though Rama, being omniscient, had no doubt regarding Sita's chastity, he did so only in order to dispel doubts from the minds of people.

Savithri with Lord Yama

Anasuya (wife of sage Atri) was put to test by God Himself. The Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara went to her in disguise and begged, Bhavati Bhiksham Dehi (mother, give us alms). When she was about to serve them food, they said that they would accept it only if she served them without wearing any clothes. Immediately, she transformed them into three infants and fed them as per their wish. She could transform even Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara into small babies and play with them only because of her purity of heart and the power of chastity. Ultimately, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati, the wives of the Trinity, begged her that their husbands may be returned to them. Anasuya, being one of compassion, yielded to their request. The Trinity blessed sage Atri and Anasuya, saying that they would be born to them in the form of Dattatreya. The name Dattatreya signifies one who is adopted by sage Atri.


Mother Sita undergoing the ordeal by fire

Sumati was also a woman of chastity. She was pure-hearted and totally selfless. One day, a sage cursed her husband that he would die immediately after sunrise on the next day. She prayed to God with all sincerity and purity. It is only prayer that can atone man's sins and save him from curse. Sumati prayed, "If my thoughts are pure and truthful, let there not be sunrise at all." As a result, there was no sunrise and the entire world was engulfed in darkness. That is the power of women of chastity. All the gods and sages approached Sumati and prayed, "Mother, is it proper on your part to plunge the entire world into darkness for the sake of your husband?" Sumati replied, "Without my husband, the world has no value for me." Only when the gods and sages assured her of the safety of her husband, did she allow the sun to rise. Thus, since ancient times, women of Bharat led an ideal life and proved to the world the power of chastity.

Draupadi too was a great woman. She was always contented with what she had. She was always obedient to her husbands and would always find time to serve them. She had steadfast devotion to Lord Krishna.


Draupadi in total surrender to Lord Krishna

Bharath is the land of sanctity and chastity, which has given birth to such great women of exceptional character, who lent glory to Bharath as a nation of heroic women. Since ancient times, the presiding deity of Gayathri mantra, Gayathri Devi, has been worshipped as the Mother of the Vedas, which are held as the most ancient and authoritative scriptures of wisdom. Gayathri mantra originated in this holy land. The glory of this mantra has spread all over the world. The people of Bharath have worshipped Gayathri in several ways and have redeemed their lives. Gayathri has been worshipped in four forms: (1) Sathyavathi, (2) Angavathi (3) Anyavathi and (4) Nidhanavathi. All the four are equally sacred, and elicit limitless grace of the Divine.

The first one, Sathyavathi, signifies the existence of Atma in every being, just as butter is present in every drop of milk. It proclaims, "Ekatma sarvabhutantaratma (One Atma is present in all beings)." There is one Sath (truth), which is spoken of in many ways by the wise. The second one is Angavathi, which signifies the five elements present in all beings and also the five senses of hearing, touch, vision, taste, and smell. There is nothing in this world that is not composed of the five elements. This Angavathi is pancha bhuta swarupa (the embodiment of the five basic elements).

The third one, Anyavathi, refers to the attributes of the different forms of the Divine. Thus Anyavathi signifies the different constituents of the forms of the Divine. Nidhanavathi, the fourth, teaches the nine types of worship, namely, sravanam (hearing), keerthanam (singing the glory of God), smaranam (thinking of the names of God), pada sevanam (service), vandanam (prostration), archanam (worship), dasyam (servitude), sakhyam (friendship), and atmanivedanam (surrender).

The world is symbolised by these four forms of Gayathri. That is why it is described as Nature (Prakriti), a female form (Sthri). We refer to our native country as motherland. Since ancient times, a woman has been accorded a high place in the society.

The scriptures have ascribed seven virtues to women as a class: sathya (truth), prema (love), dharma (righteousness), santhi (peace), sahana (tolerance), ananda (bliss), svanubhuti (spirituality).


Let us salute the feminine principle that is all pervasive with the prayer below

"Ya devi sarvabhuteshu Vishnu-mayeti sadbita
Namas tasyai, Namas tasyai, Namas tasyai namo namah.
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu buddhi - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu nidra - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu ksudha - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu chhaya - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu sakti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu trisna - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu ksanti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu lajja - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu shanti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu Sraddha - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu kanti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu lakshmi - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu vritti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu smriti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu daya - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu tusti - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu matri - rupena samsthita, namas tasyai "


To that goddess who in all beings is called Visnumaya
Salutations, Salutations, Salutations to Thee, again, and again.
To that goddess who abides in all beings as intelligence : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as sleep : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as hunger : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as reflection : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as power : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as thirst : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as forgiveness : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as modesty : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as peace : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as faith : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as loveliness : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as good fortune : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as activity : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as memory : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as compassion : Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as contentment ; Sautaions to Thee,
To that goddess who abides in all beings as mother : Sautaions to Thee,
- October 11
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