http://www.islamthreat.org/forum/viewto ... ht=slavery
Posted: Sun Jul 10, 05 11.30 pm Post subject: Amazing freedom of Women in Ancient India (before introduction of Islam) ...
From the writings of the great Hindu Sage Sri Aurobindo:
"In India the institution of slavery was practically absent and the woman had at first a freer and more dignified position than in Greece and Rome; but the slave was soon replaced by the proletariate, called in India the Shudra, and the increasing tendency to deny the highest benefits of the common life and culture to the Shudra and the woman brought down Indian society to the level of its Western congeners."
-Social and Political Thought, Vol 15
Disciple: A medical man writes that in Greece and Rome during the Middle Ages women had great freedom and a superior form of instruction, yet they did nothing outstanding. In his own profession, though there have been women professors since the 17th century infamous Italian Universities - in Bologna, Naples, etc., - they have done nothing to advance their special science. Then again, there have been no women of first rank in painting, music, literature etc., except Rosa Bonheur, who however had to shave her chin and dress as a man.
In Greece woman was a domestic slave except the Hetairae and they were educated only to please. In Rome, "She remained at home and spun wool," was the highest eulogy for woman. It was only for a brief period of the Empire that woman began to be more free, but she was never put on an equality with man. Your medical man was either an ignoramus or was talking through his hat at you.
What an argument - from exceptional conditions as against the habits of millenniums! What about administration, rule, business, in which women have shown themselves as capable and more consistently capable than men? These things need no brains? Any imbecile can do them?
Of course no one can dispute that at the time of suffering and illness it is their tender hand that soothes.
It means that is what men have mainly demanded of them - to be their servants, nurses, cooks, children-bearers and rearers, ministers to their sex-desires etc. That has been their occupation and aim in life and their natures have got adapted to their work. All that they have achieved else than that is by the way - inspite of the yoke laid on them. And then man smiles a superior smile and says it was all due to woman's inferior nature, not to the burden laid on her.
- Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo
"The Hindu religion has always laid an overpowering stress on this idea of the woman in Nature. It is not only in the Purana that the Woman looms so large, not only in the Shakta cult that she becomes a supreme Name.In the Upanishads it is only when Indra, in his search for the mysterious and ill-understood Mastering Brahman, meets with the Woman in the heaven of things
- tasminnevakase striyam ajagama umam haimavatim, "In that same sky he came to the Woman, Uma, daughter of Himavan", - that he is able to learn the thing which he seeks. The Stri, the Aja or unborn Female Energy, is the executive Divinity of the Universe, the womb, the mother, the bride, the mould and instrument of all joy and being. The Veda also speaks of the gnah, the Woman, - feminine powers without whom the masculine are not effective for work and formation; for when the gods are to be satisfied who support the sacrifice and effect it, vahnayah, yajatrah, then Medhatithi of the Kanwas calls on Agni to yoke them with female mates, patnivatah krdhi, - in their activity and enjoyment. In one of his greatest hymns, the twenty-second of the first Mandala, he speaks expressly of the patnih devanam, the brides of the Strong Ones, who are to be called to extend protection, to breathe a mighty peace, to have their share in the joy of the Soma Wine.
-from unpublished draft