05 March 2014

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes On The Ideal Of Indian Womanhood

The girls of India would die if they,
like American girls, were obliged to expose
half their bodies to the vulgar gaze of young men.
—Swami Vivekananda
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
In this website we are creating a series of articles on Swami Vivekananda's quotations on womanhood. Now in this article we'll collect Swami Vivekananda's quotes on the ideal of Indian womanhood.
  • I should very much like our women to have your intellectuality, but not if it must be at the cost of purity.[Source]
  • In India the woman was the visible manifestation of God and that her whole life was given up to the thought that she was a mother, and to be a perfect mother she must be chaste.[Source]
  • It is unfair to judge women in the east by the western standard. In the west woman is the wife; in the east she is the mother. The Hindoos worship the idea of mother, and even the monks are required to touch the earth with their foreheads before their mothers. Chastity is much esteemed.[Source]
  • O India! Forget not that the ideal of thy womanhood is Sita, Savitri, Damayanti. . .[Source]
  • Our women are not so learned, but they are more pure.[Source]
  • The girls of India would die if they, like American girls, were obliged to expose half their bodies to the vulgar gaze of young men.[Source]
  • The ideal of womanhood in India is motherhood -- that marvellous, unselfish, all - suffering, ever - forgiving mother. The wife walks behind -- the shadow. She must imitate the life of the mother; that is her duty. But the mother is the ideal of love; she rules the family, she possesses the family. It is the father in India who thrashes the child and spanks when there is something done by the child, and always the mother puts herself between the father and the child. You see it is just the opposite here. It has become the mother's business to spank the children in this country, and poor father comes in between. You see, ideals are different. I do not mean this as any criticism. It is all good -- this what you do; but our way is what we have been taught for ages. You never hear of a mother cursing the child; she is forgiving, always forgiving. Instead of "Our Father in Heaven", we say "Mother" all the time; that idea and that word are ever associated in the Hindu mind with Infinite Love, the mother's love being the nearest approach to God's love in this mortal world of ours. "Mother, O Mother, be merciful; I am wicked! Many children have been wicked, but there never was a wicked mother"-- so says the great saint Ramprasad.[Source]
  • To all women every man save her husband should be as her son. To all men every woman save his own wife should be as his mother. When I look about me and see what you call gallantry, my soul is filled with disgust. Not until you learn to ignore the question of sex and to meet on a ground of common humanity will your women really develop. Until then they are playthings, nothing more. All this is the cause of divorce. Your men bow low and offer a chair, but in another breath they offer compliments. They say, 'Oh, madam, how beautiful are your eyes!' What right have they to do this? How dare a man venture so far, and how can you women permit it? Such things develop the less noble side of humanity. They do not tend to nobler ideals.[Source]

Swami Vivekananda's quotes on Hindu women

Main article: Swami Vivekananda's quotes on Hindu women
  • The Hindu woman is still superior to all other women in the world —her rights. The right to possess property is as absolute for women in India as for men — and has been for thousands and thousands of years.[Source]
  • The Hindu women are very spiritual and very religious, perhaps more so than any other women in the world. If we can preserve these beautiful characteristics and at the same time develop the intellects of our women, the Hindu woman of the future will be the ideal woman of the world.[Source]

Swami Vivekananda's Quotes on Sita

Main article: Swami Vivekananda's quotes on Sita
  • A Bhakta should be like Sita before Rama. He might be thrown into all kinds of difficulties. Sita did not mind her sufferings; she centered herself in Rama.[Source]
  • Sita is the name  in India for everything that is good, pure, and holy; everything that in woman we call woman. Sita— the patient, all suffering, ever-faithful, ever-pure wife! Through all the suffering she had, there was not one harsh word against Rama. Sita never returned injury. Be Sita.[Source]
  • Sita was chastity itself; she would never touch the body of another man except that of her husband. "Pure? She is chastity itself", says Rama.[Source]

This page was last updated on: 5 March 2014, 12:08 am IST (UTC+5:30 hours)
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