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Thread: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

  1. #11
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    Re: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

    Namaste,

    Thanks to everyone for the answers.

    I posted the question because in this website SVS is considered to be a mantra and many friends told me the same thing :

    http://www.srivaishnavam.com/

    faq's question no. 28

    28.What’s role of women in our sampradayam? Why they are not allowed to recite Veda or even Vishnu sahasranamam? Just like the man is entitled to uphold his dharma, the woman has to uphold her dharma. Both have to follow what the saastra has prescribed to each one of them specifically. The dharma-saastras, aaknika-grantas and smruthies categorically prescribe these dharmas. Women are equally entitled to get the knowledge about Brahman Shreeman Narayana but the way in which she has to get it is different from that of man. This should not be misunderstood as “restriction”. The recitation of Veda is not like telling the slokas. The Veda has to be learnt, comprehended and applied with its six accessories namely siksha, chandas, vyaakaranam, niruktham, jyothisham and kalpam. This is suitable only for man. Vishnu Sahasranamam is also a mantra, which has to be chanted only by men because it has to be chanted with nyaasa, pranavam etc. The woman can get the same knowledge through listening to itihaasaas, satvika puraanas, pUrvaacharya-stotras-grantas and divya-prabandams. She has to accompany the man in doing all the vaidika karmas like yaagas. The Parama-vaidika-matham considers both man and woman as its two eyes. She can adopt prapatti and get salvation just like the man.


    It says listening but not chanting.

    Generally Dvija-bandhus(birth Brahmins not performing Brahmin duties),Sudras(non Brahmins) and Stri(Women) are lumped together,that is why I asked if people other than those involved in daily Vedic activities require any special initiation from their Guru.



    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

  2. #12
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    Re: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

    Vannakkam: So now Ram, after reading all the different answers, what do YOU think? Or are you still questioning it?

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

    This is a point of dispute between two subsects of Srivaishnavism. As has been pointed out above the Mahabharata itself is very clear that it is open to everyone.QED so is the Vishnu Sahasranama which is a part of it.

    As for why women are debarred from certain practices- One is born in a cerain gender, location, family,etc as a durect result of our karma.One is not, as was ststed above, 'equally likely to be born male or female'.Since we are at different stages of our karmic journey, it is logical that the scriptues would prescribe different practices for people of different genders or income groups just like different syllabus is prescribed at different stages of education.Nevertheless if one wants to be egpistic and do something not prescribed for them, it will only hamper one's own spiritual development.
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


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    Re: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

    28.What’s role of women in our sampradayam? Why they are not allowed to recite Veda or even Vishnu sahasranamam? Just like the man is entitled to uphold his dharma, the woman has to uphold her dharma. Both have to follow what the saastra has prescribed to each one of them specifically. The dharma-saastras, aaknika-grantas and smruthies categorically prescribe these dharmas. Women are equally entitled to get the knowledge about Brahman Shreeman Narayana but the way in which she has to get it is different from that of man. This should not be misunderstood as “restriction”. The recitation of Veda is not like telling the slokas. The Veda has to be learnt, comprehended and applied with its six accessories namely siksha, chandas, vyaakaranam, niruktham, jyothisham and kalpam. This is suitable only for man. Vishnu Sahasranamam is also a mantra, which has to be chanted only by men because it has to be chanted with nyaasa, pranavam etc. The woman can get the same knowledge through listening to itihaasaas, satvika puraanas, pUrvaacharya-stotras-grantas and divya-prabandams. She has to accompany the man in doing all the vaidika karmas like yaagas. The Parama-vaidika-matham considers both man and woman as its two eyes. She can adopt prapatti and get salvation just like the man.
    I totally agree, women can't chant vishnu sahasranama. (*however they can chant vishnu's names given in sahasranama. But that wouldn't be a vishnu sahasranama. Vishnu Sahasranamam is not just a mantra. It is a vedic worship of Vishnu and the right of performing such exalted worship is only for Dvijas. Brahabandhu, Shudra & women are not allowed to do it. Doing nyasa is always better as it makes our body itself divine. Only Divine can worship Divine. Only a pure thing can worship a pure thing.

    My question to those who say in dharma women have full authorities like men.. Why in bhagavad gita Krishna calls women as lower born? Why he said EVEN women can attain me? Emphasising on EVEN word.

    The reason why they're considered lower born is the reason why they shouldn't chant Vishnu sahasranama. It's clear that women have no authority on all Dharma rituals especially related to Veda. In Dharma they have many restrictions. This inequality of dharma is better than equality. In Dharma, works of people are distributed according to their Varna. Men have different & women have others. It's better to follow one's own Dharma. Dharma assures that by doing prescribed dharma for different varna one can attain even Moksha. Teaching of Veda is prescribed for Brahmanas only. Shudra or women can not do that as they are forbidden even to hear veda by Dharma.

    And those who say Men and women have same soul, then I'd say Dharma rituals & their authorities have nothing to with Brahman or soul. Dharma is created under the conditions of Maya. Maya says brahman are in Satvika and can understand brahman. Maya says shudra are under the effect of rajas and especially tamasa guna. All these dharma rituals, mantra are being practised through three gunas. There's only one which is Nirguna it is Brahman or vaishnawa calls it as Nirguna Bhakti and dyanis call it as a nirguna dnyana.

    And if you ask how dharma gives us moksha even if it has nothing to do with brahman.. Then I'd say knowledge (dharma) and ignorance (adharma) are the two opposite sides of one coin. Maya itself creates them. Veda uses maya(Knowledge) itself to remove Maya (appearance of bondage). It's like 'Removing one thorn by another thorn'
    Last edited by hinduism♥krishna; 05 May 2014 at 03:46 AM.

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    Re: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

    Quote Originally Posted by hinduism♥krishna View Post
    I totally agree, women can't chant vishnu sahasranama. (*however they can chant vishnu's names given in sahasranama. But that wouldn't be a vishnu sahasranama. Vishnu Sahasranamam is not just a mantra. It is a vedic worship of Vishnu and the right of performing such exalted worship is only for Dvijas. Brahabandhu, Shudra & women are not allowed to do it. Doing nyasa is always better as it makes our body itself divine. Only Divine can worship Divine. Only a pure thing can worship a pure thing.

    My question to those who say in dharma women have full authorities like men.. Why in bhagavad gita Krishna calls women as lower born? Why he said EVEN women can attain me? Emphasising on EVEN word.

    The reason why they're considered lower born is the reason why they shouldn't chant Vishnu sahasranama. It's clear that women have no authority on all Dharma rituals especially related to Veda. In Dharma they have many restrictions. This inequality of dharma is better than equality. In Dharma, works of people are distributed according to their Varna. Men have different & women have others. It's better to follow one's own Dharma. Dharma assures that by doing prescribed dharma for different varna one can attain even Moksha. Teaching of Veda is prescribed for Brahmanas only. Shudra or women can not do that as they are forbidden even to hear veda by Dharma.

    And those who say Men and women have same soul, then I'd say Dharma rituals & their authorio have nothing to with Brahman. Dharma is created under the cobditions of Maya. Maya says brahman are in Satvika and can understand brahman. Maya says shudra are under the effect of rajas and especially tamasa guna. All these dharma rituals, mantra are being practised through three gunas. There's only one which is Nirguna it is Brahman or vaishnawa calls it as Nirguna Bhakti and dyanis call it as a nirguna dnyana.
    It is so surprising to see this post from you who is a strong believer in Advaita. You have based your argument on BG verse where "even women" is used by Lord Krishna. This only shows that even in Krishna's time, women were discriminated against by the society and therefore he makes it clear that whatever he says applies to women too. It doesn't say or mean that women are of lower birth.

    ... and the argument that women should not recite Sahasranama is deplorable. Taking God's name is forbidden for some human beings ... why ? What would happen if these so called lower-birth people take God's name in the form of Sahasranama ? God's supremacy will be challenged ?? God's piety will be defiled ??? If that is so, I don't need such a God who has such an inflated ego and is so easily contaminatable.

    This is not against you or anyone. Please forgive for my above post. Anyone is free to harbour as much hatred against fellow humans in the name of caste, sex, age, color skin and whatever but I am exercising my rights to speak against injustice.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  6. #16
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    Re: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

    क्षमस्व मम् devotee ji...

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    It is so surprising to see this post from you who is a strong believer in Advaita. You have based your argument on BG verse where "even women" is used by Lord Krishna. This only shows that even in Krishna's time, women were discriminated against by the society and therefore he makes it clear that whatever he says applies to women too. It doesn't say or mean that women are of lower birth.
    I think you're thinking according to today's ideology of equality. It's not like that there was discrimination. It means, At that time there was honest following of Dharma even by lower varna, like Shudra were not doing the task like teaching veda. That dharma was without any disputes over discrimination between men & women. And even if we consider there was really a discrimination, then why shri krishna didn't oppose this? We don't get ANY opposition on such discrimination in any purana. In fact purana itself supports that so called discrimination. It is the purana who say women should not hear veda.

    ... and the argument that women should not recite Sahasranama is deplorable. Taking God's name is forbidden for some human beings ... why ? What would happen if these so called lower-birth people take God's name in the form of Sahasranama ? God's supremacy will be challenged ?? God's piety will be defiled ??? If that is so, I don't need such a God who has such an inflated ego and is so easily contaminatable.

    This is not against you or anyone. Please forgive for my above post. Anyone is free to harbour as much hatred against fellow humans in the name of caste, sex, age, color skin and whatever but I am exercising my rights to speak against injustice.

    OM
    You're absolutely right. However,

    I think this is not a matter of discrimination. It's the matter of Duty. What shastra prescribes we should follow it according to our varna & sex. It's just so simple.

    I'm not saying women can not chant vishnu's names. I said there are many restrictions over women about vedic rituals & mantras. And one shouldn't forget that there are many rituals & mantras prescribed for women in our Puranas.

    It's natural that you'll get surprised to see me saying that. But know that I'm not realised. I have not yet realised who I'm and I think dharma is prescribed only until the realisation. One shouldn't give up duties(dharma) unless you're not realised. Though women and men have one soul, I have already mentioned soul is beyond dharma. Dharma is according to conditions of Maya. Doesn't dharma consider different gunas acting on two sexes; men & women? Why doesn't dharma say Varna dharma should be scrapped as everyone has one soul? Why there's distinction of four varna? Why there's distinction between rakshasa & aryas though they have one soul? Why doesn't dharma praise the Rakshasas varna in high esteem like that in the case of Brahmana varna?
    Last edited by hinduism♥krishna; 05 May 2014 at 11:05 AM.

  7. #17

    Re: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

    Quote Originally Posted by hinduism♥krishna View Post
    [FONT=Georgia]And even if we consider there was really a discrimination, then why shri krishna didn't oppose this? We don't get ANY opposition on such discrimination in any purana. In fact purana itself supports that so called discrimination. It is the purana who say women should not hear veda.
    But, there as we see, there are many women seers who composed a handful of the Vedic Rica-s. But I agree that in the Kaliyuga PurANa-s have authority that supersedes that of Veda.
    Let us think this: PurANa-s are the preservers of Dharma, and Veda-s are the creators of it. As it happens today, the preservers override the creators.

    I think this is not a matter of discrimination. It's the matter of Duty. What shastra prescribes we should follow it according to our varna & sex. It's just so simple.
    I'm not saying women can not chant vishnu's names. I said there are many restrictions over women about vedic rituals & mantras. And one shouldn't forget that there are many rituals & mantras prescribed for women in our Puranas.
    PurANa-s know the territory and people of India and also how they will continue to evolve over a period of time. Vaishnavism, as I see it, is a male-dominated endeavour, and has prospered in certain parts and sections of India.

    Why doesn't dharma say Varna dharma should be scrapped as everyone has one soul?
    Even among the ritvija priests of Vedic Yagna, for example, the Udgatr is supposed to do his work and not assume Hotr priest's work. So everyone's duty is prescribed.
    Today some say, only Brahman priest has survived (as BrāhmaNa who preserved Yagna ritual) and Hotr, Udgatr and Adhvaryu have vanished.
    But did they really vanish? No, they are among us, silently waiting within their subconscious for a time to come when the creator will again assume power and importance over the preserver, and they will be back to business and Yagna will again become more than mere ritual: it will again become the factory that converts on a mass scale the Dasyus into the Aryas.

    This is a narration that has parallels in the Varna-s story.

    Why there's distinction of four varna? Why there's distinction between rakshasa & aryas though they have one soul? Why doesn't dharma praise the Rakshasas varna in high esteem like that in the case of Brahmana varna?
    In the Veda the Asvins are praised as Devatā-s who have the power to transform the fallen, the dasyu, their whole being, upto the enlightened state, apparently that of an Arya.

    But as I said earlier, the issue is the question of preservance or creation of Dharma. The question is: has the average man there, in this age of democracy and science, become conscious enough of his own spiritual advancement that cannot be delayed any longer anymore, or the rise of materialism has only meant that we need to preserve Dharma with even more rigour?

    Frankly, I don't have an answer. I guess we should just do our best. Further, it will be better if we stopped taking offense at differing stances of our own fellow Hindus on this. Dharma is large enough, and everyone has all the freedom to pursue their paths. I don't think liberalising the conservative sections among us will do any good. Who knows, the liberals are in the wrong, and in their zeal inadvertently actually end up finishing what remains of Dharma?

    What I am saying is:
    "If A says I cannot recite a mantra, I shouldn't be offended by it."
    "Then what should I do?"
    "Ask the Devatā you are bhakta of."
    Things to remember:

    1. Life = yajña
    2. Depth of Āstika knowledge is directly proportional
    to the richness of Sanskrit it is written in
    3. Āstika = Bhārata ("east") / Ārya ("west")
    4. Varṇa = tripartite division of Vedic polity
    5. r = c. x²
    where,
    r = realisation
    constant c = intelligence
    variable x = bhakti

  8. #18
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    Re: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

    Namaste

    This makes no sense to millions and millions of Hindus, inclusive of within Vaisnava sampradayas and temples as well. My example of the Varkari and Haridasa sampradayas, which have huge pilgrimages in the millions to their holy dhams, are just one of many which teach the Vishnu Sahasranama by publication and in practice to all, regardless of gender for example.

    The very idea one can chant one Name of the SVS - the SVS which basically is NOT a Vedic mantra at all but praising a NAME(s) of the Lord so named - but not allowed to praise ALL the Names strikes as absurd. It is Hari Nam Sankirtan. The very title Vishnu Sahasranama means the “Thousand Names of Vishnu.” It is actually considered a stotra.

    So my daughter can praise the Name Pavitra (That which purifies everything) outloud, but not Maṅgala param (Supremely auspicious), or at what point is the restriction, 999 Names but not 1,000? 1008?

    It is said the Vishnu Sahasranaama was composed by Sri Veda Vyaasa, the author of the Mahabarata, quoting Bishma on his deathbed in response to what will free one from rebirth, and so it was praising by the Names. So let me understand, this sect of this website's sampradaya, thinks my daughter can read the Mahabharata, read the SVS, but not say it outloud praising the Names? Vishnu sahasranama iS said to be the essence of the Mahabharata, and also confirms the appearance in the Kali Yuga.

    Firstly, no, my daughter is not going to go barging up onto some homa platform or temple altar, shove the priest aside, and start chanting the Vishnu Sahasranama. That would be just absurd and is not the point.

    This particular sect of this swmpradaya can preach anything they like, they just cannot force it on others. One more reason I thank the Divine that I am not a member of that particular sect of that sampradaya of that website. Millions and millions are not.

    It really is amazing how, in material nature, it works out that there is almost a perfect balance of women to men in population (almost 50 to 50, 101 males to every 100 females world wide, and 107males to 100 females even in continents that favor boys over girls), a perfect balance to maintain the species. You would think, considering how horrible we all are, that there would be 89% women and only 11% men.

    Om Namah Sivaya

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    Re: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

    Admin Note

    Namaste
    Please note that 'this' is a Vaishnava forum. Keep your posts in alignment with vaishnava philosophy.

    Thanks,
    satay

  10. #20
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    Re: VISHNU SAHASRANAMA- BIG DOUBT

    Namaste
    In 2011 in Banglapore India there was a huge congregational chanting of the Vishnu Sahasranama, involving multiple Vaishnav communities, and all were welcome as well, no restrictions.

    I know for a fact that the Sri Vishnu Sahasranam as found in the Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Section 149, verses 14 to 120, is chanted regularly by Vaishnavs in homes including by women. So my observation is sects who restrict women are a minority. For some it is every day, for others then on days of an eclipse to mitigate effects of planets and other times. In MANY Sanskrit courses here in California, students are asked to learn by heart the Vishnu Saharanama as part of beginning Sanskrit studies.

    By the way, for anyone in the Bay Area of California, there are Vishnu Sahasranama classes in the Bay Area at the Sanatan Dharma Kendra in Sunnyvale, California, typically starting at 7:30pm. Here is there link if you are interested in attending:

    http://www.sanatandharmakendra.org/

    In fact there is one today (May 5, 2014 at 730pm) "Vishnu Sahasranamam chanting class", all are welcome, children, adults, men and women.

    There are others also if live in the Bay Area as I do, for example there are Bay Area contacts of the Datta Yoga Hanuman Temple (where Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Sloka learning courses started in January of this year 2014) that also have instruction.

    Om Namah Sivaya

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