Sep 24, 2013

"The Deliverance" from Sermons in the Stroms

Whatever might have been the treatment accorded to our Hindu women in the past millennium., the period from Moghul rule has been witnessing them being treated most ironically in general and as resourceful plus responsive sexual toys in particular.
With a view to tightening the bondages of dependence and ensuring an unabating hold on women, men closed for them all the doors of education leading to higher knowledge and other reasonable freedom so necessary for greater participation in life and for fullness of an all-round happiness. Consequently, women lagged behind physically, mentally and intellectually — a pre-requisite for an effective masculine domination. With the advent of Swami Vivekananda, Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Dr. Karve, however, there has been some welcome concessions in the direction of women education.
Male births are heralded with the distribution of sweets. Whereas, the incoming of female issues is frowned upon with resentment. Unjust treatment to women begins right from their birth itself. With an assertive supremacy of masculine birth men legislated liberal laws of marriage for themselves and framed rigid and repulsive regulations for women.
Women are treated with scorn, scourge and suspicion. Exacting demands are made, of them. Their voices must be in absolute conformity with their husbands' choices. Their rejoices must be in tune with their male partners' noises. Women are hunted and haunted by sex crazy scoundrels. Loneliness is a constant threat to them. A thoughtless slip on her part or a finger falsely accusing her purity is enough to "set flames to her home, hopes, and happiness. Theirs is an insecure life strewn with thorns, thorns and thorns. Yet, by the grace of nature, even with all these odds they come out triumphantly as good, noble and beauteous mothers making the earth and earthly living lovelier and lively.
Women might pass it off as a purely personal affair of Ram who relentlessly externed the glorious Sita even after she emerged unscathed from the fire test — proving her purity. But understanding women will always harbor grouse and indignance against Shankaracharya, Ramkrishna Paramahamsa, Tulsidas, Kabir and their like who in their literary works have branded women condemning them as agents leading to hell and bondage. This is something unfair and makes a very hurtful reading. Instead of wrongly stigmatizing women as devilish lots, they could have plainy used the term LUST which in truth is to be eschewed.
All of us are feminine products and we must readily admit that in our day-to-day temporal and spiritual lives they play influential and contributory roles. The extent of profit gained by the aforementioned great saints from women in the form of their mothers, wives or both isn’t unknown to the society.
In God's creation women's place is atop and without them the world would become wholly empty of the following alphabetical qualities of elevating nature : AFFECTION, BENEVOLENCE, COMPASSION, DEVOTION, EARNESTNESS, FORTITUDE, GENTLENESS, HARMONY, IMPETUS, JOVIALITY, KINSHIP, LIVELINESS, MODESTY, NEATNESS, OBEDIENCE, PATIENCE, QUICKNESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, SANC-TITY, TALENT, UNIQUENESS, VIRTUES, WIT, XENODOCHY (hospitality), YOGA, AND ZEALOUSNESS.
To write on the raw deal that is generally meted out to our women-folk would surely tire any HONEST writer.
Here below is a shocking case of a literate and noble lady who was subjected to shameful and sorrowful sufferings all because she wanted to be faithful to her husband.

Some years back, I was waiting at a city station to catch a long-distance train. Just then, a passing train arrived in the adjoining platform and streams of passengers detrained there and good many boarded the same and within quarter of an hour or so, it left. On the empty rail-tracks I sighted a young lady picking-up thrown away eatables and stuffing them into her mouth and licking the liquid remains from the discarded food-packets.
In the course of my wanderings which extends to over a decade and a half. I have witnessed many such sights in our poor country where poverty rules. As such, I felt nothing odd about it. But, a close look at the lady whose face was scarred in few places and the tip of her nose missing, from my fair knowledge of character-reading, I saw in her a person of a good breed and home who must have seen much better days.
I wanted to know her life. I went up to her and said In Hindi. "Sister, do please permit me to talk with you about yourself.” She cast a raised glance at me, instantly lowered her head and picking-up some crumbs of bread, unconcernedly asked me to leave her to herself. I said nothing more to her and went back to my seat on the bench.
Experience teaches people that sorrows shared is sorrows lost. Said otherwise, mental monotony whisks away immediately it is transferred to sympathetic ears. As though to confirm this psychological truth, the seeming beggar lady came to me and sitting on the ground near the bench began recounting with tears flowing from her grief-swollen eyes, the woes to which she was subjected to by the society.
 She began am a lone daughter of my Brahmin father who was a small-scale store owner. You may call me Dharmishta. Some years back I was given away in marriage to a good man who was looking after the thriving timber trade of his father. My domestic life began with comforts and happiness. Few years passed that way and one day the dirty scheming of a family member whose questionable approaches I did not condescend to, turned the table and made false accusation of shifting morals against me, to my husband. Somehow, that had a convincing effect on my husband and he began to be sullen and from thence onwards treated me with contempt and suspicion. The matter was reported to my parents. My noble father asked his son-in-law not to rely on hear- say but to take up a personal probe into my conduct. Few days thereafter, my parents came to me and directly questioned me about the reported secret relations. I truthfully negatived the charge of my husband. As I did not think it proper, I told them not anything about the nasty expectations of one of my husband's near ones. For, I rightly thought that such a revelation would come In the way of my future domestic happiness. My parents mildly cautioned me to be careful and behave in a suspicion less manner. One day, after a few weeks my husband straight-away imputed me with illative and  illicit indulgences and imprudently plus unjustly drove me away from home. All my solicitations and arguments consisting of many propositions for a thorough search into my character was turned down and mv husband only remained implacable totally void of feelings and emotions. I would have and could have lingered on if I had just been asked to leave, but, I was pushed out of the house. Good many neighbors gathered to see me being shunted out. Their tongues remained locked in their mouths and they played the role of the neutrals like the famous Kumbakarna though with this much difference that during the Ram - Ravana scuffle, Kumbakarna went in for a lone silent sleep far far away from the scene of the battle, while those neighbors were witnessing the whole show impassively from close quarter. Perhaps, they deemed it disgraceful to side me who in the eyes of her husband was polluted. With hurtful feelings of humiliation I left the crowded locality and the mute crowds there reminded me also of the wise assemblage in the Court of the Kaurava King which silently watched the outrage perpetrated on the helpless and innocent Draupadi.
Darkness had well set in and I headed on with unfixed thoughts over the destination. I must have covered about two miles and wanting to rest and also plan the next move, I sat on a roadside bench. My parents were not many stations away from the town of my in-laws. But I could not bring myself to go to them with the ignominy which was maliciously pinned on to me. I made a quick decision to go and stay for the time being at the place of one Kanchan Devi under whom I had learnt sewing, embroidery and knitting work. I went to the station—a down train was due in halfan hour. From the money which I had, I purchased a ticket for the town where she lived. The train arrived and boarding it. I alighted at the third station. It didn't take me long to reach Kanchan Devi's house which I knew. Kanchan Devi, an aged widow, received me with visible delight and surprise. I told her how I came to be ousted from the house by my husband and begged her to grant me refuge under her roof. She caressed and consoled me. At that time, she had a middle-aged lady guest from Bombay and her name was Kamini Devi. After a few days, Kanchan Devi advised me to go to Bombay with Kamini Devi and stay in her employ helping her in the sewing classes which she ran there. We both left for Bombay. Kancha Devi who provided me with a ticket and Rs.50/- in cash saw us off. I mentally resolved to repay her favors from my future earnings. We reached Bombay.
Kamini Devi's house was decent and she appeared to be staying alone. To ease my mental tensions, she took me out to several places of interest in the City. One Friday evening three young ladies came to meet Kamini Devi and they were introduced to me as College girls doing graduation courses and for a change I was asked to go and stay with them for a few days. I agreed and with a few new sets of clothing which Kamini Devi got for me, I left with the girls in a taxi to their house. There were two other teen-aged girls and an old lady. All the apartments were well kept with double beds in each of them. What startled me was that all the walls were full of nude portraits of foreign figures in erotic poses. Book-shelves were laden with hot sex literature in all languages. Strangely enough, the house ran no kitchen. The whole atmosphere of the house appeared to me gloomy and guileful. When my countenance began to sink in horror, two ladies came up to me and stroking my hairs told me that I should rejoice over my good luck for having been admitted as an inmate of a first-class public house. They also told me that each of them felt out of place in the beginning and that I would soon get used to the things like them. Their talks made no sense to me. Late in the evening the girls left me with the old lady. There were many male visitors to the house but all coming singly and hurriedly leaving after a brief stay. Everything appeared unusual to me. Sometime later, half a dozen tiffin boxes of food was brought by a man who appeared to be a Mohamedan. I refused to eat. My doubts were allayed by the old woman who falsely told me that he was a Brahmin like them all. We all dined and I retired to bed with the old lady.
Hiding my feelings of uneasiness I requested the old lady and others the next morning to take me back to Kamini Devi. They told me that Kamini Devi had left for Ooty and that she was not likely to return for another six months. That news chilled my spine and heightened my fears and apprehensions. In that state, I demanded them to plainly tell me who and what they were and what they intended doing with me. The old lady openly told me that I was purchased by them for Rs.3,500/ - and that they would make money from rich persons who would be canvassed to visit me periodically— hurriedly. I was promised a top class living and ample allowances. The impact which this hearing made on my head and heart I would leave it for your rational imagination. My remonstrations and protests had no effect on them. They appeared to be past adepts in dealing with unwilling persons like me. All the girls held me tight making my struggles impossible and I was injected with something. I began losing consciousness. When I regained my senses, I found myself in an under-ground cellar beneath the house —and I saw signs of my body having been abused. I cursed my sex and spent two days in that cell without food and sleep. More than immediate release from their net, I desired instant death.
For release from worldly pains, women generally resort to the painful means of jumping into the wells, setting kerosene fire to their bodies and sometimes self-poisoning. None of these modes were in my immediate reach.
There was a bucket full of water in the cell and the ceiling was only seven feet high I removed my saree, fastened it to one of the hooks on the ceiling beam. I twisted a nice noose at the other end of it. Then, keeping the bucket well in position-upside down. I stood on it and putting on the nose in my neck, I tightened it well and fastly kicked the bucket praying and willing to die by that masculine method of suicide. The sudden jolt shrinked the noose and the gripping squeeze which my neck received choked my wind-pipe. For want of oxygenation my face began to swell. My eyeballs, I felt, were rushing out of their sockets and sensed the tongue shooting out of my mouth. The pulse beats became faster and my heart thudded. Froth oozed out from my nostrils. The parts below waist-line became benumbed. The glandular nervous structure known as pineal gland which is centrally situated in the brain and is the seat of all sensations and emotions became unbearably hot and heavy-and all my senses became silent. I didn't know what happened thereafter-and how long I remained in that suspended and and suffocated state wanting to die. Slowly however, to mv utter consternation, I was returning to consciousness and began feeling human presence and the softness of the mattress on which I was lain. At last, when my eyes opened, I saw the old lady massaging me all over with cologne water. All the girls and two whiskered men of villainy looks were tacitly looking on. With, wet eyes I beseeched them to forthwith kill me. ''We have brought you here to make you live so that we may realize with dividends our monetary investment on you. So, forget all about dying and leaving," said one of the men. Thereafter, I was taken upstairs and kept there. Next day, I renewed my attempt to reach the kingdom of death by taking 11/2 tola of opium which I happened to find in one of the cupboards. Immediate emesis followed and I was promptly treated with strong antidotes. My attempt was that way foiled. A few days passed without events. The one thought that was uppermost in my mind was to enlist an early death from this embroiling earthly existence. While people are strenuously striving to live, I was seriously struggling to die. One morning, I saw a bottle containing twenty-three sleeping tablets placed on one of the side tables of the bed. I swallowed them in one gulp. That time also I began vomiting all at once and the inmates of the house requisitioned the services of a neighborly Doctor who administered into me few potent injections to neutralize the poisoning effect. I remained in a semi-coma for many hours then and became alright again. I was severely chastised and they sharply threatened to sell me off to some other ruffians in that line.
After failing in my third attempt to quit this world of woes and wails, I began to feel within that we come here to pay off past debts and to recover ancient credits and that they are inescapable. That apart, I also felt that this invaluable life has a definite purpose and that to cut it short would be most sinful.
With the passage of days, I resigned to the sinful situation which was masterly forced on to me and thus spent four months in that house of ill-fame. Numerous visitors from all walks of life came to me and I had to allow them to quench their sexual thirst for monetary consideration. There was a Sindhi man amongst the many who came to feed upon my fleshy beauty. This person began to take a singular interest in me. We came very close to each other and on an opportune day he took me out and we escaped to Calcutta. I was earlier promised to be taken and admitted into an ashram for widows. This knave, like Kanchan Devi, double-crossed and sold me to a Chinese brothel there for Rs.2,000/-. For one month prostitution was thrust upon me. By the grace of God I managed to desert that house of shame and went to Benares with a view to cleansing my inner and outer-self of the sinful past— through Ganges bath and Bhagwan's bhakli.
Thenceonwards. I moved from place to place in search of service and shelter. Many willing doors opened to me. But only because of my bewitching form. Persons young and old of different means volunteered to help and harbor me. But their offers were also not unmixed with devilish designs. Wherever I went, covetous eyes hovered on me. I was not allowed to peacefully sit or sleep anywhere. Very often, I had to seek the help of the Police to ward-off the intolerable approaches of the notorious. To my painful grief, most of the Policemen and junior officials came to my succour only to pierce me with embarrassing questions and pinch my parts with their corrupt fingers.
Inspite of all these despicable treatment which I suffered wherever I went. I always felt and feel that this God-created world is not as yet wholly empty of noble beings. But, sorting them out and growing in nobility under their subservient shadows appears to be beyond the reach of my ill-fate and I haven't as yet chanced to serve and salute them or stay and sanctify my life with them.
At last, I reached a city in Gujarat and gained an easy admission in an institution which in unknowledgeable circles enjoys good reputation of being a real and respectful house for women welfare In order to swell the funds of the Institute and a gay life for herself, the Lady-in-Charge, I observed, was playing the role of a prevailing procuress. Many inmates are lured or forced to act as temporary bed-mates to select rich men. That libellous lady had in her secret service some Lady Doctors who helped her in obviating pregnancy in the participating destitute women and at times in feticides. Unwilling Inmates of that hellish ashram, i found, were dealt with roughly and expelled from the institution adroitly. As I refused to dance to their debasing dictates, I was denied decent care and designedly driven away. Her nefarious activities reminds me of one of the ancient Kerala poets who illustrated in the following couplet the corrupt conduct of the social care-takers:
If the fence itself is to eat away the corn, Why should the cattle roam about the barn.
As before, I was again in the shunless streets and open sky. My past sufferings had reached a climax—for, with the eye of my exuberant and endangering experiences, I clearly saw the impossibility of my being able to pursue the path of personal purity with my beau-ideal bodily built amidst the morbid masculine society which is blank even in the elementary sense of self-restraint. So, I wantonly cut-off with a razor the tip of mv nose and inflicted more than few deep cuts on my cheeks, chin and forehead. Next, by permanently changing into tattered dirty clothes, I looked very ugly. To my relief and liking, excepting the deformed, everyone else abhorred my presence and appearance. With my switching on to eating food-finds from filthy dust-bins, road-sides and rail-tracks, even, the worst type chronic lepers now hate me. Beginning was too difficult—but with passive persistence I stuck on and am now able to go about this way treating the daily disease which hunger is. For the last two years I am fully free from fears and frets; and with the compassionate care of sun, moon, mother earth, air and aqua, I am faring well by the grace of nature—mentally chanting the blissful name of Lord God.
Some three years back I learnt that my father had passed away and that some professional pastors post haste exploited my widowed mother's religious sentiments and relieved her of Rs.10,000/-, a major portion of what my late father had left behind. My noble mother, I now learn is presently living in her new small house maintaining herself by running a small shop selling condiments, pickles, dehydrated vegetables, etc.
My voluntary wanderings brought my in touch with hundreds of young women of diverse social grades —thrown out in the streets like me. All of them told me that they suffered unbearable mental agony as married members under the arbitrary governance of misbehaving males. Their factual conclusion was that all codes of a harmonious married life and solemn sex standards were bygone songs in the present society. All the ideal vows which thousands of bride-grooms pretend to sincerely take before the holy-fire, Moulvis, or Pastors soon turn out to be meaningless affirmations reducing the sacred and expensive marriage ceremony to a daily mock-show—said they.
I am of the opinion that in communities which encourage and exact dowry, females are usually harassed, killed, thrown out or driven to commit suicide.
Even on a modest estimation 700 harassed house-wives commit suicide every year in United Gujarat alone —where the THROTTLING DOWRY system rules all matrimonial alliances.
Some time ago, Mrs. Pushpaben Mehta, Chairman, Gujarat Social Board revealed that over 70% of suicide cases in Gujarat are in truth PLANNED MURDERS.
Such being the general plight of Hindu women, if all of them—particularly the Gujaratis were to be given a free choice to choose their next birth, all of them would in unison opt for masculine birth. Yet, if in the God's order of rebirth, feminine frame is imperative, in that case, THEY WOULD ARDENTLY PRAY FOR BEING REBORN ANYWHERE BUT IN THE HINDU SOCIETY."
Her heart-rending story ended and I could see her feeling very much light. I then asked her to consider the desirability and usefulness of her going back to her mother who might be needing affectionate assistance—aged as she must be. Dharmishta Devi brushed aside the proposal on the plea that she might not be owned. As an alternative, I advised her to agree to stay in a family who valued aesthetic principles of life and I offered to take and place her in the soothing care of one such family — who I assured her would treat her kindly and that there she would be able to live with felicity and progressive purpose. She remained silent weighing my honorable hints. At last, she half-heartedly agreed to the latter.
By a short distance train travel I took her to the residence of a Town Officer whom I knew since long as a good-natured man of philanthropic disposition. The Officer readily consented to shelter and treat her as his sister. I left her there and went away. A week later, I had to pass that very town. I broke my journey there for fuelling and finding out as to how Dharmishta Devi fared. Just as I reached her foster brother’s house, to my bewilderment, I found her almost leaving. When she saw me, with her head hanging low, she greeted me with folded hands. Before I could ask her. She herself told me that after the second day of her entry into that house, the Officer had to send away his ailing wife to her parent's place. She then told me in a conveying way how that Officer who could not control his bestial cravings pressed her beggingly to share his bed on the previous night. Luckily for her, she said, that the presence of his grown-up daughter at home had saved her. When I asked the Officer to explain himself, he simply kept quiet and his face became small and shrunken — lit with shame. A little later, he appeared to feel genuinely sorry and fell prostrate at the feet of Dharmishta Devi imploring her forgiveness.
Her case was reminiscent of the Sanskrit saying that a bald man who to save his head from the scorching heat of the sun took refuge under a cocoanut tree's shade only to be hit hard on the barren surface of his head by the fall of a weighty cocoanut. That is, troubles follow and haunt the unfortunate wherever they go.
Later, I persuaded her to agree to be taken to her mother. She hesitantly consented. We caught a train and as the train was taking us to her mother's place, she told me that her one fervent prayer to 'Lord God was that, that if according to His scheme of things she is to be reborn as a human being, then, that she should be granted masculine birth plus all the requisite resources to effectively work for women's highest welfare.
We reached the town where Kalyani Devi, her mother lived. As arranged, I left Dharmishta Devi in the station and went to the house of her old mother. The house was locked I waited on till she returned from the Shiva's shrine. The old Kalyani Devi whose facial features were aglow with piety returned and received me respectfully and requested me to step into her house. The house was poor in mundane materials but rich in calm atmosphere. With an expedient ability, I explained to her the purpose of my visit. Irrepressible joy rose on her wrinkled face and she asked me to instantly take her to Dharmishta, her dear and discarded daughter.
I took her to the station. As we were nearing it, the sight of her mother enveloped Dharmishta Devi with glee springing out of the feeling of dependable deliverance from the Kanavish Kanchan and Kamini. She came running with outstretched hands and movingly merged herself in the protective plus peaceful embrace of Kalyani.
Helpless as she was, her silent sufferings and the most painful methods which she employed to keep herself pure—barring, of course, her triple attempts to commit suicide, was undoubtedly a sane course and in absolute accordance with the belaudable Buddhistic biddings.
When with substantial satisfaction I left that holy place of re-union of those two souls, I could not dismiss the opinion gathered from my observation in the society and summed up from Dharmishta Devi tragic and TOTALLY TRUTHFUL experiences of MASCULINE MALTREATMENT, that a great majority of MEN STAND TODAY EXEMPLIFIED IN CARNAL CRAVINGS SOAKING THEIR SOULS IN SULLYING SEXUAL SINS OF SHAME.
It has to be admitted that only those opulent persons who have suffered the pangs of poverty and who care to remember it, they alone can suitably serve the poor. Only the healthy Doctors can serve the sick—the literate alone can teach the illiterate and the happy alone can console the despondent. So also, IT IS BUT REASONABLE THAT ONLY A LADY WHO HAS SUFFERED ABUNDANTLY SERVE THE FEMININE FOLKS AND WORK FOR THEIR RENAISSANCE THROUGH A MALE PHYSICAL FRAME. AS SUCH, I EARNESTLY PRAY THAT THE ALL-MERCIFUL GOD BE PLEASED TO GRANT DHARMISHTA DEVI’S IDEAL ASPIRATION TO SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY, SO THAT SHE MAY LIVE AND UPLIFT THE LOT OF THE HINDU WOMEN AS DID SWAMI VIVEKANANDA, SWAMI DAYANAND SARASWATI AND DR. DARVE.  Amen