Dr. Indira Speaks

Medha Maithri’s meetings - 2

Gowri brought out how Sita asserted herself , refusing to listen to Rama , who advised her to stay back in Ayodhya and followed him to the forest. When aspersions were caused about her chastity she mocks Rama "How is it you want me to prove my chastity by Agnipravesha but are willing to accept Lava and Kucha as you're sons". She exposes the male chauvinism here and the flawed logic of Rama. By her exit from the world by self immolation she demonstrates her contempt for Rama skewed male logic.

Draupadi was the next character . The heroine of the great epic Mahabharata is given a unique status as the wife of the five Pandavas. This aspect of a life evoked a lot of interest as to how she managed to be the wife of five brothers but even managing one is difficult now! Her courage to question the elders in the assembly as to what right Yudhishtira had to pledge her when he himself had lost his freedom. The silence of the so called elders was openly criticised by her. She made no secret of her contempt for Bhishma for his studied silence at the time of her humiliation.

Buddha's wife , Yashodhara 's suffering was the next topic. Buddha went in search of the ultimate knowledge without even formally taking leave of her.

The last of the four women was Mira Bai known for her undying love and devotion to Lord Krishna . Her songs in his praise are sung even today. She underwent great physical and mental suffering but firmly stood her ground to reach her lord. The common thread in the history if these women is the enormous suffering faced by them. But , despite all this they stood firm in their resolve and demonstrated their unique identity .

Our epics and purana's are replete with glorious and interesting characters justifying the saying that if you have read Mahabharata you have learnt everything , if not , you are an ignorant , unfit to be a human .

All these seven years we have had a variety of programs and I would like to mention specially painter raconteur Balaji's Chitrakatha. He brought our interesting facets of Jain mythology in the caves near Kancheepuram. Out members continue to be enthusiastic about all the programs and attendance is always nearly full. Even though we have male resource persons and invitees we have no plans to include male members . We have imposed a self restriction on the membership because most if the meetings are held in members houses and we would like to have more free interaction between the speaker and the audience , which is the most unique aspect of our association.

Dr Indira Ramanathan

Concluded

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