Sri Sathya Sai Message on First Ladies Day Celebrations at Prasanthi Nilayam

Sunday, November 19, 1995

Bhagavan chose to celebrate 19th November as Ladies Day. Ladies Day was celebrated at Prasanthi Nilayam on 19th November 1995 for the first time. 
Sri Sathya Sai leading the Ladies Day procession
Swami gave a Discourse to the ladies at Poornachandra Auditorium. He said:

In this infinite universe, among the myriads of living beings humanity is eminent. Among human beings, it is a privilege to be born as a woman. There are many examples to demonstrate the preeminence of women.

Was not Rama born as a Divine incarnation in Kaushalya's womb? Did not Lava and Kusha (the twins) become great because they were born to Seeta? Was it not Jijabai's loving care which made Shivaji great? Was it not Putlibai's piety which made Gandhi a Mahatma? All the greater sages, and saints, heroes and warriors were born to women "who made them great". Woman is the Goddess of Nature...

Women should be revered

From ancient times the feminine aspect of the Divine has been worshipped in various ways. The Veda declares that where women are honoured and esteemed, there divinity is present with all its potency. Unfortunately today men consider it demeaning to honour women. This is utterly wrong and is a sign of ignorance.

Stree (Woman) is Grihalakshmi (the Goddess of Prosperity for the home). She is hailed as Dharmapatni (the virtuous spouse). She is called - Illalu (the mistress of the house) and Ardhaangi (the better half). People gloat over petty titles conferred on them. But women have
been conferred the highest titles which are valid for all time. A home 'without a woman is a jungle.

Men should realise the high status of women and honour and respect them accordingly. They should not make women weep and shed tears. A home where the woman sheds tears will be ruined. Men should give an honourable place for women and lead a respectable life.

The archetypal woman is described as Adi Shakti (the primal source of all energy) having a whole array of powers. She is hailed as the mother of the Amritasyaputraah (children of immortality).

The Trigunas in the word "Stree"

The word Stree is made up of three, consonants, "Sa", "Ta" and "Ra". "Sa" signifies the Sattvic nature of women. It represents also the triple aspects of experiencing divinity Saalokyam (vision of the Divine), Saameepyam (proximity) and Saayujyam (mergence). "Tha" signifies the Tamasic quality. But this Tamasic quality is' not indolence and slothfulness. It includes qualities like humility, kindness and modesty. This means that women begin with qualities like meekness and-modesty so that they may serve the family and society in the right spirit. There is a saying in Andhra Pradesh: "Judge a house by its mistress."

"Ra" represents the Rajoguna. This does not mean pugnacity and querulousness. This quality signifies the preparedness of women, where necessary, even to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their honour and the honour of their family. Bharat's history is full of examples of women who fought valiantly and gave' up their lives to protect their husbands and their honour. Stree thus represents the combination of the three Gunas. Woman, who should be highly honoured for these qualities, is being treated as a Abala (weaker vessel) and assigned an inferior status. It will not be out of place to mention here that women who have wielded power in Bharat or other countries have proved themselves to be exceptionally able and successful... 

There are several organizations which are being run by women with great dedication and zeal for the benefit of the people. Valmiki extolled the sweetness of womanhood. What is the cause of, this sweetness? The spirit of sacrifice is the cause, according to Valmiki.

Spirit of sacrifice is found-only in women
Sri Sathya Sai with senior members of the Mahila Vibhag at the Poornachandra Auditorium
A mother is ready to sacrifice everything even her life, for the sake of her child. Such a spirit is to be found only among women. If a child is grievously ill, the father may say that the child may as well die. But the mother will try to save the child at any cost. It is for this reason, that woman is described as Tyagamurti, the embodiment of sacrifice. Men do not have the same spirit of sacrifice as women. Men may present a heroic pose, but do not have the determination and perseverance to carry on the struggle to the end. Valmiki described woman as the Bhakti Swaroopini (embodiment of devotion). Man was described as Jnana Swaroopa. The Jnani has limited access to the Divine mansion. But the woman devotee has access to innermost apartments. The preeminent status accorded to women will be evident from all the ancient scriptures.

In this context the role of women as mothers should be understood. The great hero, Shivaji, was moulded entirely by the teachings of his mother. Rama was taught by his mother Kaushalya to follow the sacred path of Dharma. The lives of the great show to what extent they were the products of their mothers. Gandhiji became a staunch adherent of truth after a lesson he learnt from his mother, who could not bear her son telling a lie even to make her break her fast.

It is the mothers who make their children take to the right path, not so much the fathers. Today we find the father's teaching the children to utter lies. For instance, when the telephone rings in the house, the father who is in the house tells his son to inform the caller that the father is not at home.

The practice of fathers allowing the sons to go astray has a long ancestry. It started in the Dwapara Yuga with Dhritarashtra, father of Duryodhana. Whatever evil deeds his son did, Dhritarashtra used to say he was a good man. Fathers who allow their sons to go astray are not real fathers at all. Prahlada observed: "Only he is father who advises the son to seek God. Only he is a true guru who instructs the pupil about God."

The mother is the first preceptor for the child
The Divine Mother Sai
Mothers in ancient days used to teach, the children about right conduct, morality and devotion. The first preceptor for a child is the mother. For this reason, Bharatiya culture gave the first place to the mother among the four persons to be revered as divine: mother, father, guru and guest. The mother gets the first place because she bears the child in the womb for nine months and nourishes him with her own blood.

Even in mentioning the names of deities, the first place is given to the goddess, as in Seeta-Rama, Parvati-Parameshwara and Lakshmi-Narayana and the reason for the feminine, name getting priority is she is Prakriti Swaroopini - the embodiment of Prakriti (nature). The implication in this usage, is that you should realise God through the-propitiation of Prakriti.

Earn the blessings of the mother

In this world, all things are transient. Only righteousness and good name endure. How is one to acquire a good name? By revering the mother. Never go against the wishes of the mother. The son who causes pain to the mother' can never' be happy. Hence, earn the blessing of the mother.

In this context, it should be noted that Russians observe December 8th as Ladies Day. On that day the women have free time. The men have to do the cooking. The women go out to do service in hospitals and other places.

Men and women have to understand each other so that they can live in harmony, in the family. Today people want to live happily but not to lead ideal lives. Parents, for instance, do not set a good example to the children. In the modern age, the father does not instruct the children properly and the children do not pay heed to the words of the mother. The vast majority of fathers today behave like Dhritarashtra. Where there are some good children, leading a pious life, the fathers rebuke them, saying, "Have you gone crazy? Don't take part in Bhajans or social service." Parents who behave in this manner are like Hiranyakashyap, who could not tolerate his son worshiping Hari. Today we have many parents like Dhritarashtra and Hiranyakashyap, but few who encourage, their children to adhere to righteousness.

Children today do not relish edifying works like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavatam. They waste their time on reading trash. Parents should see that children do not read bad books. Now, for a few words of advice to women. It is found that women are given to excessive talking. From today you have to take a pledge not to indulge in talking. Women are found talking not only, in the auditorium but even in the Bhajan Mandir. Men are fond of strolling around as they please, They observe no restraints as to where they should not go and what places they should avoid. If women observe restraint in speech and men control their movements, it will be good for both.

Ladies day should be observed every year

If the nation has to prosper, improvement must start with the parents. Without peace and harmony at home, there can be no peace in the nation. This message should be propagated throughout the country on every November 19th, by observing it as Ladies Day. You should teach people how to run their homes well and how to bring up children on right lines. You must deal calmly and tactfully with the men, if they are no cooperating. Though Ravana was evil-minded, his noble wife, Mandodari, tried to correct him as much as possible. She advised him strongly not to keep Seeta in Lanka, but to restore her to Rama.

From today learn to see the good in others and examine your own defects. Thereby you will benefit both ways. Those who go about finding faults in others are like dogs which go after cast off shoes.

Call to women

Mistakes may sometimes be committed in the organization. See that they do not recur. Buddha learnt the proper lesson through a single experience of seeing an old man, a sick man and a dead corpse. He understood the entire nature of human existence from this. People today have similar experiences over and over again. But their minds remain unchanged. Every experience should bring out a change. For years you listen to Swami's discourses. How many have changed? How many have developed good qualities? Very few indeed. Develop pure thoughts wherever you may be. Only then your visit to Prasanthi Nilayam at great expense would have served a purpose. 

As today is a sacred day dedicated to women, they should change themselves and help to change the men and the children. They should develop the qualities of sympathy, compassion; love and sacrifice. Study the lives of our great women, who were models of patience, fortitude, compassion and sacrifice. I desire that you should take up the reins of leadership and bring peace and prosperity to the nation by leading ideal lives."

After Bhagavan’s Discourse, Smt. Anjali Devi and Smt. P. Suseela presented a cultural programme. The video of the entire programme can be viewed here:

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