What is ‘Sthree'?
The word “Sthree” is a Sanskrit term. It means ‘Women', woman is a manifestation of shakti, the illusory power of the lord. She is a Chaitanya maya. She is Durga or kali in manifestation. She is a faithful companion of man and his life partner. ‘Sthree' charms man with her beauty, sweet voice, grace and ingrained devotion and spirit of service. The whole charm of a mans earthly life is centered in a woman.
What is ‘Dharma'?
‘Dharma' means duty. Its moral actions that elevate a man or woman to the status of divinity and best of on him or her final beatitude of life which is liberation from the rounds of births and death.
‘Pati' means ‘husband' and ‘Vrata' means ‘vow'- Pativratam is a great vow for a woman. A Partivrata is a chaste woman who have taken the vow of ‘pativratam' who sticks to her Partivrata Dharma, even at the risk of her own life. Who is faithfully devoted to her husband, who she worships him as a lord and who serves him with all her heart, mind and soul.
‘Now coming to the special religious duties of the married ladies. Those married ladies, who are our followers, should serve their husband by treating him like God despite the abuses received from them or their disabilities like blindness, sickness, poverty or impotency. They should not say pinching words to them.' (Shikshapatri slokh, 159)
For a Partivrata her husband is her all-in-all he is her soul, refuge, protector, survivor and god. She defines him and adores him day and night, If a women protects her Partivrata Dharma she attains purity of heart and enjoys supreme peace immortality and eternal bliss. A sensible cultured devoted and pious woman is Lakshmi of the home, that home is heaven where the husband and wife are harmoniously united by the chord of pure love, where both study religious books etc. A devoted woman is rare flower on earth a blessing to the home and a brilliant jewel of the family. A virtuous wife is a jewel to her husband.
The ideal women is one who manages the home efficiently, looks after and comforts her husband and serves him as her god who trains her children to become good citizens, who leads chaste and virtuous life, who plays the noble and important part of a good wife
1. A chaste wife never eats before her husband
2. She should not look at any male with a lustful heart
3. She should not site in a solitary place with young men
4. She should not expose any part of her body People who do not do Pativrata and Dharma they have no satisfaction, its there unborn nature, jealousy, hatred, pride, hypocrisy, suspicion, intolerance and crookedness are some of the common evil qualities in a women.
Dharma for widows is harder but should be strictly followed; the dharma for a widow is like the dharma of a sannyasin. The former meditates on the form of her husband with divine feelings.
After death of the husband is observed celibacy until the end of your life.
1. She should never think of another man but her departed husband.
2. Live with your mind under perfect control
3. Do not wear any jewelry or luxurious clothes
4. Where simple white clothes •Take one meal a day with fruit and milk at night
5. Don't mix with men and lustful women who always talk on worldly matters
6. Sleep on the coarse mattress on the ground
7. Do not attend marriage functions
Too many husbands, there wife's have become their curusan account of the devotion and purity. If any man treats his wife as a slave or subordinate and thinks she is meant for cooking and procreation only then it is a heinous or unpardonable crime.
Now talking about the special religious duties of widowed ladies. They should serve Lord Krishna and should obey the orders of their father and sons and should not act at their own free will' Shikshapatri slokh (161)
Story on “Gandhari”
Gandhari was the daughter of Raja Sulab, who was the ruler of Gandhara (now known as Kandahar in Afghanistan ). In the days depicted in the Mahabharata the whole of India was ruled by the Aryans and there was no other race, cult or religion in India . Gandhari was a beautiful girl of a very good character and possessed many divine qualities. She preformed austerities and worshiped lord Shiva in her childhood. The lord was highly pleased with her devotion and granted her the born of a hundred sons.
Dhritarashtra was the eldest son of Kuru family. But as he was blind, his younger brother Pandu ruled the kingdom under the guidance of Bhishma. Though Dhritarashtra was blind he knew well all the Dharma shastras, Vedas, Puranas and even the Dhanurvidya. When Bhishma came to know that Raja Sulab of Gandhara had a daughter who had received the boon of one hundred sons from lord Shiva, he requested Raja Sulab to give her to the Kuru family in marriage. After considering the glory of the Kuru ruler ship and their heroic deeds, Raja Sulab decided to give his daughter to Dhritarashtra, even thought he knew him to be blind.
When Gandhari came to know that she would be wedded to Dhritarashtra, who was born blind, she at once tied a piece of cloth around her eyes, saying ‘when my husband is blind and cannot enjoy fully objects of the world, I also being an Aryan girl, should abstain from those pleasures. I should lead a life according to the teachings of the Shastras and follow in the footsteps of my ancestors. I must keep up the dignity of our family'.
She remained blindfolded throughout her life. Yet she did all sorts of service to her husband and elders with the help with servants. Her husband and all the members of the Kuru family were very pleased with her refined conduct, noble behavior and untiring service to them.
Verily, she was a true Pativrata. She was an ideal lady with all the divine qualities. She was a personification of ideal womanhood. Every women should try to follow the noble ideal of Gandhari is she wishes to be happy and peaceful. women should try to follow the noble ideal of Gandhari is she wishes to be happy and peaceful.