Shashtrarth: How to decide on women at Shani Temple

Yesterday was actually one of my best days on this blog so far. I put my views out there and I got serious feedback from those who disagreed with me. Honestly, yesterday when I wrote my post

I felt a little trapped by the likes of Kavitha Krishnan. Trapped between 2 issues:

(1) My own insistence on gender equality in all walks of life

(2) Maintaining the autonomy of Hindus with regard to their diverse traditions.

Okay…okay…I would be dishonest if I didn’t mention the third thing that trapped me 🙂

(3) The need to sound smart and act like I know the answer to every single issue 🙂 Cmon, so I got a little puffed up by the daily comments appreciating my posts 🙂

So, what I want to say today is this: if you disagree with me, please please be sure to comment. And of course, please be sure to also keep the praise filled comments  coming in 🙂 Your encouragement is simply invaluable.

Okay, so like light at the end of the tunnel, we had this great comment from Rajinder Sharma yesterday explaining how the rich Hindu intellectual tradition of “Shastrarth” can be used to answer questions on specific customs of specific temples. Hindu customs are rich, diverse and varied and whenever there is disagreement, we can resolve it the Hindu way. This is the way of Adi Shankara himself. It is very important to realize that a “Shastrartha” is not a religious court like, say a Saudi Sharia court, but a debate where a consensus has to be reached at the end. The reason that we Hindus are not bound to any specific book is precisely because of this tradition of debate. And any time is the best time to revive this spectacular tradition and set an example for the whole world.

Here is Rajinder Sharma’s comment:

CW, I have been an ardent admirer of your posts and have made it a habit of reading each one, though of course I do not comment very often. But today, I wish to express rebuttal of your hypothesis.
Through the last few days the brouhaha on the Shani temple has attracted national attention, and terms like gender discrimination, constitutional provisions, right to equality, patriarchal male psyche, Supreme Court strictures and such similar phrases are being used incessantly to misinform the people that Hinduism discriminates against half of its followers, and that the agitating women are rightfully fighting against malpractices inherent in Hindu culture and for their due right. The situation is further exacerbated by high decibel media cacophony, desirous of creating perpetual fissures in Hindu society in the name of injustice to half of its followers. The other night I was watching a TV debate on NewsX, wherein one participant went to the extent of saying that Shastras were also written by patriarchal male who wanted to exert their hegemony on their female counterpart.
To start with this rebuttal, I wish to draw your as well as other readers’ attention to a fundamental question, “What is Dharma” or in European or Abrahamic terms “What is religion”. The Chrislamic religions have their specific books containing governing principles of their religion, and any deviation from those is sacrilege. However, the fundamental principles of Hindu Dharma are not restricted to a single book. There are a number of books, the Vedas, the Shastras, the Puranas etc, which contain multiple guiding principles of Hindu Dharma. The combined wisdom of all these scriptures is what we call Hinduism. If someone challenges the very essence of these scriptures as fabrications and creations of some patriarchal males, what is left of Dharma. After all there must be some specific governing principles of the Dharma, otherwise, what is Dharma? If any one denies the wisdom, the virtue, the teachings of these, how can he claim to be a Hindu? He could be a Hindu by birth, but not by practice, for, he does not trust the very foundations of Hinduism. He can best be called an Athiest. And how can such a person, devoid of any faith in Hinduism, assert his or her right to Pooja of Deity, which he does not believe in. Because, the Deity – Shani here – is a deity because these holy books, scriptures and age old Hindu tradition assert the existence of the Deity there. If you do not believe in these traditions, scriptures, how can you believe in Deity, for Deity is what faith of countless Hindus, due to revelations of Scripture and Traditions, have made it to be so. A place of Hindu worship and reverence is not a picnic spot, nor can it be made a ground for asserting constitutional rights. It is holy, sacrosanct, and any one who does not believe in the sanctity and inviolability of Deity, cannot and should not be allowed inside the temples.
I would further wish to state that this temple is the property of that Village, and not a property of the state. It does not get any financial help from the state, so how can state or anyone else lay claim to it. The decision regarding allowing entry to the temple should be exclusively left to the people of the village. No one has a right to force entry into the temple.
Lastly I would also like to add that Hindu Dharma has a rich heritage and history of Shastrarth, spiritual and religious debate, whereby the differing opinions regarding meaning of scriptures and traditions are debated and then on the basis of such debate, a consensus is reached, which is accepted by all the opposing factions. So, in this case also, a Shastrarth should be held, wherein people learned in Scriptures and Hindu traditions should sit together and arrive at a decision. Such interpretations can be made only by such learned people, not by courts, who do not possess the adequate knowledge of these scriptures. The matter is beyond the scope of judicial wisdom – Judges are common men with no special knowledge of Scriptures, and hence cannot be entrusted to adjudicate upon such immensely sensitive matter. Further, in the interest of Hinduism, ardent Hindus should avoid debating on TV channels, because TV channels are bent on discrediting and denigrating Hinduism for their nefarious, vicious agenda against Hindu culture and ethos. So, let us not let any vested interests to despise, demean or disparage Hinduism. All TV channels ascribing to anti Hindu agenda, should be mercilessly and relentlessly boycotted.

Thanks Rajinder. Hope you comment more often.






28 thoughts on “Shashtrarth: How to decide on women at Shani Temple

  1. Someone should bring up the fact that non-Muslims are not allowed to enter Mecca and Medinah and demand that access should be granted to non-Muslims.Would love to see the reaction of the liberals then.In their world,all Hindus are casteist,oppressive,misogynistic and evil but all Muslims are paragons of virtue.


  2. Thanks CW for accepting my view point. I can assure you that your indefatigable and sincere efforts in exposing the hypocrisy of the Pseudo Liberal, Sickular brigade against RW thought and ethos shall attract many like me. Patience and perseverance is the key to success. Wish you success in your endeavours.


  3. Chaiwallah and Rajinder Sharma well done!

    A search for Shastrartha led me an article were Adi Shankaracharya challenged the Buddhists monks to enter in ‘Shastrartha’.

    Excerpt from the article.

    “India has been the cradle of many Faiths and Religions but Hinduism is rooted deep, far deep. Invaded, converted, coveted and perverted time and again it ultimately stands as a gigantic tree, firm in its moorings amidst the storms of time. What most the storms could do was to snatch away some leaves and pluck down some twigs.

    At such a declining stage of Hinduism when most of its old adherents were fleeing to Buddhism, a unique personality was born in India known to all by the name of Shankaracharya who was hailed by his followers as “Jagadguru” (the teacher of the world) and was believed to be an incarnation of one of the Trinity[1], Lord Shankar. A matchless scholar of all the times, Shankaracharya devoted his time and energy to the reinstatement of the lost glory of Hinduism and in his extensive campaign he also reached the city of Puri and challenged the Buddhists monks to enter in ‘Shastrartha'[2] with him. None of them could withstand his wisdom nor could anyone compete with him in logical inferences and, as per the condition of the debate, they accepted Hinduism.”


  4. Agreed with both CW and Mr. Sharma. Discussion is key to the success of Hinduism. I feel that to be more politically acceptable and effective, the village women should have been in the forefront to oppose ‘Nautanki’ by Trupti Desai and her ‘paid’ companions.


  5. Chaiwala,Kudos to you for sharing such insightful thoughts.Thanks rajinder. Frankly, I do not have much knowledge, but by reading all these thoughts it really gives me immense happiness,energy and a proud moment about Hinduism.keep it up.


  6. ‘My own insistence on gender equality in all walks of life’…..CW my take on this is as follows,

    We have been subliminal brain washed to think there should be gender equality but nature/ god never intended it to be like that!

    God has NOT created everybody the same.

    Firstly he made man and woman .

    No matter how much a woman says she is equal to man , she cannot be .

    If any woman disagrees, please point out one animal or bird or mammal where the female gender is more intelligent, beautiful or stronger than the male gender .

    Male Olympics records are better that that of the female category.  A master tailor is a man. A master cook is a man.  Almost all inventions have been made by man.


    1. I just want to point out I really like CW for his thoughtful blogs. I was very disappointed to however read the comments posted by this particular individual. I am a woman and am disagreeing with you. Just to correct your opinion that man are better because of Olympic records and physical attributes really shows your ignorance about the essence of our culture. If you are saying God has not created everyone equal, are you silly enough to say all man are the same and all woman are the same.
      Just to point to point out God did create man and woman as complementary to each other not as competitors as depicted by Shiva and Shakthi. Unfortunately it is really thoughtless comments like yours which is hurting true essence of Hinduism and men off course.


      1. Dear Shruthi,
        Welcome to commenting on this blog. In fact, we do not have many female commenters here and it is very important and refreshing to have a female point of view. I hope you comment more often.



      2. In Hindusim women are equal to man.

        Brahma , Vishnu and Shiva are powerless without their consorts.

        The trinity is a COSMIC ALLEGORY personalized for human consumption.

        Though Shakti is not co-existent with Purusha, ( Shiva ), she requires his presence to keep the cosmos functioning smoothly.   Shiva ( Purusha/ brahmAn ) , though he wields unlimited power, he cannot create the universe without the Eternal Life Force of Shakti to back him.  

        The concept of Ardhanarishvara clearly brings out the fact that Prakriti (Shakti) and Purusha (Shiva) are nothing without each other and one cannot exist and function in the absence of the other.

        Purusha ( Brahman / morphogenetic consciousness field / Shiva ) is static .  Shakti ( pragati) is the dynamic side of Brahman.


    2. M M Srinivas,

      I would suggest caution here . It is better to follow the line of ‘ Living as per Relevant Competence ( in any situation) and respective areas of strength and avoiding discrimimation of any kind be it caste, religion or gender’ instead of generalizing. There are always exceptions and it does not take much for exceptions to be deemed as norms.


      1. Of course I agree with you..the intension was not to generalizes…also I am aware that these is a taboo subject in the present generation….but then I was simply stating how nature intended it to be. Also knew that I will stir up a hornet’s nest by writing this.


  7. Somebody who was pissed off with feminist wrote this …to be taken with a pinch of salt and also see the lighter side!!

    “A woman wakes up in the morning, in a house built by men. She starts the water to boil on a stove built by men, and sits at a chair and table, put there by men, to read a newspaper written, in part, by women but printed and delivered by men. She nibbles some toast, made from grains, grown and harvested by men, whoops –
    Time to take a shower. She turns a faucet handle installed by a man, and lo and behold – out comes HOT water, delivered by a vastly complicated water system, built by men. She drives to work in a car built by men, on roads built by men, powered by petroleum, drilled and refined and delivered by men.
    She arrives at an office building built by men. Walks to her desk, fires up her computer, and glances out her window at a city built by men – full of potential customers for her service business. Out of the corner of her eye, a table in the conference room, that seems awkwardly out of place, snags her attention. She strokes her ear lobe. At that moment, the janitor scoots by in the hallway.
    “Bob! Oh Bob. Could you PLEASE move that table, further into the corner. You’re such a dear.” She pins him, with a delectable, and utterly phony smile. Bob, oblivious to the cheapness of the words, and falseness of the smile thrilled to get any attention at all, from such an attractive person pitches right in. And as he lugs one corner of the heavy table,across the carpet,she Exhales a comfortable sigh.
    Her day, has begun.
    She will spend the next 8 to 10 hours telling OTHER people, what to do. That’s HER understanding of work. This creature, who has NO idea WHERE things come from, HOW they are made, and has not the slightest knowledge, about HOW the world works, has been put in CHARGE of it because there is really nothing else, of any specific value, she COULD be doing.

    If she lived in a world built by women,she would be sitting in a tent, watching her breath in front of her face, stitching animal hides. But, she lives in a world BUILT, almost ENTIRELY, by men and, AMAZINGLY, she has NOT the SLIGHTEST appreciation, or GRATITUDE for that fact.
    She never even stops to THINK about it. Never stops to think, that if all the things men make and do, were MAGICALLY removed, right now she would plodding through a MUDDY SWAMP, looking for red-wing blackbird eggs.

    She thinks the world is made out of proper grammar, and attractive clothing, and polite conversation, and correct opinions instead of rivets and concrete and copper and petroleum. From the day she picked up her first teaspoon, she has been learning how to manipulate the things men provide, as if they were put in front of her by God or Mother Nature. She has NO IDEA what men actually do. Yet, according to her, and the media she consumes, men are assholes.

    When I think of the men – the lumberjacks, and truck drivers, and paper mill workers, and printers, and deliverymen, the men who have to get up early, every morning, and do VERY hard jobs, so that Ellen Goodman, and Maureen Dowd, and other feminist blowhards, can sit in their climate controlled offices, shitting out editorials about what assholes, men are when I think of those women, walking on the backs of all those men, I want to start BOMBING things.
    Let’s bomb them all the way back to the unheated tent, and the muddy swamp, and see what they complain about THEN. Maybe they’ll start writing editorials, about how women should start doing, REAL work. Not just OFFICE WORK.
    85% Homeless Are Men – Men Drafted For WAR & Women NOT – 4 of 5 suicides are Men – 19 of 20 people who die on job are Men. Men NOT regarded as Equal Parents.
    Now hear this…
    Men are now,and always have been, the protectors and providers for women men are NOT NOW, and NEVER HAVE been, the oppressors of women.
    The simple proof of that being, that women are not now, and never have been,OPPRESSED. It’s all un-preposterous lie. Nowhere in history do the oppressed, live longer, and have more money, than their oppressors.”


      1. Totally. Feminists just want to create a divide between mother and son. Literally. There was even some celebrity feminist who said that mothers loving their sons is a way for the patriarchy to trap women.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s