The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
of women.  Whether treated by men with respect or with disdain, women are seen to turn the heads and agitate the hearts of men.[272] Living creatures, O thou of mighty arms, are virtuous.  Even this is what has been heard by us. (How then, can this be consistent with fact)?  For treated with affection and respect or otherwise, women (forming a fair portion of living creatures) are seen to deserve censure for their conduct towards men.[273] This great doubt fills my mind, viz., when their behaviour is such, what man is there that can restrain them within the bounds of righteousness?  Do thou explain this to me, O highly blessed scion of Kuru’s race!  It behoves thee to tell me, O chief of Kuru’s race, whether women are truly capable of being restrained within the bonds prescribed by the scriptures or whether any one before our time did really succeed in so restraining them.’”

SECTION XL

“Bhishma said, ’It is even so as thou sayest, O thou of mighty arms.  There is nothing untrue in all this that thou sayest, O thou of Kuru’s race, on the subject of women.  In this connection I shall recite to thee the old history of how in days of yore the high-souled Vipula had succeeded in restraining women within the bounds laid down for them.  I shall also tell thee, O king, how women were created by the Grandsire Brahman and the object for which they were created by Him.  There is no creature more sinful, O son, than women.  Woman is a blazing fire.  She is the illusion, O king, that the Daitya Maya created.  She is the sharp edge of the razor.  She is poison.  She is a snake.  She is fire.  She is, verily, all these united together.  It has been heard by us that all persons of the human race are characterised by righteousness, and that they, in course of natural progress and improvement, attain to the status of deities.  This circumstance alarmed the deities.  They, therefore, O chastiser of foes, assembled together and repaired to the presence of the Grandsire.  Informing Him of what was in their minds, they stood silent in his presence, with downcast eyes.  The puissant Grand sire having ascertained what was in the hearts of the deities, created women, with the aid of an Atharvan rite.  In a former creation, O son of Kunti, women were all virtuous.  Those, however, that sprang from this creation by Brahman with the aid of an illusion became sinful.  The grandsire bestowed upon them the desire of enjoyment, all kinds of carnal pleasure.  Tempted by the desire of enjoyment, they began to pursue persons of the other sex.  The puissant lord of the deities created Wrath as the companion of Lust.  Persons of the male sex, yielding to the power of Lust and Wrath, sought the companionship of women.  Women have no especial acts prescribed for them.  Even this is the ordinance that was laid down.  The Sruti declares that women are endued with senses the most powerful, that they have no scriptures to follow, and that they are living lies. 

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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