Conservative or Liberal?

From a layman’s point of view, the Vedic culture may seem to delineate quite conservative social boundaries for women. Some may call this restriction, oppression, even subjugation, but one could also see it as a symbol of respect. The woman plays one of the most important roles in society. They are giving birth to and nurturing the future generation. These children will be tomorrow’s leaders, and the wellbeing and prosperity of society rests upon them. It’s no small task – for the woman or the child.

When the president attends a social function he is surrounded by numerous security staff and bodyguards. This is not because he is regarded as incapable, irresponsible or weak. It is in fact, quite the opposite. The protection is a sign of the reverence and appreciation that society holds for his position and responsibility. The president readily accepts such arrangements, knowing them to be for his personal protection and simultaneously favourable for the execution of his duties. The Vedic culture unhesitatingly gave the same status to women.

Whenever any culture is analyzed it is imperative that we understand the goal behind it. If you see a shopper at Tesco’s dressed in a spacesuit it may well raise a few eyebrows. However, if you go to a NASA space station and see a similarly dressed person stepping into a shuttle you won’t blink an eyelid. Why? In the second scenario, the culture, the goal and how they link together is extremely clear. Life’s ultimate goal is to understand we are all spirit souls – man or woman, black or white, it’s all inconsequential. The culture of the Vedas aims to create a peaceful, progressive and supportive environment within which everyone can fully utilise their opportunity to achieve life’s ultimate goal. Although the psycho-physical traits of our bodies are undoubtedly temporary, to acknowledge and address them is extremely important in everyone’s spiritual journey.

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