7. Bible Denigrates Women, Vedas Elevate Them



(i) Biblical God curses all women

The women have been belittled, humiliated and denigrated by the following verse of the Holy Bible, in which Biblical God has cursed all women that He will multiply their sorrow and they will endure pain of child-birth and that their husbands shall rule over them because of their no fault but that of their first grandmother Eve eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Will any educated woman believe in and approve of being ruled by her husband as declared by Biblical God in Bible ? Here is the relevant verse :

43. ‘16. Unto the woman he (God) said, 1 will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’

- Genesis, 3/16

That is why in nineteenth century some Christian priests opposed the use of anesthetics at the time of child-birth on the plea that it would amount to the transgression of the so called divine will under which woman must endure pain of child-birth. It was only when Queen Victoria had anestheties at the time of her child-birth, that it was allowed to be used commonly. In this connection Bertrand Russell, the renowned philosopher, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1950, writes :

‘One occasion for the logical intervention to prevent the mitigation of human suffering was the discovery of anaesthetics. Simpson in 1847 recommended their use in child birth, and was immediately reminded by the clergy that God said to Eve (Bible, Genesis, III: 16) : ‘In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children.’‘

- Bertrand Russell

Christian priests condemn birth control. In their opinion, women are machines to produce more and more children to increase the population of their co-religionists. Bertrand Russell states :

_’Most of clergymen condemn birth control None of them condemns the brutality of a husband who causes his wife to die of too frequent pregnancies. I knew a fashionable clergyman whose wife had nine children in nine years. The doctors told him that if she had another she would die. Next year she had another and died. No one condemned,. he retained his benefice and married again.’_48

- Bertrand Russell

‘The second century St. Clement of Alexandria wrote :

_Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman.’_49

- St Clement

Lutherans at Wittenberg debated whether women were really human beings at all.50

(ii) Woman was created for man, not man for woman

The New Testament states that originally man did not spring from woman, but woman was made out of man, and that woman was not created for woman’s sake, but for the sake of man.

44. ‘8. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.’

- I Corinthians, 11/8

45. ‘9. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.’

- I Corinthians, 11/9

In 1977, Pope Paul VI explained :

_’Women were barred from the priesthood because our Lord was a man.’_51

- Pope Paul VI

(iii) Christ is the head of man, but not of woman

The New Testament states that the head of every man is Christ, but he is not the head of woman. She is headed by man, not Christ. It indicates that woman does not enjoy equal status according to Holy Bible. Here is the relevant text :

46. ‘3. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.’

- I Corinthians, 11/3

(iv) Women must remain under domination of men

The New Testament ordains women to remain under domination of men. They should not teach, nor usurp authority over men, but to remain in silence with all subjection. Read the following five verses :

47. ‘11. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.’

- I Timothy, 2/11

48. ‘12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to he in silence.’

- I Timothy, 2/12

49. ‘13. For Adam was First formed, then Eve.’

- I Timothy, 2/13

50. ‘14. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.’

- I Timothy, 2/14

51. ‘24. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.’

- Ephesians, 5/24

When Christian monks in the fourth century hacked the great scholar Hypatia to death with oyster shells, St. Cyril explained that it was because she was an iniquitous (wicked) female who had presumed, against God’s commandments, to teach men.52

Elizabeth Cady Stanton observes :

‘I know of no other book (barring the Bible) that so fully teaches the subjection and degradation of woman.’

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton

(v) Submission of wives to husbands

Again the New Testament declares that God considers it as fit and proper that wives should submit themselves to their own husbands. Here is the text :

52. ‘18. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own Husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.’

_- Colossians, 3/18 _

It is a matter of agony and amazement that the State has played the role of agent and slave of the Church in subjugation of woman. In this connection Ms Matilda Joslyn Gage, an American writer, states :

_’The State, agent and slave of the Church, has so long united with it in suppression of woman’s intelligence, has so long preached of power to man alone, that it has created an inherited tendency, an inborn line of thought toward repression.’_53

- Matilda Joslyn Gage

Dante (1265-1321), the greatest poet of Italy, continuously fought against the political aggression of the Papacy. In this connection, John Bond, the noted American journalist, writes

_’The great poet Dante, a thoroughly orthodox Catholic, consistently fought against the political aggression and against the wild claims of the Papacy. Consequently he was driven into perpetual exile and condemned to ‘be burnt until dead’ in case of capture. His famous book exposing the falsity of the Papal pretences in the forum of reason and history was ordered burned by the public hangman. A Roman cardinal of that day issued an order to open Dante k tomb and have the body tied to the stake and given to the flames as that of a heretic. The order was never executed because the friends of the great poet interfered.’_54

- John Bond

(vi) Women not permitted to speak in Churches

According to law laid down in the New Testament, women are not permitted to speak in Churches. If they want to learn any thing, they may ask their husbands at home, for it is a matter of shame for women to speak in the Church. Here is the Biblical text in this connection :

53. ‘34. Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.’

- I Corinthians 14/34

54. ‘35. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.’

- I Corinthians. 14/35

Will the educated women believe in and approve of the above text ? If not, let them raise voice emphatically.

The women in England were not permitted to read the Holy Bible for a long time. In this connection Ms Matilda Joslyn Gage writes :

_’For a long period after the reformation, English women were not permitted to read the Bible, a statute of the Eighth Henry prohibiting ‘women and others of low degree’ from its use.’_55

- Matilda Joslyn Gage

(vii) Woman, not man, must cover her head during prayer

The New Testament admonishes men not to cover their heads while praying, but for women the admonition is different. They should cover their heads during prayer. The Holy Bible further ordains that if a woman does not cover her head during prayer, she dishonours her head and looks as if she is shaven. The next Biblical command for a woman is more strict. It says that if a woman does not cover her head, while praying, let her be shorn. But if she feels ashamed to be shorn or shaven, then let her cover her head. Let us read the following three verses in this matter :

55. ‘4. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.’

- I Corinthians, 11/4

56. ‘5. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head; for that is even all one as if she were shaven.’

- I Corinthians, 11/5

57. ‘6. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn; but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.’

- I Corinthians, 11/6

(viii) Test for unfaithful wife by making her drink bitter water

Holy Bible prescribes test for faithless wife as under : ‘If a wife is suspected of faithlessness by her husband, she will be brought before the priest. The priest will put her to test by making her drink water, which causes curse. If the woman is defiled and has committed the sin of having sexual intercourse with the man other than her husband, the water will make her belly swell and her thigh shall rot.’ Here is the text :

58. ‘20. But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband;’

- Numbers 5/20

59. ‘21. Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell;’

- Numbers, 5/21

60. ‘22. And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot; And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.’

- Numbers, 5/22

61. ‘27. And when he bath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot; and the woman shall be a curse among her people.’

- Numbers, 5/27

Why did Biblical God not institute similar test for unfaithful husband ? The above four verses indicate the partiality of Biblical God and injustice to women. When will the women awaken from sound slumber and raise their strong protest against their denigration and humiliation in the name of religion ?

(ix) Does woman have a soul ?

Not only the Church, but also the State denied that woman possesses a soul. Matilda Joslyn Gage writes :

_’As early as the sixth century a council at Macon (585) fifty-nine bishops taking part, devoted its time to a discussion of this question, ‘Does woman possess a soul ?’   Until time of Peter the Great, women were not recognized as human beings in that great division of Christendom known as the Greek church, the census of that empire counting only males, or so many ‘souls’ -no woman named. Traces of this old belief have not been found wanting in our own country within the century. As late as the Woman’s Rights Convention in Philadelphia, 1854, an objector in the audience cried out : ‘Let women first prove they have souls; both the Church and the State deny it.’ ‘_56

- Matilda Joslyn Gage

(x) Biblical law of divorce humiliates woman

Biblical law of divorce renders sheer injustice and atrocity to a woman. According to Holy Bible, if a husband is displeased with his wife, he can divorce her instantly, simply by giving a letter of divorcement in her hand and asking her to get out of his house. But Holy Bible does not authorise a wife to divorce her husband. The Holy Bible renders another injustice to a woman by making a law that if the divorced wife becomes another man’s wife, and if he too hates her and divorces her in the same manner, she cannot go back to her former husband, because she is defiled. The Holy Bible emphatically states that such re-marriage of twice-divorced wife with previous husband is abominable before God, and the land where such re-marriage takes place commits sin. Read the following four verses in this connection :

62. ‘1. When a man bath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she rind no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her; then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.’

- Deuteronomy, 24/1

63. ‘2. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.’

- Deuteronomy, 24/2

64. ‘3. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;’

- Deuteronomy, 24/3

65. ‘4. Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord; and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.’

- Deuteronomy, 24/4

(xi) Could a Christian husband release himself from marriage bond by killing his wife ?

Ms. Matilda Joslyn Gage, one of the renowned researchers of America, authoritatively answers the above question in affirmative. She states :

_’An examination of history proves that in Christian Russia as in Christian England the husband could release himself from the marriage bond by killing his wife, over whom under Christian law he had power of life and death. Her children, as to-day in Christian England and America, are not under her control; she is to bear children but not to educate them, for as under Catholic and Protestant Christianity, women are looked upon as a lower order of beings, of an unclean nature.’_57

- Matilda Joslyn Gage

George W. Foote opines :

_’It will yet be the proud boast of woman that she never contributed a line to the Bible.’_58

- George W. Foote

Helen Gardner states :

_’Women are indebted today for their emancipation from a position of hopeless degradation, not to their religion nor to Jehovah, but to the justice and honor of the men who have defied his commands. That she does not crouch today where St. Paul tried to bind her, she owes to the men who are grand and brave enough to ignore St. Paul, and rise superior to his God.’_59

- Helen Gardner


Despite antiquity of Vedas, they preach the most modern and the most progressive thoughts. Woman enjoys high position at home as well as society according to Vedas. Both man and woman enjoy equal rights. For husband and wife, Vedas make mention of one word dmpaita which means two masters of one house. Not only husband, but also his wife is equal owner of the house. Both enjoy the same prestige, power and position. None is subordinate to the other. To say that wife is servant or slave to husband is not okayed by Vedas. The performance of yajna is considered to be complete only when both husband and wife sit together. Woman enjoys the same right as man, to study and preach the sublime philosophy of Vedas.

According to Vedic religion, marriage is a union of two souls enjoying constant peace and prosperity at home. It entitles woman to enjoy permanent safety, security, serenity and sovereignty at home. Marriage is not a temporary social contract which can be broken at any time at the whim and caprice of either party. In accordance with Vedic religion, marriage ensures woman to be the wife and mistress at the house for full span of life of a hundred years. When Aryan bride-groom brings his newly-wedded bride to his house, he addresses her at the time of her first entrance in her house as under

pa`bauQyasva saubauQaa bauQyamaanaa dIGaa-yautvaaya SataSaardaya |
gaRhana\ gacC gaRhpatnaI yaqaasaao dIGa-M ta Aayau: saivataa kRxNaaotau ||
a Aqava-vaod 14o2o75

Remain awake
As intelligent and alert woman
Enjoying full life of a hundred years.
Enter the house as its ideal mistress,
May the Creator bestow on thee
Long life.
- Atharva Veda 14/2/75

Wedding ceremonies performed in accordance with Vedic religion bind the bride and bride-groom in spiritual ties of love and liberty, equality and integrity, purity and piety. They become one soul living in two bodies. Nuptial relations guaranteed by Vedic religion are based on spiritualism rather than materialism, love rather than lust. The following mantra in which bride-groom addresses his bride at the time of wedding, categorically illustrates the inseparable union between the two :

Amaao#hmaisma saa tvaM saamaahmasmyaRk\x tvaM VaOrhM paRiqavaI tvama\ |
taaivah saM Bavaava pa`jaamaa janayaavahO |
a Aqava-vaod 14o2o71

I am what thou art
Thou art what I am,
I am the psalm
And thou art the verse,
I am the heaven
And thou art the earth,
May we live together
To produce progeny.
- Atharva Veda 14/2/71

The hand that rocks the cradle, can rock the entire nation. History is a witness that fall of huge empires has been, to a great extent, due to degradation of women-folk. The first inspiring teacher of man is his mother who shapes his future and makes his destiny. Nation is made of individuals who owe their rise to the teachings of their mothers. Hence progress of nation depends upon the development of women. They are the truest builders of the nation. That is why an Aryan mother announces with pride and privilege in the following mantra of Rig Veda that she is glory of her nation, prop of her society and pillar of her community

AhM koxtaurhM maUQaa-hmauga`a ivavaacanaI |
mamaodnau ÚtauM paita: saohanaayaa {paacarota\ ||
a Pgvaod 10o159o2

I am the banner
I am the head
I possess excellent eloquence;
My husband co-operates with me
And follows my will.
- Rig Veda 10/159/2

That is why Shri Manu, the first apostle of equality, liberty and fraternity in the world, held the women in high esteem. According to him woman enjoys loftier position than that enjoyed by man. It is woman who elevates and exalts the nation. He speaks of honoured and exalted status of woman in his following utterance :

ya~a naaya-stau paUjyantao rmantao ta~a dovataa: |
a manau

The enlightened souls enjoy life with ecstasy
Where women are honoured.
- Manu


‘Christianity has failed to stem the tide of materialism in their own countries ! Though a great number of Christian missionaries are working here to convert our men, the Christian countries themselves are going further and further away from Christ. Nowadays, very few people attend the church there. Churches present a haunted look. In fact, some of them are being kept for sale ! It only means, that some other philosophy, more comprehensive and capable of satisfying the modern mind, of meeting the many complex challenges of present times and importing spiritual content to their life, has bec6me necessary. The present trend in those countries points to Hinduism as their future refuge.’

- Guruji M.S. Golwalkar


Footnotes: 48 Bertrand Russell : ‘Why I am not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion’, seventh edition, 1996, London, p. 56

49 (i) Tama Starr : ‘The Natural Inferiority of Women’, Poseidon Press, New York, 1991, p. 45

(ii) Helen Ellerbe : ‘The Dark Side of Christian History’, U.S.A., August, 1998, p. 114

50 (i) Armstrog : ‘The Gospel According to Woman’, p. 69

(ii) Helen Ellerbe : ‘The Dark Side of Christian History’, U.S.A., August 1998, p. 115

51 (i) Riane Eisler : ‘The Chalice and the Blade’, Harper and Row, San Francisco, 1987, pp. 131-132

(ii) Helen Ellerbe : ‘The Dark Side of Christian History’, U.S.A., August, 1998, p. 8

52 (i) Riane Eisler . ‘The Chalice and the Blade’, Harper and Row, San Francisco, 1987, pp. 132-133

(ii) Helen Ellerbe : ‘The Dark Side of Christian History’, U.S.A., August, 1998, p. 8

53 Matilda Joslyn Gage : ‘Woman, Church and State’, New York, 1893, reprinted by Voice of India, New Delhi, 1997, p. 543

54 John Bond : ‘In The Pillory - the Tale of the Borgia Pope’, The Fellowship Forum, Rome, December, 1926, p. 12

55 Matilda Joslyn Gage : ‘Woman Church and State’, New York, 1893. reprinted by Voice of India, New Delhi. 1997, p. 355

56 Matilda Joslyn Gage : ‘Woman, Church and State’, New York, 1893, reprinted by Voice of India, New Delhi, 1997, pp. 56-57

57 Matilda Joslyn Gage : ‘Woman, Church and State’, New York, 1893, reprinted by Voice of India, New Delhi, 1997, pp. 380-381

58 Charles Smith : ‘The Bible in the Balance’, reprinted by Hindu Writers’ Forum, New Delhi, p. 19

59 (i) Helen Gardner : ‘Men, Women and Gods’, p. 30

(ii) Charles Smith : ‘The Bible in the Balance’, reprinted by Hindu Writers’ Forum, New Delhi, p. 19