KRISHNA Tarangam

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Shakuntala, the voice of modern men and women

Shakuntala is the first sane voice to awake women to womanhood and gives out a lioness’ roar right in the court of King Dushyant. 
An ideal woman is the one who carries out various roles with dignity and an ideal man is the one who accepts her as an equal half and realises and respects her dignity, she says and brings Dushayant back to his senses! Shankuntala speaks for woman, without underscoring the role of men, and revealing at the same time her rare insight into a man’s psyche.  No wonder, she carries the charm of her Maneka and brains of might Vishramitra! The two strains make Shakuntala unconquerable!
 Dushyant has been a great, mighty and law-enforcing king. But, it is Shakuntala who drags him to the right path and makes him accept  the ideal of womanhood that she is and their own son. Had it not happened, Bharat, the land we live in, wouldn’t have come into existence and with that the culture, science of religion and prosperity. 
What she says
Shakuntala is relevant today across the length and breath of all religions, castes and groups. And if you look around, she is rising again in every household with dignity and power.
She says a woman is a wife if she is  expert in household management, well-versed in logic and reasoning, an inspiration for  husband and becomes the intent of husband—whatever he does should do for her and with her consent. 
Shakuntala directly puts forward the ideal of womanhood and indirectly that of manhood in a few dialogues. She says unless a girl inculcates certain qualities in her, she cannot be a wife. An ideal wife alone can be an ideal woman. Once she is a wife, she partners half of man’s life and vice versa. That means man too has to bear 50% responsibilities with her.  But, how is it relevant in the modern context? How is it relevant for every woman across all castes, creeds and groups? What in case of a working woman?
Well, all these questions have been answered by Shakuntala in a few shlokas, in which she not only gives a foundation of womanhood but also blows the myth that a woman is just a slave in the house and has to serve men and the family. But, what she highlights is that woman is a different entity altogether, whom Nature has assigned a role to play an active, interactive and executive part of man’s life through which man is known as man. In fact, she becomes the very will of man if the man awakes her  in himself, recognises and respects her. All that a man has to do is respect her in his own body if he wants to achieve full manhood. Many such subtle psychophysiological aspects have been discussed by Shakuntala in the court of Dushyant. Dushyant represents a man, who is charmed by Shakuntala and vows to give her everything and then he forgets and negates her.  This is the basic nature of man. Man’s problem is that he wants all the kingdom for himself. His ego doesn’t allow him in the presence of court (his own senses), the importance of woman.  He criticises all women, humiliates Shakuntala, her mother and father Maneka and Vishwamitra.  This is what man does in every household in varying degrees. He tries to deny the truth—-that woman is his equal half and this attitude becomes the cause of all problems. 
Bharat’s legacy
But, unlike all man, Dushyant acknowledges that he is on a wrong footing and gives due respect to Shakuntala and their son. What happens then? The proof of their natural union—Bharat—rules the world and establishes the legacy of his parents’ ideal relationship. Wherever women are respected as an equal, there prosperity, welfare and right reason prevail. Today, whatever feminists are fighting for is that only. But, they too will have to accept the ideal of Shakuntala and follow that tooth and nail to earn their right place in man’s life, home and society.
What Shakuntala expects from woman and what she wants them to develop in their personality before claiming their right.
She says:
सा भार्या या गृहे दक्षा सा भार्या या प्रज्ञावती।
 सा भार्या या पतिप्रणा सा भार्या या पतिव्रता।।
It means —-A wife is an expert household manager. But, she can be that only if she has the power of using her reason, intellect and will. A wife can have this power only if she becomes the inspiration of husband. Well, she can only become the inspiration of husband if she knows what her husband wants —when she knows what husband wants, she becomes his will. Therefore, an ideal wife is the will of man. 
It is a complete takeover formula for wives! But, it does require the necessity qualities. Now there is a message for men too. A man should look for a wife who has these qualities.
Why should man and woman focus on this qualities? Because with these qualities, woman takes over half of man’s life and then both become two halves of a circle. Like you cannot make out which half is who, the same way both move on in imperceptible union.
Man, woman are equal
When she is half of man, man is half of her. When she is his best friend, he too is her best friend. What happens then? Their life prospers in right ideas, right 
means and right enjoyment. Both become the cause of each others’ happiness. Since half of the body is female and half male, both become the cause of crossing the turbulence of life together.  That is why Shakuntala says:
अर्धं भार्या मनुष्यस्य भार्या श्रेष्ठतम: सखा।
भार्या मूलं त्रिवर्गस्य भार्या मूलं तरिष्यत:॥
It means —Wife is man’s half and the best friend. With her help, man can get three factors in life—dharma, arth and kaam (principles, meaningful prosperity  and rightful enjoyment). Not only this, those who aspire to cross the three-dimensional world, they too do it with the help for a wife. Since wife is half of man and man half of his wife, the same applies to him in respect to her. Not only this, Shakuntala establishes in the court of Dushyant that —-
भार्यावन्त: क्रियावन्त: सभार्या गृहमेधिन:।
भार्यावन्त: प्रमोदन्ते भार्यावन्त: श्रियान्विता:॥
It means—A man with a wife (and vice versa),  remains active and efficient—he engages in several creative activities). Such man alone is a perfect householder. With wife, man enjoys and with wife alone his all-round welfare is possible. The same holds true for a wife with respect to a husband. Because, both are 50-50 and have to share 50-50! Man is not superior to woman, neither is woman to man, Shakuntala wisely puts the truth forward to humble Dushayant. She speaks the truth, but presents it so wisely that it kills Dushyanta’s ego. Apparently it looks pro-woman. But, when you analyse it, you find equality emphasised and presented in such a way that it demolishes the wrong ideas in Dushyant who holds man superior!
She says: 
सुसंरब्धोऽपि रामाणां न कुर्यादप्रियं नर:।
रतिं प्रीति च धर्मे तास्वायत्तमवेक्ष्य हि॥
It means—Wife alone has the power to give man sensuous joys, love and right principles of life. That is why man shouldn’t misbehave with his wife even if he is angry. Because if he does then he loses the three things which a wife commands. This again is such a wise statement that it may sound like pro-woman. But, it is not. Because, she has already said wife is just 50% of man’s life and body. That means the other 50% is under the command of man.
Shakuntala proves what great reason, intellect and dare she has and how she regains her 50 per cent through wise assertions. This is the right model of man and woman relationships. Think and know. Arguments won’t help.
Next: Who is Vishwamitra?
Vivek Sharma



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How simple you make even complex things. Thanks...

;very nice and praisworthy

Jai ho!

Very true

Very true