Sri Swami Chidnandaji
Om Namo Narayanaya!
I bow again and again at the feet of all of you who are the very embodiment and symbol of the Almighty Mother. I am very happy to get this opportunity of giving this message in your service. Our most worshipful Master Swami Sivananda used to consider Indian women as the manifestation of the Universal Mother.
The key to the future development and progress of any nation is held by the women, because the mother is the first teacher of any child in every generation. Home is the elementary school for all children for inculcating good habits and higher values for the future development of the nation and the most effective element of education. Just as a potter or an idol maker takes hold of highly plastic clay and shapes it at will, likewise a mother shapes the character of a child by the manner of her speaking and conduct. Thus important and effective power is yours, and you have to keep this in mind while taking proper care and train the children in your family for building a strong future India.
The preservation of our culture is the responsibility of women and not men. Woman is the custodian of the culture of the land. Any soul born in a home gets initially conditioned and that too seriously by the atmosphere prevailing therein. The mother influences the child far more than the father. The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the nation.
You should understand yourself. The real you is your imperishable soul. The real you is neither male nor female and has neither any name nor any form. Do not forget this truth even for a moment. To realise the great divine power of the imperishable Self is as much your birthright as it is that of men. This has been firmly established in the ancient culture of India. The country, which produced great realised sages, also produced great ladies, who could participate on an equal footing with those sages in the debates on the knowledge of the Self. The main amongst them were Gargi, Maitreyee, Sulabha, Chudala, Madalasa etc. You are directly connected with this tradition. Not just in the past, but in modern times also we have great realised ladies like Anandamayee Ma, Janaki Mai, disciple of Ramana Maharshi, Sati Godavari Mai, Ramadevi, Mata Krishnabai etc.
To consider women as the weaker sex is a retrograde viewpoint. You are all very powerful. You have the power to uplift man from the state of incompetence and deficiency. You are the very embodiment of the all powerful Divine Mother. You will not find this elevating sentiment about women in any other society. During marriage ceremonies in Bengal the bride is given a sharp knife, when the bridegroom and the bride come into the marriage pandal. This symbolises the liberating power that can release man from bondage. You should understand this well and preserve your exalted status bestowed on you by the Indian culture.
Even in the polluted atmosphere of today you can make home a heaven on earth. Conduct daily prayers in the home. Display pictures of great saints. Read life stories of Sarada Devi, Meerabai, Madalasa and other female devotees and realised souls. Tell your children the stories of devotees, patriots, warriors and hermits. Stop all worthless talk. Your home itself will be converted into heaven if you maintain a sublime atmosphere in the home. Safeguard and perpetuate the flame of the lamp of Indian culture.
May God bless you all! Hari Om Tat Sat.