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Women Need To Manifest Power Instead Of Getting Empowered

The Tantras speak of the Divine Mother as Shakti, and women, as manifestations of this Shakti, are embodiments of Power. It is this inherent power that women need to be aware of if they are to free themselves from subjugating influences. Men talk about empowering women, but women certainly cannot afford to be empowered – they need to manifest power instead.

Again, this power need not be aggressive or destructive. In speaking of Sita, Savitri and Damayanti as the Indian ideals of womanhood, Swami Vivekananda pointed to their heroic fortitude, quiet courage, and a sense of personal dignity that precluded bitterness in the face of adversity and helped them overcome tremendous odds. The Puranic origin of these characters does not make them anachronistic in the least. As archetypal ideals they have eternal relevance. To relate to them is to draw power from our own being which they inhabit.

History testifies to the fact that this ‘women’s power’ has been valid in multifarious contexts. In Swami Vivekananda’s words:  Women in statesmanship, managing territories, governing countries, even making war, have proved themselves equal to men – if not superior. In India I have no doubt of that. Whenever they had the opportunity, they have proved that they have as much ability as men, with this advantage – that they seldom degenerate.

Swami Shashankanandaji’s narrative, ‘Steps to Women’s Empowerment’ calls attention to the fact how, with a minimum of institutional support, women can organize themselves to better their own socio-economic status without undermining their cultural and spiritual value systems.