Purity, Discipleship, and Devotion
What was the work for women which he had in mind? Certainly not merely a school for children. There were already thousands of these. One more or less would make no appreciable difference. Neither was it to be a boarding school, even if it supplied a need by providing a refuge for girls whose parents were unable to marry them off. Nor a widow's home, though that too would fill a useful purpose. It was not to be a duplication of any of the forms of work which had so far been attempted. Then what? To answer that question it is only necessary to ask: What is the significance of Shri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda to the world, and more especially to India at this time? The new power, the new life that came with this influx of spirituality was not meant for men alone, but how could it be brought to the women of India? How could they be set on fire and become torches from which millions of others might catch the flame? This was one of his greatest concerns. "For this work a woman is needed," he cried. "No man can do it. But where is the woman?"
As far back as his wander-years, he consciously searched for the woman who should be able to meet his need. One after another was put to the test and failed. Of one in whom he had had great hopes he said, in answer to the question: why not she? — "You see she intends to do her own work." There was no criticism in this, only a statement of fact. Again and again it happened that those in whom he had attempted to rouse the latent power within, mistook the power emanating from him for their own, and felt that under the same circumstances they too could manifest greatness. They wanted to do not his work but their own! It was not easy to find someone who had the necessary qualifications, spiritual and intellectual, who had the devotion of the disciple, who was selfless, and who could pass on the living fire. Having found such a one, and trained her, she in turn would have to train others, from amongst whom five or six would be capable of continuing and extending the work. These five or six would have to be women of towering spirituality, women of outstanding intellectual attainments, combining the finest and noblest of the old and the new. This was the goal. How was it to be accomplished? What kind of education would produce them?
Purity, Discipleship, and Devotion were to him essential for the one who was to do his work. "I love purity." he often said. always with a touching pathos. "All attempts must be based upon the ideal of Sita." he said. "Sita, purer than purity, chaster than chastity, all patience, all suffering, the ideal of Indian womanhood. She is the very type of the Indian woman as she should be, for all the Indian ideals of a perfected woman have centred around that one life of Sita, and here she stands, these thousands of years, commanding the worship of every man, woman and child throughout the length and breadth of Aryavarta."
The main theme of my life is to take the message of Sanatana Dharma to every home and pave the way for launching, in a big way, the man-making programme preached and envisaged by great seers like Swami Vivekananda. - Mananeeya Eknathji
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