Hello and welcome to episode 53 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about women. Are they an obstacle on the path to spirituality?

Today’s question comes from Roger. Roger says “I’m very happily married but in the last 2 years I’ve really gotten into spiritualty. I’ve been reading a lot of books, meditating night and morning. Because of all this I find that I don’t have as much time for my wife and children and they are not happy about this. I want to be with them but at the same time I don’t want give up my spirituality. How do I get the balance right?”

I love your question Roger. When it comes to empowerment we hear a lot about women and their struggle for it but not so much when it comes to men so I’m glad you asked this question!

Obstacle or distraction?

Krishna says that women are not an obstacle on the path to God but they can be a distraction and a distraction can become an obstacle if you don’t take action. Women have a lot of wonderful qualities such as purity, power, joy, faith, glory and compassion. They are the manifestations of these qualities.

Vivekananda once said “if you give me 50 women I could change the world but you could give me 5000 men I don’t think I could.” So a lot of these great beings say that one woman can do ten times the amount that a man can do.

Let’s look at this closely. I’m not making any accusations against women so please bear with me. I want to share a story with you. Ram Krishna was travelling down a very steep hill. After he had travelled quite a distance he turned and looked up and realised the distanced he had travelled. Man, in the company of a woman does not understand that his mind goes from the top of the hill to the bottom.


Most men try to please women and in the process they give up dharma. This is really wrong. This is the cause of a lot of pain and sorrow in this world.


If you look at India, there was a model of dharma. Most marriages here were arranged. I know this may sound very different to how it works in western countries. Here, the parents would seek an alliance and the marriages would be arranged. The wife would then move in with the husband and his parents. This way the mother in law could then teach her new daughter in law everything she knows.

While the wife is in the presence of her husband’s parents she is reminded to only allow her better qualities to show. While there are elders around people are not permitted to act out or be aggressive. She must respect her elders. In the same way her husband must treat her with respect or the elders will correct him. This way marriages are solid and divorce is almost unheard of.

When I was 26 I went to visit the United States and up until that point I had never heard the word divorce. If you had asked me what it meant I couldn’t have told you because I never saw it happening around me. It just didn’t happen because of this model.

This model really brought out the best qualities in everyone. The wife would always be respectful towards her husband and his parents would love her as if she were their own daughter. The Husband would respect and love his wife because this is what he had been taught by his elders. They all lived a very smooth and peaceful life. This lead to families being very close.

Now the model is broken. The elderly don’t go on pilgrimages they tend to stay around. Men seek pleasure elsewhere and women seek more freedom. They don’t want to live with their elders anymore.

So you can see no single person is at fault. When the model breaks down everyone within it is to blame and everyone is at fault.

Higher nature

Remember that there are two natures, love and enjoyment. Love will always be the higher nature. Things start to break down when a women chooses enjoyment over love. Women should want to embrace beautiful things rather than dominating.


Sacrifice and power

There are two types of women, avidya and vidya. The first type will have tamas qualities and the second will have sattvic qualities. The first type will be more likely to nag and quarrel. The second type will be silent and blissful. They are happy. Women have the ability to restore the dharma where as men do not. The second type will bring out the best qualities in a man.

Women also had the great ability to sacrifice. Men want to take and then give but women have the ability to give first. Today’s women want to take first too it doesn’t work. Women were also better at forgiving. They didn’t keep count and try to one up a man. They were able to let things go. Today women want to keep count.

So these are all the reasons why women have become obstacles but only women have the power to change this. A man cannot change a woman but a woman can change a man.


Remember in the story all three are at fault – the man, woman and the elder’s but it is the women who can really bring peace to a house and a community. Men also have a job to do. They must respect a woman. Don’t look upon her as an object. A real man will always seek blessings by prostrating before her. He will want her to be happy by following dharma. Don’t try to please her by giving her money and material things because it won’t work. Be a good example to your children by respecting her and making her happy through dharma.

If you give up dharma things will never go right for you. Men must help women to change them by respecting them. In turn a woman will not look to a man to fulfil her desires because she will already be happy.

Whether you are eight or eighty this will work. It will work for everyone in your family. When you follow dharma you will experience love, purity and glory.

I hope I answered your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.


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