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If a woman becomes faithful, chaste wife, then the next life there is chance of her becoming a male. Because according to Vedic literature, to take a birth as woman is low-grade

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"If a woman becomes faithful, chaste wife, then the next life there is chance of her becoming a male. Because according to Vedic literature, to take birth as woman is low grade"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

If a woman becomes faithful, chaste wife, then the next life there is chance of her becoming a male. Because according to Vedic literature, to take a birth as woman is low-grade. Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyā ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ.


Lecture on SB 1.9.48 -- Mayapura, June 14, 1973:

Tapo divyaṁ yena śuddhyet sattvaṁ yato brahma-saukhyam anantam (SB 5//.5.1). If you undergo tapasya . . . therefore we prescribe this tapasya: no illicit sex. Our tendency is to have illicit sex. That is the condition of this material nature. But we have to deny it. That is tapasya. Tendency's there. Tapasya means I have got some tendency, but voluntarily I have to check it. That is called control, tapasya. My tongue is dictating, "Oh, let us go to some place and eat such-and-such thing." But if you can control the tongue, "No," that is tapasya. "No, you cannot eat this. You cannot be allowed to eat anything except Kṛṣṇa prasādam." That is tapasya. Not that, "My tongue has dried up. I must drink a cup of tea," and I take it. "No. It is intoxication, prohibited. So I shall not take it." That is tapasya.

And that tapasya, what for? Tapasya divyam, tapo divyam (SB 5.5.1). Otherwise, there are many men, they're also undergoing austerities for some material purpose. There are many men who wants to accumulate some money, begins business from low standard, works very hard day and night. In your country, there are many examples. Just like Mr. Henry Ford. So that is also tapasya. They underwent severe conditions of life to accumulate some money. After death, or at the end of life, they'll be called: "Oh, here is a millionaire. He started his business with a farthing. Now he's millionaire." He wants that credit. No. Not that kind of tapasya. Because that accumulation of wealth, millions of dollar, will be finished after this body is finished. After death, he cannot take away the millions of dollars with him next life.

But they do not know that there is next life. Next life he may become a dog, and what this millions of dollars will help him? That he does not know. Therefore tapo divyam (SB 5.5.1). Take austerity, penances, for reviving your original consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. For that purpose, you undergo austerity. Otherwise, if you simply undergo austerities, penances, hardship for some material gain, then it is waste of time, defeat, parābhava. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jātaḥ. Because he's a fool, rascal, he does not know what for hardship should be taken.

Just like Hiraṇyakaśipu. He also underwent tapasya. The whole universe become trembled. Brahmā came: "Why you are undergoing such severe tapasya?" On one finger he stood up, and undergoing tapasya. Brahmā came: "What is your purpose of this tapasya?" "Sir, I want to be immortal." "So that is not possible. You cannot become immortal." Then in so many ways he wanted to become immortal. What is the purpose of becoming immortal? There are many trees standing for ten thousands of years. That is very successful life, to stand in a place for ten thousands of years without any movement? Or prolonging life for many thousands of years? Brahmā lives also for many millions of years. Huh?

So people are misled in this way. They undergo hardship for some temporary gain, which is condemned. Śāstra says that if you take hardship, if you go . . . undergo tapasya, it must be for realization of God. Tapo divyam (SB 5.5.1). That will give you permanent happiness. And if you accept hardship for anything material, it may give you temporary, so-called happiness, but with the end of your body, everything will be finished.

Therefore this tapasvinī, this Gāndhārī . . . tapasvinī. She has been described as tapasvinī. She wanted to be a faithful, chaste wife. What is the result? If a woman becomes faithful, chaste wife, then the next life there is chance of her becoming a male. Because according to Vedic literature, to take birth as woman is low grade. Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyā ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ (BG 9.32), in the Bhagavad-gītā. The . . . as there are higher-grade and lower-grade births, so according to Vedic understanding, the woman, the body of woman is lower-grade birth. Therefore if she's fortunate to have a good husband, devotee, and if she becomes faithful to that husband, then her life is successful. That is called tapasya.

So Gāndhārī did it. Gāndhārī . . . in India still, marriage does not take by canvassing all of a sudden. The father, mother, especially in aristocratic family, royal family, even in Western countries, the father, mother selects the husband or wife. Even in England, the King Edward VIII, he was intimately in friendship with a common girl. So the state would not allow him that "You can marry a common girl." So at that time the prime minister, one Mr. Baldwin, he said to him that "Either you have to give up the company of that common girl or you have to give up this empire." So out of sentiment, he gave up the empire. Later on he was very sorry. And his second brother, George VI, he . . . George VI means the father of the present Queen, Elizabeth. So still this is current in aristocratic family, that the husband and wife should be selected by the parents.