From what i have seen women are more religious than men.But there are many prohibitions on them when it comes to participating in religious acts.Restrictions that are imposed upon men are far less in comparison.

Also,widows are not allowed to be part of any auspicious ceremony.

What is the basis of imposing such religious restrictions on women & in particular on the widows?

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    JH i have edited ur question..pls see if i have done justice to ur original question or not..feel free to edit it again if u are not satisfied with my edit.. – Rickross Feb 11 '17 at 15:36

It is because of the male chauvinistic people in the society who have snatched all the religious right from the women including that of the vedic studies and vedic rituals etc.

In the recent centuries we saw that widow's suffered a lot of torture after the death of husband. At some places they were tonsured, they were kept isolated and forced not to wear make-up or jewelry etc. which is unethical.

scriptures allow widows to remarry if they wish. (Rg Veda. X.18.8) (Ath Veda XVIII.3.2) Some Sutras allow a widow to marry her brother-in-law which is also stated in the Mahabharata though marrying brother-in law is not compulsory. Atharva Veda prescribes a ritual (ajA paNchodana) for lifelong union with the new husband. (AV 9.3.27). In MBH there are reference of widow remarriage. Arjuna had a son with the widowed daughter of Naga king airAvata. UgrAyudha wanted to marry Satyavati, the widow of shantanu.

In terms of rituals, both widow and widowers have almost same rules. There is no partiality between a widow and a widower (vidhura). A widow can perform the pArvana shraddha at sacred places during occasions such as mahalaya. She is not debarred from performing Vriddhi shraddha (ref. Shraddha manjari).

There are no injunctions in the vedas or scriptures like MBH or Puranas where we see widows getting tonsured hence such practices are later day additions. the Do's and Dont's are almost same for both wife and husband.

  • Thanx.. for giving this information.. can give some more detail about these topic or suggest me to source where I can get more information.. – JH_ Feb 14 '17 at 5:51
  • what kind of information you want ? and how can I share with you ? – Rakesh Joshi Feb 15 '17 at 5:37
  • In your answer, both widow and widowers have almost same rules so, I want more about it. – JH_ Feb 15 '17 at 7:21
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    @Ikshvaku no problem the fact is still the same that vedas have no such restrictions – Rakesh Joshi Jan 29 '19 at 20:49
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    @Ikshvaku its for any person desirous of learning vedas. And how do you know there is no brahmavadini now? – Rakesh Joshi Jan 29 '19 at 20:51

Why are there religious restrictions on women?

Vedic Dharma for species, castes, and genders is eternal. No one created these rules, so in a sense, one can't answer "why" a particular rule is a rule.

But to make sense of existing rules, the scriptures have given some reasons for why women have more restrictions.

One reason is because being born as a woman is a sinful birth, according to the Bhagavad Gita:

9.32 - O son of Prtha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth [papayoni]: women, vaisyas [merchants], as well as sudras [workers]-can approach the supreme destination.

And from the Manusmriti:

9.18 - For women there is no dealing with the sacred texts; such is the rule of law; the fact is that, being destitute of organs and devoid of sacred texts, women are ‘false’.


Mahābhārata (13.40.11-12).—(Same as Manu, but reading ‘Kāścit’ for ‘mantraiḥ,’ and ‘aśāstrāḥ’ for ‘amantrāḥ.’)

Baudhāyana (1.11.7).—‘Women are considered to have no business with the sacred texts.’

Do. (2.3.56).—‘The Veda declares that women are considered to be destitute of strength and portion.’

Śukranīti (4.4.9-10).—‘The woman and the Śūdra shall never recite mantras.’

  • You are quoting just english translations without Sanskrit verses. These verses are interpreted differently by different. It is always better to quote Sanskrit quotes also. moreover, Stree and Naari are translated as woman. – The Destroyer Jan 30 '19 at 3:37
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    But how can then someone noble be born from someone who is sinful? All of us are born from some woman or the other .. – Rickross Jan 30 '19 at 12:30
  • @TheDestroyer What's the contention with these cited verses? – Ikshvaku Jan 30 '19 at 23:47
  • @Rickross It's just saying that birth as a man is more meritorious than birth as a woman. – Ikshvaku Jan 30 '19 at 23:48
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    @Rickross Ikshvaku is wrong here. Many eminent commentators take the word PAPYONI separately.A minimum understanding of sanskrit will ensure that vaishyas can not be called PAPAYONI and so not also stree and sudra as they are mentioned side by side. – user17294 Jan 31 '19 at 15:10

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