Usually Hindu scriptures have stressed at woman being subservient to their husbands and they can never be independent et cetera.

The reason behind this must be because (especially in that ancient times) a husband looks for all goods and bads of his wife, so if a woman is subservient to husband then also she can attain higher levels. [At least in my opinion]

But, these days women are as capable as men (and they always were, even at that ancient time). And moreover, it is not even a fight of gender or inequality. It is a moral thing that women and men are equal.

Anyways, so, this "Woman cannot be independent" has been a great source of support to Anti-Hindus or Anti-Religion people to refute Religion, and Hinduism also.

So, have there been mentions that women should worship God and become independent?

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    FYI, the Indian govt. only recently (2005) gave Hindu women rights to inheritance on par with men via the The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act. Maybe the reasoning until the govt. intervened was that unlike men, women could become independent without relying on any inheritance! Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 17:06

4 Answers 4


Yes. Women must also take shelter to God and become independent.

Devi Bhagawatam, 8 Book, Chapter 9
स्त्रियो व्रतैस्त्वां हृषीकेश्वरं स्वतो
ह्याराध्य लोके पतिमाशासतेऽन्यम् ।
तासां न ते वै परिपान्त्यपत्यं
प्रियं धनायूंषि यतोऽस्वतन्त्राः ॥ १२ ॥
स वै पतिः स्यादकुतोभयः स्वतः
समन्ततः पाति भयातुरं जनम् ।
स एक एवेतरथा मिथो भयं
नैवात्मलाभादधिमन्यते परम् ॥ १३ ॥
या तस्य ते पादसरोरुहार्हणं
न कामयेत्साखिलकामलम्पटा ।
तदेव रासीप्सितमीप्सितोऽर्चितो
यद्‍भग्नयाञ्चा भगवन् प्रतप्यते ॥ १४ ॥

Lakshmi worships Vishnu thus-
The women that know Thee, the Lord of all and worship other bodies for their husbands, then those husbands can never save them, their lives, their wealth, progeny or other dear things, as they are controlled by Time and Karma.
Thou art the Real Husband; and no other. For Thou art naturally fearless and Thou protectest in every way the persons that become afraid. Thou art the Lord of all wealth so no other is superior to Thee. How can then, they be independent whose happiness depends on others. The lady that desires to worship Thy lotus feet only and becomes subservient to no others, she attains all the desires. Again the lady who, desiring other things than to get Thee, does not worship Thy lotus feet, Thou fulfillest the desires of her too. But, O Bhagavaan! When the period of enjoyment of these things ceases and when the objects of these enjoyments are destroyed, then she repents much due to the loss of those things.

  • Where does above quote say women can become independent?
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Jan 21, 2018 at 8:43
  • @TheDestroyer "The lady that worships thy lotus feet an becomes subservient to no other attains all desire."
    – user12826
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 9:05
  • @TheDestroyer I get your point what you mean to ask. Yes, the answer says an independent woman attains everything, but it does not specifically tell women to actually get dependent- this you may be doubting. Well, I think I was also in too much hurry to just tick the answer. Hope someone else will answer soon.
    – user12826
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 9:10

dear friend may be i could help you out. The great scholar yagnawalkya said to his wife maitreyi:—

One should indeed see, hear, understand and meditate over the Self, O Maitreyi; indeed, he who has seen, heard, reflected and understood the Self – by him alone the whole world comes to be known.

—  Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.4.5b

And as per respects see this:—

"Women must be honored and adorned by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and brothers‑in‑law, who desire their own welfare. Where women are honored, there the gods are pleased; but where they are not honored, no sacred rite yields rewards. Where the female relations live in grief, the family soon wholly perishes; but that family where they are not unhappy ever prospers. The houses on which female relations, not being duly honored, pronounce a curse, perish completely, as if destroyed by magic. Hence men who seek (their own) welfare, should always honor women on holidays and festivals with (gifts of) ornaments, clothes and (dainty) food."

—(Manu Smriti III.55-59)

and see what itself bhishma says:—

Grandfather Bhishma explained: "O ruler of the earth (Yuddhisthira) the lineage in which daughters and the daughters- in-law are saddened by ill treatment, that lineage is destroyed. When out of their grief these women curse these households, such households lose their charm, prosperity and happiness."

—( Mahabharata, Anushashanparva, 12.14)

And for god worship see :—

"Yea, many a woman is more firm and better than the man who turns away from Gods, and offers not."

—(Rig-Veda , 5.61.6)

means women too have been worshiping gods.

source:— https://www.stephen-knapp.com/women_in_vedic_culture.htm

And you need to know that even vedic richas (hymns too) are writtten by women too. like -gargi, maitreyi etc.

  • 4
    Not answering the question
    – user9554
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 15:25
  • what more is required i quoted how the womens were indipendent and even the households are not subordinate but equal. Worship of gods along with vedas are too allowed. Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 15:32
  • 3
    Great effort Fiercelord. But as @Parikshitha said, there is a lack of direct answer. The citations by you are quite much about greatness or equality of women. But my question is something else.
    – user12826
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 16:02
  • 1
    @prikshitha thanks because, of you i got those verses of atharvaveda which really does not exist were deleted. Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 18:16
  • 1
    And @Anurag singh sorry but may be in future i would be updating my answer. Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 18:16

Yes, Women should worship a tutelary-god, and also be initiated into Dīkṣā as per the Kāraṇāgama.

Women have the full right to worship, and also be independent in the path that is necessary for attaining salvation - this is what the Kāraṇāgama says.

Chapter 2 (dvitīyaḥ paṭalaḥ): kriyāpādaḥ, Kāraṇāgama

क्रियापादः ॥ द्वितीयः पटलः ॥

महादेव उवाच:

सङ्कल्पाधिकृतिस्तासां नास्ति स्वगर्येषु कर्मसु । सिद्धा विमोक्षाधिकृतिर्न निरोद्धं हिशक्यते ॥ ६० ॥

Bhagvān Shiva said -

  1. It is not right for a woman to do will for the deeds which are intended to reach Heaven but for the Salvation, right is ready for her. None can prevent so.

यथाऽऽचार्ये पितरि च देवताबुद्धिरुच्यते । तथैव भर्तरि प्रोक्ता न सा देवनिषेधिनी । ततश्च देवतोपास्तिः शस्ता स्यद्योषितामपि ॥ ६१ ॥

  1. When it is said that preacher and father are taken as gods, like so, regarding husband it is also said. To this, there is no prohibition of gods. Therefore it is good for women to adore gods.

पतिपत्नीत्वसम्बन्धो न नित्यः कल्पितो हि सः । नारीिनरत्वादिकमप्यैहजन्मिकमीरितम् ॥ ६२ ॥

  1. Relation of wife and husband is not the ever lasting—thing. That is the thing of supposition. It is said that to be a woman or man is also of this incarnation only.

नैव स्त्री न पुमानेष नैव चायं नपुंसकः । यद्यच्छरीमाधत्ते तेन तेन स लिप्यते ॥ ६३ ॥

  1. This soul (Atma) is neither a woman, a man nor an impotent one. It wears that and that body in which and which it dwells.

नारीत्वमैहिकं वाऽपि भार्यात्वं कल्पितं तथा । निरुन्धतः कथं तन्व्याः पन्थानं मोक्षगामिनम् ॥ ६४ ॥

64. To be a woman is the subject of this incarnation. Like this, to be a wife is also. How can these items of the subject (womanhood, entity of wife) prevent the path of salvation for her?

देववद्भावितो वाऽपि गुरुवत्सेवितोऽपि वा । मदुपास्तिं विना मुर्खस्तारयेत् स कथं सतीम् ॥ ६५ ॥

  1. How can a foolish man who adores Shiva without having initiated wife even after having known of Pooja, like god's performing on to Shiva and adoration did to preacher reach the bank of Salvation from the world.

संसरन् भवकान्तारे निमज्जन् दुःखवारिधौ । अतीर्णस्तु स्वयं मूर्खस्तारयेत् स कथं सतीम् । तस्मादवश्यं नारीणामनुष्ठेयं व्रतं भवेत ॥ ६६ ॥

  1. How can a foolish man, who has been wandering in the woods of incarnations and drowning in the oceans of sorrows, keep far away from the wife who is herself near to the bank of Salvation? Therefore, he should practice this Vrat by dint of woman.


पारतन्त्रयं हि नारीणामुक्तं स्वर्येषु कर्मसु । एहिकेष्वपि मोक्षार्थे न स्वातन्त्र्यं विहन्यते । तस्मादवश्यं नारीणां दीक्षा देय बुधोत्तमैः ॥ ७० ॥

70. In the deeds intended to reach Heaven, it is said that a Woman is dependent. It is applicable for the deeds that pertain to this world.

But for sake of salvation, the freedom of women can't be annihilated.

Therefore, the women should be initiated by the learned -preacher.


पतिं परिचरन्ती च श्वश्वादिन पोषन्त्यपि । पालयन्त्यपि पुत्रादीन् लिङ्गनिष्ठां न विस्मरेत् ॥ ७२ ॥

  1. A woman is not expected to ignore austerity towards Ishtalinga when she is either serving her husband, taking care of aunt (mother of husband) or looking after her sons.

तथैव बालापत्यायाः कुर्वन्त्या भवनक्रियाः । बालायत्तं यथा चित्तं दीक्षितायास्तथोचितम् । ततो न गृहकृत्यानि बाधन्ते मदुपासनाम् ॥ ७३ ॥

  1. Like a woman who keeps her mind on her little children, for an initiated woman, it is also good, So, adoring Shiva would not be the worried thing even she involves in attending items of domestic-work.

लिङ्गनिष्ठापरा भूत्वा मन्निष्ठायुक्तचेतसः । पत्युः संसेवनाद् भर्चा मत्सायुज्यं गमिष्यति ॥ ७४ ॥

  1. While paying austerity towards Ishtalinga of her husband whose chit is associated with Shiva, the wife should serve. Then that woman gets Sayujya (salvation) of Shiva.

On a side note:- In fact, the translator - Shri R.M. Prabhulinga Shastri makes a strong remark under verse 45, of Chapter 2 as follows -


"Ramchandra Pandey (former professor, Delhi University) says that before marriage women have no right to perform Vaidik deeds is not mentioned in any books."

"This notion may be of the tradition practiced by people."

So as per the Kāraṇāgama, the Women must worship the god, and are considered independent as an individual (jivātman occupying a Human body), in their goal to attain Moksha.


I am adding some material that supports the idea that a Hindu woman can be independent and even become a monk.

There are examples of women Sannyasis who have attained Moksha in Mahabharata. I will give here 2 such examples:

Pingala said, ‘…What women is there that regards that Supreme Soul as her dear Lord, even when he comes near? I am now awake. I have been roused from the sleep of ignorance. I am no longer influenced by desire. Human lovers, who are really the embodied forms of hell, shall no longer deceive me by approaching me lustfully. Evil produces good through the destiny or the acts of a former life. Roused (from the sleep of ignorance), I have cast off all desires for worldly objects. I have acquired a complete mastery over my senses. One freed from desire and hope sleeps in felicity. Freedom from every hope and desire is felicity. Having driven off desire and hope, Pingala sleeps in felicity. '

Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CLXXV

In the same Satya Yuga, a woman of the name Sulabha, belonging to the mendicant order, practiced the duties of Yoga and wondered over the whole Earth. In course of her wanderings over the Earth, Sulabha heard from many Dandis of different places that the ruler of Mithila was devoted to the religion of emancipation. ....Sulabha became desirous of a personal interview with Janaka. [ The story is very long. So I will shorten it by saying that Sulabha went to Janaka and entered his mind through her Yoga Power to check if Raja Janaka was truly emancipated. Janaka protested saying that as a mendicant and a woman she should not have entered his body to check whether he has really attained Emancipation. Sulabha gave Raja Janaka a good dressing down. I will quote only a few lines of her retort.]

Sulabha said, 'The contact of one that is emancipated with another that has been so, or Purusha with Prakriti, can not lead to intermingling of the kind thou dreadest. Only those that regard the soul to be identical with the body, and that think the several orders and modes of life to be really different from one another, are open to the error of supposing an intermingling to be possible. My body is different from thine. But my soul is not different from thine. When I am able to realize this, I have not the slightest doubt that my understanding is really not staying in thine though I have entered into thee by Yoga.'

Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCCXXI

Equal rights enjoyed by women

I am posting a passage from a famous 14th century text which shows the equal rights enjoyed by women in Hinduism.

Renunciation is mentioned in the Taittiriya and other Upanishads: 'Some have attained immortality, not by acts, nor by offspring, nor by wealth, but by renunciation alone' (Kaivalya Upanishad., 3). Females also are entitled to this kind of renunciation. The Caturdharike of the Mokshadharma, by using the word bhikshuki (female mendicant) with reference to the lady in question, when dealing with the controversy between Sulabha and janaka, indicated that females may renounce before marriage, or after the death of their husband and may go about as religious mendicants, may learn and hear the sastras dealing with moksha (namely the Upanishad and cognate literature), may meditate upon the atman in seclusion and assume the emblems of tri-danda, etc. In the wake of the argument in the Devatadhikarana (the section about devata) in the fourth chapter of the third book of the Sarirakabhasya, wherein a discussion has been started relating to the rights of a widower (to such renunciation), the name of the lady Vacaknavi has also been mentioned. These references go to strengthen the right claimed by Maitreyi, the wife of Yajnavalkya, of whom she inquires in the words: 'Of what use would such (wealth) be to me, if the possession of such would not render me immortal? Tell me whatever your worship knows, as to what I should do, in order to be free from mortality' (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.5.4).

Jivanmuktiviveka of Vidyaranya translated by S. Subrahmanya Sastri and T.R. Srinivasa Ayangar, Chapter 1, Vividisa-samnyasa: The Renunciation of the Seeker

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