Could you suggest me some scriptures (Vedas, Upanishads, etc.) or commentaries that support the idea that females should be allowed to pursue their education and career over marriage? For example, there is a conversation between Maitreyi and Yajnavalkya which focuses beautifully on life. Are there similar conversations that talk about how a girl should be fearlessly allowed to pursue her education, ambitions and dreams?

Based on the Upanishad Ganga series on YouTube, I found Upanishads to be extremely progressive, so, could you suggest me anything from the Upanishads in this regard?

  • The 2 example women you mentioned did not renounce (or postpone) marriage for the sake of career. They renounced both marriage and career for the sake of spirituality.
    – ram
    Sep 8, 2020 at 19:46

1 Answer 1


Upanishads certainly encourage learned females.

Now if one wishes that his daughter should be born, who is learned, that she should attain a full term of life, they should have rice cooked with sesamum and eat it with clarified butter, then they should be able to beget (her).

Brhadaranyaka Upanishad VI.4.17

The above quote does not fully answer the question and is a partial answer.

I have posted below an interview given by Swami Vivekananda. He says that beyond giving education to women we should let women do whatever they want.

It was early one Sunday morning, writes our representative, in a beautiful Himalayan valley, that I was at last able to carry out the order of the Editor, and call on the Swami Vivekananda, to ascertain something of his views on the position and prospects of Indian Women.

"Let us go for a walk", said the Swami, when I had announced my errand, and we set out at once amongst some of the most lovely scenery in the world. ….

"Are you then entirely satisfied with the position of women amongst us, Swamiji?"

"By no means," said the Swami, "but our right of interference is limited entirely to giving education. Women must be put in a position to solve their own problems in their own way. No one can or ought to do this for them. And our Indian women are as capable of doing it as any in the world."

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 5, Interviews, On Indian women – their past, present and future, Prabuddha Bharata, December, 1898

  • 1
    Thank you @Pradip. Do you know of any other sources that might answer my question? It doesn't necessarily have to be Upanishad. For example, any quote from Vivekananda in defence of girl's rights, education? Would be grateful, if you could share. Sep 10, 2020 at 3:37
  • This doesn't answer the question and Adi-Shankaracharya commented saying this is for household chores alone. The next verses mention Vedas are for men after all. One should understand that the Vedas and all text embedded in them are for a select few holy men who make their life off them by understanding Dharma and important rituals which a wife can join in and attain the fruits of. The fruits come but in different ways. In Vedic times the union of men and women and distinguishment of their tasks was seen honorary and not restrictive.
    – Haridasa
    Feb 7 at 12:24

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