Women in India has been suffering for ages. Hindu scriptures treat women as a commodity, and equates them to animals. Even a Brahmin woman is like a Shudra as per the Hindu scriptures. Hinduism deprives women of their basic rights. In Hinduism only the wife has to fast during Karvachauth but not the husband. The wife has to wear Mangulsutra and apply Sindoor to signify that ‘She is the property of others’ just like a board is set up in an open land stating it’s owner but the husband has no such thing to wear. If the girl is born in inauspicious months then she is termed as Manglik, and per this superstition the husband of such girl dies soon so she is made to marry a peepul tree or a dog but on the other hand there is no such thing for a man. As per Hindu scripture the wife either has to lead a life of celibacy after the death of her husband or mount husband’s pyre on the other hand there is no such option for husbands. The husband is free to marry another wife after the death of his wife and can marry many wives even when the wife is alive. Only the son can light the funeral pyre of his parents while the daughter is barred from it. Hindu culture is a male dominated culture, women in Hindu society has been submissive while men are aggressive.
Leave aside giving equal rights to women. There is hardly any verse in Hindu scriptures that prays for the birth of a daughter while there are several verses and especially dedicated hymns for the birth of a Son. As per Hindu text the son saves the father from the hell called Put hence he is called Putra (Son) while a daughter is Duhita i.e. one who does bad. Hindu scriptures has a ritual called Pumsavan Sanskar for the birth of a son. There are thousands of verses in Vedas but not even a single verse prays for the birth of a daughter. The Vedas rather say,
Atharva Veda 6.11.3 Prajāpati, Anumati, Sinivāli have ordered it. Elsewhere may he effect the birth of maids, but here prepare a boy.
It is mentioned in Grihya Sutras,
Sankhayana Grihya Surtra 1.19.6 …Pragapati has created him, Savitar has shaped him. Imparting birth of females to other (women) may he put here a man…
There are especial hymns and verses in Vedas which prays for the birth of a son like Atharva Veda 6.11; 3.23 and 7.48 and verses like Atharva Veda 14.1.22; 12.3.47; 2.36.3, 14.2.72, Rig Veda 3.31.1; 10.85.42-45 and so on but not even a single verse wishes for a daughter. As a result of these verses female infanticide is still in practice. India looses millions of unborn female baby every year,
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/jan/09/india.sarahboseley [10 million foetuses aborted in India]
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.18.54 Kaśyapa Muni continued: If you perform this ceremony called puṁsavana, adhering to the vow with faith for at least one year, you will give birth to a son destined to kill Indra. But if there is any discrepancy in the discharge of this vow, the son will be a friend to Indra.
Garuda Purana goes a step ahead and says that the wife giving birth only to daughters should be abandoned,
Garuda Purana 1.115.64 ”A barren woman shall be abandoned in the eighth year after marriage; a woman whose children die in infancy shall be abandoned in the ninth year; a woman who gives birth only to daughters shall be abandoned in the eleventh year and a woman who speaks unpleasant words shall be abandoned immediately.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
It is mentioned in Yajnavalkya that a wife who drinks liquor, who is barren, who hates her husband’s people and who bears only females should be superseded.
Yajnavalkya Smriti verse 73 The liquor drinker, the diseased, the cunning, the barren, the killer of wealth, the unpleasant spoken, who bears female children should be superseded, so also (one) who hates people.
It is mentioned Shatapath Brahmana that a wife who has no son is a discarded wife and possessed with destruction,
Satapatha Brahmana 184.108.40.206 And on the following day he goes to the house of a discarded (wife), and prepares a pap for Nirriti;–a discarded wife is one who has no son…hail!’ For a wife that is without a son, is possessed with Nirriti (destruction, calamity)…
Devi Bhagavatam 2.6.36-48 ”…Once while he was listening to the religious discourses of the Munis, he heard unmistakeably the Munis telling that the man who is sonless can never go to the Heavens; so he must get a son somehow or other…” Tr. Swami Vijnananda
Devi Bhagavatam 1.4.15-27 There is no prospect in the after birth of the sonless; never, never will Heaven be his. Without son, there is none other who can be of help in the next world. Thus in the Dharma S’âstras, Manu and other Munis declare that the man who has sons goes to Heaven and the sonless one can never go to Heaven. The man possessing a son is entitled to the Heavenly pleasures can be vividly seen, rather than imagined. The man with son is freed from sins; this is the word of the Vedas…
Brahma Vaivarta Purana Ganesha Khanda 2.16-31 …The life of a woman who has no son, is useless…
When highest authoritative text like Vedas and other scriptures like Puranas, Brahamanas doesn’t wish for daughter, we can conclude why female foeticide was prevalent in ancient India and still many Hindus prefer son over daughter. When asked, Hindus reply that they prefer son because it’s only the son that can perform certain rites like funeral rite of parents, the son looks after the parents in their old age etc.
Brahma Purana 113.75-76 “In the case of the people of all castes, a woman in her monthly course should be avoided for the first four nights. To prevent the birth of a female child, one shall avoid the fifth night also. Thereafter he shall carnally approach her on the sixth or other excellent nights even in number. Boys will be born (if intercourse is carried out) on even nights and girls on nights odd in number.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
Garuda Purana I.178.27 “A woman desiring to beget a male child must drink ghee medicated with seeds of Matulunga and roots of Eranda.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
Manu Smriti 3.262-3 The (sacrificer’s) first wife, who is faithful and intent on the worship of the manes, may eat the middle-most cake, (if she be) desirous of bearing a son. (Thus) she will bring forth a son who will be long-lived, famous, intelligent, rich, the father of numerous offspring, endowed with (the quality of) goodness, and righteous.
It is mentioned in Shastra,
Sankhayana Grihya Sutra 1.19.3-6 When he has finished, let him murmur, ‘Into thy breath I put the sperm, N.N.!’ Or, ‘As the earth is pregnant with Agni, as the heaven is with Indra pregnant, as Vayu dwells in the womb of the regions (of the earth), thus I place an embryo into thy womb, N.N.!’ Or, ‘May a male embryo enter thy womb, as an arrow the quiver; may a man be born here, a son after ten months. ‘Give birth to a male child; may after him (another) male be born; their mother shalt thou be, of the born, and (to others) mayst thou give birth…
When there is already a male child then why wish for more male children? Dayanand Saraswati founder of Arya Samaj recommended Niyoga for procuring sons even when the couple had a daughter. Why so much discrimination against birth of daughters? Various other texts like Sankhayana Grihya Sutra 1.16.11; Narada Purana II.56.320-325; Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 6.4.20 also prays and gives instructions which secures the birth of a male child.
Brahma Vaivarata Purana 61.22-41 ”…There can be no creation without a woman. This is why at the command of Lord Krisna, Brahma created the woman to entice the heart of lustful people. The beauty of a woman is the seat of illusion, the bar or bolt (or obstacle) in the way of a man’s act or Karma, the impediment of meditation and the harbour of evil…” Tr. Rajendra Nath Sen
Srimad Bhagavatam 3.31.40 The woman, created by the Lord, is the representation of maya, and one who associates with such maya by accepting services must certainly know that this is the way of death, just like a blind well covered with grass.
Maya means illusion, deceit and fraud. Maharishi Manu writes that after creating women god allotted to them dishonesty malice, bad conduct etc.
Manu Smriti 9.17 (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct.
It is also mentioned in Mahabharata,
Mahabharata 13.40 The Sruti declares that women are endued with senses the most powerful, that they have no scriptures to follow, and that they are living lies. Beds and seats and ornaments and food and drink and the absence of all that is respectable and righteous, indulgence in disagreeable words, and love of sexual companionship,–these were bestowed by Brahman upon women.
As per Mahabharata, God created women to make men unrighteous,
Mahabharata 13.40 “Bhishma said, ‘It is even so as thou sayest, O thou of mighty arms. There is nothing untrue in all this that thou sayest, O thou of Kuru’s race, on the subject of women. In this connection I shall recite to thee the old history of how in days of yore the high-souled Vipula had succeeded in restraining women within the bounds laid down for them. I shall also tell thee, O king, how women were created by the Grandsire Brahman and the object for which they were created by Him. There is no creature more sinful, O son, than women. Woman is a blazing fire. She is the illusion, O king, that the Daitya Maya created. She is the sharp edge of the razor. She is poison. She is a snake. She is fire. She is, verily, all these united together. It has been heard by us that all persons of the human race are characterised by righteousness, and that they, in course of natural progress and improvement, attain to the status of deities. This circumstance alarmed the deities. They, therefore, O chastiser of foes, assembled together and repaired to the presence of the Grandsire. Informing Him of what was in their minds, they stood silent in his presence, with downcast eyes. The puissant Grand sire having ascertained what was in the hearts of the deities, created women, with the aid of an Atharvan rite. In a former creation, O son of Kunti, women were all virtuous. Those, however, that sprang from this creation by Brahman with the aid of an illusion became sinful. The grandsire bestowed upon them the desire of enjoyment, all kinds of carnal pleasure. Tempted by the desire of enjoyment, they began to pursue persons of the other sex. The puissant lord of the deities created Wrath as the companion of Lust. Persons of the male sex, yielding to the power of Lust and Wrath, sought the companionship of women. Women have no especial acts prescribed for them. Even this is the ordinance that was laid down. The Sruti declares that women are endued with senses the most powerful, that they have no scriptures to follow, and that they are living lies.
Gita 9.32 ”For those who take refuge in Me. O Partha, though they be of sinful birth- women, Vaisyas, and Sudras even they attain the Supreme Goal.” Tr. Swami Nikhilananda
Mahabharata 14.19.61 By adhering to this religion, even they who axe of sinful birth, such as women and Vaisyas and Sudras, attain to the highest goal.
Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.46 “Surrendered souls, even from groups leading sinful lives, such as women, the laborer class, the mountaineers and the Siberians, or even the birds and beasts, can also know about the science of Godhead and become liberated from the clutches of the illusory energy by surrendering unto the pure devotees of the Lord and by following in their footsteps in devotional service.” Tr. Swami Prabhupada
Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.54 “O my friends, O sons of demons, everyone, including you (the Yakṣas and Rākṣasas), the unintelligent women, śūdras and cowherd men, the birds, the lower animals and the sinful living entities, can revive his original, eternal spiritual life and exist forever simply by accepting the principles of bhakti-yoga.” Tr. Swami Prabhupada
Manu Smriti 2.213-214 ”To defile men is the nature of women, hence the wise are never infatuated nor un-circumspect about them. Man, by nature, is subject to lust and anger; women are quite competent to lead even the wise men astray, not to speak of fools, (their easy victims).” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Mahabharata 13.19 Women, in particular, the Rishis have said, are false in behaviour. When human beings are such, and when women in particular have been declared in the ordinances to be false, how, O sire, can there be a union between the sexes for purposes of practising all duties together? In the very Vedas one may read that women are false.
Lakshmana addresses Sita in the following way,
Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, Sarga 45.29-30 ”Thou art a very Goddess unto me, I therefore dare not answer thee. What thou hast spoken, O Maithili, is nothing surprising for females. Such is the nature of womankind on this earth. Women by nature are crooked, fickle, devoid of religious knowledge, and bring about difference between father and sons.” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Devi Bhagavatam 1.15.1-67…The fools do not understand how the women suck the blood out of persons like leeches, for they get themselves deluded by their gestures and postures! The lady of the house, whom the people call kântâ, the beautiful one, steal away the semen virile, the strength and energy in the way of giving them happiness as sexual intercourse, and their minds and wealth and everything by their crooked love conversations; so see what greater thief can there be than a woman? In my opinion, those that are ignorant are certainly deluded by the Creator; they accept wife to destroy their own pleasure of happiness. They can never understand that the women can never be the source of pleasure; they are the source of all miseries…
A women should give witness for women likewise a Shudra for Shudra, Dvija for Dvija but in some cases (in which witness given by anyone is allowed) women’s witness is not valid at all. It is mentioned in Manu Smriti,
Manu Smriti 8.77 One man who is free from covetousness may be (accepted as) witness; but not even many pure women, because the understanding of females is apt to waver, nor even many other men, who are tainted with sin.
Chanakya Neeti Shastra 1.15 Do not put your trust in rivers, men who carry weapons, beasts with claws or horns, women and members of a royal family.
Manu Smriti 3.239. A Kandala, a village pig, a cock, a dog, a menstruating woman, and a eunuch must not look at the Brahmanas while they eat.
Atharva Veda 04.5.2 …Lull all the women, lull the dogs to sleep, with Indra as thy friend!
Shatpath Brahmana says that dog, Sudra and women are untruth,
Satapatha Brahmana 220.127.116.11. And whilst not coming into contact with Sûdras and remains of food; for this Gharma is he that shines yonder, and he is excellence, truth, and light; but woman, the Sûdra, the dog, and the black bird (the crow), are untruth: he should not look at these, lest he should mingle excellence and sin, light and darkness, truth and untruth.
Hindu text often compare woman in her menses to dogs and pigs, and such things are still in practice. A Hindu temple board decided that women should be allowed inside temple only after the machine detects that they are not in their menstrual periods,
Another humiliating thing is that when a woman barged into a temple for worship, the idol and temple were purified by cow urine,
As its a tradition in Hinduism that anything can be purified with cow dung and urine, read the article Importance of Cow dung and Urine in Hinduism.
Garuda Purana ch 231 “A Brahmana having touched a dog, a Sudra, or any other beast, or a woman in her menses, before washing his face after a meal, shall regain his purity by fasting for a day, and by taking Panchgavyam.” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Markandeya Purana 35.26-28 “…After touching a menstruous woman, a horse, a jackal, and other animals, or a woman recently delivered of a child, or people of low caste, one should bathe for the sake of purification…”
Brahma Purana 113.140-7 “…A person who is conversant with righteousness becomes purified by taking a bath if he touches these: a medicant who is not worthy of being fed (?), a heretic, a cat, an ass, cook, a fallen man, an outcaste (a person ostracised), a Candala and those who bear dead bodies, a country pig and a woman in her monthly course…” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
Kurma Purana II.17.26 “One shall avoid an article once smelt by a dog and cooked again. So also the article seen by a Candala, or a woman in her menses, or smelt by a cow, or seen by a fallen men, shall be avoided.” Tr. G.V. Tagare
Manu Smriti 4.208 Nor that at which the slayer of a learned Brahmana has looked, nor that which has been touched by a menstruating woman, nor that which has been pecked at by birds or touched by a dog,
Swami Prabhupada founder of ISKCON writes,
”To understand Brahman is not the business of teeny brain. Alpa-medhasam (BG 7.23). There are two Sanskrit words: alpa-medhasa and su-medhasa. Alpa-medhasa means having little brain substance. Physiologically, within the brain there are brain substance. It is found that the brain substance in man is found up to sixty-four ounce. They are very highly intellectual persons. And in woman the brain substance is not found more than thirty-four ounce. You’ll find, therefore, that there is no very great scientist, mathematician, philosopher among women. You’ll never find, because their brain substance cannot go. Artificially do not try to become equal with men. That is not allowed in the Vedic śāstra. Na striyaṁ svatantratām arhati (Manu-saṁhitā). That is called śāstra.”- A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Lecture on BG 16.7, 2-3-1975, Hawaii http://vanisource.org/wiki/Lecture_on_BG_16.7_–_Hawaii,_February_3,_1975
He also writes,
”…Generally women are very much passionate and are less intelligent…” A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 4.27.1 [ http://vanisource.org/wiki/SB_4.27.1 ]
Devi Bhagavatam 9.38.1-6 ”…O Bhagavân! The woman kind has been created by the Creator as devoid of any Tattvajñâna or true knowledge…” Tr. Swami Vijnananda
Rig Veda 8.33.17 Indra himself hath said, The mind of woman brooks not discipline, Her intellect hath little weight.
Acharya Medadithi writes on Manu Smriti 9.18,
”Destitute of Organs.’- ‘Organ’ here stands for strength; courage, patience, intelligence, energy and so forth are absent in women” Tr. Ganganath Jha
Hinduism says that woman is dependent and not fit for being independent, she is incapable of being independent.
Manu Smriti 5.147-148 By a girl, by a young woman, or even by an aged one, nothing must be done independently, even in her own house. In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent.
Yajnavalkya Smriti verse 85 When a maiden, her father; when married her husband; and when old, her sons, should protect her. In their absence, the kinsmen (should take care of her.) The women are never independent.
Mahabharata 13.45 There is the well-known declaration of the scriptures that women are incompetent to enjoy freedom at any period of their life
Rishi Ashravakra said,
Mahabharata 13.20 “Ashtavakra said, ‘Women can never be their own mistresses. This is the opinion of the Creator himself, viz., that a woman never deserves to be independent”
Garuda Purana 1.115.63 ”The father protects her in childhood, the husband in youth and the son in old age. A woman is not to be allowed to stay independently.” Tr. J.L. Shastri
Vishnu Smriti 25.12-13 Not to act by herself in any matter; To remain subject, in her infancy, to her father, in her youth, to her husband; and in her old age, to her sons.
Baudhayana Dharma Shastra 18.104.22.168-5 Women do not possess independence. Now they quote also (the following verse): ‘Their father protects (them) in childhood, their husband protect (them) in youth, and their sons protect (them) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.’
Swami Prabhupada writes,
”… woman is not supposed to take sannyāsa. So-called spiritual societies concocted in modern times give sannyāsa even to women, although there is no sanction in the Vedic literature for a woman’s accepting sannyāsa. Otherwise, if it were sanctioned, Kardama Muni could have taken his wife and given her sannyāsa. The woman must remain at home. She has only three stages of life: dependency on the father in childhood, dependency on the husband in youth and, in old age, dependency on the grown-up son, such as Kapila. In old age the progress of woman depends on the grown-up son.” A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 3.24.40 [ http://vanisource.org/wiki/SB_3.24.40 ]
Mahabharata 5.39 ”The fruits of the Vedas are ceremonies performed before the (homa) fire; the fruits of an acquaintance with the scriptures are goodness of disposition and conduct. The fruits of women are the pleasures of intercourse and offspring.” Tr. K.M. Ganguli
Manu Smriti 9.96 ”Women are created to conceive pregnancies, and men are created to impregnate women. Hence, like the act of procreation, the religion duties of the husband and wife are correlated. This is said in the Veda.” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Garuda Purana 1.64.8 “Woman with hairy sides and breasts and high lips: husband dies soon.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
Garuda Purana 1.64.11-12 ”little finger and thumb of a woman placed on the ground do not rest there: she will become a widow and of ill repute. Woman who shakes the ground as she treads, kills her husband quickly and lives like a mleccha woman.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
Garuda Purana 1.65.57-60 (-> Samudrika) a round face: prosperity, lady will beget son, a long face: poverty, misfortune, great sorrow, a square face: coward, sinner, rogue, a depressed face: issuelessness, a short face: miserliness” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
Garuda Purana 1.65.114 ”long neck of woman: destruction of family.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
Garuda Purana 1.109.31 ”Wicked persons, artisans, slaves, defiled ones, drums and women are softened by being beaten; they do not deserve gentle handling.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
It is mentioned in Tulsi Ramayana,
ढोल गवाँर सूद्र पसु नारी। सकल ताड़ना के अधिकारी।।३
Tulsi Ramayana, Sundar Kanda, Doha 58.3 A drum, a rustic, a Shudra, a beast and a woman all these deserve to be beaten up.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 6.4.7 “If she does not willingly yield her body to him, he should buy her with presents. If she is still unyielding, he should strike her with a stick or with his hand and overcome her, repeating the following mantra: “With power and glory I take away your glory.” Thus she becomes discredited.” Tr. Swami Nikhilananda
But a wife cannot beat her husband,
Shiva Purana, Rudra Samhita 2, Parvatikhanda section III, 54.53-55 “If she desires to beat her husband in retaliation, she becomes a tiger or a wild cat. She who ogles at another man becomes squint eyed. She who partakes of sweet dish denying the same to her husband becomes a pig in the village or a wild goat eating its own dung. She who addresses her husband in a singular becomes dumb. She who is jealous of a cow-wife becomes ill-fated in matrimony again and again.” Tr. J.L. Shastri
Before teaching Veda to students, a ceremony is to be performed called Upanayana. After this ceremony the Dvija students are made to wear sacred thread. You may have seen Brahmins wearing this thread but have you ever heard of women wearing this thread? It’s because women are not allowed to study the Vedas. And as per Hindu scripture people who have gone through Upanayana ceremony alone are eligible to read the Vedas. It is mentioned in Agni Purana,
Agni Purana 152.9-12 ”…The women are not entitled to utter the Veda Mantras, and hence they are not invested with the holy threads, but their marriage ceremonies should be celebrated by repeating the sacred hymns of the Vedas.” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Matsya Purana 154.156-74 ”Women are by their nature meek and weak, women cannot study the Sastras.” Tr. Taluqdar of Oudh, edited by B.D. Basu
Maharishi Manu writes that marriage for a woman is equivalent to study of Vedas, which means they should not study it,
Manu Smriti 2.66 This whole series (of ceremonies) must be performed for females (also), in order to sanctify the body, at the proper time and in the proper order, but without (the recitation of) sacred texts.
Vishnu Smriti 27.13-14 For female children the same ceremonies, (beginning with the birth ceremony, should be performed, but) without Mantras. The marriage ceremony only has to be performed with Mantras for them.
Manu Smriti 2.67 ”The sacrament of marriage is to a female, what initiation with the thread is to a male. The service of the husband is to the wife, what his residence in the preceptor’s house, as a religious student, is to the husband; the household duty is to a woman, what the making of burnt offerings is to man.” Tr. M.N. Dutt
Below is Buhler’s translation,
Manu Smriti 2.67 The nuptial ceremony is stated to be the Vedic sacrament for women (and to be equal to the initiation), serving the husband (equivalent to) the residence in (the house of the) teacher, and the household duties (the same) as the (daily) worship of the sacred fire.
Maharishi Manu clearly writes,
Manu Smriti 9.18 For women no (sacramental) rite (is performed) with sacred texts [Vedic Mantras], thus the law is settled; women (who are) destitute of strength and destitute of (the knowledge of) Vedic texts, (are as impure as) falsehood (itself), that is a fixed rule.
Mahabharata 3.204 [Markandeya Rishi said] As regards women again, neither sacrifice nor sraddhas, nor fasts are of any efficacy. By serving their husbands only they can win heaven.
It is mentioned in Linga Purana that women are not authorised to perform worship [i.e. to lead prayers/sacrifices],
Linga Purana Section II 20.1-3 ”Rudra, Mahadeva, the grandfather stationed in the mystic diagram is worthy of being worshipped by the Brahmins, Ksatriyas and Vaisyas as well. For the Sudras the service rendered to a worshipper is enough. Undoubtedly women are not authorised to perform worship. If the worship is conducted through leading Brahmins, women and Sudras shall derive the same benefit.” Tr. Board of Scholars, Edited by J.L. Shastri
Vishnu Smriti 25.15 No sacrifice, no penance, and no fasting is allowed to women apart from their husbands; to pay obedience to her lord is the only means for a woman to obtain bliss in heaven.
It is mentioned in Bhagvad Purana that, Ved Vyasa composed Mahabharata out of compassion for women and Shudras as women and Shudras are barred from the study of Vedas,
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.4.25 ”The degenerated twice-borns, the Sudras and women are barred from the holy truths of the Vedas, and, out of compassion for them, Maharshi Vyasa composed the Mahabharata.” Tr. J.M. Sanyal
Brahma Purana 64.19 ”In regard to the people of the first three castes the rite of holy bath and the reception of Mantras is in the manner mentioned in the Vedas. The utterance of the Vedic passage is to be avoided by women as well as Sudras.” Tr. J.L. Shastri
Some apologists put forth their arguments that many verses of Vedas were revealed to Rishika (female Rishi) so there is no prohibition for women from studying the Vedas.
What apologists do is they quote some particular incidents out of context and try to interpret it in their own way. Vedas even have verses spoken by a prostitute, the Rishika of some verses is a prostitute, it doesn’t mean that common women should also be engaged in prostitution. As you may know the Rishika of Rig Veda Mandal 10 Sukt 95 is Urvashi. Urvashi was a Apsara (Nirukta 5.13) and Swami Prabhupada writes that ”Urvaśī, a prostitute of the heavenly kingdom”,
”Mitra and Varuṇa chanced to meet Urvaśī, the most beautiful prostitute of the heavenly kingdom, and they became lusty…” A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 9.13.6 http://vanisource.org/wiki/SB_9.13.6
It is mentioned in Devi Bhagavatam,
Devi Bhagavatam 9.1.96-143 “…those that are sprung from Tamo Guna are recognised as worst and belonging to the unknown families. They are very scurrilous, cheats, ruining their families, fond of their own free ways, quarrelsome and no seconds are found equal to them. Such women become prostitutes in this world and Apsaras in the Heavens…” Tr. Swami Vijnananda
This is one of the old trick of Hindu apologists. They quote verses praising goddesses and present it as Vedas praising common women. Hindu apologists should provide reference showing that common women can also study the Vedas. Some people may argue that Urvashi was not a prostitute but they can never deny the fact that Urvashi was an adulteress. When trying to show equality among castes in Hinduism, Apologists often say that ‘Vasistha was born of a prostitute but became a Rishi‘, He was born out of the mind of Urvashi the prostitute but not born from her womb. So apologists changes their stand to suit their vested interest. Krishna says in Gita,
Gita 9.32 ”For those who take refuge in Me. O Partha, though they be of sinful birth- women, Vaisyas, and Sudras even they attain the Supreme Goal.” Tr. Swami Nikhilananda
Hindu scholar named Swami Swarupananda writes,
”Of inferior birth…Shudras because by birth, the Vaishyas are engaged only in agriculture, etc., and the women and Shudras are debarred from the study of the Vedas.”
[Swami Swarupananda on Bhagwad Gita 9.32, page 216, Advaita Ashrama, Published by Swami Chidatmananda, President, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, Almora, Himalayas] also available online at http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbg/sbg14.htm
Swami Nikhilananda writes,
”The Vaisyas are engaged in agriculture and trade; women and Sudras are debarred from the study of the Vedas. Therefore all these classes of people remain outside the Vedic scheme of salvation…” [Swami Nikhilananda on The Bhagwad Gita 9.32, page 233, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1944, Printed in USA by The Haddon Craftsmen, Inc.]
Another scholar named Swami Sivananda writes,
“…Women and Sudras are debarred by social rules from the study of the Vedas…”
Women belonging to upper three castes are not Shudras but are treated like Shudras. They are considered to be on the same level as the Shudra. Hindu text often mention Shudra on par with Women,
Manu Smriti 5.139. Let him who desires bodily purity first sip water three times, and then twice wipe his mouth; but a woman and a Sudra (shall perform each act) once (only).
Manu Smriti 11.153. But he who has eaten the food of men, whose food must not be eaten, or the leavings of women and Sudras, or forbidden flesh, shall drink barley (-gruel) during seven (days and) nights.
Brahmanda Purana 22.214.171.124 ”The leavings of food from a Sraddha should not be given to women or Sudras.” Tr. G.V. Tagare
Mahabharata 13.128 That man who thinks it all right when a Sudra ignites the fire upon which he is to pour libations or who does not see any fault when women who are incompetent to assist at Sraddhas and other rites are allowed to assist at them, really becomes stained with sin.
Manu also states that during the period of a vow it is not proper on any account to talk to a woman, a Sudra and an outcaste,
Manu Smriti 11.224. Let him bathe three times each day and thrice each night, dressed in his clothes; let him on no account talk to women, Sudras, and outcasts.
Devi Bhagavatam 6.18.7-24 ”…The eternal Dharma of women is to serve their husbands; whether the husband be a saint or a sinner, the woman, desirous of her welfare, should serve her husband in every way…”
Manu Smriti 5.154-6 Though destitute of virtue, or seeking pleasure (elsewhere), or devoid of good qualities, (yet) a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife. No sacrifice, no vow, no fast must be performed by women apart (from their husbands); if a wife obeys her husband, she will for that (reason alone) be exalted in heaven. Afaithful wife, who desires to dwell (after death) with her husband, must never do anything that might displease him who took her hand, whether he be alive or dead.
Baudhayana Dharma Shastra 126.96.36.199 Those (women) who strive (to do what is) agreeable to their husbands will gain heaven.
Garuda Purana 1.95.24-26 ‘‘The highest duty of a woman is to carry out the behests of her husband. Sixteen nights subsequent to the month menstrual flow are the nights of rut for women. The husband shall restrain himself during the parvan (full moon and new moon days), when the stars Magha and Mula are ascendant and on the first four nights. Thereafter, on even nights, he will be able to beget a healthy son of auspicious traits. If the woman is in a mood to receive him on any night he should satisfy her remembering that lust in women is terrible.” Tr. J.L. Shastri
Devi Bhagavatam 3.19.11 ”The women are able to attain heaven and emancipation, if they serve their husbands…” Tr. Swami Vijnananda
Mahabharata 13.59 As women have one eternal duty, in this world, viz., dependence upon and obedient service to their husbands, and as such duty constitutes their only end, even so is the service to Brahmanas Our eternal duty and end.
Skanda Purana V.iii.121.7-9 ”Ordinarily sexual appetite is very strong in women. Especially during menses, they are afflicted all the more by the arrows of Kama. Shunned or neglected by their husbands, women naturally think about paramours.” Tr. G.V. Tagare
Mahabharata 13.19 Verily, women are exceedingly fond of sexual congress. Among a thousand women, or, perhaps, among hundreds of thousands, sometimes only one may be found that is devoted to her husband. When under the influence of desire, they care not for family or father or mother or brother or husband or sons or husband’s brother (but pursue the way that desire points out). Verily, in pursuit of what they consider happiness, they destroy the family (to which they belong by birth or marriage) even as many queenly rivers eat away the banks that contain them. The Creator himself had said this, quickly marking the faults of women.
Chanakya Neeti Shastra 16.2 The heart of a woman is not united; it is divided. While she is taking with one man, she looks lustfully at another and thinks fondly of a third in her heart.
Padma Purana II.53.11b-20 …O lord of gods, the vulva, and also the tips of the breasts of women, throb. They do not have patience…
Shiva Purana, UmaSamhita 5.24.16-36 ”There is none more sinning and more sinful than women. Women are at the root of all sins…Women usually do not observe the limitations of conventional decency. If at all they stand by them with their husbands it is because no man makes advances to them or because they are afraid of their husbands…They carry on their dalliances with any man ugly or beautiful…Even women of noble families aspire for the life of lascivious women who in their prime of youth adorned with lovable ornaments and beautiful wearing garments move about frivolously…Women become desperate when they do not get men…women are not satiated with the number of men they cohabit with. O excellent sage, there is another secret of all women that immediately on seeing a man their vaginal passage begins to exude slimy secretions. On seeing a man fresh and clean from his bath with his body perfumed with sweet scents, the vaginal passage of women begins to exude like water dripping from a leather bag…on hearing her words Narada was satisfied in his mind. Considering it to be the truth. Tr. J.L. Shastri
Garuda Purana 1.109.35-40 ”A delicious fatty meat diet, pleasing dress, glowing wine, fragrant scented pastes, and sweet smelling flowers kindle passion in women. It can be said with certainty that even during the period of celibacy the god of love is busily active. On seeing a man pleasing to her heart the vagina of a woman becomes wet with profuse secretion. O Saunaka, it is true, definitely true that the vaginal passage of a woman begins to secrete profusely on seeing a well dressed man whether a brother or a son. Rivers and women are of similar nature in their love of freedom to choose their own course. The rivers erode the banks and the women undermine their own families. The river undermines the banks and the woman causes the fall of the family. The course of rivers and women is wayward and cannot be checked. A blazing fire cannot be satiated with sufficient supply of fuel; the ocean can never be filled to satiety by rivers flowing into it; the god of death is never satiated by the living beings (whom he smites) and a passionate woman is never satiated with man.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
Devi Bhagavatam 6.22.31-36 “…The girl must accept him to whom the father betrothes. The girl is under every circumstances dependent. Never do they get any independence…” Tr. Swami Vijnananda
Manu Smriti 5.151 Him to whom her father may give her, or her brother with the father’s permission, she shall obey as long as he lives, and when he is dead, she must not insult (his memory)
Devi Bhagavatam 1.5.83 ”Falsehood, vain boldness, craftiness, stupidity, impatience, over-greediness, impurity, and harshness are the natural qualities of women.” Tr. Swami Vijnananda
Garuda Purana 1.109.33-34 ”The diet of a woman is twice as much as that of a man; shrewdness four times, energy is six times and amorousness is eight times as much as that of a man. It is impossible to overcome sleep by sleeping it off; to overpower a woman by loving her; to smother a flame by adding fuel and to quench thirst by drinking wine.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
Chanakya Neeti Shastra 1.17 Women have hunger two fold, shyness four fold, daring six fold, and lust eight fold as compared to men.
Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Brahma Khanda 23.14-39 ”…The heart of women is keen like the edge of a razor…Immodesty and daring characterise their conduct, and their deeds are tainted with defect and hypocrisy. O Lord of the universe the lust of a woman is eight times as great; hunger twice as great and cruelty, four times as great as the lust, hunger and cruelty of a man…” Tr. Rajendra Nath Sen
Manu 7.150 (Such) despicable (persons), likewise animals, and particularly women betray secret council; for that reason he must be careful with respect to them.
Rig Veda 10.95.15 Nay, do not die, Pururavas, nor vanish: let not the hideous wolves devour thee. Female friendships do not exist. With women there can be no lasting friendship: hearts of hyenas are the hearts of women.
Bhagawad Purana 9.14.36-38 “Urvasi said: My dear King, you are a man, a hero. Don’t be impatient and give up your life. Be sober and don’t allow the senses to overcome you like foxes. Don’t let the foxes eat you. In other words, you should not be controlled by your senses. Rather, you should know that the heart of a woman is like that of a fox. There is no use making friendship with women. Women as a class
are merciless and cunning. They cannot tolerate even a slight offense. For their own pleasure they can do anything irreligious, and therefore they do not fear killing even a faithful husband or brother. Women are very easily seduced by men. Therefore, polluted women give up the friendship of a man who is their well-wisher and establish false friendship among fools. Indeed, they seek newer and newer friends, one after another.” Tr. Swami Prabhupada
Garuda Purana 1.115.59 ”The prosperity of a kingdom comes to an end with the curse of a brahmana; the spiritual power of a brahmana comes to an end with his sin; all decency in conduct of life comes to an end if residence is taken near cowsheds; the family is ruined if women rule.” Tr. Board of Scholars, edited by J.L. Shastri
Chanakya Neeti Shastra 12.18 Courtesy should be learned from princes, the art of conversation from pandits, lying should be learned from gamblers and deceitful ways should be learned from women.
Chanakya Niti Shastra 2.1 Untruthfulness, rashness, guile, stupidity, avarice, uncleanliness and cruelty are women’s seven natural flaws.
Wondering how to find if a woman is a whore, adulteress or murderer of her husband? Need not worry, Garuda Purana has a list that can describe her nature. I am using translation of Board of Scholars edited by J.L. Shastri,
Garuda Purana 1.65.112 If the palm is placed on the ground and the little finger and the ring finger do not touch the ground, she is surely a whore.
Garuda Purana1.65.115 stout neck: she becomes very fierce. Squint in the eyes, dark blue or tawny in the eyes, roving eyes: absence of chastity
Garuda Purana 1.65.116 If when she smiles two dimples are seen in the cheeks, she is surely one adulteress.
Garuda Purana 1.65.117 …if the buttocks hang down, she kills her husband. A mustache-like growth of hair above the upper lip is inauspicious for the husband.
Garuda Purana 1.65.118 Hairy breasts are inauspicious and uneven ears too are inauspicious.
Matsya Purana 225.132 ”The woman who is disobedient to her husband on account of being proud of her brothers, etc., should be driven out of the house by the king.” Tr. Taluqdar of Oudh, Edited by B.D. Basu
Manu 8.371 If a wife, proud of the greatness of her relatives or (her own) excellence, violates the duty which she owes to her lord, the king shall cause her to be devoured by dogs in a place frequented by many.
Garuda Purana 10.42 “When a woman burns her body with her husband’s, the fire burns her limbs only, but does not afflict her soul” Tr. Ernest Wood and S.V Subrahmanyam, Edited by B.D. Basu.
Brahma Purana 10.75 “Dying Immediately after the husband is the greatest duty of women. This is the path laid down in the Vedas.  The woman who follows her husband shall stay in heaven for as many years as there are hairs in a man’s body, viz. three and a half crores of years.” Tr. Board of Scholars, Edited by J.L. Shastri
Parasara Smriti 4.28 “A widow, who immolates herself on the same funeral pile with her deceased husband, resides in heaven for ten millions of years, which is the number of hairs on the human body.” Tr. M.N. Dutt
For more information read the article Sati Pratha: The burning of widows.
Even a animal like cow is given more importance and respect in Hinduism than women. Women are treated like a commodity. Hinduism has deprived women of their basic rights. It confines them to four walls of the house. Women in Hinduism is nothing but a child production factory and sex object. I have not added many verses in this article because other articles already deals with it.