Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Do you thank your wife?

An unique event was witnessed in Tiruppur yesterday, when 1,008 men thanked their wives for their contribution to their life and family.

The event was arranged for the 4th consecutive year by those dedicated to the principles of Vedathri Maharishi who preached “Vazhga VaLamudan” concept.

The “Vazhga VaLamudan” includes the wife too whose round- the -clock service to her family is rarely remembered or acknowledged or appreciated.

The only times we come across the wife’s name becoming eligible for thanks- giving are by book-writers who make a mention of their thanks to their wife in their publication. Here again the thanks is for the help she rendered in bringing out the book. Her contribution as a wife is rarely recognized.

To put it differently - the wife’s contribution and role in one’s life and family is taken for granted.

Introspecting through the Indian set-up, the notions on womanhood and patni had given rise such careless (callous) attitude towards wife’s contribution.

The famous verse on patni dharma,

“kaaryEshu dasi,

karaNeshu mandri,

roopEshu lakshmi,

Kshamaya dharidri,

sneha cha mata,

shayanEshu vEshya

shad dharma yuktah

kula dharma patni”

on the 6-fold role for the wife as

a servant in doing chores,

as an advisor like a minister,

as an enchanting one like Lakshmi,

as mother Earth in being patient,

as a mother in being friendly

and for giving pleasures of bed.

This is an age old concept of how the wife is to be

that has entered the mind-set of our people

making them think that her roles are after all to be performed

and do not require to be praised or recognized or thanked.

But she will be admonished if she is found wanting in doing any of these roles.

That is the catch point.

If she can be criticized for not doing,

then she must be praised when she is doing.

But then it can also be said that love does not need any ‘thanks’.

Why thank your partner for something done out of love

or for the mutual give and take between the partners.

The latter one (give and take) was the rationale behind the ‘no-thanks’ giving that was in practice all these ages!

Sanatanic view of wife is that of a life-long friend who shares the exact half of oneself.

Both the husband and wife are the contributors – equal contributors in family and life.

It is ‘saha dharma chariNam’ – a vow sanctified as happened in the marriage of Rama and Sita.

‘Doing together’ the dhrama or whatever chore is its meaning.

Varahamihira quotes from the now extinct dharma sastras to say that

whatever the couple does is borne 50-50 by them-

the chores as well as the results of the chores.

At the day to day management level, the portfolio allotment of chores had been there – the wife taking care of mundane affairs and the husband taking care of religious / spiritual / commercial affairs.

The result / fruit / phalan of those chores are distributed between them.

As such, not only the money but also the papa - if such a papa was involved in acquiring that money- will be borne by the couple.

The ill-effect of the mis-deed used for getting money which will be enjoyed by the wife too, will have to be borne by the wife equally.

When Valmiki, in his early life of a robber came to know that his wife was not ready to share the papa of his robbery, he resigned to a life of an ascetic.

One may think that this share of 50-50 is absurd.

But this is how destiny works.

Just look at the 6 roles of the wife.

The wife must give saner counsel to the husband (as minister) on the venture he does if it is to give rise to ill-effects.

A Tara did that to Vali.

A Mandodhari did that Ravana.

A Sita did that to Rama as she was the Eternal “Purushakaari” – one who always recommend to Lord to show ‘daya’ to the devotee.

The SharanAgathi granted to Vibheeshana had a root connection to Sita though she was not present in the venue.

When everyone advised Rama not to believe Vibheeshana – he being the brother of arch rival, Ravana - Rama turned to Hanuman for his opinion. Hanuman had no reservation about accepting Vibheeshana and this approval is traced to the good words spoken by Sita in Ashoka vana about Vibheeshana’s daughter.

Ramayana is about how this 50-50 works between the couple.

When Sita desired the golden deer, Rama cautioned her about the falsity of that.

Here can be noticed a reversal of role on counseling.

But in spite of that, Rama chose to pursue the deer, since the thought was conceived by Sita.

He, as the doer can not go against the Thought that is the seed of any action.

The thought (Sita) propelled him.

Whatever good or bad that had to happen by pursuing the deer,

would have to be borne by him too.

So even though Lakshmana vehemently advised against it, Rama pursued the deer.

He has to share the desire of his wife as well as the result of the desire for the deer.

That one desire led to a chain of reactions that had its culmination in agni pareeksha. Rama did not ask for it.

Sita ordered the fire to be made as that was the available option left to her in carrying out the responsibility of a wife.

As Ikshvaku king, Rama could not take back his wife who spent (was forced to spend) her days in another man’s place.

As wife of Rama, Sita could not go with others – not even to her father’s home (she says this when she compelled Rama to take her along with him to the forest).

But any glory or defamation to Rama’s name is of equal responsibility to her also.

She decided to add glory to his name and hence opted to enter agni.

The good or bad – or anything that happens between the couple is of equal share and responsibility between them.

The wife is the mind or thought force of the person.

The Vivaha is about how she is the controller of the senses of the man.

Her role is that of a thinker.

The man is only a doer.

A thinker and a doer in unison to do any work – religious or commercial – that is the essence of marriage and partnership in marriage.

Both the partners have equal stakes in whatever they do.

That is why they are said to share everything 50-50.

But in today’s conditions, no one knows or appreciates the complementary roles of the husband and wife.

And such a complementary role-play also is not in work nowadays.

More often than not, the responsibility-share is lop-sided.

The wife is heavily burdened.

Her role is anything but unenviable.

She needs to be given a dose of oxygen to keep her working.

Give that to her as often as possible and not only on emergency occasions.

Vaazhga VaLamudan!

- jayasree

Related articles:-

On the meaning of marriage


10 little ways to show your wife you care.



Thanks, 1,008 men tell wives




One thousand and eight men on Monday garlanded their wives, tied blessed bands on their wrists and prayed for their good health in a touching gesture of thanksgiving at a mass ceremony here. Several known personalities, including actor Sivakumar, Chennai Silks proprietor P. K. Arumugam and Ramraj Cotton Mills owner K. R. Nagaraja, participated with their happy spouses. “We have all kinds of Days Valentines Day, Children’s Day, Teachers’ Day and Mothers’ Day but nothing to celebrate the contribution of the wife towards the welfare of the family.

“We have created this event to fill that void, to say a big ‘thank you’ to the better-half,” said S. Narayanan, administrative officer of Manavalam Kalai Mandram, which held the unique event for the fourth consecutive year.

The mandram is the creation of the spiritual leader Vedathri Maharishi and has branches all over India.

After his demise in March 2005, his - followers decided to celebrate the manaivi nala vedpu vizha (celebrating wife’s well-being) on the birthday of his wife Logambal (August 30). “We could not get the choultry in time this year, so the event got postponed by a few days,” Mr Narayanan explained.

Men of different age groups and from all walks of life came dressed like new grooms along with their proud spouses to the Velayudha Swamy marriage hall for the ceremony.

The huge hall appeared to house a mass marriage ceremony; only some grooms were in their 70s while their brides may have appeared as coy as on their wedding day years ago. “The wife shoulders the entire burden of the family while letting the husband have a life free of worries. She is truly God’s gift and this function is to truly reflect the men folk’s gratitude,” said Mr Sivakumar, whose star-son Suriya too is said to be a devoted husband.

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