Sai Ram! I am Shwetha. Do you need help? You look worried.
Sai Ram Akka. My name is Sowmya. I am lost. I have to go to my Dormitory. But I forgot my dormitory name.
Oh that! I can help you, Sowmya. Anything you remember about the name?
Those names I never heard, Akka. Why don’t they name the dormitories as A, B like that? These names are too complicated.
Those are the names of great philosophers. Great Female Philosophers of Ancient India. We must honor those great personalities and for sure, we must know about them.
Is it? I never heard of them. Could you please tell me about them, if you don’t mind?
Sure Sowmya. It’s my pleasure. Let me tell you first about our institution. We have two dormitories named after Gargi Vachaknavi, Maitreyi and two blocks named after Lopamudra, Madalasa. All these women are famous for their true knowledge and regarded as the great philosophers of their period.
Gargi, a philosopher in ancient India, was born about 9th to 7th century BCE. She had extensive knowledge of Brahma Vidya and because of that she was known as Brahmavadini.
In Vedic times, she participated in many intellectual debates with her high proficiency in Vedas and Upanishads. She composed many hymns in Rig Veda, majorly on the origin of all existence. She was one of the Navaratnas in the court of King Janaka of Mithila.
She is very famous for her philosophical debate with the sage Yajnavalkya in the BrahmaYajna. The Yoga Yajnavalkya is a classical text on Yoga and is a dialogue between Gargi and sage Yajnavalkya.
She was considered as unparalleled by the other scholars, by her sheer brilliance.
Maitreyi was an Indian philosopher of Vedic Period. In some Upanishad, she was mentioned as the wife of Sage Yajnavalkya and in some others, she was never married. However, her marital status was never a matter as she was considered as Brahmavadini because of her highest knowledge on the Brahman.
Maitreyi’s dialogue with Yajnavalkya highlights the core of advaita philosophy by emphasising the nature of Atman and Brahman, and the understanding of their oneness.
She is still considered as one of the highly educated, intellectual women of Ancient India who challenged the great philosophers of her time.
Lopamudra, a rishiki, was one of the prominent Brahmavadini of Ancient India. She was a philosopher who visualized the Panchadasi Mantra of Shakti tradition of Hinduism and wife of Sage Agastya.
She authored hymns in Rig-Veda and she was acknowledged in Rig Veda as Mantradrika (Scholar in Mantras).
Madalasa, a queen and a mother, was famous for The Lullaby of Queen Madalasa, “The Madalasa Upadesha”. She was a very spiritual person and she sang the true essence of life to her children.
Her first three sons embraced ascetic life to serve humanity. They became sannyasins after she educated them about the Supreme Consciousness and Supreme Entity. She advised her sons about the illusion of this life, and for Absolute Entity, how this world is just a dream, having no existence. She imparted the real knowledge in her three sons from their very young age and directed them to give up all attachments.
When she was about to do the same thing for her fourth son, the king understood the power of her education and stopped her from doing so, as there was no heir to the kingdom. But later, the fourth son, after going through all the troubles of this materialistic world, gave up the attachments and desires and became a great yogi.
She is a true example of how an enlightened, educated mother can guide her children towards the Supreme One.
Wow! It is too inspiring to hear about these great personalities, Akka. Thank you very much for educating me on this.
Oh Sowmya! It is my duty to transfer knowledge as it was done to me long back. You do the same to your juniors and the people who don’t know about the power of womanhood and femininity. And, right now, let’s go and find your dormitory.