The meaning of Gayatri worship is to regard God as Mother and sit in her lap. Of all the relations in the world, the relationship of mother and child is most loving and intimate. With whatever devotion we turn to God, He responds according to our faith. When the devotee visualises God in the form of Mother and sits in her lap he gets affectionate response accordingly.
The qualities of love, affection, compassion, tenderness, generosity are, by nature, found in greater degree in women than in men. Rishis have, therefore, been worshipping God in the form of mother since days immemorial and they have directed every person having faith in religion to adopt this easy and safe path of Sadhana.Gayatri worship is supposed to be the daily religious routine of every Indian.
Whatever may be the system of sandhya vandan, Gayatri is an essential element in it. One may or may not perform Gayatri Sadhana for a specific worldly or spiritual purpose but he is guilty of neglecting his religious duties, if he does not perform daily routine of Sadhana.
Daughter and son both are beloved children of the mother. Man and woman are both equally dear to God. No impartial and just parents discriminate between their children on the ground of sex. God has provided facilities for performance of religious duties and Sadhana for self-realization both to man and woman. This is but appropriate on the grounds of equality, justice and impartiality and is proved by logic as well.
This simple truth hardly calls for debate and dispute. It is gratifying to note that in the recent past, wise and farsighted eminent person’s men have been trying to abolish evil customs of the dark middle ages. They have started realizing that India will not be able to regain its ancient glory so long as women are not liberated from the iron grip of narrow-mindedness in which they have been encased since the middle ages.
The story of Kumari Kalyani
There has been considerable discussion amongst the scholars of Kashi on the controversy whether women have a right to chant Ved-Mantras.
A girl student named Kumari Kalyani wanted to seek admission to a course in which Vedas were taught in Banaras Hindu University. The authorities refused to grant admission according to the prevalent belief on the ground that a woman, according to Shastras, had no right to chant Ved-mantras.
This controversy continued for quite a long time. A paper “Sarvadeshik” published several articles in support of the right of women to study Vedas while the other paper “Sidhanta” took an opposite view. A deputation of Arya Samajists met University authorities and there was prolonged discussion on the subject.
Ultimately, the University appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya in which several Vedic scholars were included. The committee, after a thorough study of the shastras, gave a finding that women have the same right as men in respect of Vedas.
Mahamana Malviyaji, who was considered as the standard bearer of Sanatan Dharma, announced this decision of the committee on 22nd August 1946.
Kumari Kalyani was accordingly admitted to the course in which Vedas were taught and it was finally decided that henceforth women would have the right to study Vedas and there would be no discrimination on grounds of sex.
Nobody can say that Mahamana Malviyaji and his learned colleagues could be hostile to the tenets of Sanatan Dharma. Their devotion to religion is well-known. What can be said about the wisdom of those persons who still persist in saying that women have no right to worship Gayatri when this controversy has been settled once for all by eminent persons like Malviyaji?
The names of several learned women of the ancient times are still famous. References are found in Vedas about several women rishis being authors of several Ved-Mantras. It is, therefore, the duty of all social reformers to follow in this respect the decision given by Malviyaji who has been a rishi of the present age.