vacas ca sravanamrtam
strinam ko veda cestitam
sarat—in the autumn; padma—a lotus flower; utsavam—blossoming; vaktram—face; vacah—words; ca—and; sravana—to the ear; amrtam—giving pleasure; hrdayam—heart; ksura-dhara—the blade of a razor; abham—like; strinam—of women; kah—who; veda—knows; cestitam—the dealings.
A woman’s face is as attractive and beautiful as a blossoming lotus flower during autumn. Her words are very sweet, and they give pleasure to the ear, but if we study a woman’s heart, we can understand it to be extremely sharp, like the blade of a razor. In these circumstances, who could understand the dealings of a woman?
Woman is now depicted very well from the materialistic point of view by Kasyapa Muni. Women are generally known as the fair sex, and especially in youth, at the age of sixteen or seventeen, women are very attractive to men. Therefore a woman’s face is compared to a blooming lotus flower in autumn. Just as a lotus is extremely beautiful in autumn, a woman at the threshold of youthful beauty is extremely attractive. In Sanskrit a woman’s voice is called nari-svara because women generally sing and their singing is very attractive. At the present moment, cinema artists, especially female singers, are especially welcome. Some of them earn fabulous amounts of money simply by singing. Therefore, as taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, a woman’s singing is dangerous because it can make a sannyasi fall a victim to the woman. Sannyasa means giving up the company of women, but if a sannyasi hears the voice of a woman and sees her beautiful face, he certainly becomes attracted and is sure to fall down. There have been many examples. Even the great sage Visvamitra fell a victim to Menaka. Therefore a person desiring to advance in spiritual consciousness must be especially careful not to see a woman’s face or hear a woman’s voice. To see a woman’s face and appreciate its beauty or to hear a woman’s voice and appreciate her singing as very nice is a subtle falldown for a brahmacari or sannyasi. Thus the description of a woman’s features by Kasyapa Muni is very instructive.
When a woman’s bodily features are attractive, when her face is beautiful and when her voice is sweet, she is naturally a trap for a man. The sastras advise that when such a woman comes to serve a man, she should be considered to be like a dark well covered by grass. In the fields there are many such wells, and a man who does not know about them drops through the grass and falls down. Thus there are many such instructions. Since the attraction of the material world is based on attraction for women, Kasyapa Muni thought, “Under the circumstances, who can understand the heart of a woman?” Canakya Pandita has also advised, visvaso naiva kartavyah strisu raja-kulesu ca: “There are two persons one should not trust—a politician and a woman.” These, of course, are authoritative sastric injunctions, and we should therefore be very careful in our dealings with women.
Sometimes our Krsna consciousness movement is criticized for mingling men and women, but Krsna consciousness is meant for anyone. Whether one is a man or woman does not matter. Lord Krsna personally says, striyo vaisyas tatha sudras te ’pi yanti param gatim: whether one is a woman, sudra or vaisya, not to speak of being a brahmana or ksatriya, everyone is fit to return home, back to Godhead, if he strictly follows the instructions of the spiritual master and sastra. We therefore request all the members of the Krsna consciousness movement—both men and women—not to be attracted by bodily features but only to be attracted by Krsna. Then everything will be all right. Otherwise there will be danger.
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