An Insightful Analysis
From pre-historic stages women have been tortured, raped, sold, they even embraced death by committing suicide or accepting ‘Sati’ culture and were affected with other social and domestic violence. They were always considered to be weaker than masculine world of muscles. But the great personalities like Gautam Buddha, Sri Chaitanyadeva, Yaban Haridas, Raja Rammohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Sir Ramkrishna, Swami Vivekananda and a good number of other ideal humans tried their best to wipe out pains of the women in different ages. Although in India, in the ages of Vedas, women were equally participants in the rituals and also as composers of various hymns but gradually their activities were confined in domestic world. However, many of them came forward alone or with their counterparts to work for the development, to bring light in the darkness of the society.
At the advent of Vaishnavism led by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, women, despite performing all their domestic duties, were involved in spreading Vaishnavism and glorified it. The book, originally written in Bengali by Dr. Uma Bandopadhyay, was in two parts elaborating the lives of Vaishnavite women. The present writer translated in abridged and edited form of 108 lives of women in English. It is sure that thousands of women devotees still remain, who should be remembered.
The book remembers the women who were not less than any male personality in the path of sadhna in different spheres of life. It cites a few women whose contributions, inspirations etc helped the men to work successfully in the world. It admits that almost in all the successes there was a woman. Without women or females, the world cannot move a single step. The book talks about the women who from very beginning or ultimately became Vaishnava minded. It recollects the Arber or Alawar sect of people, who used to worship Lord Vishnu or Lord Ranganatha or Venkateswar. The book contains 108 chapters on Vaishnava women. In 107 and 108 chapters, it recollects Basudha and Janhaba Devi, two wives of Sri Nityanandaprabhu of 16th century.
The writer, Radhakrishna Goswami wrote many articles on various topics of Bengali and Indian Literature including on Raja Rammohan Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo and specially on Lord Sri Chaitanyadev, Sri Gadadhar Pundit, Sri Nityananda prabhu, Sri Adwaitaprabhu, Yaban Haridas and others, the followers of Sri Chaitanyadev during the last more than four decades in different periodicals and self-authored books. The book is a comprehensive read on Vaishnava women.