Doors open for Hindu women priests



“Hindu women in South Africa should enter the priesthood and become priests.” This is an impassionate call to all Hindu women to enter the priesthood which is currently male dominated.

The call comes after the South African Hindu Dharma Sabha held its National Executive Council in June and adopted the bold and historic resolution to launch a national campaign to ensure widows in particular and women in general are granted equal rights, access and opportunities with males in respect to all Hindu rites and rituals.

President of the SA Hindu Dharma Sabha, Ram Maharaj said, “Hindu women should be encouraged to become priests. There should be no caste-based prejudice in priesthood. Every Hindu family has a democratic right to engage the services of a priest of choice. The Dharma Sabha further resolved to implement impactful change to promote progressive practices and restore our great Hindu Dharma to its pristine glory. The Dharma Sabha welcomes healthy debate and broad consensus so that as Hindus we can move forward together. The sabha urges Hindu leaders and priests to play a positive and progressive role in respect of this critical issue.”

Maharaj added, “The Dharma Sabha has called for widows and women to be given full rights in all Hindu practices including marriage ceremonies, hoisting of Lord Hanuman jhunda (flag) pole, etc. The Dharma Sabha wants to make it loud and clear, far and wide, that there is no Hindu scriptural authority supporting discrimination against widows and females. In fact, Hinduism introduced gender equity to the world. The main Hindu scripture, the Vedas, which date back more than 6000 BC declare – ‘Men and women, being equal halves of one substance – are equal in every respect.’

“Hinduism is the only religion which promotes worship of God as father and mother. In the Holy Gita, Lord Krishna clearly states – ‘The same I am to all beings.’ The Dharma Sabha’s definitive position is that God is equally available to all devotees,” said Maharaj.