Women of Substance

Womanhood is not about being intelligent or happy or ambitious. It is about being thoughtfully intelligent, emotionally balanced and productively active. This is what we see in the three queens of Dasaratha in the Ramayana. Together they teach us different aspects of what being a woman is all about. They holistically teach us how to keep relationships dynamic and more than that, they teach us how to be stable in spite of living with insensitive people.

The first queen Kaushalya was a thought-oriented person. She learnt to adapt to every situation and relationship by philosophizing. Aware that her husband did not care for her, Kaushalya decided to focus on serving society by running gurukuls.

The second queen Sumitra was an emotion-oriented person. She had learnt to look at emotional fulfillment as the essence of all relationships. Before leaving Ayodhya, Rama did not seek permission from Sumitra. But that never bothered her a bit since she had experienced the love and respect Rama had for her all life through. That emotional fulfillment helped her remain unaffected by the apparent lack of action on Rama’s part in this situation; neither did it impact her relationship with him.

And the third queen Keikeyi was an action-oriented person. She had learnt to observe minutely people’s actions and conclude about their intentions. When Manthara pointed out to Keikeyi that the action of Dasaratha deciding to coronate Rama in haste without even inviting Bharata and her father was suspicious; this omission in his action made Keikeyi doubt Dasaratha’s very intention.

For a Keikeyi type person, what people do is important. People’s behaviour governs her behaviour towards them. For a Sumitra type person, what people mean to do or say is important. Behaviour doesn’t affect her, but intentions do. For a Kaushalya type person, what she thinks is important. Neither people’s behaviour nor their intentions influence her; she chooses to focus on that which gives her satisfaction.

Are you action – oriented (Keikeyi type)?

Do you react seeing wrong behaviour and quick to judge a person?

Do you have auto-mode loops of what good behaviour is and don’t like to bargain with your expectations?

Such people have a tendency to wrongly conclude others’ intentions. When we impulsively judge others’ behaviour, and compound that with a razor-sharp tongue, we snap relations instantly and permanently. The ego is a permanent beggar, begging cheap coins of attention oriented action. When someone’s action ignores the plea for attention, one tends to lash out in frustration. A road roller crushes everything in its way. Similarly, action – oriented people tend to be intolerant towards others’ actions that are inconsistent with their needs.

Are you emotion – oriented (Sumitra type)?

Do you see everything in black or white?

Are you unaffected by what people say or do?

Like Sumitra, such people have to learn that everything is not black or white, but often shades of gray. Where there is love, there is implicit trust. Even if given every reason to doubt, Sumitra-like people discipline their intelligence not to doubt the intention. When intention is doubted, it is the beginning of the end of a relationship.

An ant changes its direction when anything comes its way. So do Sumitra type of people who tend to adjust their lives to accommodate the inconsistency of others with a mature understanding that situations in life force people to behave in odd ways.

Are you thought – oriented (Kaushalya type)?

Are you always ready with a plan B?

Do you focus on your satisfaction, searching for a rainbow behind every cloud?

Kaushalya type people are ready to deal with surprises in life. Not everything goes according to plan, including relationships. Even if we do everything right, there will always be some people who do not reciprocate appropriately. When the doer in us doesn’t give results as expected, the knower in us has to take over. When what we do doesn’t work, we have to train our intelligence to accept the realities gratefully.

An eagle flies to a higher dimension when anything comes its way. That’s why thought - oriented people focus on those aspects of life that uplift them rather than trying to dirty their hands and their consciousness with conflicts.

Keikeyi type people prefer to focus on project growth.

Sumitra type people prefer to focus on relationship growth.

Kaushalya type people prefer to focus on self-growth.

Keikeyi type personality makes for a good business woman, always in action. Sumitra type personality has many successful relationships pleasing everyone around her. Kaushalya type personality is the agony aunt helping others handles their problems.

It is not that one of these types of personalities is right and the others are wrong. Each of these personalities has its advantages. The idea is not to be just one of these, but like a positive chameleon, adopt one of these shades according to the need of the hour.

When you see bad behaviour, focus on the good intention. When you see bad intention, focus on upgrading your life’s priorities. That’s what makes a woman of substance.

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