Mere condemning of lust is not sufficient to wean the mind from sexual craving. Remember this point well. Lust is potent. Lust is virulent. Lust is formidable. Lust is uncontrollable by persons of weak will. One should be aware also of the ways of Maya, which entangle him in her net or snare.
A woman should be aware of the charms of a man which entice her and make her a prey to man, and man should be aware of the charms of a woman which entice him and make him a prey to woman. A woman is a temptress for man and a man is a tempter for woman. Man also has much charm in him to entrap a woman. Man appears more beautiful in the eyes of a woman than a woman in the eyes of a man. Man also tries to entrap a woman by his dress, ties and bows, by his smile, outward show of affection, glances, gestures, flowery words, various ways of dressing his hair and other tricks.
Lust is a potent force, very difficult to be got rid of. That is the reason why the Shastras and saints censure and condemn women in order to create dispassion and discrimination in men and wean them from lustful tendencies and aggressive attacks. Sri Sankara, Sri Dattatreya, Sri Rama, Sri Tulasidas have all criticised women not out of hatred, prejudice or dislike, but out of compassion for elevating people from the quagmire of Samsara.
Their criticism of women implies and includes criticism of man also. Their criticism aims at weaning the minds of worldly persons from sexual sin and creating disgust for sexual pleasure, and dispassion for worldly objects. This is misunderstood by people.
The same scriptures and saints who censure women in one place praise them in another.
They say, “Women should be honoured. They are Ardhanginis. They are manifestations of Sakti or the energy of the Lord. Only those who honour women can attain prosperity.”
Therefore, O women! Try to know the heart of the scriptures and the saints and become wise.
– Swami Sivananda