patiṁ putraṁ bhrātaraṁ vā
ghnanty arthe ghātayanti ca
A woman’s nature has been particularly well studied by Kaśyapa Muni. Women are self-interested by nature, and therefore they should be protected by all means so that their natural inclination to be too self-interested will not be manifested. Women need to be protected by men. A woman should be cared for by her father in her childhood, by her husband in her youth and by her grown sons in her old age. This is the injunction of Manu, who says that a woman should not be given independence at any stage. Women must be cared for so that they will not be free to manifest their natural tendency for gross selfishness. There have been many cases, even in the present day, in which women have killed their husbands to take advantage of their insurance policies. This is not a criticism of women but a practical study of their nature. Such natural instincts of a woman or a man are manifested only in the bodily conception of life. When either a man or a woman is advanced in spiritual consciousness, the bodily conception of life practically vanishes. We should see all women as spiritual units (ahaṁ brahmāsmi), whose only duty is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Then the influences of the different modes of material nature, which result from one’s possessing a material body, will not act.
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is so beneficial that it can very easily counteract the contamination of material nature, which results from one’s possessing a material body. Bhagavad-gītā therefore teaches, in the very beginning, that whether one is a man or a woman, one must know that he or she is not the body but a spiritual soul. Everyone should be interested in the activities of the spirit soul, not the body. As long as one is activated by the bodily conception of life, there is always the danger of being misled, whether one is a man or a woman. The soul is sometimes described as puruṣa because whether one is dressed as a man or a woman, one is inclined to enjoy this material world. One who has this spirit of enjoyment is described as puruṣa. Whether one is a man or a woman, he is not interested in serving others; everyone is interested in satisfying his or her own senses. Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however, provides first-class training for a man or a woman. A man should be trained to be a first-class devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and a woman should be trained to be a very chaste follower of her husband. That will make the lives of both of them happy.