Ramabai was not a picture of empowerment of women and protection of children and education for both. That is what Ramabai
did and incorporated her faith in accomplishing it.
Berg was opposite of Ramabai with his teachings and "revelations" on child brides, his views on women in letters like "Revolutionary
Sex", "The Marry Time Dream", "IRFer's Beware" etc.
Ramabai would have been absolutely appalled by what Berg was teaching and how Berg oppressed women and children.
Men too of course, but education was not valued within the Family and neither was advancement of women and certainly not empowerment
of children. You don't empower children by teaching them to be little slaves for a sexualized cult that will spit them out
if they don't obey.
And now here are some excepts from articles on Pandita.
Salvation a Free Gift
In Calcutta Ramabai first heard about Christ. She discovered that salvation is a free gift from God, not a reward earned by
pilgrimages and payments. But Ramabai thought a Christian had to adopt European customs. Since she did not like European food
or clothes, she joined a cult that mixed Christian and Hindu ideas. She escaped this only after a missionary explained that
Christianity allows great freedom. She could eat and dress in the Hindu tradition. Meanwhile, her brother died. Ramabai married,
but her husband died, too, of cholera. She was left with a baby daughter, whom she named Manoramabai, "Heart's joy."
"Hells on Earth"
If women in India ranked low, widows ranked lower. Some were burned alive on their husbands' funeral pyres. Many who were
allowed to live were forced to become slaves. Others were sent to temples as prostitutes to make money for priests. Pandita
had seen all of this and was indignant.
There are thousands of priests and men learned in sacred lore... They neglect and oppress the widows, and devour widows' houses
... hire them out to wicked men so long as they can get money; and when the poor, miserable slaves are no longer pleasing
to their cruel masters, they turn them out in the street to beg their livelihood, to suffer the horrible consequences of sin,
to carry the burden of shame, and finally to die the death worse than that of a starved street dog. The so-called sacred places--those
veritable hells on earth--have become the graveyards of countless widows and orphans.
A Talent Turned to Teaching
It is all very well to be called "Pandita," but such honors need to be turned to good purposes. Ramabai pioneered an organization
to reform the treatment of women.
But she felt that God was nudging her to go to England. Although she had no money, she set out, taking her daughter with her.
At St. Mary's Home in Wantage, England, Church of England sisters took her in, taught her about Christ, and baptized her.
Later she said God had led her into a strange land just as he led Abraham. From England, Ramabai traveled to the United States,
where she studied education and spoke to assemblies about India's needs. She published an influential book, The High Caste
Hindu Woman. Interested Americans formed an organization to support her.
The Refuge Called "Mukti"
Ramabai began by opening a school for a few pupils. She promised not to pressure Hindu girls to become Christians. However,
she offered the Bible to them. Through reading the Bible and observing Ramabai's godly life, several girls converted to Christianity.
Hindus complained that Ramabai was betraying her own culture. Eventually Ramabai saw that she could not walk between two faiths.
She declared that her school would be completely Christian.
Other projects followed. Many women came to her--girl brides so abused they were terrified of a touch; older women, snarling
like animals from years of cruelty. On farmland inherited from her family and land bought from a liquor dealer, she created
a refuge called Mukti, which means "salvation" in many Indian languages. There she developed orchards and taught arts that
would support women.
But many widows refused to come to Mukti. Their minds were filled with dread of Christians. ". . They think that some day
after they are well fattened they will be hung head downward, and a great fire will be built underneath, and oil will be extracted
from them to be sold at a fabulously large price for medical purposes. Others think that they will be put into mills and their
bones ground.... They cannot understand that anyone would be kind to them without some selfish purpose."
In the history of the church, there are times when the Holy Spirit moves with extraordinary power among God's people. They
awaken to their true spiritual condition. Pandita and 550 women prayed for such a movement to come to Mukti. On June 29, 1905,
a large group felt the Spirit's presence. Weeping, they confessed their sins. Women testified to a holy burning that was almost
Not Lower than Pigs After All
Pandita died in 1922, having done much to raise the status of her Hindu sisters. If ever a life demonstrated that women are
not lower than pigs, that life was Ramabai's.
Was Ramabai the Greatest Indian Woman in the Past 1,000 Years?
Vishal Mangalwadi thinks so. He is an internationally renowned scholar and the author of India: The Grand Experiment, Beyond
the New Age, The World of Gurus, and many more. He comments, "There are good reasons to nominate Mrs. Indira Gandhi as the
Indian Woman of the 20th Century. However, had she been born a century earlier, she would have been married off to a Brahmin
as an illiterate girl before she was 12 years old. And had she refused to be burnt alive on her husband's funeral pyre, she
would have had to spend her widowhood in seclusion as an inauspicious woman. The woman who began reforming India's attitude
towards women was Pandita Ramabai Sarswati--a builder of modem India. Pandita Ramabai is the Indian woman of the Millennium."
Ramabai in her Own Words
Some years ago I was brought to the conviction that mine was only an intellectual belief--a belief in which them was no life.
It looked for salvation in the future after death; and consequently my soul had not "Passed from death unto life." God showed
me how very dangerous my position was, and what a wretched and lost sinner I was, and how necessary it was to obtain salvation
in the present, and not in some future time. I repented long; I became very restless and almost ill and passed many sleepless
nights. The Holy Spirit so got hold of me that I could not rest until I found salvation then and there. So I prayed earnestly
to God to pardon my sins for the sake of Jesus Christ and let me realize that I had really got salvation through him. I believed
God's promise and took Him at His word, and when I had done this, my burden rolled away, and I realized that I was forgiven
and freed from the power of sin.
Anatomy of a Hoax
Ramabai and her brother came to a lake in which seven sages supposedly took the form of seven "mountains." For a purified
person, the mountains swam forward, but for the evil stood still. The mountains stayed put for Ramabai and her brother. Despite
warnings from the priests that crocodiles lived in the water, the brother swam to the islands at night. He found that they
were built on rafts which a priest pushed forward at a signal from shore after a pilgrim proved his virtue with a coin.
A Merciful Reprieve
Ramabai's learning was not in vain. In the last 15 years of her life, she mastered Greek and Hebrew to translate the Bible
into Marathi. As death neared, she prayed for ten days to finish the proofs and God granted her exactly ten.
Christ's Work Continues at Ramabai Mukti Mission
It plants churches and advances her noble ideals of justice and mercy for the oppressed by providing orphanages, rescue homes
for destitute women and unwed mothers, schools, vocational training, village evangelism, and a large hospital. The work at
Mukti today remains devoted to Christ and the Scriptures, as Ramabai arranged that the work would be overseen in the future
by committed Christians.