He stoked the fire again in Indore by saying that marriage is a "social contract" where the wife is supposed to look after household chores and the husband expected to earn.
He also said that marriage could be called off in case either violated this contract.
RSS leader Ram Madhav said Bhagwat had been misquoted.
"He (Bhagwat) said that the western marriage system is contractual and many social scientists also agree that the western marriage system is contractual. The Indian marriage system is a sacred concept where women have a lot of respect and men have certain obligations," Madhav said.
"He did not say that the Indian marriage system was a contract."
Brinda Karat of CPM said the comments are derogatory to women.
"When these (RSS) people talk about 'Hindu Rashtra' and 'Hindutva', it's based on this highly casteist, patriarchal framework and that is why I think what the RSS spokesmen are saying reflect their inner thoughts. They believe women are subordinate to men and women are appendages to men," she said.
HT Poll: Politically incorrect