"It is she, not a wife or a saint, who assumes the public role of teacher and is capable of teaching all of humankind"
"In the medieval period, there is an ultimate feminine guru represented in a classical text: the Goddess. It is she, not a wife or a saint, who assumes the public role of teacher and is capable of teaching all of humankind, which is the perspective advanced in the Devi Gita... the culmination of earlier stories of the Goddess found in the puranic mythological stories and in early tantric texts, precisely because the Devi Gita raises the Goddess to the level of Supreme Ruler. In the Devi Gita, supreme cosmic power is unambiguously female: she is a beautiful goddess, her power is the feminine shakti, and she is not linked to a male god, being most frequently referred as Mother. In the text, she first appears as a blazing light, symbolizing brahman, then transforms into a womanly figure, who is the Supreme Ruler Bhuvaneshvari)...
What is unambiguous in the text is that all of humankind is essentially female. The Devi Gita asserts this axiom in two ways. On one level, the Goddess is brahman; thus, humankind's true inner essence, the divine self, is the Goddess. On another level, the Devi Gita explicitly connects the Goddess to the concept of kundalini from yoga theory. The theory of kundalini yoga is known from other texts, on which the Devi Gita draws in presenting the Goddess's teaching on the subject. Basic concepts in this theory of yoga include the understanding that humankind possesses a "subtle body" alongside the material body. This subtle body is homologized to cosmic entities and their corresponding cosmic energies. The power center is the kundalini, imagined to be coiled like a serpent at the base of the spine. Uncoiling this shakti energy through disciplined activities, including controlled breathing, correct posture, and meditation, is the goal, for it is only through the release of the kundalini that humankind can reach its full potential in sharing the fundamental essence of the universe. With its emphasis on the Goddess as the Supreme Ruler, the Devi Gita can make a further connection not possible in other texts: The kundalini is the essence of the Goddess. The Goddess is the source, and the force, of life; everyone has the feminine within, and must embrace it, then release it, in order to achieve liberation.”
Karen Pechilis, The Graceful Guru
Oxford University Press, (August 5, 2004) pp. 23-25
"In some sense, the Goddess is our world in a way that God is not' (1996, 6). The association of the Goddess with sakti, too, is so strong that traditions of devotion to the Goddess in any of her forms are called Saktism, devotion to Sakti, and devotees of the Goddess are known as Saktas. The epithet 'Ma,' 'mother,' is commonly used for goddesses all over India. The understanding of Mahadevi as Divine Mother, an understanding that is obviously related to her femaleness, is underscored in several chapters of this book.”
Seeking Mahadevi: Constructing the Identities of the Hindu Great Goddess
Tracy Pintchman, State University of NY Press (Jun 1 2001) p. 6
"One of the reasons for the appeal of South Asian goddesses is their perceived accessibility, which results from their interest in the affairs of devotees. According to Madhu Khanna, one of my Indian collaborators, 'The Goddess is popular in India because she gives both bhoga and moksha. That is a very special thing about Goddess worship, that she's interested in worldly welfare as well as enlightenment'.”
Dobia, Approaching the Hindu Goddess of Desire
Feminist Theology: The Journal of the Britain & Ireland School; Sep 2007, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p 61
The Divine Feminine is deeply embedded in us
"In the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras humans worshipped the Great Mother. There came a shift from Goddess to God, a split between spirit and nature. Women were associated with nature. With the split there was a focus on the opposites, such as good-evil, man-woman, light-dark, etc. There was an emphasis on power and conquest. This caused a split within us. There is a difference between what is taught in a patriarchal religion and what is actually in our souls. The Divine Feminine is deeply embedded in us.
Our evolving caring for our planet, our emerging caring for beauty, harmony, justice, and unity of life are signs that the Divine Feminine is returning to our consciousness. We are reconnecting to the instinctual, trust, nurturing and unity of the opposites. The Divine Mother heals, comforts and consoles. She has the power to destroy the old and the love to transform our unbalanced patriarchal culture. The Divine Feminine also has the ability to abandon. She is the virgin, prostitute, nurturer, pain, the holy grail and the Holy Spirit. She is adored worshipped, and feared.
In Native Traditions there is Mother Earth. She surrounds and instructs. We can learn from them to respect the laws of nature. The following are the three laws of the Divine Feminine according to native traditions:
● The law of unity of life — There is one energy, one power. Everything is interconnected.
● The law of rhythm — This is an awareness and reverence for cycles, i.e. seasons, our bodily rhythm cycles. We survive by attuning ourselves to life's rhythms.
● The law of the love of the dance — This is living in intimacy with the pain, wildness and passion of Mother Nature. There is a unity of the opposites.
Gaia of ancient Greece was the Earth, The Mother of all life and Gods. She was the consciousness that guided and structured the order of creation. She was the life and law of creation. She inspired the Greek poets in their love of beauty and harmony.
The Goddesses made people aware that they walked on sacred ground. Aphrodite for the Greeks was their love of beauty and their response to it. Christianity banished Aphrodite. She stood for everything it feared. Such as, the delight in the body, sensuality, sexual desire, etc. These all meant temptation and sin to the Christians. If Aphrodite is not allowed to live in our souls, we are likely to experience depression and despair. The Christians have devalued women and have repressed a delight in life. When Aphrodite and what she signifies is repressed, she returns in negative ways, such as pornography and sadism.
In Judaism the Shekinah is the Talmudic concept of God's presence on Earth. In the Kabbalah the Shekinah is the return of the Bronze Age Great Goddess. She is the intermediary between the godhead and life and is the cosmic soul. She brings heaven and earth, the human and divine together. In the Shekinah we find the image of a sacred marriage, a divine father-mother. The Shekinah is mother, daughter, sister, holy spirit, a giving woman. She is the Cosmic Womb. She is the creative powers of both male and female. She is radiance, wisdom, compassion, mercy and justice. She also has the power to destroy. She has a deep devotion to what she has brought into being.
Gnostic tradition speaks of Sophia, the Divine Mother, but this has been taken out of Christian teaching. Today we might see the Shekinah as the energy that manifested as matter. Matter originates from the Latin word: mater, which means mother.
In Christianity, Mary, like older goddesses is the Light of the World, Queen of Heaven, Queen of the Sea, she presides over fertility and childbirth. She stands for the feminine principle that connects all things to each other. She speaks as though she were the voice of the Holy Spirit. She offers wisdom and warning and does not ask for belief. She asks for transformation. Many of Mary's traits were transferred to her from the Old Testament Shekinah. The Latin word for sea is mare, from which Mary's name is derived. Mary is the Womb of Creation, the great sea of being. The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary having been born with no Original Sin. This made her perfect for receiving the Lord.
Mary asks that we love with God's love, not with human love. Love begets healing. Mary sees even the smallest of goodness in people and is happy about it. She wants us to focus on what we have and not on what we do not have. Mary does not make life smooth she is a hand holder. Mary is the conduit between God and humans. Mary sometimes appears in visions at Fatima and Medjugorje. Her appearance is preceded by the scent of roses.
We feel closer to Mary, the nurturer than to the Patriarchal God who is seen as the stern judge. In Mexico Mary is worshipped more than Jesus.
Mary appears more times in the Koran than in the Gospels. However any experience of the Divine Feminine by Muhammed has been excised or muffled in "official" Islam. Muhammed borrowed the Shekinah from Judaism and called it the Sakina. The Sakina is a manifestation of God's presence on earth. The Muslims do not accept the feminine role for the Shekinah. Even though Sakina is a word of feminine gender, it is seen as neuter in Islam. Allah is masculine. To Muslims Sakina is an object of sexless Divine presence.
However, the power and radiance of the Divine Feminine is present in Sufi poetry and philosophy. They extol love of all human life and passion.
At one time in China The Garden of Paradise belonged to Hsi Wang Mu, Goddess of Eternal Life. She was the Cosmic Womb and Taoism emerged from this foundation. The Tao is The Mother of all things. Taoists have kept the Divine Feminine alive if their religion. They were able to develop the mind and stay in touch with the soul. Their images of yin and yang show that opposites complement each other. The opposites contain parts of each other.
The I Ching helps the individual balance the yin and yang energies. It teaches us to look for the deeper meaning of the One that is both. The way of Tao is to reconnect with the source, which is the root of heaven and earth.
In the Tao Teh Ching we learn the feminine trait of bowing to the other. Feminine quietness and stooping conquers the masculine. The sage is humble and does not put himself higher than anyone, he helps all creatures find their own nature. Mercy and non-striving are feminine traits which help the individual find heaven.
The following poem expresses what we are missing when we repress the Divine Feminine and what we gain when we embrace her.
When the moon rises in the
Heart of Heaven
And a light breeze touches the
mirror-like face of the lake.
That indeed is a moment of pure joy.
But few they are who are aware of it."
Chang Chung-Yuan, Creativity and Taoism
Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 2 edition (February 1, 2011)
THE WOMAN AS THE SOURCE OF EVIL
When a woman wishes to serve Christ more than the world, then she will cease to be a woman and will be called man. St. Jerome
The ancient Hebrew myths with which the book of Genesis opens describe the biblical understanding of many things. Their purpose was to explain what is. It was men who undoubtedly framed these legends and eventually recorded them, since women in that society had no access to the power that explained God or to the ability to write. Furthermore, women were assumed to have no interest in, or understanding of, the realities of human life. Women thus neither influenced cultural assumptions directly nor shaped primal decisions about the nature of anything, nor were they engaged in any decision-making processes. So it should come as no surprise that when this male-written and male-shaped biblical narrative seeks to explain how evil entered into God's good creation, it does so by declaring it to be the fault of that subhuman creature created by God to be the man's helpmeet. Her name was Eve.
In a man's world women have been blamed for many things from that day to this. If a man rapes a woman, it is because she has tempted him with a provocatively appealing dress. If a man abuses a woman, it is because she irritated him. If a man divorces a woman, it is because she became one with whom he found it no longer tolerable to live. If a woman is competent at playing the man's game, she is put down with the suggestion that at best she is a hussy and at worst a bitch. If she resorts to feminine wiles to achieve her goal, she is playing 'the female thing' for all she is worth. These assumptions continue the pattern established in this story told about the Garden of Eden. Eve was the reason for the man's downfall. She was responsible for the introduction of evil into the world. It is a wonderful story, but it is just that: a story. It is the narrative through which our ancestors tried to capture the 'truth' of their existence. Let me continue the storytelling process begun in the previous chapter, separating the myth from the holy sounds of biblical language.
In the beginning, said this ancient Hebrew legend, God created a perfect world. It was a world upon which the creating deity could look with a sense of satisfaction and pronounce all things good. It was also a finished world, so complete that God could take a day off to rest from the divine labors. It was in this way, this particular narrative suggested, that the Sabbath was established.
Into that perfect world in the Garden of Eden God placed a perfect man, Adam, and his perfect helpmeet, Eve, to be the stewards of God's bounty. In this garden was all that they could desire. There was ample water since four rivers ran through it. Those rivers were named the Pishon, the Gihon, the Hiddekel (sometimes called the Tigris) and the Euphrates. The latter two rivers are today identified with the country of Iraq and were known in ancient history as forming 'the Fertile Crescent' or the 'Cradle of Civilization.' There were also ample supplies of gold and onyx. The myth made no mention of how this first family would use these symbols of wealth, but whoever wrote the story understood their value and decided to include them in this first human dwelling place. There were also vegetables, fruit trees and all the other sources of food that human beings could want. It was a perfect world and the perfect man and the perfect woman who inhabited it had access to it all.
God and the man and the woman lived in a perfect relationship, symbolized in the story by the fact that God walked with Adam and Eve each day in the cool of the evening. Air-conditioning had not yet been developed and God knew better than to come out in the heat of the day. That kind of behavior was to be reserved in history for mad dogs and Englishmen!
There was but one rule in this original world. A tree stood in the midst of the garden, the fruit of which was forbidden to human beings. It was called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was not an apple tree. It did not become an apple tree until Jerome translated the scriptures into Latin in the fourth century of this Common Era.
Jerome's clever designation has enriched our language by entitling the cartilage that nervously vibrates in the throat of some men as the 'Adam's apple.' Apparently, the forbidden fruit stuck permanently in the throats of some of the sons of Adam!
So Adam and Eve settled happily into their life in this garden, enjoying it all while abiding by that single prohibition against eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Forbidden fruit, however, casts a peculiar kind of spell. It enters the fantasies. It creates wonder. One gets the impression that this tree was the subject of much conversation in the first family and even much mouth-watering anticipation. Nonetheless, Adam and Eve remained faithful to the divine command; at least they did so until one day when the woman was circling the tree alone. The story suggests that her fantasies simply overwhelmed her.
As Eve stared at that fruit, we are told, a serpent walked up to her on two legs, for that was the way snakes walked in those days. The snake spoke, probably in perfect Hebrew, since that surely was the only language Eve understood: 'Miss Eve, did God really say you could not eat the fruit of this tree?'
'Yes, Mr. Snake,' Eve responded. 'God said that if we eat the fruit of this tree, we will surely die!'
'You won't die, Miss Eve,' said the snake. 'God knows that if you eat of this tree, you will be as wise as God. God doesn't want human creatures to compete with the Holy One! You, Eve,' the serpent suggested, 'can be as wise as God!' That was a new idea for this woman. It presented her with a vision of transcending the limits of her humanity; it offered her a way to become something more than any of her dreams or fantasies had suggested; it freed her imagination.
The story suggests that this new idea constituted an irresistible and therefore a determinative temptation.
Eve succumbed and ate the fruit. Then she called the innocent Adam over and urged him to try it. He did. The deed was done. God's perfect creation was wrecked. Disobedience had entered the human arena through the woman, who was clearly the weak link in God's creation. After Adam and Eve ate, the story tells us, their eyes were opened and they discovered that they were naked. Presumably they had been naked all along, but it appears that they had not noticed. Now, aware of their bodies, they experienced shame. They scurried to cover their nakedness with fig leaf aprons.
Suddenly they realized it was nearing the time for God's evening stroll through the garden. Before their disobedience, God had been thought of as their friend and as one whose presence they anticipated with pleasure. After their disobedience, however, God was perceived as their judge, the elicitor of their guilt, a presence to be feared and avoided. They decided that they could no longer endure the company of the divine one, so in an act of wonderful theological na'vet', they invented a human game called 'hide-and-seek.' God was to be 'it.' It was a primitive conception that seemed to assume it really was possible to hide from God in the bushes. So it was done.
This strangely human deity, who was clearly without the divine quality of being all-seeing, began the stroll through the garden, only to discover that it was empty. The astounded God could not find the man and the woman. So God called out for the senior member of the human family: 'Adam, Adam, where are you?'
Since this was the first time the game of hide-and-seek had ever been played in human history, Adam did not quite understand the rules. If God called, he had to answer, so Adam responded, 'Here we are, God, hiding in the bushes.'
'What in the world are you doing in the bushes?' God asked. But then it suddenly dawned on the divine consciousness, which apparently did not know all things in advance, just what this behavior meant. So God asked, 'Have you eaten of that tree?'
'It was not I,' said Adam. 'It was that woman. You remember, that woman you made.'
'It was not I,' said the woman. 'It was that snake.' So the process of blame and rationalization began.
John Selby Spong, The Sins of Scripture
HarperOne (October 13, 2009) pp. 86-92
"Now what I have told you about Adam and Eve, we have found out, said by also John in his Gnostics book. it's very surprising. They always told you that Christ must have told you many things, but they are not in the Bible. So if you understand that this Adi Shakti came as a serpent ' the Adi Kundalini part of Her ' and told the Adam and Eve, especially Eve, that she should ask for the fruit of knowledge to be eaten. The reason I gave you is exactly written there, that the Mother power, the feminine power, didn't want Her children to live like animals without understanding what is the knowledge of the higher realms, not giving them chance to rise higher through their freedom and then to higher and higher awareness. It was the concern of the Mother.”
The Paraclete Shri Mataji
Shri Adi Shakti Puja, Cabella, Italy— June 26, 1994
"This power of Kundalini—which is your individual mother—is waiting in the sacrum bone and knows all about your past and all about your aspirations, your future. So She knows your problems. She is your individual Mother and She is anxious to give you your second birth. Once it happens automatically you start seeing things very clearly in the light of the spirit, because light gets enlightened, spirit gets enlightened. And you start seeing yourself clearly, understanding what you have. Then you know how to cure yourself, improve yourself.”
The Paraclete Shri Mataji
Public programme, Moscow, Russia — July 15, 1996
“This great Brahma Shakti is at your lotus feet. Perhaps Sahaja Yogis do not realize what they have achieved. The only difference between a Adi Guru and a Guru, Satguru I would say, is this — that the Adi Guru knows that he is the controlling Power. He knows he is with absolute oneness with the Brahmatatwa , with the Cosmic. The authority with which he talks, the complete confidence with which he says things there is no doubt in any one of His teachings. He is saying, 'Verily I say to you ...' That confidence that 'I am the Brahmatattwa', that 'I am the Brahma', and that 'I am controlling all that Tattwa', makes them a prophet because whatever he says or prophesies is the Truth. Whatever he says about the past is the Truth and he knows that he has no doubts. The authority with which Moses talked, authority with which Socrates talked, authority with which Lao-tze talked. All these great Adi Gurus from Adi Nath to Sai Nath, they didn't say, 'If you do this would be good or that would be good.' 'No! this is what it is — you better do it. This is what it is.'
But in modern times those gurus might not work out. That is why a Mother had to come — first to give Realization... Your Mother is The Mother of all the Adi Gurus. She is the One who taught all the Adi Gurus. She created the Adi Gurus. She will create out of you the Adi Guru.”
The Paraclete Shri Mataji
You Are Gurus, Guru Puja, Gmunden, Austria — July 6, 1986
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