The Dignity of Women: A Spiritual Approach

Garda Ghista
Perhaps one of the most renowned sayings of Shri Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar is that women are the most dignified section of society. Let us briefly examine the implications of this momentous statement. In his book Ananda Vacanamrtam, Pt. 30 on page 75, he explains in a nutshell the spiritual foundation of dignified living. When someone rushes towards Supreme Consciousness, forgetting all else, and becomes elevated through this process, she or he is known as a sanctified being. When that sanctified being does selfless service to those around her or him, then that person is known as a dignified being. Sarkar has further stated in this book, that this is the reason why He referred to women as the most dignified section of human society.

Social Dignity

The evolutionary forces have not stopped. The theatre of action has shifted to the psychic level. Evolution is now expressing its power in the daily struggle of men and women everywhere to attain dignity. – P.R. Sarkar

When it comes to family and work relationships, dignity means not degrading oneself by becoming petty, abusive/ vindictive, cynical/amoral or corrupt. In other words, not losing the innate feeling of love for everyone, as a form of love for the Supreme Entity. This love is called neohumanistic love, as it metamorphoses physical, emotional and mental beings into new, divine human beings who are actively surrendering to and loving their dearest Lord in each and every object of this universe.

Living in capitalist economic systems makes this difficult to achieve, as capitalism nurtures selfishness and self-centeredness. Women are surviving this assault on human dignity better than men are. Sociopathy is primarily a male phenomenon. Men commit the majority of murders. Men commit the majority of violence and rapes. Cooperative living is easier for women, because men are often very competitive and thus find it very difficult to work together over a long period of time. Misanthropy or hatred of humanity is increasing everywhere, but is exhibited more by men.

While the numerous programs of PROUT fight against the exploitation that engenders this social malaise, He always emphasizes that true dignity, true progress can only be achieved by becoming more and more spiritual. History has recorded so many rebels who, when later in power, became reactionaries. This is because they were not real revolutionaries, or what Sarkar calls nuclear revolutionaries or [weaver_popup_link href=’http://www.proutglobe.org/2011/08/prout-globe-dictionary/#sadvipra’ h=300 w=700]sadvipras[/weaver_popup_link]. A nuclear revolutionary is someone who is a revolutionary in each and every aspect of social life, be it in morality, work habits, art, music, engineering, domestic life, cooking, farming, and so on. Sarkar extols their glory, saying,

“Theirs is a valiant and relentless fight against the obstacles created by the illusive force of utter ignorance which try to detract them from the path of the attainment of Supreme Consciousness, their cherished goal, their final desideratum, their polestar, the only ideal of their lives. In the social sphere they struggle not to reform society for the sake of reformation, but to combat the defects and inconsistencies in all walks of life which are detrimental to spiritual life and a stumbling block on the path of attaining the supreme goal. In short they seek to build a balanced, harmonious spiritual society. Their endeavor to remove the thorns scattered along the path of progress is ceaseless.”

So the essential root of such a revolutionary lies in the spiritual realm. Such a soul is not merely spiritual but a unique revolutionary in the spiritual field, such as the great Tantric poet-saint Ammaiyar, who left her house and roamed the cremation ground singing songs of love to Shiva. It is such intense pursuit of the Lord, that is the quintessence of nuclear revolution or what we have earlier called sanctity. In the same way Sarkar calls upon us all:

“With cosmic ideation set out from the starting point of morality and advance towards supreme realization. Your feet may bleed, cut by the thorns scattered on the road, the sky, rent asunder by the lightning and crashing thunder of the fearful storm, may fall on your head, but proceed you must. You are a born fighter. To flee the battle in fear and hide like a corpse in the hills is ultravirus to your existential vitality. You must advance towards the Supreme Entity, your original abode, smashing all obstacles on the path. From time immemorial you have been listening to the sweetness of His divine call. Can you remain oblivious to it engrossed in your little world created by illusion.”

Sanctity

In citing the story of Madhalasa (the great mother & realized soul who lived in India 2,000 years ago), Sarkar explains how she realized that women are naturally more spiritually inclined and devoted to the Beloved Lord than men. He further states that with this in mind he formulated his educational system. Why is it the case that women are more devotional? Devotion starts as sentiment or emotion. For it is with emotional force that we take all of our existence away from external objects and internal objects (ideas, complexes, attachments, etc.) and run towards the Supreme Subjectivity and surrender all ‘I’. And it is this state of surrender or union that is called yoga or devotion.

Generally women are more emotionally mature, articulate and often more emotionally evolved than men. Men, according to Tantra (the essence of spiritual practice that emerged 7500 years ago in Rahr, India), have greater capacity for conceptualization (though, like women, they use only 1% of it) as well as a greater capacity to absorb microvita . Microvita are the smallest particles of life used to accelerate physical, psychic and indirectly psycho-spiritual progress. However, these physical and mental capacities count for very little on the spiritual path in comparison with the radiant glory of devotion. As Sarkar has said, “the attempt to surrender oneself through devotion forms the essential part of one’s sadhana (spiritual practice).”

There have been countless intellectuals and yogis who have had very little impact on human society – on the human heart. But great devotees like Chaetanya Mahaprabhu transformed hundreds of ordinary and even anti-social people into saints lost in the ecstatic current of kiirtan (singing the Lord’s Name). The memories of great devotees like Miirabai still continue to throb in the human heart.

In general men are more capable of mental dedication to an ideal or a philosophy. Women are more capable of emotional dedication to an individual. While men have sometimes been encouraged to dedicate themselves to an expansive, powerful idea (such as a mantra, for example) in order to attain true freedom, women have always been hindered from expanding emotionally beyond domestic love into the infinite love for the Beloved. Miirabai, the great poet-saint who gave up all to sing to her Beloved Lord is still abused by many males in her native state of Rajasthan, India. Some of these males even scathingly refer to her as a prostitute! Why? Only because when her husband was hindering her from meeting with other devotees, she left him to devote herself full-time to singing devotional songs to the Beloved! In her cultural environment, it was considered sinful for her to do this. Even today in many countries, people feel that women are only there to serve the husband and should not think of serving the Lord full-time, whereas men are encouraged to do this.

If women can transform their greater sentimentality or emotion into devotional love, they can very easily be established in the highest spiritual states of true love for our Beloved. But in fact, in today’s world, women are encouraged, (via pseudo-culture propagated by the media) to repress emotions in the same way that men repress them, and also to primarily think of men as sexual objects of pleasure. This is the exact same way men have been encouraged to think of women. We can see this when reading newspaper and magazine articles by women journalists, who are often writing in the same crude vein as many male journalists.

If women focus their greater sentimentality away from limited physical, emotional and mental objects and focus it entirely on our Beloved, who is the true reality behind all these objects, they can become sanctified beings. For during the sweet chase after our Beloved, the collective force of their psychic existence is transformed into a purely spiritual force. The greater the intensity with which one runs after the Beloved, the greater becomes one’s sanctity and devotion. Since women naturally tend to be more extreme in demonstrating their love, for this very reason women become sanctified more easily than men. This is the first reason why women are the most dignified section of society.

Another reason given in Tantra why women are more sanctified is that men usually have great attraction for knowledge (jinana) and occult powers (siddhi) for the purpose of becoming recognized as a saint or a so-called guru. This very often causes men to fall away from the spiritual path. Even for those men who don’t entirely leave the spiritual path, this desire for knowledge (be it scientific, life-after-death, cosmology, etc.) and occult powers pollutes their devotional flow, no matter how small that desire may be. Sarkar has scathingly rebuked those devotional frauds who run after siddhis like mad dogs. He has even further ridiculed those who waste their life with endless questions, worries, backbiting and arrogant preaching of their infinitesimal store of knowledge. He unequivocally states that those who are real devotees have minds becoming more and more saturated with the Supreme Consciousness. This state of being is diametrically opposite to the restless rapacity of those hankering after knowledge, occult powers and gurudom.

Traditionally women have not been sidetracked by these cheap pleasures. Today due to the negative impact of the massive imposition of male psychology (in order to achieve success and command respect in a male-dominated society), the devotional flow of more and more women is becoming polluted by similar desires. Due to men having an attraction for knowledge and occult powers, it is said in Tantra that it is more difficult for men to manifest their spiritual state externally than it is for women.

It is the joyous imperative of all women to awaken each other to the irrepressible beauty of devotion. Through their indomitable collective rapture, men will also be awakened to truly unselfish love. This is why it is women who will provide the impetus for nuclear revolution. It is our duty to knock on the door of every heart. Sarkar has again and again declared that NOW is the time to manifest the glory of kiirtan (singing the Beloved’s Name). It is surely we women who feel the urgency of the hour. It is surely we women who feel that it is our destiny to deluge and sanctify this planet with His tremendous tenderness, to deluge His heart with more, more, and ever more love.

Dignity

We have stated above that the extent to which a sanctified person becomes dignified depends upon the degree of selfless service she or he performs. In general, women are often capable of greater sacrifice and nurturing of those whom they care for. When one becomes a sanctified being, i.e., when one becomes a neo-humanist, one realizes only the Beloved (Supreme Consciousness) everywhere. While male spiritualists are often satisfied with this realization (just as in the home men often remain satisfied with feeling love for the family and do not feel the need to express it), sanctified women feel a greater and more intense urge to lovingly serve their Beloved.

This is why Sarkar has especially called upon all women, saying,

You as the most dignified section of human society do something for the universal human beings!

Such women, as true neo-humanists are united more and more intensely with their Beloved while incessantly serving their cherished Beloved who appears before them and within them as the true reality of the numerous beings and objects of this universe. This is why many seers have foretold that the coming spiritual revolution will be one driven by the dynamism of devotional women. Hence we can say that women are the most dignified section of human society!

Let women be the vanguard of a new revolution which humanity must achieve for a glorious tomorrow. – Shrii Shrii Anandamurtijii

Copyright The author 2011

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