Years back we came in contact with a religious guru who was the disciple of a great Saint. We had long discussions and got to learn many things. One day he said, ‘Women can never attain moksha. They are inferior to men. Their duty is to serve their husbands whole heartedly and pray for a future male life, so that they can continue their spiritual practices to attain moksha. One reason for this is their perpetual body consciousness. You can watch a lady: while talking to somebody, they will be adjusting the pallu of their sari in between. This shows that they can’t go beyond body consciousness, which is very vital.’
Is it the truth?
I didn’t feel it right at all. I believe that a soul has no gender and it is the soul that is striving for moksha i.e., a jeevatma trying to merge with paramatma.
Women have attained moksha, there are hundreds of women saints and sages all over the country, but somehow, we know very few of them.
A male dominated society won’t publicize them, and to add to that, most of these women have expressly shunned any kind of publicity.
Present knowledge about women's roles in Hinduism indicates that their position was highest during its earliest periods. During the Aryan invasion and prior to the full development of the Vedic literature, worship took place primarily in the home and required the presence of both the husband and the wife. The Vedic literature also indicates that women were not merely a silent partner in the rituals, but played a crucial role in them.
Denial for education
The earliest Vedic scriptures, the Rig Veda, indicate that both men and women needed to participate in the rituals in order for them to be effective. Moreover, the Rig Veda states that the rite of initiation into the study of the Vedic texts is open to both men and women. Women were also involved in the beginnings of the ascetic tradition. The prohibitions against their entering the ascetic life, which required previous study in the Vedic texts, increased as women's actual access to education declined.
Thus the prohibitions do not reflect an inherent bias against women but rather reflect the social reality that with few women receiving the necessary prerequisite education, few women were actually qualified to enter the ascetic life.
Against the basic belief
Actually attempts to bar women, either in theory or in practice, from attaining moksha are in fact contrary to basic Hindu belief. Moksha in its simplest formula is attained when persons understand that their true nature is Brahman.
To deny women access to achieving moksha is in fact another way of denying that Brahman is both male and female, or beyond gender, and thus is to deny the unity of Ultimate Reality. For if everything is Brahman, then ultimately there is no meaningful distinction between male and female.
Yesterday during sleep I got this message, ‘If women are body conscious, men are lady conscious’, ‘Ha ha ha’ I laughed in my sleep, and it was ringing in my ears when I woke up to this beautiful Sunday.
Yes, there is so much truth in this. Many male gurus, when a female devotee comes to them don’t see a jeevatma approaching them, but something else. This is in spite of our culture saying that apart from one’s own wife, every other woman should be seen like a mother.
Many women have come to me seeking healing for the sadness and depression they gained by the inappropriate behaviour of their male gurus, whom they had put on pedestals.
So finally I got an answer I liked very much, ‘If women are blocked from attaining moksha because of their body consciousness, men are blocked by their lady conscioiusness.’ Ha ha ha