Man and Woman: Are they equal?
Since decades, the debate over the equality of man and woman has been launched. Many organisations have found the day and there is a revolution in the world in connection with the emancipation of women. Manifestations, seminars, amendments to existing laws and many other initiatives are being undertaken to give woman a more respectable place in our so-called modern society. No doubt, the attitude and position of women have changed significantly during the last fifty years. Close observation, however, will reveal that there is a sort of competition between both sexes. How can an issue such as ‘the due of our women’ be dealt with in an atmosphere of competition, aggressiveness, comparison and hatred?
The revolting attitude of women towards men is much comprehensible. Man has subjugated woman to domination since a long time. This state of affairs is the responsibility of both man himself and the wrong interpretation of the scriptures. On top of all these, man is aggressive and dominant by nature. He has been a prey to his own innate tendency. However, the way women are fighting to liberate themselves from the wrong perception of women by men is basically wrong. Such a thing should be done in an atmosphere of mutual understanding. When the child goes astray, the mother must win him over by love, affection and wisdom, not by showing her superiority or her right over the child, for no one has any right over whosoever. Similarly, women should keep in mind that men are not their equal but their complement and vice versa. Is not the woman also a mother? If she always maintains the role of a wife only, then she may not win over the love and affection of the man. When the need arises, a wife should also be able to shower motherly or friendly affection on the husband.
No two things are equal in this whole existence – each particle has its uniqueness. Through rights, laws and other impositions, things will become artificial, love will not prevail. The relation between man and woman should be that of love and understanding. Both man and woman have a unique position in this universal drama. However, this has to be understood that both of them have fundamental differences. To be able to give either of them their respective place in the march of both material and spiritual evolution, a global understanding of the inner and outer life of both man and woman is essential. And such wisdom lies only in the heart of the enlightened one. Occult knowledge of both feminine and masculine psyche is of paramount importance, for only this will make one understand that man and woman are not equal, but they are divine potentials which can be unfolded using their own natural tendencies.
Before delving deeper into this subject, it has to be understood that both man and woman are the reflection of God. “Dieu créa l’homme à son image” – ‘l’homme’ that is, homus or that which comes from the earth. Hence, both man and woman are referred to as ‘l’homme.’ God is both male and female, positive-negative, matter-energy, darkness and light and so on. We have seven bodies, they are the gross physical, the etheric, the astral, the mental, the spiritual, the spatial and the invisible or Void bodies. According to Osho, the first four bodies have gender. The first body of the woman is female while her second one is male, the third or the astral body is again female while her mental body is male. For man, it is the opposite. The first body is male, the second body, also called the emotional body, is female. His astral body is male while his mental body is female. Beyond the fourth body is the spiritual body or body of light which is asexual. When someone reaches at this juncture of his spiritual evolution, he transcends sex. This does not imply that he becomes impotent or develops disgust for sex. It simply means that he identifies himself with a body which is genderless and is Pure Light. In that condition, he does not need the pleasure of sex or any kind of pleasure.
Bearing in mind these differences, how can we claim to be equal or superior and inferior? Though woman bears resemblance to man physically, there are a few things that make her different from man. The sexual apparatus, the uterus, the hormonal function and menstruation are the marks of the female body. The penis, a coarse voice, hard nerves and a few other qualities distinguish the physical body of man from that of a woman. We need not expose all the features, for our purpose is much deeper than that.
Life is a gift and as such, there must be free but wise choice in using it. It has been given to both man and woman for the purpose of attaining fullness of life, which is also called God-realisation, and this is possible only in human life. But being caught by his own aggressive nature, man has dominated woman and has used the quotations from the scriptures to support his acts. While the scriptures are for guidance, man has made wrong use of the precepts. By so doing, he has offended divine knowledge. The Bible says that woman was made from man’s rib and this has become an argument in favour of man’s dominion.
Now, women have been offended by men so much so that they no longer believe that the Lord might have created woman from the rib of man. Even if this is true, the praise does not go to men, therefore they should not feel arrogant about it and women should not feel offended. This allegory is pregnant with meaning. The bone is made out of the sperm or the male principle, the dynamic state of energy. Therefore, the bone from the rib of Adam implies maleness, aggressiveness, dynamism and energy. Things are as they are and the capacity to accept is-ness is a sign of wisdom. In the East, the motherhood of God is propounded and woman is supposed to represent the Divine Mother. The Cosmic Shell or Golden Egg that manifested in the beginning of the Universe is also called Hyranyagarbha. It is a feminine epithet. A garbha is a womb and hyranya means golden. Therefore, Hyranyagarbha is the egg of the Mother God. The same egg transforms itself into the whole cosmic theatre.
A woman will first have to find herself her divine status and this will put her on the exact pedestal of life. Nothing will be achieved by being aggressive. Certainly, some material benefits will be achieved but by killing her femininity (and this is being done by many women unfortunately), she will miss a rare opportunity of attaining the inner womanhood, which is her real nature. Of course, I am not pointing towards absolutely all women on this planet. Also, by stating the above-mentioned fact, I am not trying to despise women. Instead, I am trying to awaken women to their true identity.
The Devi Mahatmya or the Durga Saptashati exposes the nature and glory of God as mother or the motherhood of God. Thus, is it not the duty of women to realise that their divine nature that is latent should be given the opportunity to manifest itself? Among the many mantras, there is this one:
“Ya devi sarva bhutesu lajja rupena samsthita
Namastasye namastasye namastasye namo namah”
“Salutations to the Goddess who exists as shyness in all forms of matter.”
Matter is feminine because it has female qualities. Though passive, it is bubbling with energy, receptivity and expectation. The ovum will be waiting shyly for the sperm to enter it; the woman has the same quality, though nowadays the situation is being reversed. Lajja can be defined as shyness which is, of course, not shame. Lajja or shyness is that thing which if lost, does not leave a woman any more as a woman. Let the reader judge for himself how many women still have it today. Never should a woman tolerate any man to exploit her. She has to fight for her rights by all possible means such as court actions, public demonstrations, sensitisation talks, articles in the press and so on to awaken the whole world towards her deserved status in society. But please do so by remaining feminine! At times, the woman can also be aggressive and hard but all these should be used as a means, not for the sake of revolt or vengeance.
Women have been offended, injured and exploited, and it is natural that they react. But if they go too far in their reactions, the damage may be irreparable. By trying to prove that they are not inferior, a deep inferiority complex has developed in the feminine world. This is reflected when women perform work that used to be done by men alone. Their attitude is masculine while performing such work. Since existence is both male and female, yin-yang, Sati-Shiva, the way Nature functions also reflects these qualities. Both the male and female principles are manifested in nearly all aspects of Nature. For example, let us consider night and day: night is female because it is cool, mysterious, passive, profound. It is called Nisha in the East and Nisha is a feminine name. Day is symbolised by the sun which is heat, the stirring element of life; it aggresses the earth and comes in a serpentine way like the sperm to fecundate the earth. Motion is male while passivity or equilibrium or rest is female. Therefore, women should do work that suit their temperament, though at this juncture of life, it may not always be possible to adhere to such practices. However, it is not wrong for women to perform work that demands male character, but vigilance should always be there so as not to get drowned in maleness and lose one’s femininity.
If any one behaves like someone of the opposite sex with the idea or notion that one belongs to that gender, then a transformation is possible. This is a psychological and thus a scientific fact. The transformation will, of course, be in the psyche and in some cases, the changes can even be physical. Documents and magazines have presented such cases. There is even a famous documentary film, “Elisa ou il voulait être une femme.” The mind is the principal driving force and if the notion of being something is constantly repeated, then a transformation will start occurring, though in most cases this may take lives.
Our brain has two parts called hemispheres and these are linked by a network of nerves or fibres. Each hemisphere of the brain controls a part of the body. The right hemisphere, as it is called, governs the left half while the left hemisphere controls the right half. This is no coincidence. In the Hindu religion, the wife stands on the left of the husband. In a temple, women are expected to sit on the left of the deity and men on its right. This has a deep scientific and spiritual significance that demands a full-fledged elaboration for clear understanding.
The gist of all these is to understand that both man and woman form a harmonious being, but they are incomplete without each other. The partner can be of great help to awaken the Divine Being seated within each of us, which is neither male nor female. Masculinity or femininity is a state of our being and should be used at a certain stage of evolution to proceed further, after which there remains only divinity. However, the masculine or feminine tendency will continue to manifest in accordance with the body one possesses.
Intuition, love, poetry, endurance, motherliness, forgiveness, patience, shyness, softness and many other qualities are feminine virtues. They are found both in man and woman, but they manifest more naturally in women. On the other hand, reason, adventure, aggressiveness, physical power, ambition and many others are equally present in both genders, but they are male qualities. A complete, harmonious and successful life is not possible without both these male and female qualities. Marriage represents an agreement for the union of these powers for the evolution of both genders on both the spiritual and material levels. However, mutuality should be at the base of such an agreement. Things will certainly go wrong without knowledge of all this.
“Man and woman, do not consider each other as your enemy, otherwise you may gain nothing but failure. Be ready not to conquer each other, but to merge your forces for your own goodness. Your marriage should be in body, mind, heart and soul, while bearing in mind your freedom.”