20 October, 2020

Unequal Goddesses

An attempt to elevate a sanyasin to Shankaracharya level is thwarted by Haridwar's sadhu samaj

Unequal Goddesses

THE Soul is genderless. But Shankaracharyas have to be men. Women are Devis. But Shan-karacharyas have to be men. Lessons in Hinduism that are being taught frantically by Haridwar's irate sadhu samaj these days. Hysterical holy-men who are outraged by a woman's recent attempt to find a parallel place at the head of a religious structure that has always been led by men alone.

 Ironically, this fanatic fury against "foolish feminists" began the week that saw upmarket commercials sponsoring masala movies for International Women's Day.That same week Haridwar's local dailies announced a more serious tribute to Indian womanhood—Yog Shakti Divya Dham's decision to elevate a woman, for the first time ever, to the level of Parvatacharya, female equivalent of Shankaracharya. Sixty-year-old sanyasin Guru Ma Jyotishanand Saraswati, armed with the distinction of having established the 14-year-old Vedic Heritage in New York, a doctorate in Indology and a dedicated following, was to be conferred the title in a unique abhishekham ceremony...



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