Site Map
Souls and Women
Section › 21   Set    Search  Previous Next


Reservations   Contents    

Padma Sambhava, Rinpoche
Padma Sambhava

Souls and Women

Buddha tells that women may get Enlightened, Awakened, and lay persons too. [1]

Quotations on Women

Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult. - Charlotte Whitton

Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them. - Coco Chanel, in Partnow 2011, 243

In art, some deep truth about women is found.

When the good love him he may still be beaten

Confucius in the Lunyi (Analects) 13:24:

CHINA Tsze-kung asked, "What do you say of a man who is loved by all the people of his neighborhood?"

Confucius replied, "We may not approve of him for that."

"And what do you say of him who is hated by all the people of his neighborhood?"

The Master said, "We may not for that conclude that he is bad. It is better than either of these cases that the good in the neighborhood love him, and the bad hate him."

It may do good if the bad run away from a woman and fear her a lot. That is the lesson in Devi Mahatmyam text, where the Goddess fights and slays the Buffalo demon Mahishasura and his army. The details are gory.

The Devi Mahatmyam (from the Sanskrit "Glory of the Goddess") describes the Goddess as the supreme power and creator of the universe. It is part of the Markandeya Purana, and estimated to have been composed in Sanskrit between 400-600 CE.

The Devi Mahatmyam describes a storied battle between good and evil, where the Devi manifests in a form that leads the forces of good against the demon Mahishasura. The Goddess is very angry and ruthless, and the forces of good win.

A good woman may get angry, and bad women may smile and seem good while being up to mischief. The heartfelt good woman is not much for using baits on men, not for taunting a lot to get her way either. Let us - many women and men - hope that.

In peaceful and prosperous times, states the text, the Devi manifests wealth and happiness. The verses of this story also outline the idea that the ultimate reality is female - or outline a feminine aspect of God. It is good to know that the Devi Mahatmya is as important in some Hindu traditions as the Bhagavad Gita. (WP, "Devi Mahatmya")

Deví is the Sanskrit word for "goddess." The medieval era Puranas contain stories of Devi Mahatmya. She manifests as the ultimate truth and supreme power.

The Rigveda hymn 10.125.1 through 10.125.8 hymn declares that the ultimate reality is a goddess.

The Vedas refer to numerous goddesses, but in the post-Vedic texts, particularly in the early medieval era literature, they are ultimately seen as aspects or manifestations of one Devi, the Supreme power.

Devi identifies herself in the Devi Upanishad as Brahman, stating that she infuses Átman in every soul.

Devi is portrayed as the ideal wife.

In one of her various aspects she is the goddess of bounty, and all women are declared to be embodiments of this aspect of her. (WP, "Devi")

Other ancient stories show godmen masculine gods may be winners too.

So a higher note above that of Confucius (above) heard: "It is better that good people love him, and the bad fear him and run away." Or, if you like: "It is better that good people love her, and the bad fear her and run away."

Women in the Church, priestly celibacy, monasticism and Christmas

Ritual Mother worship wended its way into early Christianity too, even Virgin Mother worship. But Christianity emerged from patriarchal societies that placed men in positions of authority in marriage, society and government. Yet, in its early centuries it offered women an enhanced social status and quickly found a wide following among women. (From WP, "Women in Church history")

Jesus had difficulties with recognising his mother. "Who is my mother?" he asked and refused to greet his own biological mother. But Catholics started to made icons of her, pray to her by Hail Mary in Latin, and so on.

Also, medieval Catholicism came to maintain that Mother-Virgin Mary was the Catholic Church itself. The Christian madonna-and-child icon may be compared to the icon of mother Isis nursing her infant son Horus in ancient Egyptian religion. (WP, "Osiris myth") [Two Icons]

It also appears the adaptations to the Roman emperor cost the early Church much, also in the 300s. The emperor Constantine I in 321 AD passed a law making Sunday the Sabbath - not Saturday - thus setting aside a cornerstone commandment of the Bible. Similarly, the doctrine of priestly celebacy was unknown to early Christians. Clerical celibacy is the practice in which clergy adopt a celibate life, refraining from marriage and sexual relationships, including masturbation, sexual visualisation and fantasies. Clerical celibacy is the rule for priests and bishops in the Latin Catholic Church and for bishops in Eastern Christianity. It has also been the historical norm for Anglo-Catholic priests. However, the earliest Christian leaders were very largely married men. (WP, "Clerical celibacy"]

Further, monasticism was unknown in Christianity until the end of the third century. [History of Christian Monasticism" ReligiousFacts, 2004-2010].

Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. On 25 December AD 274, the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. (WP, "Sol Invictus")

The day of Sol invictus, 25 December, was declared by the emperor Constantine to be Christ's birthday. It made the Church of Antioch write: "How come you suddenly know when Christ was born, when we have not known for 300 years?"

"Religion may in most of its forms be defined as the belief that the gods are on the side of the government." - Bertrand Russell

The two hallmarks of being of the chosen people were enforced by death penalties in Judaism: ritual Saturday rest (i.e. Sabbath rest, from Friday evening till Saturday evening) and "foreskin off". Then one day God was born with a foreskin and circumcised to be acceptable by "his own people", the story goes. He did not get acceptable anyhow.

Women may avoid foreskin mishap.

Crossing oneself or fishing oneself, sort of

If you cross yourself over truths like these, think that the cross is a device older than Christianity and mankind itself. Two twigs that fall to the ground and overlap, can form a cross. Crossing oneself by movements in the air up front suggests on the one hand a need for strength, and on the other hand some possible superstition that is allotted meaning, as far as I know.

After all, the cross did not enter Christianity until the 300s or so. It is an uneigentlich symbol, - nothing advocated in the Bible either.

When you cross yourself, your movements in fact draw a fish. A fish symbol, ichthys, is a much simplified profile of a fish. Draw a stout fish, if drawing air figures must be, ritually, devotedly, fervently, and further.

If the movement of the hands starts with the tail fin, the whole symbol may be air-drawn in one line, and then you "fish yourself" with one, gliding movement.

It includes "crossing oneself". In drawing a feigned cross in the air, one pretends that one of the movements that must be made (a diagonal) is not to be counted in some way or other. "Leave out of consideration the diagonal (or something) when I sketch a loop and call it a cross."

It is that good old loop that makes the cross-sign is fishy. [More] (WP, "Ichtys")

A fish for the future

The stylised fish can be seen as a cross with a body "loop" too . . . but is an older symbol, and fit for "air-drawing" ones -

Stepping Things Up a Bit

Did not all the bishops at Nikea that voted against women having souls, sin thereby? [2] "Don't you know you are gods . . .?" said Jesus to angry Jews one day.

Later bishops and prelates who talked against the idea that women had souls, talked against women who had given them birth, fed and cared for them and raised them so they could sleep with other women. "Who talks badly about women, forgets Mom," is a proverb.

It often pays to consider the facts, and if not facts, the best material to be had (Compare Vermes 2010, 39, 41)

Gentile followers (most Christians) got Acts 15, 19-29 (and 21:25) as their Deal. It differed from the deal of Hebrews and the self-maimer Deal of Jesus for Jews only. Words by Jesus were not included in the four requirements for Gentile followers, but refraining from blood sausages and blood puddings and strangled poultry are two of the four pillars of Christianity for non-Jews.

Much essential good can be fostered by building a group climate to thrive in, as Peter Drucker (1970) has told in the steps of Douglas McGregor. In addition, careful assertiveness training may help the individual to cope well enough.

As for savoury sayings, you could make the kernels of them your own and maybe "take it from there" if you care.

Many good instructions are terse - succinct and to the point.


women, souls, christianity, fish symbol, Literature  

Drucker, Peter. 1970. Effektiv bedriftsledelse. Oslo: Gyldendal. (The Effective Executive. New York: Harper and Row, 1967)

Pargiter, F. Eden. 1904. The Markandeya Purana. Calcutta, IN: The Asiatic Society. ⍽▢⍽ Cantos 81-93 in the book constitute The Devi Mahatmya(m).

Partnow, Elaine Bernstein. 2011. The Quotable Woman: The First 5,000 Years. Rev. ed. New York: Facts On File.

Vermes, Geza. 2010. The Real Jesus: Then and Now.. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press.

Zukav, Gary. 1979. The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. London: Rider.

  1. Wikipedia, sv "Buddha Nature". Cf "Tathagatagarbha".
  2. (a) Soul, centre of being. (b) For the idea of otherness, the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics contains interesting opinions [Zukav 1979]. (c) Wikipedia, sv. "Other".

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

women, souls, christianity, fish symbol, To top    Section     Set    Next

women, souls, christianity, fish symbol. User's Guide   ᴥ    Disclaimer 
© 1997–2019, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil [Email]