On the Role of Woman
I am glad to have received your letter of 15th August, 1968, and have carefully gone through the contents of the same.
There is nothing in life to feel perplexed or puzzled about. We have to take the facts of life with a broad smile. We, at times, feel agitated because we are not aware of God’s plan and purpose of creation. From the Perfect One nothing but perfection comes into being.1
Since we see only the events and effects on the surface-screen before our eyes, we imagine that things have come suddenly and swiftly as if out of the blue without any pre-thought or premonition and we get flabbergasted. If we could but know that there is nothing that is haphazard or by chance, we will be saved much of the bother and pother to which we subject ourselves.
Now that you happen to play the role as a female, it does not mean that you will be assigned this role through eternity.2
It is really surprising as to how you have assumed that you have been playing this role in the past and shall continue to do so in future, ad infinitum. It is just a temporary phase and you should take it as such. Again, it is merely a role and not what you really are. You are a living soul with the Breath of God quickening you.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Again in 1 Corinthians 6:19,
Know ye not that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is within you.
As the Spirit of God – the Supreme Power – dwells in us, what are we but the Spirit of God?
As we are the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God is Eternal, why think we can die and become extinct? You are of the same essence as that of God.
You should think of the indweller in the body – the spirit arid Power of God in you – rather than of the body in which you are dwelling. Sooner or later this dwelling place shall have to be vacated and you shall rise into higher life – the life of the Spirit, where the question of sex will not bother you. There is no sex in the soul – outward vestures of bodies are as the result of reactions of the past.
Even in the living present, you can know, understand and practise the Art of Life in fullness and learn how to rise above body consciousness. It is a regular science of practical self-analysis and once you become familiar with it, you will get rid of all the horrors that you imagine are in store for you simply because you belong to the weaker sex. Again, I would advise you to forget your past, whatever it was, and not to trust the future, however rosy it may appear to be. We have to make the best use of the living present and of the God-given opportunities, especially the human birth which is a rare blessing for it is in the tabernacle of flesh whether male or female – that we can gain the experience of Life Everlasting which consists in knowing the only True God, as the Gospels tell us. Let us Live in the Spirit and also walk in the spirit, is the injunction of Master Jesus, Who came to seek and find the lost sheep, sheep lost in the wilderness of the world.
One should not suppose that women are inferior to men in any respect. Women play as important a role in the drama of human life as men do, and at times excel men beyond all measure. In this twentieth century we have on record memorable accounts of the heroic deeds of women in the various fields of life – art, science, technology, law, medicine, surgery, engineering and the like. One fails to understand in what way they are inferior. Except for the different type of bodily raiment, they are endowed with all that is noble in life. They are bubbling over with the milk of human kindness. But for the healthier and holier influence of women, men for the most part would have been much different than they are. In the art of government and administration, which is the most difficult one, women of today do not in any way lag behind. They adorn some of the highest offices in some of the states and are doing admirably well. They have, both in the east and the west, now come out of the seclusion of the home-life and vie with men in all the walks of life. With the spread of education and awakening, vast fields of activities are opening out, and women are taking an active part with their counterparts in ameliorating the conditions of society.
God is the God of all, men and women alike. Each has one’s own sphere but part of one is complementary to that of the other, and together they make a composite whole and work better for evolving the best in them. Wedlock is a Sacrament, a Divine Institution, meant for development of the inward Spiritual Graces. Procreation is just a minor part of it, though a necessary one. But mind, that marriage is not a hurdle in Spirituality. Far from arresting the Spiritual Growth and Stature, it rather helps and helps immeasurably if the significance of married life is properly understood and practised. All the ills that one imagines are due to our lack of knowledge on such vital issues as the meaning and purpose of life, the True Happiness, and how it can be had. We have no time and leisure to get a clear-cut conception of the problems of life. And the result is that we, in the course of time, become double minded and try to be wise by changing positions as may suit the exigencies of the moment. This habit works to make us unstable and unsteady.
Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead,
is the exhortation of St Paul. The scriptures of each religion provide a blueprint on the art of living – its meaning, its value, its purpose and its uses and how to conduct ourselves in the work-a-day world. But unfortunately we tend to forget our scriptures and find no breathing space to refer to them for our guidance.
St Paul in His Epistle to the Ephesians has given clear guidelines – particularly in chapters 5 and 6. If the women were to work for the Kingdom of Heaven, half as zealously as they do for their household chores, they would certainly hasten the advent of the same on earth for which we all pray so fervently. We have on record instances of prophetesses like Miriam (Exodus 15:20); Deborah (Judges 4:45); Huldah (II Kings 22:15). In Acts 21:9, we read of the four virgin daughters of Philip the evangelist who also had the gift of prophecy. Then the accounts of saintly ladies like St Theresa of Avila in Spain (1515–82); blessed Juliana of Norwich (1343–1420); and Catherine of Siena (1347–80) who claimed to have received on her body the stigmata. Similarly, in the east we had, Rabia al-Adawiya Basri, a woman Saint said to be the founder of Sufism in the 8th century. In India, we had Mira Bai and Sehjo Bai as prototypes of Maitri, Gargi and Anusuya of ancient times.
The aim and purpose of life, as said before, is to know the True God alone, to practise Him in daily life, and to consciously live in Him.
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy mind, with all thy strength and with all thy soul. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets,
is what Jesus said. And again,
Love the Kingdom of God and all things (of the world) shall be added unto you,
all things work to the good of them that love God.
God Absolute is no doubt an abstraction. But God-in-action is the Spirit and Power of God – the Holy Word – which can be both seen and heard with help of subtle senses within. God reveals Himself in His own Life and Light and when one gets in touch with these lost strands of Reality, he comes to know the plan and purpose of God. It is of course a practical subject of self-analysis which is offered free and freely to all alike, like all other gifts of nature, provided one is prepared to observe and abide by certain dietary restrictions and to lead a life of rectitude and continence. And I need hardly assure you that the Master-Power above is ceaselessly taking care of you though you may not be aware of it. You need have no doubts and misgivings in this behalf nor should you get disheartened and dismayed. I appreciate your feelings and the spirit of enquiry. May God help you with His Light of Life, is what I wish for you. My loving good wishes will be always with you.
With kind thoughts and best wishes,
There are further information upon this subject in the book ‘Light of Kirpal / Interviews – 44. 1971, 16 February – The Role of Women’.
Footnotes: 1) Circumstances in which the soul thinks she was wronged are only meant as a test directly by the Almighty. It is to check whether the soul has learned that the Almighty ist the only doer and everything indeed is perfect however it may occur.
2) The manifestation of the female principle is described in detail in the Anurag Sagar by Kabir in the version of Bhai Jamal. See the following Link to the Anurag Sagar: Part II / 2.: The Creation of Adhya and the corresponding illustrations.
After creating Adhya Sat Purush gave her to Dharam Rai so that she may develop the lower creation with him. She was orderd to obey Dharam Rai. But making mistakes und disobeying his will and instead acting on her own initiative she was disciplined. (See the chapter in the Anurag Sagar: Part II / 3.: Brahma’s Return to his Mother with Gayatri and Savitri and how all of them get cursed, especially the last part of this chapter: Niranjan’s Curse on Adhya.)
3) In the composition ‘Spiritual Elixir’ Kirpal singh explains the following:
Question to Kirpal Singh: Why do the Great Masters on earth always take the form of man?
Answer by Kirpal Singh: The Masters claim that there is only one Male gender amongst the souls, and He generally manifests on the chosen Human Pole of the Living Master. It is a Divine Law which cannot be questioned by the mortals.
Spiritual Elixir – Part I:
III. Guru: His Need and Functions,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974
As sure as it is that there are no Saints from the fifth plane – Sach Khand – who are female, is the Divine Providence that the woman must obey the man no matter how things may be on the Inner Planes.
The following example that is told of the Divine Lover Mira Bai may illustrate this point:
News of Mira’s exploits and of her God-intoxicated nature reached the Muslim emperor Akbar. He was always interested in meeting a truly Spiritual Person, and he decided to go see her. However, as the Muslims and the Rajput Hindus of Mira’s kingdom were bitter enemies, he went disguised as a recluse. When he beheld Mira and listened to her speak, the emperor was deeply stirred and bowed again and again before her. After he left, his true identity was discovered. When Mira’s husband found out that the Mughal emperor had been to see his wife, he was furious beyond control, for in his heart he bore a fierce hatred of the Mughals.
Could a Muslim dare to approach a Rajput lady, even to make an offering, and leave the soil of Rajputana safe? Fie on the Rajputs who heard the news and did not take revenge!
Inflamed by such fanatical thoughts, the prince thought his wife polluted. He rashly ordered her to forever leave his palace and drown herself in some river. Mira Bai promised to obey, and headed for the nearest river and jumped in. But the Master-Power once again came to her rescue and tossed her back to the shore. The Divine Voice came to her, saying,
Your life with your mortal husband is over; now you have a higher duty to perform. It is for you to set a high example to the world and show men how to fulfil the designs of the Creator and become absorbed in Him.
Princess of Divine Love / Mira Bai –
Chapter: The Path,
by Michael Raysson
Even Mira Bai had to obey her husband despite of his seeming absurd demands to commit suicide. However, if she had not obeyed him, she would never had reached the state that she was allowed to reach this way.
4) The Negative Power – Kal – made time to keep the souls in illusion. So it is explained in the Anurag Sagar by Kabir in the version of Bhai Jamal – Part II / 5. Kal traps the Jivas:
Then Brahma made the sixty-eight places of pilgrimage, karma, sins and virtues. The twelve signs of the Zodiac, twenty-seven planets, seven days, fifteen lunar days were then made. Then the four yugas were created, and the minute, second and breathing time was estimated. The month of Kartik and Magh were considered auspicious. Few can understand this play of Kal! Importance was given to pilgrimages and holy places, and thus the Jivas do not leave illusion and recognise their own self. All were trapped in good and bad deeds. In this way all the Souls were entangled. Jivas cannot be saved without the True Shabd, and without the Essential Shabd, Jivas go into the mouth of Kal. Being afraid, people earn merits, but by their fruit their needs are not met.
5) Even each conflict about values ends when the husband says how something has to be. The man is for the woman like the super-administrator for the computer. He has all administrative rights. That means that he has access to all data that are stored in a system. This is a law of Nature. The wife does not have the same rights to her own protection, because due to the woman’s nature she wants to take possession.
6) Matrimony is a very noble and Divine Connection of two souls who were brought together by the Almighty. Therfore divorce does not come into consideration under no circumstances.
Therefore, you should be careful that you love each other and have a pure and Spiritual Life. Let no earthly power separate one from the other who are united by the unseen hand of God. We should not dream of a divorce. I note that you still have love for each other. Love knows only of sacrifice and of giving – cannot your love for each other make you tolerant of each other’s views to the maximum extent and work up jointly for your higher aim and ideal of life?
Source: Circular Letter No 8 –
Excerpts from Letters,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974
7) 'Raza' means to comply with the law without murmur or complaint and joyfully. Raza, in Arabic, means happiness, joy or will. The pleasure of the lawgiver is the prime consideration. We should abide by the law happily and cheerfully. There is complete lack of self and egotism in it. One has to become the very embodiment of the Divine Will.
Rabia Basri once met two holy men. She asked them to tell her something about Raza. One holy man said, ‘Whatever pain and suffering one receives from the Lord, one should bear them.’ Rabia Basri said, ‘There is egotism in the idea.’ The other holy man said, ‘Whatever sufferings come from the Lord, they should be accepted cheerfully.’ Rabia said, ‘This also smacks of egotism.’ Rabia then added, ‘One should lose the faculty of distinction between the pleasure and pain that comes from the Lord and regard both of them as His gifts.’
(Quotation from: Gurumath Sidhant – Part II / Chapter III: The Lord’s Will, by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974.)
Editorial Notes, 2013: 1) See also the text of the following link: Helping each other find God, by Tracy Leddy, published in the issue of Sat Sandesh / July 1973.
2) This letter was written to a non-initiate who wrote to Master out of the depths of her frustration and feelings of inferiority over being a woman.
3) This letter and the corresponding footnotes and notes may serve the men for information, but they cannot deduce anything for their role as man in creation from this text as this is not pointed out.
4) It is a law of nature that the man can only love his woman in the degree as the woman loves her man. Because the man can only reflect the love of the woman. The same applies to parents and their children: Children can only love their parents in the degree as the parents love their children. Because only in this degree the children can reflect the love of the parents.
The wife loves her husband and he returns this love. The degree of love for the husband reflects in the love for the wife.
As the love of the soul for God reflects the God’s Love, so the love of the wife reflects through her husband. No love for God means that God lets the soul dispense. No love for the husband means that the husband ignores the woman.
5) Kabir said accordingly,
that women in the Kali Yuga love her men only in the degree, as they receive from them what they want.
With wanting is not only meant that the woman loves her an in the degree as she receives from him what she wants but also in the degree as she does not receive from him what she refuses.
Kirpal Singh explains the following:
For example, there is a story about four different types of devotion that wives have for their husbands.
The first type is attached to other men, though outwardly she appears to be fully devoted to her husband. Truly speaking, wives and husbands should be as one soul working in two bodies. We are like the woman who was outwardly devoted to her husband, but was always thinking of others. We have no conviction, we are not devoted wholly and solely to God or to the Master.
Some wives are devoted, but they want something in return. That kind of devotion is second class. If she is not given what she wants, she resents it.
The third kind of wife will pray to her husband if she wants to have something, but whether he gives it or not, she remains devoted to him.
But the fourth and highest type of devoted wife will think,
Well, my husband knows my condition, he sees me daily and will look after my needs. If I am acceptable to him in these ragged clothes, then what more can I want!
This is the highest form of the devoted soul.
Morning Talks –
XXXIX. True Prayer,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974
6) Kirpal Singh explains:
Whatever a person speaks has a two-fold effect. One is the action, and the other is the reaction. The reaction resounds in and near the speaker and creates the same type of thought-currents in his environment. Thus whatever thoughts – virtuous or wicked – emanate from him, they engender their exact resonance. This is an inviolable and unrelenting law, which operates in connection with both animate and inanimate objects alike. It cannot be erased.
Gurumat Sidhant – Part I:
Chapter III: Previous Karmas,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974
For example, it is in the nature of the woman to repeat subjects so often and so long until the man gives in and does what the woman wants to achieve. It is part of the countervailing power that was granted to the woman for the reason that she always has to obey. This countervailing power is according to the terminology of Sant Mat the binding power – Negative Power, Kal.