Chapter

Ānandamayī Mā and Gender

Lisa Lassell Hallstrom

in Mother of Bliss

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780195116489
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199851621 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195116489.003.0007
Ānandamayī Mā and Gender

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As we have established that Ānandamayī Mā is recognized by her devotees as an embodiment of God, the need to ask the following questions arises: How does having a personal relationship with God in a woman's body affect Mā's devotees, especially the women? Does this sort of relationship empower women? Viewing Mā as a gender-related symbol may be characterized by several different meanings, making it essential to have an understanding about gender in the context of Hindu culture and how this is linked with following the spiritual path. This chapter looks into how Mā relates gender, or the blindness to it, to spiritual life, through presenting information obtained from the author's interviews with 12 of Mā's women devotees.

Keywords: embodiment of God; relationship with God; woman's body; gender-related symbol; women empowerment; spiritual path; women devotees

Chapter.  12813 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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