Pratiksha Apurv introduces us to mystic women who became enlightened and in the process, spread the fragrance of divinity around. Published in Speaking Tree, India, on March 4, 2018.

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Strong gender bias and human conditioning have kept the contribution of women mystics hidden from society. We have forgotten the real language of enlightenment. The word ‘enlightened’ refers to consciousness that is full of supreme bliss. And regardless of gender, both men and women, who have been destined, have flowered to their ultimate, all through humankind’s history.

The Divine Yogin

The Divine Yogin, Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 60×60′, 2017

The Buddha is compassionate with delicate grace. This is a feminine quality. Meditation arises with love, kindness and prayer. This too contains the quality of femininity. With deep insight, it can be said that an enlightened man will have certain feminine qualities. Yet historically, it has been so difficult to accept that a woman could also flower to the highest flowering just as man. She is the original creator; man is not even close to her.

Reclusive Masters

There could be certain arguments on why those women who became enlightened did not turn into great masters like the Buddha, Kabir, Nanak and Mahavira. Why did they not create a different religion or sect? Historically, there have been great mystics like Meera, Rabiya, Sahjo, Mallibai, Daya, and many others; all of them have witnessed the ultimate flowering and lived it totally, but have never become masters.

Mallibai is often referred to as Mallinath amongst the 24 Jaina tirthankaras. Since she was an enlightened woman mystic, it became difficult for society to accept that a woman could become enlightened and taste supreme bliss. Because of this aberration in human thinking, therefore, we know her as Mallinath instead of her original name — Mallibai.

Osho says that a man can easily become a master because of his inherent nature, but to be a disciple is difficult for him, because to be a disciple one has to be humble. It is difficult for a man to be humble. He can meditate, but it is difficult for him to pray. A woman is at home with surrender: this is why there have been great women disciples, great women devotees. The peaks in disciple-hood are achieved by women, but the ultimate height in mastery is not possible for them.

Those who have passed through love have achieved everything and those who have attained through love, cannot teach others. It is not a matter of teaching, says Osho. Rabiya, a woman mystic of Basra in Iraq, says: “Look, the door has always been open and just by asking and shouting we are closing our eyes. It is only a question of opening our eyes and God is available.”

Total acceptance comes so naturally to a woman. Whatever she does is with the totality of her whole being, completely immersed into it. Her creation is prayer, with deep gratitude to existence. And, most importantly, she has no realisation of this act. All her actions are selfless, without even asking for anything in return. She lives in totality and gives everything unconditionally. That is why all the enlightened women discovered the strings of their inner core, even while performing routine things at home, things that men would consider as mundane.

Meera’s Devotion

Meera was transformed just by her total surrender to Krishna. Her devotion was unique in many ways. Krishna was not present in reality, in physical form. Yet, her devotion, utterly submerged in her love for Krishna, freed her completely; she was purified and became enlightened. Meera herself became synonymous with devotion.

Daya Bai and Sahjo Bai were two great enlightened women who were the disciples of the spiritual Sant Shyam Charandas. Their devotion and surrender to their master was total and reflects in the beautiful poetry of Daya Bai. But not much is known or talked about Daya. She says, “There is much light without lightning and it is showering without clouds. Watching this ceaselessly, my heart is delighted.” Daya is talking about the miracle that is happening within her consciousness. The sky is full of light, although there is lightning and no sun, but her devotion and total surrender trigger thousands of suns in her vast inner sky. The source of this light is not outside. Similarly, there is no cloud visible in the sky and yet it is pouring.

Daya is talking in symbols and her poetry has no logic but pure feelings. She is looking within, because Daya is on her inner journey. She is witnessing the eternity, she is living the eternity. There is no greater truth other than devotion, as expressed by Daya Bai. The total surrender and devotion of women mystics have blazed a trail in our spiritual consciousness, infusing the path with great fragrance for all those who choose to be enriched by it.

‘Mystical Moments’, an upcoming exhibition of Pratiksha’s art will be held from March 18 – 24, 2018 at Lalit Kala Akademi, Gallery No. 1 to 4, Rabindra Bhavan, 35, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi 110001.

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Take a look at a seeker’s life on canvas – An exhibition of Pratiksha Apurv’s paintings to be held from March 18 – 24, 2018 in New Delhi. Published in DNA

Pratiksha ApurvPratiksha Apurv – www.pratikshaart.com

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