The Mothers & Daughters of The Shakti


“The Women Saints of India” by Linda Johnsen,

Chapter: “Contemporary Hindu Women Saints”:

“In the past century, some of India’s foremost spiritual giants have acted to redress a seeming gender imbalance in their tradition, even when it has meant coaxing reluctant female disciples into the limelight. One after another, major Indian teachers have passed their spiritual mantle to women disciples.

Early in the l900’s the controversial tantric adept, Upasani Baba, reinstituted the Vedic tradition of “Kanyadin” a sort of Hindu convent for real yogic practice, and encouraged women to practice brahmanic Vedic rites without the traditional supervision of male priests. He always taught that women are capable of faster spiritual evolution than men, and that male devotees needed tocultivate “feminine” qualities like receptivity, compassion and purity in order to progress. He passed his lineage to the late Godavara Mataji, who presided over the Kanya Kumari Sthan in Sakori, India.

Ramakrishna (world renowned devotee of the goddess Kali) passed his spiritual authority to his wife, Sarada Devi

Swami Yogananda (who carried the Kriya liineage to the West) to the American-born Daya Mata

Swami Paramananda (the first swami to settle in America) to his niece, Gayatri Devi

Papa Ramdas, one of the most homey of the popular Indian saints of this century, shared his mission with his spiritual consort, Krishna Bai.

Swami Lakshmana (one of the peerless Ramana Maharshi’s premier disciples) to the rebellious young Mathru Sri Sarada Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas (long- lived exponent of kundalini yoga) to Anandi Ma

And to everyone’s surprise, the arch conservative Shankaracharya of Sringeri empowered a woman, Lakshmi Devi Ashram, Jewish by birith, to found an American temple to the Divine Mother in Pennsylvania.”

Swami Muktananda (world travelling ambassador of Siddha Yoga) to Swami Chidvilasananda.

Swami Sivananda (physician, yogi and prolific author of Rishikesh) empowered Canadian Sivananda Radha to teach in the west.

Sri Aurobindo, the influenctial philosopher of Pondicherry, deferred to the French woman Mirra Alfassa Richard, whom he called “The Mother” and who administered Aurorville, the community he founded in India, after his passing.


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