They say that man is mighty,
He governs land and sea;
He wields a mighty scepter
On lower powers than he,
But mightier power & stronger
Man from his throne has hurled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world
From time immemorial human civilization seems to have been led by men. The predominant religions of the world were established by men, and men are the authors of religious scripture.
Established by – the Hindus people of India
Major Scriptures – Vedas (Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva), Upavedas, Upanishads, Puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavad Gita.
Established by – Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha
Major Scriptures –Pali Canon, Sarvastivada and Dharmaguptaka texts, Taisho Tripitaka, Kangyur, Pratimoksha, Dhammapada, Udana, Sutta Nipata and others.
Established by – Jesus Christ
Major Scriptures – the Jewish scriptures in addition to the twenty-seven books of the New Testament.
Established by – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Aaron
Major Scriptures – the books of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) which consists of the Torah, Nevi’im (the Prophets, eight books), Talmud, and Ketuvim (eleven books).
Established by – Muhammad
Major Scriptures – Qur’an, Hadith, and Sufi Texts.
Spiritual growth and Enlightenment is everyone’s birthright; regardless of age, race, social status, gender, or sexual orientation.
As human beings we have a nervous system which is capable of experiencing the unbounded eternal reality of life. We can all ask and comprehend the lofty questions concerning who we are, and what is our purpose in life.
The human race will not achieve its rightful stature until women are honored in society, given equal rights, full opportunity, and adored as the mother of all created beings.
When the Catholic College of Cardinals contains an equal number of women and men, and a woman is elected Pope, humanity will know abundant life.
When Islam amends Sharia Law to give women true equal rights; abolish child, temporary and polygamous marriage; and end honor killings, humanity will know abundant life.
When many more Jewish women rabbis are ordained, humanity will know abundant life.
When many more Hindu women priests are ordained, humanity will know abundant life.
When many more Buddhist women lamas are ordained, humanity will know abundant life.
When all governments honor and enforce equal protection for women, humanity will know abundant life.
When Mother Earth is honored, cherished and protected, humanity will know abundant life.
We all come into this world through our Mothers. She exemplifies undying love, untiring sacrifice, and an unfailing faith in us. She nurtures, teaches, and inspires by example.
There are far too many enlightened and saintly women to list in one post, but here are some stirring examples of human divinity.
Living in the 12 century in the south of India, she was a major personality in the Veerashaiva Bhakti movement and contributed 430 Vachanas (Kannada poetry).
She says …
“The arrow that is shot should penetrate so deeply
that even the feathers do not show.
Hug the body of the Lord so tightly
that the bones must be crushed to crumble.
Weld to the divine until the very welding disappears.”
Born (1910) in Skopje, Macedonia, Mother Teresa is a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and attained admiration and recognition for her life dedicated to serving the poor and destitute.
She says …
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
“Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.”
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.”
Born in Paris, France, as Mirra Alfassa on the 21st of February, 1878. By the age of twenty she had attained enlightenment.
Sri Aurobindo considered Alfassa to be an Avatar (incarnation) of the Supreme Shakti.
The One whom we adore as the Mother is the divine Conscious Force that dominates all existence, one and yet many-sided that to follow her movement is impossible even for the quickest mind and for the freest and most vast intelligence.
Born in 1498 and known as Meera, she composed a multitude of songs devoted to Lord Krishna.
She sings …
That dark dweller in Braj
Is my only refuge.
O my companion, worldly comfort is an illusion,
As soon you get it, it goes.
I have chosen the indestructible for my refuge,
Him whom the snake of death will not devour.
My beloved dwells in my heart all day,
I have actually seen that abode of joy.
Meera’s lord is Hari, the indestructible.
My lord, I have taken refuge with you, your maidservant
Born in Jayrambati she was the wife of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Later in life she attained nirvikalpa samadhi and began her role as guru.
Sri Anandamayi Ma:
Born in Kheora (Bangladesh) Nirmala Sundari Devi was enlightened at a very early age.
She says …
“People have various visions of gods and goddesses (in me) according to their own predilections. What I was before, I am now, and shall be hereafter. I am also whatever you or anybody may think I am……… why don’t you look at it this way: the yearnings (of seekers after Truth) have brought about this body. All of you have wanted it and so you have found it. That is all you need to know.”
“Always bear this in mind: Everything is in God’s hands, and you are His tool to be used by Him as He pleases. Try to grasp the significance of ‘all is His’. and you will immediately feel free from all burdens. What will be the result of your surrender to Him? None will seem alien, all will be your very own Self.”
“All creation is that. There is beauty in the birds and in the animals. They too eat and drink like us, mate and multiply; but there is this difference: we can realize our true nature, the Atman. Having been born as human beings, we must not waste this opportunity. At least for a few seconds every day, we must enquire as to who we are. It is no use taking a return ticket over and over again. From birth to death, and death to birth is samsara. But really we have no birth and death. We must realize that.”
“God is within everyone, but man goes out in search of Him. This is what constitutes God’s Play and God’s Creation.”
St Teresa of Avila:
Born as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada on March 28, 1515, in Avila, Spain, she was a Spanish sage and Carmelite nun in the Roman Catholic order.
She says …
“All things must come to the soul from its roots, from where it is planted.”
“It is here, my daughters that love is to be found – not hidden away in corners but in the midst of occasions of sin. And believe me, although we may more often fail and commit small lapses, our gain will be incomparably the greater.”
“Pain is never permanent.”
“Patience attains all that it strives for. He who has God Finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices.”
“It is love alone that gives worth to all things”
“Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.”
“To have courage for whatever comes in life – everything lies in that.”
Born in 1844, Bernadette is known for her visions (starting at age 14) of the Blessed Lady (Virgin Mary) in a grotto in the outskirts of Lourdes.
When asked, “Was she beautiful?”
Bernadette replied, “Oh! Oh! Yes indeed! And even more than that! So lovely that, when you have seen her once, you would willingly die to see her again!”
When asked, “How do you know if it’s really the Blessed Virgin who appeared to you, that it’s not an illusion, a trick of the devil?”
Bernadette replied, “Oh, no! I threw some holy water at her and the apparition made the sign of the cross. She told me. “I am the Immaculate Conception.” and said the rosary with me.”
Noor Inayat Khan:
Raised in mystical Sufi tradition, Noor led a life of self sacrifice and worked for the cause of freedom. Born in Russia in 1914, during World War II she served as British special agent and was executed at the Dachau Concentration Camp in 1944.
Saint Joan of Arc (born 1412) had visions of God that charged to recover France from the English occupation.
She says …
“I place trust in God, my creator, in all things; I love Him with all my heart.”
“God helps those who help themselves.”
To promote women’s rights the United Nations drafted the CEDAW document, which has been ratified by almost every nation in the World.
Summary: The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Preamble: Notes that the U.N. Charter “reaffirms faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women” and that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “affirms the principle of the inadmissibility of discrimination and proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, including distinction based on sex.”
Also takes note of the many resolutions, declarations, and recommendations adopted by UN bodies that promote equal rights for men and women, yet expresses concern that “extensive discrimination against women continues to exist.”
Article 1: Defines discrimination against women as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.”
Article 2: Instructs States Parties to condemn discrimination against women in all forms and pursue its elimination by all appropriate means, including changing national constitutions and enacting legislation.
Article 3: Mandates that States Parties take all appropriate measures in all fields to “ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them [equal rights].”
Article 4: Allows States Parties to adopt “temporary special measures” to promote equality for women.
Article 5: Requires that States Parties take all appropriate measures to modify social and cultural patterns of behavior to eliminate prejudices, practices and customs based on the inequality of, or prejudices against, either of the sexes and to ensure that family education provides a proper description of the social function of motherhood and the “common responsibility” of both men and women in child rearing and development.
Article 6: Mandates States Parties to prevent trafficking in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.
Article 7: Instructs States Parties to end discrimination against women in political and public life, including providing women the right to vote in all elections, to run for public office and to participate in nongovernmental organizations and associations.
Article 8: Obligates States Parties to provide women, on equal status with men, the opportunity to represent their country at the international level and to participate in the work of international organizations.
Article 9: Declares that States Parties must provide women equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their nationality and that of their children.
Article 10: Mandates States Parties grant women equal rights with men in all aspects of the field of education.
Article 11: Requires States Parties to prevent discrimination against women in all aspects of employment, including employment opportunities, hiring criteria, promotion, job security, benefits, remuneration, working conditions, and to protect these rights in the event of marriage or maternity.
Article 12: Instructs States Parties to provide women equal rights with men in all aspects of health care.
Article 13: Declares that States Parties shall eliminate discrimination against women in all aspects of economic and social life, including family benefits, financial transactions such as loans and mortgages, and recreational and sporting activities.
Article 14: Highlights the particular problems and contributions of rural women and instructs States Parties to ensure the provisions of the present Convention are applied to them.
Article 15: Mandates that States Parties provide women equal status with men before the law, including with respect to contracts, the administration of property, the movement of persons, and choice of residence.
Article 16: Instructs States Parties to eliminate discrimination against women in all aspects of marriage and family relations, including providing equal rights with men to enter into marriage, to choose a spouse, to dissolve a marriage, in matters of child rearing, in the number and spacing of children, in personal matters such as choosing a family name and profession, and for property ownership and management.
Article 17: Establishes the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to evaluate, and make recommendations to further States Parties’ progress in implementing the provisions of this treaty.
Article 18: Instructs States Parties to report to the Committee on their progress within one year of becoming a party to the Convention and at least every four years thereafter, including when the Committee so requests.
Article 19: States the Committee shall adopt its own rules of procedure and elect officers for two-year terms.
Article 20: Declares the Committee shall meet at U.N. Headquarters each year for no more than two weeks.
Article 21: Mandates that the Committee report annually on its activities to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, and may make “suggestions and general recommendations based on the examination of reports and information received from the States Parties.”
Article 22: Allows for relevant U.N. specialized agencies to be represented at meetings of the Committee and authorizes the Committee to invite them to “submit reports on the implementation of the Convention.”
Article 23: States that nothing in the present Convention will “affect any provisions that are more conducive to the achievement of equality between men and women” that may be contained in a State Party’s legislation or in any other international treaty.
Article 24: Requires States Parties to “adopt all necessary measures at the national level aimed at achieving the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Convention.”
Article 25: Declares that CEDAW will be open for signature, ratification and accession by all states.
Article 26: Allows for any State Party to request a revision of the Convention at any time and states that the General Assembly “shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in respect of such a request.”
Article 27: Declares that the Convention will enter into force thirty days after the twentieth ratification has been deposited and for countries ratifying thereafter, it will be thirty days before the treaty enters into force.
Article 28: Establishes procedures for reservations made by countries at the time of ratification or accession.
Article 29: Allows for disputes between States Parties to be submitted to arbitration.
Article 30: Instructs the Convention to be deposited with the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Enlightenment is the birthright of every man, women, and child. It is equally attainable by all.
The human spirit is neither male nor female. As consciousness develops and matures men take on more feminine attributes, and women take on more masculine attributes. The human heart and disposition become more balanced.
When maya (illusion of our true nature) predominates in the awareness of people, societies are fashioned after ‘survival of the fittest” and “might makes right.” That is where we are today, and that is why societies are male dominated.
As human consciousness grows the heart is softened and everyone becomes held in the highest esteem. The fasted way to expand human awareness is through the practice of meditation. It is a royal path.
Close your eyes, begin your meditation practice, and bask in the light of eternal bliss – to promote equal rights for all.