Somewhere in Bhagavad Gita, Krishna laments the consequence to society when gender roles and energies are out of balance. Well there's good news and there's bad news and both are based in the same reality: gender roles on this planet ARE out of balance, but the good news is that society is heading in the direction of balance and equality.
Imagine if you were to step away from this earth and see the hot spots and troubles we face on this planet in an entirely new light. Conflicts in our homes, offices, schools, battlefields, cities.....anywhere where arguments, violence, disagreements and fighting take place ...... and ..... then .... Imagine these conflicts as reflecting an imbalance of male and female energies. I won't take the risk to attempt to define the positive and negative aspects of each gender. We know it when we experience it. Just take any conflict anywhere and see if you can't view the conflict as having its roots in a gender imbalance (one way or the other).
Just some of the ways today's conflicts can be viewed in gender terms:
- Hierarchical political and leadership models being replaced by more cooperative approaches
- Warfare as a solution being mitigated by efforts to dialogue, respect, and appreciate differences
- Movement toward social, economic, and legal equality between men and women
- Religion vs spirituality (the latter being viewed as universal)
- Sustainable utilization of natural resources
- Holistic approach to health and healing
- Each of the above has multiple applications: e.g.: in sports, science, military, earnings
At the Ananda communities, centers and groups, we honor the Indian tradition of approaching God in the feminine form (though not exclusively). Paramhansa Yogananda worshiped the goddess Kali of his Bengali heritage. "The mother," he said, "is closer to the children than the father." But these archetypal roles are changing, too. Nowadays, hardly a nod is given to that father who plays the role of "mom" while mother goes off to work.
However, it must also be pointed out that the highest view of gender roles is to transcend them altogether. This trend, too, in society can be seen: the trend toward gender neutral. One notable characteristic of the Ananda Communities (there are nine throughout the world) is the natural way men and women relate to one another without pretense or competition.
Let's, then, celebrate Mother's Day not only to honor our own mothers but to honor the Divine Mother who has descended to earth in many forms (both male and female) to invite us to live together with respect, harmony, and cooperation.
Happy Mother's Day!