HomeWhat's New?Photo-montagesText PageArya PageDisciples PageLinks


Nolini by Mother 5 Kb

Nolini by the Mother

Back to Nolini Page

Sri Nolini Kanta Gupta

from "About Woman"
as quoted in the Auroville online weekly AV-News
Issue 850 of 5 August 2000

[From the section: House of Mother's Agenda]

An integral spiritual experience holds that "woman is the mirror in which man sees the reflection of his own self, his own dormant and hidden powers of genius when she comes and stands before him; immediately he becomes awake and energetic with the inspiration of fully manifesting and expanding himself. That is why woman is the shakti - without a touch of this force of woman man cannot attain full awakening and integral self-realisation… Woman is said to be an equal partner in following the dharma - sahadharmini - because she is as though this other wing of man. With her help man is capable of giving expression to his own complete dharma of life and embraces his own greater self. Man is like empty space without woman. Woman fills this emptiness -ayamakasah striya puryata eva."
Behind this spiritual experience and explanation of the true relationship between man and woman is the metaphysical concept of the dual principle of Purusha-Prakriti, Bhagavan and Bhagavati, Krishna-Kali. This whole creation is an eternal play and manifestation of Purusha-Prakriti.
Man is Purusha and woman Prakriti. Purusha is the witness aspect of the Divine enjoying the multiplicity of Prakriti's manifestation. Similarly, the basic nature of man, because largely based in the intellect, is that of keeping a separative distance from the objective world. Whereas a woman's natural dharma is 'to be': "she wants to lose her identity with unreserved self-giving, or wants to swallow the thing to make it a part and parcel of her own." This is the attitude of the embracing heart, and therefore for a woman detachment comes with great difficulty. "Man has a wideness of intellect with which he wants to throw light on everything in the world and the universe; nothing is alien to him, nihil alienum. But a thing is altogether alien to woman if it is outside the ambit of her heart… Woman cannot negate or forget her own entity or 'I' - at least in imagination - as easily as does man. The ego of man wants to make the whole world its own and wants to swallow it… Man is hiranyagarbha…but woman is… virat…Heaven and Home." A wonderful mingling is there of the metaphysical truth of Purusha and Prakriti with the psychological build of man and woman. That, I suppose, comes only by the synthetic vision of a yogi.
It was this vision that guided the ancient Rishis of the Vedic times - a vision that mingled gods and humans. Because of this deep intuition of the free intercourse between gods and men, there was the predominant idea of "a divine shakti-dharma" for woman "besides chastity and single-minded devotion to her husband." In the Satyayuga, the relation between man and woman was based on the "sincerity of the soul's truth." In the subsequent yugas, the relationship shifted to the "sincerity of the mental being", to the "sincerity of the vital being", to the "sincerity of the body."
In the early periods, Purusha was subjected to Prakriti; woman was the shakti overriding man. But later, in the Treta and Dwapara, the relation changed and Prakriti was subjected to Purusha: woman became subservient to man. This was also the period in Indian cultural history when sannyasihood had become the noblest ideal of society and "the sannyasins feared this force of prakriti in women, the pull that draws us towards life and world with woman as the base… The sannyasin first wanted to belittle her and drive her away. When that was not possible, he tried to keep her at a distance by worshipping her. Woman then appeared as a mother - in the form of Madonna." […]
Writes Nolini Kanta Gupta: "Ours is the land of Sita and Savitri, it is said. The characteristic of our society too is that, nowhere can one find such unreserved self-giving, such unfailing single-minded devotion of woman; the womanhood of our women is incomparable in the world… We come to understand in what measure our women were forcibly made as chaste and devoted as Savitri, to what degree they have made a virtue of necessity, finding no other alternative. ... Most people dare not dig into the unsavoury hidden account, a tragedy itself, that lies under the high-sounding words like self-giving and single-minded devotion of womanhood in our society. Our women adore the husband like a god but to what extent that devotion is out of fear - fear of being deprived of his favour in case the god is dead and gone - is a thing that cannot be overlooked by the seeker of truth even though it may sound impolite."
Thus disgraced by the sannyasins and humiliated by the society of men: "women became weak and closeted themselves within the four walls to hide their faces out of shame. The more the men-folk ran towards sannyasa, took women to be the gateway to hell, kept them at a distance, hurling insults, women-folk too really moved more and more away and clutched the earth…and became only the things of pleasure and enjoyment."
In the name of feminine beauty, chastity, modesty and self-sacrifice women for centuries have been condemned to self-destruction. Women have become only a body for pleasure and procreation. From the occult point of view, the force held by woman "has been possessed by asuras and demons."
"Who are these asuras and demons ? The forces which want unrefined and low enjoyment, strength, riches, who are guided by egotism and ignorance. The demons and titans who have turned women into things for satiating lust will naturally want to keep them as such for ever - because this is to their interest; the most effective means to maintain and extend their sway upon earth… That is why woman was never emancipated - she did never find out her own true dharma as a woman; man too did not achieve his fulfilment as a social being." comments Nolini Kanta.
Apart from the force of woman, the demons and asuras have caught hold of the force of money also. These two forces have to be liberated from the clutches of the asuras "if matter has to embody spiritual light, if society has to become the abode of men of knowledge, of sadhaks, of realised souls."
"So we think that economic independence is a more living thing for woman than political independence. This thing runs close to the roots of woman's freedom…. If woman has to secure an independent and separate place in the state or on a larger scale in society… then she must first become self-reliant with regard to money…The extent of men's participation in this movement will indicate how far men support from their heart women's right to freedom."
In the Western countries this drive towards the emancipation of woman began long back: she refused to believe or accept that the man-made customs or traditions are for her a divine dispensation. To begin with, she tried to infiltrate into all the institutions of men to prove that she is as good as man in any work or endeavour. This close imitation of man is perhaps the first step. But her fulfilment as a woman is still awaited.
The future demands an equation between Purusha and Prakriti once again - as it was in the beginning of social evolution in man's history. Woman was Shakti, then she became Sati, and in the future she has to become Prakriti, in the true sense. "Let each one awaken their own divine entity," advises Nolini Kanta, "with the help of that relation which develops through a natural outlook. There is no objection also about mutual help and exchange of ideas if needed; that is only natural… the union in complete independence, in full freeedom, is the union that is based on Knowledge and Truth. The union of soul with soul, the fusion of divine with divine is the relation of Ananda. In this divine union in full freedom based on Knowledge and Ananda lies the ultimate fulfilment of the union of man and woman."

Nolini Kanta Gupta
in "About Woman", p. 3-8 published by SACAR - Pondicherry - India

AV-News can be downloaded (Rtf-file zipped) weekly on the site of Auroville,
directly at http://www.auroville.org/journals&media/avnews/avnews.htm
The issue 850 of 5 August 2000 is available at http://www.auroville.org/journals&media/avnews/avnews850.zip

The works of Nolini can generally be ordered at SABDA - Pondicherry - India.

Additional note from an e-mail:

"About Woman." The essay was published in 1999, along with 12 others on the same topic, by Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research (SACAR).
The series of essays were originally written in Bengali between 1932 and 1949 and published under the title Narir Katha ("About Woman"). The essays were eventually published in Nolini's Collected Works in Bengali (Rachanabali) and ten of them were serialized in Mother India from November 1994 to May 1997.

In his preface to the SACAR edition of the articles, Ananda Reddy [son of the founder of the SACAR] writes:

"The book is a compilation of thirteen articles written by Nolini Kanta Gupta over a long period of about seventeen years from 1932-1949. Although they are 13 different and independent articles, they fall into a 'mosaic pattern dictated by the inter-disciplinary nature of the subject'. The diparate essays, entitled (1) About Woman, (2) The Women-Problem, (3) Feminine Distinction, (4) Marriage and Conjugal Relation etc., cover the problems concerning woman on the individual, social and cultural levels, and at the same time span the past, the present and the future of womankind.
It is the interconnection that Nolini Kanta Gupta forges among the historical, the psychological and the spiritual analyses that is of immense importance, for such a unified view makes the reading of these articles a more comtemplative experience than a book-reading.
These gem-insights of Nolini Kanta regarding women would have remained a prerogative of the Bengali readers only had not Satadal translated the thirteen articles, originally published in Rachanabali, Vol. 5 and Vol. I, into simple and fluent English, reminding us of Nolini's own English writting - all lucid and simple and sweet, like the touch of psychic love. The Non-Bengali readers are indeed indebted to Satadal for all the loving pains he has taken to translate the articles. We are also grateful to SACAR (Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research) for publishing these articles and facilitating the Non-Bengali readers."

Back to Nolini Page

EmailGif 1K

[ Sign my GuestBook ] guestbook Gif [ Read my GuestBook ]
[ GuestBook by TheGuestBook.com ]

HomeWhat's New?Photo-montagesText PageArya PageDisciples PageLinks

On the site you are visitor # (Unique)

Other counter for verifications (unique visitors, but no longer reliable since July 2001)