The Gender of G!d

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by wil, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    Godhead is a male [the energetic source] and he has his plenary expansion who is female [ the complete energy] she is also an expansion of the Lord's energy. Since She is also an extension of Godhead, She is the feminine aspect of God. God is both male and female.

    They are One, but Godhead expands into two, Himself and Radharani, for the sake of divine loving pastimes. If They remained as One, then there is no relationship, there are no pastimes, and there can be no dynamic exchange of love. (Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila, 4.55-56)

    Actually, if we all remained merged or amalgamated into one single force or light, then there is no further need of anything else. There certainly would be no need for the material manifestation to provide the innumerable conditioned souls with the means to seek out the way to satisfy their senses, minds, emotions, desires for self-expression, intellectual pursuits, and on and on.

    So, similarly, the spiritual world is the manifestation wherein all souls have the opportunity to engage in a multitude of pastimes in loving relationships in full spiritual variety, without the many hindrances we find in this material world. The only difference is that the spiritual world is centered around the Supreme Being. And that Supreme Personality has expanded Himself into Radharani for exhibiting the supreme loving relationship, in which so many others assist Them.

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    In the Brihad-Gautamiya Tantra, Radharani is described as follows:
    devi krishna-mayi prokta
    radhika para-devata
    sarva-lakshmi-mayi sarva
    kantih sammohini para

    "The transcendental goddess Srimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Sri Krishna. She is the central figure for all the goddesses of fortune. She possesses all the attractiveness to attract the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. She is the primeval internal potency of the Lord."

    To explain further, Srimati Radharani is also the source of the other goddesses, who are expansions of Her. Just as Lord Krishna is the source of all other expansions and incarnations of God, Radharani is the source of all other expansions of the energies of God, the shaktis, or other goddesses. Thus, Vishnu, Rama, even Shiva are all expansions of the one Supreme Being, and similarly Lakshmi, Sita, and even Durga are all expansions of this Supreme Feminine form of God, Radharani.

    It is explained that the beloved consorts of Lord Krishna are of three kinds, namely the goddesses of fortune or Lakshmis, His queens, and the milkmaids of Vraja called the gopis. All of them proceed from Radharani. The Lakshmis are partial manifestations, or plenary portions, of Srimati Radharani, while the queens in Vaikuntha and in Dvaraka are reflections of Her image. The Vraja-devis or gopis are Her expansions and assist in the increase of rasa, or the divine loving pastimes. Among them there are many groups that have various sentiments and moods, which help Lord Krishna taste the sweetness of the rasa dance and other pastimes. (Cc.Adi-lila. 4. 75-81)

    "Among the gopis of Vrindavana, Srimati Radharani and another gopi are considered chief. However, when we compare the gopis, it appears that Srimati Radharani is most important because Her real feature expresses the highest ecstasy of love. The ecstasy of love experienced by the other gopis cannot be compared to that of Srimati Radharani." (Ujjvala-nilamani 4.3 of Srila Rupa Gosvami)

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    Godhead is the primeval Lord, the original Personality of Godhead, so He can expand Himself into unlimited forms with all potencies. They are no different from Him, but may exhibit differences in form and function.

    Godhead first expands Himself into Baladeva, or Balarama, who is considered Krishna’s second body and brother.
    Balarama assists in Godhead’s innumerable spiritual pastimes in both the spiritual and materials realms. Lord Balarama is also Lord Sankarshana, the predominator of the creative energy. He creates and is also the shelter of the material and spiritual worlds. By the will of Godhead and the power of the spiritual energy, Lord Balarama creates the spiritual world, which consists of the planet Goloka Vrindavana [the supermost spiritual planet] and the Vaikuntha planets [in the spiritual sky]. (Chaitanya-caritamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.255-6)

    Lord Balarama especially assists Godhead in the creation of the material world.
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    How do they handle 'father/mother', 'son/daughter' in everyday gender-neutral language?

    This is a silly PC argument, based on silly logic, but as this is a religions board, I'll not pursue that here. Suffice to say obscuring a problem is no solution to the problem.

    If you're going to 'update' a spiritual text to read like a contemporary narrative, then you'd have to have a profound, I'd say angelic, grasp of the text's inner meaning. Unlikely ... so what you'll end up with is something utterly bland to tick's some boxes.

    In my opinion, any enterprise that starts re-writing timeless classics to make them conform to contemporary social attitudes is as silly as it is naive. You'll end up with something worked to death by a committee. There's violence in scripture, and sexual discrimination, should we take that out too? And there's racism, so dump the whole history of Israel elements. And a belief in the supernatural, so that's just nonsense. And Abram was gonna sacrifice his son for gosh sake! We're way too sensitive for anything like that, people will be traumatised! The crucifixion, that's gotta go ... and twelve disciples, all men? That's not on ... :D

    Easier to say: "This is the language they used then" and leave it as is ... or is that too complex/simple an idea to get hold of?

    "And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever" John 14:16.
    "But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name" John 14:26.

    How explicit does it have to be?

    This is why reading Scripture, removed from the Tradition, is insufficient. People forget that the Tradition produced the Scripture, not the other way round. The commentaries are necessary, and are key to understanding. The Bible says EXPLICITLY it won't be understood unless it's explained, but people assume that because they can read, they understand what they read, and that the text is somehow obliged to reveal itself in depth, with no real effort on their part ... this is what you're up against all the time over your side of the pond, and I sympathise.

    Well not everyone's a scholar, and really the language is immaterial if the heart's in the right place. Even you have used gender-language ('sitting in the lap of the mother') to convey an idea.
     
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  3. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    From an Abrahamic viewpoint, this is applying anthropomorphic attributes to the Godhead.

    Again, in an Abrahamic context, this is emanationism and so rejected. It assumes a priority and distinction within the Godhead.

    Again no, the Divine transcends gender.
     
  4. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    Long before the Greeks carved statues and coined the word anthropomorphism Godhead was the fountainhead of "attributes"
     
  5. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    Godhead is the fountainhead of all distinctions. The phantasmagoria of the cosmic manifestation is proof.
     
  6. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    So ... Godhead is "the Divine" blob of nebulous Gas?
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Father.... genderless? Anthropomorphic?

    Does it not scream the male gender and particularly one who has had sex and produced children...

    Does it not scream Human and animal...

    Heck...no clue whiy the literalists make this stuff up.
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    that is as limiting as putting the divine in a human skin...
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Nope ... accessible language in line with nature and with symbolism. Nowhere near so narrow-minded and literal in outlook as today.

    Does it?

    Then why not check out what the commentaries have to say before jumping to the most obvious conclusion?

    I would suggest it rather naive to expect a text, written many millennia ago, to sit comfortably within a set of contemporary liberal western cultural values. It's dumb to complain about it, it's even dumber to suggest rewriting it.

    It's a socio-political thing: Say God the Father = outrage. Say God the Mother = applause...

    I really doubt whether adopting non-gender-specific language will solve sexual discrimination? Wallpapering over the cracks is just a cosmetic job...

    Because they're uninformed, stupid or crooked? What I don't get is why you keep dragging them into the discussion?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  10. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    Yin and yang cannot exist without one another, because without the one, there is no way to reference the other. A creature cannot be known as male unless the corresponding female exists.

    However the principle does not extend to the apparent dichotomy between darkness and light, because darkness is the lack of light and not it's 'female' counterpart?
     
  11. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    But God has no attributes as such, attributes belong to creation and created things, to set them apart from other things which have different attributes.

    Attributes infers multiplicity, distinction, category, complexity ... the Greeks understood God is not that.

    God is One, 'simple' or, as the Greeks said Aperion (Boundless) or even better Arche Aperion 'Principle without Principle' (Anaximander)
     
  12. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    So although the male 'Adam' principle first emanates (is emanated) directly from 'God' the female 'Eve' principle divides away from it immediately to balance it? And from their union/coupling Nature is born?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  13. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    God has His own associates and pastimes and those pastimes are eternal pastimes.
    Via interpersonal exchanges in one of theses ways:
    neutrality or servantship or fraternal or paternal or amorous.

    God has His own consort. She is the first and highest devotee of the Lord.

    The Lord expands an external energy that manifests the creation ---that first plenary expansion of the Lord is via His Brother [Balaram aka Shankara] from Balarama, the lord expands to create all other things of all the worlds.

    But, in His own personal pastimes the creative energy of his own self is manifested as His Consort.

    In His abode all are engaged in reciprocal exchanges of loving affairs in one of five mellows [rasas]:
    neutrality or servantship or fraternal or paternal or amorous.

    NOTE: Aside from the Lord's eternal Consort all other "amorous" souls are handmaidens to the Lord's eternal Consort.
    Also, there is a secret that, to approach the Lord, one must get approval of the Lord's eternal Consort.
     
  14. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    Imo

    darkness is ying of light

    and

    light yang of darkness.

    It's in the Ying-yang symbol [along with its diametrical dot]

    It occurs to me how much variety is yielded by combinations of 1 & 0's ...or... applications of the plus/minus +/- electric poles.
     
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  15. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    Ancient
    Polarity.

    However the absence of a thing is not its opposite, imo. In the sense that the opposite of fire is water, not: the absence of fire?

    So deep in a mine there is no light at all. There is totality of darkness. But a single candle gives a light. Then you can have the light of a sun, or 10 million suns: it is still not a totality of light.

    This does not work with the male/female yin/yang polarity. Or with the +ve/-ve electrical polarity.

    Otherwise it can end up by equating the yin with evil against the yang as good. Which is obviously not the case?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  16. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    It is this exact misunderstanding I believe leads to cultures treating women as inferior? Although it's obviously a lot more complicated?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Yin/Yang, this/that, etc., is at the level of multiplicity and created natures, it does not apply to the Divine, which transcends all such distinctions.

    This is why the Abrahamics do not balance a Good v an Evil as, say, Zoroastrians.

    'Before' creation there was God, but not Satan. Old Nick is a (necessary/unfortunate/corrupt?) product of the dynamic process of Genesis, 'becoming'.

    The principle of evil does not, indeed cannot, come into play until there exists moral choice, as evil is a moral ill. Many miss this crucial point: It's not the act, it's the intention behind the act. Thus natural disasters are not 'evil'.

    In the beginning, Scripture tells us, God says 'let there be light'. The way I read this is not light as sunlight/starlight, ie a material and physical thing, but rather light as intellect, light as knows, in the sense that we say 'let's shed some light on the situation'.

    Man need never be aware of the Presence of God. The idea of causes is, of course, inevitable in any reflective consciousness, in anything that can look and ask 'how' or why', but then the God of such a process will always be an intellectual abstraction, 'the God of the Philosophers'. The Immanent sense of the Divine as Presence is possible because the Divine is Immanently present and desires to be known — the Moslems have a hadith qudsi, a 'sacred haith': "I was a hidden treasure; I loved to be known. Hence I created the world so that I would be known."
     
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  18. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

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    So it would seem that both poles are absolutes unto themselves. Two absolute poles?

    The concept of Advaita is the highfalutin notion that these two absolute poles
    exist simultaneously and in-separately but All-Is-One.

    There is the maxim used by the Hindu theistic schools: acintya bheda abheda.

    Inconceivable one-ness and difference. In Sanskrit achintya means 'inconceivable',
    bheda translates as 'difference', and abheda translates as 'non-difference'.
     
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  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    Perhaps. But 'God' chooses to manifest, for whatever unknown reason. In the sense that God unmanifest, could not exist for anyone but 'Himself'?

    Therefore God chooses to manifest first by/through the male/yang principle, which at once needs immediately to manifest the female/yin principle. Because alone, it cannot exist.

    The yin/yang are then drawn to 'mate' and from that union the tree of Nature is born from Spirit?
     
  20. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Deus Pascus Corvus

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    It's interesting: the 'vacuum-energy' of quantum particles manifesting by pure random chance from 'nowhere' and then immediately manifesting their twin/opposite particle and immediately cancelling one another out.

    But not quite 'immediately' because even the zillion of a picosecond is 'time' -- the fleeting event does actually, really occur ...
     

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