In union there is strength

We believe that Indian guru Mata Amritanandamayi known as the “Hugging Saint” is Embezzling The World. Help us to spread the truth about her.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

ETW III : Boyhood

The acronym ETW have several meanings. It can stand for "Embracing The World" or "Embezzling The World". In this post, it stands for "Empowering The Women". It is the third of a series, aiming at taking a closer look at a speech entitled "The Awakening of Universal Motherhood" that Amma gave in Geneva on October 7th 2002, when she received the Gandhi-King award. We would like to give our personal point of view about it. This speech dictates the most demanding requirements of women. Who can be so demanding?

Many religions have the same unreal fantasy, Amma makes their dream come true : she looks like a pure perfect loving tireless beautiful virgin mother. Who needs to have such a deluded view about women? Amma gives us a clue :
"There is a hidden longing in all men to be re-enfolded by the unconditional love of a mother. This is one of the subtle reasons for the attraction that men feel towards women" 
Can we suppose that some men nurture deluded views about women because they miss childhood and the fantasies that their innocent and ignorant mind projected onto their mother at that time? Can we suppose that these men impose such unfair rules upon women, for them to match their own surreal nostalgic fantaisies? Such a behavior wouldn't be too far from the Oedipus complex theory. What else does Amma say about men and women?
"There is a man in the unconscious of a woman, and a woman in the unconscious of a man. This truth dawned in the meditation of the great saints and seers eons ago"
Why does she speak about "great saints and seers eons ago"? Isn't she a self-realized being? Isn't she aware of manhood and womanhood? She doesn't even mention her own experience! Why does she rely on the accounts of long dead anonymous people? What about herself? Is it at least Amma speaking? She is so busy, she surely has no time to write her own speeeches. She certainly assigns this task to one of her closest disciples, just like any overbooked personality would do. Gail Tredwell tells us what she has witnessed :
"none of the speeches which were made at U.N. or Chicago were her own, they were Swamijis from some books or possibly his head that I don't know"
Is Geneva's speech also from Swami Amritaswarupananda aka Balu? The man who has written all "her" books?

Another quote sounds manly :
"Men normally believe in muscle power. On a superficial level they look upon women as their mothers, wives, and sisters"
Such a narrow minded statement. Men and women are not exclusively connected by sex or genetics. They can be bound by another kind of link called "friendship". The speech mentions friendship between men and women only once, not surprisingly it is restricted to a very specific context :
"This makes it easy for a woman to be a mother, a wife, and a good friend who provides her husband with confidence"
Of course, a good friend must comfort her husband. Single women don't have male friends?

The whole speech advertises motherhood as the only path for women to attain to spiritual goals. We assume that selfless motherhood is supposed to lead to pure bliss. So why saying something like that :
"As far as a birth is concerned, a man’s only role is to offer his seed. For him it is only a moment of pleasure; for the woman it is nine months of austerities"
Nine months of austerities? Life doesn't stop with pregancy. Pleasure doesn't stop where pregnancy begins. Pregnancy can be painful for some women but fortunately such is not the case for all of them. Many women consider this moment to be one of the best part of their life. Many of them enjoy their pregnancy and consider it as a beautiful experience. Austerities? Really?

The writter of this speech doesn't know much about women. Reading it again, knowing that it is likely to originate from a man's mind changes everything. Just like in the tale of the fox and the crow, it seems like women are flattered, praised, worshipped, for them to willingly and joyfully turn into selfless tireless loving slaves for the sake of the (family?) world, because men are naturally too (childish?) flawed to save it themselves. Of course, it is not a question of education, it is due to men's (hypocrisy?) natural inborn defects. Indeed, it is so comfortable to freely play, not having to question one's own behavior, knowing that mummy will fix every damage and pour her love no matter what happens.

We are not denying the concept of Divine Feminine. We are questioning this specific speech, which sounds more social than spiritual. What does "Amma" think about the social status of women?
"In ancient India, the terms that were used by a husband when talking about his wife were, "the one who leads the husband through life," "the one who guides her husband on the path of righteousness," and "the one who walks the path of righteousness along with her husband." These terms imply that women enjoyed the same status as men, or perhaps an even higher one"
We can find a different interpretation to these terms. They can imply that the husband was relying on his wife to make everything perfectly right and to endure his whims without complaining. The Manusmriti gives the following commands to women :
“Asheela  kamvrto………” – 5/157. Men may be lacking virtue, be sexual perverts, immoral and devoid of any good qualities, and yet women must constantly worship and serve their husbands.
“Ati kramay……………” – 9/77. Any women who disobey orders of her lethargic, alcoholic and diseased husband shall be deserted for three months and be deprived of her ornaments.

These rules rather suggest that the wives had to be ever virtuous, while their husbands could fall into depravity, if they wished to do so. The men had the choice to be righteous or not. The women had no choice, they had to be the "leader", the "guide", the "path", whose feet remain firmly on the ground in every circumstance. Asserting that women are nothing else but great invincible beautiful graceful powerful divine mothers, allows to require unconditional love and tireless efforts from them, rewarding them only with hollow praises and increasing responsibilties.

"Amma"'s speech is an entanglement of well-known patriarchal stereotypes, sprinkled with appealing spiritual clich├ęs. Its plot is often played in countries where traditions are particularly binding for women. Some men disrespect their wives in various ways. When the women are exhausted and threaten to go back into their families, their husbands wave the magic formula : "Woman is THE pillar of the family. If she goes away, the family crumbles". These women know that such husbands are unable to manage the family, they know that their children will be left without care if they leave, so they stay. Of course these men never think that a building is more solid with TWO pillars, so they quietly go back to their foolish behavior.

The myth of the pure perfect loving tireless beautiful virgin mother has certainly been invented by men. They are not aware that what they ask for is an illusion that only existed inside their childish imagination. It has never existed in the past, doesn't exist in the present and will never exist in the future, for nature will never bend to abide by their nonsensical fantasies. Yet, Amma pretends that she embodies that myth. Embodying a myth requires to lie. What does she really do with such "teachings"? We will try to find out in our next post.