For centuries, women have walked the inner path to spiritual realisation despite thorns placed in their way by patriarchy, discrimination and unequal opportunities. Their journeys have been characterised by courage and determination, ingenuity and creativity. Where they couldn’t get past the confines of gender roles, women found ways to lead spiritually rich lives under the skin of their worldly selves, amidst the babble of babies and bread, home and family. When they did manage to step outside spaces designated for them by patriarchy, and found fulfillment as wanderers and mystics, god-intoxicated wise madwomen, their insights and experiences remained largely anonymous, their heroism unsung.
This anonymity, born of a ‘second class spiritual citizenship’, persists. At a time when women gurus are becoming far more visible than ever before, through new age media like television and the internet, there is nevertheless little understanding of a feminine spirituality. Through the lives of eight women – Anandamayi Ma, Nirmala Devi, Nani Ma, Sadhvi Bhagwati, Mata Amritanandamayi, Sri Sarada Ma, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Rev Khandro Rinpoche – seekers, gurus, mystics all – Women Awakened explores the idea of feminine spirituality in the contemporary context, and what it actually means to be a spiritual seeker in today’s world.
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