Feminine Spirituality Revealed

Experiencing emotions of love is a very powerful medium that enables one to comprehend the emotions within spiritual love. It has always been the purpose of Indian scriptures to give a detailed analysis of human relationships as the bridge that carries one from material to spiritual emotions of love. It focuses mainly on women as their emotions of love are usually deeper and more variegated than those of men.

Women-in-Love Described in Indian Scriptures

Lord Caitanya  (Drawing by Swamini Rishika Devi)

Lord Caitanya

(Drawing by Swamini Rishika Devi)

Indian wisdom reveals how women-in-love can experience a wide variety of moods toward their beloved[1]. Seeing the descriptions of worldly women-in-love, one may wonder why scripture would portray them and that also in a very detailed analysis.

Actually, it was the sages who recognized how women are the foundation of society as they shape the character of their children who are the future generations. The sages understood how generally women’s actions and behavior are empowered by their inherent emotions of love.

Because of this, they described women’s emotions as an ideal foundation for loving relationships. This is particularly important as women’s behavior and emotions in love also reflect the spiritual journey of humanity. The intense desire of women-in-love resembles the soul’s longing for oneness with divinity. The purpose of scriptures is to illustrate this truth and establish how the highest fulfillment of human beings is to have a loving connection with the Divine.

Lord Chaitanya[2] revealed this by stating how the essence of scripture is to relish a loving relationship with God. Basing his statements on the teachings of Srimad Bhagavatam, he declared that love for Krishna is the highest goal of life[3].

Even though Lord Chaitanya was in a male body, he experienced the feminine mood of Krishna’s beloved, Radha, especially her amorous affection for Krishna. This was a remarkable phenomenon in the history of religion. For thousands of years, religious traditions followed the practices of austerity and sacrifice whereas, Lord Chaitanya emphasized the principles of madhurya bhava[4], the feminine mood of the soul towards God. It is spirituality imbued with a feminine heart, a divine mood that has transcended the worldly emotions of love.

Feminine Spirituality Beyond Gender

Feminine spirituality is not about women per se: It is about men and women who have accepted their feminine stance of being parts of a higher reality. Everyone has the capacity to experience their inner feminine spirituality and rise above material nature. This is the purpose of Indian devotional scriptures – to bring out the ‘inner woman’ in everyone.

This explains how the surrender and devotion of women who are described in the scriptures are best understood in their extended meaning of the ‘feminine principle’. Women’s surrender and devotion symbolizes the soul’s surrender to God. When scripture speaks of surrender to the husband, it is alluding to how the ‘inner woman’ in both men and women can find fulfillment only in surrender to the divine.

Confidential Message of Lord Chaitanya

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Pursuing this confidential teaching of the scriptures, Lord Chaitanya revealed how devotion to the Lord in the mood of the cowherd damsels of Vraja is the highest spiritual attainment. Feminine spirituality is the hidden and confidential message that Lord Chaitanya revealed. When Lord Chaitanya’s heart speaks out to his Beloved we recognize it as a distinctive feminine mood.

“Krishna may lovingly embrace me or break my heart by not revealing Himself to me. He can do whatever He likes, as He is the only Lord of my life[5].”


[1]Bharata Natyasastra chapter 24, verses 210-220.

[2] Lord Chaitanya appeared in the 15th century in West Bengal, India.

[3] premapumārtho mahān.

[4] madhurya bhava, means ‘sweet’ and refers to the charming mood (bhava) of devotees for God.

[5] Sikshastakam.