Women Gurus in Hinduism

  • By Karen Pechilis
  • October 2015
  • 3355 views
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‘The article discusses various aspects of the lives and public work of women spiritual leaders in Sanatana Dharma.

Hindu female gurus are highly visible in the contemporary world as spiritual leaders. Examples of well-known female gurus include Amma Sri Karunamayi, Ammachi Mata Amritanandamayi, Anandamurthi Guruma, Gangaji, Gurumatha Amma, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, Mother Meera, Sri Maa, and Sri Anandi Ma. All of these female gurus have worldwide outreach through their official websites on theinternet, which provide information on their teachings and organisations, and sometimes biographical information.1 Two of these gurus, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda of Siddha Yoga and Mata Amritanandamayi, Ammachi, are especially prominent in terms of number of global followers and ashramas. The international fame and authority of these female gurus stands in marked contrast to the long historical pattern in Hindu tradition, which restricts the role of authoritative guru who has a public presence to men.’

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Author is distinguished professor of humanities and professor of Asian and comparative religions at Drew University, New Jersey.

This article was first published in the Prabuddha Bharata, monthly journal of The Ramakrishna Order started by Swami Vivekananda in 1896. This article is courtesy and copyright Prabuddha Bharata (www.advaitaashrama.org). I have been reading the Prabuddha Bharata for years and found it enlightening. You can subscribe online at www.advaitaashrama.org. Cost is Rs 100/ for one year, Rs 280/ for three years, Rs 1,200/ for twenty years and Rs 2,000 for twenty five years.

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