In this interview series we asked Radhanath Swami universal foundational questions about life and spirituality. Here is a transcript of the answer to this question:
“Does God have a Gender?“
In this world that we live and see the basis of creation is male and female.
Even in the plants there is the pollen and how the pollen is fertilized, there is male and female principles.
In the fish, in the reptiles, in the animals, the birds, and in every species and race of human beings.
The principle of creation is based on male and female.
And the greatest pleasure that people seek within this world is generally the relationship between male and female.
So does this male and female principle have an origin?
The experience of joy between male and female, and the experience of creation through male and female principles.
According to the Vedas; Yes.
It’s principle is in God.
Because ultimately God is both male and female.
There is Laksmi-Narayan, Sita-Rama, Radha-Krishna, Parvati-Shiva.
The Supreme Absolute Truth is one, but that one Absolute Truth has both a male and female nature.
And the love between the male and female nature of God, or Radha and Krishna, is the origin of all love.
And because in God there is that love, within this world which is a reflection of spiritual reality, that is the predominant feature of procreation and life is that male and female principle.
Radha is the supreme mother of all living beings, Krishna’s the supreme father of all living beings.
And actually this male and female nature of God is not only very very prominent in the Hindu scriptures and traditions but it’s also very much within the Western traditions in their mystical aspects.
Shekinah is considered the bride of the Sabbath in the Kabbalist tradition, the female aspect of God.
In Islam Fatimah is often seen as the female aspect of God.
Within general life we say Mother Nature, Father God.
So in the Vedic scriptures the female aspect of God is that aspect that is the source of all compassion, of all love, of all concern, of all care.
The male aspect of God is the source of all power, the source of all wisdom..
And the unity of the male and female features of God is the complete understanding of God
And perhaps in many of the religions today, because there is not enough understanding of the female aspect of God, that there is, even in the name of religion, a lack of compassion, a lack of care, a lack of concern. It’s more oriented towards power, control..
In the Chinese philosophy there is the Yin and the Yang, the opposites attract each other, how everything is based on these opposites.
So the male and the female feature of the Lord is really the very basis of Bhakti.
And among many Catholics and other Christians there’s Mary and Jesus and they approach Jesus often by first seeking the blessings and compassion of Mary.
Again the male and female aspect of the Divine. Feminine Divinity is inherently within all religious traditions,
And I feel that it’s very very important that it be restored in people’s understanding of what Divinity really is.