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Mother of BlissAnandamayi Ma (1896–1982)$
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Lisa Lassell Hallstrom

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195116489

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195116489.001.0001

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Ānandamayī Mā and Gender

Ānandamayī Mā and Gender

(p.199) Seven Ānandamayī Mā and Gender
Mother of Bliss

Lisa Lassell Hallstrom

Oxford University Press

As we have established that Ānandamayī Mā is recognized by her devotees as an embodiment of God, the need to ask the following questions arises: How does having a personal relationship with God in a woman's body affect Mā's devotees, especially the women? Does this sort of relationship empower women? Viewing Mā as a gender-related symbol may be characterized by several different meanings, making it essential to have an understanding about gender in the context of Hindu culture and how this is linked with following the spiritual path. This chapter looks into how Mā relates gender, or the blindness to it, to spiritual life, through presenting information obtained from the author's interviews with 12 of Mā's women devotees.

Keywords:   embodiment of God, relationship with God, woman's body, gender-related symbol, women empowerment, spiritual path, women devotees

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