Is the conception of male & female in this world and spiritual world different?
I read in one of your articles that God is neither male or female. similarly the Bhagavad Gita states that the soul is neither male or female. But at the same time , we see in the scriptures with the talk about the spiritual world , they describe God having His mother father , friend and they have beautiful relationship with each other. So how do you reconcile the philosophical point that God has no gender , the soul has no gender, with the presence of gender in the spiritual world. Are these concepts of material world and spiritual world different ?
Yes, the conceptions of gender in material and spiritual world are different because in the spiritual world the soul and the body are the same, where as in the material world the soul and the body are different. Because in the material world the soul and the body are different, the gender that we posses is temporary, I may be a man in this life and if I become attached to women in this life, I may become women in next life. Same way a women may be attached to a man and she may become man in next life. Krishna says that in principle what ever we are attached to, that we remember at the time of death and that is what we attain. So because our gender are temporary and because our identification with our genders and consequently attraction to the opposite gender is the primary basis , the primary motive force for the material existence, that is why the scriptures emphatically tell us that this whole conception of gender is false and the soul has no gender , we are neither men nor women and they also indicate to us that we should not super impose our conception of gender on God. and that’s why the point is made that Krishna has no gender. In Gajendra’s prayers, while describing the Lord, he says that my dear Lord you are neither male nor female nor neutral, and then we may wonder then what remains? Gajendra is trying to teach goswami analysis this prayer of Gajendra , naam rupa , that you do not have any form , you do not have any gender, so he gives a dramatic analysis , and he says that Gajendra is praying for that Lord who has no name, no form, and then response to that prayer, Lord Vishnu comes, who has a name, who has a very definite form, who has associates, who has his relationships. So how do we reconcile this? Here he says that Gajendra is talking that the material form is absent. So when he says that you don’t have any form, you don’t have any gender, It means that you don’t have any material gender. So our spiritual understanding begins by understanding that the gender that our body posses is not possessed by the soul.and our conceptions of gender should not be super imposed on God. Now when this philosophical understanding is clear, then the scriptures go forward, and reveal to us what is the life of God in the spiritual world, and what is our life in the spiritual world when we return back to Him. So, Krishna is not a God who delights in His Godhood, I am supreme all of you are subordinate, bow down to me, that is your eternal activity through out. all of existence, Krishna does not get any pleasure in that. He is god but He delights not in the display of His Godhood but in the reciprocation of love that results when He conceals His Godhood. So for the reciprocation of love, He takes on various roles and He gives His devotees various roles. Krishna having a father is not like we having a father , because Krishna’s body does not come from His father’s body, wher as our body came from our fathers’ body, even Krishna’s father came from Krishna, the soul came from Krishna, soul is part of Krishna. But Krishna has given that particular soul Nanda Maharaj, the role to serve him in a particular wary, as father , so appropriately Krishna will manifest the relationship and appropriate to that relationship to the form that best befits relating to Nanda maharaj as father, He will act as sone to him, Similarly some other devotes are given the the role of His mother or nurse, So Yashoda Maiyya is there and the other elderly vrijawasees are there , and similarly the bhagwatam reveals the love life of God in all its fullness. So God also has His romantic relationships, where, His most exalted devotees are given forms that are best suited for serving Him in madhurya rasa, in the conjugal mellow. So are these gopis female or not, and is Krishna male or not ? There masculinity and femininity is different from mundane masculinity and femininity, because they do not have material body, they do have forms and we might say that they have human like forms, although it is wrong, because it is not that they have human like forms , we have forms modeled as their forms, as Bible says that man is made in the image of God , So for te reciprocation of relationship Krishna manifest a particular gender that of male and He gives His devotees roles which are of appropriate gender which may be males or females, in this case the body and soul are different and their relationship is eternal and that’s why that gender is entirely different that in our material world. the understanding of this is based on the bhagavad gita 15:1 which says that there is upside down banyan tree that refers to the foundational philosophical point that this world is the reflection of the spiritual world. so just as we see gender in this world, there is gender in the spiritual world. just as we might see the reflection of the mango ,in the reflected tree in the river, there will be real mango in the original tree because of which the reflection is created, but jest as the reflected mango is insubstantial, if I dive into it I would not get it. similarly the gender in this world is in substantial. So the philosophy materialism has the idea that the reflected mango is the reality, but that is false, the philosophy of monism, impersonalist, voidism, that all ultimately boil down to the reflection is false and the reality is also false. stop chasing after the mango because there is no mango at all. But the Bhagavad Gita understanding is that where there is reflection, there has to be a reality. So in the first stage is flehe returning from reflection to reality to recognise that the reflection is insubstantial and stop being riveted to the reflection. and the second stage is to shift our vision from the reflection gradually to words the reality, and then to climb up the tree and get the fruit. Similarly, the gender in world is like the reflected mango. So the first step in spiritual life, is to recognize that we are not our bodies, and accordingly we have no connection with the gender that the body has temporarily. that is like becoming detached from the reflected mango. and then we raise our vision upwards towards Krishna, understand the beautiful relationships that are there in the spiritual world and understand that rather than attracted to the relationship here let me become attracted to the relationships with Krishna in the spiritual world. and then to climb up the tree is like doing sadhana bhakti to purify ourselves and to return back to the spiritual world.
Sp tp summarize, our genders as determined by our bodies are temporary and illusory in the sense that they do not have anything to do with the soul. But the soul has a original gender in the sense that the soul is a servant of Krishna , that can be called feminine gender, but in the spiritual world , where as all souls can said to be servants of Krishna, different soul are given different roles, and accordingly different forms for their service. So that’s why the gender in the material world is like the reflection and the gender in the spiritual world is reality.