Conference “Atma has no gender”

The international online Live Session on the occasion of 2022 International Women’s Day organized by the Hindu Religious Society of Croatia, aroused great interest in the audience of the important topic of gender equality. The life experiences and thought-provoking presentations of the speakers touched the topic in many different but significant ways. The concluding speech of the conference was given by His Holiness Vishwaguru Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwaranandaji, author of the System Yoga in Daily Life.

The ideas for review, that a value system and tradition are the roots of solving modern challenges, and that getting acquainted with the eternal laws of the universe is only way to sustainable development of civilization, was explained with special reference to the current time and possible practical solutions.

Mahamadaleshwar Swami Vivekpuri explained that sat sanatan means without beginning or end, and is therefore taught from generation to generation. He continued with a mantra from the Taittiriya Upanishad, matri devo bhava… This first verse of the mantra (look upon your mother as God, the first God) represents ancient teachings on the woman’s social status. Croatian tradition also describes the mother’s rule as the key one, with common sayings such as: “she is the one who holds three corners of the house”; “the most important hand is that one that rocks the cradle”, meaning giving education to the children by taking care of them, is the way to the future that we all want. He concluded that if the family education is proper, inner feelings of equality are developed. Those feelings are evoked afterwards whilst addressing all other females either as Mataji (mother), daughter or sister in all traditions around the world.

Dr. Uma Mysorekar spoke about prakriti and purusha, the feminine and masculine energy that all of us have within ourselves, and said that our outer expression towards gender is dependent on our inner feelings and acceptance of our female and male qualities. She ended her inspiring presentation stating that practically, regarding UN gender equality goals, many steps still need to be taken, including in the areas of health services and reproductive rights.

Mahamandaleshwar Swami Gyaneshwarpuriji emphasized that status of women was clearly described in the ancient scriptures, the Vedas and the Upanishads. During Vedic times, some women were brahmavadinis, women who devoted their lives to scriptural study, expounded the Vedas and wrote some of the Vedic hymns. Women of the kshatriya, warrior caste, received martial arts coaching and arms training. The Vedas, Upanishads and other scriptures give numerous examples of female philosophers, politicians, teachers, administrators and saints. He concluded that only by following tradition we can achieve what is declared in the UN sustainability goals: gender equality today for the sustainability of tomorrow.

Ms Denise Scotto in her heartful speech, said that there is a legal framework that should enable gender equality, but unfortunately, laws by themself fail to provide this. It is the experience itself that is crucial to transform these disparities. She pointed out that traditions such as Sat Sanatan Dharma provide understanding of Divinity roles of female principles and give examples and practices of how to transfer this into daily relations, and such traditions which are transferred and practised from generation to generation can lead to real changes.

Ms Lakshmi Srivastava addressed the public with the Sanskrit mantra, lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu… the meaning of which is: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all. This mantra is a first step towards realization of gender equality and acceptance of all, and not only all people but all living beings. Chanting such a mantra on a daily basis can bring about the much-needed understanding and realization that gender is only temporary and all people are the same and equally valued. She finished her speech stating that after all, we are all vasudeva kutumbakam – one universal family of God.

Mr Minić Alen spoke about the unfortunate current circumstances with consequences of the pandemic, in sociological terms, for women and children. During the current pandemic crisis, due to the worsening economic situation and social isolation, we have witnessed a rise in domestic violence. Such an unstable situation is influencing children’s safety, resulting in higher rates of behavioural disorders and suicides. He said that working with such vulnerable groups calls for utilising Yoga in Daily Life techniques in order to help people preserve mental peace and release stress. Benefits of such techniques would be of significant importance if they would be able to receive and practise them within the family.

Ms Matečić Ingeborg spoke about education as an important part of gender equality. She said that while addressing UN gender equality goals in regards to high education and research, where goals are set to increase inclusion of women, data shows measurable benefits when both genders are included, and noted in particular that research has proven to be more accurate when both genders are included and gender diversity has been seen to positively influence collective intelligence. Ms Matečić stated that although there is a positive trend on data inclusion, the gap is still huge and there is a long way to go.

Ms Khyati Rathore spoke about the Sat Sanatan principles of addressing female aspects as Goddess as a way to achieving gender equality. She mentioned that the proper and immediate answer to inequality is to act directly on the field with many positive impacts. As an example, she presented Yoga in Daily Life and His Holiness Vishwaguru Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwarananda’s projects for girls education and helping poor families in the Pali district of Rajasthan, India.

His Holiness Vishwaguru Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwaranandaji rounded out all the presentations and theme by emphasizing that, “The one mother, the one female energy for all of us, is Mother Earth.” All of the mentioned principles we can follow after we first learn how to do good by Mother Earth and the five elements.
By reminding ourselves each morning that we are humans, and only humans can say that to themselves, we are reminded of our role as a protector – a protector of all living beings and of Mother Earth herself. Mother Earth has been suffering for all the mistreatment by humans and it is of the highest importance to accept and practise this protector role that humans have.
And finally, to ensure good and happiness to all, whatever we do, we should finish with om shanti shanti shanti – and with this peace mantra, Vishwaguruji closed the conference in the best way.

Podijeli !