“No woman would have authority over man,
no woman would disobey man
and her job is to remain Silent.”
~ 1 Timothy 2:12
Acharya Prashant: Every single sutra here contains the essence of Bible, the essence of the word of God. It is just that it is expressed a little differently in each quote, in each sutra, in each aphorism. Just as the audiences are different, just as we are different as persons. But the speaker is always the same. The speaker, the source is always the one. Even one sutra, if brought lovingly to heart, will burn away all that causes us grief, suffering and separation.
But I appreciate that as distinct personalities, we will have our distinct tastes.
So, which one appeals to you, yes?
Listener: Relating to real life, I was sitting with my friend and you said we shouldn’t sit with our friend and we were deciding which one of us would move, and I said, “Look, no woman should have authority over man”, but she commanded me and I moved, despite me telling her that she must be silent. So…
AP: Only the woman can ever move; man is not given to moving. It is beyond the nature and capacity of man to move. I ask you: who is Jesus? Because if you cannot answer who Jesus is then you also will not understand who is a man and who is as woman.
Who is a Jesus?
I’m asking you: “Who is Jesus?”
L1: The son of Maria. That’s what they’ve told. I didn’t see her
L2: A human embodiment of God consciousness.
L3: A man?
AP: Until the time, a man is talking, a person is talking, Jesus will remain a person who took birth and passed away. Who said a few things, who laughed, who preached, who bled and then disappeared. Are we talking of Jesus then? No. Then we are talking of ourselves. And that is what the person does, that is what the ego does. It projects the world in its own image. As we are, so do we see the entire world.
Jesus is not a person. Jesus is the center from where all persons — called Jesus, Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna — come and into which all such persons disappear. One Jesus, second Jesus, third Jesus, fourth Jesus, they keep on coming and going. But Jesus remains intact – unmoving, unborn, un-died.
Jesus is not a man,
Jesus is not the son of Mary.
Now, who is a man and who is a woman?
When Jesus says ‘woman’, he means all that which gives birth, has taken birth and would die. When Jesus says ‘woman’, he means all that which has a tendency to continue into the future by procreating.
When Jesus says ‘man’, he refers to the only man that there is – which is Jesus or the father of Jesus, who are anyway identical.
So, when Jesus says that no woman would have authority over man, no woman would disobey man, argue or resist and her job is to remain silent, obviously he does not mean a physical woman because Jesus himself is not a physical man. When a physical man talks, then he only talks of physical beings, but a Jesus is physical only for the sake of physical beings; he is not essentially physical. Jesus makes himself appear as and available as physical, so that those who are habituated of calling themselves physical are able to get a taste of him. No Jesus is ever physical, and hence when Jesus says man, he does not refer to a physical man; and hence when Jesus says woman, he does not mean a physical woman.
Woman in his parlance only means the mind.
When he says the mind must have no authority and must remain silent, he means that the mind must be surrendered to the center, the self. That is what he means when he says that the woman must just listen. That is what he means when he says, whatever he
says: let the mind listen.
The very etiquette of reading a spiritual text demands that we do not read it attached to ourselves. That we do not read it tethered to our self-interest; otherwise, it will be very easy for the man to exploit this saying and the more man exploits it, the more the physical woman would resist it. Is that clear?
When Jesus speaks, “The job of the mind is not to quarrel but to remain silent”, the ‘mind’ is the woman; the ‘speaker’ is the man.
L: That’s related to the talk we had about prakriti and purusha?
Now, anything on this?
L: Jesus knows that he is speaking to people who are ego-centric. Why do he use words that probably will be misunderstood then? Talk about mind and consciousness instead of telling of woman and man?
AP: Would you be understanding it any more deeply had he expressed it in an abstract way, in a theoretical way? That is one part. Second part is: if you refer to another saying of Jesus that we have with us today, he is saying that pearls are not for the swine. What is really precious is only for the one who has come to his own precious center. It is an inviolable law of existence that you get only what you are. You do not get anything more than that. Krishna says in the Gita that he appears in front of everybody only in forms specific to or particular to their worlds. So as you are, so shall you receive.
All scriptures are worded in what commonly appears like code-language. It appears like code-language only to those who cannot yet de-code it, and if one cannot yet de-code it, then the scripture is anyway not for that person. It is only for the one who has ripened, gained a bit of maturity, is ready and waiting to enter. In fact, in the Indian scriptures, it is very clearly delineated who are the people who deserve to read the scripture; who are the ‘adhikaari’ ones. ‘Adhikaar’ means ‘right’.
So, in the first page, the first verse would deal with the eligibility criteria – the qualification that is required of the reader. And the text would very clearly say that if you do not have such eligibilities then kindly do not read any further. You will totally misinterpret and hence you will be harmed. The eligibility criteria include dispassion, a burning desire to know and get rid of suffering, surrender to the guru. And that applies not only to the Indian scriptures but to any scripture of any worth.
You come to Jesus only when the Jesus within you calls; otherwise, you will either not come, or if you are forcefully or by chance brought to him, you will
resent and reject him.
L: Having said that about scriptures, do you think it’s a mistake when people take Jesus as a person, a man?
AP: You see, mistake is a very limited word; it does not capture the totality of the happening. Jesus appears as a person. When he is there, ten-twelve or maybe fifty people listen to him. He is talking, he is going around with his sheep. Finally at a young age, this personal appearance is crucified as per the will of an entire city. And as joyfully as he lived, he’s gone, joyfully. As far as the person’s story is concerned, it is complete. It is complete. Now it is no more left to gain more followers or spread religion. But decades, indeed hundreds of years after his physical departure, there starts an organised church.
What he had to say he had said, already said and he had said that to those who deserved to listen to him. The entire city didn’t deserve to listen to him. The entire city did not even exercise its power of pardon to prevent his physical death. Did 2.5 billion people ever listen to Jesus? In the personal form, his story was finished with the disciples, with the monks, with the messengers. And after that, it is the game of the mind of the world. Now you can do whatever you want do with the image that you have of Jesus.
The only thing is that the flowering never ceases to happen. The sun never ceases sending its rays. The sun is Jesus, but because we know only the partial, we call one of the rays as Jesus. Jesus is the sun who can never die. We take one of the rays as Jesus and the ray comes and quickly disappears, in the blink of an eye, and if we are obsessed with the ray, then we will keep missing other rays, we will keep missing light. Jesus will keep sending his message but we will be obsessed with what he said as one person, historically. We will miss how he is present right with us in our heart. We will take him as a historical fact, not as a loveable reality of this moment., not as a never ending presence. Are you getting it?
If you are sticking to the ‘word’ then what you are saying is that the word came at one point in time and thereafter it didn’t come and would not come. You are saying that the sun was shining then and is not shining now. But the sun is always shining, flowers are always blossoming. Jesus is the root of all flowers. Individual flowers, individual persons called Jesus can come and go but the root called Jesus remains, and from that root, continuously more and more, new and new flowers keep coming. Don’t be attached to
one flower. Don’t make the mistake of taking Jesus as one ray or one particular flower. Jesus is the source of light; the root of all flowers, all beauty. In one form he disappears, in another form he again arises.
Do you understand what this means to you? It means that you don’t have to look towards the past. It means that the truth is always there with you. It means prophets don’t come and go. They are always there. Do you get this? If you live in the assumption that they come and go then you will miss the truth that is always available to you. You’ll be looking for it in the past. That is the tragedy of human living. We miss out on what is available to us because we think that it must be similar to how it once appeared in time.
Something most beautiful might be there in front of you but you will compare it to yesterday, and when you’ll compare, you’ll never find it same as yesterday. And if you have a concept that beauty is that which happened to you yesterday then you will reject beauty in the form in which it is appearing in front of you today. This, if understood properly, would relieve so much of load upon the mind.
L: Why is there an assumption that God must be something extraordinary or spectacular or something of the other world?
AP: The assumption is ‘our’ assumption, so only we can tell why God must be extraordinary. God must be extraordinary because we want to exist, and you cannot exist if you are the same as everybody and everything else. So, you want to be extraordinary to preserve your existence.
You are wearing a color that she is not wearing, you are sitting at a place where she is not sitting. So, in every sense you exist only as long as you are distinct and this feeling of being distinct is the feeling of being extra ordinary. Because you exist only when you are distinct, so your highest conception is the highest degree of distinction which you call as God. Man creates God in his own image. So, if man is ego, then the greatest expanse of ego is what man terms as God.
You want to be special, you want to be doing great things, and the one then who does the greatest things and is the most special, you call as God. God is nothing but man’s own self concept stretched to absurd limits.
Excerpts from a Shabda-Yoga Session. Edited for Clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Jesus Christ: Who is a man and who is a woman?
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