S. Patwardhan & J. Krishnamurti: Hindu Women and the Guru-Shishya Relationship

Rafael Quirós Rodríguez

Abstract

As the world has been able to witness, Hindu women have been creating decisive changes in these first few years of the 21st century which are renewing India. The traces of this effort can be tracked in the personal writings (memoirs, diaries, letters, etc.) that these protagonists have left behind. Among the works that eco the vicissitudes experienced there are few that refer to the religious sphere. The memoirs of Sunanda Patwardhan (1926-99) are an exception that allows us to delve into the problems in the guru-shishya (master-disciple) relationship: a peculiar relationship whose analysis allows one to perceive the background of the religious discrimination that women put up with. With a reverence and devotion that are difficult for a Western mind to understand and accept, she reveals the details of her approach to the teachings of J.Krishnamurti (“the guru who wasn´t a guru” [sic]): the theoretical-practical critique of guruism, the establishment of a new, superior relationship of such ancestral discrimination and the challenges of independent research, lacking any supervising spiritual authority which guides one toward the sacred. The results of the analysis hold a special interest for facing the problem of transmitting mystic teachings in today´s society

Keywords

women, hinduism, guru-shishya, Krishnamurti, S. Patwardhan, postcolonialism, spirituality

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