Chapter Sixteen




DEVOTEE: The Vedas describe one expansion, Durgä, who is the female personification of the material energy. She appears as the wife of Lord Shiva and performs her duties in cooperation with him. Do the Jewish scriptures describe any similar female expansions of God's energy?
RABBI: The most primary male female relationship, which is possible, is that which exists between the Creator and the creation. This is the cause and effect relationship. Cause is Keter, while effect is Malkhut. [Sefer Yetzirah, Ch. 1.13]
DEVOTEE: The Vedas describe that the Lord is the supreme male personality and the material energy (Durgä) is female. The Lord impregnates all of the living entities into the material nature, giving them suitable material bodies according to their previous activities. It is said, "The total material substance, called Brahman, is the source of birth, and it is that Brahman that I impregnate, making possible the births of all living beings, O son of Bharata." [Bg 14.3]
RABBI: "It is said that Malkhut-kingship, the bride (of God), is also seen as lying with her head to the East. Therefore her womb is to the West, and it is in this womb that all seed is "mixed together." Makhut-Kingship is therefore called Aravot, which has the double connotation of 'west' and 'mixture.' [Bahir, 2.56]
DEVOTEE: The Vedas greatly emphasize the importance of chanting the Holy
Names of the Lord, especially the Hare Krsna mantra: Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna, Hare HareHare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. In this prayer, the devotee is calling out to both the Supreme Lord Krsna and Lord Rama as well as to the Lord's female pleasure expansion known as Hare, or Radha. In the Jewish tradition, is there a similar holy name or prayer that represents both the male and female aspects of the Supreme?
RABBI: It is stated, "Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; keep not silence at my tears" (Ps.XXXIX, 13) "Why", he asked, "is the word for "hear" in this place written shim'ah instead of the usual sh'ma? The truth is that the form sh'ma is always addressed to the male aspect of the Deity, whereas the form shim'ah is addressed to the female aspect.
DEVOTEE: The Vedas describe the ghastly form of Goddess Kalé, another name for the Goddess Durgä. There is a reference of Goddess Kalé in the Srimad-Bhagavatam in the history of the Supreme Lord's devotee, Jada Bharata, when she manifested herself to protect him. It is stated, "Intolerant of the offenses committed, the infuriated goddess Kalé flashed her eyes and displayed her fierce, curved teeth. Her reddish eyes glowed, and she displayed her fearsome features. She assumed a frightening body, as if she were prepared to destroy the entire creation. Leaping violently from the altar, she immediately decapitated all the rogues and thieves with the very sword with which they had intended to kill Jada Bharata. She then began to drink the hot blood that flowed from the necks of the beheaded rogues and thieves, as if this blood were liquor. Indeed, she drank this intoxicant with her associates, who were witches and female demons. Becoming intoxicated with this blood, they all began to sing very loudly and dance as though prepared to annihilate the entire universe. At the same time, they began to play with the heads of the rogues and thieves, tossing them about as if they were balls." [Bhag. 5.9.18] Do the Jewish scriptures describe anything like this?
RABBI: There is a description that resembles this one. It is stated, "He summoned to issue from the side of Darkness a kind of female moon, which rules over the night, and is associated with Adonai, the Lord of all the earth. In his days, the moon was magnified and reached her fullness. A thousand mountains rose before her, and she blew them away with a puff. A thousand mighty rivers flowed before her, and she swallowed them at a draught. Her nails reached out in a thousand and seventy directions and her hands in twenty-four thousand, so that nothing could escape her. Thousands of bucklers clung to her hair. From between her feet went forth a youth who stretched from one end of the world to the other with sixty clubs of fire..." [Zohar]




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