- Religion and Philosophy»
THE WISDOM OF THE GRANDMOTHERS
Saraswati Ma is the goddess of wisdom, the arts and creativity. She inspires us to bring wisdom to the Earth. On February 8 we celebrate Saraswati Jayanti in India and all over the world. She knows when experience is best. She knows when book knowledge is best. She knows when both are needed. She is about intuition and the inner knowing. She is about the feminine aspects and powers. That is Saraswati Ma.
In ancient times Rishikas (female sages) of Vedic Philosophy shared their wisdom in India inspired by Saraswati Ma. In modern times there is a group of similiar women, formed in 2004, who are wise women. They are called the Council of the Grandmothers. These grandmothers are a group of 13 indigenous spiritual elders from all over the world.
When they decided to meet, they were concerned about the state of the world. They did not realize their council was a fulfillment of an ancient prophecy: "When the Grandmothers from the four directions speak, a new time is coming." Their leader is Jyoti, who is the Director of the Center of Sacred Studies. They first met at the Dalai Lama's Menla Retreat Center on Panther Mountain in Phoenicia, NY. This is the land of the Iroquois, who always consulted their grandmothers.
They concluded that "prayer, peacemaking and healing are vitally needed today." Their main goals are to explore "how to develop and reinstate the proper relationship between men and women, integrating traditional and indigenous medicine, maintaining the collective power of wise women by deepening our relationship with the feminine." They promoted the idea of communality and sharing. They say the times we are living in are Purification Times where humans are giving up an emphasis on the material and learning to live in spiritual ways.
They contacted the Vatican asking the pope to revoke papal bulls of the 15th century which instructed Portugal to subdue all Saracens (Muslims) and pagans. The bulls in question are: Dum Diversas, June 18, 1452, Romans Ponitex, January 8, 1455 and Inter Caetera, May 4, 1493.
The Grandmothers declared: "We see the women are getting into important roles and are going through changes. We suggest men should take on the roles of women so that this will free women to help the change needed in the world. For men to help they can be humble and they can be receptive. Then anything is possible." It is very much about tapping into your feminine aspects and powers. A number of spiritual teachers, both male and female, say that this is the Feminine Age. It is believed that more women and men who embody the feminine will become leaders at this time. This is a more collaborative consciousness. The ascendance of matriarchial principles of cooperation and equality will become more predominant in all countries. This is what is happening now in Africa. People are changing their consciousness to embrace a more equal society. This will not be easy at first because many are still in the old mind set.
The grandmothers advocate that indigenous medicine be legal and free from ownership or patent. The native peoples are "guardians of the forest and medicines and are appointed by nature." Forests should not be destroyed for the greed of the few. In Brazil we can see the flooding problems are an example of people's greed in the sense of the trees being deforested on a large scale. As Gandhi says, "We have enough for our need but not enough for our greed."
The grandmothers meet two times a year in different places. They have seven days of prayer, ceremonies and meetings. There is a book on their collective wisdom called Grandmothers Counsel the World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision for Our Planet. Their website is www.grandmotherscouncil.org. The publisher of the book is Trumpter Books/Shambhala Publications. A documentary film called For the Next 7 Generations: The Grandmothers Speak won the Best of Festival and Best Documentary Awards for the Talking Circle Film Festival in Hawaii. That year they met with the Dalai Lama in Dharmasala. He said, "The mother is the first real teacher of compassion. In creating a compassionate society, the mother is crucial. You are sharing the wisdom of your experience." I like how he really gets it in the true sense of the word. Prayer circles were formed in India and all over the globe. This model could be adopted by every country, so that there is a grandmother council implementing these ideas in every country.
A number of scientists have recently been talking about the idea of all governments promoting the planting of trees to mitigate problems connected with global warming. I loved all the trees I grew up with as a child: elm, oak, lumbardi, evergreens, birch, aspen and juniper. Every region has their own trees which are part of the ecology. I remember the wisdom of my maternal grandmother who taught me about honeysuckle flowers and chickens on my grandparents' organic farm. I learned wisdom from the Native Americans from my childhood, high school and college years. I began to learn about the wisdom from various traditions, including Hinduism, on the ecology of the planet. I'm glad to see we are truly in the days of the Grandmothers' prophecy and the wisdom of Saraswati Ma will be so very important. The prophecy is being fulfilled even in these turbulent times. Have a good talk with your grandmother. You will learn a lot about life. Grandmothers Rule!
JAI SHRI SARASWATI MA
JAI SHRI GRANDMOTHERS!