In Vedanta philosophy, the highest word used for the Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient entity is “Brahman” (Absolute Consciousness) and word only slightly below that is Iswara Chaitanya (Cosmic Consciousness). Iswara is Brahman with attributes. Scholars call this as the union of Purusha & Prakriti.
Purusha symbolises masculinity and Prakriti symbolises feminine energy. It is the fusion of these masculine and feminine energies that has brought in the creation, and so, the two forces always co-exist. This fusion is depicted by the union of Shiva and Shakti, as the androgynous deity Ardhanaareshwara.
Interestingly, this dual energy is not limited to the cosmos alone but is within each of its creation. Thus every individual living here on this earth harbours a masculine and a feminine side. This duality is present irrespective of their physical structure which only signifies their nature. We should know that a few qualities in nature have been identified as masculine and few as feminine. If there is an urge to conquer or subdue it is the nature of masculine, being kind and compassionate is the nature of feminine (please do not relate the terms mentioned here as masculine and feminine to the gender of a person).
Masculine has the natural tendency of being outward bound wanting to be the custodian in the survival process. Feminine natural tendency is to be inward and create an ambience of love, care and gentleness. Every individual has these qualities but in an imbalanced state. If the creativity of feminine nature is balanced with the concierge of the masculine nature, the individual hits perfection.
The nature of masculine is to protection and that of the feminine is to take protection. Unfortunately in the name of “Independence” we are killing the feminine in us. In the race to be successful economically we have forsaken to nurture our creativity and innovative skills. There is no dictum that cooking is the work assignment meant for individual born with female physical anatomy. We have had Bhimasena and Nalamaharaja as ace cooks. Monarchy is not labelled as the triumph of those who possessed the male body, we had many Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai, Kittur Rani Chennamma, Obavva, Rudramma Devi and many more. Even today we have individuals born in female structure managing efficiently in their work place. Showing love and compassion towards the family and friends is the idiosyncrasy a male displays which is from his feminine facet.
There is nothing to feel great in the body of a male or a female as we do have both masculine and feminine quirk. The masculine and feminine which appear as physicality is just an identity of the body, but our thoughts are processed by the mind which decides actions according to the appropriate situation. Instinctive action is the feminine quality and intuition is that of masculine, as a human we do have both of them which we use accordingly.
Ardhanaareshwara is the representation of Shiva & Shakti depicting that the male is as much female as the female is male. This clarifies that masculinity and femininity are mere attributes to take the progeny forward. We just have to accept that in this physical body we have both masculine and feminine angle from which we perceive the activity and perform the action. This acceptance will let us understand that there is necessity to fight against gender inequality or gender discrimination.