A modern mythology for women (and men)

Shakti Speaks started as a monthly column in Feb 2014 by Nilima Bhat, a facilitator of personal transformation; based on dialogues within The Women’s Circle, an initiative by DNA, a national Indian newspaper, seeking to restore gender relations and empower women to raise their consciousness and connect with the primordial power within.

A diverse group of women, across different age groups, educational and working backgrounds came together on 26 November 2013 to explore their deepest hopes, fears and needs. Addressing questions such as ‘As a woman, what brings you joy?’; ‘What causes you pain / fear / anger?’; ‘What do you need to love/ accept/ forgive/ let go?’

What emerged, surprised us all, for the range and depth of material uncovered and processed. They broadly fell into five key themes:

Motherhood, Vulnerability, Women vs Women, Invisibility, and Longing (a woman’s unmet need for Love and Romance). Each an existential issue of deep significance for women.

Based on the psycho-spiritual nature of the themes, and my own spontaneous addressing of them from a yogini’s perspective, these columns have developed as a modern day Gita for Women. Where Shakti gives divine instruction to Sadhana, on what her Dharma should be.

Unlike that of Krishna and Arjuna, there is no such dharmic dialogue available to women in our country, from the Mother Goddess to every woman, who is her emanation, her child. So I thought my column could be modelled as the Shakti Dialogues – Everywoman in conversation with her Eternal Self. A healing, psycho-spiritual follow-on in the women’s issues space, to the more earthy and better known ‘Vagina Monologues’…..

The genre may be called ‘Psycho-spiritual prose’ or ‘Modern Mythology’. Sadhana represents Everywoman. Her name means ‘self-mastery practice’.

Nilima Bhat