Where they couldn't get past the confines of gender roles, women found ways to lead spiritually rich lives under the skin of their worldly selves. When they did manage to step outside spaces designated for them by patriarchy, and found fulfilment as wanderers and mystics, their insights and experiences remained largely anonymous. This anonymity persists. At a time when women gurus are becoming far more visible than ever before, there is nevertheless little understanding of a feminine spirituality. Through the lives of eight women - Anandmayi Ma, Nirmala Devi, Nani Ma, Sadhvi Bhagwati, Mata Amritanandamayi, Pravrajika Vivekaprana, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Ven. Khandro Rinpoche - Women Awakened explores the idea of feminine spirituality in the contemporary context, and what it actually means to be a spiritual seeker in today's world.
Swati Chopra (www.swatichopra.com) is a New Delhi-based writer. She is author of a travelogue of the spirit, Dharamsala Diaries, and a modern introduction to Buddhism, Buddhism: On the Path to Nirvana. Her writing, exploring spirituality and its relevance to modern lives, has appeared in several publications in India and abroad.