Is the Male or Female Path More Difficult?

Inspired by an interesting recent question on my Instagram, @Claire.Nakti:

"Isn't it harder for a woman to cultivate spiritually due to emotional/hormonal imbalances? Buddha set more rules for nuns."

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When Padmasambhava’s consort asked him if she was inferior to become liberated due to her female body, he responded that when a woman sets her mind towards liberation, her body is actually superior to the male body for achieving this purpose. The reasons for this are esoteric and deal with the fact that her sexual energy is moving naturally inward and upward, while male sexuality is moving downward and outward. As her energy does not naturally drain/Earth itself out, she does not need to engage in strict, restrictive, self-controlling practices that destroy her ability to loosen and function as flowing Shakti and inspiration for her consort. If women mimic the controlled spiritual practices designed for the male energy system, then yes, it will be much harder for her, as it does nothing for her nature and is in no way that which brings her liberation ultimately… and will actually destroy her (she will not attain "results" as men do). The genders are opposite… it is said to be “easier” for a woman because once she embraces her passive and illusory feminine role and does not “strive”, but she releases control sexually and otherwise, liberation comes naturally and effortlessly (as the essence of her path is love and release, not willed exertion and effort)… whereas for a male it is through strong will, effort, and control to overcome his limitations, and so is said to be “harder”. If you look at the body, male energy/lifeforce concentrates in his lower center and ejaculates outward, leading to enslavement in the material world. This is why in Tantra, women are considered as the saviors, as when a woman is fertilized with male energy, her energy collects in her heart center (the breasts...more on this below). It is only from winning the real love of the woman that intercourse causes the flow of his energy to reverse inward and upward as hers does originally, and the love (acceptance) of the woman redeems him from being pulled into the hellish inferno of the Earth, due to his animal nature.The man redeems the woman as well by allowing her to “release” control into bliss and devotion towards him (her liberation).  This is why Shakti does not have control, and Shiva always tightly controls his Maya or Shakti projected into matter. Once she is energetically fertilized by the man, she is actually able to safely perform her function as a material/Earthy being of Maya (allowing her energy to begin moving downwards and outwards toward sexuality and creativity), and so essentially the natural, biological, and energetic roles of each gender flip once they unite, and so they are both balanced and complete. So the essence of "difficulty" in the male path is control, while for a woman all the difficulty is in her ability to originally "release" control (which can be very hard for some women) and also to find a suitable man whom she can trust to release to. 

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A little more on the female savior: Tara fulfills the role for a man as his savior by teaching him how to transcend the ultimate illusion, which is knowledge itself, and an over-reliance on the rational mind and reason. This is portrayed in her myth, where when the ocean of milk is churned and Shiva drinks the poison that pops out, he faints. Tara takes his head onto her lap and suckles him with her breasts and draws the poison out of his throat. The throat is the center of purity and also of Gnana loka, which is the realm of knowledge. This is the ultimate stumbling block for those who desire liberation, and it is her magnetic embraces and caresses and loving nourishment that she gives to a man who takes refuge in her aura that allows him to transcend the poison and illusion of knowledge forever. She is a goddess for all and everyone and the scriptures clearly state that she can save a person just from remembering her name-- not even through reciting her mantra, performing ritual worship, etc.

By The original uploader was John Hill at English Wikipedia. [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

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