Can women give diksha to either man or woman as per Hindu scriptures? If no, what is the reason? If yes, why don't we see woman gurus who give mantras to others much?

Do dharma shastras allow women to be diksha guru?

  • Yes in Tantra we hv the concept of Stri Guru, Ramakrishna Paramahamsah's Tantric Guru was Sri Bhairavi .. His consort Mother Sarada gave Diksha to many .. another illustrious Stri Guru will be Anandamayi Ma
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 11:52
  • @Rickross can you add answer from the perspective of dharma shastras?
    – user16895
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 11:06
  • I can give an answer based on the Tantras .. but did not get the time to compile the verses .. according to Dharma Shastras women are not even allowed initiation themselves then how can they be a Guru? .. Only Tantras allow the concept of a Stri Guru
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 13:08

2 Answers 2


It's only in the Tantras, that the concept that a woman can be a Guru is allowed. In scriptures like Smritis (Manu Smriti etc) women are not even allowed initiation. So, the question of women becoming Gurus of others is invalid.

From the Tantras, I have been able to find out two such references.

First one:

EkAkshare tathA kute traipure mantra nAyike |
Stri datte swapana lavdhe cha siddhAdi naiva sAdhayet ||

Oh Goddess of Mantras, in case of one-lettered Mantras (like Om), Kuta Mantras, Traipura Mantras, Mantras given by a female Guru, or for ones that are obtained in dreams, SidhAdi considerations are not required to be followed.

KulArnava Tantram 15.98

This verse not only allows a woman giving Mantra DikshA but also says that when they are the Gurus, Sidha-Asiddha and other similar considerations are not required to be followed. So, this makes initiations from female Gurus advantageous because in usual circumstances those things are to be taken into account.

The next set of verses is some TattvasAra Tantram verses quoted in ShAkta Ananda Tarangini's 2nd Chapter:

Striyo dikshA shubhA proktA matush cha astagunA smritA |
Swapno lavdhA cha yA dikshA tatra nAsti vichAranA ||

Getting intiated from a female Guru is reagrded as auspicious. And, initiation from the mother is regarded as 8 times more auspicious than that. When DikshA Mantra is obtained in dreams, no considerations are required to be followed.

SAdvi chaiva sadAchArA guru bhaktA jitendriyA |
Sarva tantrArtha sAragyA sadhavA pujane ratA ||
Guru yogyA bhavet sA hi vidhavAm parivarjayet ||

The SadavA (a female who's husband is alive) female, who is of good conduct, who is devoted towards her husbad, who has won over her senses, who is engaged in worship and other similar acts, who has the knowledge of the meanings of all Tantras is fit to be a Guru. The Vidhava (or a widow) should be avoided as a Guru.

There is a debate whether a widow can initiate or not and I think the conclusion is that she can not usually but if she is Siddha or the Mantra itself is Siddha then she can.

  • There are long dhyanamantras of stree-gurus. And Tantra is Shiva-vakya, so what is Manu's importance here? Dikshaas are basically Tantrik now-days:)
    – user17294
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 15:21
  • Dikshaas are basically Tantrik now-days -- Yes that's 100% true .. By mentioning Manu Smriti I m just giving their opinion to OP because OP seems to knw the Smritis' opinions too @ParthaBanerjee
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 15:24
  • What does Manu mean by diksha? It could be Vedic Gayatri I think and there only women are never allowed.
    – user17294
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 15:26
  • BTW women can not take vedic sannyasa. They can take only Tantrik sanyasa.But these days many women of a Vedanta-organisation take Vedic sannyasa. I dont understand how it is possible!!
    – user17294
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 15:28
  • Yes only Gayatri Diksha @ParthaBanerjee Yes as per Mahanirvana all can take Avadoota Sannyas which is Tantric in nature
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 15:30

Yes, of course.Diksha is a tantrik process. In Guptasadhanatantra page 155), the dhyanamantra of female -Guru is provided. In Matri Tantra(page 7), the hymn to female Guru is provided.

Diksha from own mother has been praised very very highly. So all these prove that female gurus have full capacity to initiate.

(Ref: Sastramulak Bharatiya Shaktisadhana, Upendrakumar Das,RMIC, vol.2, chapter 14)

Yes, we have seen many women Gurus. Bhairavi Jogeswari was a Guru of Sri Ramakrishna.His disciples Sri Sarada Devi and Sri Gauri Maa initiated many people. Durgapuri Devi was a disciple of Sarada Devi. She had initiated many and Her successors continue Her lineage from Saradeswari Ashram, Kolkata, so far sas I know.Maa Anandamoyee initiated many people.Maamoni, the wife Of Sri Asimananda Saraswati of Sri Bijaykrishna Goswami lineage was guru of many. Even now Mata Amritanandamoyee is famous as Guru. There are many more in the line.

  • Please mention the exact passage from the book and then your explanation. Not just the book name. If there is exact passage then make it in block quotes Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:12
  • @RakeshJoshi so u will understand bengali scripts?
    – user17294
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:13
  • post versrs for gupta sadhana tantra and matri tantra. Then Bengali verse with translation Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:14
  • @RakeshJoshi and exact page no.s are given in answer
    – user17294
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:14
  • I don't think if you have enough exposure of scripture.?.how would we know which publication you are referring? What.if someone wants to refer? Post the. Verse chapter number and then its meaning Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:16

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