As per this link below, the gopis considered Krishna as their male lover, as part of their devotion to him -


Raasa leela is also described in scriptures as below -


In these instances, the female devotee treats God as a male lover.

Similarly, are there instances where male devotee(s) treat (any) Goddess as a female lover? Please note, by the word Goddess, I do not mean apsaras. I am talking about the supreme brahman who has taken a female form.

  • Related or possible duplicate of Madhurya bhava towards goddesses such as Radha, Parvati, etc.,
    – The Destroyer
    Mar 3, 2019 at 16:57
  • @The Destroyer I am not asking whether it is permitted or forbidden. I am asking whether there are any such instances (in scriptures, or stotras etc).
    – user16581
    Mar 3, 2019 at 17:02
  • I don't recall any such instance...I m interested to know more about it.
    – RishX
    Mar 3, 2019 at 17:05
  • @Rishx I am expecting some tantric paths might have such instances. Let's see.
    – user16581
    Mar 3, 2019 at 17:09
  • @LazyLubber I see .I doubt if worshipping Goddess as a lover is allowed in Hinduism.You should search more about Vaishnava tantric paths that were prevalent in Bengal.
    – RishX
    Mar 3, 2019 at 17:11

2 Answers 2


I am giving a partial answer. Sri Ramakrishna says in Kathamrita:

Shakti is the 'Mulaadhara' ( basic preserver) of this world. In Shakti, there is both Vidya and Avidya. Vidya is that what takes one directly to God, yielding devotion, Compassion, Jnana, Prema. Avidya generates the bondage with lust and gold. That Avidya has to be pleased. So Shakti is worshipped. There are various ways of making Her pleased. Veera [stri]-Bhava means pleasing Her like ones's wife.(324 Aug 1882). This stri-bhava is not good. One becomes fallen from the spiritual path very quickly. Matri-bhava is the pure bhava.(14 December 1883).

He also makes it clear that He never liked or worshipped in that bhava and asked all not to walk on that path.

By the way, Veera-Bhava of Tantra is not necessarily related with this stri-bhava. In virabhava, some Tantras advice to meditate on the lotus feet of the Divine Mother instead of usig the fifth tattva (Maithuna). (Reference: Vrihat -Tantrasaara, Vasumati Corporation, 2nd ed, 12 th print, page 628.) Also, in the validaana-mantra of Vira-bhava, Goddess is referred to as 'Mother'. (Ibid page 352).

The practice Sri Ramakrishna is condemning is invoking Divine Mother in some female and please Her physically. Thats the path of Tantra. Bamakhepa told Promodkumar that He also practised it. Sri Ramakrishna has always treated all women as Mother and this is something unique for a Tantrik.

One other such instance is Swami Nigamamanda Paramahansa.His wife Sudhangshuvala died in her youth.Soon Nigamanandaji became a disciple of Bamakhepa. Devi appeared to him in form of Sudhangsubala after his mantra-siddhi at Tarapith Mahasmashan.Devi used to appear regularly every night to him as Sudhangsuvala.Later he engaged himself in yogamarga sadhana under Sumardasji Maharaj. (Reference: His biography in Bharater sadhak and his book 'Mayer kripa'.These incidentsare mentioned also in many places in the Nigamananda literature.

Nigamanandaji narrated another incident of a saint caalled Brahmananda who got the vision of Devi whike doing japa on a dead elephent.When Devi asked him to take boon, he asked Her to become his wife.Devi told him that this boon is not possible for Her to give as She is the eternal consort of Lord Shiva. She ordered one of Her Shaktis to become Brahmananda's wife and Brahmananda amrried Her.(Reference: Reminisences of Narayani Devi in Satarupe Arup Nigamananda (Inshall try to provide a photocopy of the exact pages).

In 'Sastramulak Bharatiya Shaktisadhana(RMIC, Vol. 2, page 624), Upendrakumar Das wries:

The second type of the Panchamatattva(Maithuna), there is a practice called Duti-yaaga. Sadhaka should first worship Duti after worshipping Shakti.(Duti means representative of Shakti).Then he should offer retas(semen) as havi to the yonikunda of Duti and get the grace of Devi.This type of practice is advised with sadhaka's own wife. It should be remembered that it is a type of 'homa'(worship by offering).

It is clear why Sri Ramakrishna did not like or advocate such practices.

  • Why did Sri Ramakrishna discourage the stri bhava? I mean, why does one fall from that path very quickly?
    – user16581
    Mar 3, 2019 at 17:36
  • 1
    Can we make similar conclusions for the case of a female devotee who treats God as a male lover? Is this also a path to be avoided?
    – user16581
    Mar 3, 2019 at 17:41
  • This is Asuric, Tamasaic and Raksha.. . Reference Ramayana Sambhuka vada.. When Rama asked Sambhuka what is intention of the tapas he told get the status of Siva, Why because earlier he did tapasya towards Parvathi got the boon of living 1 kalpa, then on seeing parvarthi he wanted to attain Sivas status, he did tapas, immediately Rama cut his head. because his objective of tapas is adharmic.. similarly considering any devata stri as lover or anything other than mother is adharmic.
    – Prasanna R
    Mar 4, 2019 at 10:11

The closest answer to this question is related to Veer Bhava. I am quoting Gospel of Ramakrishna here.

"The devotee assumes various attitudes toward Śakti in order to propitiate Her: the attitude of a handmaid, a 'hero', or a child.  A hero's attitude is to please Her even as a man pleases a woman through intercourse. "While worshipping God, one should assume a definite attitude. I have three attitudes: the attitude of a child, the attitude of a maidservant, and the attitude of a friend. For a long time I regarded myself as a maidservant and a woman companion of God; at that time I used to wear skirts and ornaments, like a woman. The attitude of a child is very good. "The attitude of a 'hero' is not good. Some people cherish it. They regard themselves as Purusha and woman as Prakriti; they want to propitiate woman through intercourse with her. But this method often causes disaster.


"The attitude of 'hero' is extremely difficult.  The Saktas and the Bauls among the Vaishnavas follow it, but it is very hard to keep one's spiritual life pure in that attitude.  One can assume other attitudes toward God as well the attitude in which the devotee serenely contemplates God as the Creator, the attitude of service to Him, the attitude of friendship, the attitude of motherly affection, or the attitude of conjugal love.  The conjugal relationship, the attitude of a woman to her husband or sweetheart, contains all the rest-serenity, service, friendship, and motherly affection.  (To M.) Which one of these appeals to your mind?"

So yes,veer bhava has been practiced but highly discouraged in Kali Yuga.The above text even references Saktas and Bauls practiced it.

  • Any reason why it is discouraged in kali yuga?
    – user16581
    Mar 3, 2019 at 17:34
  • @LazyLubber As Ramakrishna himself said,Veer bhava usually leads to disaster.If one can keep non-sensual love its ok..but generally it leads to sensual feelings which definitely not good for any spiritual aspirant.I don't know much about how Saktas and Bauls follow Veer Bhava.
    – RishX
    Mar 3, 2019 at 17:38

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