I wanted to know if there is a sanskrit/vedic text that describes as to

  • why there is these two forms of existence of life i.e. a male and a female and what their relationship is(things like why they are interdependent on each other, and I'm not saying it's entirely their nature but why one has a striving nature and other the supportive), and

  • why their nature are as they are.

  • 1
    Very good question. I'm wondering why are we closing it? Also how can you be sure there are no such texts @Rickross Have you read them all?
    – Lokesh
    Feb 14, 2020 at 19:09
  • 1
    I at least know the names of all such texts and there are no such texts which are entirely dedicated to the topic. So, it does not require me to go thru all such texts. I am not sure about closure. I have not voted to close. @Lokesh
    – Rickross
    Feb 15, 2020 at 6:26
  • 1
    Various scriptures .. probably Puranas, Smritis and also Tantras. I need search for the exact references. @juztcode
    – Rickross
    Feb 15, 2020 at 6:40
  • 1
    @juztcode: Your content in the question contains the phrase Sanskrit/Vedic Text, whereas your question title does not contain the word "Sanskrit". That was why that word "Sanskrit" has been added please Feb 15, 2020 at 10:01
  • 1
    I think the Veda is so cryptic, that it may not contain direct references. However, we can search for post vedic literature like Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc, which may contain direct references. My opinion is that you can use the term Sanskrit literature like Ithihasa, Puranas, etc Feb 15, 2020 at 10:59

3 Answers 3


Male and Female or Purusha and Prakriti can be understood through the Tree of Jiva and Atman

The Rig Veda samhita 1.164.20-22, Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.1-2, and Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.6-7, speak of two birds, one perched on the branch of the tree, which signifies the body, and eating its fruit, the other merely watching.

Rig Veda samhita says:

1.164.20 Two birds associated together, and mutual friends, take refuge in the same tree; one of them eats the sweet fig; the other abstaining from food, merely looks on.

1.164.21 Where the smooth-gliding rays, cognizant, distil the perpetual portion of water; there has the Lord and steadfast protector all beings accepted me, though immature in wisdom.

1.164.22 In the tree into which the smooth-gliding rays feeders on the sweet, enters, and again bring forth light over all, they have called the fruit sweet, but he partakes not of it who knows not the protector of the universe.

The first bird represents a Jiva, or individual self, or soul. She has a female nature, being a shakti, an energy of God. When the jiva becomes distracted by the fruits (signifying sensual pleasure), she momentarily forgets her lord and lover and tries to enjoy the fruit independently of him. This separating forgetfulness is maha-maya, or enthrallment, spiritual death, and constitutes the fall of the jiva into the world of material birth, death, disease and old age.

The second bird is the Paramatman, an aspect of God who accompanies every living being in the heart while she remains in the material world. He is the support of all beings and is beyond sensual pleasure.

There are only 2 things in spiritual vocab, static masculine spirit/Akasha/ space and dynamic matter/Prana/mind. When the soul identifies itself with finite matter/mind and body and its ego, it is called feminine Jivatma/Shakti but when the same soul identifies itself with the infinte Higher Self/Brahman and calling world to be a Maya, it is masculine Paramatman/Shiva.

Explaination of Purusha-Prakriti by Ramkrishna Paramhansa

When I think of the Supreme Being as inactive - neither creating nor preserving nor destroying - I call Him Brahman or Purusha, the Impersonal God. When I think of Him as active - creating, preserving and destroying - I call Him Sakti or Maya or Prakriti, the Personal God. But the distinction between them does not mean a difference. The Personal and Impersonal are the same thing, like milk and its whiteness, the diamond and its lustre, the snake and its wriggling motion. It is impossible to conceive of the one without the other. The Divine Mother and Brahman are one

The one that is formless is masculine and one that takes form in the form of earth and infinite living beings is feminine, hence God is worshipped in pair like Shiva-Shakti, Vishu-Laxmi, Purush-Prakriti. The entire creation is running on duality that is Day-Night, Male-Female, Kshetrgya-Kshetra, Seer-Seen, Right-Left, 2 eyes, 2 legs, 2 hands etc., to teach this thing.

The epithets Atma/Purusha and Jiva/Prakriti had been converted into Adam and Eve in Abrahamic religions and the pippala(apple) tree of body of senses. The Tree of Knowledge is the “bodhi-vrksa” or body as its means for enlightenment for every being based on Bhakti, Karma, Gyan yogas etc.,. “Bodha” means “knowledge”, Budhha attained enlightenment under the bodhi tree. But the pipal (pippala) was known as the bodhi tree even before his time and is highly revered in Hinduism and is a metaphor for bodily tree.

The above was explained in detail by Yukteshwara Giri, gyanavatar of 20th century and guru of Paramhansa Yogananda.

Bible with a beautiful clarity. It was from my Hindu guru, unknown to the roll call of Christian membership, that I learned to perceive the deathless essence of the Bible, and to understand the truth in Christ’s assertion — surely the most thrillingly intransigent ever uttered: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”1

The great masters of India mold their lives by the same godly ideals which animated Jesus; these men are his proclaimed kin: “Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”2 “If ye continue in my word,” Christ pointed out, “then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”3 Freemen all, lords of themselves, the Yogi-Christs of India are part of the immortal fraternity: those who have attained a liberating knowledge of the One Father.

“The Adam and Eve story is incomprehensible to me!” I observed with considerable heat one day in my early struggles with the allegory. “Why did God punish not only the guilty pair, but also the innocent unborn generations?”

Master was more amused by my vehemence than my ignorance. “Genesis is deeply symbolic, and cannot be grasped by a literal interpretation,” he explained. “Its ‘tree of life’ is the human body. The spinal cord is like an upturned tree, with man’s hair as its roots, and afferent and efferent nerves as branches. The tree of the nervous system bears many enjoyable fruits, or sensations of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. In these, man may rightfully indulge; but he was forbidden the experience of sex, the ‘apple’ at the center of the bodily garden.4 ** “The ‘serpent’ represents the coiled-up spinal energy which stimulates the sex nerves. **‘Adam’ is reason, and ‘Eve’ is feeling. When the emotion or Eve-consciousness in any human being is overpowered by the sex impulse, his reason or Adam also succumbs.5

“God created the human species by materializing the bodies of man and woman through the force of His will; He endowed the new species with the power to create children in a similar ‘immaculate’ or divine manner.6 Because His manifestation in the individualized soul had hitherto been limited to animals, instinct-bound and lacking the potentialities of full reason, God made the first human bodies, symbolically called Adam and Eve. To these, for advantageous upward evolution, He transferred the souls or divine essence of two animals.7 In Adam or man, reason predominated; in Eve or woman, feeling was ascendant. Thus was expressed the duality or polarity which underlies the phenomenal worlds. Reason and feeling remain in a heaven of cooperative joy so long as the human mind is not tricked by the serpentine energy of animal propensities.

“The human body was therefore not solely a result of evolution from beasts, but was produced by an act of special creation by God. The animal forms were too crude to express full divinity; the human being was uniquely given a tremendous mental capacity — the ‘thousand-petaled lotus’ of the brain — as well as acutely awakened occult centers in the spine.

“God, or the Divine Consciousness present within the first created pair, counseled them to enjoy all human sensibilities, but not to put their concentration on touch sensations.8 These were banned in order to avoid the development of the sex organs, which would enmesh humanity in the inferior animal method of propagation. The warning not to revive subconsciously-present bestial memories was not heeded. Resuming the way of brute procreation, Adam and Eve fell from the state of heavenly joy natural to the original perfect man.

Knowledge of ‘good and evil’ refers to the cosmic dualistic compulsion. Falling under the sway of maya through misuse of his feeling and reason, or Eve — and Adam — consciousness, man relinquishes his right to enter the heavenly garden of divine self-sufficiency.9 The personal responsibility of every human being is to restore his ‘parents’ or dual nature to a unified harmony or Eden.”

As Sri Yukteswar ended his discourse, I glanced with new respect at the pages of Genesis.

“Dear Master,” I said, “for the first time I feel a proper filial obligation toward Adam and Eve!”

Body as peepal tree(which become apple in Abrahamic religions) and rising above sensual pleasures was explained by Krishna to Arjuna in Geeta

Bhagavad Gita 15.1 The Supreme Divine Personality said: They speak of an eternal aśhvatth/sacred fig tree with its roots above and branches below. Its leaves are the Vedic hymns, and one who knows the secret of this tree is the knower of the Vedas.

Bhagavad Gita 15.2 The branches of the tree extend upward and downward, nourished by the three guṇas, with the objects of the senses as tender buds. The roots of the tree hang downward, causing the flow of karma in the human form. Below, its roots branch out causing (karmic) actions in the world of humans.

Bhagavad Gita 15.3 – 15.4 The real form of this tree is not perceived in this world, neither its beginning nor end, nor its continued existence. But this deep-rooted aśhvatth tree must be cut down with a strong axe of detachment. Then one must search out the base of the tree, which is the Supreme Lord, from whom streamed forth the activity of the universe a long time ago. Upon taking refuge in Him, one will not return to this world again.

Bhagavad Gita 3.36 Arjun asked: Why is a person impelled to commit sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if by force, O descendent of Vrishni (Krishna)?

Bhagavad Gita 3.37 The Supreme Lord said: It is lust alone, which is born of contact with the mode of passion, and later transformed into anger. Know this as the sinful, all-devouring enemy in the world.

Bhagavad Gita 16.21 There are three gates leading to the hell of self-destruction for the soul—lust, anger, and greed. Therefore, all should abandon these three.

Since , Eve/Jiva ate the fruit of sensual pleasures first not the Atman/Purusha and it became known as sin and was easily deceived by Maya, its a known fact in scriptures that women who represent mind or Maya are much more attracted and enjoy sensual pleasures compared to men who who represent intellect, even though men are more open about senses and become bound with women, thats why Apsaras were sent to distract and test sages like Vishwamitra, Narayana who were meditating and trying to reach infinite. A soul has no gender and the same person can transform into any gender like transgenders and can have affinity for same gender as seen in people of modern times. Further, the difference between men and women was explained by king Bhangashvana in Mahabharat who lived as both genders as men and women in same lifetime and without memories being wiped by death and explained why mother is given the duty to raise a child and has much more affection for children then the father.

Indra was surprised and pleased and he questioned the woman Bhangashvana ascetic again. “Why are you not fond of the sons that were born to you when you were a man? Why are you more fond of those born to you when you were a woman? I am eager to hear the reason for this, you should tell me.”

The woman said, "A woman is capable of more affection than a man. That is why I asked for the sons born to me when I was a woman to be brought back to life, Indra!"

The masculine/master and feminine/servant also represent the Gyana Marga and Bhakti Marga for introverts/intellect/atma dominant and extroverts/mind/body dominant people respectively. Since, in current Kaliyuga, Tamas dominates and people identify with body, thats why feminine Dvaita Bhakti of mind is recommended for masses not the masculine Advaita of Atman.

  • if you also consider the duality of limbs to be independent comparing with duality of male and female existence, where does the mouth come in?
    – juztcode
    Feb 16, 2020 at 8:42
  • @juztcode Left is reflection of right and is supportive of Right, similarly feminine is reflection of masculine, one cant be comprehended without the help of another. Man and Woman together is single unit as a family despite different nature, just like complementary day-night together make one day not two, similarly human body is composed of several organs, but the body and soul/ego is one, mouth is voice of one's soul, brain is also one, one cant think of two things at same microsecond, because driver of body is one soul just like driver of Purusha and Prakriti is single Brahman.
    – user16530
    Feb 16, 2020 at 17:37
  • Second bird is reflection of first bird. Purusha and Prakriti is same consciousness, not two, basics of Advaita. Mind is not different from intellect or soul, they are support of single entity and become operative when tamas dominates like in animals and bound soul and in Maya.
    – user16530
    Feb 16, 2020 at 17:39

There might be no such texts that are entirely dedicated discussing the concerned topic but scriptures do mention why male-female counterparts must exist.

For example, it is said that at the onset of creation God divided himself into a male and a female part.

The god Brahma cleft his body in two, of yore, Out of one part sprang the husbands, and out of the other the wives. This is what the S'ruti relates. (13)

A man, so long he does not take a wife, is but (a) half (incomplete) being. A half (thing) can not beget. A whole (thing) only can beget. This is the dictum of the S'ruti. (14)

Vyasa Smriti, Chapter 2, Verses 13 and 14

So, this is basically the fundamental reason why male and female forms exist in pair everywhere in nature.

  • why one has a supportive nature and another striving?
    – juztcode
    Feb 15, 2020 at 7:00
  • Did not understand .. @juztcode
    – Rickross
    Feb 15, 2020 at 7:08
  • Okay .. they are complementary to each other, one is useless without the other .. this is how I see it. Also, males might have some specific aptitude that females don't have and vice versa .. both have their roles to play .. about liberated beings, then we can't really know for sure whether someone is really liberated or not. There can be many such women who are liberated but we might not know about them. @juztcode
    – Rickross
    Feb 15, 2020 at 7:25
  • this complementary nature, anything in the scriptures about them?
    – juztcode
    Feb 15, 2020 at 7:43
  • Verse 14 given in the answer shows that one is incomplete without the other. When they are joint as a unit only then they are capable of producing something fruitful. Individually neither does have that power. @juztcode
    – Rickross
    Feb 16, 2020 at 6:03

Both man and woman have many issues in common - both experience hunger, sleep, desire to earn, desire to play and enjoy, etc.

There are 2 ways of looking at this concept of separate bodies of man and woman.

  1. If looked at in a physical sense, yes, they are apparently different and they are not interdependent on the other, except for gratifying sexual impulse and for procreation.

  2. If looked at in a SPIRITUAL sense, yes, they are interdependent on each other.

In Mahabharata, Sage Vyasa describes as to why man and woman are interdependent on the other.

Sakuntala narrates duties of man and wife, while mildly admonishing Dushyanta.

The husband entering the womb of the wife cometh out himself in the form of the son. Therefore is the wife called by those cognisant of the Vedas as Jaya (she of whom one is born). And the son that is so born unto persons cognisant of the Vedic Mantras rescueth the spirits of deceased ancestors.

And because the son rescueth ancestors from the hell call Put, therefore, hath he been called by the Self-create himself as Puttra (the rescuer from Put). By a son one conquereth the three worlds. By a son's son, one enjoyeth eternity. And by a grandson's son great-grand-fathers enjoy everlasting happiness. She is a true wife who is skilful in household affairs.

She is a true wife who hath borne a son. She is a true wife whose heart is devoted to her lord. She is a true wife who knoweth none but her lord.

  • The wife is a man's half. The wife is the first of friends.

  • The wife is the root of religion, profit, and desire.

  • The wife is the root of salvation.

  • They that have wives can perform religious acts.

  • They that have wives can lead domestic lives.

  • They that have wives have the means to be cheerful. They that have wives can achieve good fortune.

  • Sweet-speeched wives are friends on occasions of joy.

  • They are as fathers on occasions of religious acts.

  • They are mothers in sickness and woe.

  • Even in the deep woods to a traveller a wife is his refreshment and solace.

  • He that hath a wife is trusted by all.

  • A wife, therefore, is one's most valuable possession.

Even when the husband leaving this world goeth into the region of Yama, it is the devoted wife that accompanies him thither. A wife going before waits for the husband. But if the husband goeth before, the chaste wife followeth close. For these reasons, O king, doth marriage exist. The husband enjoyth the companionship of the wife both in this and in the other worlds.

It hath been said by learned persons that one is himself born as one's son. Therefore, a man whose wife hath borne a son should look upon her as his mother. Beholding the face of the son one hath begotten upon his wife, like his own face in a mirror, one feeleth as happy as a virtuous man, on attaining to heaven.

Men scorched by mental grief, or suffering under bodily pain, feel as much refreshed in the companionship of their wives as a perspiring person in a cool bath.

No man, even in anger, should ever do anything that is disagreeable to his wife, seeing that happiness, joy, and virtue,--everything dependeth on the wife.

A wife is the sacred field in which the husband is born himself. Even Rishis cannot create creatures without women.

This particular statement - The wife is the root of salvation.- is very crucial, if relationship between man and woman is considered in SPIRITUAL sense.

In my opinion, this applies to woman as well as, of course, with slight modification in words - The Husband is the root of salvation, because unless one's sexual impulse has been gratified one cannot proceed further.

Of Course, cases of exception exists in all areas. Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Anandamayi Ma, etc are exceptions to the above rule.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .