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
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
“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
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
“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
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
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.