‘Radical Grace’: Hymning of ‘Womanhood’ in Therigatha
The quest for formulating a concept of the divine along with addressing the feminal concerns must have kindled the Buddhist 1 nuns to unite the immanent body with the transcendental divinity by their prescient certitude “that the divine is not situated in an inaccessible transcendence. It is what I become, what I create. I become and I create (the) god(s) between immanence and transcendence” (Between East and West, 43). Steven Katz, while insisting on the essential feature of immediacy so far as the spiritual experience is to be considered as mystical, has stressed that “the experience itself as well as the form in which it is reported is shaped by concepts which the mystic brings to, and which shape, his experiences” (Katz, 26). Choosing not just to passively provide testimony to the glorified men which could have “forced [women] to comply with models that do not match them”, the Bhikkhunimystics, through their experiential journey have asserted
their “female subjectivity’’ by firmly deciding to “move forward into love, art, thought, toward their ideal and divine fulfillment” (“Divine Women”, 64) of a ‘radical grace’ in the form of envisaging a gyno-spirituality (I am using this term in order to relate the women body and spirituality in terms of generativity) emerging out of the feminine realization, which ultimately seems to have provided a long-pondered clue to the dissident womanhood: “Why do we assume that God must always
remain an inaccessible transcendence rather than a realization—here and now—in and through the body?” (An Ethics of Sexual Difference, 148).