Women Priests – Reviving an Ancient Tradition
Until recently, women were not allowed to worship in the inner sanctum of a temple; nor could women consecrate a temple or perform Vedic rituals. Women didn’t even have the freedom to chant Vedic mantras. But Amma is encouraging and appointing women to do these things. And it is Amma who performs the consecration ceremony in all the temples built by our ashram. There were many who protested against women doing all these things, because for generations all those ceremonies had been done only by men.
We are worshiping a God who is beyond all differences – who does not differentiate between male and female. – Amma
To those who questioned what we were doing, Amma explained that we are worshiping a God who is beyond all differences – who does not differentiate between male and female. As it turns out, the majority of people have supported this revolutionary move. Those prohibitions against women were never actually a part of ancient Hindu tradition. They were in all likelihood created by men who belonged to the higher classes of society, in order to exploit and oppress women. Those rules were invented in the middle ages. They didn’t exist in ancient India. Amma shared this idea of her’s in an address of A Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders at Palais des Nations, 7 October 2002.