The Highest Goal – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 32-33

Janaka, the King who was a Sage
Janaka, the King who was a Sage

“Those who take refuge in Me, even those of inauspicious wombs—women, Vaishayas, and even Shudras—also go to the Highest Goal. How much easier it is then, for Brahmans and royal sages! So having acquired this temporal and unhappy world, devote yourself to Me!” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 32-33

Those who take refuge in Me, Arjuna, even those of inauspicious wombs — women, Vaishayas and even Shudras — also go to the Highest Goal.

“Inauspicious wombs”
The Sanskrit also means ‘boding evil, unfortunate or troubled’ and refers to the caste system whereby the lowest are those who are laborers (vaishayas) or work for others (shudras). As to women, being born female has long been a sub-standard condition everywhere on earth, in the present and previous age, since the end of the Golden Age (satya yuga, Age of Truth) when living in Truth began to decline.

He is saying that, regardless of one’s birth or history, anyone can do this. If a woman can do this Yoga, so can you. If a hard-working man can do it, so can you. And even if you are a servant (employee) to someone else, you can do it.


Anandamayi Ma, saint, sage, avatara.
Anandamayi Ma, saint, sage, avatara.

In our present age, everything is up-side-down. God is worshipped as male, even though there are vestiges the feminine divine that remain in remote places in texts, icons and murtis.

It is now known that everyone starts life as a female. This changes when testosterone attacks the empathy center in the brain and eradicates a large portion of it. At this point the fetus begins to develop as a male body, with amped up action, aggression and anger centers in the brain, brought about by a double dose of testosterone in exchange.

This is not some woo-woo female rant of my own, it is recent science achieved by finally taking a look at the female brain. This is generally not the done thing in science, even where prescription drug testing is concerned, though doctors continue to prescribe these medications for women (what else can they do?—they can only work with what they’ve got).

If you look for it, you will find this relatively new discovery accompanied by denigrating objections, which, of course, is to be expected in our current atmosphere of male supremacy. But you can see it in icons and murtis all over India, where male gods and sages are often difficult to recognize as male, unless you already know who they are. They look feminine—no six-pack abs, no muscle-bound macho males here, just saints, sages and gods. As with many things we in the west believe we are the first to have discovered, the old sages already knew.

The Working Class

When you have to work for a living, which most of us do, you are not in a good position to complete yoga sadhana. The demands of society, especially in the west, make it impossible. You can’t afford to live. You are required to pay for the privilege. It is either work or die unless you are independently well-off.

This situation makes doing yoga, and going very far with it, a very real risk. This is one reason the idea of gambling on the part of the ‘good guys’ is presented in the Mahabharata, the epic in which this Bhagavad Gita takes center stage. Those boys lost the card game and had to spend years in the forest and not make themselves known; no one was supposed to know that they were royalty. That was the deal. So that’s what they did.

Even then, in a society accepting and supportive of sadhus and yogis, completing yoga sadhana was difficult. But as a working man, you can reconsider these consequences because you will be strong enough to plow through. For women this is not the case (no matter what popular media would have you believe in the name of feminine equality and super-powers).


If your work puts you in the position of working for someone other than yourself, you qualify as a servant, even if that is not your job description. You are working to make money for someone or something else.

In this country being your own boss is punishable—you are taxed for it, and have no ‘benefits’. You are serving others and are ‘owned’ by them—your life, your survival, depends on them. You probably work a forty hour week at least, so when would you have time for taking up yoga seriously enough to make it to the end? Yet Lord Krishna says you can still reach the Highest Goal.

The Highest Goal

Alternate translation:
Those who surrender to Me, even those of unfortunate births —women, the working class man, and servants—can also reach the Highest Goal.

How much easier it is then for Brahmans and royal sages! So having acquired this temporal and unhappy world, devote yourself to Me!

Lord Krishna is motivating Arjuna by reminding him that this world is not where he is not going to find genuine and everlasting Happiness. So, before you disagree with this world being an unhappy place, remember who is talking: God. And as I once heard someone say, “God don’t make no mistakes.”

Where do you see yourself in all this? Anyone can reach the Highest Goal through devotion to God and the God-practice of surrender yoga. I am a woman and have made it through, and it was even more worth it than I initially thought it could be. Now I know. And I know that whoever you are, and wherever you fit in the scheme of things, if I can do it, you can do it.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma

Shaktipat Intensive

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