As Young makes clear on pp. 374-77, there are tensions in Hindu beliefs about women and the feminine. Please respond to the questions below:

1. Using the form “On the one hand, _______; on the other hand, _______,” give two examples of that tension (from information in Young, 374-77), and then discuss how each example illustrates that tension.

2. What does this tension suggest about the Hindu understanding of the human?

3. How might that tension conflict with the Upanishadic belief that all beings can come to know and achieve union with the Self (atman)?

4. Unlike the Abrahamic religions, which traditionally depict God in masculine terms or as without gender, Hinduism includes goddesses and beliefs about the feminine power of the Ultimate (the Shakti, Young, 375). Yet Hindu women often face as much discrimination and oppression as Jewish, Christian, and Muslim women. Why do you think this is?

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