Shiva

Lord Shiva is in charge of destruction, a powerful responsibility which may confuse those who don’t know much about him. He is an important example of celibacy, but has many wives and children. He is in charge of annihilation, but believes there is no death and no one to be killed. He is responsible for…

Ramakrishna

Ramakrishna lived his life without filters. As a small child, he was not self-conscious or embarrassed by the beatific experiences he enjoyed. As a young man, and when his family needed his support, he provided assistance in ways that wouldn’t impede his spiritual progress or require him to act against his beliefs. When his family…

QuanYin

QuanYin would sit and listen to the ocean flow in and out. Absorbed in the sound of the waves and the silence they left behind, she let go of all thoughts. Without thought these sounds were just vibrations so she became perfectly still. In this stillness she moved toward Enlightenment. As she transcended other types…

Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)

Padmasambhava was a busy guy. Early in life he decided to abdicate his throne so he could focus on spiritual work. To do this, he traveled all over Asia and learned many different spiritual practices. Along the way he converted demons into guardians and ordinary people into spiritual guides. Rather than wanting what was unholy…

Gytha Nanny Ogg

The Discworld books, by Terry Pratchett, give examples of two extremely powerful women: Esme “Granny” Weatherwax and Gytha “Nanny” Ogg. Often in the stories they are shown as friendly contrasts: Granny as isolated, commanding and powerful; then Nanny as accessible, chummy and energetic. Many are familiar with the stereotype of the lone wolf working away…

Nandni Mata (Durga)

Mahisa’s mother asked for a gift from Brahma, the King of Heaven. Her first request was that the child be made immortal, but Brahma refused. Then she asked that her child be made vulnerable to women alone and this wish was granted. Mahisa grew up sure that he could never be killed because women could…