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Avadhutanis – Female Avadhutas

The concept of Avadhutas and Avadhutanis stems from ancient Hindu philosophy, particularly from the teachings associated with Avadhuta Dattatreya. An Avadhuta is an advanced spiritual practitioner who has transcended the limitations of ordinary worldly existence. The term "Avadhuta" is derived from the four syllables – a, va, dhu, and ta, and the Avadhuta Gita, attributed to Avadhuta Dattatreya, provides insights into the characteristics of an Avadhuta.

According to the Avadhuta Gita, an Avadhuta is characterized by being free from desires, living in a state of constant bliss, possessing faultless speech, lacking body-consciousness, and having a mind perpetually absorbed in Brahman (the ultimate reality). The Avadhuta is described as being beyond the need for meditation, completely free from egoism and ignorance.

Interestingly, the concept of Avadhutanis acknowledges the presence of female ascetics who embody similar qualities. These female ascetics, referred to as Avadhutanis, also lead a life characterized by a profound detachment from worldly desires, pure bliss, faultless speech, absence of body-consciousness, and a mind absorbed in the divine. The Avadhutanis, like their male counterparts, are free from egoism and ignorance.

The recognition of Avadhutanis highlights the inclusivity of spiritual paths, acknowledging that both men and women can attain the highest states of spiritual realization and transcendence. The teachings associated with Avadhutas and Avadhutanis emphasize the universality of spiritual principles and the possibility for individuals of all genders to attain liberation and self-realization.