Can women progress in the spiritual field the same way as men? People often express their comprehension about this. But let me tell you that with their emotional power, dedication, intense loving nature and strong will power, women should be able to progress faster then their male counterparts.
Maa Anandmayi was one such illuminated women saint. She actually hailed from Bengal but her works were not confined to Bengal but crossed the boundaries of India. I have a reverence and admiration towards Maa Anandmayi.
It was June of 1956. Mata Anandmayi was dwelling at Solan in the famous Shimla Hills on the invitation of the king of Solan State. Incidentally, I was also at that place and stayed for few days with Mata Anandmayi. The following incident took place during that time.
One devotee came to see Mata Anandmayi. He had brought a sari for her. Mataji said, "I have enough saris. What I will do with this one?”
The devotee said, “I know that you must have many saris but I have brought this with so much love and affection. I would be so happy if you accept it. “
The devotee had tears in his eyes. Watching this, Mataji’s heart was moved. She took that white sari and went inside the room. When she came out of the room, she had put on the new sari and was holding her old sari.
Maa Anandmayi gave her old sari to that devotee and said, "I have accepted your new sari. Now take this one in place of the one you gave. What will I do keeping all these saris? God takes care of my needs.” That devotee took Maa Anandmayi's sari as a Prasadi.
This incident left a lasting impression on me. Mata Anandmayi was not delivering any lectures, yet her mere presence and her actions were enough to fill one with enormous inspiration. Her renunciation was commendable.