This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Jesus and Mary, Purusha and Prakriti

Although any analogy will fall short, it might be helpful to view the relationship between Christ and Mary as what in the Hindu doctrine is called purusha and praktriti. In order to create, Ishvara (the personal God of Hinduism) permits himself to become polarized into a ‘creative essence,’ or purusha, and a necessary ‘otherness,’ primordial matter, or prakriti, from which things might be created. In other words, for anything to exist there must be the divine idea, which provides form, and the matter which acts as the receptacle for this form, with the union of form and matter being necessary for the existence a particular being.

This ‘necessary other,’ which acts as a fertile substrate in which the divine intellect plants its seeds, will present itself to God as the eternal feminine to his eternal masculine. On the cosmic level, this perfection of the feminine, this prikriti which in the creative process becomes primordial matter, is the spouse of the creator: the fertility to his virility, the receptivity to his activity.

Now if we take this doctrine to be true in its way (which we can, since it has its correspondences in the Christian tradition and in every other tradition), and if we translate it back into the Christian cosmogony, it is easy to see why one of Mary’s titles is ‘Queen of Heaven.’

We can also see why it has not been uncommon in Christian history to refer to Mary as ‘spouse of her son,’ Christ being the Logos and in this way playing the role of purusha to Mary’s prakriti.

Corrections are, of course, in order if we are to be exact in this analogy. What we’ve said suffices to paint an approximate picture for someone who has no intention of delving in detail into the Hindu doctrine, but we will point out that prakriti is itself not manifested, just as material prima or primordial matter is not manifested, but must be determined by the pole of essence, which is to say ‘quickened,’ at which point a creation takes place and that which is brought into being is neither prakriti nor material prima but Maya, the creation itself. In some ways it would be better to identify Mary with Maya, but that would take us too far abroad at this particular point in our study.

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