Q: Guruji, in Rajasthan, they have deep faith in Sati Mata. Shiva’s consort is worshipped as Sati. Is the Sati Mata of Rajasthan and Shiva’s Sati one and the same, or different?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: All are forms of Shakti; there is only one Sati. It is Shiva’s Shakti which is worshipped in different forms by people.
But the ritual that someone became a sati, (a ritual where the widow immolates herself on her husband’s funeral pyre) – is nowhere. Had this tradition been there, in the Mahabharata, Kunti would have become sati, but Kunti never became sati. Similarly, there were many other maternal figures whose life existed even after their husbands (died). They did not become sati.
It was somewhere in the middle-ages that this trend started. It should not be done. It is not right.
In the shastras, in our Vedas, nowhere is it written that man is superior and woman is inferior, or woman is superior and man is less – that is not the case. All are equal. Women, men, all are the same.
Do not discriminate based on caste, do not discriminate based on religion, do not discriminate based on gender – this person is man or woman – do not discriminate based on that. Look for the One in all. Everyone has the same radiance (noor), the same soul. This is all I will say.