Is the devil really male?
Deva Prachurya, iIt is a beautiful question because the women’s liberation movement is talking about God being a woman; they have started pronouncing him not he but she. But none of them has thought about the devil, which is a counterpart. They both exist together, just like light and darkness, life and death.
Both are hypothetical. God does not exist the way you exist and the trees exist and the mountains exist; it is just a hypothesis. And because of the hypothesis of God, theologians have had to create his other pole, the other polarity, the devil. So the devil becomes darkness and God becomes light.
The Hindu Upanishads have one of the most beautiful prayers, perhaps the most beautiful in the whole world of religion. I love its poetry, but I don’t agree with its philosophy. The prayer is very small, but very pregnant with meaning and significance. It says, “Lead me from darkness to light” – tamso ma jyotir gamaya. It says, “Lead me from untruth to the truth” – asto ma sad gamaya. And in the final stage it says, “Lead me from death to deathlessness” – mrityor ma amritam gamaya.
It is sheer poetry, you cannot improve upon it – but it is utterly false, because darkness and light are one phenomenon. You cannot go from darkness to light, because light is nothing but a little less darkness, and darkness is nothing but a little less light. It is a difference of degrees. Neither can you go from untruth to truth – the same differentiation of degrees is there. Every untruth has something true about it, and every truth expressed has to join hands with untruth.
And you cannot go from death to eternal life, because death is part of life. It is not against it – it is the very crescendo of life. They both exist together. A person who cannot die, cannot live either. Life exists with death almost like two wings of a bird: you cannot have the bird flying in the sky across the sun with one wing. Life and death are just like your two legs – you cannot move with one leg.
Existence is dialectical: it always has its opposite. Without the opposite, it will not exist. Because man created God as the very holy of the holiest, he had to create a devil. It was just an absolute philosophical necessity! The devil is the counterpart of God. You will be surprised to know…your name is Deva Prachurya. Deva means divine, and devil also comes from the same root; it also means divine.