‘The Lioness Begins To Roar’: ‘A 21st Century ‘Shantideva’s Prayer’

If she is speaking the truth,

what is the use of bullying and lies?

If she is not speaking the truth,

what is the use of bullying and lies?

—Shantideva’s reasoning

May all females everywhere
Plagued by sufferings created by patriarchy and sexism,
Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy
By virtue of my merits.

May no female suffer,
From those who think females inferior and unworthy.
Merely due to her gender.
May no girl be told to look pretty to be valued.
And slim-bodied to fit in,
With a mind weighed down by depression.

May slaves and child labourers,
And bruised and beaten housewives,
whose bodies are worn with toil
Be restored on finding repose.
May naked rape victims find justice,
The hungry for truth find truth;
May the thirsty for love find love
And generous reparations.

May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy;
May the forlorn find hope,
Constant happiness, and prosperity.
May there be timely rains
And bountiful harvests;
May all medicines be effective
And wholesome prayers bear fruit.

May all who are sick and ill from pregnancy and menstruation,
Quickly be freed from their bloody aches.
Whatever forced, clitoral circumcisions are in the world,
May they never occur again.

May frightened, downtrodden wives cease to be afraid,
And those bound by sexual slavery and prostitution be freed;
May powerless, single mothers find power,
And may sons think of benefiting them.

For as long as space remains,
For as long as men and women remain,
Until then may I too remain
To dispel the miseries of woman!

This updated version of the famous ‘Shantideva’s Prayer’ was written with both a little humour and weariness. May boys and men also be free of the sufferings they inflict on themselves and others in the name of spirituality, sex, power and money. All beings suffer under patriarchal, sexist norms, conduct and leaders.

Written quickly and spontaneously by Adele Tomlin, December 2020 (from forthcoming publication of collected articles and poems: ‘The Lioness Begins to Roar’). Copyright 2020.

4 thoughts on “‘The Lioness Begins To Roar’: ‘A 21st Century ‘Shantideva’s Prayer’

  1. Kye Ho! Telling it as it is.
    If this aspiration from the wounded heart of a female Truth Seeker were to save only one other innocent, overly trusting embodied woman from spiritual and physical abuse and degradation by yet another much lauded Sogyal or Mipham hiding behind his robes then it shall not have been in vain . . . May it be so🙏

  2. Through Female Genital Mutilation went 200 mln women and they are living with it.
    Waris Dirie wrote book ,,Desert Flower,, about her experience of
    FGM. White women are very fortunate and are not experiencing FGM.

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