I am finally reading the “Gospel of Ramakrishna” which I picked up over the summer. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was a Sanatana Dharmist in the truest sense I can think of. He tested every path for himself: From Daulism to Advaita, from Shaktism to Vaisnavism, to Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism, to Islam and Christianity.Without delving into flat out pluralism or polytheism.
He found that all paths lead him back to Brahman. In worshiping God as Master (worshiping Rama through the eyes of faithful servant Hanuman), Father, Mother and Lover he found that all paths led back to the formless, attribute-less, undefinable Oneness, Brahman.
I recall that in my previous experience as a Christian I’d often hear folks say “Through Him, I” did this or that, meaning by the Grace of God, or in Jesus’ Name, they were able to do something. The account uses phrasing in relation to Ramakrishna’s samadhi with Maa Kali that caught my attention:
“Through him, She…”
In other words, through this frail quiet man then called Ghadadar, Maa Kali worked. Depending on the philosophy of those you associate with you will hear Hindus say we humans “do” nothing. And sometimes you will hear others say that God “does” nothing, that God is the Supremely Aloof Allness. Usually that refers to Brahman. But God, in this case Kali, is not Brahman, but an active (shakti) manifestation of That. It “does”. We do not. I guess that adds up for me. We act because we have to. It is a part of the dharma that makes the world go ’round, ya know? But we do not “do” or at least should not think of ourselves as “doing.”
Some people do not like the idea that we are “an instrument of God” but I view it as a helpful mindset to keep ego at bay. Other than that – and with all gender pronouns being understood as equal – both “Through Him, I…” and “Through him, She” suggest some individual divine favor. It’s a close race and between the two I can’t rightly say which suggests it more. If anything I can say that “Through him, She” is less dualist, but almost not even noticeably so. But their is definitely something refreshing about reading the phrasing with all of the Glory given over to Maa Kali.