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Response to Bhaktarupa and Madhavananda prabhus recent post on “Education and Guruship of Vaishnavis”

Tuesday, 15 January 2013 / Published in Articles / 6,025 views

By Gokula Candra Das

After reading your paper on “Some Evidence Regarding
Education and Guruship for Vaishnavis” one gets an impression that woman have equal rights for Vedic education and Guruship and that is indeed what was happening in the far past – the Vedic age.

None of us have studied Vedas and it is thus difficult to understand their message and meaning – particularly if is not matching to the teaching and example given by our acaryas.

Vedas are difficult to understand for there are many contradictory statements in Vedas srutayo vibhinna:

tarko ‘pratishthah srutayo vibhinna
nasav rishir yasya matam na bhinnam
dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam
mahajano yena gatah sa panthah
Mahabharata, Vana-parva (313.117)

“‘Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the sastras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahajanas advocate.’”
Thus we should follow the Mahajanas, mahajano yena gatah sa panthah

Srila Prabhupada is our Mahajana.

He has never given to Matajis the post of temple president post, or the position of GBC or Diksa Guru. on top of it he never allowed equal education for boys and girls for this is against sastric instructions.

You have said:

“Direct evidence supporting the equal right to education is found in the Atharva-veda[2] (11.5.18) as follows,
brahmacarye.a kanya yuvana. vindate patim
Through brahmacarya a girl attains a suitable husband.

This is clear, through practice of celibacy a girl attains good husband.
The sloka does not say that girls were studying Vedas, for this would be contra
dicting to all other Vedic statements that woman, unqualified brahamans (dvija-bandhus) and sudras are not thought Vedas, as confirmed in Srimad Bhagavatam – the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge:
stri-sudra-dvijabandhunam
trayi na sruti-gocara

stri—the woman class; sudra—the laboring class; dvija-bandhunam—of the friends of the twice-born; trayi—three; na—not; sruti-gocara—for understanding

Translation by HDG Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati ThakurPrabhupada

“The Rig, Sama, and Yajur Vedas should not be recited before women, sudras, and dvija-bandhus.”

You have given misleading commentary by using definition of brahmacary dharma – which refers to brahmacaris(boys) not to girls – and try to impress uninformed public wrong conclusion that woman were studying in gurukulas equally with boys.

As quoted above Srimad Bhagavatam says no equal education for woman and Srila Prabhupada follows the same conclusion, that boys were thought different knowledge and the girls different.

Tamala Krishna: So we’re… I thought there were girls in Vrindavana now. They said that they’re going to have the girls’ gurukula behind the boys’ gurukula. Gopala was talking about that.
Prabhupada: No, no, no. No girls.
Tamala Krishna: It should be in another city or somewhere else.
Prabhupada: Yes. They should be taught how to sweep, how to stitch…
Tamala Krishna: Clean.
Prabhupada: …clean, cook, to be faithful to the husband.
Tamala Krishna: They don’t require a big school.
Prabhupada: No, no. That is mistake. They should be taught how to become obedient to the husband.
Tamala Krishna: Yeah, you won’t learn that in school.
Prabhupada: Little education, they can…
Tamala Krishna: Yeah. That they can get at home also.
Prabhupada: They should be stopped, this practice of prostitution. This is a very bad system in Europe and America. The boys and girls, they are educated-coeducation. From the very beginning of their life they become prostitutes. And they encourage.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Morning Conversation — April 29, 1977,

Again you tried to give us wrong impression about woman’s education by misusing the quote from Srimad Bhagavatam :
The Srimad-bhagavatam speaks of two ladies attaining to complete Vedic knowledge:
tebhyo dadhara kanye dve vayuna. dhari.i. svadha
ubhe te brahma-vadinyau jshana-vijshana-parage

Svadha, who was offered to the Pitas, begot two daughters named Vayuna and Dhari.i, both of whom were impersonalists and were expert in transcendental and Vedic knowledge. (4.1.64)

This sloka speaks that these two woman have attained spiritual realization – that is true – but the sloka does not say how they have attained it.
The Vedas are not against woman attaining spiritual realization, neither is Srila Prabhupada. So how does the woman attain self realization?
By serving their husband those ladies achieve realization of transcendental knowledge, as Devahuti did:
By the grace of Kardama Muni, Devahuti experienced actual realization simply by serving…By serving her devotee husband, Kardama Muni, Devahuti shared in his achievements.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.23.7

The woman attain knowledge from their father, husband, and eldest son (as Devahuti did) and not by studying Vedas by sitting in Gurukul (next to boys as the western minds would like to imagine “equal education”). They were taught stri dharma at home by their mothers, and other ladies.
Again Srila Prabhupada’s teaching is in accordance with Srimad Bhagavatam but your conclusion is not.
“Another item is, you are married wife, so in that position you should serve your husband nicely, always being attentive to his needs, and in this way, because he is always absorbed in serving Krsna, by serving your husband you will also get Krsna, through him. He is your spiritual master, but he must be responsible for giving you all spiritual help, teaching you as he advances his own knowledge and realization. That is the Vedic system. The wife becomes a devotee of her husband, the husband becomes a devotee of Krsna; the wife serves her husband faithfully, the husband protects his wife by giving her spiritual guidance. So you should simply do whatever your husband instructs you to do, however he may require your assistance. Of course, the nature of woman is to be attached to her husband and family, so our system is to minimize this attachment by making the ultimate goal of our activity the pleasure of Krsna. Just try to please Krsna always, and no material circumstances will be able to cause you any discomfort.” (SPL to Saucarya devi, 23rd October, 1972)

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Duties of the Wife

Even today there are still quite some traditional Gurukulas in India, run by Madhvas and Ramanujas, but there is no single girl studying there.

Again your evidence is not convincing:

There are many hymns in the .g-veda that are reserved for recitation only by women. An example (.g-veda[3] 10.159.1-2) speaks about a woman‘s qualification to speak on transcendental topics:

Let my good fortune rise with the rising sun. May I attain my husband, defeat my enemies, and may I always be very tolerant. May I be an excellent knower of the Vedas, and a powerful speaker on the same. May my husband always be pleasing and behave tolerantly towards me.

Yes, woman can be speaker of the Vedas for whatever is spoken by true and strict followers of varnashrama dharma is Veda. They will speak, behave and discuss anything related to everyday life based on the teaching s of the Vedas. Sloka doesn’t say that they are independent diksa gurus who travel all around the world without their husbands and initiate both men and women. Look how the prayer finishes – “May my husband always be pleasing and behave tolerantly towards me.”
Even recently we have seen in Sri Rangam that all the Brahmin ladies gather together and recite some prayers and sing some songs about the Lord. They have never studied the Vedas, and none of them have taken the role of Diksa Guru. They are great devotees and they will go home back to godhead, but they never do things which their husbands do – preach in the public to common men, or speak on the TV, or go around and give diksa. Not even in a dream. We can learn from the tradition – this is called aihitya pramana – and it is accepted by acaryas and quoted by Srila Jiva Goswami in his Sri Tattva Sandarbha.

Do you remember example from Krsna Book- where brahmanas were engaged in fire sacrifices and their wives were at home. And this was their glory, they did not know how to do sacrifice but they knew how to please Krsna. They were better devotees than their husbands without doing fire sacrifice.

“When the wives of the brahmanas were favored by Lord Krishna and immediately attained the ecstasy of love of Godhead, their husbands said,

“These women have never undergone the purificatory rites of the twice-born classes, nor have they lived as brahmacaris in the asrama of a spiritual master, nor have they executed austerities, speculated on the nature of the self, followed the formalities of cleanliness or engaged in pious rituals. Nevertheless, they have firm devotion for Lord Krishna, whose glories are chanted by the exalted hymns of the Vedas and who is the supreme master of all masters of mystic power. We, on the other hand, have no such devotion for the Lord, although we have executed all these processes.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 10.23.43, SB 10.23.44, SB 10.23.43-44

We can see from this quote that woman never studied the Vedas as men do.
So all your Vedic quotes cannot stand against Srimad Bhagavatam.
I think that it would be better that we stick to what Srila Prabhupada has said rather than we attempt to understand Vedas on our own.
Your servant
Gokula Candra Das

HG Yamuna Mataji's Ashes Samadhi @ Sri Vrindavan Dham
NASN December 2012 - North American Sankirtan Newsletter

19 Responses to “Response to Bhaktarupa and Madhavananda prabhus recent post on “Education and Guruship of Vaishnavis””

  1. bbd says :

    “We Must Think for Ourselves

    BY: SRILA BHAKTIVINODA THAKUR

    The Bhagavata teaches us that God gives us truth as He gave it to Vyasa: when we earnestly seek for it.

    Truth is eternal and unexhausted. The soul receives a revelation when anxious for it. The souls of the great thinkers of the bygone ages, who now live spiritually, often approach our inquiring spirit and assist in its development. Thus Vyasa was assisted by Narada and Brahma.
    Our Shastras, or in other words, books of thought, do not contain all that we could get from the infinite Father.

    No book is without its errors.

    God’s revelation is absolute truth, but it is scarcely received and preserved in its natural purity. We have been advised in the 14th Chapter of 11th Skandha of the Bhagavata to believe that truth when revealed is absolute, but it gets the tincture of the nature of the receiver in course of time and is converted into error by continual exchange of hands from age to age. New revelations, therefore, are continually necessary in order to keep truth in its original purity. We are thus warned to be careful in our studies of old authors, however wise they are reputed to be.

    Here we have full liberty to reject the wrong idea, which is not sanctioned by the peace of conscience. Vyasa was not satisfied with what he collected in the Vedas, arranged in the Puranas and composed in the Mahabharata. The peace of his conscience did not sanction his labors. It told him from within, “No, Vyasa! You cannot rest contented with the erroneous picture of truth which was necessarily presented to you by the sages of bygone days. You must yourself knock at the door of the inexhaustible store of truth from which the former ages drew their wealth. Go, go up to the fountainhead of truth, where no pilgrim meets with disappointment of any kind.” Vyasa did it and obtained what he wanted. We have been all advised to do so.

    Liberty then is the principle which we must consider as the most valuable gift of God. We must not allow ourselves to be led by those who lived and thought before us. We must think for ourselves and try to get further truths which are still undiscovered. In the Bhagavata we have been advised to take the spirit of the Shastras and not the words. The Bhagavata is therefore a religion of liberty, unmixed truth and absolute love.”

  2. bhakta piyush says :

    I assume that comment No.1 above suggests that we should think “out of the box” and view scriptural books with some degree of reservation.
    We must remember that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur revived the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition which had fallen into shahajiyism and other misdirections, he was that authorised person to re-establish the truth.
    Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur was the next in line and after him was Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, all are in unison, with common purpose to revive the Bhakti cult. Indeed in the Bhagavad-Gita As-it-is, Srila Prabhupada clearly mentions that there are so many commentaries of Bhagavad-Gita and asks/answers the question as to why there is need for another there and then.
    If comment no.1 is referring to our very recent acharyas writings and teachings then that is a direct contradiction to the statement “Books are the Basis.” Therefore the comment above cannot be taken out of context and be used as a singular philosophy to live by in this age.

  3. Sita Rama dasanudasa says :

    Gokula Candra Prabhu,
    The main thrust of your argument seems to be that in traditional Vedic society the role of women was to serve their husbands and be mothers. This is an indisputable fact. You also acknowledge:
    “Do you remember example from Krsna Book- where brahmanas were engaged in fire sacrifices and their wives were at home. And this was their glory, they did not know how to do sacrifice but they knew how to please Krsna. They were better devotees than their husbands without doing fire sacrifice.”
    The point is, as with men engaged in their occupational duties, women can please Krishna by engaging in their occupation. This is also an indisputable fact, reiterated by various examples in the scriptures, including Krishna statement in BG that all can approach the supreme destination.
    We cannot ignore the teaching of the Yuga Avatar, Lord Caitanya and the verse by Him, quoted numerous times by Srila Prabhupada; one example being:
    Actually one who has attained the perfection, she can become guru. But man or woman, unless one has attained the perfection…. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128]. The qualification of guru is that he must be fully cognizant of the science of Krsna. Then he or she can become guru. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei guru haya. [break] In our material world, is it any prohibition that woman cannot become professor? If she is qualified, she can become professor.( see, “Female Diksha Gurus – “Yes. But, Not So Many.” Sp” by Ajamila dasa ACBSP).
    You say that women can please Krishna; and we must agree that pleasing Krishna is the science of Krishna and that is the qualification for being guru. Thus to deny that women can be guru is to deny the statements of Lord Caitanya as explained by Srila Prabhupada. No amount of previous history can trump the direct teaching of the Avatar and Acharya of the current age.
    Your argument is that male gurus in ISKCON are bonafide but women gurus are unauthorized because we do not find that to be common in past Vedic history. Your argument is incomplete unless you can show that in Vedic history, communities of male gurus were generally comprised of men who were converted to Viasnavism from the yavana and melaccha class, as is the situation in ISKCON today. In other words, if you require a precedent to support the position you are opposed to you should be able to provide a precedent supporting the position you are in favor of.

  4. Sita Rama dasanudasa says :

    Prabhu,
    You wrote; ““On top of it he never allowed equal education for boys and girls for this is against sastric instructions. And later; “As quoted above Srimad Bhagavatam says no equal education for woman and Srila Prabhupada follows the same conclusion, that boys were thought different knowledge and the girls different.”
    Of course it would be absurd to say that boys and girls should be given equal education regarding their duties in household life. But it does not logically follow that women are not taught the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness. Srila Prabhupada undeniably engaged women in preaching ; for them to do this they must have an education in Vedic knowledge. Therefore Srila Prabhupada says:
    “I want that all of my spiritual sons and daughters will inherit this title of Bhaktivedanta, so that the family transcendental diploma will continue through the generations. Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will be allowed to initiate disciples. Maybe by 1975, all of my disciples will be allowed to initiate and increase the numbers of the generations. That is my program.” (Letter to Hamsaduta on Jan 3, 1969). And elsewhere, “Women in our movement can also preach very nicely. Actually male and female bodies, these are just outward designations. Lord Caitanya said that whether one is brahmana or whatever he may be if he knows the science of Krsna then he is to be accepted as guru.” (Letter to Malati, December 25, 1974)(cited in “Women Diksha Gurus, Yes But Not So Many, SP, by Ajamila Prabhu).
    You have cited a conversation wherein Srila Prabhupada says girls should be taught to serve their husbands; cooking, sewing etc. This ends with Srila Prabhupada saying , “They should be stopped, this practice of prostitution. This is a very bad system in Europe and America. The boys and girls, they are educated-coeducation. From the very beginning of their life they become prostitutes. And they encourage.”
    You have given no evidence as to exactly what Srila Prabhupada wanted stopped ,but he mentions coeducation. There is nothing in this conversation which can be accepted as Srila Prabhupda forbidding girls from being taught Vedic philosophy because we know for a fact that Srila Prabhupada wanted women to acquire the Bhaktivedanta title and preach.

  5. Sita Rama dasanudasa says :

    Gokula Candra Prabhu,
    You wrote, “Sloka doesn’t say that they are independent diksa gurus who travel all around the world without their husbands and initiate both men and women.” It seems you are implying that the duty of a diksha guru is to travel around the world alone and preach. But traveling alone to preach is the dharma of the sanyasi, we all know that one does not have to be a sanyasi ,or artificially adopt the lifestyle of a sanyasi ,in order to be a guru.
    It is wrong for a man or women to neglect their household duties. Therefore we see that the eternally transcendental pure devotee Srila Prabhupada never neglected his household duties as an example for the conditioned souls to follow. But no one has the authority to say one must be a snayasi( with no household duties) in order to be a guru because this is directly opposed to Lord Caitanya’s teaching that one can be a guru in any varna or asrama. Individuals must take all measures that are needed to ensure that being a guru does not make one incapable of performing their occupational responsibilities. One might argue that certain measures are required; but to ban women per se is not justified because they are not necessarily caring for children ,or serving their husband full time, throughout their entire lifetime.

  6. Urmila says :

    Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    In the society envisioned by the author of this article in Dandavats, we would not be able to read this other article: http://news.iskcon.com/node/4233/2012-03-03/mumbais_bhaktin_radhika_breaks_book_distribution_records#ixzz2GjMdfN00

    Your servant

  7. balajikrishna says :

    Hare Krishna everybody,

    Just for few weeks the debate is going on whether woman in ISKCON can be made diksha gurus. I am interested in sharing my thoughts. One can recollect what has been said in Canto 4 Chapters 25 – 28. King Puranjana is born as a woman in his next birth. Suppose let us assume that woman cannot be made as diksha gurus because they are woman by birth. Then king Puranjana who is a male is fully “qualified” to become diksha guru because “HE” is a male and in his next birth “SHE” is fully disqualified to become a diksha guru because she is a female. This seems ridiculous to me. Because “HE” bcomes “SHE”, the soul is disqualified to become a diksha guru.

    I am from India and today I see how India is so much degraded because India deviated from its vedic path. As Kali Yuga started the caste system based on birth was introduced by brahamanas and as a result India has lost its soul.

    Similarly now ISKCON members are trying to introduce the diksha guru system based are birth (female birth is not allowed to become diksha gurus). If the system based on birth is going to flourish in ISKCON as India is slowly sinking into oblivion so will ISKCON. Better let us not put ourselves in such a situation.

    As far as my spiritual master has taught me I understand that one has to be strongly fixed in Krishna consciousness, chant the hare Krishna mantra minimum number of times daily, follow all regulative principles strictly, get initiation ………. Etc and these should be the qualifications to become a diksha guru either it be a male or female.

    S.Balaji

  8. Sitalatma Das says :

    Women can be gurus and no one is stopping them from executing many of the functions of spiritual masters and delivering anyone to Krishna’s lotus feet, the questions are only about performing certain rituals and conferring diksha.

    Those questions do not contradict Lord Chaitanya’s dictum that everyone can become a guru if he knows science of Krishna.

    General perception is that our FDG aspirants want to travel all over the world just like our sannyasi gurus do. Maybe it’s a wrong perception but so far we don’t know why exactly they want to become initiating spiritual masters and why they are not content with siksha guru roles.

    It would be impossible to implement “no traveling like a sannyasi” rule after the fact. What is GBC going to do? Confiscate their passports? Revoke their guru status?

    I think it’s a healthy concern that needs to be addressed – how exactly the FDG candidates plan to perform their new duties in the future. We don’t know what we are getting ourselves into, it would be prudent to be prepared for the worst scenario while, of course, hoping for the best.

  9. Sita Rama dasanudasa says :

    Sitalatma Prabhu,
    Your concerns are based on a framework of questioning the compatibility of FDG with the practical nature of the material world and the culture of ISKCON society. The framework of some other arguments is that FDG is absolutely forbidden and/or, women are incapable of knowing the science of Krishna to a sufficient degree. I have argued that the second framework is objectively wrong. I cannot take such a strong stance against your framework.
    It seems hard to deny that there are healthy concerns that need to be addressed. There are many healthy concerns regarding male gurus which have been addressed by the GBC as numerous laws and guidelines; and I suspect that there will be some specific to FDG when FDG is actually implemented.
    Those adamantly opposed to FDG, per se, have presented an argument to the GBC; I think it would be good to prepare a list of healthy concerns within your framework for the GBC to consider.
    I believe arguments within your framework can lead to a dialogue wherein perspectives from each side add to a more complete understanding. I believe the other framework is divisive, and the logic involved in it could lead to numerous fallacious conclusions.

  10. gokula candra das says :

    Dear Urmila Mataji,
    Please accept my humble obeisances.
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    You are dedicated Srila Prabhupada’s disciple and I am sure that you, as well as all of us, want to follow what Srila Prabhupada taught us and set as a standard by his example for the next ten thousand years to come:
    No Matajis temple presidents, GBC’s or Diksa Guru’s and
    Yes Matajis book distributors.
    Book distribution Ki – Jay.
    Your servant
    Gokula Candra Das

  11. Balakrsna das says :

    Re #6

    Urmila Mataji what is the meaning of your enigmatic statement? Will they not have internet or what? Why will they not be able to read such article? No electricity? Decreased literacy? What exactly are you driving at?

  12. Bhaktilata dasi says :

    I got this quote forwarded to me from Dharmapatnis.

    “We give Krishna consciousness both to the man and to the woman equally. We do not make any such distinction. But to protect them from exploitation by man, we teach something that ‘You do like this. You do like that. You be married. Be settled up. Don’t wander independently.’

    We teach them like that. But so far KC is concerned, we equally distribute. There is no such thing that ‘Oh you are woman less intelligent or more intelligent therefore you cannot come.’ we don’t say that. We welcome women, men, poor, rich, everyone, because in that platform equality. We don’t refuse anyone. That is equality.

    We do not say that because you are less intelligent women that you cannot come and engage in devotional service. But, we do have separate roles for the men and the women. Both are engaged in service, but different duties in society are still there.

    Srila Prabhupada Room conversation Philadelphia, July 1975

  13. Bhaktilata dasi says :

    Re 7

    In this life you are human, in next life you may be a dog. As a human you are qualified to do so many things but as a dog you are not. Soul is the same but body is not. Please try to understand.

    As Krsna explains in the Gita 18th chapter this material body is a “yantra” vehicle.

    An airplane and bicycle are both vehicles. The same person can pilot the plane and ride the bicycle. But you can not do the same thing with a bicycle as you can with a plane. Driver is the same but vehicle is not.

    So in male body there are certain duties and for female others even though the soul may be the same. I hope this is clear.

    Those who want to use female body to do the same duties as the male body will be like someone who wants to use bicycle for plane’s work just because driver is the same.

  14. gokula candra das says :

    Equality in Krsna Consciousness

    “We give Krishna consciousness both to the man and to the woman equally. We do not make any such distinction. But to protect them from exploitation by man, we teach something that ‘You do like this. You do like that. You be married. Be settled up. Don’t wander independently.’

    We teach them like that. But so far KC is concerned, we equally distribute. There is no such thing that ‘Oh you are woman less intelligent or more intelligent therefore you cannot come.’ we don’t say that. We welcome women, men, poor, rich, everyone, because in that platform equality. We don’t refuse anyone. That is equality.

    We do not say that because you are less intelligent women that you cannot come and engage in devotional service. But, we do have separate roles for the men and the women. Both are engaged in service, but different duties in society are still there.”

    Srila Prabhupada Room conversation Philadelphia, July 1975

  15. Anuj says :

    Respected Urmila Mataji,

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    I guess by your comment you want to say that if women become devoted followers of their husbands, they can’t distribute books on a large scale. In my humble opinion this is incorrect. I think the article promotes that women should be always protected by men. So a woman can do book distribution and preach near and far along with her husband. Srila Prabhupada encouraged her women disciples like HG Yamuna Mataji to travel far and wide, but only in company of her husband.

    Also, today only the following link was published

    http://www.dandavats.com/?p=11208#more-11208

    A part from it reads:

    “Maharaj glorified the contribution of departed Vaishnavi H.G Madhupriya mataji, who was one of our leading book distributors and that this year’s marathon was dedicated to her service. He said- though she was a housewife, mother and a simple lady. Yet her enthusiasm for distributing books was superexcellent and in her own humble style ,she was distributing books for last 15 years – she distributed more books than any other devotee in our temple. Her consisitency in this service showed her love towards Srila Prabhupad. And that we will all miss her association.”

    Requesting for blessings for exalted matajis like yourself.

    Your Servant

  16. balajikrishna says :

    Hare Krishna everybody,

    This reply is regarding comment number 13.

    Mataji you have replied females have separate duties and males have separate duties. But as I understand females have separate duties and males have separate duties materially and not spiritually.

    I beg your pardon to read Srimad Bhagavatam 4.11.31. Clearly a snake has become a devotee of great sage Narada Muni. What is the duty of the snake? Is it fit to become a devotee?

    Today we are saying women cannot become diksha gurus. Did Narada Muni say to the snake you are snake by birth. I cannot accept you as a devotee. Narada Muni simply saw how much Krishna consciousness the snake is. He never considered the snake birth as unfit to become devotee.

    Materially a male human being can lift a heavy stone. A female human being can lift the same stone with difficulty but not with the same vigor as that of a male human being. A snake can never lift that heavy stone.

    But spiritually a male human being can become a devotee, a female human being can become a devotee and an animal – a snake can also become a devotee.

    Although not pertaining to Krishna consciousness the following link will show how a spider has become great devotee of Lord Shiva.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srikalahasti

    For me it seems that, not only woman, if an animal is strongly situated in Krishna consciousness and has power to preach Krishna consciousness they can also become Diksha gurus.

    So spiritually a woman can also do the same duties as that of a male although materially she cannot execute the same duty as that of the male.

    Continued ……………….

  17. balajikrishna says :

    Next who is supposed to fight a battle? If you go through the Vedic culture you can clearly see that only males fought the war. But does it forbid females from fighting a war. I have seen movies relating to Vedic culture where woman have tried to wage a war. For example Abhimanyu’s mother took the bow and arrow to fight Kadothkaja when Abhimanyu fainted. Ravana once attacked a king and the king fainted. The king’s wife at once took a bow and arrow to fight evil Ravana. All these I have seen only in movies and TV serials but not read in scriptures. However if one goes through Vedic literature one can find number of such examples where woman fight a war. To establish Dharma and to protect their kith and kin it is not unusual for a woman to take bow and arrow, and a sword. Are woman allowed to fight in Vedic culture. Is it a prescribed duty for a woman to fight a war?

    If one goes through the Vedic literature one can find number of powerful woman demigods who have fought with Asuras and killed them. If powerful women demigods are allowed why not woman diksha gurus.

    It seems to me that strongly fixed in Krishna consciousness is the prime requirement of becoming a diksha guru either it be a female or male.

    S.Balaji

  18. Anuj says :

    Mahaprabhu said that His name would be chanted in every town and village. Many people thought it to be just theory, something not possible in a practical sense. They tried to gave their own versions -probably it meant the land of Bengal or at max India. This was an insult of lord’s words. Similarly some devotees these days say varnasrama is not possible practically and hence we should not conform to the rules and regulations in it. We should just do hearing and chanting without too much attention on them. In my humble opinion this is an insult to Srila Prabhupada, who in numerous purports of Bhagvatam described duties of each varna and asrama and women. If this is not practical and not to be implemented then why did he spent sleepless nights writing them? Was he writing about a theoretical utopia never to be put in practice? Or valid only For indians? I guess not. We should not project our inability and shortcomings on His Divine Grace’s teachings.

  19. Adrian says :

    Lord Kapiladeva didn’t seem to have a problem with a woman getting an education. In fact he was the one who taught His mother and He didn’t teach her sewing. Lord Caitanya very much appreciated the His mother taking the role of a Guru by defeating mayavada philosophy. To say that there isn’t evidence in the Vedas that women can’t get an education isn’t valid.

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