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Maharaja Clarifies His Position on Gay Marriages

Saturday, 10 June 2006 / Published in Discussion, Hridayananda das Goswami / 7,565 views

“Statement from H.H. Hridayananda Das Goswami”

“I do not favor gay marriages. Rather, I accept the principle, as stated in my paper, that religious marriage is between a man and a woman. Heterosexual relations within marriage for the procreation of children is clearly the standard in Krishna consciousness.

My basic point is this: as Vaishnavas, we should feel great compassion for every sincere soul who is struggling to become Krishna conscious in this very difficult age. I have no doubt that there are sincere souls, with real devotion to Krishna, who cannot completely avoid homosexuality. We should encourage these sincere souls to advance in Krishna consciousness and gradually transcend all material desires.”

44 Responses to “Maharaja Clarifies His Position on Gay Marriages”

  1. BhaktaMikael says :

    PAMHO. AGTSP! In regards to Hridayananda Goswamis statement, I beg to ask for some clarification. In his statement (as well as in almost all statements about homosexuality) it appears as if homosexuality means the same as sexual actions. This is of course not true. So I think it looks quite strange to read things like “cannot completely avoid homosexuality”. How can anyone avoid their sexuality – heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual? What we can avoid is acting out our sexuality, wether we possess this or that sexual preference. It always sounds to me as if heterosexual people are capable of renouncing their sexual actions more or less, but homosexuals are not. This is ridiculous.
    ys, Bhakta Mikael

  2. Jiva Goswami says :

    Maharaja,
    Your original statement was “…serious, formal and public recognition and appreciation of gay monogamy is, in my view, in the best interest of ISKCON and its members.”

    What is serious, formal and public recognition? In retrospect, was this a mis-statement on your part?

  3. Amara_dasa says :

    Hare Krishna! Hridayananda Maharaja’s position seems even less clear to me now. How can someone support gay monogamy, but not gay marriage? Doesn’t marriage greatly help to encourage monogamy?

    I also agree with Bhakta Mikael in that Maharaja does not use the word “homosexuality” correctly. Most people understand “homosexuality” to mean “homosexual orientation” and not “homosexual behavior.”

    It’s odd to me that many devotees think about marriage only in terms of sex while ignoring its more critical functions such as love, intimacy, companionship, family, meaningful relationships, social acceptance, etc. These are what most ordinary people require in their lives, including gays. Maharaja should have said, “I have no doubt that there are sincere souls…who cannot completely avoid their human need for love and companionship.”

  4. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    I think it should be obvious to any serious reader of Prabhupada’s books, conversations, lectures, letters etc. that homosexuality both in its gross and subtle forms are perversions. First of all its a perversion of the souls original love for Krishna, and second its a perversion or a hindrance (Prabhupada called it a form of impotence) of the natural flow of the sexual energy (towards the opposite sex) in the subtle and gross bodies. Like any other disease the disease of homosexuality can be cured by continuous and serious sadhana (chanting, reading, etc.) And it should be, because it is “…so degraded…” that “…it is not to be uttered….” (guess who these quotes are from.)

  5. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    To Bhakta Mikael!

    Pamho, agtSP!

    “How can anyone avoid their sexuality – heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual? What we can avoid is acting out our sexuality, wether we possess this or that sexual preference.”

    We can avoid sexuality by trancending the modes of material nature – and thereby the body. That’s done by following the process of sadhana-bhakti. In fact there’s no such thing as “their sexuality”, “our sexuality” or “his or her sexuality”. There is only the sexuality of the body, and one way that sexuality can be perverted is by creating an artificial and obominable sex impulse – which homosexuality is (these are Prabhupadas words in case you should wonder.)

  6. BhaktaMikael says :

    To Ajita Krishna Dasa, PAMHO. AGTSP!

    I beg your pardon prabhu, but some of your statements make no sense. You say that homosexuality is first of all a perversion of the soul´s original love for Krishna. OK. So that means that heterosexuality is also a perversion of the soul´s original love for Krishna – right?

    I would be interesting to hear your definition of “gross” and “subtle” forms of sexuality. What I have learned from the teachings of Shrila Prabhupada (which is also confirmed by modern psychology) is that “subtle sexuality” refers to things like aggression, passion (the urge to build scyscrapers, for instance) etc. Is this your definition also? In that case, where is the difference between hetero- and homosexuality? It is simply sexuality in subtle forms.
    “Gross sexuality” may be analyzed as 1) the basic sexual identity of a person (a material body, to be precise); 2) sexual acts based on that (material) identity. Judging from your conclusions, it means that heterosexuality is also a perversion, both in gross and subtle forms. Correct?

    The only actual difference between homosexual acts and heterosexual acts is the fact that sexual intercourse resulting in pregnancy requires a male body and a female body. If we accept the statement that sexual intercourse is only meant for producing children, then naturally homosexual activities fill no purpose in that regard. Homosexuals are therefore left with one option: celibacy, whereas heterosexuals are left with two options: celibacy, or sexual intercourse meant for producing a child. What is the problem with this? Why do I get the feeling that you only refer to homosexuality when you say that “we can avoid sexuality by transcending the modes of material nature”? Or do you suggest, that in order to transcend the modes of material nature, we must stop producing children also?

    You say that homosexuality is a disease and can be cured by sadhana-bhakti. So what is it you mean can be cured – the homosexual identity of a devotee, or the sexual desires and impulses (resulting in acts)?
    As we have now concluded that there is no difference between the two forms of sexuality other than the aspect of potential child-production, doesn´t this mean that heterosexual devotees are also diseased by their heterosexuality and should be cured by sadhana-bhakti? Why hasn´t this happened yet? Why are there still children being produced by devotees? It certainly cannot be because their sexuality has been exterminated by sadhana, or am I missing something? Please explain, thank you.

  7. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    1) Yes, both homosexual and heterosexual desires are a perversion of the souls original love for Krishna.

    2) With gross sexuality I referred to the physical act of sex.

    3) With subtle sexuality I referred to psychological exchanges motivated by conscious and/or subconcious sex desire. Both heterosexual and homosexual desires are perversions of the souls original love for God, but in the conditioned state the natural flow of the sex impulse is towards the opposite sex. Therefore homosexual desires are a further perversion. One that can’t be engaged in devotional service.

    5)

    “The only actual difference between homosexual acts and heterosexual acts is the fact that sexual intercourse resulting in pregnancy requires a male body and a female body.”

    I disagree, for example, the whole mentality of a person suffering the disease of being homosexual influences that persons environment in a negative way, a way that brings no one closer to Krishna. On the other hand the mentality of a heterosexual who engages his or her desires in the service of Krishna can elevate others.

    6)

    “Homosexuals are therefore left with one option: celibacy, whereas heterosexuals are left with two options: celibacy, or sexual intercourse meant for producing a child.”

    Here I also disagree. In the conditioned state a homosexual person can, via sadhana-bhakti, get his or her perverted sex desire redirected to the natural object which is the opposite sex and then from that point engage that desire in the service of Krishna (sex life not contrary to religious scripture) and ultimately totally trancend all sex desires.

    7)

    “Why do I get the feeling that you only refer to homosexuality when you say that “we can avoid sexuality by transcending the modes of material nature”

    I don’t know. I referred to both homosexuals and heterosexuals.

    8)

    “You say that homosexuality is a disease and can be cured by sadhana-bhakti. So what is it you mean can be cured – the homosexual identity of a devotee, or the sexual desires and impulses (resulting in acts)?”

    Both!

    9)

    “…doesn´t this mean that heterosexual devotees are also diseased by their heterosexuality and should be cured by sadhana-bhakti?”

    Yes, but their disease is not so bad, because it can be engaged in Krishnas service whereas homosexuals disease is a further perversion. A soul conditioned by homosexual desires is, at least when it comes to sex, more degraded than a soul conditioned by heterosexual desires.

    10)

    “Why hasn´t this happened yet?

    How do you know it hasn’t happened for some? And it takes a long time to become a pure devotee.

    11)

    “Why are there still children being produced by devotees?”

    Because a) some are conditioned by sex desires and are engaging them in Krishnas service and b) even if you are not conditioned by sex desires you can choose to produce children with the aim of making Krishnas family bigger, in Krishnas service.

    “It certainly cannot be because their sexuality has been exterminated by sadhana,…”

    But it might be that they are no longer conditioned by sex desire. And again, it’s not their sexuality but the body’s sexuality.

    Looking forward to your reply Prabhu!

  8. shiva says :

    Some of the comments have shown that what HH Hrdayananda Maharaja is saying is not being heard by those commenting. What I hear is that Maharaja is making a plea to refrain from bashing homosexuality because it serves to alienate them from Iskcon and from gaudiya vasinavism. He is not making a case for homosexuality, he is asking that we be compassionate to all conditioned souls as that is our purpose as preachers of Sri Caitanya’s message of love of God. We do not find any bona fide acarya in gaudiya history preaching regularly about homosexuality. Their focus has always been preaching about the positive benefits of Krishna bhakti and the dangers of not taking to Krishna bhakti. Some criticism is made of materialistic life but we do not find an obsession on anti homosexuality in any bona fide acarya’s legacy.

    It is not a wise course of action for the preaching mission to engage in an obsessive rhetoric which will automatically alienate a large portion of society, especially since the portion of society which will be alienated by their perception of politically incorrect speech and ideology are the people who are most likely to take an interest in yoga and vedic culture. There is the expression to “go in like a needle and come out like a plow”, as well as “you can catch more flies with honey then with vinegar”. We need to be circumspect with our preaching otherwise our effectiveness as a source of spiritual solace will be hampered by perception of Krishna consciousness as anachronistic and bigoted. Time, place and circumstance, desa pala katra. That is important for a preacher to understand when engaged in preaching work. You don’t go to preach at a women’s college that women are less intelligent, and you don’t preach to the public at large in the western countries in today’s world that homosexuality is perverted and sinful. Our job when confronting the public is to attract people to take to Krishna bhakti, not to make them despise or ridicule Krishna bhakti because we perceive our duty to be moral critics of modern society. Critiquing the morals and ethics of modern society should be done with discretion if we want to be successful preachers. Srila Prabhupada criticized modern society in lectures and conversations but he did so in a way that was appropriate to the audience at hand.

  9. Amara_dasa says :

    I agree with Shiva prabhu! I think it is very offensive when devotees try to demonize and bash our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, as Ajita Krishna Dasa seems to be doing. What purpose does it serve other than to drive people away from our movement?

    I prefer Srila Prabhupada’s own approach to this issue. One time in Hawaii, Siddhasvarupa dasa was trying to criticize gay devotees in front of Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada said, “Sex is sex. What is the difference if a person is held in this material world by a gold chain or by a silver chain?”

    For devotees to argue that this person’s sexual orientation is very nice, and this person’s sexual orientation is very bad, is like saying that being right-handed is very natural and normal and being left-handed is very perverted and abnormal. It is what it is. The important thing is to dovetail everyone in the service of Krishna according to their nature.

  10. BhaktaMikael says :

    To Ajita Krishna Dasa, PAMHO.
    “Therefore homosexual desires are a further perversion. One that can’t be engaged in devotional service.”

    Disagree. In what way do you mean that homophobia can be engaged in devotional service? Because we are not even speaking about gross sexuality here (according to your definition) but merely the fact that a certain percentage (up to 10% according to studies) of the world´s population is (for some reason, which we may discuss later) has homo- or bisexual preferences. The same percentage obviously applies to the stock of ISKCON members. The only message you have produced so far is that all these devotees are suffering from a disease and they should be cured by our bhakti-yoga process. So what is your practical suggestion? Are they not already in sadhana, for years or decades? Do you know the sexual identity of all your devotee friends? How many times have you witnessed homosexual behaviour among your godbrothers and sisters? What do you do to cure them from their disease? You are apparantly dismissing a lot of devotees, saying that they are not engaged in devotional service, without even knowing who they are! You claim this very thing in your next statement:

    “the whole mentality of a person suffering the disease of being homosexual influences that persons environment in a negative way, a way that brings no one closer to Krishna.”

    This statement means nothing if you cannot back it up with some examples or evidence. You seem to be very well-informed about the whole mentality of a devotee whose body happens to possess a homosexual preference. Where does this knowledge of yours come from? I agree with Amara prabhu and his analogy of being left/right-handed. Does the whole mentality of a left-handed devotee also influence his/her environment in a particular way?

    8) May I ask, what is your theory about the cause of homosexuality? How and when does a person develop sexual orientation? It sounds to me that you believe it is something chosen, something which a person volontarily “creates”. Everyone knows this to be nonsense, just as no one chooses to be right- or left-handed.

    10) I know it hasn´t happened as soon as there is a child being produced in our movement! No man or woman can produce a child without being sexually active. No man can produce an erection without being sexually aroused. So you are speaking against child production also?

    “even if you are not conditioned by sex desires you can choose to produce children.”

    How is this done?

    “But it might be that they are no longer conditioned by sex desire. And again, it’s not their sexuality but the body’s sexuality.”

    Yes, and why do you assume that homosexuals have a different setup? Maybe it´s even easier for a homosexual to be no longer conditioned by sex desire? And yes: even for homosexuals, it´s not their sexuality but the body´s sexuality, right?
    So if a devotee with a homosexual body has overcome the body´s sex desire – then it is ok, meaning he or she doesn´t any longer influence the environment in a negative way, but on the contrary brings others closer to Krishna? Why do you assume this is not already happening?

  11. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #8 PAMHO, AGTSP!

    “What I hear is that Maharaja is making a plea to refrain from bashing homosexuality because it serves to alienate them from Iskcon and from gaudiya vasinavism. He is not making a case for homosexuality,…”

    I never commented upon Maharaja’s views. But Prabhupada often “bashed” homosexuality in his conversations, letters and a few times in his books.

    I want to make one thing very clear: I have not been talking about how we should preach about homosexuality. I just wanted to make it clear what it is, and in which position a homosexual person is. Let’s not fool ourselves about that.

    “We do not find any bona fide acarya in gaudiya history preaching regularly about homosexuality. Their focus has always been preaching about the positive benefits of Krishna bhakti and the dangers of not taking to Krishna bhakti.”

    Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Maharaja and Gaura Kishora Dasa Babaji Maharaja both said that the best form of preaching is to focus on negative things, because otherwise people will never wake up. (You can read about this in Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja’s very good text “On Preaching Strongly In Prabhupada’s Service”. It’s on the Vedabase).

    “Some criticism is made of materialistic life but we do not find an obsession on anti homosexuality in any bona fide acarya’s legacy.”

    I’m not recommending anyone to be obsessed with this issue. But my guess would be that this issue was not very relevant in India at that time, and therefore there was no big need to talk about it. There is also not a lot of talk about pedophilia, zoophilia, nekrophilia etc. in the words of our previous acaryas, but does that mean we should not condemn it? Of course we should.

    “It is not a wise course of action for the preaching mission to engage in an obsessive rhetoric…”

    Before we start talking about how we should preach about the issue I think we should try to understand it in the context of Vedic culture first.

    I’ve haven’t even begun to speak about how we should preach about it. In my job as a teacher I have been working quite closely with both a gay and a lesbian and I never made a comment about their sexual preferences. I just tried to be polite. I also helped a journalist from the Danish Gay and Lesbian Society to write an article about ISKCON and homosexuality. I never bashed him or homosexuals in that case. I just gave them the idea that we are not these bodies and that we should become trancendental to sex desire. So I’m not a homophobic person, but I’m not going to think that homosexuality is not abominable and a degraded form of sex. And sometimes, when I think it’s necesarry , I state it publicly.

  12. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #9 Pamho, agtSP!

    “I think it is very offensive when devotees try to demonize and bash our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, as Ajita Krishna Dasa seems to be doing.”

    Excuse me Prabhu! But I’m not trying to bash anyone. I’m simply stating the truth about the nature of homosexuality – it’s abominable and more degraded than heterosexuality.

    “What purpose does it serve other than to drive people away from our movement?”

    Any sincere person is welcome, but remember that it’s not quantity but quality we want.

    “One time in Hawaii, Siddhasvarupa dasa was trying to criticize gay devotees in front of Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada said, “Sex is sex. What is the difference if a person is held in this material world by a gold chain or by a silver chain?”

    But that was definitely not his approach in his books, letters and many conversations. I see your quote is not on the Vedabase. From where do you have it? If Prabhupada said it then we should remember two things:

    1) He said it as a preaching strategy

    2) He indicated that homosexuality was a silver chain whereas heterosexuality was the gold chain, which means that there’s a qualitative difference between the two.

    “For devotees to argue that this person’s sexual orientation is very nice, and this person’s sexual orientation is very bad, is like saying that being right-handed is very natural and normal and being left-handed is very perverted and abnormal. It is what it is.”

    Prabhupada said that homosexuality is more degraded than heterosexuality. Therefore you are indirectly criticesing Prabhupada.

    “The important thing is to dovetail everyone in the service of Krishna according to their nature.”

    Who has said otherwise? But homsexuality can not be dovetalied.

  13. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    “In what way do you mean that homophobia can be engaged in devotional service?”

    If you postulate that I said that then you are making a straw man-argument. And even if I said it, which I didn’t, then it would be an argument from ignorance to postulate that it then followed that homosexuality can be engaged in devotional service.

    “The only message you have produced so far is that all these devotees are suffering from a disease and they should be cured by our bhakti-yoga process.”

    Yes, that’s my whole point.

    “So what is your practical suggestion? Are they not already in sadhana, for years or decades?”

    They should continue. At least when they get passed the anartha-nivritti stage these urges will be gone.

    “Do you know the sexual identity of all your devotee friends? How many times have you witnessed homosexual behaviour among your godbrothers and sisters? What do you do to cure them from their disease?”

    What is the relevance of these questions?

    “You are apparantly dismissing a lot of devotees, saying that they are not engaged in devotional service, without even knowing who they are!”

    I said that homosexuality can’t be engaged in devotional service. I never said that homosexuals can’t do any form of devotional service. They can do hundres of things. Chanting for example.

    AKD: “the whole mentality of a person suffering the disease of being homosexual influences that persons environment in a negative way, a way that brings no one closer to Krishna.”

    “This statement means nothing if you cannot back it up with some examples or evidence.”

    What I mean is that all the homosexual things going on in the head of a homosexual is influencing others in a negative way. Of course a homosexual can also have normal Krishna conciouss thought which have a positive effect on others. It’s common psychological knowledge that our thoughts influences others. Therefore we are, to give an example, advised not to associate with non devotees.

    “You seem to be very well-informed about the whole mentality of a devotee whose body happens to possess a homosexual preference. Where does this knowledge of yours come from?”

    From reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.

    “May I ask, what is your theory about the cause of homosexuality? How and when does a person develop sexual orientation? It sounds to me that you believe it is something chosen, something which a person volontarily “creates”. Everyone knows this to be nonsense, just as no one chooses to be right- or left-handed.”

    It all comes from guna-sanga, associating with the modes of nature. When a person does that he becomes conditioned to enjoying them in a specific way ad he get a body with a certain set of senses so that he can enjoy. Whatever we do forms our subtle body which then becomes to cause of our next gross body. So we create our mental state and our gross bodies by our actions. By becomming Krishna counscious the soul can regain it’s control over the subtle and gross body and eliminate all the anarthas he formerly created, including the anartha of being attracted to the same sex – and that which is worse.

    “I know it hasn´t happened as soon as there is a child being produced in our movement! No man or woman can produce a child without being sexually active. No man can produce an erection without being sexually aroused. So you are speaking against child production also?”

    Let me repeat. Sex with the pupose of creating Krishna conciouss offspring is devotional service. Some devotees have trancended the sexual urge. But therefore they can get children anyway if they so choose. To be sexually aroused for the purpose of creating KC-children is devotional service. Why should a self-realized person not be able to have sex? A self-realized person can eat even though he’s not attached to food. His stomach doesn’t stop producing acid. He simply makes the decission that “I want to have sex” and then the body follows. Wasn’t Prabhupada a pure devotee all his life? Didn’t he have sex? What about all the other pure devotees in our sampradaya who had children? It’s absolutely not impossible to be a pure devotee and to have sex with the purpose of creating KC-children.

    “Yes, and why do you assume that homosexuals have a different setup?”

    Of course, they are conditioned differently – ni a more degraded way, at least when it comes to sex life. These are Prabhupada’s words.

    “Maybe it´s even easier for a homosexual to be no longer conditioned by sex desire?”

    Maybe this, maybe that! Why should it be when they are sexually more degraded?

    “And yes: even for homosexuals, it´s not their sexuality but the body´s sexuality, right? So if a devotee with a homosexual body has overcome the body´s sex desire – then it is ok, meaning he or she doesn´t any longer influence the environment in a negative way, but on the contrary brings others closer to Krishna? Why do you assume this is not already happening?”

    I don’t assume this is not happening. I think it is happening. But then such a person is no longer a homosexual, but cured. Even cured for heterosexual urges.

  14. shiva says :

    Ajita Krishna Dasa prabhu you wrote:

    Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Maharaja and Gaura Kishora Dasa Babaji Maharaja both said that the best form of preaching is to focus on negative things, because otherwise people will never wake up. (You can read about this in Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja’s very good text “On Preaching Strongly In Prabhupada’s Service”. It’s on the Vedabase).

    I do not have the Vedabase and I couldn’t find what you refer to elsewhere, could you post the relevant quotes and their sources?

    You also wrote:

    I want to make one thing very clear: I have not been talking about how we should preach about homosexuality. I just wanted to make it clear what it is, and in which position a homosexual person is. Let’s not fool ourselves about that.

    I’m not recommending anyone to be obsessed with this issue. But my guess would be that this issue was not very relevant in India at that time, and therefore there was no big need to talk about it. There is also not a lot of talk about pedophilia, zoophilia, nekrophilia etc. in the words of our previous acaryas, but does that mean we should not condemn it? Of course we should.

    When you preach on a public forum which is accesible to anyone then you are preaching to the public. I am sure the vaisnavas who read these posts already know the position of sastra and the guru parampara on homosexuality, they don’t need you to “make it clear”. By posting what you have you are taking (like others do as well) an obsessive posture which can only harm Iskcon’s reputation to our western audience. If our western audience were nothing but conservative religious christians and muslims then there would be no problem, they are very anti homosexual. But our audience in the west besides the Indian community is not going to to take your clarification as a sign of Iskcon’s spiritual purity, rather they will see it as offensive and bigoted, as well as anachronistic and misguided. All for what? So you can “clarify” the “negative” aspects of modern western culture? You say that homosexuality wasn’t a relevant issue previously in India and that therefore there was no reason for the acaryas to talk about it. The fact is that homosexuality in the west today is a political and cultural touchstone or measure of where a person is at. If you are openly and loudly condemning homosexuals as deviant sinners then you are categorized by most people who will be naturally attracted to vedic culture as a right wing conservative wacko. This is simply the fact on the ground in the western world today. Some devotees don’t seem to understand the concept of kala desa patra. If our target audience will disregard the message of Sri Caitanya if it comes from a source which they see as bigoted and preaching the same message as the people they hate, then what value does your discourse serve? Should we start talking about all the things mentioned in the Manu Samhita as appropriate public discourse? Should we talk about things that we know will cause our preaching effectiveness to suffer simply because we think we need to be the moral policeman “on the job”?

    What I see from you here is in fact obsessiveness, nothing more. Are you really believing that the vaisnavas who read this are in ignorance on this topic? What you are doing is bashing people who have already heard the sastric version on the topic of homosexuality. How is it any different then an obese person being told by their family that they are fat and unattractive all of the time? Nothing you tell them will change there nature. So in effect all you are doing is pointing your finger at them and calling them perverts and sinners, repeatedly. I’d bet that every homosexual who has become a vaisnava checked out the gaudiya position on homosexuality when they first became interested in gaudiya vaisnavism. Your “clarification” is really a manifestation of an obsessive attitude, it does no one any good.

  15. Amara_dasa says :

    Hare Krishna! I find the rantings of Ajita Krishna dasa to be very offensive and not at all in the mood of Srila Prabhupada. Why is he so negative toward gay and lesbian devotees, and why does he seem to be so obsessed with this issue? Perhaps he has some serious issues to deal with himself. In any case, it’s devotees like him who drive people away from Krishna consciousness with his negative and fanatical style of preaching. And I don’t mean just gay and lesbian devotees, but also those who are sympathetic to them such as friends, relative, co-workers and so on. Personally, I’m surprised Ajita Krishna’s negative rantings are even being posted here.

  16. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #15

    Apparently you are not able to counter my arguments. Instead you come forward with an ad homoniem attack. You still need to prove your points, and if you don’t then no one has any reason the believe you.

  17. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    “I do not have the Vedabase and I couldn’t find what you refer to elsewhere, could you post the relevant quotes and their sources?”

    I have the Vedabase on a separate computer, so I can’t give you the what you desire. But they are in the book “My Memories of Srila Prabhupada” which are available for purchase here: http://www.bvks.com/catalog_type.aspx. The chapter is called “On Preaching Strongly in Prabhupada’s Service” or something very similar.

    This forum is not visited by many karmis, and Prabhupada also preached to the public through his books, and in his books he said that homosexuality is demonic. He also knew his lectures and conversations were being recorded. Are there any instances were he ordered that we should not repeat his message to the public? Only a few times did this happen, but it was not when homosexuality was being discussed, AFAIK.

    And what will we do when the pro-homos we have been preaching to finds out you have been lying and hiding the truth from them? What do you think they will say when they read Prabhupada “bashing” homosexuals? It much more dangerous to lie than to tell the truth.

    You postulate that the Vaisnavas here already know all that what I have said about homosexuality is true. But apparently that can’t be since many of these Vaisnavas have a very different view on the matter than I have. They think there is some other truth about it, but it seems like they haven’t argued reasonably for that view.

    To me it seems that what you are proposing will lead to a compromise in our preaching. Prabhupada said we should not become like the ones we preach to, but make them become like us.

    Should we also stop our preaching about what the Vedas say about modern science?

    I think we should preach much more strongly. That is more effective. And we shouldn’t be affraid of confronting the public on controversial matters. People actually respect when you stick to your guns instead of being weak and compromising. So let us continue telling the truth about homosexuality – especially when someone wants lie about our actual position about it.

    And remember that an ad hominem attack on me does not prove your points. Even if I was a fanatical, homophopic person with sexual problems it still wouldn’t prove my arguments wrong. If you want to prove your point you should stick to the actual arguments.

  18. Lalita Madhava d.d. says :

    First of all, allow me to acknowledge that I am completely out of my depth with regard to “tritiya prakrti” and all of the references from Sanskrit literatures regarding third-gender issues. These issues have never affected my life directly or indirectly and thus I have never made it my business to do any sort of research.

    Secondly, I also realize that going off half-cocked with a response to this discussion could potentially undermine any points I may attempt to make, due to their being poorly thought out.

    That said, I am pretty disturbed by the vitriol that Ajita Krishna seems to be directing toward Amara Prabhu and I feel compelled to say something.

    It seems to me to be fairly obvious, a matter of common sense, that if there are, in fact, numerous references in Sanskrit literatures to genders that are not black and white (i.e. male gender identification in a male body and female gender identification in a female body), we really need to take this into consideration before passing judgement on others and labeling them so harshly. If there is a whole segment of our society that does not fit into our black and white view of things – a segment of society which is acknowledged and given a place within Vedic society – perhaps we need to rethink our approach. And I think we should respect these people’s desires to “do the right thing” and maintain monogamous relationships with Krishna as the goal.

    As a professional artist and designer, I subscribe to many design magazines. A contributing editor of one interior decorating magazine is a gay man who has had numerous homes featured, including several of his own. Just by reading the photographic essays of his work over the years, I have admiringly watched his family evolve. First he was a single man just out of design school. Then, along the way, he bought a vacation home in the Midwest town where he grew up and adopted a mixed-race foster child. He continued to buy, fix up and re-sell houses, and eventually adopted another son. Somewhere along the line he acquired a partner, and the last pictorial essay I read described how he and his partner had renovated another home and adopted a baby daughter. Several of the photos featured an adorable, frilly little girl’s room that was meant to be comfortable and nurturing for their new little girl.

    Frankly, I found this to be wonderful and it filled my heart with joy. All over ISKCON we have children being abused and neglected. Here in Alachua alone there are numerous situations in which, embarrassingly, Social Services has to intervene. And these are children of heterosexual devotees. Yet, on the other hand, we have a gay couple cherishing and raising their children in a more conscientious, nurturing way than some so-called devotees.

    So I don’t think it’s really all so black and white, and I think a little compassion and broader thinking would go a long way. I respect Hridayananda Maharaja’s courage, conviction and compassion in speaking up on this issue.

  19. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #18

    Hare Krishna mataji! Pamho, agtSP!

    I really don’t think you give reasons why we should accept your views. To me it seems more like an emotional appeal. I frankly feel disgusted with the admiration of the degraded and dangerous sex life of the “family” you depict. Prabhupada would no doubt have been disgusted and chocked, like he was many other times when he encountered these very fallen people. Superficially it might seem that a homosexual couple can give love etc. to their child, but they are factually polluting them with their perverse “family” values and life style.

    If anyone wants to justify a homosexual life style then please do so by citing relevant quotes from the Vedic literature and/or Srila Prabhupada.

  20. Lalita Madhava d.d. says :

    Dear Ajita Krishna Prabhu,

    Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. I will have to give some more thought to this issue before responding to your posting in depth, but preliminarily I would just like to make a couple of points.

    First of all, Srila Prabhupada was (and is) extremely compassionate. ISKCON was meant to be a house in which the whole world could live. That’s a pretty broad spectrum of people. We have to find a way to compassionately engage all persons on whatever level they are on, regardless of their mixed karma or conflicted sexuality.

    And secondly, while we certainly have to be philosophically sound in our approach to all issues, including this one, I think it is a dangerous path to claim to be Srila Prabhupada’s mouthpiece – to presume to know the inner thoughts or feelings of such an exalted personality.

    Thirdly, I am troubled by your repeated use of words like “demonic” and “abominable” in relation to gay Vaisnavas. These are people who understand that Krishna is God, who chant the Holy Names and engage in the nine processes of devotional service. They do not eat cows. How rare are Vaisnavas in this material world? And while they could choose to be anywhere, they are choosing to serve Srila Prabhupada and his mission and serve the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead IN SPITE OF the cruel and uncompassionate treatment they often receive from others in ISKCON.

    And finally, as far as your feeling “disgusted” by my admiration for a gay couple, I don’t know what to say about that. Raising my children has been the #1 priority in my life ever since I prayed to the Deities for them. Now I also have a wonderful grandchild. And I understand what an austerity, what a sacrifice and what a labor of love it is to raise children properly. Therefore I admire any people who, in spite of incredible obstacles and challenges (not the least of which is being gay) take on the responsibility to provide a loving and nurturing home for otherwise unwanted children.

    Your servant,
    Lalita Madhava d.d.

  21. Amara_dasa says :

    Hare Krishna! First of all I would like to thank Lalita Madhava d.d. for her positive posting. It is indeed true that our fellow gay and lesbian citizens are not the “demons” that some devotees try to make them out to be. In many cases, they are very pious and interested in spiritual life.

    To Ajita Krishna dasa, in my last post I sent a link that was filled with references to positive expressions of same-sex orientation in Vedic literature, along with quotes from Srila Prabhupada, but unfortunately it was not posted for some reason.

    In any case, I want to help you grow in your Krsna consciousness and become a more effective and loving preacher, as Srila Prabhupada was. I think it would be best for you to carefully study the way in which Srila Prabhupada dealt with his many gay and lesbian disciples, such as myself, and also with “karmi” homosexuals such as Allen Ginsberg. In these cases you will see that His Divine Grace never “blasted” them with the philosophy or made them feel offended in any way. Rather, he welcomed them completely, inspired them to engage in Krsna’s service, and gradually encouraged them to renounce sense gratification according to their ability.

    Your severe, Gita-thumping tactics will only drive people away from Krsna. If you are unwilling to follow Srila Prabhupada’s own example in this regard, then I simply advise you to stop concentrating on gay and lesbian issues and instead preach in other areas, where you might be more successful.

    Your sincere well-wisher,

    Amara dasa

  22. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #21

    “It is indeed true that our fellow gay and lesbian citizens are not the “demons” that some devotees try to make them out to be.”

    Some must be better then others. But if they act out their sexual desires that is very abominable. And if they distort our philosophy by propagating homosexual marriages that has to be addressed.

    “I think it would be best for you to carefully study the way in which Srila Prabhupada dealt with his many gay and lesbian disciples, such as myself, and also with “karmi” homosexuals such as Allen Ginsberg. In these cases you will see that His Divine Grace never “blasted” them with the philosophy or made them feel offended in any way. Rather, he welcomed them completely, inspired them to engage in Krsna’s service, and gradually encouraged them to renounce sense gratification according to their ability.”

    Fine! But we have to stop this false philosophy of accepting homosexual marriages. We can’t be soft preachers if we at the time distort and misrepresent our philosophy. Prabhupada would never do that. Therefore I think it’s about time that we stop this homosexual marriage business, and what follows from it.

    “Your severe, Gita-thumping tactics will only drive people away from Krsna.”

    Only those who are not sincere.

    “If you are unwilling to follow Srila Prabhupada’s own example in this regard, then I simply advise you to stop concentrating on gay and lesbian issues and instead preach in other areas, where you might be more successful.”

    You need to demonstrate that I do not follow Prabhupada’s own example and that you are. Not just state it.

    I think I have provided ample evidence that my view is supported by Prabhupada.

  23. madhava gosh says :

    Srila Prahbupada’s first disciple that moved in with him and started serving him was gay. This at a time he was contemplating abandoning his American mission. The first disciple he took to India was gay. The first sannyasa he initiated was gay. It was the gay coomunity that rallied about him at 26 2nd Avenue and helped kick start ISKCON.

    Now, you could make a case that he was naive and didn’t know they were gay… Otherwise, regardless of his position on homosexuals, he didn’t exclude them. Varna ashram means everyone has a place from which to start.

  24. Braja Sevaki says :

    Lalita Madhava writes:

    “Thirdly, I am troubled by your repeated use of words like “demonic” and “abominable” in relation to gay Vaisnavas.”

    Srila Prabhupada writes:

    “The homosexual appetite of a man for another man is demoniac and is not for any sane man in the ordinary course of life.” SB 3.20.26

    I wonder if this above quote falls into the category of “severe, Gita-thumping tactics” which will “drive people away from Krsna.”? It seems to be, according to Amara das’s version of what is “acceptable” and what is not.

    Vaisnavas are not interested in hearing the Christian-based, moralistic edicts that dictate the value system of Americans — and which, due to America forcing their own lack of culture on the rest of the world, is also the default system for the rest of the world. Such morals shy away from that which is unpalatable to hear, and dismiss that which is undigestible according to that faulty moral system, even though it is the absolute truth according to the revealed scriptures. Just because the abominable (yes, abominable :) American culture dictates that it is “okay” for gay couples to adopt and raise children according to their own “family values,” does not negate the fact that Srila Prabhupada and every acarya before him considered homosexuality “demoniac.” That one member — or even many members — of this conference finds that “admirable” doesn’t make it so. It is a sad and sick reminder of the breakdown of society. Applauding such behavior doesn’t make society better, nor is it evidence of advancement of thought, speech, behavior, or spiritual qualifiication in a society.

    In Kali-yuga, the divine and the demoniac live in the same body. That is how someone like Ajita Krishna prabhu can call such behavior “demoniac” in those who are devotees. Ajita Krishna is not “gay bashing.” The discussion is about homosexuality. If the discussion were about any other demoniac mentality, then I’m sure he would be accused of “bashing” there as well by those who cannot accept Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. Because that’s actually what we’re dealing with here: the inability to hear and accept scripture and to act upon it. Fair enough, if someone can’t: the majority of the population can’t. But don’t try and argue that someone is “wrong” because they do.

    The philosophy of Krishna consciousness is not an “optinoal extra” for one who claims to be a follower of Srila Prabhupada. One cannot accept the tenets of “compassion” and in the same breath dismiss the words of the Srimad Bhagavatam as cruel, heartless, compassionless, or “dangerous.” Nor does anyone have the right to tell a devotee to go away and preach about something else, just because it disturbs one to hear the truth.

    If one claims to be exercising “compassion” without following the Vedic sastric version of compassion, their conclusions, statements, and actions are erroneous. Worse, they are in themselves an act of violence.

    Compassion upon an individual is not displayed by applauding the development of a demoniac principle into a lifestyle that is meant to be accepted and admired by the general population to the point where spiritualists and transcendentalists who see such behavior as a symptom of a demoniac mentality are considered a “danger” to society. I suggest it is this kind of approach that is the real danger.

    Furthermore, Ajita Krishna is well within his rights to represent Srila Prabhupada. What are we all doing in ISKCON if not representing Srila Prabhupada? According to Ajita Krishna prabhu’s presentation of philosophy, he has perfectly presented Srila Prabhupada. That he has not succumbed to sentiment and emotion seems to be a problem for others. But it is not a required ingredient in the presentation of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. He has not overstepped any boundaries, he has not said anything out of line, he has simply repeated Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.

    Less of the devotee bashing, here, and more philosophy please. Homosexualtiy in ISKCON is not one person’s private domain where they can dictate who will speak and what will be said. What kind of craziness is this?

  25. mpcd says :

    Dear Devotees
    PAMHO.
    AGTSP

    I think Maharaja has clarified his stand and I should accept the version of the senior Vaishnava. It is necessary to be compassionate to one and all. Depending on one’s level in Krishna consciousness we may treat people differently. Madhyamas may distinguish between innocent and antagonistic and favorable.What wld me a Kanishta know about the thoughts of Uttamas.
    I think I would put this controversy behind and proceed onto other things as this topic may drive one more to Homo..Hetro..consciousness rather than Krishna consciousness.
    I can only advise my mind to desist from being distracted from Krishna, but it still is….attracted by so many material things…pray for all of your mercy and blessings…and seek forgiveness for any offence known and unknown. ys..mpcd

  26. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #23
    Pamho, agtSP!

    “Srila Prahbupada’s first disciple that moved in with him and started serving him was gay. This at a time he was contemplating abandoning his American mission. The first disciple he took to India was gay. The first sannyasa he initiated was gay. It was the gay coomunity that rallied about him at 26 2nd Avenue and helped kick start ISKCON.”

    And so what? What does that prove?

    “Now, you could make a case that he was naive and didn’t know they were gay…”

    Why sholdn’t he know?

    ” Otherwise, regardless of his position on homosexuals, he didn’t exclude them.”

    Has anyone here said he did? Has anyone here said they should?

    “Varna ashram means everyone has a place from which to start.”

    Homosexuals falls outside the varnasrama system. They are too fallen!

  27. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #25

    “I think Maharaja has clarified his stand and I should accept the version of the senior Vaishnava.”

    Also if a major–hopefully most–part of senior vaisnavas disagree with him? The system is guru, sadhu, sastra, and any position that contradicts these should be rejected, no matter how senior the person who holds that position is.

    ” It is necessary to be compassionate to one and all. Depending on one’s level in Krishna consciousness we may treat people differently. Madhyamas may distinguish between innocent and antagonistic and favorable.What wld me a Kanishta know about the thoughts of Uttamas.”

    The uttama comes down to the madhyama platform to preach, so there is no use of trying to argue that someone preaches from the uttama-platform. And besides that you could justify any perverse action by pointing out that no one can understand the uttama, but that is not our philosophy. We should use our discrimination and guru, sadhu, sastra.

    “I think I would put this controversy behind and proceed onto other things as this topic may drive one more to Homo..Hetro..consciousness rather than Krishna consciousness.”

    I thinks it’s a very important topic because the pro-homo-marriage-people have the potential to be a major cause for the degradation and total breakdown of ISKCON, and thereby the possibility of saving the fallen souls will by gone.

  28. Lalita Madhava d.d. says :

    Ajita Krishna Prabhu, there are indeed many statements made by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, as well as statements from the Bhagavatam and other Vedic literatures, regarding the issue of homosexuality. I don’t think Hridayananda Maharaja or anyone else is disputing that or attempting to contradict or minimize those statements. I myself certainly am not. I have only tried to suggest kind and compassionate treatment of other Vaisnavas, broader understanding of their challenges, and that we find a way to include rather than exclude them.

    And it is certainly your right to adhere to and advocate a conservative, fundamentalist viewpoint with regard to how the practical aspects of this issue should be approached by the leadership of ISKCON. But, frankly, the way you express your views and seemingly claim to possess the only correct understanding or application of the statements of Srila Prabhupada and the acaryas is coming across in a completely fanatical, judgemental, dogmatic, attacking and self-righteous way. If you are indeed genuinely concerned about the breakdown of ISKCON (and not just about repeatedly forcing your own viewpoint on everyone in a dozen vitriolic postings) then you need to consider that this mood and this kind of unpalatable “preaching” is extremely alienating, both to people who are already devotees as well as to prospective new devotees.

    You state that “homosexuals fall outside the varnasrama system…(because) they are too fallen.” So since you yourself are not fallen, perhaps you could have the magnanimity to express your views with kindness and compassion, without insulting and demeaning the many sincere devotees whose struggles are different from your own.

  29. Braja Sevaki says :

    Lalita Madhava writes:

    “But, frankly, the way you express your views and seemingly claim to possess the only correct understanding or application of the statements of Srila Prabhupada and the acaryas is coming across in a completely fanatical, judgemental, dogmatic, attacking and self-righteous way.”

    In terms of your own input, Lalita Madhava, your words could be applied to yourself thus: “The way you express your views and seemingly claim to possess the only correct understanding or application of the statements of Srila Prabhupada and the acaryas is coming across in a completely unfounded, unsastric, emotional, sentimental, passive-aggressive, and self-righteous way.”

    Something to think about.

  30. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    Pamho, agtSP

    “…there are indeed many statements made by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, as well as statements from the Bhagavatam and other Vedic literatures, regarding the issue of homosexuality. I don’t think Hridayananda Maharaja or anyone else is disputing that or attempting to contradict or minimize those statements.”

    I think some are disputing it. Maybe they have no bad intentions, but they contradict Prabhupada, no doubt.

    “I have only tried to suggest kind and compassionate treatment of other Vaisnavas, broader understanding of their challenges, and that we find a way to include rather than exclude them.
    And it.”

    I have never said they should not be included. My point is that they should not be included at the cost of our philosophy. It’s a false dichtomy to say that either they should be included or excluded, because the more obvious point is that they should be included as much as possible without there being any damage to our philosophy and devotees.

    “…is certainly your right to adhere to and advocate a conservative, fundamentalist viewpoint with regard to how the practical aspects of this issue should be approached by the leadership of ISKCON.”

    Nice rhetoric, but you have to prove that I “…adhere to and advocate a conservative, fundamentalist viewpoint with regard to how the practical aspects of this issue should be approached by the leadership of ISKCON.” You are just stating it without offering any kind of proof. I could just as well say that you adhere to such a viewpoint. But that’s not constructive for the debate. It’s simply “bashing.” It’s an ad hominem attack, not an argument for your case.

    “…the way you express your views and seemingly claim to possess the only correct understanding or application of the statements of Srila Prabhupada and the acaryas is coming across in a completely fanatical, judgemental, dogmatic, attacking and self-righteous way.”

    Is that your subjective viewpoint or can to demonstrate it?

    “If you are indeed genuinely concerned about the breakdown of ISKCON (and not just about repeatedly forcing your own viewpoint on everyone in a dozen vitriolic postings) then you need to consider that this mood and this kind of unpalatable “preaching” is extremely alienating, both to people who are already devotees as well as to prospective new devotees.”

    I don’t think so! I was myself attracted to this kind of preaching – performed by Prabhupada in his books, conversations etc.

    “You state that “homosexuals fall outside the varnasrama system…(because) they are too fallen.” So since you yourself are not fallen, perhaps you could have the magnanimity to express your views with kindness and compassion, without insulting and demeaning the many sincere devotees whose struggles are different from your own.”

    I don’t think this is the forum to show compassion in any other way than to state the facts in an unsentimental way. Here we are not preaching to homosexuals but are discussing our philosophy, and because I can see that some are misrepresenting our philosophy in a way that is dangerous to ISKCON, therefore I put forward my arguments. If I was preaching to a homosexual I would have another approach. But I would never lie ot compromise our philosophy.

    I really don’t think anyone has any rational reason (a reason should obviously by rational) to think or feel insulted or offended by my viewpoints and style of debating! Give my a rational reason.

  31. Lalita Madhava d.d. says :

    Braja Sevaki, you’ve been using your thesaurus! A wonderful example for schoolchildren everywhere! No offense, but I was actually starting to get a little bored with “unsastric” and “emotional,” the same old hackneyed adjectives you’ve used in every single letter you’ve ever written to me. But now you’ve expanded your vocabulary and added two new ones, “sentimental” and “passive-aggressive”! (Sorry, but you only get credit for two new words, not three, since you copied “self-righteous” and did not actually think of it yourself). But I like those! They’re even multi-syllabic and hyphenated! Cool! And I’m especially flattered because I have never been called passive-aggressive before!

  32. Braja Sevaki says :

    Lalita Madhava, if you’re bored with “unsastric” then perhaps you might consider posting a text that doesn’t spin on the axis of “unsastric.” That would be a nice change., though I’m starting to understand that thist is not something within your scope. Maybe I’m wrong, but you’re sure not doing anything to disprove it with this silly (and yes, once again: emotional) comments like this. Your pattern seems to be to focus on the person you’re writing to, namecall, and find fault with them and their approach, rather than address the philosophical points they make. You’ve done it on every posting I’ve seen on every issue on this site. It’s becoming a lttle tedious. Can you please focus on the discussion for a change and not on attacking the person who dares to oppose your outlandish thoughts?

  33. ssd says :

    It seems to me that everybody is talking about what the other person said. But no real conclusion. At least not for me. I am living in a temple. My sexual orientation is “gay”, although i dont practice it. I just say it that i know what it means to be one.
    I have 2 questions:
    1. I would like to hear your “ISKCON official statement” on homosexuality. How would you draft it?
    2. How would you preach to gays/lesbians? What practical advice you gave them?

  34. n.r. dasa says :

    There is absolutely no point in talking to Ajita Krishna Dasa as he denies the power of devotional service, the right of everyone to devotional service and clearly demonizes all gays and lesbians. Nothing anyone says will change his mind. Prabhupada has said that you will know a Vaisnava because he will be a perfect gentleman. Is Ajita Krishna Dasa a perfect gentleman? Can not a gay person be a perfect gentleman?
    Lord Caitanaya wanted the Holy Name to be chanted in “every town and village” by everyone, not just the “quality” villages and the “quality” people.

    “Homosexuals falls outside the varnasrama system. They are too fallen!”
    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    Chant Hare Krsna and be happy. Leave the arguing nonsense to non Vaisnavas.

  35. Braja Sevaki says :

    ssd wrote: “2. How would you preach to gays/lesbians? What practical advice you gave them? ”

    I’m not sure why we’d have to preach a different way to gays/lesbians at all. If they think their particular brand of conditioning is “special” or “unique,” then I guess they think they need to be preached to differently. But I don’t see it as any different from anyone else’s particular form of conditioning. The philosophy applies to everyone: that’s the beauty and universality of it.

    You’ll always get people who judge you on your conditioned choices, but that’s their problem. Gay/lesbian is simply a conditioned choice some people have made — not necessarily in this lifetime, but conditioned nonetheless. The point of our philosophical teachings is to help us trancend our conditioning and return to Krishna.

    A key word amongst many gays/lesbians is “acceptance.” And I think you’ll find that while devotees are accepting of the person, they’re not accepting of the conditioning. That’s a generality, but it’s how most devotees I know personally seem to think. And it seems pretty fair to me. Devotees tolerate my conditioning, but they don’t accept it. Sometimes they don’t even tolerate it, and can’t wait to tell me all my faults :) And if I argued with someone that my conditioning was something I had a “right” to hang on to, that it was prejudiced of someone else to point it out, or that I had to make a support group for people with my kind of conditioning….well, I don’t think anyone would take me seriously at all. So that’s perhaps something that the more forceful and fanatical gays/lesbians should consider.

    And having said that, it’s pretty hard to answer a question like this at all, because everyone is an individual. Why do we have to see gays/lesbians as a specific “group” at all? Why are their sexual choices something that we have to consider or accept before we can understand them? As my grandmother used to say, they still have to sit down to tie their shoelaces :)

  36. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #35

    I would like add that I never commented upon Maharaja’s points. I have great regard for him, but his views on the homosexual matter has left me confused about what he actually means. And I must admit that I was more convinced about the arguments of Danavir Maharaja on the issue. That’s were I stand now.

  37. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #34

    Pamho, agtSP!

    “There is absolutely no point in talking to Ajita Krishna Dasa as he denies the power of devotional service,…”

    Really? How do you deduce that from my arguments? I’m the one saying that devotional service has the power to detroy the perverted homosexual desires.

    “…the right of everyone to devotional service…”

    Where have I stated that some should be denied the possibility of performing devotional service.

    “…and clearly demonizes all gays and lesbians.”

    Have I said that gays and lesbians are always demons? As far as I know I have said they are infected with a demoniac mentality. And I have said that they can, obviously, worship Krishna (though not with their homosexual activities and thoughts.)

    “Nothing anyone says will change his mind.”

    Are you clairvoyant? :)

    “Prabhupada has said that you will know a Vaisnava because he will be a perfect gentleman. Is Ajita Krishna Dasa a perfect gentleman?”

    1) Prabhupada was in all circumstances a perfect gentleman.
    2) Prabhupada said homosex was abominable and not to be uttered
    3) Therefore, a person can say that homosex is abominable and not to be uttered and be a perfect gentleman at the same time.

    “Can not a gay person be a perfect gentleman?”

    No, because a person who is infected by a demoniac mentality can’t be a perfect gentleman.

    “Lord Caitanaya wanted the Holy Name to be chanted in “every town and village” by everyone, not just the “quality” villages and the “quality” people.”

    Prabhupada said that KC is not for the less intelligent and that ISKCON don’t want nonsense followers. But I never said that homosexuals shouldn’t try their best to be KC – I actually said they should.

    AKD: “Homosexuals falls outside the varnasrama system. They are too fallen!”

    “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    No! Even if a person is not sinless it’s still objectively true that homosexuals fall outside the varnasrama system. A statements truth value has nothing to do with the person who states it.

    “Leave the arguing nonsense to non Vaisnavas.”

    Prabhupada said we should defeat atheistic philosophy. To argue against homosexual marriages in ISKCON is just that.

  38. Amara_dasa says :

    Hare Krishna! I think Hrdayananda Maharaja offers a nice compromise in regard to gay marriage that we can all agree with. Though most devotees may not want to accept gay marriage on religious terms, at least everyone can agree that if the arrangement is helpful in spiritual life it can be employed. Maharaja’s acknowledgement of faithful, monogamous marriage between same-sex couples as superior to promiscuity is really just plain, commonsense. So at the very least, I think we can all agree that gay devotees who cannot follow celibacy should be allowed civil marriage, on a congregational level living outside the temple.

    In regard to the statement above, I agree there should be no need to treat our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters any differently. But that would entail offering them the same Krsna conscious processes as everyone else, of which Krsna-conscious household life is a crucial element.

    Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ki jaya!

  39. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #38

    I don’t think we can agree. I think we can agree that it’s obviously better to have just one sexpartner than to have many. But that doesn’t make it a good idea to have a formal marriage. To choose between living with one same-sex partner or many is like choose between the very sinful ad the very, very sinful. The devotee can choose to live with a partner if he or she likes, but that doesn’t mean that it’s bona fide to do so. It’s a sin and a new devotee in that situation shouldn’t be allowed to get formal initiation. If the devotee was initiatiated prior to his or her making this sinful choice it should be considered an offense against the guru. If the guru is mercifull he will not reject his disciple but will give some kind of guidence to help he or she to make further advancement. If the choice is between KC and loosing his disciple to maya, then the guru might allow the disciple to do as the disciple seems wants, even if that is living with a partner of the same sex. But there should NEVER be formal marriage or official acceptence of homosexual life style. It should be seen as a very fallen and unfortunate condition, and the guru should have the right to reject his disciple if he thinks that’s appropriate.

    In conclusion, NO MARRIAGE OF HOMOSEXUALS!

    “But that would entail offering them the same Krsna conscious processes as everyone else, of which Krsna-conscious household life is a crucial element.”

    They already have the same options as everyone else: They can marry one of the opposite sex and live as a householder. The alternative is to commit an offense to the guru, Prabhupada, our sampradaya and Krishna. Any devotee has the freedom to choose to commit this offense and to suffer it’s consequences. Just like any one of us can go our drinking wine, having sex, gambling and eating meat. But it’s sinful. Most devotees will treat such a fallen devotee with care and concern and try to help him or her to advance further and give up these homosexual desires. But, like I said, there should NEVER be any formal marriage or acceptence of this kind of life style. Why should there?

    ISKCON already has an official stand in this matter, because we already have our rules and regulation, and if someone choose not to follow these rules and regulations that’s between them, their guru, Krishna – and of course also between them and the local authorities and all the devotees they encounter. We can handle all these cases individually. But there can never be an official marriage. That would be sick and totally against Prabhupada’s words as he often said that one of the reasons why the Christian church is now so low class is that they allow homosexual marriages.

    So please stop this nonsense!

  40. sean says :

    Dear Ajita Krishna Dasa Prabhu,

    All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

    I have followed your comments in this discussion and I am impressed by the coherence or your argument. I am new to Krishna Conciousness. I am also homosexual. Prabhupada speaks of not being attached to designations, which the term ‘homosexual’ is, so let me rather say that I am someone whose mental and behavioural patterns exhibit homosexuality.

    I have a partner who I have been in realtionship with for over five years now. Since comming to Prabhupada’s teachings I have felt the inclination to begin following the regulative principles that he outlines. This means celibacy in a homosexual realtionship as there is obviously no element of procreation which needs to be alowed for.

    I have within me felt that my realtionship with my partner is more of a deep friendship or strong brotherly love. And it is that aspect of it that is the best part and the part I would like to see increase.
    I love and care very deeply for this person and certainly want them to remain in my life. I am not interested in marriage and am prepared to give up sex life and also the ‘partner’/boyfriend part of the relationship. But he is also my best friend and as close to me as any family member, if not more so and I would not like to retract that. He too is coming to learn about Krishna Conciousness, since it is becoming so much a part of my life and that does entend to him too.

    I don’t wish to be demonic. This is where things stand now. I would be interested to know your thoughts.

    Hare Krishna

  41. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    #40

    Dear Sean! Pamho, agtSP!

    Thank for your nice comments about my arguments. I think that it’s very good that you are willing to see and accept the truth even though your mind is still somewhat attached to homosexuality. This proves your sincerity in KC. Many could learn a lot from you.

    You might feel that you can’t give up all your homosexual desires at the present, but it seems you want to do so in the future. If that’s true I’m sure Krishna will give you the power and intelligence to give up your attacment to homosexuality. You don’t have to stop your association with anyone as long as they are not a threat to your KC and you can help them to advance in KC.

    I think you are a very good example of a person with attachments to homosexuality who’s sincere in KC, and I’m sure that you will make very nice KC advancement if your continue like this.

    I also think your post proves that I’m not scaring sincere people away by my preaching about homosexuality. I think it proves that really sincire persons can take help from such arguments.

    Thank you again, and I hope my thoughts were helpful for you!

    Ys, AKD

  42. sean says :

    Dear Ajita Krishna Dasa Prabhu,

    Hara Krishna! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

    Thank you for your words of encouragement. There is much truth in what you say and I know this because it reflects what I know in my heart to be true. I place myself at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Krishna that through their mercy I will attain purity of devotional service. I accept that this will take time. But I have to start somewhere. It feels like a great loss but when I look at my life with honesty I can see that no happiness has ever come to me though homosexuality. Just greater attachment to the body. I also see that I have not been very loving. I have felt stunted in my ablity to be affectionate to others and maybe it is all related.

    At any rate the path is clear to me now, and step by step I will walk it. Your stand on this issue is hard-hitting and uncompromising, which is painful to hear, but I have no doubt that Prabhupada would have taken a similar standpoint. And after all, what he says goes. We should mould our lives around that, not the other way around.

    I thank you again.

    your servant,

    sean

  43. Ajita Krishna Dasa says :

    Dear Sean! Pamho, agtSP!

    Yes, the truth can be painful because it’s difficult to give up our material attachments. I know that very well. But at the same time the truth is nectar, because it sets us free if we surrender to it. Thank you for taking to KC. That’s very inspiring!

    Ys, AKD

  44. ekendra das says :

    Pranams to all devotees who are reading this regardless of their conditioned sexual orientation.

    It seems that a lot of people these days equate compassion with permissiveness. If I give a public lecture and tell everyone that what they are doing (meat eating or whatever) is ok and that they are fine how they are then I ‘d most likely become popular for being ‘compassionate’.

    Srila Prabhupada’s compassion was incalculable. Yet he wasn’t permissive of his followers engaging in activities detrimental to their liberation. He seemed to tolerate a lot of things with faith that the process of Krishna Consciousness would gradually purify the heart and taste of the individual. Certainly that was compassionate and we should all be grateful to him. I’ve come across no evidence from gurus, sadhus, nor Vaisnava sastras that are permissive of any type of sexual adventures beyond that which is according to regulated principles and for bringing a god-conscious children into the world. When a homosexual marraige can produce a Ray of Vishnu then I’ll re-evaluate my opinion.

    I tried to post this (below) in 2003 to the Chakra website and they rejected it as being not conducive to futhering their discussion of how devotees should be sexually liberated so as to not contradict secular opinions.

    ————————————–

    original letter written to Chakra:
    At 03:23 AM 2/13/03, you wrote:

    Prabhus,

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

    I believe that any discussion on an issue such as homosexuality within ISKCON should lead us to inquire as to what Srila Prabhupadas opinion was on the subject. As a service to all parties Ive compiled a list of quotations from VEDABASE on the subject.

    My intentions are not to discourage anyone who is earnestly interested in practicing Krishna Consciousness; I do, however, feel that it is important for any sincere aspirant for spiritual initation to have a clear understanding of how this issue is viewed by Srila Prabhupada. In the matter of initation there is no room for deviance from the vani of the acarya. In fact, as you may well be aware, spiritual life works on an opposite principle by attempting to submit oneself to the instruction of the spiritual master one recieves genuine self-realization which is truly beyond gender confinements.

    Obviously, many of these quotes are addressing the ecclesiastical acceptance of homosexuality as a symptom of the onset of Kali-Yuga and not referring to one who is struggling to gradually rise to the standards that Srila Prabhupada set for his society.

    It is my opinion that in all cases involving falldown that it is more benificial to accept ones fallen condition and sincerely beg for Krishna to please give one the strength to follow properly rather than to exert so much energy trying to justify ones behavior by philosophical speculation. As Krishna states in Bhagavad-gita (9.30-31)

    Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination. He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.

    So in the matter of one who is endeavouring to submit to the process of Krishna Consciousness through the guru-parampara such blemishes are to be considered like spots on the moon. He is easily reinstated in devotional service due to his wholehearted desire to continue chanting Hare Krishna without offense. Philosophical deviations impede ones being properly situated in determination, are much more difficult to iron out and can take many lifetimes of suffering before one can come to the proper understanding.

    “The spiritual master in the heart of the surrendered devotee is the Supreme Lord Himself. He manifests as the beloved initiating spiritual master and the instructing spiritual masters. It is the Supreme Lord who, acting as the spiritual master in the heart, enlightens us with buddhi-yoga, or divine consciousness. And this consciousness helps us understand the Supreme Lord as He is.

    The sages say that when we surrender to the Lord, we will clearly see how He personally makes arrangements for us, even in small matters. Then we will easily see how with His omnipotent supreme intelligence He is assisting us out of love. So it is unnecessary to waste time in further speculation. We have to vanquish illusion, develop equanimity and spontaneity, and practice bhakti-yoga. Then a supremely powerful force will gradually transform our material existence into spiritual existence. All our misconceptions, accumulated over millions of lifetimes, will be rectified in a short time. ”

    – from Renunciation Through Wisdom

    My obeisances to all Vaisnavas in all circumstances. May they bless me with compassion.

    Your fallen servant,
    Ekendra das

    ———————————————————————–

    Prabhupada: The world is degrading to the lowest status, even less than animal. The animal also do not support homosex. They have never sex life between male to male. They are less than animal. People are becoming less than animal. This is all due to godlessness. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna [SB 5.18.12], godless civilization cannot have any good qualities. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna mano rathena asato dhavato. They simply go to the untruth by mental speculation.

    — Conversation with the GBC — Los Angeles, May 25, 1972

    ———————————————————————–

    Yasomatinandana: These Christians are very blasphemous.

    Prajapati: Very blasphemous.

    Prabhupada: Yes.

    Karandhara: Party spirit.

    Prabhupada: No no, what is their value? When they are sanctioning abortion, homosex, now they are finished. They have no value.

    Karandhara: Well, most or a greater proportion of the traditional Christians condemn homosex and abortion. A good quantity of the traditional Christians, they condemn abortion and homosex.

    Prabhupada: Yes, they are good, but mostly, as you were telling me that, that Pope is disgusted… Yes. Nobody cares for the Bible or the Pope. That is everywhere, not only Christian. Actually there is no religion at the present moment. All animals. We don’t blame only the Christians. The Hindus, Muslim, everyone. They have lost all religion.
    — Morning Walk — December 8, 1973, Los Angeles

    ———————————————————————–

    Prabhupada: Homosex. They are supporting homosex. So degraded, and still they say, “What we have done?” They do not know what is degradation, and they are priest. They are teaching others. They do not know what is the meaning of degradation.

    — Morning Walk Conversation — Los Angeles, September 28, 1972

    ———————————————————————–

    Prabhupada: So generally, people are suffering on account of association with tamo-guna and rajo-guna, whole material world, mostly tamo-guna and few of them in rajo-guna. The symptoms of rajo-guna and tamo-guna are lust and greediness. Just like yesterday you told me the students are talking about homosex. That means tamo-guna, that the education students, they are discussing about homosex. That means tamo-guna, lusty desires, very prominent, and how to fulfill, by homosex or sex with woman. This is their subject matter, kama. So everyone in this material world infected with this tamo-guna, all lusty desires, in various ways, varieties. And some of them in rajo-guna-politics and improvement of material condition. So we have to cut down this tamo-guna and rajo-guna, come to the sattva-guna. Then he’ll not be disturbed by these lusty desires and greediness. Then he’ll be happy.

    also:

    That means they are making their own lusty desires fulfilled in the name of Bible, that’s all. Everyone is doing like that. They are changing. Mass opinion is now homosex. They are passing abortion. They are passing… What is this? This is their business. For fulfillment of their lusty desires and greediness, they are bringing the authority of Bible, Bhagavad-gita. This is going on in the name of religion.

    — Morning Walk — May 11, 1975, Perth

    ———————————————————————–

    Prabhupada: This homosex propaganda is another side of impotency. So that is natural. If you enjoy too much, then you become impotent.

    Brahmananda: They are trying to make that more and more accepted in America, homosex.

    Prabhupada: Yes. The churches accept. It is already law.

    Nitai: This women’s liberation movement, the leaders are also homosexual. They’re lesbians.

    Prabhupada: (laughs) Just see. Hare Krsna. The whole world is on the verge of ruination. Kali-yuga.

    — Morning Walk — September 6, 1975, Vrndavana

    ———————————————————————–

    Tamala Krsna: Now they have churches for homosex. That means the priest is a homosexual, and the persons who come are homosexuals. A special church for homosexuals.

    Prabhupada: Just see. Is that religion?

    — Room Conversation — January 8, 1976, Nellore

    ———————————————————————–

    Prabhupada: The hippies are nothing but a group of madmen, that’s all. A madman, they…, means publicly sex, that’s all. This Allen Ginsberg’s movement is that, homosex, public sex. Ginsberg was very proud that he had introduced homosex. He was telling me.

    Tamala Krsna: He was telling you?

    Prabhupada: When he first came to me he was very proud: “I have introduced homosex.” He thought very brilliant work it was.

    — Room Conversation Varnasrama July 14, 1977, Vrndavana

    ———————————————————————–

    Hawaii
    26 May, 1975

    My Dear Lalitananda dasa,

    Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 13rd, 1975 and have noted the contents. I am very sorry that you have taken to homosex. It will not help you advance in your attempt for spiritual life. In fact, it will only hamper your advancement. I do not know why you have taken to such abominable activities. What can I say? Anyway, try to render whatever service you can to Krishna. Even though you are in a very degraded condition Krishna, being pleased with your service attitude, can pick you up from your fallen state. You should stop this homosex immediately. It is illicit sex, otherwise, your chances of advancing in spiritual life are nil. Show Krishna you are serious, if you are.

    I hope this meets you in good health.

    Your ever well-wisher,

    A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

    ———————————–

    many more quotes from Srila Prabhupada are here.

    very good reading on this subject is here.

    ys,
    Ekendra das

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