Comments Posted By Bhaktilata dasi
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When you say that throughout shastra there are statements about women’s birth being lower, I assume you mainly refer to Prabhupada’s purports, because in shastra itself and our acharyas commentaries you will hardly find such statements. I only know of one verse in Bhagavad Gita and one in Srimad Bhagavatam that can be read like that. However, since Sanskrit is a versatile language, it really depends on the translator / commentator.
One gets the impression from what you have written above “because in shastra”that you have gone through all sastras in the Vedic corpus that Rupa Gosvami thought relevant, that being all the sruti, smriti, puranas, itihasa, pancaratra, dharma sastra etc. Perhaps you could tell us what sastras you mean when you made that statement so that we can have a reference point. Did you mean that you did an exhaustive search of everything or only a few select items.
You will find no references to onions or garlic in the Gita, Bhagavatam or Caitanya Caritamrita but Srila Prabhupada refers to them quite often as being impure. If one then reads more extensively one will understand that Srila Prabhupada and other acaryas were referring to statements about such foods in dharma sastras like Manu.
Srila Prabhupada was vastly read in Vedic literature, if you listen to his recorded audio and read his books he mentions that he has read all the commentaries on Vedanta sutra in including Sankara’s, and not just Baladeva’s. That he read and very much appreciated Ramanuja’s commentary on the Gita, indicating that he had also read commentaries of Madhva and others. Bhaktisiddhanta and BVT published almost all the works of acaryas from other sampradayas especially of Madhva and Ramanuja,
Hence the comments that Srila Prabhupada made about topics such as women were based on his vast knowledge gained from his own personal reading and what he learned from his guru maharaja.
You mentioned only Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. What about Ramayana and other texts? In the Aranya Khanda when Sita and Rama were walking towards Dandakaranya after meeting with Agastya Rishsi, Sita had a discussion with Rama. She humbly prefaced Her talk by stating “even though a I am a less intelligent woman.”
And of course there are numerous statements that imply the lower intelligence of women and that in order to help us texts such as Mahabharata and Ramayana were written for “women, sudras and dvija bandhus” the less intelligent class.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Oct 31, 2014 @ 1:03 pm
Here is a link to many classes and seminars on Varna Ashrama Dharma given by HH Bhaktividya Purana Swami for those who want to actually understand the subject.
And here is a link to the gurukula in Mayapura they may also have lectures on VAD I could not check because there was a problem conencting to it when I last tried. http://www.vidyapitha.com/
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Sep 28, 2014 @ 1:07 pm
Kudos to HH Bhaktivikas Swami for his astute analysis of Mahatma Prabhu’s “illuminations.” He nicely articulated many of my own thoughts on the matter.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Jun 5, 2014 @ 3:21 am
General rules are not changed because something happens to a particular person in a special situation. General rules should be accepted by people in general. Sri Dhruva Maharaja went to Dhruva loka in his material body; seeing that, should one waste time hoping for the same?
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura: Bhaktyaloka p.85
The purport is that we should not imitate personalities like Jahnava Devi.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Nov 28, 2013 @ 5:25 am
@Devaki referring to your comment #3.
I do not know anyone who is categorically against Female Diksha Gurus. We have had a few authentic FDGs that are recognized by our acaryas, ladies like Jahnava devi who was “Nityananda sakti,” and an incarnation of Ananga Manjari, the younger sister of Srimati Radharani. These authentic FDGs were very rare and highly exceptional personalities.
I am aware that just as some now want to imitate such rare examples that in the past some have wrongly imitated such rare souls and created FDGs. And in the process of thus deviating from Daiva Varnashrama Dharma rendered the Gaudiya Sampradaya practically impotent by allowing sahajiyaism and a welter of apasampradayas to flourish to the point that by the time of Bhaktivinode Thakura to be called a Vaisnava in Orissa and Bengal was an insult.
We all know how BVT and BSST struggled in the fight against apasampradayas, sahajiyaism and caste consciousness to again revive Gaudiya Vaisnavism. BSST went to S India and studied how the highly respected Sri and Madhva Sampradayas utilized Varna Ashrama dharma to maintain the purity of their sampradayas. “Purity is the force.” BSST reintroduced Daiva Varna Ashrama into the Gaudiya sampradaya to maintain the purity and create a fortification against sahajiyaism.
It then seems incredulous and horrifying that certain factions in ISKCON want to reverse the work of our purva acaryas in order to satisfy the whims of the western gender equity program.
What people do object to are the clearly observable bias of those who want to lower the bar for FDGs so that they are no longer exceptions like Jahnava Devi.
For a female devotee to regularly chant her rounds, study sastra, preach nicely etc. should be the standard in ISKCON but is now elevated to being something wonderfully exceptional and on the level of Jahnavi Devi.
I am now understanding very clearly what Rupa Goswami meant when he wrote that so-called devotion which is not according to the Sruti, smritis and other authentic sastras is just a disturbance in society.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Nov 28, 2013 @ 5:22 am
Srila Prabhupada ***always*** spoke positively about the idea of having women diksa-gurus in ISKCON. That is, in all circumstances in which he brought up the subject or the subject was brought up by others.
Srila Prabhupada ***never*** spoke negatively about the idea of having women diksa-gurus in ISKCON. There is simply no evidence that he ever expressed himself against women diksa-gurus in ISKCON.
Well you should bring these clear and unmistakable quotes into the public light and dispel all doubts. But as far as I have read they just don’t exist otherwise this issue would never have arisen.
There have been dozens of examples of women-diksa gurus in Gaudiya Vaisnavism. In other words, it is traditional and it’s accepted by the previous acaryas. If anyone disagrees, please request that person to produce a quote from any Gaudiya Vaisnava acarya in the last 500 years, a quote speaking against women diksa-gurus.
There is not one female in our guruparampara. When Srila Prabhupada was asked about it he said it was very rare, BR Sridhara Swami they could be counted on the fingers of of one hand.
But you say there are dozens of examples. Does this mean that Srila Prabhupada was ignorant of the history of our sampradaya and needs to be educated by you? Does this mean Sridhar Swami had dozens of fingers on one hand? Or, is it that the so called examples you refer to are from bogus apasampradayas who should be shunned?
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Nov 21, 2013 @ 6:02 pm
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.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Jan 19, 2013 @ 11:35 am
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
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Jan 19, 2013 @ 11:17 am
Chaturatma Prabhu wrote:
2) Does anyone bother to look at our sampradaya? Chaitanya literature shows repeated examples of female gurus.
These would seem to end the debate.
Could you please provide with some examples Prabhu. When Srila Prabhupada was asked about female gurus he was hard pressed to even think of one, Jahnavamata. So I am wondering who all these female diksa gurus are that you are referring to.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Dec 6, 2012 @ 8:31 am
Well mother Phalini that is a surprise but whoever posted this article has done a great service. It seems to be very popular and at last count has generated 41 “FaceBook likes”
And Bhakta Mike that was a great comment. You are right
“And we reserve the right to retain practices and beliefs that make us distinct, especially where it is a kind of requirement.”
And in this way we will standout from the crowd. In marketing this is called “Branding”. Companies pay millions even billions of $ to have distinctive branding.
But here in ISKCON some people want to destroy what makes us unique and attractive so that we can be “main stream.” I don’t don’t know about you but did anyone ever notice just how polluted that stream is?
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Apr 16, 2011 @ 10:18 am
This is an excellent article. You should write more. There are so many good points I don’t even know where to start. The following one is so true:
Meanwhile, while thousands of women from other faiths are waking up from the madness, back in ISKCON, several male leaders have been falsely accused of “conspiracy” against women or they’ve been offensively labeled as “misogynists”, because they support Prabhupada’s teachings about a woman’s position according to varnasrama dharma. More amazingly, Srila Prabhupada himself has become an object of ridicule by certain women as well as their male supporters who consider it their duty to correct the founder acarya on these matters, assuming that he didn’t know what he was talking about, was “old-fashioned”, etc.
It seems that we in ISKCON are so far behind the curve in understanding the pernicious effect of feminism. I hope that our leaders wake up before it is too late. Unfortunatley it is obvious to many that a group of entrenched ISKCON leaders actually support this madness of feminism.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Apr 10, 2011 @ 1:27 am
Very nice history. However, I don’t see any of the photos mentioned in this article? Not seen Madri dd in a long time.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Apr 8, 2011 @ 5:57 am
So you would like it that we should all shut up and listen to you because you are “senior.” I remember an instance in the Brooklyn temple when Balimardana Dasa and his wife Taittariya dd were in charge. She was in complete maya and also influenced him. Things were in such a state that she was having chicken offered to Sri Sri Radha-Govinda. Many devotees didn’t speak up because they were afraid to offend the “seniors.” While it is very important to obey rules of etiquette in vaisnava dealings lest we fall from spiritual life, but sometimes we should care more about the welfare of Lord Caitanya’s movement than for our own selves and strongly speak out when errors and apasiddhantic teachings are propagated. At that time it is better to adopt the mood of gopis who would prefer to give the dust from their feet if it would cure Krsna’s headache even knowing that it would lead them to hell. We have to care more about Krsna’s wellbeing than our own and do whatever it takes. As Srila Bhakti Siddhanta said “true humility is to adhere to the truth, not the false show of feigned humility cultivated by sahajiyas.”
Also as pointed out in #189-190 http://www.dandavats.com/?p=9349#comment-14290 you are not following Stri-dharma and are currently disobeying the instructions of Srila Prabhupada regarding the behavior of a wife whose husband is a vanaprastha. So how you can say you are senior and try to brow beat others that they must agree with your opinion otherwise they are offenders.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Jul 12, 2011 @ 8:43 pm
In #303 Urmila devi dasi wrote:
“I continue to be confused as to why some of the women unconditionally opposed to women “imparting instructions” in the presence of superiors are writing comments here, even if their husbands are dictating every word. Or even if someone has requested to (since they seem to feel such requests should be disregarded). By age, time in Krishna consciousness, position of the person’s guru, and ashrama status, the seniors of these women *and their husbands* are writing here.”
Dear Urmila dd,
I can understand why you are confused, you think that you are “senior” as soon as one does that they no longer are. According to Manu seniority is determined by different factors according to different varnas. The senior most brahmana is the one with the most knowledge. The senior most kshatriya is the one with the most power. The senior most vaisya is the one with the most wealth. And the senior most sudra is the oldest in years.
So it seems to me that you claim that you are senior not because of wisdom, but because of age. It is certainly not because of wisdom because you have presented “arguments” that are full of holes and easily shot down by those who have studied Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. So now you try to hide behind the “seniority” by age factor as a substitute for actual knowledge and wisdom and that we should not challenge or oppose you because you are senior by age. And anyone who does challenge you is an offender because you are “senior” and they are not. I have not seen anyone be offensive (the moderator wont allow that) only people who disagree with you and present solid arguments that you cannot defeat. This, then is their offense. Srila Prabhupada wanted ISKCON to be a Brahminical not sudrinical movement so seniority is by wisdom and knowledge not just which date you joined ISKCON.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Jul 12, 2011 @ 8:38 pm
And as previously quoted:
King Nimi said: O great sages, please speak to us about the process of karma-yoga. Purified by this process of dedicating one’s practical work to the Supreme, a person can very quickly free himself from all material activities, even in this life, and thus enjoy pure life on the transcendental platform. Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.41
[check Sanskrit for yourself.]
So what we are calling Daiva Varnashrama, that is, doing Varnashrama to please the Lord, is in this verse called Karma Yoga. By definition Karma Yoga and Varnashrama are not synonymous. According SB 1.1.2 if it is not performed as Karma Yoga then it is kaitava dharma—cheating dharma, and to be rejected.
So while the term Daiva Varnashrama may or may not be a neologism, but its synonym, Karma Yoga is not and is well established in the sastras. By definition Karma Yoga and Varnashrama (Karma) are not equal to each other.
I have said pretty much all that I want to on this topic, for more in-depth detail please listen to the lectures by HH Bhaktividya Purna Svami that can be found by following the links on comment #24 that I posted.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 21, 2011 @ 12:58 am
Bhakti-lata to KK
In #204 Krsna-kirti said:
Varnashram and Daivi-Varnashram are interchangeable terms. The word “Daivi” is added to distinguish it from what have become corrupt norms within what is popularly indentified as varnashram. And in that sense the prefix “daivi” is useful in reform efforts–it reminds us of varnashram’s spiritual purpose. But throughout the shastras varnashram is used without that qualifier of “daivi”. It’s like Srila Prabhupada’s use of guru: “guru” means “bona fide guru”, there is no meaning to guru unless he is bona fide. Similarly, “varnashram” means “daivi varnashram”.
There is perverted asurik Varnashrama that is based on birth, then there is Varnashrama based on guna and karma as explained by Krsna in the Gita 4.13 and 18.42-44, and then Daiva Varnashrama explained in 3rd chapter of the Gita and also Gita 18.45-46 wherein Krsna explains it as doing Varnashrama to please Him.
Varnashram and Daiva-Varnashram are not interchangeable terms because they are not synonymous. They yield different results. The synonym for Daivi-varnashrama that it is more commonly known by in the sastras is Karma-yoga.
The 3rd chapter of the Gita is called Karma Yoga because that is where Krsna explains how to do your one’s prescribed duties (Varnashrama) as a sacrifice to Visnu. Otherwise Varnashrama is material and one gets material results (Artha) from following it. Jarasandha was a perfect follower of Varnasrama, but he was not a Karma Yogi. He did it for attaining artha. As described in SB 7.11.29 if a woman follows her prescribed Stri-dharma to please the Lord she goes to Vaikuntha. But if she just does her Stri-dharma out of duty then according to Manu she goes to svarga.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 21, 2011 @ 12:56 am
Dear Sita Mataji,
Thank you for posting that wonderful text about Women not having Varna by Shyamasundara Prabhu. I recall seeing that on pamho a few years ago but could not easily find it on my computer or I would have also posted it.
The difference between your post and Kulapavana Prabhu’s previous (#165) and current (#193) comments is that he only gives a one sided view by quoting about pratiloma and anuloma without mentioning what to speak of reconciling opposite citations from the Gita, Bhagavatam, and Manu where women are definitely shown to be a class onto their own without any varna.
Reconcile: to make (arguments, ideas, texts, accounts, etc.) consistent, compatible, etc.; bring into harmony
In the Mahabharata Sabhaparva it is stated that among Narada Muni’s many qualities was his ability to reconcile “apparently” opposing and contradictory statements in the sastra. Your text satisfactorily reconciles these “apparently” contradictory statements whereas Kulapavana doesn’t even attempt to and thus leaves a lot to be desired.
Thank you again for posting this text it should be widely distributed as it dispels so many wrong-headed notions.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 19, 2011 @ 11:22 pm
Bhaktivinode Thakura, in Jaiva Dharma, gave examples of ladies giving classes to ladies. Some were so good that men would also attend, but that was their choice, not that they had too because there was no other option and they did so just to honor the Bhagavatam.
In conclusion if you want to start a campaign to stop women giving class to men, I will not oppose it but support it. But until that happens or in exceptional cases the women who do give class should only do so when there are no qualified men present and if and only if they are following their Stri-dharma.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 19, 2011 @ 10:47 pm
Dear Krishna-kirti Prabhu,
Regarding your comments in #191-192. So what is the purpose of keeping the sexes apart? Is it just to spoil the fun or is there a higher purpose? The purpose of VAD may be to keep the sexes apart in order to reduce varnasankara. But the purpose of Daivi Varnashrama is to become Krsna Conscious. That is the difference between VAD a DVAD. Please reread my comments 169-172.
And, yes theoretically one can become KC without DVAD, but that is definitely not happening in ISKCON, and that is why Srila Prabhupada, after seeing so many fiascos with his disciples stressed on establishing DVAD. One need only read the Feb 14, 1977 Varnashrama conversation to understand this point.
If one is already following VAD or DVAD then by taking up Bhagavat dharma and especially chanting of the Holy Names one can very quickly make spiritual advancement. This is shown in Jaiva Dharma where persons would achieve a very high state in a matter of only weeks and in some cases days after beginning the practice. It is not hyperbole on the Thakura’s part, but it is because they were human beings, that is, practicing VAD. So VAD is meant to raise us to the position of being human. Without it we are still animals and hence spiritual progress is slow. But if a human being (not 2 legged animal) takes up DVAD and Bhagavat dharma they can make very rapid progress.
And how to deal with Srila Prabhupada’s letter to Jaya Govinda that women should also get experience in preaching and giving lectures? It seems to indicate from the context of the letter that Srila Prabhupada meant to lecture to both men and women. And there is the historical example of Jahnava Mata giving lectures to men, which is not hypothetical but factual.
However, I would be just as happy and satisfied if women only gave classes to women. As I mentioned in comment #5 that is what we did in Mayapura, have women give classes to women. However, after some time the women neither wanted to give class nor did they want to hear from women but preferred to hear from men. Since the husband is the pati guru, it is only natural that women prefer to hear from men. And conversely it is un-natural for men to want to hear from women unless she is very exceptional which is hardly the case here.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 19, 2011 @ 10:44 pm
Urmila dd having separated from her husband while he is still alive is exactly opposite of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions for his female disciples when their husband’s become vanaprasthas. Just I would not listen to a “Sannyasi” living with his wife; there is no use in listening to a so-called lady vanaprastha who has separated herself from her husband. Now Visakha Priya Mataji I hope you can now understand what I mean when I say that our ladies do not even know what Stri dharma is let alone follow it, and that is why we should not listen to those who have disobeyed the clear instructions of Srila Prabhupada in the matter of following Stri-dharma.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 17, 2011 @ 2:30 pm
In #106 Visakha Priya Mataji wrote:
“Reading through the posts concerning Urmila devi’s class, I have observed that some persons appear to be convinced that Urmila is not following the instructions of her spiritual master and that therefore we should not hear from her.”
Let us consider the following statements by Srila Prabhupada about what the Stri dharma of a woman is when her husband becomes a vanaprastha and then you tell me what you think.
“There is NO question of separation between husband and wife until the time when the husband takes sannyasa. At that time the wife cannot remain with the husband. Even in vanaprastha stage, or retired life, the wife remains with the husband, but without any sex relations.” Srila Prabhupada Letter to Himavati, 24/1/69
“The chaste wife’s duty is to keep her husband pleased in householder life in all respects, and when the husband retires from family life, she is to go to the forest and adopt the life of vanaprastha, or vana-vasi. At that time the wife is to follow her husband and take care of him, just as she took care of him in householder life.” Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.23.20
“Just as in the vanaprastha stage the wife follows the husband, …” Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.34
“The vanaprastha stage is exactly like this. Although the wife remains with the husband, she undergoes severe austerities and penances so that although both husband and wife live together, there is no question of sex. In this way both husband and wife can live together perpetually.” Srimad-Bhagavatam, 4.28.44
Now compare this with the following quote from Urmila dd’s diksha guru nomination letter dated September 2003.
“3. Should not be involved in any abnormal personal situation. An example of such a situation would be a disrupted or anomalous family life which could distract a guru from his guru duties or otherwise prove a disturbance to him or his followers.”
“My situation has been stable for some time. I’m living separated from husband as vanaprastha since 1996; we have a legal separation agreement. I’m under the authority of our sons and son-in-law. I will soon have own cabin for residence.”
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 17, 2011 @ 2:27 pm
Also consider the following hypothetical situation: suppose a married couple who have been devotees for 25years opens up a preaching center and after a 1-2 years they have made 20 devotees and some are even initiated. The husband gives the classes to the new male devotees and to the congregation on Sundays while his wife teaches the new girls who come. But what happens if the husband is sick or for some reason unable to give class to the new bhaktas and bhaktins or congregation? Should his wife who has been a devotee for 25 years and really knows the philosophy give the classes or should Krsna Dasa who was initiated 6 months ago give the classes? To me this is a clear-cut situation where there is no qualified man available so the woman should give class.
My points that I made in comments #4 & 5
are simple. When Urmila dd gave the class in Mayapura there were boat loads of men much more qualified than her to give class, thus if Urmila ddhonors the instructions of Srila Prabhupada she should not have given class. The other point I made was that we should only listen to lectures of sannyasis/grhastas/brahmacari/stris who are following their respective dharma.
One should be a living example of what one is preaching. So when it comes to women “preachers” which ones are actually following their stri dharma?
Most senior western women in ISKCON don’t even know what Stri-dharma is what to speak of practice it. Why should we listen to them?
I still maintain this and will get into this more in a separate text.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 17, 2011 @ 2:18 pm
In #173 Krishna-kirti said:
A key difference between Mataji Bhaktilata’s idea of varnashram and those who disagree with her is that Mataji believes that varnashram is meant first and foremost to keep the sexes segregated. Her opponents believe otherwise.
Actually I don’t, I have been taught by my gurumaharaja Srila Prabhupada that keeping the sexes apart is not the objective of VAD, becoming Krsna Conscious is. That being said, keeping the sexes apart is useful for becoming Krsna Conscious.
Somehow this comment thread has been changed to one more concerned about sexual agitation of the listeners if a woman gives class. I never said any such thing, nor am I pushing this point. However, I am not averse to segregation of the sexes, and I agree with Tungavidya Mataji’s comment #127 that it is better if women preach to women and men to men.
But, some are implying that women should never give class if men are in the audience. But, if that is so then what are to we make of this quote that I originally put in #4 http://www.dandavats.com/?p=9349#comment-13908 which started this whole chain of comments and making this the most commented text on Dandavatas http://www.dandavats.com/?page_id=2865
“If a woman can lecture nicely and to the point, we should hear her carefully. That is our philosophy. But if a man can speak better than a woman, the man should be given first preference. But even though a woman is less intelligent, a sincere soul should be given proper chance to speak, because we want so many preachers, both men and women.” Letter to Jayagovinda Feb 8, 1968
This seems to imply that if there are no qualified men present then a woman can lecture to men. Though I personally was not present in a class given by ladies during Prabhupada’s time I have heard that it did happen.
Mother Jahnava Devi, the consort of Lord Nityananda, Who was in the category of Laxmi-tattva, gave lectures to highly qualified male bodied devotees at the first Gauraprnima festival because she was even more qualified than they were. Still She maintained proper decorum and lectured from behind a screen.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 17, 2011 @ 2:12 pm
In his commentary on these two verses Madhvacarya explains that it means we must perform our prescribed duties to please the Lord. Srila Prabhupada says the same in his commentary:
“The instructions of Sri Isopanisad are more elaborately explained in the Bhagavad-gita, sometimes called the Gitopanisad, the cream of all the Upanisads. In the Bhagavad-gita (3.9-16) the Personality of Godhead says that one cannot attain the state of naiskarmya, or akarma, without executing the prescribed duties mentioned in the Vedic literature. This literature can regulate the working energy of a human being in such a way that he can gradually realize the authority of the Supreme Being. When he realizes the authority of the Personality of Godhead-Vasudeva, or Krsna-it is to be understood that he has attained the stage of positive knowledge. In this purified stage the modes of nature-namely goodness, passion and ignorance-cannot act, and he is able to work on the basis of naiskarmya. Such work does not bind one to the cycle of birth and death.”
Unless someone is performing the nine process of devotional service sravanam, kirtanam, etc 24 hours/day, 365 days/year they will have to engage with the material energy, then to make advancement and stay pure they must engage in Daivi Varnashrama dharma as described in these verses quoted above and elsewhere and which was personally practiced by Arjuna and mahatmas like Janakaraja. Who in ISKCON is 24 hours/day engaged in those 9 processes? Name me even one person? And it is because of this inability of the devotees to follow the 9 processes, as clearly described in Feb 14, 1977 room conversation in Mayapura (“they can’t even chant their 16 rounds” “the sannyasis are falling down”) that Srila Prabhupada was adamant about pushing Daivi Varnashrama Dharma.
To conclude a woman who performs her prescribed duty of Stri-dharma for the pleasure of the Lord will get exactly the same result as Arjuna did when he performed his prescribed duties as kshatriya to please Krsna. When it is done to please the Lord it is no longer a cheating dharma meant to achieve a material result (artha and kama) but rather spiritual devotional service in full Krsna consciousness for the pleasure of the Lord. Stri dharma practiced in this way is not material dharma as Urmila dd wrongly states in #76.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 12, 2011 @ 5:46 am
The type of dharma that Lord Krsna is telling Arjuna to give up is explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.2 dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ‘tra “Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated.”
So Lord Krsna is telling Arjuna to give up all materially motivated dharma, dharma that is striving to gain artha and then kama. This is the kind of materially motivated dharma to be rejected. But dharma which is done to please the Lord is desirable. Dharma which leads to cessation of material identification (moksa) and by which we worship and please the Lord (bhakti) is wanted.
This is verified in Vysadeva:
“All occupational engagements are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. Furthermore, according to sages, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification.” Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.9
And just incase some one says “hey Prabhu don’t get stuck on the 1st canto” this instruction of performing one’s prescribed duty for the pleasure of the Lord is repeated many times including the 11th canto:
“King Nimi said: O great sages, please speak to us about the process of karma-yoga. Purified by this process of dedicating one’s practical work to the Supreme, a person can very quickly free himself from all material activities, even in this life, and thus enjoy pure life on the transcendental platform.” SB 11.3.41
We find the same teaching repeated in the Isavasya Upanishad which is from the Vajasaneyi Samhita of the Shukla Yajur Veda
“Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.”
“One may aspire to live for hundreds of years if he continuously goes on working in that way, for that sort of work will not bind him to the law of karma. There is no alternative to this way for man.”
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 12, 2011 @ 5:41 am
In the purport of BG 18.46 Srila Prabhupada writes:
“Everyone should think that he is engaged in a particular type of occupation by Hrsikesa, the master of the senses. And by the result of the work in which one is engaged, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, should be worshiped. If one thinks always in this way, in full Krsna consciousness, then, by the grace of the Lord, he becomes fully aware of everything. That is the perfection of life.”
So here the Lord is reiterating what he said in the 3rd chapter that by performing one’s prescribed duties for the satisfaction of the Lord one will achieve perfection. It is not just a third chapter thing as some people erroneously like to believe.
Then in BG 18.47 Krsna repeats an instruction that he gave in BG 3.35
“It is better to engage in one’s own occupation, even though one may perform it imperfectly, than to accept another’s occupation and perform it perfectly. Duties prescribed according to one’s nature are never affected by sinful reactions.” BG 18.47
Further more in BG 18.48 the Lord admonishes us not to give up our prescribed duty if it is faulty:
“Every endeavor is covered by some fault, just as fire is covered by smoke. Therefore one should not give up the work born of his nature, O son of Kunti, even if such work is full of fault.”
This is also a reiteration of an instruction from BG 2.47 “and never be attached to not doing your duty.”
But then in BG 18.66 the Lord says:
“Abandon all varieties of religion [dharma] and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”
Does this contradict the instructions in the 3rd chapter what to speak about those in the 18th chapter wherein the Lord directly explains that one must follow one’s sva-dharma as an offering to Him. Is He now saying that one doesn’t have to follow his prescribe duties at all, and on top of that there will be no sin?
No it does not. To understand this we must first note that Gita is the preliminary study to the Bhagavatam which then leads to the study of the Caitanya Caritamrta.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 12, 2011 @ 5:31 am
Dear Visakha Priya Mataji,
Let us continue. It seems to Sita Mataji and myself as well that you have made this statement “stuck on the third chapter” as an attempt to undermine Lord Krsna’s instruction in BG 3.9 that performing prescribed duties for the satisfaction of Lord Visnu is actually yajna – sacrifice. And that when Krsna gave the example of Janaka Maharaja as a liberated person who still performed his prescribed duties that this is all beginner stuff and all negated in later chapters such as when Krsna states in BG 18.66
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah
“Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”
However this is not what my gurumaharaja Srila Prabhupada has taught me. In short this is what Srila Prabhupada has taught. Arjuna didn’t want to perform his prescribed duty as a kshatriya but rather wanted to act as a brahmana and renounce fighting. The rest of the Gita is Lord Krsna’s teaching Arjuna not to follow his prescribed duty for material reasons but to do it simply to please the Lord. Arjuna was following the purusarthas of dharma, artha, kama and moksha, that is dharma was performed for acquiring artha-wealth with which one could then enjoy kama-sense gratification. But Krsna was instructing Arjuna in a new program of dharma, moksha, bhakti. That is that Arjuna should perform his dharma – prescribed duties in order to please Krsna, that by doing so he would become brahma bhuta free from all material designations that is achieve moksa, and from such position be able to engage in bhakti. Then in the 18th chapter the Lord reiterates this program by briefly describing Varna ashrama Dharma in BG 18.40-44. Then in BG 18.45-46 Lord Krsna explains Daivi Varnasrama Dharma:
“By following his qualities of work, every man can become perfect. Now please hear from Me how this can be done. By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, a man can attain perfection through performing his own work.”
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 12, 2011 @ 5:26 am
In #92 Vishakha Priya Mataji said:
“Bhagavad-gita, in the third chapter, Krsna advises that one should worship the demigods, and in later chapters He says that less intelligent persons worship the demigods and that we should just worship Him. So, if somebody gets stuck on the third chapter, what can be done?”
I assume, perhaps wrongly, that you mention this to undermine what Siddha Krsna Dasa said in #72
In the Gita 3rd chapter we find that Lord Krsna instructs Arjuna that even if a person like Maharaja Janaka became liberated they still perform their prescribed duty just as an example to teach others, and in fact Lord Krsna says that the same applies to Him.
Though Sita Mataji has asked you in #140 where Krsna recommended demigod worship you never responded. We will however take up this point. In Bhagavad-gita 3.9-12 Krsna says:
Work done as a sacrifice for Visnu has to be performed; otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage.
In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Visnu, and blessed them by saying, “Be thou happy by this yajna [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you everything desirable for living happily and achieving liberation.”
The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you, and thus, by cooperation between men and demigods, prosperity will reign for all.
In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajna [sacrifice], will supply all necessities to you. But he who enjoys such gifts without offering them to the demigods in return is certainly a thief.
At least when I read this I do not see that Lord Krsna is recommending demigod worship, rather He is insisting that ”Work done as a sacrifice for Visnu has to be performed” not demigod worship.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 12, 2011 @ 5:18 am
In #137 Visakha Priya Mataji said:
Hare Krsna. Thank you for your questions. I made a few points in the three comments I sent for this thread, and neither you nor your supporters were able or willing to refute them. Rather, you seem to be bent on clutching at straws and arguing ad nauseam without listening to other devotees—or aspiring devotees’ realizations based on guru, sadhu, and sastra. Therefore, I see no reason to exert myself further. My purpose of purifying myself of the first offense to the holy names has been achieved, and I have no more reason to maintain any connection with the ongoing discussion. Please excuse me. May this find you well. Your servant, Visakha Priya dasi
Hare Krsna. I am sorry if I have offended you, it was not my intention. I only have limited time and cannot answer each and every text or point made. In fact I don’t even read comments from a certain verbose person as I do have a life and priorities to accomplish. As others have noted and appreciated I just stay focused on my main point and do not allow myself to be diverted elsewhere as others are. I will continue to stay focused because a distracted mind cannot accomplish anything. I do see that Sita Mataji did address many points including yours. But you never responded to her question “where does Krsna recommend demigod worship?” I will however address a point you make in a separate comment(s).
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada
Bhaktilata devi dasi
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On May 12, 2011 @ 5:12 am
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When you write articles or make comments which are read by thousands of people, isn’t this akin to giving a lecture or speaking directly to so many male readers? This just doesn’t ring true to your philosophy regarding appropriate behaviour for women. Anyway don’t mean to make offence… just wondering.
Your servant and friend,
Dear Praharana Dasi,
Valmiki Rsi informs us in chapters 33-36 of the Kishkindakhanda of the Ramayana: that Laksmana, on the order of Sri Rama, went to the gynaeceum of Sugriva in a very angry mood to find out why Sugriva had not kept his promise of putting in efforts to find Sita. (Sugriva had been spending his time during the monsoon season in earthly pleasures with his numerous wives like Ruma and Tara.) Sugriva became very alarmed to hear that Laksmana had come like the Lord of Death Himself. Sugriva, wise as he was, requested Tara to go out and meet Laksmana and speak sweetly to Him and explain that Sugriva had indeed already sent for monkey legions and in this way pacify Laksmana enough so that Sugriva could then meet with Him. Tara, by her conciliatory words, was indeed able to pacify Laksmana and thus pleased her husband greatly.
Hence, it is definitely recognized in Vedic culture that a wife, acting on the instructions of her husband, can represent him to someone else; in this case to Bhagavan Laksmana Himself.
I have known Jivan Mukta Prabhu and Sita Mataji for a long time and worked them with them for many years. I can vouch that she would never say a word that was not approved by her husband. Indeed they are like two halves of one body and are of one mind. So if she says anything rest assured that it has been sanctioned and approved of by Sriman Jivan Mukta Prabhu. Sita Mataji is a very chaste lady fully deserving the honor of the title Mataji. She exemplifies the virtues and qualities described by Narada Muni in Srimad Bhagavatam 7.11.25-29. Hence, there is no fault in her writing texts to this
Your humble servant
Women who are actually following their stri-dharma can preach. I hope this has removed your confusion on this matter.
» Posted By Bhaktilata dasi On Apr 28, 2011 @ 8:01 am
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