Comments Posted By Narada Priya devi d
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Prabhus and Matajis, PAMHO, AGTSP
In the past my comments got edited to the point of misrepresenting me, but here goes:
Where scriptural argument fails, why not be practical? For example, there was no dearth of family women when Jahnava Ma became guru. What’s more, she represented a family woman rather than a renunciate, exhibiting motherly affection appreciated by all. FDG is bad timing, therefore, when we consider that the divorce rate in ISKCON is soaring, and the children, our future hope, suffer the worst from it.
And that leads to the problem of what sort of women will institutionalized FDG attract? Also if you favor one special interest group, then you must expect others to clamor for their rights next, such as gays and lesbians.
We would be better off to act as the Catholic Church has by evading these issues. Let it become a “sideline” as Prabhupada put it and emphasize the norms for women according to his teachings in Srimad Bhagavatam.
Family life is the best situation for women. For one thing, caring for children awakens motherly affection and behavior. Also a husband is not afraid to chastise his wife whereas a male sannyasi would most likely hesitate, and a wife can serve her husband in personal ways which are not possible with sannyasis. And doing such menial service does not make her a doormat, ether; when we see a male disciple serving his male guru in such a way do we consider him a doormat? Rather, a wife serving her husband gets the same benefits that a male disciple serving his guru does, regarding sense control, service mood and so on.
With a return of family women at home, we’ll also see the return of dedicated mother’s in-law and grandmothers, because without their involvement, young wives and mothers cannot thrive. There are currently many young women that need mentoring and support, rather than depending upon society to pressure their already overworked husbands or outsiders to accept what was previously done by experienced family women.
When there are newborns or illnesses in a community also, or anyone in need of a hand or listening ear – mature and childless women, too, are so helpful. It is nature’s way.
And by nature’s arrangement so many young women today are turning home rather than pursuing careers. ISKCON is behind the times. So really the best thing to do is wait rather than make new policies.
In other words, as long as there is doubt about the FDG issue, please don’t.
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On Mar 10, 2013 @ 6:26 pm
So the awkwardness discussed could be accredited to what Canakya Pandit called the most painful time- youth or immaturity. In this way, ISKCON struggles. Prabhupada called it getting over the fear of being persons or the attraction for impersonal philosophies (Bg 4.10p). Instead of accepting distress in relationships as a fact of life, we try to make material, artificial adjustment. We may be so afraid of disagreement and dissension, we eventually want utopia, but we should understand that disagreement and discord are just another part of dealings in any genuine relationships. Meanwhile, ISKCON should become neutral to these special interest groups, such as equal rights for women, and promote Krishna consciousness instead. Then respect is natural.
(Correction: the quote in the previous post is from Bg 16.7p)
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On Aug 26, 2012 @ 12:21 pm
Pusta Krsna prabhu, thank you for your kind words. I truly feel undeserving and I am faulty in speaking harshly towards senior devotees, but you give back kind instruction instead.
I find it impossible to remain angry at senior devotees. I am always indebted to you for your dedicated service to Srila Prabhupada’s mission. If it were not for you all, I would not be here today. Besides, the source of my anger is not from this article; the issue here is only minor. My real unhappiness comes from many events in the past, and I suppose I am deriving some sense gratification by lamenting and getting some negative attention over it. I think it is also a test that comes with old age; the older we are the more we want some recognition for all the hard labor and sacrifice we’ve made. As for me, I have nothing to show and therefore fall for maya’s distractions to argue with others over petty things.
That said, I still find it interesting that you admit that a man’s ego is strongly aimed towards lording it over a woman. It confirms that caution is in order. And may I add that women are not perfect either; I have noticed you never said one word to criticize a woman. This is true in many of the men I know, my husband included. Very protective of women. I can safely guess that you’ve never suffered at the hands of a dysfunctional mother. Back in the 50’s, that word referring to family had not yet become common.
In that sense, I am concerned that women may have a tendency to take advantage of that. Prabhupada said it in the Bg that today women have become very puffed up and quite frankly. I find it true, from much experience. Agreeable with the Puranas, I do not find many women to be angels beyond the surface. I have a lengthy history of discovering this not only in other women but in my own bodily nature. But you and Keshava prabhu can only see the good.
I hope you will both forgive me for being so disagreeable. I have never had the chance of knowing either of you, so it is nothing personal. Lately, I’m just struggling to transcend all the damage a feminist mayavada upbringing has brought to my life.
“Although the bull, or the personality of religion, and the cow, the personality of the earth, knew perfectly well that the personality of Kali was the direct cause of their sufferings, still, as devotees of the Lord, they knew well also that without the sanction of the Lord no one could inflict trouble upon them. ” (SB 1.17.18p)
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On Aug 17, 2012 @ 2:13 pm
It is because modern education has artificially devised a puffed—up concept of womanly life (Bg 16.7p). Women are taught to put themselves first. Even the so called “grhastha team” preaches that. And the men being overattached to them, they don’t get any chance for improvement. Also, worn out and overworked, there is less time for relationships.
“Respect, care and love” sounds artificial to me, because feminists propagate this; it is superficial unless we love Krishna. For that, we need a lot of patience with each other and tolerance instead of rights. Then it is automatic; it need not be taught. When the service mood is there and everything works out. So, of course, the focus must be Krsna consciousness; then all these discrepancies can work out.
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On Aug 17, 2012 @ 2:05 pm
And I think the ISKCON family is a lot different than a normal family where brothers and sisters do not even think of illicit sex. That sort of purity between non family members that liberal devotees seek would be extraordinary. Those who want adaptations to the modern realities, therefore, are the ones who seem to expect instant “purity of existence”.
The impositions for keeping the sexes apart are found in Srila Prabhupada’s books. The caution also. I never got that information anywhere else. True, a section of our society wants to adapt his instructions. Many of us do not, because it is also true, and we can see practically, that our congregational Indian women make the best mothers and wives. They exhibit a healthy balance we all wish for, but they come from countless generations of good training and role models.
We all know that freedom from the bodily concept takes much time and our understanding of devotional service is an individual matter. That is why, I am sorry to say, I found this article nit picky.
From the madhyama platform, women really are the biggest challenge for men (and vice versa). Prabhupada says that if you are lenient, women will be troublesome. It takes one to know one, so please believe me that many women are not so unconscious. Their hearts are sharp and sly and in their youthful, unmarried state bent on one thing only (not referring to the proliferation of homosexuals today). This is the sort of preaching that should be going. It is why many of us joined.
I have never seen an article written about respecting men. Here I see the usual criticism. But we all know that in the ultimate sense, men are not the problem as vice versa. Lack of Krsna consciousness is, which is why the feminist movement began and men became free from responsibility. As a result, the grandsons of those men have even less an idea what that means and yet we blame everything on them and, being men, they just tolerate it and nothing gets done. A vicious cycle. In other words, how can men give women “the respect they deserve” when they themselves have had their positions usurped? Women are so capable today, they are not very much needed. And now, superwoman wants to give him his job back? So, of course their superiority over women is not deserved, they must feel that, too. Sadly, the majority have been reduced to almost women themselves. And from my point of view, distant dealings is not what compounds the problem.
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On Aug 17, 2012 @ 2:02 pm
But to the average reader, I’d like to explain my understanding just a little more (unless Dandavats censors me for the fourth time).
First of all, I haven’t witnessed any of the “awkwardness” described (makes me wonder if anyone here lives in a temple). And I don’t know anyone who “keeps apart” artificially”. I think the real problem is when people lump all women into one group like the Vaishnavi Ministry does, or they lump all men together, expecting them to act and think the same (the way they want them to), when actually there are different natures. Like I said earlier, some of us like separation of the sexes. Maybe it is from bad experiences of the past, coming from dysfunctional families, or just that we prefer to avoid familiarity which breeds contempt, but I think it’d be “artificial” to force us to be something we are not. Also, many of the ladies in my temple seem to prefer standing at the back of the temple. It is only naturally because some young ladies happen to be very shy (as some men are actually modest). It is not fair to say they do this artificially. I greatly admire one girl in particular who is very soft spoken and shy at the temple, but does sankirtana service very enthusiastically. Her shy and gentle nature is very beautiful. The VM is good for old women who no longer have hormones or youthful desires to deal with. As women age, they naturally get more assertive and knowledgeable and with sagging faces and breasts, we shouldn’t have to worry too much if they give class in front of anyone, especially if they spent most of their lives as good devotees, chaste wives and loving mothers.
Also it was asked, “Each time a male devotee interacts with a female, should it always be tinged with fear?” If it is a healthy fear, yes. Better if women and men mind their own business and interact when necessary for Krishna’s service. In BTG [Sept. Oct. 2012], Gunavatara prabhu wrote about this (“Religious Views Toward Women in the Public Sphere”). But like I said, the many types of men and women is what keeps things interesting. It seems that some women and men must interact with the opposite sex or they’ll go crazy and make agitation. As far as I know, the sudra class is given this facility for less restrictions. In other words, some people are more grossly sensual and emotional, while others more intellectual or self satisfied. For the latter, interacting with the opposite sex is a duty for spreading Krishna consciousness.
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On Aug 17, 2012 @ 1:56 pm
In conclusion, this article appears to be just another attempt to make (the socially engineered) women nod, but reads (many of the comments, too) as a holier-than-thou mood against neophytes as well as women themselves. It implies that women need something. The same mistake is made by the feminists- that we are needy. We are victims, etc. Srila Prabhupada, on the other hand, has given back our dignity. He points out that women are already powerful, but like any other power, women must be carefully educated and properly encouraged, so not to misuse it. I feel this article has done the opposite, and the author has smartly regretted it.
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On Aug 13, 2012 @ 1:40 pm
In a new comment I wrote:
“I understand the point of this post regarding maturity in devotional service, that we should not make renunciation our aim rather than love for Krishna, but the title threw me off……”
But whatever I had to say at that point was once again censored by Dandavats staff, I suppose, because I do not see it posted and it has been at least 3 days ago. So to make it very indirect, let’s just say we have to be careful not to show favor to special interest groups, because then we alienate others OR we will have to include others and that gets complicated and so many artificial demands arise. Better to remain neutral and stick to the standards given by Srila Prabhupada. Also was included this quote:
Hari-sauri: So we have to give allowances to such people. We have to give allowance?
Prabhupäda: Allowance? It is not allowance, but give him instruction. It is up to him to follow or not to follow.
Hari-sauri: But we cannot give any compromise.
Prabhupäda: No. This is the way. “But you are not able? All right, take little more time.”
Hari-sauri: So, say like one point now that’s coming up more and more is that these married couples, the women want a divorce or get another husband.
Prabhupäda: But we should not implicate.
Hari-sauri: So we cannot encourage divorce.
Prabhupäda: No. We do not meddle matters in that way very much. That is a sideline.
(Room conversation, 1/21/77, Bhuvanesvara)
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On Jun 3, 2012 @ 7:11 pm
Kesava Krsna prabhu: I tried to post an apology explaining my harsh words, but Praghosa prabhu says he does not wish to bring up past controversy at this time. The unpublished comment was a major breakthrough for me anyway, to come to grips with a problem my family and I have been struggling with since 1985.
Puskaraksa prabhu: As for the line about sudras that I wrote, what I meant was that it appears to be a common excuse to mingle etc., since a sastric verse says we are all born that way in Kali (or lower). Sort of how the Christians say, “I’m a sinner” and so…I’ll just stay that way.
But students of Srila Prabhupada have been given knowledge and mercy to transcend our lower natures to act in better capacities. For example, an ordinary hippie girl can be elevated by Krishna consciousness to good behavior, etc. Lord Vishnu says:
“Such women whose early life was spent with nonmeritorious and vicious indulgences and in their later period become pativrata, also attain My abode.” (Padma Purana)
Another example is the sudra -like vaisya or ksatriya of Kali, but as the “Varnasram- Why Now” article noted, people can be raised to devic vaisyas, devic sudras and so on. Krishna says the qualities of the brahamana are what attract Him.
“The stage of a devotee, which attracts the transcendental affection of the Lord, does not develop unless one has developed the qualities of a brähmana… Those who are less than a brähmana by qualification cannot establish any relation with the Lord. “ SB 1.14.34
At any time, of course, like the mouse that changed into a lion and back again, one can fall back due to offenses.
The definition of “sudra” is another topic.
Further thoughts for everyone: It may be difficult to live with the opposite sex in the same temple, but it seems the real test would be whether we could live in a temple without the opposite sex, only seeing them as daily visitors and guests. I find it interesting that grhastha disciples of Ramanujacarya lived in the temple with other celibate men, while their wives lived on the outside. It would seem that such situations would nourish real comaradie between men. The gopis also demonstrate how social restrictions facilitate true love.
I for one am fascinated by the idea of parda, which still exists in India to some degree for “high class” ladies. I got a chance to play around with the idea while living there (It’s easy to live like the rich in India) and wrote about it on Google.
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On May 29, 2012 @ 6:07 pm
The only women I’ve ever seen disrespected in Iskcon are those who act like men so really, what is the problem? I don’t even consider them real women.
You men who support free mixing between the sexes in the name of so-called love and caring for others, shame on you. Don’t expect the majority of people to be on the platform of paramahamsa Srila Prabhupada. This is minimizing his position. Secondly, stop trying to impress the ladies; stick up for your brothers instead if you want real women to respect YOU.
Prabhupada has repeatedly warned us about men overattached to women. In positions of leadership, they are the real cause of all society’s present troubles.
Women should earn respect by behaving properly, not because its politically correct or the above mentioned men want to appear better than others or to get subtle sex out from female associates. Women have been artificially respected for over 40 years now and look at the result!
These same men are the ones who say Prabhupada was influenced by Islam. They are the faithless mentioned in “Prabhupada on Trial” by Rochford. Yet, with much foresight, Prabhupada clearly warned us against such accusations in SB purport 1.10.16:
“It is only the less intelligent persons not well versed in the history of the world who say that observance of separation of female from male is an introduction of the Mohammedan period in India.”
Sure, we are all sudra, but show enough love for Prabhupada by transcending this nature enough to set the right example for future generations and the world.
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On May 23, 2012 @ 8:02 pm
I think varnasrama already exists, it’s just women who are out of place, and so there is far reaching social disturbances.
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On May 27, 2012 @ 10:19 pm
Puskaraksa prabhu (PAMHO), Interesting quote, especially considered with the following:
sadhana-kale ye paryanta
hrdaya kama ache
se paryanta varnasramadi
dharmera apeksa thake
“At the time of practicing sädhana-bhakti, so long as there is material desire within the heart, one should remain within the confines of the varnasrama system.” (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thäkura: Varnasrama and Vaidhi-Bhakti)
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On May 27, 2012 @ 10:13 pm
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What interests me most is the statement:
“Most devotees will not want to work as sudras.”
It is true that westerners are afraid of hard physical work. An excellent book to read about this current defect is called “Better Off” by Eric Brende.
Another thought is that most devotees don’t understand what a sudra is. It would not be too far off to say that many of us could consider us lucky if we even qualified as one.
I fully agree with the statement about the sudra brahmana or devic sudra, the term I prefer. This internal quality is available to us all. That is the real equality. Material equality is impossible and dangerous.
» Posted By Narada Priya devi d On May 23, 2012 @ 8:24 pm
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