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Comments Posted By Sita Rama dasa 1962

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Our divine society

Dear Gadi Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obiesances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupa.
You wrote, “The interested publicians are not without detection faculties to easily perceive the contradictions between our sweet statements and the gross reality of the disrespect of one group or one individual toward another.” And then you say, “It is this critical self-defeating behavior, nay, practically life style that is giving everyone trepidation, creating a wall of offence between ourselves and Krsna’s mercy. From the non-devotees on up to the initiating gurus, (with varying qualifications), who in effect have laid their future spiritual lives on the line, this offence is crippling the forward movement of this movement.” In conclusion you invite people to your community if they are ready to give all respect to others.
My problem is that you have painted the, “non-devotees on up to the initiating gurus (with varying qualifications)” as having a lifestyle of self -defeating criticism. This is not giving all respect to others; rather, it is a criticism of the overall Movement. I do not see a lifestyle of disrespect among devotees that is, “giving everyone trepidation”, and crippling the Movement. The devotees I know, although not totally free from occasionall disagreements, have genuine, love, respect and gratitude for each other. I am sure you have reasons to see the Movement in the terms you have described and I appreciate that you are building a community that explicitly avoids this self -defeating criticism. But you have framed it in a way that paints your community into an us/ them corner because you have made a sweeping description of ISKCON as a place full of bickering and disrespect while inviting people to come the one place where this is not the case.
At the risk of being presumptuous, I suggest that you look for current examples of genuine love, trust, respect, etc., among devotees and frame Murari’s Kirtan Valley as an extension of the inner core spirit of ISKCON. In this way you tacitly disapprove of self -defeating criticism without framing your community as the one place in ISKCON where this is not the life style. This will save you from being another wave splashing in the ocean of us/them.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasa 1962 On Apr 3, 2013 @ 7:28 am

GBC Statement on Srila Prabhupada’s position

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I love this statement by the GBC. The example and teachings of Srila Prabhupada are the life and soul of all members of ISKCON, for as long as ISKCON exists.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasa 1962 On Apr 1, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

On the Subject of Female Diksha Gurus

Basu Ghosh Prabhu,
Prabhu, I think I need to clarify my question in comment #10. Regarding Srila Prabhupada’s statement:
That does not mean that women are to be kept as slaves, but they are like children. Children are not given freedom, but that does not mean that they are kept as slaves. The demons have now neglected such injunctions, and they think that women should be given as much freedom as men. However, this has not improved the social condition of the world.
I understand Srila Prabhupada’s comment as follows. During the 1960-70’s there was a cliche, “The marriage trap”. Marriage was depicted as a means by which men took advantage of women. Women should be free from this and everyone should just have sex without any commitment. Marriage, which actually minimizes exploitation of women, was considered wrong, and free sex which maximizes exploitation was considered more ethical. Srila Prabhupada compares women to children. If parents do not fulfill their obligations, under the pretext of allowing children to be free, this is demoniac because when children are set free, to compete for their livelihood with adults, they are physically disadvantaged. Similarly, due to physical qualities, the women gets pregnant and the man doesn’t, so freeing women from marriage leaves them at a disadvantage. Instead of a man supporting his wife and children, the woman must support herself and her children and compete in a world where she is paid less than men. The demons present this as more fair to women and low class men consider it a great idea.
I am open to other ways to understand Srila Prabhupada’s comment. But I find it hard to see this as meaning that women should not have the freedom to become Guru’s. If allowing women to be Gurus is demoniac and twisted, Srila Prabhupada would have explicitly stated it should never be done. In contrast to this he says he wants all his, ”sons and daughters” to be Gurus. And while he was present he encouraged women to take shelter of married life, but also gave them the freedom/duty to go out and sell books on the street all day long, the freedom to live in Temples, and worship the Deities in the Temple. Women were not given these freedoms previously and Srila Prabhupada was criticized by those who said, “This has never been done”. Those that criticized SrilaPrabhupada did not know what should or should not be done. If someone has a reason why women should not be Guru I am interested, but I find most to be erroneous.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasa 1962 On Dec 10, 2012 @ 1:51 am

Basu Ghosh Prabhu,
It is a fact known to sociologists that an overabundance of marriageable aged women compared to marriageable aged men precipitated the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. It has happened in previous centuries in Europe. It is called a female marriage squeeze. There is a marriage market. At first, when there are more women available, marriage rates go up because a man can get a good deal. Then men come to realize they can have sex without a commitment at all. Women are bluffed into thinking that they can be equal by also remaining unmarried and having numerous sexual partners. But there is more personal expense in the sex act for women than for men so women are exploited. Some current feminists acknowledge this and distinguish between fair and equal. To be fair we must acknowledge that the woman is disadvantaged in free sex relationships. Not marrying women and instead just having sex with them is exploitation and only a really twisted person is too dull to understand this.
But what has this got to do with women becoming diksha gurus?

» Posted By Sita Rama dasa 1962 On Dec 8, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

I would like to express how I feel. This is the question, “How will this change make the ultimate meaning of life clearer to devotees”. If it will confuse it, then it is the wrong change, if it makes it clearer it is the right change. We are dependent on the wisdom of the GBC to make these decisions ,and whether they are right or wrong, Krishna will protect us if we surrender to Srila Prabhupada and serve his movement. I put my bottom line at the top, but I will go on because, as a human, I need to formulate my own conclusions.
I can appreciate your attitude that women should not be powerful and independent, as you say a Guru needs to be, but does a guru really need to be independent to be powerful? Isn’t the most powerful thing to engage in ones duty while cultivating Krishna Consciousness? Isn’t one who is doing this, whether they are a viasya, sudra, women, or whatever, setting the best example and therefore being the most powerful spiritually? Why would one need to change from this perfect example after becoming a diksha Guru? I think in ISKCON we consider that a Guru should be in charge materially but a sudra is not in charge or independent, yet Lord Caitanya emphatically declares they can be guru’s.
You say you worry about women being appointed Gurus- no one in ISKCON has been appointed guru since around 1987. If someone is inspired to take initiation from someone who is not yet a guru the perspective guru simply needs obtain a no objection vote. Anyway, I see that this assumption- that climbing the social ladder towards power and Independence is an integral part of being a guru- is deeply embedded in our thinking. Maybe I am unrealistic to think that is going to change. And I do not know if women gurus will move things away from that change or towards it. But that is the change that is needed to save this movement. We need to be able to distinguish the ultimately holy act of helping someone become Krishna Conscious with any type of material activity. There is nothing manly about being a Viasnava Guru. If one thinks there is they have a hellish mentality. A pot washer might be much more devoted and qualified to be a guru than the Temple President. We do not have to climb the social ladder to become inwardly elevated.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasa 1962 On Dec 6, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

The Woman as Guru: Words of Silence

Dear Mother Mohana Mohini ,
Thank you for that observation. I do not think I am off the topic but I have generalized it, instead of making it more specific. Even if you continue to feel women should not become gurus, you may agree with the point I am trying to make, which is beyond that.
Lord Caitanya has emphatically stated that regardless of one’s social position anyone can be a Guru if they know the science of Krishna. The instruction- that those who are generally forbidden to be gurus in previous ages can become gurus in the most fallen age, may seem illogical to some. But first of all we have to accept this as the teaching of the Avatara. Then it would be nice if we try to understand it. I believe it means that being a Vaisnava Guru, SHOULD not require a change in social status. We equate being a Guru with being powerful and independent, when all that is actually required is that one perform the duty they are given, chant Hare Krishna ,and be dependent of the Mercy of Lord Caitanya. Whether one is materially high or low, dependent or independent, powerful or not powerful does not matter. Until we embrace that concept we will confuse being on the top socially with having the top- most understanding of the science of Krishna. This is confusing two diametrically opposed concepts. And one thus confused is not qualified to be either a Guru or a disciple. Krishna Consciousness is not a material subject matter! It is Kali Yuga, if it takes material intelligence, or any other material qualification to be a guru, guess what? No one is qualified! But even if it is not Kali Yuga, Lord Brhama’s brain is not big enough to understand Krishna. Krishna can only be understood by the His Mercy and we do not invoke that mercy through any type of material qualification. It can only be invoked by becoming fully dependent on Him.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasa 1962 On Dec 7, 2012 @ 10:40 am

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