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Comments Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa

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Bhaktivinode Thakura and Varnasrama

Balakrsna Prabhu,
Referring to Srila Prabhupada’s teachings you say, “If there is a contradiction in Manu Samhita and the teaching of the Gita or Bhagavatam regarding varnashrama then we can assume it is an interpolation and only accept the conclusions of the Gita and Bhagavatam.”.
I find this statement incomplete. In truth we can assume interpolation, OR INAPPLICABILITY,of any Vedic text if we find it contradicts the Gita, Bhagavatam, OR ANYTHING SRILA PRABHUPADA SAID OR ANY POLICIY HE ESTABLISHED REGARDING WOMEN, OR ANY OTHER ISSUE.
If we can err by skipping over Acahryas we can also err by skipping to texts that have possibly been tampered with. We know Srila Prabhupada is aware of the difference between what is genuine and what is an interpolation and what is ,or is not, applicable to ISKCON. A Vedabase search on Manu Samhita gives 228 hits. That is all we need to know about it!.
When we go to the direct text, we then must argue with our limited ability weather something is an interpolation or not, and weather something is applicable or not. This is a distractions which undermines the fundamental principal that we can ,and should, rely exclusively on the teaching of Srila Prabhupada- which give the most authoritative instructions on how to attain the goal of all Vedic Scriptures.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Feb 13, 2013 @ 2:57 am

Mother Vishaka Priya,
Thank you so much for sharing the wisdom of Srila Bhativinoda Thakura, and explaining the logical connection between it and several points currently being debated in ISKCON.
Sometimes we hear Srila Prabhupada make a point, then when we hear it explained by another Viasnava authority and this helps us understand what our ultimate authority, Srila Prabhupada ,is saying.
For example, at the sannyasa initiation of Gurudasa Prabhu(San Francisco ,July 21, 1975) Srila Prabhupada says, ” His wife is also great devotee, you know, Yamunä. So now Yamunä has taken a very nice path. She has also become sannyäséné. Although there is no sannyäséné for women, but she has voluntarily taken.She is doing very nice; therefore I advised her husband that “You also take sannyäsa.”
So some would say that this is a precedent for women sannyasa to become a norm in ISKCON. Others will bring up quotes against women sannyas and say it is absolutely forbidden while simple ignoring Srila Prabhupada statements above. Other people know that neither of these extremes is correct and call for a nuanced understanding. But those with a political agenda are often expert at framing a nuanced perspective as the opposite of their extreme view, in other words they polarize views that are not in total agreement with their own. Therefore it is valuable to have an authoritative statement which explains why Srila Prbhpada’s says their is no sannyasa for women and at the same time calls Mother Yamuna a sannyasini.
I am referring to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s point “Women are allowed to enter the grhastha asrama and vanaprastha asrama only. Though some women, being exceptionally qualified, achieving high education, expert understanding of scripture and great expertise, may become a brahmacari or sannyasi, it is not the normal rule, as women are usually of weaker body, faith and discriminating power.”

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Feb 10, 2013 @ 3:40 am

Not male or female, the real question is who is qualified?

I find Srila Prabhupadas explanation of the topic above to be extremely clear (see purport to verse 5 of, “The Nectar of Instruction”).
Srila Prabhupada says, “A neophyte Vaiñëava or a Vaiñëava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikäré as a spiritual master.”
Srila Prabnupada explains that we can understand the inner level of ones chanting, by observing their behavior, which is a manifestation of their level of faith.
The neophyte stage is described as, “A person who is very faithfully engaged in the worship of the Deity in the temple, but who does not know how to behave toward devotees or people in general is called a präkåta-bhakta, or kaniñöha-adhikäri.” Srila Prabhupada says this person’s faith is soft and pliable.
In contrast the madhyama adhikare has firm faith described by Srila Prabhupada , “Çraddhä means accepting the instructions of Bhagavad-gétä in their totality, especially the last instruction: sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja. “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.” Srila Prabhupada goes on to say, “A person whose conclusive knowledge of the çästras is not very strong but who has developed firm faith in chanting the Hare Kåñëa mahä-mantra and who is also undeterred in the execution of his prescribed devotional service should be considered a madhyama-adhikäré.
The uttama adhikare is described, “When a person realizes himself to be an eternal servitor of Kåñëa, he loses interest in everything but Kåñëa’s service. Always thinking of Kåñëa, devising means by which to spread the holy name of Kåñëa, he understands that his only business is in spreading the Kåñëa consciousness movement all over the world. Such a person is to be recognized as an uttama-adhikäré”,and further, “Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikäré Vaiñëava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaiñëavism.”
Prior to the reform of the mid 1980’s one might say the guru’s were, “rubber stamped”; but now the GBC simply gives the green light if a devotee determines a person is qualified to initiate them.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Jan 21, 2013 @ 12:10 am

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

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

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Jan 18, 2013 @ 5:55 am

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

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Jan 16, 2013 @ 11:29 pm

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

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Jan 16, 2013 @ 11:27 pm

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

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Jan 16, 2013 @ 5:05 am

Varnasrama: Protection or Exploitation!

Nataraja Prabhu,
Please forgive me if I have failed to understand you. Right now it seems you are saying that for a woman to be qualified to be guru she must not neglect her occupational duties. I agree, and add that is true in every way. One mataji wanted to have another woman take care of her child so she could do pujari work. Srila Prabhupada wrote that he was surprised, and said for her, baby worship is more important than Diety worship.
Devotees do not neglect their family duty, we see the example of the Founder Achraya , Srila Prabhupada. He preached as much as possible while he was married, but he fulfilled the household duty.
I was taught, in the early 1980’s that am man giving a Bhagavatam class is giving empty words if he is unkind to his family. Charity must begin at home. I can only say that we teach that the disciple must be intelligent and see these things. In fact if we are doing our duty as disciple, and scrutinizing the potential guru correctly, we will not accept a guru who is not qualified.
To be an ISCKOPN guru the GBC says they have,”no objection”. It is up to the potential disciple to determine if they feel someone is able to be their guru. As for inside marriages, if the husband and wife have a firm relationship they will both decide if the woman should, or should not, be a guru.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 28, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

I want to make one last attempt to explain my entire position. I do not claim to have the wisdom to know precisely how the topic of women gurus should be managed: that is up to the GBC. But I object to certain types of arguments.
I believe Mother Phalini’s opposition to women’s gurus uses a legitimate framework. That framework is in regard to whether women gurus are incompatible with the practical realities of this material world. It was simply my humble opinion that her arguments within that framework were not effective.
There are two other frames; that women are categorically incapable of the level of spiritual advancement required to be a diksha guru, and historical Vedic teaching as well as Srila Prabhupada’s instructions prohibit women gurus. It is these arguments which I feel compelled to repudiate as objectively wrong.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 28, 2012 @ 2:55 am

Sitalatma Prabhu,
You say, “There’s another list there where women could be considered under the category “whatever” but that is a rather loose interpretation, it’s not direct evidence.” I assume you are not aware of Srila Prabhupada answer when directly questioned about this subject:
“Actually one who has attained the perfection, she can become guru. But man or woman, unless one has attained the perfection…. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128]. The qualification of guru is that he must be fully cognizant of the science of Krsna. Then he or she can become guru. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei guru haya. [break]( see Women Guru’s: Yes But Not So Many SP) by Ajamila Prabhu”
In ISKCON we do not accept Srila Prabhupada’s answers about the meaning of verses as a relative opinion, or an interpretation; and we certainly do not consider them, “loose”. He is the Founder Acharya and he says that this verse applies to women. When Srila Prabhupada is questioned directly on a subject his answer is direct evidence.
You also say, “The quote about word guru equally applicable to diksa guru as well as all other kind of gurus is in response to a particular argument from caste brahmanas. It doesn’t mean that the same answer would be given if the argument was raised about women desiring to give out diksa.”
You then say, “Also, if we accept that there’s no distinction between diksa and siksa gurus, then why this big push to legitimize this transition from siksa to diksa?”
The cast brahmana’s were trying to make a false distinction between siksha and diksha to prohibit other castes from initiating. The point is, if there is no distinction you cannot say siksha is allowed and prohibit dikhsa. You are arguing that there is no distinction but also saying the distinction of allowing women siksha gurus and prohibiting diksha guru should remain. This is not logical. The push may be to make our policies logical and consistent with the scriptures.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 28, 2012 @ 2:29 am

Nataraja Prabhu,
You say, “ But to conclusion, that women devotee who performs stri dharma, performs materialistic activities – its also not supported by shastras.”
I agree that stri dharma, SHOULD not be restricted to the material plane. Women can please Krishna by performing their occupational duties, and pleasing Krishna is the essence of the science of Krishna. As we have heard several times, the qualification of a guru is that they know the science of Krishna. So how can you say women are restricted from being guru unless you say they are unable to please Krishna by their occupation?

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 28, 2012 @ 12:40 am

I want to explain why I am involved in this issue. My reasoning is as follows, the purpose of all the Vedas is to know Krishna (BG 15, 15). As we are, The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, we should be concerned exclusively with activities that can help people know Krishna. It is undeniable that all men as well as women can become devotees of Krishna and please Him by performing their duties. Pleasing Krishna is the essence of the science of Krishna Consciousness and, as Srila Prabhupada says, anyone who knows the science perfectly can be a guru.
I have seen several alarming statements opposing women gurus. Some imply, and others explicitly declare, that serving the sense gratification of their husbands is the highest achievement possible for women in ISKCON. They are not simply saying that women are not spiritual enough, or that women gurus will disrupt the social order in ISKCON. They are saying that women are categorically incapable of anything beyond sense gratification. They must say this because if women are able to connect to Krishna, then there can be no limit to the level of purity they can attain, including, of course, being qualified to initiate. Although I am presenting an, “either or argument” I do not think it is fallacious. Rather, I think the arguments on each side must proceed to one conclusion or the other. And the conclusion that women are confined to the material plane is absolutely wrong.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 27, 2012 @ 3:43 am

Kesava Krsna Prabhu,
You ask, “If a wife holds a position of diksa guru, and her husband is not a diksa guru, then who will receive first respect, when the husband is her protector and Pati?”
Your question is ambiguous. Generally a question on the details would come after accepting that the general issue is settled. If that is the case the answer would come from the female guru,the female gurus husband,or the GBC, I am none of these.
Or you may be arguing that women should not be gurus because devotees would not know who to bow to first. I response to that I would suggest this is not a insurmountable dilemma.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 26, 2012 @ 3:25 am

Nataraja Prabhu,
Your thesis , “Therefore it will be correct to say – that mainly, the modern days womens greatest spiritual achievement will be capability to serve her husband senses in lifelong marriage” is in direct opposition to the purpose, understanding, and goal, of all Vedic Scriptures. Srila Prabhupada states in the purport to BG 15, 15,that these three things are clearly defined in that verse. What is the verse? Krishna says, “By all the Vedas I am to be known”
You may argue that women should be restricted to stri-dharma but you cannot argue that stri -dharma is confined to the material plane. The purpose of all dharma is to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead . No one can say that women cannot please Krishna by performing their occupational duties. If one knows the science of Krishna Consciousness they can be Guru. What is the science of Krishna if it is not pleasing Krishna through ones activities.
When asked about this question Srila Prabhupda said, “Actually one who has attained the perfection, she can become guru. But man or woman, unless one has attained the perfection…. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128]. The qualification of guru is that he must be fully cognizant of the science of Krsna. Then he or she can become guru. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei guru haya. [break]( see Women Guru’s: Yes But Not So Many SP) by Ajamila Prabhu.
Above, Srila Prabhupada clearly says that CC Madhya 8.128 applies to women. In the purport to this verse Srila Prabhupada points out the following:
Sometimes a caste guru says that ye kåñëa-tattva-vettä, sei guru haya means that one who is not a brähmaëa may become a çikñä-guru or a vartma-pradarçaka-guru but not an initiator guru. According to such caste gurus, birth and family ties are considered foremost. However, the hereditary consideration is not acceptable to Vaiñëavas. The word guru is equally applicable to the vartma-pradarçaka-guru, çikñä-guru and dékñä-guru. Unless we accept the principle enunciated by Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, this Kåñëa consciousness movement cannot spread all over the world.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 26, 2012 @ 3:04 am

On the Subject of Female Diksha Gurus

Sitalatma Prabhu,
OK, let me try to state myself more clearly. First, I was responding the assertions of Basu Gosh Prabhu. If I understand his position correctly he argued that devotees are in favor of FDG because they feel men and women should be equal,as taught in the mundane modern world. He says it is hard for those devotees conditioned by mundane liberal values to understand material inequality which VAD describes as an integral part of human society.
I see the principal aspect of the modern western world as people striving for individual supremacy. It follows that they must understand material inequality or else they would not all be striving for superiority. In direct contrast to this, the principal function of ISKCON is to establish the eternal reality of the soul, above material designation of superior and inferior. It is this teaching that distinguishes us from other organizations. Many social/political organizations can claim to have the best answer on the material realm but we can offer something far beyond anything offered by material organizations, namely freedom from birth, death disease and old age. So the main function of ISKCON is to explain spiritual equality: material inequality is something people are already aware of. People should agree to allow material inequality to be regulated by VAD for the sole purpose of coming to the level of spiritual equality.
I agree with you that FDG is a different thing. There are some aspects of Krishna Consciousness that seem to correlate with mundane liberalism and others seem to be conservative values; however, we should not accept or reject something because it seems to be for ,or against, either mundane liberalism or conservatism. Basu Gosh is saying those in favor of FDG are brainwashed by modern liberal values. My argument is direct in addressing Basu Gosh’s argument. I am saying his particular argument against FDG is not convincing.Spiritual equality is not material liberalism. Emphasizing equality of the soul is the primary function of ISKCON, if this equality means there should be FDG then we cannot reject it because it seems to be something a mundane liberal would be in favor of.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Jan 4, 2013 @ 5:25 am

Sitalatma Prabhu,
You responded to my comment, “…assertion (that people in the Western World have been brainwashed into believing in equality) to be contrary to observable facts. People in the Western World are striving for individual supremacy”, with a question:
“Is it a pro or anti argument? If desire for equality is seen as unfavorable in FDG issue, how’s desire for supremacy any better?”
My comment was a response to the argument that in the western world we are brainwashed into accepting material equality and thus cannot except the material inequality described in varnasrama. In contrast to this, material inequality is unavoidable and thus known in every society; in the western world we are brainwashed with the belief that we should all strive for personal supremacy. It is not difficult for materialists in the western world to understand material inequality;rather, it is hard for them to understand spiritual equality.
We can argue that varnasrama is the best social system but we then must compete with other systems who claim to offer the best social arrangements. But through understanding the equality of the soul we have a claim the materialist cannot even presume to offer, freedom from birth , death , disease and old age. Thus ,although those too addicted to their material distinction cannot understand equality of the soul, it is understandable by those who are seeking spiritual benefits obtained by transcending the illusion of materiel distinctions. Thus we will attract the most people by emphasizing equality of the soul because the material systems that are competing with us cannot even claim to offer freedom from all material misery.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 29, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

Basu Gosh Prabhu,
I find your assertion (that people in the Western World have been brainwashed into believing in equality) to be contrary to observable facts. People in the Western World are striving for individual supremacy, this is undeniable: It is not possible for a person to struggle for supremacy and also think everyone is equal. We do not think we are equal. Studies show that the vast majority of the people consider themselves above average.
Children are socialized with this from the beginning of their life. We are told, by our own work, we can become wealthy capitalists, a Doctor, Lawyer, or even the President. We ignore the fact that a certain body, upbringing, and social environment (what to speak of Karma) have an effect. People have fought hard for success and loath to think that the less successful are equal. The unsuccessful would rather be poor and be able to dream of the possibility of great wealth then to live in a socialistic country where everyone is Ok financially but capitalism is too regulated for unlimited wealth.
So I fail to see how you can say that the culture of the Western World promotes equality. Gross materialists may say they think all are equal, but their actions show they all want to be supreme. Thus, as devotees, we have to emphasize that any type of superiority in the material world is totally distinct from the real identity of the living being. In other words, it is more useful to tell people something they do not know (we are all equal as spirit souls) then to reinforce what they already know about the illusory world.

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 22, 2012 @ 6:03 am

Basu Gosh Prabhu,
You wrote:
“Our ideology teaches that “on the platform of the soul” this is true [that we are all “equal” — as jivatmas], but while embodied we are to follow varnashram dharma — the principles of religion & social occupational duties. This means distinctions and differentiations, not equality. That’s very hard for we Westerners to accept, due to our being “brainwashed” — or rather “indoctrinated” — with this concept since childhood!”
There has never existed ,nor will there ever exist a society where differentiations and inequality regarding occupational duties is not understood. In the modern Western World-am I equal to my boss or does he have control over me? I am equal to a police officer; can I arrest him if I see him speeding? Can I get accepted into Harvard with an IQ of 85? If I am a woman can I be in the NFL? No.
What permeates Western culture is an open court frenzy to be supreme. Men spend hours in gyms and women spend hours in beauty salons to become supremely attractive. The capitalists want to be as rich as god. The academics want to develop the supreme theory. Our brainwashing is such that we cannot understand that the equality of the soul is real and the external inequalities are illusory. That is why panditah sama darshinah is basically unknown in the Western World. But there is no society on earth ,or in heaven ,where inequality and competition for supremacy is unknown!

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 22, 2012 @ 1:05 am

What should be clear is that there no varna or ashram that denotes Vaisnava Guru. Sometimes brahmana’s are considered the spiritual masters of society, but they can be demigod worshipers and not Vaisnava’s. Sanayasa’s can be impersonalists or mayavada. Obviously Vaisnava Guru is not an external designation. Lord Catianya says regardless of VAD designation, anyone can be can be Guru and Srila Prabhupada clearly states that this includes women:
“Yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128]. The qualification of guru is that he must be fully cognizant of the science of Krsna. Then he or she can become guru. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei guru haya. [break] In our material world, is it any prohibition that woman cannot become professor? If she is qualified, she can become professor. What is the wrong there? She must be qualified. That is the position. So similarly, if the woman understands Krsna consciousness perfectly, she can become guru.”
This is an unambiguous statement and Ajamila Prahbu has cited many more in his article “Women Gurus; Yes but not so Many. SP.”

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 21, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

Basu Gosh Prabhu,
You wrote, “What can’t a women take sannays? Why can’t a woman be conferred the sacred thread? And why can’t a man bear a child (why weren’t men created equal to women and have wombs)? The answer should be clear. It is that there is gender distinction in human society.”
Yes there are gender distinctions. A woman cannot take sanyasa because she should be dependent on her own son rather than on the, “charity” of numerous men who will expect sense gratification in return. But Srila Prabhupada also stated that the first lesson is, we are all absolutely equal on the spiritual plane, and any human being can transcend illusory designations (inequalities) by performing devotional service along with the duty in connection with the body. You do not have to change the external duty to transcend the external designation. So the different viewpoints result from how we define Vaisnava Guru. Those against women gurus say a particular material designation is required. My contention is, if one cannot see the difference between the function of a Vaisnava Guru, and the external designation of that Guru, they are not qualified to be a Guru or a disciple.
We can certainly make the case that VAD is better than capitalists, communists, and other secular social structures. But ISKCON can offer freedom from the real problems, birth ,death ,disease, and old age. One must become free from illusory material designations to be free from these miseries. So if we do not emphasize spiritual equality, the real problems of life remain, whether the society is VAD, capitalism, communism, or whatever

» Posted By Sita Rama dasanudasa On Dec 20, 2012 @ 6:18 am

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