Comments Posted By Swami B. A. Ashram
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Basu Ghosh das wrote: “Prabhupada told Prof. O‚ÄôConnel [room conversation @ Toronto, June ‚Äė76] that female gurus were extremely rare & Jahnava Devi ‚Äúdid not declare‚ÄĚ [herself as guru].”
For the record, here is what Srila Prabhupada actually said, after making it clear that there’s no essential distinction between men and women in our movement, to the extent that women could be panditas:
Prof. O’Connell: Is it possible, Swamiji, for a woman to be a guru in the line of disciplic succession?
Prabhupada: Yes. Jahnava devi was-Nityananda’s wife. She became. If she is able to go to the highest perfection of life, why it is not possible to become guru? But, not so many. 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. 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.
Comment Posted By Swami B. A. Ashram On 28.12.2012 @ 17:04
Phalini wrote, ‚ÄúTraditionally, we see only male gurus giving diksha. The women in our line who initiated others during the time of Lord Caitanya were most likely giving harinam initiation, which is not actually diksha.‚ÄĚ
Traditionally, there are many examples of women giving diksa. Phalini‚Äôs suggestion that women who initiated during Mahaprabhu‚Äôs time only gave harinama, not mantra diksa, is nothing more than speculation, as she admits by qualifying it with ‚Äúmost likely.‚ÄĚ On what basis would anyone make such an assertion? Such guesswork doesn‚Äôt help her argument; rather, it weakens it.
In fact, there is no evidence that women initiating disciples during or subsequent to Mahaprabhu‚Äôs time gave only harinama. In fact, examining Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura‚Äôs diksa patra shows three women, aside from Jahnava Thakurani, in the third, fourth, and fifth positions back from Bhaktivinoda Thakura. These women certainly gave their disciples both sacred mantra and transcendental knowledge.
I don‚Äôt want readers to think that I submit this to denigrate Phalini in any way. My family was friends with hers when we lived in California in the ‚Äė80s, and I remember her and her husband fondly as dedicated servants of our beloved spiritual master. However, I haven‚Äôt seen anyone address this point in her argument yet, and I think it‚Äôs a mistake to let it go unquestioned.
There is considerably more to say on this issue, and I may do so soon, when I have some time.
Comment Posted By Swami B. A. Ashram On 08.12.2012 @ 18:24