Comments Posted By gkd
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I also deliberately always write Krsna, Caitanya, Vaisnava, Srila, etc., with not diacritics.
But “Iskcon” is plain wrong. Being an acronym for “International Society for Krishna [not Krsna] Consciousness,” it goes all caps (although one might suggest that “ISKCon” is the actually correct rendering).
Comment Posted By gkd On 25.01.2014 @ 09:42
â€śI am thus compelled to ask: â€śDid Akruranatha P. NOT EVER read the above, well-known statement?â€ť â€¦ Yet he also stated: â€śAnd he never wrote or spoke anywhere that women were disqualified from serving as initiating gurus.â€ť Does something seem awry here? Will Akruranatha P. explain?â€ť
I have explained repeatedly, I do not read the purport about Suniti to directly address the question, â€śmay a woman ever serve as diksa guru?â€ť
Granted, as conditioned souls we will not necessarily understand the true meaning of anything that we perceive via our obviously imperfect senses. Any one of us may sometimes misunderstand words whose meaning is self-evident to others. Admitting this obvious fault within our conditioned self, shouldn’t we therefore be very careful to not make absolute statements that may well be proven wrong?
You have publicly declared that Srila Prabhupada “never wrote or spoke anywhere” that women are disqualified from serving as diska-gurus. It is an absolute statement: “He never wrote…”
But your assertion is not only unverifiable but soundly refuted by Srila Prabupada’s own words: “Being a woman, [Suniti] could not become Dhruva MahĂ¤rĂ¤ja’s dĂ©kĂ±Ă¤-guru.”
We should consider the totality of what Srila Prabhupada said and try to determine what he meant without being guided by preconceived positions.
We all know that taking birth in a certain family does not automatically qualify one as a bona fide guru, (nor can taking birth in such a family be considered a prerequisite for being a guru). However, can we extrapolate from the above that every guru from a caste-goswami lineage has been bogus?
No such conclusion has been proposed. The simple point is this:
The argument that “There have been many women diksa-gurus in Gaudiya Vaisnava history” is rejected due to their being from jati-gosai lineages. This argument must be rejected, but not that those Vaisnavi gurus per se are being discounted.
I think we should be cautious about disparaging all of them (and all their disciples and supporters) as â€śbogusâ€ť without looking into the matter more closely.
Again, this was not done. And neither is it wrong to disparage specious “evidence” (by citing jati-gosai examples) that there have been female diksa-gurus within our line.
Comment Posted By gkd On 06.12.2013 @ 20:38
Nevertheless, they may become pure devotees and professors of the science of Krsna, and if such women (like Queen Kunti and Draupadi and Parvati and Devaki and Radharani) can teach us about Krsna, they are our gurus.
Indeed they are our gurus. But as has been explained over and again, they were not diksa-gurus!
Nor will this statement disappear: â€śAccording to sastric injunctions, there is no difference between siksa-guru and diksa-guru, and generally the siksa-guru later on becomes the diksa-guru. Suniti, however, being a woman, and specifically his mother, could not become Dhruva Maharajaâ€™s diksa-guru.â€ť
There is no difference, yet there is a difference. And the difference must not be side-stepped or discounted. Pro-FDG arguments persistently stress the non-difference without ever reconciling the difference. Being a woman was no disqualification for Suniti to be a siksa-guru., but it definitely did preclude her from being a diksa-guru.
What is the difficulty to understand and accept this?
In a comment to a different article, Akruranatha P. asked, “Did Srila Prabhupada EVER say that women cannot be diksa gurus?”
I am thus compelled to ask: “Did Akruranatha P. NOT EVER read the above, well-known statement?” Of course he has read it. Yet he also stated: “And he never wrote or spoke anywhere that women were disqualified from serving as initiating gurus.”
Does something seem awry here? Will Akruranatha P. explain?
Nor have we yet read any convincing refutations of these points (in the article by Basu Ghosh P.):
To begin with, when a woman canâ€™t wear the sacred thread â€“ the yajnopavita â€“ then how can she give one as a part of initiation? Srila Prabhupada followed the system of initiation introduced by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Srila Saraswati Thakur introduced the brahmin thread â€“ yajnopavita â€“ for persons not born in brahmana families.
Srila Prabhupada introduced such initiations â€“ for men. For women, he never conferred the yajnopavita! Therefore, how can a woman give a sacred thread as a part (â€śangaâ€ť in Samskritam) of â€śdiksaâ€ť if she herself does not/cannot wear it? This historical fact should be sufficient in itself as evidence that women were not to be diksa gurus.
Perhaps Akruranatha P. would kindly respond to these essential points of pancaratrika-viddhi.
Comment Posted By gkd On 04.12.2013 @ 20:30
I offer a humble perspective regarding the excerpt quoted from the January 1969 letter:
Given that Srila Prabhupada taught, both in theory and practice, that all women should be married, it is not illogical to propose that the statement “Maybe by 1975 all of my disciples will be allowed to initiate” means that grhastha men would be allowed to initiate, but not that their wives also would initiate. I proffer that “all of my disciples” is a generic expression meant to include all women disciples as the better half of their respective husband. In other words, if during his prakata-lila all of Srila Prabhupada’s grhastha male disciples had become Bhaktivedantas and hence were instructed to become a diska-guru, then Srila Prabhupada could have rightly stated: “All of my householder disciples are initiating spiritual masters.” Again, when we duly consider the full gamut of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, and also Vedic culture, guru-sadhu-sastra, and so on, it is indeed simply common sense to conclude that this statement is factually not at all an indication that Srila Prabhupada wanted his female disciples to initiate. (?!)
So much can be said about this. But, dear esteemed readers, kindly consider the following situation: Some number of Srila Prabhupada’s female disciples had/have passed the Bhaktivedanta exam and thus are now qualified “to initiate.” As Bhaktivedantas, these exalted ladies must have thoroughly learned and understood Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta, Vedic standards, stri-dharma, etc. Consequently, as chaste wives of their respective husband, such women would naturally serve their husband in his capacity as a diksa-guru. Being philosophically astute, they would be capable of providing excellent siksa to (especially) any female disciples whom he had accepted. Such pairs of husband-wife guru would be quite efficacious for ministering to the general populace, most being neophytes (whereas brahmanas and sannayasis would be available to especially guide the more advanced devotees. Brahmacarinis and widows would generally restrict their preaching to women only.)
The dire need in this dense darkness of Kali-yuga is for countless self-realized light-of-knowledge-bearing siksa-gurus, not necessarily many diksa-gurus. Moreover, anyone not yet fully self-realized should perhaps vehemently shun the prospect of becoming another’s “guru.”
Comment Posted By gkd On 02.12.2013 @ 03:43
To me, it sounds that â€śnot so manyâ€ť ultimately refers to both men and women. Otherwise, why would Srila Prabhupada states that â€śBut man or woman, unless one has attained perfectionâ€¦â€ť?
I wonder how many, or few, devotees understand it in that way.
The question was specifically whether a woman can become guru within the sampradaya. And Srila Prabhupada answered: “Yes … But, not so many.”
I am surprised that anyone, what to speak of an experienced editor, would think that not so many, in this specific sentence (not in general, please :), would refer also to men.
I have intentionally omitted the words spoken between Yes and But to emphasize that not so many logically refers to women. Since those words were specifically about Jahnava Mata, again the logical conclusion is that not so many refers to women.
Moreover, Srila Prabhupada continues by saying: “Actually one who has attained the perfection, she can become guru.” If the previously spoken words not so many were meant to refer to both men and women, why would Srila Prabhupada at this point specifically say she here? It does not follow.
Finally, having answered the original question, Srila Prabhupada does speak of both men and women: “But, man or woman, unless one has attained the perfectionâ€¦” That he begins the sentence with but indicates that now he will speak not only about women “but man or woman.”
Comment Posted By gkd On 01.12.2013 @ 20:58
When directly asked about it he said that women could be gurus.
Is there proof that Srila Prabhupada was directly asked this question? Because the letter per se does not even hint at that.
And he never wrote or spoke anywhere that women were disqualified from serving as initiating gurus.
“Suniti, however, being a woman, and specifically his mother, could not become Dhruva Maharajaâ€™s diksa-guru.â€ť (SB 4.12.32, p)
Certainly one meaning of this sentence is clearly: “Being a woman, Suniti could not become a diksa-guru.”
Comment Posted By gkd On 01.12.2013 @ 01:43
Who is this “Raadhaa-MudHUV”?
(That’s really all that i want to comment, but the minimum acceptable comment is 100 characters - hence this additional parenthetical comment)
Comment Posted By gkd On 28.10.2013 @ 21:26
Thank you, William, for this contribution!
[One slight correction:]
Although many would consider (whether negatively or positively) that Aindra P. did indeed besiege devotees “again and again” with his transcendentally impassioned pleas that we do more maha-mantra harinama-sankirtana, in the above-quoted speech given in Mayapur Aindra Prabhu actually said, “I beseech you again and again.” :)
Comment Posted By gkd On 13.07.2013 @ 17:55
I am surprised that Dandavats has posted “To Vote or Not to Vote” on this scrolling “Announcements and Ads,” for many less mature or simple devotees will misconstrue that Dandavats (and hence ISKCON) thus endorses the current Democratic, rather than the Republican, candidate for the U.S. presidency.
If Dandavats does in fact endorse the Democratic candidate, then would it not be more proper to publish an official pronouncement to that effect–with sound reasoning supported by sastra-guru-sadhu as to why Vaisnavas should indeed vote for the Democratic candidate?
But if Dandavats actually does not support either candidate, then we humbly submit that it is only fitting–i.e., fair and proper–to also post this announcement.
Madhavananda Prabhu has already provided sufficient words of ISKCON’s founder-acarya on the subject of voting. For example:
“Because of the importance of the Krishna consciousness movement, people should be Krishna conscious and should not vote for anyone who is not Krishna conscious.”
Since neither the Democratic nor the Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency is known to be Krishna conscious, we therefore humbly appeal to all readers of Dandavats to simply follow Srila Prabhupada’s advice and “not vote for anyone who is not Krishna conscious.” If it has not been factually ascertained that either the Democratic or the Republican candidate is Krishna conscious, then the only responsible conclusion–that which is faithful to the instructions of our founder-acarya–is therefore obviously:
Thank you very much.
humbly aspiring to become a genuine Prabhupdadanuga,
this most unworthy servant called
Comment Posted By gkd On 29.10.2008 @ 09:25
Namonamah. All glory to Srila Prabhupada!
Long time no contact! But recently i have again been appreciating your advanced association via your writings posted here (and elsewhere :).
Please send me an email so that we may sometimes keep in touch: email@example.com
Kirtaniyah sada harih!
â€“nitya-baddha das(abhasa), guru-krsna das
jagai madhai haite muni se papistha/ purisera kita haite muni se laghistha
Comment Posted By gkd On 08.09.2008 @ 12:53