Comments Posted By sitadasi
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were there some other reasons that mahabhagavatas in female bodies didn’t take up the service of being a diksha guru?
“As a man must follow great personalities like Brahmā and Nārada, a woman must follow the path of such ideal women as Sītā, Mandodarī and Draupadī. By staying chaste and faithful to her husband, a woman enriches herself with supernatural power. ” SB 9.10.27
Consider that not giving diksa was part of the traditional understanding/constitutional position of womanhood which these great chaste women followed (SB 1:8:19), having faith it pleases the Supreme Lord. Women not giving diksa is a long-standing traditional principle which Prabhupada touches upon in his 4.12.32 purport about Suniti not initiating Dhruva. Eye of the Storm questions the relevance of this tradition in our current time; however, nowhere does Prabhupada say, write, or demonstrate that the vaisnava tradition of women not being diksa gurus, is an irrelevant principle today.
Narada, the founder of pancaratrika, states sudras (men) perform sacrifices “without uttering mantras” (amantra-yajnah) SB 7.11.24. Prabhupada writes in the purport:
“A śūdra may attend sacrifices and Vedic ritualistic ceremonies along with his master, but he should not utter the mantras, for these may be uttered only by the members of the higher sections of society. Unless one is completely pure and has been raised to the standard of a brāhmaṇa,kṣatriya or vaiśya—in other words, unless one is dvija, twice-born—the chanting of mantras will not be fruitful.”
In the case of Prabhupada’s letter of April 4, 1971 where Prabhupada encloses Vaikunthanatha’s brahmana’s thread and requests Saradiya, or another twice-initiated devotee, perform the fire ceremony, we have to ask ourselves,WHO WAS THE INITIATOR?? Even if Saradiya had repeated the gayatri mantra to her husband, which Prabhupada had enclosed in the letter, given him his brahmana thread from Prabhupada, and performed the fire ceremony, she still would not have been the one giving diksa.
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 7, 2013 @ 2:57 am
Drutakarma dasa, member of the SAC in 2006 stated:
“Two years ago, the GBC asked its Sastra Advisory Committee, of which I’m a member, to do some research on this topic. And we produced a statement which was later accepted by the Governing Body Commission. And basically we found that there are other places where Srila Prabhupada is directly asked: “Can women devotees become initiating spiritual masters in our society.” And on one occasion, in particular, a professor asked him this question specifically and he said, “Yes” and he gave the example of Jahnava Devi, the wife of Lord Nityananda.”
Srila Prabhupada was not actually asked the question, “Can women devotees become initiating spiritual masters in our society.” The question was:
“Is it possible, Swamiji, for a woman to be a guru in the line of disciplic succession?”
“A guru” does not necessarily mean “diksa guru” and Prabhupada nowhere directly presents Jahnava Devi as an initiating spiritual master.
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 1, 2013 @ 4:03 pm
I have explained repeatedly, I do not read the purport about Suniti to directly address the question, “may a woman ever serve as diksa guru?” For more information, read Kaunteya’s book which addresses this subject.
Eye of the Storm :
“There is no rule preventing ladies from becoming diska-gurus in the pancaratrika ￼system”
Where is the rule which directly allows women to perform diksa (with the maha mantra)? Eye of the Storm cites Hari-bhakti-viläsa (1.194) which is about receiving initiation, not giving it.
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 6, 2013 @ 10:51 pm
If a housewife knows the science of Krsna, can she not explain it and give the sacred mantras?
It’s not so much a question of “can” she but rather “should” she? (in our parampara)
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 6, 2013 @ 10:17 pm
Were any of these women bona fide gurus? I cannot say for sure, but I think we should be cautious about disparaging all of them (and all their disciples and supporters) as “bogus” without looking into the matter more closely.
“Jāhnavā-mātā is also within the list of Lord Nityānanda’s followers. She is described in the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 66, as Anaṅga-mañjarī of Vṛndāvana. All the devotees who are followers of Jāhnavā-mātā are counted within the list of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu’s devotees.”
From Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – Adi-lila : Adi 11: The Expansions of Lord Nityananda : Adi 11.21 : PURPORT
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 6, 2013 @ 10:13 pm
“…a girl has to follow her husband. So if her husband is brāhmaṇa, automatically she becomes brāhmaṇa. There is no need of separate reformation. And by chance she may be married with a person who is not a brāhmaṇa, then what is the use of making her a brāhmaṇa? That is the general method. So therefore the, even born in a brāhmaṇa family, a woman is taken as woman, not as brāhmaṇa.” Śrī Śrī Rukmiṇī Dvārakānātha
Deity Installation, Los Angeles, July 16, 1969
Giving diksa, with a fire yajna, is a function traditionally performed by brahmana initiated males only. When we accept 4.12.32 at face value, everything makes sense. Suniti was instructor guru to Dhruva but she followed the understood and practically applied prohibition against women giving diksa. I have faith that Prabhupada wanted his female disciples (diksa and siksa disciples) to maintain this standard.
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 16, 2013 @ 1:24 am
seems part of previous answer got cut off. This is a continuation of my answer to the question of why it’s better for a student of a female teacher to take diksa from a male acarya…
The reference for my previous post is a Press Conference — July 9, 1975, Chicago; one of several conversations that day where Srila Prabhupada spoke on the topic: “because she is assistant, so, according to her husband, or protector, she becomes first, second, third, fourth.” Unfortunately there is no treatment of this concept in the SAC’s FDG paper. A female acarya would be exemplary in her practical demonstration of sva-dharma, including regular/daily cooking, serving prasadam, etc. as per the example of Jahnava Mata.
It behooves the SAC to substantiate their claim that Jahnava and other women actually gave diksa and that it is actually part of Pāñcarātrika-vidhi.
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 15, 2013 @ 5:59 pm
Question: In a situation where a guru has been giving siksa and personal guidance for many years–even a decade–to a particular disciple, where there is a firm relationship of guru/disciple, where the disciple has been worshiping and studying from and serving his or her siksa guru for many years–why is it better for that disciple to take diksa from someone else, only because the siksa guru is female? (And often the “someone else” has little or no relationship or personal knowledge of the disciple).
Answer: It demonstrates she is following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on being an assistant to her living male authority.
“Now, woman is supposed to be assistant of man. If woman is faithful wife of the first-class man, then she also becomes first-class. If she is assistant of the second-class man then he is also second-class. If she is assistant of the third-class man, then she is also third-class. Because she is assistant, so, according to her husband, or protector, she becomes first, second, third, fourth.”
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 5, 2013 @ 3:06 am
AP:”When directly asked about it he said that women could be gurus.”
GKP: “Is there proof that Srila Prabhupada was directly asked this question? Because the letter per se does not even hint at that.”
Drutakarma Prabhu has also stated that Prabhupada was “directly asked” whether women can become initiating gurus. This is based on the example of Jahnava Devi. The question to Prabhupada, however, was not:
“Can women devotees become initiating spiritual masters in our society?”
“Is it possible, Swamiji, for a woman to be a guru in the line of disciplic succession?”
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 4, 2013 @ 9:14 pm
AP: “By the same logic we might say that African men or Chinese men cannot be diksa gurus because Srila Prabhupada did not establish any such diksa gurus among his disciples (at least during his manifest presence).”
Prabhupada didn’t name men of Indian descent either; however, gender has been the issue here, not race. There were two brahmana grhasthas on “the list” but their wives are not mentioned. Would Prabhupada have missed the opportunity to introduce women diksa gurus, or spoke about it more directly, if he had actually wanted to establish it as a principle to be followed? Same goes for sannyasa for women. It is present in other sampradayas but Prabhupada chose not to establish it in his.
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 4, 2013 @ 7:34 pm
AP: “When directly asked about it he said that women could be gurus. He wrote that he hoped all his sons and daughters would become initiating gurus. And he never wrote or spoke anywhere that women were disqualified from serving as initiating gurus.”
Neither the 1969 letter nor the conversation with Dr. O’Connell can be used as direct instruction to establish a woman can become an initiating, non-ritvik guru.
In the 1969 letter, Prabhupada was speaking of ritvik initiations being conducted while he was still present; thus the initiates would have been Prabhupada’s disciples. The initiators would have first inherited the title of Bhaktivedanta. This title was to have been based on passing examinations based on Prabhupada’s books, namely Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, etc.
Clearly, Prabhupada would have awarded the title of “Bhaktivedanta” not simply on book knowledge but also by practical qualification; whether or not one is working in his/her constitutional position. In this regard, we see how Prabhupada spoke of “our women, Kṛṣṇa conscious…They don’t want equal rights with men. It is due to Kṛṣṇa consciousness…They never say that “I have to go to Japan for preaching like Prabhupāda.” They never say. This is artificial. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness means work in his constitutional position. ” May, 1974 : Morning Walk — May 27, 1974, Rome
Based on the above statement, one could conclude that the desire women have to want to become, or see other women become, diksa gurus is due to a lack of Krsna consciousness.
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 1, 2013 @ 9:08 pm
…and the guru is qualified…
This “qualification for a woman”, especially a FDG, can be seen by whether she is fulfilling her dharmic duty.
“Nārada Muni also described that the symptom of a brāhmaṇa is controlled senses, the symptoms of a kṣatriya are power and fame, the symptom of a vaiśya is service to the brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas, and the symptom of a śūdra is service to the three higher classes. The qualification for a woman is to be a very faithful and chaste wife.”Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 7: “The Science of God” : SB 7.11: The Perfect Society: Four Social Classes : SB 7.11 Summary
This “qualification for a woman” is an essential factor, without which a woman would be a false guru and cheat others.
» Posted By sitadasi On Nov 29, 2013 @ 12:20 pm
“…why should gender be a bar to initiation?”
Because Prabhupada didn’t establish it. He also didn’t establish children diksa gurus, women sannyasis, or gay marriage. There are certain standards he chose to uphold in his movement.
Unless the vaishnavi is a spiritually exalted wife of a qualified acarya, as per Srila Prabhupada’s example of Jahnava Devi, she lacks authorization by him to initiate in our sampradaya.
for more, see: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=12082 (comments 8-11)
» Posted By sitadasi On Nov 29, 2013 @ 5:29 am
“If a guru-disciple relation already exists”
WHY and HOW does such a relationship even exist where a guru is accepting worship, without GBC authorization?
» Posted By sitadasi On Nov 29, 2013 @ 2:01 am
Women can exert their influence through selfless service and affection, which by far exceeds that of a man with a big title and position! Woman’s energy is much more powerful and influential than man’s energy. After all, Srimati Radharani controls the Supreme Controller – not by being a Diksa Guru or carrying a big title.
This is a guru- acting in a motherly fashion, being a loving, nurturing teacher and showing her “children” by precept and practical example, her deference to her male authority. I find it truly amazing how Devaki Mataji, a renounced woman with no husband or biological children, supports this vision. Her article shows deep understanding of transcendental duty and I bow at her feet.
» Posted By sitadasi On Nov 26, 2013 @ 5:12 am
Kalakantha Prabhu wrote: Siva pacified Parvati when she reacted emotionally to Citraketu, but when Brighu insulted Siva, it was Parvati who had to pacify her great husband. This is one of many philosophical shortcomings with Devaki Mataji’s well-intentioned but not well thought out article.
I beg your pardon, but how does a different incident between Siva and Parvati prove a philosophical shortcoming in Devaki’s presentation?
Prabhupada says the understanding of a man is different from the understanding of a woman and that it is so even among the higher demigods’ lives. Parvati reacted to what she took as an insult to her husband but which Lord Siva knew was a joke and was not offended by it. However in the example of Brighu insulting Lord Siva, it was a deliberate offense, not a joke and Siva knew it was so. How does this example disprove the point Srila Prabhupada made and which Devaki Mataji reiterates?
» Posted By sitadasi On Nov 25, 2013 @ 10:19 pm
“As a professor of clinical psychology I would like to share that there is no basis at all for the idea that women are more emotional than men. This is the made up by people who don’t bother to question their own folk-psychology indoctrination.”
Perhaps, Prabhu, you are not familiar with Michael Gurian or Anne Moir, both PhDs and experts in the fields of psychology who cite research on the differences in male-female brains, such as size of corpus callosum and limbic system, and their relation with emotions. Hormonal differences are also a factor.
We are not these bodies yet our souls are encased therein for this lifetime; therefore even those Vaishnavis who have transcended the influences of emotions, follow the orders of Srila Prabhupada for the benefit of others. Prabhupada did not appoint any women nor specifically instruct they be added in the future. Same for child gurus. Same for women sannyasinis. They were conspicuous by their absence in his time; this standard, Prabhupada’s standard, needs to be maintained.
» Posted By sitadasi On Nov 25, 2013 @ 2:18 pm
One main difference between the male and female “vehicle” is the fact that the female nature is more emotional. This is according to Krsna’s Divine plan – otherwise who would give all the necessary care and affection to the small children and play the role of their very first Guru?!
Women can preach and teach, yes, but even with regards to education, Prabhupada instructed that women can teach younger boys under the age of 10-12. Why is that?? He also taught that varnasrama college was for men, not women. Why is that??
Krsna’s Divine plan includes varnasrama, thus our efforts need to support this goal. FDG is antithetical to varnasrama and thus not part of Krsna’s Divine plan.
» Posted By sitadasi On Nov 22, 2013 @ 7:27 pm
Jahnava Devi is the only Acarya mentioned by Srila Prabhupada yet Her disciples are counted as Nityananda’s, so who was the initiator?!
There is NO PRECEDENCE IN ISKCON and NO AUTHORIZATION by Srila Prabhupada to have women initiating Acaryas. He simply did not practically establish it. Doing so would be RISKY BUSINESS, similar to women taking sannyasa.
» Posted By sitadasi On Nov 22, 2013 @ 4:41 pm
One main difference between the male and female “vehicle” is the fact that the female nature is more emotional. This is according to Krsna’s Divine plan – otherwise who would give all the necessary care and affection to the small children and play the role of their very first Guru?! So this emotional need and nature impells most ladies to learn how to become selfless servants by raising children, and it also impells us ladies to take shelter of a man.
Devaki Mataji makes interesting points! Our physical male-female differences, which have been corroborated by brain science, are indeed part of Krsna’s divine plan. It is natural for a mother to act as guru to her children. Does that mean she initiates them? No. It was natural for Jahnava Devi to carry on Lord Nityananda ‘s “spiritual business” after His departure, as a widow. Does that mean women, whose husbands are not gurus by their practical service, are sanctioned to initiate? No.
» Posted By sitadasi On Nov 22, 2013 @ 4:25 pm
The Sastric Advisory Council on Jahnava Mata:
“Vasudha Devi, did not initiate her own son, Viracandra, but Sri Jahnava Devi did so” and “Virabhadra and Ramacandra, the sons (biological and adopted respectively) of Nityananda Prabhu, were two of the most famous among her initiated disciples.”
In this regard, SAC cites:
“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s Anubhasya, ‘Virabhadra Gosani was the direct son of Srila Nityananda Prabhu and a disciple of Jahnava Devi.’” (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 11.8 purport)
In the above CC reference, the SAC omits where Bhaktisiddhanta states Ramacandra was Virabhadra’s disciple, not Jahnava Mata’s:
“Virabhadra Gosani had three disciples who are celebrated as his sons- Gopijana-vallabha, Ramakṛṣṇa and Ramacandra…”Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 11.8 purport
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 12, 2013 @ 6:51 pm
“Jāhnavā-mātā is also within the list of Lord Nityānanda’s followers” and “all the devotees who are followers of Jāhnavā-mātā are counted within the list of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu’s devotees.” Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 11:21 The Expansions of Lord Nityananda
Where is the SAC’s proof that Jahnava Mata was Virabhadra’s diksa guru?
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 12, 2013 @ 5:32 pm
According 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 Maharaja’s diksa-guru.” SP’s SB Purport 4.12.32 (which he authorized the editing of)
In other words, a siksa guru, if she is a woman, cannot give diksa. There is simply no direct sastric evidence in existence that shows the contrary. Pancaratrika standards do not allow for a woman to be the initiator because of her physical form which includes differences in the subtle as well as the gross body. Narada Muni, founding teacher of Pancaratrika, prescribed different fields of activity for the woman class as per daivi varnasrama. A woman’s physical body is itself a contraindication against VFDG (Vaisnava FDG).
Spiritual equality does not equal material equality. A woman can become brahmana on the spiritual platform (see Morning Walk, November 2, 1975, Nairobi). However, since she does not have the authority in our parampara* to receive the sacred thread or sannyasa, we therefore understand she cannot be the initiator. Jahnava Mata’s “disciples” were simultaneously considered Lord Nityananda’s followers. Jahnava Devi herself was his primary follower yet her name is not included in our parampara, it is Nityananda’s.
Unless a woman devotee’s husband is a brahmana vaisnava by his varna and his functional diksa acarya guru status, she cannot assist him in fire yajnas or initiations. That is not to say a woman cannot become acarya in the sense of an informal siksa guru status; even a child is so allowed. Our diksa and siksa gurus need to be living examples of the etiquette Srila Prabhupada wants us to move towards, not away from, adopting.
“”Example is better than precept.” Our whole process is following the example of predecessors, nothing independent. So that principle should be followed. We do not accept any precept who is free from the predecessors. Do you follow?” Morning Walk,June 23, 1975, Los Angeles
* our parampara includes Jagannatha Das Babaji as Acarya, not Bipin Bihari Goswami.
» Posted By sitadasi On Dec 10, 2013 @ 4:20 pm
So, if a woman is very, very highly intellectual by qualification, can she be a brahmana, because she will understand Brahman?
No. Because she doesn’t get the sacred thread. But she can still worship Krsna and in a sense be better than a brahmana who is a nondevotee.
Is Devahuti also of papa-yoni class? How about Mother Yasoda?
Yes in that they took birth in women’s bodies; that’s what our scriptures say. But we don’t go around calling them or women papa yoni, that would be disrespectful. Queen Kunti and Sati, did not think themselves above this (see SB 4.4.17 and 1.6.18, 1.8.22).
SB 6.3.13 answers this. Here are some excerpts:
“In this material world, everyone is conditioned, regardless of who he is” ie. human or demigod, animal or plant. Living entities in human bodies are “systematically controlled by the Vedic injunctions in terms of the divisions of varna and asrama. A human being is expected to follow the rules and regulations of varna and asrama; otherwise he cannot escape punishment by Yamaraja. “
“The divisions of varna and asrama are necessary to insure the proper execution of duties and peaceful existence for everyone, but everyone is directed to worship the Supreme Lord, who is all-pervading”
“therefore if one follows the Vedic injunctions by worshiping the Supreme Lord according to one’s ability, his life will be perfect. “
“ The varṇāśrama institution offers the perfect process for making one eligible to return home, back to Godhead, because the aim of every varṇa and āśrama is to please the Supreme Lord. SB 1.2.13“
How can a sudra-like woman give birth to a brahmana or a king? That defies logic and practical experience.
Woman is the field and the seed is given by the father.
The very reason why pratiloma and anuloma marriages are considered mixed is because the woman retains the varna of her birth and does not take on the varna of her husband.
So now you are saying a woman’s varna is determined by birth?
» Posted By sitadasi On Jul 23, 2011 @ 3:17 pm
“So the Vedic, according to the Vedic system, there is no equal right of the man and woman. The woman is always subordinate. That is the Manu-samhita law. Na stri svatantryam arhati. A woman does not require, does not deserve, to get independence. That is good for them. If the woman remains under the protection—in young age under father, when he (she) is child; when he (she) is young, under the protection of husband; and when she is old, under the protection of elderly children—that is their very safe position.” 3.26.8 Lecture, December 20, 1974
Even Queen Kunti and Lord Siva’s wife, Sati, did not think themselves above this law (see SB 4.4.17 and 1.6.18, 1.8.22).
Our sastra does restrict women’s expression of their individuality in a way similar to parents restricting and guiding a child. We don’t give unlimited freedom to children because they would tend to “manifest their natural tendency for gross selfishness” in the same way a woman would do if given independence (6.12.42). Just because one is subordinate doesn’t mean s/he loses individuality as a spirit soul. One’s material circumstance is not an impediment to devotional service. See SB 1.7.36-37 Lecture Sept. 29, 1976, Vrindavana.
» Posted By sitadasi On Jul 14, 2011 @ 3:39 am
“There are several conversations by Srila Prabhupada, in which he considered protected status of a woman and management service of a woman to be compatible.”
The idea is that women manage “internally” and men manage “externally”. Otherwise, wheneven spiritually advanced women manage externally and independently, it is artificial and socially disruptive.
“What difference does it make if one is treated as a king or a beggar, a brahmana or a sudra, a man or a woman in the cleansing process as long as the result remains the same, as envisioned by Srila Prabhupada?”
This is a very nice realization.
[According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.]
It needs to be clarified that women are not considered independent members of these four divisions.
“It is better to engage in one’s own occupation, even though one may perform it imperfectly, than to accept another’s occupation and perform it perfectly. Duties prescribed according to one’s nature are never affected by sinful reactions.” We are here to prepare ourselves to go back home and not waste our human birth in asserting our “right”. This birth is meant for higher purpose rather than settling the gender equation ‘right’.
Yes, Vrindavanlila’s conclusion is very nice, that a wife serves her husband as per stri dharma, and her husband takes the lead in the family unit. If the husband is a brahmana, the wife is a brahmani. If the husband takes vanaprastha, the wife follows him, etc. If the husband is the Supreme Lord, Nityananda, the wife (ie. Jahnava Devi) can become acarya and continue to instruct her husband’s disciples after his departure.
The idea that women have independent varna and asrama is false and as dangerous to our movement’s implementation of varnasrama as Kirtanananda’s idea that women can be given sannyasa.
Is it repression to be a chaste wife, remain dependant on male authority, and follow stri dharma? In some ways yes, but then so is rising early and following the practices of bhakti yoga. It is evil to change the philosophy to suit our inability to follow scriptural injunctions.
» Posted By sitadasi On Jul 13, 2011 @ 2:55 pm
The SAC continues:
““Here is a suggestion in relation to the above point: The bodily concept of life is transcended, along with the modes of nature, at the stage of bhava-bhakti. But at the level of nishtha the residual anarthas are only remnants that not longer obstruct one’s progress (See Madhurya-kadambini, chapter 4). Therefore, we recommend that at least the symptoms of nishtha should be seen in diksa-guru candidates, whether male or female.“
A woman, even if on the level of nishtha, is never advised to give up her occupational duty. She continues to identify herself in relation to her husband whose social position she doesn’t overstep.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura sings:
namasraya kari’ yatane tumi, thakaha apana kaje.
“Everyone is thus advised to seek shelter in the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa maha-mantra and remain engaged in his own occupational duty.” SB 10.6.3
“Take shelter of hari-nama and remain in your own profession.” Jan 20/77 conversation
“In whatever occupation you are, remain there. There is no need of changing.” RC Varnasrama System Must Be Introduced — February 14, 1977, Mayapura
The conclusion of the SAC, “that if a female devotee is actually advanced, above the bodily platform, she may assume the post of a spiritual master” should have been “that if a female devotee is actually advanced, above the bodily platform, she may assume the post of initiating spiritual master”. But they cannot make that claim. They want us to think that because there is ample evidence that a woman (or child) can be siksa guru therefore she can be diksa guru.
» Posted By sitadasi On Jul 13, 2011 @ 3:46 pm
By omitting Srila Prabhupada’s conclusion, the SAC arrives at a faulty conclusion based on an incomplete understanding of his purport:
“When the bodily concept of life vanishes, the material qualities of one’s lower nature are transcended. The conclusion must be, therefore, that if a female devotee is actually advanced, above the bodily platform, she may assume the post of a spiritual master.”
Srila Prabhupada never presented the conclusion that a woman can assume the post of initiating spiritual master. The occupational duty of a woman, her stri dharma, is always in relation her husband and family. If her husband is a brahmana, she is a brahmani, not otherwise. Through her prescribed service she becomes Krsna conscious. It is not material if it is done for Krsna. This is stated in numerous places in the Gita.
If a woman stops serving her husband, neglects her womanly occupational duty and imitates a brahmana man’s occupational duty, Krsna will not be pleased and the woman will not be Krsna conscious. The same can be said of a husband who neglects his duty. We have seen in the past, men who gave up being grhastha and took sannyasa, abandoning their young wives and children. This was irresponsible and socially disruptive and in many case, the men fell down from sannyasa.
As we learn from Bhagavad-gita 3.20:
“Even kings like Janaka and others attained the perfectional stage by performance of prescribed duties. Therefore, just for the sake of educating the people in general, you should perform your work.”
By allowing women to work as initiating spiritual masters, representatives of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we will be wrongly educating the people in general. The only female acarya Prabhupada mentions is Jahnava Devi however she was the wife of the Supreme Personality of Godhead! We cannot allow women to imitate her position (without being wives of Acaryas) because it defies Vaishnava scripture and Vaishnava tradition.
» Posted By sitadasi On Jul 13, 2011 @ 3:43 pm
The SAC writes, quoting SB 6.18.42:
“A woman’s nature has been particularly well studied by Kasyapa Muni. Women are self-interested by nature, and therefore they should be protected by all means so that their natural inclination to be too self-interested will not be manifested. Women need to be protected by men. A woman should be cared for by her father in her childhood, by her husband in her youth and by her grown sons in her old age. This is the injunction of Manu, who says that a woman should not be given independence at any stage. Women must be cared for so that they will not be free to manifest their natural tendency for gross selfishness. There have been many cases, even in the present day, in which women have killed their husbands to take advantage of their insurance policies. This is not a criticism of women but a practical study of their nature.”
The SAC’s comments on the above:
“Women on the bodily platform are selfish and should therefore be protected not only from lusty male predators but from their own lower natures as well. This is clear. The rest of the purport below, however, makes an important distinction.
“Such natural instincts of a woman or a man are manifested only in the bodily conception of life. When either a man or a woman is advanced in spiritual consciousness, the bodily conception of life practically vanishes.”
(Bhag. 6.18.42 purport)
It is shocking that the SAC state “The rest of the purport below, however, makes an important distinction”, yet they only give PART of the rest of the purport, omitting an entire paragraph and the following very important conclusion:
“A man should be trained to be a first-class devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and a woman should be trained to be a very chaste follower of her husband. That will make the lives of both of them happy.”
» Posted By sitadasi On Jul 13, 2011 @ 3:38 pm
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In Text 66 I gave a reference from Rebecca Manring. This was made with respect to Virabhadra:
“After the funeral celebrations Advaita takes his group back to Shantipur. He is noticeably depressed, as is the rest of the community, after the loss of two of their leaders. Caitanya’s mother and wife have gone into such deep seclusion that no one ever sees more than their feet.
Soon afterward Advaita learns that Nityananda’s son Virabhadra is on his way to him, hoping to receive mantra initiation. Advaita refuses, saying he must be initiated by his own people, and sends him back to his mother Jahnava. Jahnava hears this and sends for a holy man to perform the initiation. This is curious, because back in chapter 15 we saw Sita confer initiation, and yet Jahnava, who on the surface seems to be her social and sectarian equivalent, cannot or perhaps will not. Isana thus suggest that Jahnava did not routinely bestow mantra (or any other) initiation, and Sita then remains (at least by implication) the only woman in the movement, at least in its second generation to do so.” (Reconstructing Tradition p .188) (Manring’s note: This is probably not an accurate representation. Nityananda’s school presents Jahnava in the same way that Advaita’s presents Sita after their respective husbands’ deaths)
Again, Srila Prabhupada has instructed us that the followers of Jahnava “ are counted within the list of Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s devotees”. We are not Sakta worshippers after all.
» Posted By sitadasi On Jul 10, 2011 @ 2:24 pm
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