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Thank you Devaki Mataji!

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.

Comment Posted By sitadasi On 07.12.2013 @ 02:57

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.

Comment Posted By sitadasi On 01.12.2013 @ 16:03

Female Diksha Guru — some considerations

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.

Comment Posted By sitadasi On 06.12.2013 @ 22:51

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)

Comment Posted By sitadasi On 06.12.2013 @ 22:17

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

Comment Posted By sitadasi On 06.12.2013 @ 22:13

The Hot Issue - Female Diksa Guru

“…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.

Comment Posted By sitadasi On 16.12.2013 @ 01:24

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.

Comment Posted By sitadasi On 15.12.2013 @ 17:59

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.”

Comment Posted By sitadasi On 05.12.2013 @ 03:06

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?”

but rather:

“Is it possible, Swamiji, for a woman to be a guru in the line of disciplic succession?”

Comment Posted By sitadasi On 04.12.2013 @ 21:14

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.

Comment Posted By sitadasi On 04.12.2013 @ 19:34


 


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