Monday, October 29, 2012

Women gurus issue in ISKCON

Dear Visnupriya Mataji,

Please accpet my humble obeisances all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Please accept my apologies in advance if anything I say may be offensive. Writing via email is not the best way to communicate.

Hare Krsna Prabhu, Point well taken but does “Unless a woman has advanced beyond the sadhana stages, she should not accept disciples” apply to men as well? Why not?

You should read


it is all clearly explained why not.

I have been thinking about this and have some points to make. Please accept my apology, I am not trying to offend or challenge any one. I am stating this mainly in reference to the article that is published in Sun.

1. The basic point Prabhupada taught us is that “we are not this body” if we understand and accept that, then where is the question of men or women?
The problem is that though we may know it in theory because of countless life times in material world we have not realized it yet. Just look at your own situation. Since you are not your body but still you need a home, clothing, food, to shelter your body. But if you are not your body why do you endeavor for these things? Because we have not come to level of realizing it. You are not alone, I also have not realized it. And in ISKCON many women fall down with men. So they are not realizing they are not the body either. We are not our bodies but we do have bodies.
[PADA: Right, simply theoretical idea "I am not this body" does not mean either someone, or anyone, has realized this as a fact within ISKCON. That there is a big fight going on over whether or not ISKCON should be making women into diksha gurus means, the entire argument is based on the bodily platform. If a person is realized, they will be recognized as such by their self effulgence, whether male or female body. "Making gurus" is also a bogus idea: Krishna "makes" the gurus by empowering them Himself, they are not "made" by the votes of the GBC?] 
 2. Prabhupada told us to respect all women as our own mothers. So what’s wrong in giving her the authority and respect her by making her a guru?
When your son is grown up he may respect you as mother but you must be controlled by him, you don’t have independence. Not that all your life your son accepts your authority in all matters. Who has told you like that?
[PADA: Oh great, we are going to have women gurus, but they will not have independence and they will be controlled by other people -- like her sons? This is not the idea of guru, the guru is independent in all cases because he / she is getting direct dictation from Krishna, not from the son, the relatives, the GBC panel of guru monitors etc. This is all mundane idea of guru.] 
3. Male ISKCON gurus have failed the society and betrayed the world with their attachment for sex and women.
So you want to give us women who are 9x more lusty to have equal opportunity to fail? (-: Are you implying that we women have no attraction to men and sex? (-: 
[PADA: Excellent point, why are we going to start making a group of women gurus -- when the so-called men gurus have already failed so miserably, and continue to fail on a regular basis? Why not first of all get a grip on what a guru is before making a pile more of them, whether male or female?] 
4. Facts have it that women make better leaders. Women are more tolerant and willing to sacrifice for a good cause. Even prescapilion (sp) church has female priests.
Who has told you those lies? It is feminist mythology. Because women were not given power you didn’t know what problems they could do. But here in India under Indira Gandhi she did so many problems. She is the cause of the culture of corruption in this country. Before her there was idealism but under her corruption became endemic. Sastri the previous PM was saintly and friendly to Srila Prabhupada, he died under mysterious circumstances, and she came into power and down India went. Now so many women leaders in India, all of them just as corrupt if not more corrupt than the men. Mayawati in UP is among the worst. She has not only stolen untold amount of money but erected hundreds even thousands of statues of herself all over her state. Did you know that? So the more power and position women get the more you will see just how corrupt and evil they can be. They just never had the chance to do. But now you want to give them the chance and for all of us to suffer. Once you let the genie out of the bottle it will be hard to put her back in.
[PADA: Have to agree here, making a bunch of women gurus is "letting (more) of the (bogus guru) genie out of the bottle." The bogus ISKCON GBC has not been able to contain and control their so-called "men gurus" and the multitude of problems that deviated out cropping created already. In sum, making more bogus brain surgeons will not change the fact that the first wave of bogus GBC guru brain surgeons killed many patients.]
5. By nature men are the enjoyers and women’s nature is to serve. She will make a better leader.
Who told you that? Actually she makes a better follower. And, sastras, if you believe in them say the opposite, that women should never be leaders.
6. Men’s ego refuses to have his superior as a leader especially if it is a female. Most men prefer to have a follower who is weak and vulnerable. Major problem in ISKCON
Why would men want to follow a woman? It is against their nature, which is to dominate. You want to go against nature? No woman respects a man that she can dominate. 
[PADA: And what does any of this have to do with the post of guru? Men will not accept a woman as an authority? That means these folks are basing their whole guru platform on bodily idea and not on realization idea. Thousands of people in India and USA accept Mother Amma as their guru (not saying she is realized) but she is accepted as a guru by many men. Its a question of someone having the purity to preach, then they will be accepted on that basis, not on bodily basis.]   
7. Women have been suppressed for centuries, it’s time for change.
Who is controlling the material world? Durga devi she is arranging for all of these things under the order of Krsna. You don’t have to wait long. In your next life you can be born a male and see how nice it is. So we women should all think “what did we do to deserve to take a female body?” If we think it is suffering, then just think that if we make political agitation and somehow arrange that now women shall dominate over men that we shall then be happy. But just consider that if it is our karma to be dominated then in next life we will be born as men and complain that women are dominating us. So these type of material solution will always fail. The real need is for spiritual solution, to leave this material world. But you are welcome to stay in this world and agitate politically so that you can be in position of dominance. I don’t see that the so-called dominant men are that happy, but you are free to try. Like we all have for millions of lifetimes to be happy in this world.
[PADA: Right, Durga is a woman and she is respected by all the demigods. Its not a question of being male or female, its a question of purity or lack thereof.]
Of course in India they are not going to accept a female Diksa guru …. look at the Iskcon temples in India. Have you ever seen a female pujari on altar in big temples? Women can’t even stand in front to take darshan. But yet India was ruled by Indira Gandhi a female. Even Bhutto tried to run for her backward country.
[PADA: Well this is true, women in ISKCON as a group are being suppressed and not being allowed to take more prominent roles, have to agree with that.] 
That is because in those temples they follow pancaratrika agama. If you don’t want to follow sastra then that is another thing. Indira was the worst thing that ever happened to India. One Indian author wrote a modern day version of Mahabharata, for Duryodhana he had Indira Gandhi. She had all the Babajis in Braja sterilized. She built oil refinery in Mathura to poison the Yamuna, she shipped millions of cows to Russia to pay for arms. We could go on. She was also shot dead. That is what happens to women who want to pretend they are men, they get treated like men–no mercy. Feminists want all privileges of men but don’t want the responsibility.
[PADA: Maybe so, but hundreds of millions of men supported Indira Gandhi and her policies in India? How could she have been able to do all this without popular support?] 
 8. Wanting a female guru has nothing to do with the western influence or women activist. We are all influenced by the western world like it or not. Look around how many female devotees go to work to earn money while their husbands stay home to take care of the babies or do household stuff. This is kali yuga.
I’m looking and not seeing many, in fact none at all. My husband works to support me and my family. ISKCON is meant to be bulkwork against Kali yuga, not help Kali yuga to finish the job. But if you are too weak to help fight against kali yuga then you should not undermine those who are trying to keep up the fight. Whose side are you on anyway? Kali’s?
9. Time we practice what we preach. We go to the prison to help the criminals but can’t even have harmony between male female devotes or devotees in general.
There are only two kinds of people in this world: male and female. If they can’t get along society falls apart. Varnashrama Dharma, which Srila Prabhupada and the acarya’s very much wanted shows us how men and women should interact and get along. Modern life creates animosity between men and women. Do you think that by following western cultural norms there will be better interactions between men and women? In the western countries they have the worst, it is almost warfare between the sexes, all because of feminism. In any case it is obvious that this agitation for Female gurus is not bringing harmony but strife. If ISKCON does bring in Female Diksha gurus our family will leave ISKCON and continue to preach the mission of Srila Prabhupada and the acaryas which ISKCON will have deviated from.
[PADA: What? The GBC says gurus are engaged in illicit sex with men, women and children, and that's all fine, but if they make women gurus, people are going to leave? Why not leave when they say debauchees are the messiahs?]
10. We deviate ourselves from Mahaprabhu’s real goal when we make these mundane subject matters important.
How is that related to women being leaders? Mahaprabhu would have nothing to do with women. This makes no sense.
11. We have to follow Prabhupada 100%; we don’t just pick and choose what works and what doesn’t just try to proof a point. S.P told us a lot of things. We either follow or if we are in between then we need to go and do our own thing.
So it sounds like you want to do your own thing, because in Prabhupada’s books it is very clear that he wanted women like us to stay in the home and take care of our family.
[PADA: If a woman is pure, she can preach accordingly, and do whatever she has to do for her preaching, because a pure person is getting dictation from Krishna.]  
12. it’s time for change. Women need a women leaders to share their problems and issues with. With men leader in charge the weak and vulnerable women are used for their own agenda. This then makes the woman look bad and she is blamed for her behavior.
 I don’t agree, we should stick to eternal principles and not be deviated by modern-isms of unstable societies. We have to learn how to apply Vedic principals. As for women leaders, they are the worst. So much envy and fighting between women way more than between men. You seem to believe the feminist mythology that all men are demons and all women are saints. But in my experience of 41 years as a woman and 22 of them in ISKCON is that almost all, in fact now that I think about it actually all of my problems came from other women. I could share plenty of horror stories about the so-called “devotee” women. Lying, stealing (when we joined TP’s wife took all our expensive antique furniture, said we didn’t need it, she would sell it and give to Krsna. Then after few years when we became poor after giving everything we had to temple and I was living in mataji ashram, she had me come to her home to be her house keeper. And what did I find in her beautiful expensive flat? All of our antiques that she kept for herself.) Verbal and physical abuse and plenty of psychological abuse. I could go on. After several years living in ashrama with women I never wanted to live with women again and was so happy when I got married.
[PADA: Right, so since the ISKCON society is still full of exploiting like this, why not fix that before we make the exploiters into gurus?]
13. Women have served Prabhupada selflessly and made lots of sacrifices. i.e distributing books, sending their children to gurukula while they continue to serve. It’s time we recognize that and reward them accordingly. There is definitely a need for a female Diksa guru.
So is this why we serve Krsna? To get some material recognition and reward. And if we don’t get it then what? I thought we served because it was pleasing to Lord Krsna and that if Lord Krsna is pleased then in our hearts we will feel bliss and happiness with no need of anything else. I guess someone is not getting any spiritual bliss in their heart. Why is that? Offenses? Material desires and attachments? Watering the weeds instead of the creeper?
Yours in the service of the devotees
Citralekha dd
Hare Krsna
Vinsupriya dd
[PADA: The so-called men gurus are falling down, and they have made a scandal out of the post of guru, so the solution is -- to make more gurus? This is not the solution, the solution is to first of all establish what a guru is. ys pd]

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