Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fixing the GBC's Women Oppression Problem

"FAILURE IS IMPOSSIBLE." - by Susan B. Anthony.
My dear friend and godsister Srilekha devi dasi has lent me this incredible book.
It tells the story of the friendship of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and how together, "they challenged entrenched beliefs, customs, and laws that oppressed women and spearheaded the fight to gain legal rights, including the right to vote, despite fierce opposition, daunting conditions, scandalous entanglements, and betrayal by their friends and allies."

- from the front flap.
It includes the telling of how they detected that the teaching of The Holy Bible had been hijacked by the interests of misogynistic males who loved emphasising "negative" comments about women which greatly detracted from Christianity's mission to attract all souls to the message of Love as taught by Jesus Christ.
Obviously, i see clear parallels. The first 50 years of spreading the Sankirtan movement in the west have been hampered, in my humble opinion, due to the fact that the mission was early on hijacked by men in saffron who preached hateful and hurtful understandings about women, children and family life in general. Sometimes even the grhastha men and women themselves took up this understanding.
Not only were many initiated devotees discouraged by this style of preaching, many sincere souls never took up the process of Krsna Consciousness at all, because they were decidedly NOT attracted by a movement which practiced such widespread discrimination against women. This over-arching mood of disrespect made the abuse of women and children seem acceptable and the honest grhastha men working honourably to maintain their families came to be regarded as spiritually inferior to the Saffron, Stick -Carrying "renunciates".
Many devotees are now realising how this bogus "preaching " served to ECLIPSE the true teachings of Srila Prabhupada who stressed:
* We are not these bodies or designations but pure spirit souls.
* Everyone should preach!
* Preaching is not restricted to sanyassis.
* All women other than ones wife are to be respected as own mother.
* Our children are the Hope for the future.
Srila Prabhupada was actually radical in that he established the bramacarini ashrama for training women in Krsna Consciousness in order to become Preachers.

Of course most women may prefer and may be better off married and desiring to mother children is entirely natural. But those who wish to LIMIT women to the roles of wives and mothers have surely missed the point.

Some will argue that things are greatly improved for women and children in 2017. However i believe most of these improvements are mainly superficial at best and sometimes just blatent tokenism is utilized to try to appease women- such as appointing ONE woman to represent women on the National Council of 21 men. (ISKCON Australia.)
The duo that this book is about challenged misunderstandings common in the day and in fact published a new version of The Holy Bible that established Jesus Christ as a preacher of Love and God as a Loving God.
One who really studies Srila Prabhupada's teachings with sincerity and a desire for Truth, will see beyond some of the seemingly sexist comments he made.
I feel the time is right for a well presented book based on the teachings of our Founder Acarya and supported with reason, logic and commonsense to challenge all the nonsense being published that insults women, even those who have dedicated their entire lives to bhakti.
That stresses that children, far from being jackals that suck our life energy, are amazing spiritual beings who we are privileged to parent and who will transform the world.
That presents the happy, loving relationship between husband and wife as the most conducive for raising Krsna Conscious children and families as the stable foundation upon which true civilization lies.
That promotes seeing sanyassis in their rightful position in human society. Simple, austere, renounced, free from sensual enjoyments, constantly travelling to preach for the enlightenment of conditioned souls, exemplary in their performance of sadhana, free from desires to control others, pure etc etc.
By presenting the teachings of the Gaudia Sampradaya in a universal and loving way, not influenced by sahaja or sexist interpretations but fully supported by guru, sadhu and sastra, i feel we would be serving the global community of devotees.
Those interested in being actively involved in this book project, whether as researchers, editors etc please send an email to
Thank you.

[PADA: Right, and a lot of these so-called sannyasis were called "sex-yasis" by Sulochana for the reason -- they had not given up actual sex desire in the first place. And so now the GBC simply says, acharyas are commonly falling into illicit sex, when even a sincere neophyte is not falling down left, right and center? So now, even acharyas are sexual predators, what to speak of others? This creates a very exploitative atmosphere, which is what they want. 

Just now! Another woman reports to PADA she is not getting any medical help after hurting herself while doing temple service, while the leaders at her temple are spending tens of thousands of dollars on their own medical treatments. Its a culture of exploiting, and this needs to be addressed and fixed. ys pd]


I know many sanyasis are exceptionally renounced, but it seems to me that some of them are not. It appears that if you can give up sex life you can have a large bank account, modern gadgets (computers etc.), fly anywhere anytime you want (many times first class), spend time in health resorts, buy anything you want whenever you want it, and in general live an opulent life, which to me doesn¹t seem very renounced. Does renunciation mean more than just giving up sex life, or is that all it means? If some of the sanyasis are setting an example of extravagance, the rest of society will follow. I believe if somehow the sanyasis can at least appear to be more renounced and austere, that would help this movement a great deal.
Ys, Pyari

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