Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Debate rages about Feminist Diksha Gurus.

These men are not doing well from taking karma, how will women fair better?

Debate rages about Feminist Diksha Gurus.

In this text Sriman Basu Ghosh Prabhu jousts with Gaura Keshava Prabhu
(ACBSP) and easily defeats him. We have included a comments in [ ] brackets

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: David Shapiro <>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2019, 09:29
Subject: Re: Vaisnavi Gurus? The SABHA Weighs In/ SABHA's non-confidential
To: Sati devi dasi <>
Cc: Ajita Cozzi <>, Atmanivedana Swami <>, BB Keshava Swami <>, BDDS
(Bhakti Dhira Damodara Swami) BTS (Lagos - NG) <>, Bhakti
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Damodara Dasa <>, Dhruva Kusa Shah <>, Divya Priya <>, Drutakarma (das)
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Krishnarupa Dasi <>, Madhuri Pura Dasa <>, Mahaman (das) ACBSP <>, Mahatma
Das <>, Mahatma Das <>, Narahari <>, Pancaratna Dasa <>,
Prabhupada dasa b. <>, Richard Hall <>,
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My response to Gaur Keshava Das’s letter of Jan 27.

Dear Maharajas, Prabhus, and Matajis,

Namonamaha.  Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Gaur Keshava Das has written to your group a refutation of what I have
written to over the past few days to various devotees regarding the issue
of female diksha gurus.

Here are point by point responses to some of what he wrote:

1.  Gaur Keshava Das pointed out that I wrote that I may not accept
everything that Prof. M.A. Lakshmi Thathachar believes.  That is correct.
But that I agree with Prof. Thathachar on the invalidity of female diksha
gurus.  That is correct.    He further wrote that Prof. Thathachar believes
in brahmin by birth, and not brahmin by qualification (although he did not
employ these words – but he would have us accept this by inference).

My contention here is that what ever other things Prof. Thathachar may
believe are irrelevant to the topic of female diksha guru.   Asking him
about anything else – foreign gurus, shudra gurus, etc., isn’t directly
connected to the topic of female diksha gurus.  It’s an example of Gaur
Keshava Das indulging in both wrangling and cavil, in order to distract the
reader from the topic at hand: female diksha gurus.

Both Gaur Keshava Das and I accept Prof. Thathacar as a learned scholar in
the tradition/sampradaya/parampara of Ramanujacharya.

Prof. Thathachar, Srila Prabhupada,  and Srila B.R. Sridhar Maharaj – and
many others, all agree that women diksha gurus are “not so many” (from
Prabhupada’s comments to Prof. O’Connell).

2.  Gaur Keshava Das is of the opinion that the dharma shastras do not
apply to us.   The dharma shastras are around eighty in number, and the
most prominent is the Manu Samhita/Manu Smriti.

Here is what Srila Prabhupada wrote about the Manu Samhita:

“As for behavior, there are many rules and regulations guiding human
behavior, such as the *Manu-samhita,* which is the law of the human race.”
(in his commentary on Bg 16.7)

Prabhupada: Whatever whimsically you make your law, that is law. Actually
they are not fighting. Hindu law means Manu-samhita. So who is pressing
them that "We don't require any law except this"? And where is that Hindu,
strong Hindu? Hindu means Manu-samhita. (Prabhupada’s morning walk at
Nellore, January 8, 1976)

“So this statement will not be very palatable to the Western girls. They
want independence. In Chicago, when I was there, they talked about
independence of the woman. They asked me question. So I replied, "No,
womans cannot be given independence." So there was a great agitation
against me. In many papers I was very much criticized. But actually it is
the fact, because they are innocent, not so intelligent and... These are
all practical. We may avoid discussing, but Bhagavata is very open for
discussing all subject matter. That is fact. We should not hide anything
artificially. We must discuss the fact. Not only here, the mention it is,
the Manu-samhita. Manu-samhita recommends, "A woman should not be given
independence." For their interest they must be protected by father, husband
and sons, because if they are polluted, they become very dangerous”. (from
Prabhupada’s Bhagavatam class at Vrindavan (SB 5.6.4) on November 26, 1976)

This quote herein above has relevance to female diksha guru, as it deals
with Srila Prabhupada’s general outlook on women.

“So any slight deviation from the law, then we are put into undesirable
condition. That is a fact. Just like here, according to Vedic principle,
the laws are given by Manu. Manu. From Manu, the word manusya has come, or
"man.'' And there is Manu-samhita. In the Manu-samhita it is stated that if
a man commits murder, then he should be hanged. He should be hanged. That
is followed by every human society. Why? But that means the sinful
activities which he has enacted, if he is punished in this life, then he'll
not so suffer against in the next life. His punishment will be finished. So
that is a favor. If a murderer is hanged, then that is a favor shown by the
government, because the next life you'll not have to suffer.”  (From
Prabhupada’s SB class, 6.1.6 on February 17, 1973, at Sydney).

From these quotes – and there are more – we should accept that Prabhupada
taught that the dharma shastras, in particular Manu Samhita – are

Especially regarding women, Prabhupada commented with reference to the Manu
Samhita.   So, why should it be rejected as an authority just because Gaur
Keshava Das feels so?   The evidence shows he is wrong.

3.   Gaur Keshava Das quotes a letter from Prabhupada, “"I want that all of
my spiritual sons and daughters will inherit this title of Bhaktivedanta,
so that the family transcendental diploma will continue through the
generations. Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will be allowed to
initiate disciples. Maybe by 1975, all of my disciples will be allowed to
initiate and increase the numbers of the generations. That is my program.”

Gaur Keshava Das wants us to believe that this quote invalidates
Prabhupada’s purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.32, wherein Prabhupada
wrote: “Although Narada Muni was his *diksa-guru* (initiating spiritual
master), Suniti, his mother, was the first who gave him instruction on how
to achieve the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is the duty
of the *siksa-guru* or *diksa-guru* to instruct the disciple in the right
way, and it depends on the disciple to execute the process. 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.”*

We should note:

a. Something written later – the purport to SB 4.12.32, superceds that
which was written earlier in the letter to Hansaduta dated January 3, 1969.

b. The historical record is that Prabhupada did NOT institute any disciples
initiating, male or female by 1975.  Thus the letter in question dated
January 3, 1969 is to be taken as “general encouragement” to the devotees
at the time, and not an eternal doctrine that somehow validates female
diksha gurus.   One letter of Prabhupada does not somehow institute
something that he did not teach repeatedly.

c. The purport by Srila Prabhupada to SB 4.12.32 deals directly with the
subject of women as diksha guru.   There Prabhuapda specifically forbids
it, while stating women can be shiksha and padapradarshak guru.  This is
consistant with other statements by Prabhupada that there were women gurus
and acharyas in the past, “but not so many”.

4. Gaur Keshava Das writes: “Basu Ghoshs main argument is that there should
not be free mixing of the sexes.”

This statement is false.   Part of Gaur Keshava Das’s strategy of attack is
to indulge in an exaggeration to attempt to shock the readers, and win
their sympathy against “the bad guy, myself.

It is true that if women/females/vaishnavis were to serve as diksha gurus,
as envisioned by the concept’s proponents, these female gurus would begin a
formal mentor relationship, coming into contact with a number of men, since
the system being proposed to the GBC by the subcommittee does not
explicitly forbid them from giving harinam/first initation to men.   Surely
it is a part of, and not my “main” argument against women diksha gurus.

Just above where Gaur Keshava Das wrote about my “main argument”, he quotes
Prabhupada, apparently from a lecture or conversation – without a complete
reference – trying to establish that Prabhupada did not so much care for
the bodily distinction between man and woman.

Elsewhere he accused me of indulging in the half chicken logic, ardha
kukuti nyaya.

But this is exactly what he has himself indulged it!   Because the quote is
only a part of what Prabhupada wrote about women.

This is the “other side” that Gaur Keshava Das neglects to note:

It appears from the verse that the inhabitants of Dvaraka were all owners
of big palaces. This indicates the prosperity of the city. The ladies got
up on the roofs just to have a look at the procession and the Lord. The
ladies did not mix with the crowd on the street, and thus their
respectability was perfectly observed. There was no artificial equality
with the man. Female respectability is preserved more elegantly by keeping
the woman separate from the man. The sexes should not mix unrestrictedly.
(from Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 1.11.24).

So, if there are two apparently contradictory statements from Srila
Prabhupada, we have to consider the circumstances, and also the totality of
Srila Prabhuapada’s outlook towards women.

It seems that Gaur Keshava Das took the quote about the “otherwise the
rights are the same” from Prabhupada’s discussion with Prof. O’Connell at
Toronto.  As I  have written before, it can be understood that Srila
Prabhupada, during his discussion with O’Connell was careful not to offend

At other times, Prabhupada was more direct:

Reporter: Are men superior in your movement, though?

Prabhupada: Hm?

Reporter: Are men regarded as superior to women?

Prabhupada: Yes, naturally. Naturally, woman requires protection by the man.

In the childhood she is protected by the father, and youth time she is

protected by the husband, and old age she is protected by elderly sons. That

is natural.

Female Reporter: That goes against the thinking of a lot of people in

America now. Do you know that?

Prabhupada: No... America, maybe, but this is the natural position. Women

require protection.

From Prabhupada’s room converstion on March 5th, 1975 at New York City

In Prabhupada’s purport to SB 1.11.24, he was being careful to establish a
principle, and he used unabashed words “there was no artifical equality
with the man”, etc.

There are other such examples, but egalitarian thought will neither accept
this example, nor any other of these clear examples from Srila Prabhupada’s
teachings, since the aim of egalitarianism is to establish the equality of
the sexes – and all humans - at all costs!

Prabhupada’s letter to Naishkarmi dd, [written from  Bhaktivedanta Manor on
July, 28, 1973] is also an unabhashed statement to her on how to live
ideally as a woman:

In Vedic society no girl was allowed to remain independent and unmarried.
Independence for women means they become like prostitutes, struggling to
capture some man who will take care of her. In this way the so called
independent woman has to work very hard to make herself attractive by
artificially wearing cosmetics -- mini skirts and so many other things.
Formerly the girl would be married to a suitable boy at a very early age,
say six years old. But although a girl was married early she did not stay
with her husband immediately, but was gradually trained in so many ways how
to cook, clean and serve her husband in so many ways -- up until the time
of her puberty. So all the time there was no anxiety because a girl would
know -- I have got a husband, and the boy would know I have got this girl
as my wife. Therefore when the boy and girl would come of age there was no
chance of illicit sex-life. And the psychology is the first boy that a girl
accepts in marriage, that girl will completely give her heart to, and this
attachment on the girls side for her husband becomes more and more strong,
thus if a girls gets a good husband -- one who has accepted a bona fide
spiritual master and is firmly fixed up in his service, automatically the
wife of such a good husband inherits all the benefits of his spiritual

advancement. So you are fortunate. Go on in this present attitude, serve
your husband always and in this way your life will be perfect, and together
husband and wife go back home -- Back to Godhead.”

This is another example of Prabhupada’s principled opposition to the free
mixing of the sexes, but it is NOT my “main point”.   This is also one of
the many examples of how Prabhupada viewed the ideal duty of a woman, as a
grihini, housewife, serving her husband and family.

My main point is that diksha guru is NOT the duty of a woman according to
vedic/shastric thought, and according to the varnashram system as given by
Lord Krishna Himself.

6.   Gaur Keshava Das wrote: “The kind of society that Suniti and Dhruva
lived in Yugas ago was such a strict Smarta Varnashrama society. Therefore
it is not unreasonable to state that Suniti could not become a diksha guru.”

Hmm.  Why didn’t Srila Prabhupada make such a comment in his purport?
This is Gaur Keshava Das’s interpretation, meant to deny the validity of
Srila Prabhupada’s comments.

Srila Prabhupada wrote his purports to guide humanity in the present
time.   If he felt that Suniti ought not to have been a diksha guru because
she was in Satya yuga, and not Kali yuga, he would have commented as
such!   He did not, so why should we not take what Prabhupada wrote as his
instructions for humanity at the present time?

The fact is that Gaur Keshava Das wishes to distort the facts by twisting
the meaning of what Prabhupada clearly wrote to promote his concocted idea
of how society should function and what the role of women in society should
be!   His concocted idea adheres to the Western, liberal, leftist,
feminist, egalitarian outlook, so popular at the present time.

7.  Gaur Keshava Das wrote:  “Basu Ghosh wants to interpret this famous
verse of CC in the following way:”

No, this is not true.   The “kiba vipra, kiba nyasi..  sei guru haya” verse
upholds the truth that I have already accepted herein before: that women
can be guru: padapradarshaka or shiksha, but not diksha guru.   Again,
another example of Gaur Keshava Das misguiding his readers.

*[Actually this quote CC Madhya 8.128 is about Lord Caitanya getting
shiksha from Ramananda Raya not diksha. We do not hear that Ramananda Raya
gave diksha to Lord Caitanya, but he did give shiksa. So to use this verse
as a support for diksha guru is foolish.]*

8.  Gaur Keshava Das wrote: “Now when faced with this explanation persons
like Basu Ghosh admit this. They admit that even a woman who is
KRSNA-TATTVA-VETTA can be a diksha guru.”

Not true.  While there are some in the anti-FDG “camp” that may admit this,
I am not one of them.  As for myself, I go by what Srila Prabhupada wrote
in the purport to SB 4.12.32, that “Suniti being a woman. could not be
Dhruva Maharaj’s diksha guru”.

Wherever Prabhupada has mentioned Jahnava as a guru and acharya, he never
mentions “diksha”, specifically.

Even the present proposal before the GBC seems to clearly acknowledge this
and therefore wishes to distingush between harinam and diksha.   As
Krishnadas Kaviraj Prabhu wrote: “it is not diksha, it is just harinam, as
it is known in the Gaudiya Math” (paraphrase).

My contention is that harinam is diksha!  It must be admitted to be a part
of diksha.  As the analogy goes: it is not that a woman can be “partially
pregnant”: she is either pregnant or not pregnant!

*[**We will show that so called “harinama diksa” is a combination of
Bhagavat and Pancaratik vidhi. Bhagavt vidhi (chanting mahamantra) requires
no diksha or diksha guru. But for arcana pancaratrik diksha is required.
Pancaratrik diksa can not be done by females.]*

When we establish women as formal diksha gurus, a system that has not been
part of the vedic tradition will begin, and it will not be easily possible
to stop.   We will be accused of introducing a new invention by vaishnavas
both within the Gaudiya Math, Gaudiya sampradaya, and the other three
vaishnava sampradayas.

We will also be guilty of negating varnashram dharma, by introducing women
diksha gurus, because giving diksha is part of the duty of the brahmanas.

Gaur Keshava Das argues that since many of us are not brahmanas by birth,
as so, well, that is a point in favor of introducing women diksha gurus.

But the fact is that we know that Prabhupada and shastra teach varnashram
dharma. There is the famous statement of Prabhupada that “fifty perfect of
my work is unfinished, because establishing varnashram is fifty percent
that remains” (paraphrase – it is a well known statement of his).

Arguing that varnashram dharma was for a bygone age is in contradiction to
what Prabhupada taught.  As is saying that varnashram dharma is only for
smarta brahmanas.   If it was, Prabhuapda and Srila Saraswati Thakur would
not have advocated it’s revival, time and again!

The condemnation (and it is not the “eternal damnation of Christianity) of
Smarta brahmanas is that:

a.     They (a major portion of them) follow the Advaita Vedanta siddhanta
of Adi Shankara

b.     They worship demigods (devatas), mainly the “panchopaasana”
recommended by Adi Shankara

It is not that Gaur Keshava Das can just accuse us of adhering to Smarta
principles because we espouse  varnashram dharma.   His doing so is in fact
an offense at the feet of Prabhupada and Srila Saraswati Thakur.

9.   Gaur Keshava Das wrote:  “But mark my words if all these regressive
social programs are put into actioneven in ISKCON India alone, eventually
the male Indian members of ISKCON will turn their attention to those male
NON-Indian born members of ISKCON and suggest that it would be better for
those born in dvija families to perform all these spiritual duties.”

So Gaur Keshava Das feels that he can win the argument for women diksha
gurus by painting a “doomsday scenario”, and categorizing us, specifically
myself, as “smartas”.

So he does not, by his words, give credit to Srila Prabhupada, who himself
was an Indian, for his espousal of “varnashram does not depend on birth
alone”.   Prabhupada felt that it was “shastra sammata” – in adherence to
shastras – to give brahminial initiation – specifically the sacred thread,
and sannyas initiation to men not born in one of the three upper castes,
the brahmanas, kshatriyas, and vaishyas.

However, Prabhupada did NOT offer the sacred thread for women.  He made the

Gaur Keshava Das wants us to give up making distinction between “spiritual
men and women”.

This is in fact egalitarianism in action.  By employing pejorative
terminology to give the opposition to his own heterodox views a bad name,
he feels he can win the argument.  But the argument should be won by
adhering to the body of the teachings of Srila Prabhupada, vedic shastras,
and vedic tradition.

That he has not been able to do, because his views contradict what Srila
Prabhupada clearly taught.

10. Gaur Keshava Das accuses us of “skin disease”.  Again, here he indulges
in untruth in order to paint those who oppose female diksha gurus as evil
and offenders of the Gaudiya siddhanta.   It is just plain dishonest and
unfair of him to do so.  It does not show him in a good light.

11. Gaura Keshava Das wrote:  “Those who want to accept women according to
their actual qualifications and abilities are described by Basu Ghosh as
western liberal egalitarian feminists. I disagree. Acceptance of FDGs is a
Gaudiya tradition since the early 16thcentury (albeit in less number than
male brahmins of course). THAT IS A HISTORICAL FACT.”

Just writing that something is a “historical fact” does not in and of
itself make it one!  He has not provided the evidence, and we know that
Prabhupada referred to only two or three women as “gurus and acharyas”.
He did not refer to them as diksha gurus.

Our line is a “Bhagavat line” and not a diksha line.   There are “time
gaps” in the line that Prabhupada refers to in his introduction to the
Bhagavad-gita where he mentions the gurus in our guru parampara.

The very same Prabhupada outlined the system of initiation, pancharatrika
vidhi, in detail in his purport in Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya,
15.108.   He and Srila Saraswati Thakur followed – and thus taught by their
example, this system.

To allege that we somehow are opposed to this system is another dishonest
attempt to blacken our names with a view to win an argument.

Debate is not won by indulging in making false claims against one’s
ideological opponents, but by establishing the truth with reference to
proper evidence.  In our case that is guru, sadhu, and shastra.

This Gaur Keshava Das has been unable to do, because he is proposing a
doctine that just does not exist in vedic shastra, nor is it extent in
vaishnava society – in any of the four sampradayas.

12. Gaur Keshava Das wrote:

“Basu Ghosh and party want everyone to believe that the position of diksha
guru is not a purely spiritual position but it is a position that requires
social and material qualifications like being born male. We totally reject
this sexist definition of the qualifications of diksha guru which is based
solely on bodily consciousness. Basu Ghosh wants us to believe that we are
all equal spiritually, but males are more equal spiritually than females.

What does it mean by “purely spiritual position”?

We are all in this material world, born into human bodies, that encase
inside of each body a jivatma.   Baddha jivas – entangled in the material
body, covered by the five gross, and three sublte elements, and under the
influence of the three qualities – gunas.

What then does he mean by “spiritual”?

It is Bhagavad-gita – the words of Lord Krishna – where distinction  - the
caste system aka varnashram dharma, is taught.  So the Bhagavad-gita is
then not “spiritual”?

“Sexist”.  It’s a “buzz word” for egalitarians to propagate apasiddhanta
and attempt to win an argument by blackening the opposition.

All followers of the Bhagavad-gita recognize that all living entities are
equal as jivas, not just human beings, but the animals, birds, reptiles,
insects, etc.   All are baddha jivas.   As per Gita 5.18.

But the same Bhagavad-gita teaches that there are distinctions, as per
9.34, where women and shudras are categorized by LORD KRISHNA HIMSELF, as
being born in sinful wombs – papayonayaha.   We admit that we have taken
such a lower birth.

To adhere to the bodily distinctions may be “sexist” as Gaur Keshava Das
rants, but it is also adherent to the teachings of Lord Krishna in the
Bhagavad-gita!   So we will adhere to those teachings, and he can condemn
them and proclaim himself a true follower, but the fact is that he is
indeed under the mistaken influence of Western egalitarian thought by his
attempt to paint those who do accept the teachings of Bhagavad-gita as
somehow misguided!

Prabhupada in so many of his purports made distinction between men and
women, and I dare state the obvious: so did Mahaprabhu!

As a member of the sannyas ashram, he avoided the company of women almost
totally!  Was He thus “sexist”?  Was Srila Prabhupada “sexist”?

Srila Saraswati Thakur propagated the revival of the varnashram system, and
the sannyas ashram, which was not followed by Gaudiya Vaishnavas after
Mahaprabhu.   Therefore, his followers are sometimes known as Saraswats.
Varnashram dharma means making bodily distinction.   Not that because our
innate identity is eternal spirit – satchidananda - jivatma, that we can or
should reject varnashram dharma.

Here is where the logic of Gaur Keshava Das is heterodox.   He wants us all
to believe that adherence to varnashram dharma is “smarta”.   In one fell
swoop he negates all that Prabhupada, and indeed Lord Krishna taught about
varnashram dharma!

Srimad Bhagavatam describes varnashram dharma in numerous places.  The
first canto, seventh canto, and eleventh canto give detailed instructions
about varnashram dharma.

Is the Bhagavatam somehow “smarta”?  But by the logic put forward in the
letter of Gaur Keshava Das, he would have us believe that it is!

In conclusion, although I wish Gaur Keshava Das well, I cannot accept the
heterodox theories that he wishes us to accept.  They contradict what guru,
sadhu, and shastra teach, as pointed out herein above.

Hare Krishna!


Basu Ghosh Das

On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 1:53 PM Sati devi dasi <> wrote:

> Dear SABHA members and guests of our conversation,
> please accept my humble obeisance
> All glory to Srila Prabhupada!
> This is *the second official reminder* not to exclude Mother Visakha's
> email from this conversation.
> Please kindly, before hitting the SEND button, make sure you have her
> email in. It takes 10 seconds and we would really appreciate your kind
> attention to this matter.
> Please allow me to make one comment, if we miss such an important detail,
> there must be other important details we are missing.
> Hope for your kind understanding,
> best regards,
> ys Sati dd
> On Sun, Jan 27, 2019 at 5:00 AM David Shapiro <>
> wrote:
>> Here is a new posting by Gaura Keshava pr further disputing the points
>> made by Basu Ghosh pr. re Lakshmi Tatahar's position.  It is reprinted by
>> permission.
>> Basu Ghosh admits that we do not accept everything that Laksmi Tatachar
>> believes. Yet he still considers him an authority on this particular
>> subject
>> i.e. FDGs.
>> Notice that he never asked him his opinion on foreign or sudra born male
>> gurus.
>> WHY? Because Laksmi Tatachar doesn’t accept them also. Neither does he
>> even
>> think one can cross the ocean and retain his caste. There are any number
>> of
>> caste-by-birth conscious persons who we can ask about these issues but
>> none of
>> them will admit women, sudra males or foreigners as gurus.
>> So in doing this Basu Ghosh falls prey to the ardha-kukuta nyaya the
>> logic of
>> half a chicken. He accepts Laksmi Tatachars opinions about women but not
>> his
>> opinions about foreigners or those not born in brahmin families. Half
>> truth is
>> no better than a lie. Srila Prabhupada his own gurus says women can be
>> gurus
>> but he would prefer to accept half the truth from a Ramanuja caste guru.
>> What Basu Ghosh fails to understand when he calls me a liberal is that
>> Srila
>> Prabhupada was also a liberal when it comes to these matters.
>> Once again I have no problem if Basu Ghosh wants to live according to the
>> sastric directions of Dharma Sastras which call him an outcast being a
>> foreigner and which deny sudra males, women and outcastes the possibility
>> of
>> being diksha gurus. But what I am against is cherry picking Dharma
>> Sastras and
>> suggesting that ONLY women be excluded from something that foreigners and
>> males
>> born sutras are also excluded from.
>> It is up to the ISKCON leadership to decide how much or how little the
>> rules of
>> Dharma Sastras i.e. Varnasharam social rules are to be follow or not
>> within
>> their institution. But what I object to is arbitrary enforcement of such
>> medieval social standards on ONLY women and not men. That is
>> >> But the fact that female diksha guru is very rare -- if not
>> >> non-existent -- we agree with.
>> We should note that being a Vaisnava or Vaisnavi itself is very rare,
>> exceptional in this world. Lord Krishna in the Gita says:
>> manusyanam sahasresu
>> kascid yatati siddhaye
>> yatatam api siddhanam
>> kascin mam vetti tattvatah
>> Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of
>> those
>> who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.
>> Please note how exceptional it is for a person to know the science of
>> Krishna fully which is the definition of the qualification for being guru
>> in
>> Gaudiya tradition or sampradaya.
>> FDG is non-existent to my knowledge in Ramanuja Sampradaya (except for
>> Laksmi
>> devi herself), a community that up till now hasn’t included many
>> foreigners,
>> unlike ISKCON. How then can that community's standards be compared to
>> those of
>> ISKCON that includes people from all over the world?
>> However it is there in Gaudiya Sampradaya tradition since the 16th
>> century.
>> So why ask an ORTHODOX Ramanuja caste-guru his opinion about a standard
>> for the
>> Gaudiya Sampradaya?
>> Probably Basu Ghosh does this because he knows if he asked a Gaudiya they
>> would
>> cite the historical fact that it is accepted (albeit it is still rare and
>> that
>> is admitted) in Gaudiya Sampradaya. In fact his own guru Srila Prabhupada
>> knew
>> that and himself on two occasions spoke of Jahnava Thakurani as an
>> example of
>> FDGs in the Gaudiya Sampradaya. See below for Srila Prabhupada on Jahnava
>> Thakurani FDG

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