In these matters woman is more than intelligent – she is brilliant! She so surpasses man in this regard it isn’t a contest! And it is only when man seeks to delight in her company and swim in the bountiful praise and glorification which she is so eager to shower upon him, does he also find meaning or purpose and indeed pleasure in sharing her vision of a permanent home in this miserable and so very temporary material world!
Dear prabhu, while you are an historic devotee who has done tremendous service for Srila Prabhupada, the way you understand and explain spiritual subjects is not the way that Srila Prabhupada told us to understand them. If we consider the way Srila Prabhupada himself explained them, whether in his books or lectures especially, he lead with shastra; only seldom did he quote his own Guru Maharaja. But most of us don’t do that. In these debates we tend to either quote Srila Prabhupada at length or quote from our own experience of him and seldom quote from shastra. And there are many reasons why this leads to innumerable misunderstandings.
Consider the case when we happen to speak with devotees who do not belong to our sampradaya. For example, Sri Vaishnavas. When we discuss spiritual subjects with them, we don’t quote Srila Prabhupada at length, we quote shastra at length and then may sometimes add the support of our acharya, Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise, they will not accept what we say, even if it is right. And we can’t blame them for that. We would do the same if they started bashing us over the head with quotes from whomever their current acharya is.
So the first point here is that when we lead with shastra, then that evidence has wide authority, more so than any other kind of evidence. Srila Prabhupada wanted to present the teachings of Lord Krishna in the most authoritative way, which is why he placed so much emphasis on shastra in his own presentations.
Thank you for your question. However, it is not an easy question to answer but nevertheless I’ll try to offer some of sastric advice and some of my personal experience of whatever little value that may be. First of all here is an straightforward and excellent explanation which summons it all up by Srila Bhaktissidhanta Saraswati Thakur in his Amrita-vani “immortal instructions”:
33. Can one be attached to sense gratification even after taking initiation?
“The process of attaining transcendental knowledge is called initiation. We should know that the Supreme Lord is the transcendental Absolute Truth, we are His eternal servants, and we have no duty other than to serve Him. Knowing this is actual initiation. The absence of this understanding is ignorance. At present, there is a controversy about the word “initiation”. People proudly claim that they have taken initiation from a bona fide spiritual master, but how can they maintain material attachment even after taking initiation? How can they desire to make advancement in material life? If they don’t learn about their relationship with the Lord, independent and proud people uselessly brag about their initiations. Rather than treating their spiritual master as if he were as good as God, they treat him as their disciple, fit to be their order-supplier. Considering the guru an ordinary mortal being, these persons become offenders at his lotus feet.
In the following exchange between Krishna Kirti Prabhu and Kaunteya Prabhu that took place on the GBC conference, we see that the Feminist party in ISKCON represented in this case by Kaunteya has to go to the enemies of our Sampradaya to gain support for their objective of establishing female diksha gurus.
The object of discussion is a book, Did Srila Prabhupada Want Women Diksa-gurus? written by Kaunteya dasa. Urmila devi dasi comments, “What an incredible book. I believe this answers just about everything and considers every angle about women being gurus.”
Urmila dd is so blinded by the ambition of being a diksha guru that she would risk the integrity of our Sampradaya in order to achieve it. Yet she is a senior member of the SAC. Can we have any faith in a person who puts their own ambition before that of Lord Caitanya’s mission?
According to ISKCON policy all candidates for initiation must understand clearly the following principles. Please learn them carefully.
1. Qualifications of a bona fide Spiritual Master
- He must come in a bona fide disciplic succession.
- He must know the science of pure devotion to Lord Krishna.
- He must be learned in the Vedic Literature & be able to convince others about the Vedic conclusions.
- He must be self-controlled.
- He must teach by his personal example.
2. Need for accepting a bona fide Spiritual Master