Why Women Should Not Be On The Sastra Advisory Committee

On January 14, 2014 Mother Urmila posted the following on her Faceboook page (edited slightly for readability, download pdf with the original texts):

Urmila dd wrote: “One ISKCON leader asked me the other day about women doing fire yajnas. My reply is that we follow sadhu-sastra-guru and I sent the leader the following information:

This is part of the instructions to Diti, a woman, about worship: “Sukadeva Gosvami continued: After worshiping the Lord with all the paraphernalia mentioned above, one should chant the following mantra while offering twelve oblations of ghee on the sacred fire: om namo bhagavate maha-purusaya mahavibhuti-pataye svaha.” SB 6.19.8 read more

Love versus Lust

I never promised you a rose garden. –Joe South. In the material world, especially among young girls, the hope prevails that marriage will be a pleasurable affair and that the pleasure will never end.  “Happily ever after” is a favorite phrase at the end of practically every romantic fairy tale.  The reality is, however, that although pleasures exist in married life, those pleasures are intermittent and short-lived.  Because this is the world of dualities, the pleasures of married life are offset by pain.  This is the arrangement of the all-merciful Lord.

Such pain manifests in different forms.  Besides the pains of old age, disease and death, most couples have children.  Thus, not only the woman but also the man experiences the pain of childbirth.  The woman directly experiences the discomforts of pregnancy, labor and delivery, while the man experiences the lifelong responsibility of having to figure out how to provide for, protect, and educate his child(ren).  Father and mother also both experience anxiety on behalf of their children when the children suffer, and suffer they must.  This world is a place of suffering: dukhalayam asasvatam.  Man and wife also experience the pain of being misunderstood by each other (married life is fraught with misunderstandings because man and woman think, feel and communicate differently), the pain of being falsely accused, the pain of embarrassment at having disappointed one’s spouse, or feeling the pain of our spouse when he or she is unhappy or frustrated, sick or hurt.  

There is usually a strong sexual attraction between husband and wife in the beginning of their marriage which tends to cover over the couple’s perception of the fact that life in the material world is miserable.  This intensity of attraction for each other can be misperceived as love, but it is actually a form of lust.  Aspiring Vaisnavas who enter into marriage generally experience this strong sexual attraction for their spouse, just as non-Vaisnavas do.  Even though Vaisnavas are philosophically aware that they are not their bodies, that marriage is ultimately meant for giving up sex, that sex is meant only for procreation and that Krsna, not our spouse, is the ultimate object of adoration, still, when aspiring devotees are newly married, they usually experience this intense feeling of attraction for one another. read more

Why Do I Wear Sari

Saree1

Recently in India I inquired from a Mohammedan gentleman why their women are ardently concealed behind a curtain of cloth, which often completely covers their faces? He replied, “If you have a valuable diamond, which to you is precious and dear, how will you keep it? Will you store it in an old cardboard box in the backyard rubbish heap? No, naturally, you will protect it by putting it safely and securely in a place where the untrustworthy can neither see it nor steal it. Our women are very important to us; they are the personality behind a happy household. We know that if they flaunt themselves in public, they will be mislead, and then the foundation of our society will be ruined.”

My mouth dropped open; I was speechless. The Muslims, like the Hare Krsnas, obviously have this question repeatedly asked to them by the “non-believers”, and this gentleman had a very poignant answer. He was not intimidated by the query, rather, he proudly made this presentation on behalf of the women in his community.

I have observed that ISKCON women more often are replacing the sari with other kinds of “more practical” attire. Many wear Punjabi suits, long skirts (or even short ones) dresses, moo-moo’s, jogging suits or shorts to putter around the house or go shopping. Often the only time a sari is worn is to come to the temple feast on Sundays. Even more often we see that the sari has been replaced by Western clothes in the name of “selling more books” or “collecting more laksmi.” read more

“Mother,” no other address

The nutshell of education is defined by Canakya Pandita that “Who is pandita, learned?” So he does not say that one who has passed MA, PhD, DAC, no. He doesn’t say that. He says, “Any person who has learned to see like this.” What is that? Matrvat para-daresu: “Everyone’s wife should be considered…” Para-dara. Para means others’ wife. Matrvat, mother. Therefore the Vedic system is, when we address another woman, “Mother,” no other address. “Mother, can I do this? Would you like this?” The address should be “Mother.” Practice.

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.23 — Honolulu, May 23, 1976)

 ‘Your question is how much or how little brahmacaris should associate with the unmarried brahmacarinis in the temple. As brahmacari you should not mix at all with brahmacarinis. Actually they should not at all see the face, but that is not possible in your country. But so far as possible, remain separate and talk almost nil. Brahmacari is advised not to go near a young woman anywhere. A brahmacari should always address every woman as mother. In your country it is a little difficult, but the principle is to avoid. To talk secretly or privately is strictly prohibited. If you want to discuss philosophy and other matters you can discuss publicly in a meeting, but not privately. A brahmacari and unmarried woman in the same room together alone is strictly forbidden.” (SPL to Sankarsana, 30th September, 1972) read more

The way to death


– Lecture by H.H. Jayadvaita Swami on Srimad Bhagavatam 3.31.40 given in Mayapur on 7.1.2010

yopayati sanair maya
yosid deva-vinirmita
tam iksetatmano mrtyum
trnaih kupam ivavrtam read more

Brahmacari is first class

  “If one can remain brahmacari that is best.”

(Letter to: Mahavisnu — Bombay 31 December, 1975)

Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami: …They may be indologists but they cannot make others follow the Indian culture. They can make someone else an armchair speculator, that they can do, but they cannot make someone else live the life of the knowledge that they teach. Because they don’t live it themselves.  read more

A review of the book ‘Woman Diksha Guru’

Feminist

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? read more