“Our mathas are being built at many places, and many sannyasis, vanaprasthas, grhasthas, and brahmacans are living in them full time and receiving the opportunity to learn spiritual conduct. But we have been trying for a long time to also give mothers [women] opportunity for devotional service. Of course, those who have the facility and opportunity for devotional service in their own homes do not need a separate residence. But very often we hear that many of them get impeded in their devotional service due to bad association. It will be very beneficial for them if we can build Sri Vishnupriya Palli [palli means “neighborhood”] in Sridham Mayapura near the residence of Sriman Mahaprabhu so that they can live there separately from their families and render devotional service. They belong to the group of Sri Vishnupriya Devi [the wife of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who was left behind in Nabadwip when he took sannyasa]. Therefore it is proper for them to live in the house of Sriman Mahaprabhu and to serve him under the shelter of Sri Vishnupriya Devi. There should not be any bad association or mundane male association for them there.

Only a few devotees like Ishan [the old devotee servant who took care of Sri Sachidevi and Sri Vishnupriya Devi after Sriman Mahaprabhu left] can stay at a distance and take care of them. It is necessary to have such an exemplary neighborhood so that the mothers can read scripture every day, discuss devotional topics with each other, and have ista-gosthi about devotional topics.
Thereby they can give up all luxury and live an exemplary, saintly life, always chanting the holy name, and serving Sriman Mahaprabhu in every way.”

— From a lecture on September 21, 1925.

Why a similar arrangement deemed unacceptable today? Why do female devotees insist on co-existing in close proximity with males? I mean on one hand they claim to be spiritually mature and deserving but on the other hand, they need male company? And they need to take leading roles, too? Both conditions can’t be true at the same time.

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