Further talks with Maharaj on the subject of female diksha gurus.

For the previous article, please go to the following link:  https://akincana.net/2020/11/20/hg-basu-ghosh-dass-message-to-swamiji-on-female-diksha-gurus/ 


Maharaja wrote:
TOO BAD no one argued this vociferously when the GBC voted to say that the Jiva fell from Goloka which is a much larger mistake on their part


Basu Ghosh Das – my response was:

Well, that subject won’t have so much effect on the ISKCON institution and its followers. In fact, I agree with you, but I have not done research. That decision is not threatening the unity of ISKCON. But this ashastric decision is creating a disturbance, and will continue to do so because there is “no sanction in vedic literature” – as Prabhupada wrote, for FDGs.Prabhupada directly wrote a prohibition in his purport to SB 4.12.32 – that I did not mention in my response to you – but it is being discounted by speculative interpretations – with varying ill logical explanations such as “the prescriptive and the descriptive” – language that Prabhupada did not teach us – and “it was for a bygone era” – which would thus apply to the entire Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, etc. In other words, they are negating the authority of vedic shastras, so they can establish some other authority, which is just a total contradiction of what Prabhupada taught! This needs to be exposed, and defeated.


Maharaja then responded:
I have read that Lord Nityananda’s son from Jhanava’s sister did take initiation from Jhanava Mata.
You are also wrong about the fact that the jiva decision does not tear apart ISKCON. So many of us have left the ISKCON institution and gone to Gaudiya Math and one of the chief reasons in the apasiddhanta of the Jiva Issue. My self and my sannyasi godbrothers have been invited to return to ISKCON but we have refused based upon this and other apasiddhantic statements.So the Jiva issue has seriously disunited ISKCON.


Basu Ghosh Das – my response:
With all due respect, what is that initiation that Nityananda’s son – you did not provide his name – took from Jahnava?
Whatever – and sure there can be a discussion on this story – we are “Saraswats” – followers of Srila Siddhanta Saraswati – and some of us – Sril Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. You and your sannyasi “godbrothers” (all followers of BV Naryana Maharaj) in fact left ISKCON not because of the Jiva issue in particular – but because of your attachment to and reverence for the late B.V. Narayan Maharaj.

So be it: I cannot change that – obviously because I do not revere him as you do. Yes, that is NOT the issue here at all. But since you brought up the issue, I must point this out.
The issue is this. Srila Siddhanta Saraswati introduced the “sacred thread” – as I pointed out to you in my lengthy rebuttal – that I assume you do not accept, but you have not given any logic or reasons why – “for all”, as per what our common diksha guru Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada wrote in his CC purport to Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya-lila, 8.128.

Further in the rebuttal to what you wrote, I provided a quote from our Srila Prabhupada’s lecture in Los Angeles on Sept 22, 1972, wherein he clearly stated that “women cannot take initiation”.
Can you refute his statements?

Srila Prabhupada wrote a clear prohibition of women being diksha gurus – but acceptance of them as shiksha and pathapradarshaka gurus – in his purport – if you take the direct meaning without interpretation to what he wrote – to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.32.Why did our Srila Prabhupada support this introduction of the sacred thread for shudras (and those lower, like us mlecchas and yavanas) and not for women?

See again my earlier rebuttal to what you wrote by quoting what our Srila Prabhupada wrote in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 1.39. They – Srila Prabhupada and Srila Saraswati Thakur desired to revive varnashram dharma that was decaying in Hindu society due to kali-yuga, in the name of “daiva varnashram”.
You are free to reject these ideas, but what is your logic and reason for doing so?

The “initiations” given by Jahnava Mata were NOT the upanayanam – the vedic initiation into the “brahminical symbolic representation” – as Prabhupada spoke in the class at Los Angeles mentioned herein above.
So what I deduce is that Jahnava’s giving “initiations” was what is known as “harinaam” initiation in the Gaudiya Math – and I had extensive association with godbrothers of Srila Prabhupada that you may or may not be aware of – and “first initiation” in ISKCON.

Srila Prabhupada recognized both – I admit – as initiation, but… at the very same time he spoke and wrote – as pointed out above – that women could NOT get initiation, and both he and Srila Saraswati Thakur DID NOT give the sacred thread to women. That’s a “historical fact” that you cannot deny. But sure, we live in an “age of denial”, as we see here in the USA political scene (with Pres. Trump denying defeat – but sure, discussing that would be a major diversion from the topic at hand!).

The conclusion – without my writing a two hundred page essay – is simple. Reviving varnashram principles within ISKCON and the Gaudiya Math was a major agenda for Srla Prabhupada and Srila Saraswati Thakur. Within those principles, there is “no sanction in vedic literature” and no “shastric injunction” – the words of our Srila Prabhupada – for female diksha gurus.

Citing Jahnava Mata as an example of a female diksha guru isn’t valid in the circumstances. She was “the leader of the vaishnavas, acharya” (in the sense of the word “acharya” being used as “the head of the entire vaishanva community – at the time) itself was highly exceptional in the words of both Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as well as his godbrother, the late B.R. Sridhar Maharaj. However, there is no historical evidence that Jahnava Mata, Gangamata, or Hemlata wore or conferred the sacred thread to anyone. So, they were shiksha gurus – no less important, I agree – but technically NOT diksha gurus.





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