Dear members of the GBC,
Dear members of the GBC, Please accept our humble obeisance’s.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada. We have come to know that you intend to go ahead with implementing women diksha gurus, despite repeated objections to your doing so by ISKCON India.
This is to inform you that, the IIAC body and the ICC body, stand by the Bureau resolution of November 2019. We are not satisfied that the GBC position is based on “sanction in vedic literature” (SB 3.24.40, purport). This purport explains that women are never allowed to be independent from a father, husband or son and therefore cannot take sannyasa. Srila Prabhupada says, “no sanction in Vedic literature” for women to take sannyasa.
This purport, of Srila Prabhupada’s, applies to your resolution of 2019, which violates this same sanction by stipulating new protectors of women, including “son-in-law”, “grihastha couple” and “vaishnava or vaishnavi sanga”–women protecting other women. There is no sanction in Vedic literature for any of this. You have made it up.
Only the Lord Himself can create dharma, not you, me or anyone else–dharmam to saksad bhagavat pranitam. In your zeal to create female diksha-gurus, you have invented a way around the actual sanction from Vedic literature, thereby falsifying Srila Prabhupada’s statement and also opening the door to women taking sannyasa. Your resolution itself is directly shastra-virodha (against shastra).
The GBC has not been able to explain Srila Prabhupada’s statement in a class at Los Angeles, “Therefore initiation, brahminical symbolic representation, is given to the man, not to the woman. This is the theory.” (Lecture on SB 1.3.17 on Sept. 22, 1972).
And the GBC is not the authority to change what Srila Prabhupada wrote in the purport to SB 4.12.32, “According to śāstric injunctions, there is no difference between śikṣā-guru and dīkṣā-guru, and generally the śikṣā-guru later on becomes the dīkṣā-guru. Sunīti, however, being a woman, and specifically his mother, could not become Dhruva Mahārāja’s dīkṣā-guru”.
To go ahead and implement women diksha gurus in spite of these and other evidence cited in the Bureau resolution of November 2019, will result in a loss of faith in the GBC by the leaders of ISKCON India, and lead to a call for separation from the GBC. We hope better sense will prevail, and therefore we call upon you to again reconsider taking the movement on the path of schism.
“Srila Narottama dasa Thakura says, sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya, cittete kariya aikya. One should accept a thing as genuine by studying the words of saintly people, the spiritual master and the sastra. The actual center is the sastra, the revealed scripture. If a spiritual master does not speak according to the revealed scripture, he is not to be accepted. Similarly, if a saintly person does not speak according to the sastra, he is not a saintly person. The sastra is the center for all. Unfortunately, at the present moment, people do not refer to the sastras”.(Purport to CC Madhya 20.352)
CC Madhya 6.135
pramāṇera madhye śruti pramāṇa — pradhānaśruti ye mukhyārtha kahe, sei se pramāṇa
“Although there is other evidence, the evidence given in the Vedic version must be taken as foremost. Vedic versions understood directly are first-class evidence.” You have not proven — to the satisfaction of the leaders of ISKCON India — from shastras, that women diksha guru is a bona fide concept. Unless you can do so, it is unacceptable, as per these citations and other such citations such as Bhagavad-gita 16.23 and 24, etc.
You are well aware that on several occasions the bodies we chair have voted overwhelmingly to oppose the political imposition of women diksha gurus in ISKCON.
We humbly beg you to preserve the unity of ISKCON by abandoning this decision, using political force and not convincing arguments from shastras, to implement women diksha gurus. We are aware that the dialogue with the Bureau broke off without you having convinced the Bureau reps of your stand. Unable to convince our reps of the validity of women diksha gurus is obviously an unwanted and unacceptable imposition.
We feel it most unfortunate that the GBC has decided to go the political route. Please go back to the platform of dialogue, as had been suggested, to preserve the unity of ISKCON and your own integrity. Thank you for giving this the utmost serious consideration. Kindly consider this as most urgent. Again, hoping better sense will prevail.
IIAC Chairman Vice Chairman Secretary
Pancaratna Das Surdas Das Vishnunam Das
ICC Chairman ICC Vice Chairman ICC Secretary
Sahadev Das Sumithra Krishna Das Keshav Murari Das
On behalf of the IIAC and the ICC bodies.