The appeal falls on the deaf westernized ears of feminists – Malati, Urmila, Narayani Dasis and Praghosa Das (and many more).
From: Basu Ghosh (das) ACBSP (Baroda – IN)
Date: 28-Oct-12 00:56 (06:26 +0530)
To: “Swami B.A. Ashrama” firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: Hridayananda Dasa Goswami
Cc: Malati (dd) ACBSP (GBC) (New Vrindavan/Columbus – USA)
Cc: Narayani (dd) ACBSP (Vrindavan – IN)
Cc: Urmila (dd) ACBSP (Padma Education)
Cc: “Gaura Mandala Bhumi”
Cc: Praghosa (das) SDG (IRL)
Cc: “santi vardhana”
Cc: Simheswara (das) JPS (Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia)
Cc-For: ISKCON India (news & discussion)
Cc: ISKCON India (news & discussion)
Cc: ISKCON Prabhupada Disciples
Reference: Text PAMHO:24265120 by “Swami B.A. Ashrama”
Subject: Re: anti FDG outlook – kindly consider
[Note to the many receivers of this. Swami Ashram, formerly Babhru Das ACBSP, recently took sannyas from Tripurari Swami. He was, as I understand things, in his “purva ashram days” (his “pre-sannyas ashram life) a College teacher of English for many years, and so he should be easily able to comprehend what Prabhupada wrote in his purport to SB 4.12.32, etc.]
Oh, Swami Ashram Maharaj,
Maharaj, how do you explain the simple words:
“being a women”, in the following purport written by Prabhuapda in SB 4.12.32?
“Actually, Dhruva Maharaja’s mother, Suniti, was his patha-pradarshaka-guru. Patha-pradarshaka-guru means “the guru, or the spiritual master, who shows the way.” Such a guru is sometimes called shiksha-guru. Although Narada Muni was his diksha-guru (initiating spiritual master), Suniti, his mother, was the first who gave him instruction on how to achieve the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is the duty of the shiksha-guru or diksha-guru to instruct the disciple in the right way, and it depends on the disciple to execute the process. According to shastric injunctions, there is no difference between shiksha-guru and diksha-guru, and generally the shiksha-guru later on becomes the diksha-guru. Suniti, however, being a woman, and specifically his mother, could not become Dhruva Maharaja’s diksha-guru.”
It it obvious from the above that a woman can be a “patha pradarshaka guru” and a “shiksha guru” (which is “non-different” from a “diksha guru”), but cannot be a “diksha guru” — according to Prabhupada!
The above is his clearly expressed opinion. No doubt about it!
The reasoning has been put forward in so many texts that have been copied here. Why all this debate?
“Prabhupada: In the history of India there is no woman leader. Throughout Mahabharata you’ll find… Mahabharata is the greater history, history of greater India. Maha means “greater,” and bharata. So “Greater Bharata.” That means this whole planet. So you won’t find woman leader.”
March 24, 1977, Bombay
(you can hear the conversation online.
My contention is that if you study the totality of Prabhupada’s teachings regarding “stridharma” — the duties of women — you will find that it was his opinion that a women’s duties are that of “grihini” — housewife — and “mata” – mother, etc.
Not that woman should be a “formal institutional leader”.
If that was the case, Prabhupada would have given sannyas to women, and made them temple presidents and GBCs of his ISKCON.
The historical record is that neither he did so, nor did Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarawati Thakur.
Those who are advocating this have not, it seems, studied Prabhupada’s teachings with an unbiased outlook, but are influenced by “present day egalitarian thought”.
Also, besides Prabhupada’s expressed opinion that a women cannot be a diksha guru, we must consult shastras in this regard:
aikantiki harer bhaktir
“Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanishads, puranas and Narada-pancaratra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.” (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.101)
Those who are very advanced in knowledge and are situated in the mode of goodness follow the Vedic instructions of the sruti and smriti and other religious scriptures, including the pancaratriki-vidhi. Without understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead in this way, one only creates a disturbance.
In this age of Kali, so many gurus have sprung up, and because they do not refer to the sruti-smriti-puranadi-pancaratrika-vidhi [BRS 1.2.101], they are creating a great disturbance in the world in regard to understanding the Absolute Truth. However, those who follow the pancaratriki-vidhi under the guidance of a proper spiritual master can understand the Absolute Truth. It is said, pancaratrasya kritsnasya vakta tu bhagavan svayam: the pancaratra system is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just like Bhagavad-gita. Vasudeva-sarana vidur anjasaiva: the truth can be understood only by one who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Vasudeva.”
(SP in his purport on SB 8.10.12)
Proposing female diksha guru runs contrary to the varnashram dharma/vedic concept of stridharma that Prabhupadha propagated, and thus it violates the above mentioned verse written by Srila Rupa Goswami in his Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (BRS).
In Prabhupada’s lecture given at Bombay on November 5, 1974 on Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.5-6, he said:
“So this Kardama Muni did it. Because he was a yogi, he strictly followed the principle. So as soon as Kapiladeva was grown up, the mother, Devahuti, was given in His charge and Kardama Muni left home. Therefore it is said that pitari prasthite aranyam matuh priya-cikirsaya. Now it is the duty of the son. Women should be under the protection. In the Manu-samhita it is said that woman should not be given freedom. Na stri svatantryam arhati. They cannot properly utilize freedom. It is better to remain dependent. That is very good. Independent woman cannot be happy. That’s a fact. We have seen in the Western countries, on, in the name of independence, so many women are unhappy. So that is not recommended in the Vedic civilization and on the varnasrama-dharma.”