Basu Ghosh Prabhu’s Anti-Female Diksha Guru Argument

Prabhu, sadly, it seems that the influence of the liberal, leftist, egalitarian, equal rights ethos of the modern West is more important to many Western devotees than vaishnava tradition.

Again: we don’t say a woman cannot be a guru. Prabhupada clarified, however, what type of guru a woman could be:

“Actually, Dhruva Maharaja’s mother, Suniti, was his patha-pradarsaka-guru. Patha-pradarsaka-guru means “the guru, or the spiritual master, who shows the way.” Such a guru is sometimes called siksha-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 siksha-guru or diksha-guru to instruct the disciple in the right way, and it depends on the disciple to execute the process. According to sastric injunctions, there is no difference between siksha-guru and diksha-guru, and generally the siksha-guru later on becomes the diksha-guru. Suniti, however, being a woman, and specifically his mother, could not become Dhruva Maharaja’s diksha-guru.” (From SP’s SB Purport, SB 4.12.32).

Here’s what I wrote in an e-mail to an ISKCON leader, earlier today:

> I’m still not convinced but don’t worry, we can agree to differ.

Hmm. Believe me, I’m trying to change this scenario, but through logic and
reasoning, not by rebellion and revolution! wink emoticon

> In relation to your point about the jati gosai/caste goswami’s, here’s an
> interesting reference from Srila Prabhupada:
>
> “There are many Vaisnava families in Bengal whose members, although not
> actually born brahmanas, act as acaryas by initiating disciples and
> offering the sacred thread as enjoined in the Vaisnava tantras. For
> example, in the families of Thakura Raghunandana Acarya, Thakura
> Krsnadasa, Navani Hoda and Rasikananda-deva (a disciple of Syamananda
> Prabhu), the sacred thread ceremony is performed, as it is for the caste
> Gosvamis, and this system has continued for the past three to four hundred
> years. Accepting disciples born in brahmana families, they are bona fide
> spiritual masters who have the facility to worship the salagrama-sila,
> which is worshiped with the Deity.”
>
> Cc. Adi 7.45:

Prabhu, this comment actually proves my point! Thanks so much for sending
it across! It is actually/honestly highly appreciated!

In caste goswami and “brahmin by birth” families, ONLY MEN are given the
sacred thread. There is absolutely NO SUCH TRADITION of ladies in those
communities being given the sacred thread, aka “diksha”.

You can have someone from Mayapur go visit some of the many caste goswami
families in Navadvip and around Bengal and investigate this.

At Vrindavan as well, for example the Radharaman Goswamis are there –
Srivatsa Goswami is a great and highly respected scholar from that family as
you may be aware – so someone can go query him. Padmanabh Goswami can be
queried as well.

Now, read Prabhupada’s purport to SB 4.12.32 again, in this light – if you
dare to believe that even amongst these caste goswami there is any tradition
of ladies getting and wearing the sacred thread!

“Actually, Dhruva Maharaja’s mother, Suniti, was his patha-pradarsaka-guru.
Patha-pradarsaka-guru means “the guru, or the spiritual master, who shows
the way.” Such a guru is sometimes called siksha-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 siksha-guru or
diksha-guru to instruct the disciple in the right way, and it depends on the
disciple to execute the process. According to sastric injunctions, there is
no difference between siksha-guru and diksha-guru, and generally the
siksha-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 may be – and this is what I understand about Jahnava Mata, Gangamata,
etc., is that they gave “the holy name” – “harinaam” – and that is referred
to by Prabhupada as “initiation”. But is is NOT “diksha”, as we can learn
from the Gaudiya Math, where “diksha” means the conferrence of the sacred
thread.

Yes, the Arya Samaj – a heterodox movement – gives the sacred thread to
women – to wear when they sit in a fire sacrifice. In fact that give it to anyone without any “diksha viddhi” – initiation ceremony – so that they can wear it and perform a fire sacrifice.

Otherwise, you can check up, as I suggest herein above, with so many caste
goswamis and come to understand that “diksha” refers to the giving of the
sacred thread, and that is for men only.

This is the confusion that needs to be cleared up.

If you want to elect a woman as “acharya” – and the late B.R. Sridhar
Maharaj testified that “lady acharyas are rare” – you can go ahead and do
it. Create a modern day Jahnava Mata (although she was “acharya by
acclamation”, as I understand things), but that lady acharya ought not to
confer the sacred thread!

Is this beyond understanding? ISKCON has no such tradition, neither did
Prabhupada and SBSST begin to do so – give the sacred thread to women.

Even if Prabhupada gave gayatri mantra to women, he did NOT give them the
sacred thread – no?

I rest my case – for now! wink emoticon

Thank you for your forebearance: it IS appreciated. Devotees have become
fanatics on this point, instead of trying to understand this with a “cool
head”! smile emoticon

Hope this meets you well.

das,

Basu Ghosh Das

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This is a non-gaudiya math, non-ritvik, pro-bookedits, pro-JAS, anti-feminism, anti-egalitarianism website for Iskcon members under the GBC(in principle). All anti-iskcon persons remove your demoniac presence from my site! Haribol! TY!

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