Prabhupada’s Orders Concerning Women

Prabhupada: And the women are declaring, “independent.” They are begging door to door to a man, “Please give me shelter. Give me a child,” and they’re independent. One American woman, was…. She was speaking that “In India the woman are treated as slave. We don’t want.” So I told her that it is better to become slave of one person than to slave of become hundreds. (laughter) The woman must become a slave. So instead of becoming slaves of so many persons, it is better to remain satisfied, a slave of one person. And our Vedic civilization says, nari-rupam pati-vratam: “The woman is beautiful when she remains as a slave to the husband.” That is the beauty, not the personal beauty. How much she has learned to remain as a slave to the husband, that is Vedic civilization… And the beauty of woman is how much she is devoted and obedient to the husband. So it is very difficult.(-Srila Prabhupada, Morning Walk, March 19, 1976, Mayapur, India)
Female Reporter: What happens when women are not subordinate to men?
Prabhupada: Then there is disruption. There is disruption, social disruption. If the woman does not become subordinate to man, then there is social disruption. Therefore, in the western countries there are so many divorce cases because the woman does not agree to become subordinate to man. That is the cause.(Television Interview with Srila Prabhupada, July 9, 1975, Chicago, USA)
Bhagavan: …these girls who simply work in the city can do nothing. They can’t cook, they can’t clean, they can’t sew.
Prabhupada: All rubbish. These modern girls, they are all rubbish. Therefore they are simply used for sex satisfaction. Topless, bottomless…
(-Srila Prabhupada, Morning Walk — May 1, 1974, Bombay)
Prabhupada: Generally, separation between husband and wife is due to womanly behavior; divorce takes place due to womanly weakness. The best course for a woman is to abide by the orders of her husband.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Book 4, Chapter 4, verse 3)
Woman reporter: And if women were subordinate to men, it would solve all of our problems?Prabhupada: Yes. Man wants that woman should be subordinate, faithful to him. Then he is ready to take charge. The man’s mentality, woman’s mentality different. So if the woman agrees to remain faithful and subordinate to man, then the family life will be peaceful.(Newspaper interview with Srila Prabhupada, July 9, 1975, Chicago)
As children are very prone to be misled, women are similarly very prone to degradation. Therefore, both children and women require protection by the elder members of the family.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Chapter 1, verse 40)
Prabhupada: Now, in the Manu-samhita it is clearly stated that a woman should not be given freedom. That does not mean that women are to be kept as slaves, but they are like children.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Chapter 16, verse 7)
Women as a class are no better than boys, and therefore they have no discriminatory power like that of a man.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Book 1, Chapter 7, verse 42)
A chaste woman should not be greedy, but satisfied in all circumstances. She must be very expert in handling household affairs and should be fully conversant with religious principles. She should speak pleasingly and truthfully and should be very careful and always clean and pure.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam, Book 7, Chapter 11, verse 28)
A man’s psychology and woman’s psychology are different. As constituted by bodily frame, a man always wants to be superior to his wife, and a woman, as bodily constituted, is naturally inferior to her husband. Thus the natural instinct is that the husband wants to post himself as superior to the wife, and this must be observed. Even if there is some wrong on the part of the husband, the wife must tolerate it, and thus there will be no misunderstanding between husband and wife.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Srimad Bhagavatam, Book 3, Chapter 23, verse 2)
Woman reporter: What about women who do not have children?
Prabhupada: Well, that is also another unnatural thing. Sometimes they use contraceptives. They kill children, abortion. That is also not very good. These are all sinful activities. These are sinful activities, to kill child in the womb.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is a fact. In the history there is no woman who is a big philosopher, a big mathematician, big scientist, big educationist. We don’t find. They were all men.
Disciple: Women’s liberation has become successful because man is now the servant of woman.
Prabhupada: It is not successful. That I was pointing out. It has caused the disaster because the whole women become dependent on the welfare gift of the government, and the government has to raise tax heavily for this purpose. The tax is given by the general public, but it is going for one individual person, and I have heard that government is embarrassed.
Prabhupada: By nature’s way, if the husband takes care of the wife and children, this problem is solved immediately. But the man takes advantage. He goes away after making the woman pregnant. And the woman is embarrassed and the government is embarrassed.
Disciple: And the child grows up to be a criminal.
Prabhupada: Yes.(Television interview with Srila Prabhupada, July 9, 1975, Chicago)
Artificially do not try to become equal with men. That is not allowed in the Vedic sastra(scripture). You have to understand that woman is never given to be independence. Independence means just like child has to be taken care, similarly, woman has to be taken care. You cannot get your child go in the street alone. There will be danger. Similarly, according to Vedic civilization, Manu-samhita, woman should be given protection. In the Western countries there is no such distinction between man and woman. But there is.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-Gita lecture, February 3, 1975, Hawaii)
Prabhupada: They should be stopped, this practice of prostitution. This is a very bad system in Europe and America. The boys and girls, they are educated-coeducation. From the very beginning of their life they become prostitutes. And they encourage.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Room Conversation, April 29, 1977)
In the modern day, the wife is never submissive, and therefore home life is broken even by slight incidents. Either the wife or the husband may take advantage of the divorce laws. According to the Vedic law, however, there is no such thing as divorce laws, and a woman must be trained to be submissive to the will of her husband. Westerners contend that this is a slave mentality for the wife, but factually it is not; it is the tactic by which a woman can conquer the heart of her husband, however irritable or cruel he may be.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Book 9, Chapter 3, verse 10 )
Reporter: Are men regarded as superior to women?
Prabhupada: Yes, naturally. Naturally, woman requires protection by the man. In the childhood she is protected by the father, and youth time she is protected by the husband, and old age she is protected by elderly sons. That is natural.
Female Reporter: That goes against the thinking of a lot of people in America now. Do you know that?
Prabhupada: No… America, maybe, but this is the natural position. Women require protection.
Female Reporter: Who decides who’s natural? And what’s natural?
Prabhupada: Natural means just like in psychology it is said that woman, the highest brain substance of woman is thirty-six ounce, whereas the highest brain substance of man is sixty-four ounce. So there is difference by nature, of the brain.(News Interview with Srila Prabhupada, March 5, 1975, New York)
Lecture on SB 1.3.13 — Los Angeles, September 18, 1972 –
Prabhupada: So dealing with woman… Especially instruction are given to men. All literatures, all Vedic literatures, they are especially meant for instruction to the men. Woman is to follow the husband. That’s all. The husband will give instruction to the wife. There is no such thing as the girl should go to school to take brahmacari asrama or go to spiritual master to take instruction. That is not Vedic system. Vedic system is a man is fully instructed, and woman, girl, must be married to a man. Even the man may have many wives, polygamy, still, every woman should be married. And she would get instruction from the husband. This is Vedic system. Woman is not allowed to go to school, college, or to the spiritual master. But husband and wife, they can be initiated. That is Vedic system.
Morning Conversation — April 29, 1977, Bombay –
Prabhupāda: So far gurukula is concerned, that also, I have given program. They have given the name of “girls.” We are not going to do that.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What is that?
Prabhupāda: Girls. Boys and girls. That is dangerous.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Gurukula.
Prabhupāda: In that article.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, oh, oh.
Prabhupāda: Girls should be completely separated from the very beginning. They are very dangerous.
Tamala Krsna: So we’re… I thought there were girls in Vrindävana now. They said that they’re going to have the girls’ gurukula behind the boys’ gurukula. Gopäla was talking about that.
Prabhupada: No, no, no. No girls.
Tamala Krsna: It should be in another city or somewhere else.
Prabhupada: Yes. They should be taught how to sweep, how to stitch…
Tamala Krsna: Clean.
Prabhupada: …clean, cook, to be faithful to the husband.
Tamala Krsna: They don’t require a big school.
Prabhupada: No, no. That is mistake. They should be taught how to become obedient to the husband.
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, you won’t learn that in school.
Prabhupada: Little education, they can…
Tamala Krsna: Yeah. That they can get at home also.
Prabhupada: They should be stopped, this practice of prostitution. This is a very bad system in Europe and America. The boys and girls, they are educated-coeducation. From the very beginning of their life they become prostitutes. And they encourage.
Morning Walk — March 14, 1974, Vrindavan –
Satsvarupa: Srila Prabhupada, is this school for women also, or just for men?
Prabhupada: For men. Women should automatically learn how to cook, how to cleanse home.
Satsvarupa: So they don’t attend varnasrama college.
Prabhupada: No, no. Varnasrama college especially meant for the brahmana, ksatriya and vaisya. Those who are not fit for education, they are sudras. That’s all. Or those who are reluctant to take education, sudra means. That’s all. They should assist the higher class.
Morning Walk — July 10, 1975, Chicago –
Prabhupāda: No, no, it is not bad. It is good. Now our policy should be that at Dallas we shall create first-class men, and we shall teach the girls two things. One thing is how to become chaste and faithful to their husband and how to cook nicely. If these two qualifications they have, I will take guarantee to get for them good husband. I’ll personally… Yes. These two qualifications required. She must learn how to prepare first-class foodstuff, and she must learn how to become chaste and faithful to the husband. Only these two qualification required. Then her life is successful. So try to do that. (Car doors open, walk begins) Ordinary education is sufficient, ABCD. This is all nonsense, so big, big, sound education and later on become a prostitute. What is this education? (laughter) To make them prostitute, it doesn’t require education. [break] Yesterday we saw in the television how these rascals are wasting time, talking nonsense. There was nothing, valuable talk. Foot… No, no, hand… What is that? Handprint? And the addicted murder? That was the case? [break] Within two weeks, two divorces.
Devotees: Yes. [break]
Prabhupāda: In the Dallas there is no problem. Educate the girls how to become faithful, chaste wife and how to cook nicely. Let them learn varieties of cooking. Is very difficult? These two qualifications, apart from Kṛṣṇa consciousness, materially they should learn. There are many stories, Nala-Damayantī, then Pārvatī, Sītā, five chaste women in the history. They should read their life. And by fifteenth, sixteenth year they should be married. And if they are qualified, it will be not difficult to find out a nice husband. Here the boys, they do not want to marry because they are not very much inclined to marry unchaste wife. They know it, that “I shall marry a girl, she is unchaste.” What do you think?
Room conversation — January 31, 1977, Bhubaneshwar –
Satsvarüpa: Yes. (break) Mainly it’s about the girls who are over ten. They were in Vrndävana and discussed this with Jagadisa, but they couldn’t settle up, so they wanted to know what you think. Their idea is that… As of now, there is no plan for a school for the girls over ten, but just that they should return to their parents and not get any more schooling. But they’re thinking that there should be, and one reason is that you said in France that the girls could learn these sixty-four arts. So they were thinking that there should be a school for girls over ten, and that it should be situated in India. One reason is that in India our teachers can take help from Indian Life Member ladies who know these arts. Our Western devotees don’t know them, the cooking and painting and things like this, but the Indian women do. …
Prabhupada: My opinion is already there according to the… They should be chaste, faithful to husband. Little literary knowledge, they can read. That’s all. Not very much.
Letter to Female Disciple ‒ February 16, 1972 Calcutta –
My Dear Chaya dasi,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated January 29, 1972, and I have noted the contents.
Complete separation from the boys is not necessary for girls at such young age, so I don’t require that they must be educated separately, only that they should live separately. What do they know of boy or girl at such young age? There was one question by a little girl like Sarasvati to her father: “Father, when you were young were you a boy or a girl?”
So when they are grown up, at about 10 to 12 years old, then you can make separate departments for teaching also. But while they are so young, although they must live in separate boys and girls quarters, they may be educated sometimes together, there is no such restriction that little girls should not have association with little boys, not until they are grown up.
All the children should learn to read and write very nicely, and a little mathematics, so that they will be able to read our books. Cooking, sewing, things like that do not require schooling, they are learned simply by association. There is no question of academic education for either boys or girls–simply a little mathematics and being able to read and write well, that’s all, no universities.
Their higher education they will get from our books, and other things they will get from experience, like preaching, SKP, etc. Alongside the regular classes in reading and writing, the other routine programs they should also participate in, like arati, kirtana, preaching, Sankirtana, like that.
You ask about marriage, yes, actually I want that every woman in the Society should be married. But what is this training to become wives and mothers? No school is required for that, simply association. And it is not necessary to say that women only can instruct the girls and men only can instruct the boys, not when they are so young. At 12 years, they may be initiated.
A woman’s real business is to look after household affairs, keep everything neat and clean, and if there is sufficient milk supply available, she should always be engaged in churning butter, making yogurt, curd, so many nice varieties, simply from milk. The woman should be cleaning, sewing, like that.
So if you simply practice these things yourselves and show examples, they will learn automatically, one doesn’t have to give formal instruction in these matters.
Hoping this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Woman reporter: Many women have children and have no support from husbands. They have no husband.Prabhupada: Then they have to take support from others. You cannot deny that. The government is giving you support. But the government is embarrassed. If the husband supports the wife and children, the government is relieved of so much welfare contribution. So that is a problem.(Newspaper interview with Srila Prabhupada, July 9, 1975, Chicago)
So women should be trained up to be very faithful and chaste. Then the life will be very happy. That is the only education for woman.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Room Conversation, July 13, 1975)
Disciple: Once a woman was married, then that was finished. No connection with another man
Prabhupada: No, no. That one marriage is sufficient. She must remain very faithful to her husband, chaste. That is wanted. Not that “I do not like this husband. I’ll change.” That is not wanted.
Disciple: That’s Western mentality.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Room Conversation, September 9, 1976, Vrindavan)
You see here that all young girls are carrying water, collecting. In the morning collecting water, cleansing the house, utensils, clothes, taking bath, then cooking, those girls. Their first business. Man’s business is to earn money, go to the market, the necessities. Woman’s business is take care of household affairs, children, and they have got engagement. As soon as they allow young girl to mix with young boys—finished.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Room Conversation, June 28, 1977, Vrindavan)
Woman should be expert in cooking. That is their natural tendency. They should be educated how to cook nicely, how to please the husband, how to take care of the children. This is Vedic civilization. In the beginning a woman, childhood, she’s trained up by the mother. Then as soon as she is married, formerly, child-marriage, so she’s transferred to the care of mother-in-law. There she is trained up. Then she becomes very good housewife, takes care of household affairs, husband, children, and home becomes happy. What is this nonsense, divorce? There is no such thing in the Vedic civilization, divorce. You must accept whatever God has given you as husband or wife, you must. They had no thinking even, idea of divorce. One may not agree with the husband. That is natural. Sometimes we do not agree. But there is no question of divorce.
(-Srila Prabhupada, Room Conversation, July 7, 1976, Baltimore)

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