Friday, March 26, 2010

Response to Letter of Challenge from Anonymous

Copied from FB Forum
Friday, March 26, 2010 at 5:20pm

Ananymous responder wrote:

Dear Ananymous,
Please accept my humble obeisances.

It is certainly true that the institution of ISKCON during the time of Srila Prabhupada was a powerhouse of activity and expansion. It is also obvious from this expansion that Srila Prabhupada was flexible in his transplanting the teachings and regulations implemented by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati to the Western World.

We all know how upset Srila Prabhupada was when certain of his disciples began to worship him as Krishna himself. Therefore to present Srila Prabhupada as the Ishta Devata must be upsetting to him and harmful for ISKCON. Whether you see it or not, the switching of Krishna as the authority and Ishta Devata to Srila Prabhupada as Ishta Devata, gives license to cherry picking all his comments given according to time place and circumstance and presenting them as objective truths and Vaishnava Doctrine. Why is this dangerous? Please read addendum to this letter.

Srila Prabhupada purposefully structured ISKCON as a Krishna centered process rather than a Guru centered cult. If we want to respect his desire we should contemplate the repercussions of defying that and benefits of respecting that.

One of the problems with trying to read into all of Srila Prabhupada’s statements and modeling ourselves on an interpretation of the same; is that we tend to live vicariously through our speculative impressions of him. Vaishnavera kriya mudra vijneha na bujhaya - never try to understand the mind of a Vaishnava. At the same time this is balanced by the understanding given in the verse; acaryam mam vijaniyan – One should know the Acarya as Myself. Therefore as Srila Prabhupada wanted we need to take Lord Krishna’s teachings to our heart.

If we think that loyalty to Srila Prabhupada means to stall and hinder the expansion of Krishna consciousness by socializing those who do not come to the ideal standard of Brahmans, then we are sorely wrong, and why take the risk. We know that Srila Prabhupada made statements that are prone to interpretation. Whereas the statements made by Krishna have understandings and explanations backed up by other Acharyas and Srila Prabhupada. Why do we risk trusting our interpretations of what we think Srila Prabhupada may or may not want? It is better to act according to Krishna’s words in line with Srila Prabhupada’s explanations.

For example, Srila Prabhupada said we shouldn’t drink alcohol, but he also said that if an alcoholic thought while drinking his alcohol that Krishna says “Raso ham apsu Kaunteya – I am the taste of water” Even if one is drinking liquor, if he thinks, "The taste of this drink is Krsna," he will one day turn out to be a great saintly person. (TQK 5:Purport). So let’s take Srila Prabhupada’s logic to test Bhagavan’s understanding of sex; Krishna says; “I am sex life that is not contrary to religious principles.” Now if a sex addict thinks while he is having sex, that this harmony and unity I feel is Krishna, then surely he will also one day become saintly? This is all that Bhagavan is saying, if you are having sex think of Krishna and become purified rather than living in denial. Try to improve from the platform you are on rather than becoming a pretender and even more dangerously living in denial.

If a person has sex with his wife and feels disgust and is repulsed by his wife and then beats himself in self loathing, what benefit will that have for him? Will such a person love his wife and feel deep spiritual connection with her? No he will develop a psychosis toward sex and women. This psychosis will lead to a denial of one’s actual spiritual position. The best method is to see things as they are and see that Krishna points out that He is sex life, that this wonderful creation of sex is perfect and complete. It allows even materialistic people to have a glimpse of the harmony and happiness available on a limited scale. In the spiritual world this harmony and happiness is available for everyone without the need for the material aspect of sex. This is described by Srila Prabhupada in Srimad Bhagavatam. Not denying sex but respecting sex, seeing Krishna within sex does not mean that we shouldn’t endeavor to reduce sex.

At an advanced stage of consciousness sex will naturally be something that transcends the body, but we have to approach it with the correct vision. That vision is given to us by Krishna; I am sex life that is not contrary to religious principles. The Dharma Sastras state that sex with ones wife is dharmic. Sex with the understanding that the consequence of sex results in children is dharmic.

Now the question becomes that what if you or Bhagavan or me for that matter want to have sex with our spouse but don’t want to have children, is that sex sinful, are we breaking our vows? The answer is that marriage life is a license for sex, and like the alcoholic in Srila Prabhupada’s example we have to think of Krishna in order to spiritualize the experience. After all Krishna says He is the seed giving father, so he is the root of us all. Now this is my humble opinion, Bhagavan may have a different understanding and so may you.

As long as we are not willing to test the beliefs that may have been foisted upon us by naïve understandings of Srila Prabhupada’s primary purpose and goals inter alia; to socialize the whole of humanity into Vaisnavism, we will fall victim to the failings of a rigid approach to this objective. Since you are most certainly a brilliant speaker and writer, it goes without saying that if you had to apply your intelligence to resolving this challenge, then you would apply flexibility to the standards and reverse the compromise into a Krishna conscious tool to advance all men and women toward higher consciousness.

As far your letter to Bhagavan, it appears as if you have not been willing to clearly address any of the issues that you disagree with, aside from citing your authority as being your understandings of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. Another problem is that you presume that the criteria for discussion are the same as the criteria for authoritative preaching from the Vyasasan. In fact if you are not implying that, then you are implying that you still see Bhagavan as a spiritual authority. Whatever the case I thought I would go through your letter to Bhagavan so that you may see exactly what it is that you have said directly and indirectly to him.

Before I tackle this letter I want to beg your forgiveness for any offence you may see in this letter. I see you as a very loyal and strong commander of Srila Prabhupada’s sankirtan mission. As such the astra’s you have developed are unique in convincing everyone on the street to purchase his books. These powerful astras when used in this service alone will take you and your whole family back to godhead. However using these astras in shooting down somebody’s freedom of speech is not Vaisnava’s etiquette.

Since you are a ksatriya type of man; you believe to attack with sharpened weapons, to face the enemy with purpose and never doubt the jewels of understanding gleaned from Krishna through Srila Prabhupada’s books. Therefore I justify my doing this because out of affection for you, I would like to shine a light on the thinking that has been unfairly foisted on you. As a General in Srila Prabhupada’s sankirtan army, you have taken that distorted thinking and defended it to death identifying it as being of Srila Prabhupada’s siddhanta. This distorted thinking will cloak your soul and hide the beauty of warmth and love you have to give the World.

With that being said please read the 14 statements you wrote to Bhagavan as I rephrase them into their premises. I will deal with each point individually, and then at the end I will give a summary conclusion. All sentences after numbers represent your premises. All statements after Answer; represent my comments.

1. Bhagavan is presenting his subjective truth as Objective truth. That objective truth is authored by Sri Krishna and devotees should depend exclusively on Krishna in all these matter discounting sadhu, sastra and guru.
Answer; Truth is subjective when it is taught according to time, place and circumstances. All the Acharyas adapted the truth according to time place and circumstances even Srila Prabhupada. Such adaption of the truth is simply the repackaging of the abhideya or the process. The goal and truth or prayojana, always remains the same. For instance the route you fly to India may differ, but the location remains the same. Similarly when people get love of God, how they achieved it is no longer relevant.

2. Srila Prabhupada's purports supersede even the previous acharyas purports and no further elucidations are needed or can be valid.
Answer; Srila Prabhupada did not want to stop the translating of books; he wanted the works of the six Gosvamis to be translated and explained. Who will explain these if not SP? Srila Prabhupada daily read the news and sometimes wrote articles and books with topics of the day. In Srila Prabhupada’s absence who will dovetail and package the abhideya of love for Krishna to attract the fallen souls? Srila Prabhupada adjusted the standards of his Guru Maharaja in regards to initiating women as Brahmans and the chanting of 64 rounds, who will adapt the abhideya of spiritual life for the general mass of people when we move toward establishment of Varna Ashram Dharma? You might know it or not but Bhagavan was requested by Srila Prabhupada to write a book for this purpose.

3. You should close down your line of communication with others and communicate with me exclusively. Because I am clearly your friend, I understand SP better and am more advanced than you.
Answer; Bhagavan is fully aware of how you think and he previously taught according to a similar paradigm that you follow now. As you mentioned in your letter, your paradigm remains the same as it did at the infancy of your spiritual life when you first accepted your vows and said svaha.

4. Though my words seem bitter, in my perception you are on the mental platform, and your words are embarrassing even to you.
Answer: Do discussions on sex embarrass you? Do you have an unhealthy attitude toward sex? Why would you feel that Bhagavan’s realizations embarrass him? What do you think about when you have sex with your partner?

5. Your realizations even though they be based on things that Srila Prabhupada had said or written are irrelevant in my enlightened opinion.
Answer: How you understood Srila Prabhupada’s clarification may be good for you but you cannot foist them on others.

6. Your comments are speculations and distortions of truth in my opinion.
Answer: This is your opinion; Bhagavan has the right to his opinion.

7. Your understanding of Srila Prabhupada and the acharyas is deplorable whereas all devotees of the Lord agree with my understanding.
Answer: Since you consider Bhagavan’s realizations as “specious” you imply that you have a superior understanding of the subject. To consider that because you can convince others to your philosophy one on one, that this means that everyone agrees with you, is folly.

8. Because your mind is distorted you may think me a fanatic. Your understanding of balance is between spiritual and material pleasure. Your analyses and conclusions of Srila Prabhupada are diametrically opposed to my understanding of Srila Prabhupada which is the only understanding that is accurate.
Answer: Therefore if Srila Prabhupada represents Bhakti and you think Bhagavan represents ignorance, then how can Bhakti be dependent or rooted in ignorance as the word antithesis in your statement implies “I feel safe in assuring you that an objective critical analysis of His Divine Grace - will show him to be the complete antithesis of your depiction of him?” Bhagavan has always been good at adapting according to time, place and circumstances and unlike Ramesvara or yourself, Srila Prabhupada gave Bhagavan license to edit and publish as he wanted.

9. Devotees should not discuss the scriptures until they have mutual agreement. Authoritative representation is the only means of understanding, there is no room for discussion. Your discussions are therefore a form of authoritative pontification.
Answer; Srila Prabhupada said we should discuss the philosophy thread bare. He also said we should constantly think how to spread Krishna consciousness. Therefore discussion is a bonafide method to come to truth or practical application of the process (abhideya) to help the condition souls attain Bhakti. Your quotation of SP here gives rise to the understanding that you confuse the criteria for authoritative representation with the criteria for discussion.

10. Devotees are people who actively interpret all of the activities and words of SP as the only valid pramana.
Answer: be careful trying to understand all of Srila Prabhupadas statements and codify them into objective truths. Many of his statements were time, place, circumstance and cultural application and influences. Please see addendum attached.

11. Initiation is a static process where we give up spiritual growth and vow to continually see the world the same as the day we uttered svaha. The philosophy of denial should be adopted to counteract the expansion of consciousness that comes with natural spiritual growth.
Answer: With spiritual advancement will come a change in perception, please refer to description of how a Kanistha, Madhyam and Uttama perceive the World and the people in it differently. Therefore we have to agree that on this spiritual path we have to be prepared not only to accept others perceptions changing, but to remain flexible enough so that our perception changes. Please don’t miss the boat here, if we remain close minded and not flexible our spiritual advancement won’t progress and we will miss the boat. Especially if you are trying to design a Varnashrama vision that has wide acceptance. Which I believe Bhagavan has the capability of doing.

12. From my frame of reference which is rooted in the childhood of my spiritual life, you Bhagavan are fostering realizations born from intoxication rather than spiritual growth.
Answer: You’re repeating yourself here.

13. I am an exclusive servant of SP and you Bhagavan are a wayward offender.
Answer: Repeating yourself.

14. No matter how much ISKCON fails in its attempt to execute their understanding of Srila Prabhupada's teachings, no matter how many women, children, blacks and Jews are abused consequent to misunderstanding his teachings, I suggest that we repeat the same things until we get a different result.
Answer: A definition of madness is to repeat the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.
From ISKCON’s misunderstanding of Srila Prabhupada’s statements; Gurukuli’s have been beaten, women have been disenfranchised and abused, blacks and Jews have been racially profiled. Please read the following quote in the addendum that is now appallingly publically displayed on the internet. If we crystallize ideologies on these statements of Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON will suffer in the court of public opinion. Granted Srila Prabhupada is talking mostly about the Indian culture he was raised in and the standard methods of seeing and dealing with people in that culture. However his books tell a different story of spiritual equality.

The tone of your writing is condescending; suppressive; belittling; accusatory; judgmental and sarcastic. This is typical of the attitude found in the religious zealotry found in ISKCON today. I was very shocked to read it and disappointed that you would take such an abrasive tone to a Godbrother you profess to love deeply. Please do not take personally my rebuttal to you letter, I hope that you will open your heart up to understanding the soft hearted side of Srila Prabhupada that I have seen and experienced. Sometimes I feel that you portray a very regimented, strict and unforgiving side to Srila Prabhupada. I don’t profess to know your heart, my observations merely come from the tone that I read in your recent letter to Bhagavan. I have always found you to be brilliant, determined, enthusiastic and loyal to his mission. I hope that you will at least contemplate what others see in the tone of your writings.
Your humble servant,

Taken from the website

Although rape is not legally allowed, it is a fact that a woman likes a man who is very expert at rape." (SB 4.25.41)

"Yes, that is law always. Rape means without consent, sex. Otherwise there is no rape. There was a rape case in Calcutta, and the lawyer was very intelligent. He some way or other made the woman admit, "Yes, I felt happiness." So he was released. "Here is consent." And that's a fact. Because after all, sex, rape or no rape, they will feel some pleasure. So the lawyer by hook and crook made the woman agree, "Yes, I felt some pleasure." "Now, there is consent." So he was released. After all, it is an itching sensation. So either by force or by willingly, if there is itching, everyone feels relieved itching it. That's a psychology. It is not that the woman do not like rape. They like sometimes. They willingly. That is the psychology. Outwardly they show some displeasure, but inwardly they do not. This is the psychology." (Morning Walk – May 11, 1975, Perth)

"[Indira Gandhi] is not leader, she is a prostitute. Woman given freedom means prostitute. Free woman means prostitute. What is this prostitute? She has no fixed-up husband."(Room Conversation -- April 5, 1977, Bombay)

"A woman as no husband declares herself independent, which means that she becomes a prostitute." (SB 6.5.14 Purport)

Prabhupada: "So sasan ke adhikari means they should be punished. (laughs) Punished means, just like dhol, when the, I mean to say, sound is not very hard, dag-dag, if you beat it on the border, then it comes to be nice tune. Similarly, pasu, animals, if you request "My dear dog, please do not go there." Hut! (laughter) "No, my dear dog. Hut!" This is the way. Similarly, woman. If you become lenient, then she will be troublesome. So in India still, in villages, whenever there is some quarrel between husband wife, the husband beats and she is tamed (laughs). (Room Conversation—April 12, 1969, New York)

"I am also in receipt of your letters dated October 20 & 21, 1975. I note that your wife and Visalaini both gave birth to baby girls. That is the defect. I want male children but you have no stamina for it. I expected from Visalaini by her belly that it would be a boy. Anyway, never mind. The name Brijlata is nice. Why do the majority of my married disciples give birth to girls?" (Letter to Dhananjaya, Bombay, November 9, 1975)

"Sudra is to be controlled only. They are never to be given freedom. Just like in America. The Blacks were slaves. They were under control. And since you have given them equal rights they are disturbing, most disturbing, always creating a fearful situation, uncultured and drunkards. What training they have got? They have got equal right? That is best, to keep them under control as slaves but give them sufficient food, sufficient cloth, not more than that. Then they will be satisfied."
(Room Conversation, "Varnasrama System Must Be Introduced," Mayapura, February 14, 1977)

"Certainly we are not going to say these things about the negro people can understand that these talks are not for the public, as they have not got the ability to understand." (Letter to Satsvarupa Dasa - San Francisco, April 9, 1976)

About a 13-year-old child, "Yes, send him to farm, work in the field. If he does not work, beat him." (Room Conversation, Vrndavana, November 5, 1976)

Comments thread:

Yves Rc Ayoun
I think that this is what the GBCs should meet in Mayapur to talk about. Or rather, let the second generation run the ISKCON management and arrange for the pioneers of ISKCON work on the succession as it seems those exchanges of letters are prone to be. It's healthy, it's needed. Thank you.
March 26 at 6:47pm ·

Parama Karuna Devi
I would be very happy to correspond with the "anonymous" who wrote the letter quoted here. I believe I have finally found a jewel... (never give up hope). :-)
March 26 at 9:39pm ·

Veda Sastra
Thank you for the letter ,finally some sense .Before we have any KC ,let's have some common sense because it seems to be ' transcended ' very freely lately.
March 27 at 2:03am ·

Alexis Kriel
For myself, I found it interesting that a spiritual life, lived in strict association with devotees only, following the 4 regs and chanting 16 rounds created an auspicious environment where for 10 years I felt completely free from depression.

However, when I moved out of the temple, the problems which were the cause of taking shelter of the ISKCON movement re-surfaced. And I had to deal with them - one at a time and find solutions. Which I have done and which has taken me many years. The fact that these problems remained - under the surface - must be problematic for all devotees ....our conditioning, our anarthas will re-surface at some point and push us hard enough so that they become impossible to ignore.

Don't under-estimate the "material energy" - and to what extent is it still present, only dormant, below the surface. There is always a risk of this up to the highest platform of love of God - bhava - which is characterised by a soft heart. VERY IMPORTANT. Still, we are not safe until the level of Prem. ... See More

Sitting in a cave and chanting Hare Krishna will not help you to understand or deal with the "material world" ...and at what point will you be faced with your real anarthas which lie just below the surface of your auspicious works.

It seems obvious - from the behaviour of some devotees - that there are serious problems which need to be dealt with, and which have not been consumed in the fire of chanting Hare Krishna.

And how are these problems being dealt with - practically?

It was obvious to me - from manyyears ago, that the many people who came to KC in distress ....and resided within the hospital of ISKCON ...were not being treated holistically.

This was a major problem. And will continue to be as long as the movement remains scared of the nitty-gritty of the material world.
March 27 at 2:09am ·

Tusta Krsna
let us just concentrate on ourselves and blow the confusions of others dilemas,life is to short.
March 27 at 2:09am ·

William G Benedict
HARI BOL! Whatever reason we come to KRSNA, whether it is distress, desire for wealth, being seekers of knowledge, we are not born are pure devotees; we've come here under the effects of our past karma. Getting PURE DEVOTIONAL SERVICE is rarely achieved. One can get to BHAVA stage, and still fall down, as we learned from Bharat Maharaja.

Long ago, when I first married, and was having problems in the marriage, my first wife talked to Jadurani. Jadurani advised that we were trying to imitate Radha Krsna, rather than serve them. That is the essential truth.

We want to be enjoyers, not servant; we enjoy KC bliss; and when we feel a lot of it, we think we are special, are advanced, and then we again get tossed into the modes for a little more kicking...... See More

Prabhupada said that one day we will walk without falling down..
March 27 at 2:37am ·

Alexis Kriel
Look at what religious observance has done to the mighty Ganges River - it is choked, suffocating in refuse.

This is the reality of material - we have to deal with it separately. Trash will not magically dissapear from the Ganges if we chant. Maybe a loan from the World Bank will save it.

Vrindavan - has been so trashed by pilgrims, it is almost impossible to tolerate the filth. Last October I took some people there for a meal of prasadam as part of a culinary excursion to India and they all felt that it was India at its dirtiest.

Yes - we are supposed to see it with spiritual vision, and one can't expect these fallen people to understand the exquisite nature of the holy dham. But, I can't take these kind of people there anymore.

So, this is the result of chanting where our perception of matter is that it is trash.

And how do you think Mother Ganga feels about it?
March 27 at 3:18am ·

Veda Sastra
Very good points Alexis thank you .
Cannot hide behind others or philosophies for very long ,at one point you have to come up yourself and deal with issues .
March 27 at 3:32am ·

Caitanya Dasi
Come to Jagannatha Puri, there are still pristine places where the beach is clean!
March 27 at 5:09am ·

Chris Green
Puri sure is similar to how Vrindavan used to be..
March 27 at 5:19am ·

Alexis Kriel
Thanks Caitanya Dasi - I love Puri too .....but it's not the point ;)
March 27 at 5:24am ·

Caitanya Dasi
But India has always been slow to change when it comes to the environment. The only thing that has progressed quickly is pollution, crime, and TECHNOLOGY. Have you met one Indian that does NOT own a mobile phone?
March 27 at 5:28am ·

Parama Karuna Devi
Alexis: sorry to dissent, the Ganga is not choked and suffocated by the results of religious observances - it's the garbage and the sewers...
March 27 at 5:29am ·

Alexis Kriel
parama Karuna - garbage isn't self-manifested. It is all the manipulations of people no?
March 27 at 5:30am ·

Parama Karuna Devi
where is it written in the shastra that we must empty our sewers into the Ganga and throw plastic bags, wrappers, and other GARBAGE?
March 27 at 5:33am ·

Parama Karuna Devi
if you want to offer flower, dipa, etc, that is not garbage, and it is biodegradable
March 27 at 5:33am ·

Parama Karuna Devi
or do you mean that garbage is accumulated automatically wherever people go, and there is more garbage in the Ganga simply because more pilgrims go there?
March 27 at 5:34am ·

Parama Karuna Devi
my point is that if we ACTUALLY FOLLOWED THE SHASTRA we would be more a solution than a problem
March 27 at 5:36am ·

William G Benedict
Yes the GANGA is filthy in most places and the Yamuna in Vrindban much of the year is more stools and urine than water. It is ghastly. The filth in Vrindaban is horrendous. Yes, it is all due to a society they is all exploitation and not surrender and service. Puri Beaches in some places are still fairly pristine, but in other places they are open toilets and you need to watch your steps, or you may well steep in a pile of fresh stool!
March 27 at 6:51am ·

Parama Karuna Devi
Precisely. Now my question is: cleanliness and purity is one of the principles of dharma, and one of the main components of Vidya as explained in Gita. Can't we use some of our resources to build toilets in the holy places - possibly annexed with a small biogas production plant that neutralizes the contamination and can even help solving fuel problems in the future? Or do we just build 1 million dollars palaces in marble and gold to aggrandize ourselves and our "camp"?
March 27 at 7:44am ·

William G Benedict
Jaya Jagannatha! Obviously some toilets in proper places will be mot beneficial for the environment of the holy dhams.
March 27 at 8:20am ·

Dhritarastra Tulasi
If one has some desire to serve the Dham, then they should do it. Kurma Rupa takes care of over 300 cows in Vrindavan & Rupa Raghunath takes care of over 1000 local children. Feed, clothes & educates. With no (formal) help from any of the Vaisnav groups.. Just their desire to do so..Krishna helps those who want to serve the Dham.
March 27 at 8:29am ·

Alexis Kriel
I'm just saying - be conscious before you can be Krsna conscious.
March 27 at 10:05am ·

Veda Sastra
Lisa I think the tree is judged by its fruit and Srila Prabhupada's coming to the west was the ultimate act of love ,bringing in with him a knowledge that was almost lost and an understanding that was sorely missing .

This is more than enough for me and I wouldn't go into details of statements siad for a particular purpose and now are referred to out of context .
March 27 at 12:41pm ·

Bv Kusum Sraman Swami
Gouranga!!! Not the body, spirit soul. His basic teaching. One of the very first Acaryas to initiate woman. Let them worship the Deity on the temple altar. Give them shelter in the ashrams worldwide. Not seen so much in Inia in the past.Beg your pardon mother!!! He showed so much love and kindness to His spiritual daughters. That we seen and ... See Moreexperienced personally. Wiping away Govinda dasi's tears with His own hand. Ask Yamuna mata, Jadurani, Govinda dasi, Malati, and many other of my older sisiters. We did not follow his example, that is for sure and applied his teachings with thesword of our sharp tongues and heart rather than the love which he showed. We have done Srila Prabhupada and his teachings a great injustice by our desires, misunderstandings, pride, arrogance, deceit, ignorance, impersonalism, falseness and so many other things.
I for my part in the whole affair, offer my sincere respectful obeisances unto all the the vaisnavas and vaisnavi's begging their mercy and forgiveness, prayers, kindness, love and friendly association needed to progress in my spiritual life. Take care and best wishes always.
the insignificant
bv kusum sraman swami....
March 27 at 1:43pm ·

Veda Sastra
The best thing you can give a woman and empower her is God consciousness and that done ,leaves me with nothing to say on the issue .
I have been in ISCKON and have never been abused I guess the victims would feel different but it is for them to solve the issue ,we cannot be too theoretical about it.
Funny I have been reading Srila Prabhupada's ... See Morebooks for years and never seen those things you mention .
Anyway ,I won't insist on it since I'm no scholar and I am not interested in such negative findings .
In any case we are not really women ,maybe the body has certain tendencies which is good to know clearly while everyone has a responsibility to maintain oneself strong and fight his or her own battles .
March 27 at 1:44pm ·

Veda Sastra
Thank you for your enlightened speech Kusum Sraman Swami ,even though I didn't live to see these things and dealings of Srila Prabhupada I'm sure they were as you describe , no doubt .
March 27 at 1:58pm ·

Veda Sastra
If I recall my time as a devotee I faced most difficulties by women and not men ,due to my such karma ..ha ha
Devotee men were fantastic and always provided me with new impetus , further understanding and encouragement in all respects despite my rebellious nature.
March 27 at 2:19pm ·

Bv Kusum Sraman Swami
Yes Veda Sastra Mata. For those who were personally on the receiving end of Srila Prabhupada's loving mindness as many my godsiters were and still are. It must have been so nice. For them it was and still is a very special, enthusing,heartwarming and spiritually uplifting rememberance to this day. The most special in fact. You will find that they ... See Morewant to tell you all about it again and again. So many Prabhupada reunions going on all over the world, so many Mataji's speaking at them, are they all talking out of their lotus ass's? No! not in the least, They were touched to the very core of their heart by the love of Srila Prabhupada and they way he dealt with them and all others.
He is the reason I am still going or trying too. He is the life and soul of his true and even struggling followers and always will be. The lotus feet of my spiritual master are the only way by which I can attain pure devotional service. He taught us what real love is. He taught us where real love belongs. he taught us how to attaing real love. The problem is ours if we don't attain that love. I am my own problem, not anyone else.Nothing can obscure our spiritual progress except our own false ego. Whatever happens to me is for my ultimate good. There is no vindictiveness in the highest court. Srimad Bhagavatam gives us a most helpful instruction for all stages and happenings in life. 'blame yourself and no one else'.
Krishna never kicks the cat for what the dog has done.. But we must learn to just desire to serve and chant in a devotional way and not desire other things. tall order for most if not nearly all. But possible by the
mercy of guru and Krishna and no other. Take care and best wishes always.. Nitai Gaur Hari Bol!
March 27 at 2:24pm ·

Veda Sastra
Harribol !Thank you prabhu for these thoughts and kind sharing.
March 27 at 2:53pm ·

Dave Ehrlichman
I think the points Lisa makes above, referring to a whole collection of controversial "SP statements", compiled and referenced here at: a huge subject unto itself and worthy of some significant and profound discussions, for clarification on many levels. BV Kusum swami, very nicely illustrates the opposite perspective, of Prabhupada's real life examples of love, compassion and grace, despite these contradictory "statements".

I have long been perplexed by these diametrically opposing perspectives ('statements' vs KC philosophy and actual practice), which abound within the teachings, books and the institution. I for one, was sent to his gurukula institution in Dallas TX, thousands of miles away from home and family, at the age of 3.5, in context with the gurukula teaching paradigm, which in my view, had many flaws for our current context... While I harbor no ill will or blame towards SP at this stage in my life, I did have some major issues, including blame, around this and the resulting child abuse that occurred to so many of us, in his school systems, on account of such "construed" paradigms... It took me quite some time and a conscious choice, to put a lot of things into an more integrated perspective, to arrive at my current viewpoints... which include a recognition of these points made by Lisa and also an appreciation & gratitude, for the countless blessings this mahatma & also human being, gifted to me and so many others.

Needless to say, despite all the spiritual treasures SP gifted us with, which certainly warrants our respect of his exalted status as a loving, saintly being... there are these statements... which reflect contradictory and often unresolved paradigms of thought and philosophy... which reveal cultural mimes and perspectives of a context and era long ago... and which had the undeniable impact of rippling consequences throughout his institution. To this very day, such paradigms are implicated in so many mis-understandings, mis-applications and mis-perceptions of a loving and God conscious institution/philosophy.

One thing that is clear to me in all of these past experiences of gurus and disciples, is that no one is perfect in every way, at least as we define perfect. Even gurus on the highest levels must have their own human nature and limitations, which are undoubtedly influenced by time, place, culture, language, upbringing and circumstances. And if critically scrutinized, one can quite easily find "apparent contradictions" and such disturbing statements or conclusions... revealing subtle twists of cultural denial paradigms, albeit, mixed with many enlightened truths...

Perhaps these dichotomies are meant to empower us as individuals, to use our own free will and faculties of common sense, reason and an "attuned" intuition, to "discern" proper context and meaning for ourselves... to separate relevant and irrelevant teachings, perspectives and paradigms, rather than simply being mindless or fanatic flowers of every literal word or statement... SP taught that the paramahamsa is like a swan that can discern the pure milk from the impure water even though both are intermixed. To me this is a metaphor for separating the "nectar from the poison" and the relevant teachings of love and devotion, from the irrelevant paradigms of past cultures... on the overall path to becoming more balanced, loving and God conscious beings... which is the relevant essence of his teachings.

While a lot of emphasis in the ISCKON paradigm teaches "full surrender" (meant towards the God of Love, Krishna), but implied as surrender to the institutional authority, (which is often itself flawed and dis-empowering to the individual)... and teaches unflinching faith in the "words" of scriptures and guru, (which too are subject to endless translation variances, interpretations and perspectives)... and which are also often mis-used to control and manipulate the dis-empowered, "surrendered" followers, who are inherently "sinners", envious of God, as we were taught... though elsewhere, we are taught differently, that we are part and parcel of the Divine and in our essence are divine. So which perspective will one choose for them self?

So despite these controversies of statements and philosophy, there is a lot of great wisdom and truth, that must be deciphered by each person, using their own inner barometer of common sense, intelligence and feeling. Without taking personal responsibility for our own self and our own realizations & understandings, using our own free will, to make conscious choices for oneself, we set ourselves up for a co-dependent relationship that is bound to have some profound, unexpected revelations... which most certainly have many lessons to teach... We must feel the truth of someone or some thing and resonate with it, not just blindly accept it without question or fanaticism.

March 27 at 3:44pm ·

William G Benedict
I am reading this dialog with interest. Having lived with His Divine Grace and served him for most of my life, I cna say beyond any shadow of doubt that His Divine Grace always acted at every moment, with every living being, whether it be human form or otherwise, with only pure love, respect, kindness and the utmost compassion. He did not see us as bodies, he saw us as souls entangled in Maya, suffering the reactions to our own works, and he gave every gram of his being to attempt to show us the way out of delusion.

The kingdom of illusion is powerful beyond our wildest imagination; far more secure than any maximum security prison in existence, and breaking one soul from this prison requires inconceivable effort.

Prabhupada wants us to wake up, stop thinking we are male, femaile, black, white and to understand that we are not the body, we cannot stay here, we cannot be permanently happy or unhapply here, we are temporary campers here only, but we have the chance to leave here and go to where there is real happiness.... See More

But, we miss this we want to still argue about whether we are men or women and discuss how we will be happy in the place of misery.

Practically now, every single day, one of my God Brothers or God Sisters is leaving their body. I look at the photos and see their beaming young faces of 30-40 years ago. It has past in a blink of an eye. Prabhuoada warned us, "Do not think this won't happen to you" (getting old and sick) We thought because we are "devotees" we are immune!

Personally, I love all the devotees, those in male and female forms. Personally, I am so grateful to my wonderful wife who has stuck by my side through all conditions of life as the best friend, companion, love, mother, cook, what can I say except I expect that I am every indebted to her.

I have never seen Prabhupada abuse an insect, what to speak of women or children. He strongly advocated that both are to be always protected.

That women and children were not protected, but were exploited is not his error. Prabhupada did what he could do in a short time period, and he did it with pure love, not with one atomic particle of personal ambition or motivation.

Your servant,

Bhakta dasa (ACBSP)
Skype bhakta_dasa MSN

March 27 at 5:46pm ·

Abhay Deolekar
@Anonymous(The person who wrote the letter)-About a 13-year-old child, "Yes, send him to farm, work in the field. If he does not work, beat him." (Room Conversation, Vrndavana, November 5, 1976)

This is very correct,when the child dosen't listen he is been beaten.Not beating up to kill him but to beat him so that he fear his dad and obey his orders.
My dad,a Devotee-Disciple did the same. coz of his rules-regulation and strictness upon me since childhood i have succeded in many field.
For them respect come first.Childrens express the culture they are been taught by dere parents by dere behaviour.

In Western countries,The childrens give back answer,Abuse dere parents and even drink & smoke in front of them.They even throw out there parents, of their own House!! in dere old age. What culture is this?
Although in this era with the impact of Western culture on Eastern countires like India,Childrens are doing the same things.

This subject will be only understood by People who are born and brought up in India.Or who has Great Love for the Indian culture and its Ancient literature.
March 27 at 11:17pm ·

Veda Sastra
Lisa ,
of course I am not as qualified as you are to address the issue of women's abuse because I hardly knew any of the facts
In my situation I have no dilemma over this nor it effects my spiritual life but for those women in ISKCON dealing with it must be huge and it appears like a lost battle .

I hope and wish for the very best in their endeavors ,God knows ISKCON needs a woman's viewpoint .
March 27 at 11:53pm ·

Abhay Deolekar
@Anonymous-Regarding this view.

Prabhupada: "So sasan ke adhikari means they should be punished. (laughs) Punished means, just like dhol, when the, I mean to say, sound is not very hard, dag-dag, if you beat it on the border, then it comes to be nice tune. Similarly, pasu, animals, if you request "My dear dog, please do not go there." Hut! (laughter) "No, my dear dog. Hut!" This is the way. Similarly, woman. If you become lenient, then she will be troublesome. So in India still, in villages, whenever there is some quarrel between husband wife, the husband beats and she is tamed (laughs). (Room Conversation—April 12, 1969, New York)

Srila prabhupada didn't meant to beat Wife or Man handle her.He just gave an Example how Some uneducated Men in Village Does when dere wife dosent listen to them.
Morever, he also meant to be strict when necessary.
Here Strictness Dosen't mean Beating like dhol or dag or whatever.

Srila Prabhupada never did this with his Wife when he was in Grihastha Ashrama,neither he impose any thing on them but he always prayed towards Lord that they too become Krsna Conscious.
March 28 at 12:03am ·

Abhay Deolekar

"[Indira Gandhi] is not leader, she is a prostitute. Woman given freedom means prostitute. Free woman means prostitute. What is this prostitute? She has no fixed-up husband."(Room Conversation -- April 5, 1977, Bombay)

"A woman as no husband declares herself independent, which means that she becomes a prostitute." (SB 6.5.14 Purport)

Very true.take the very examples of Women in western countries who are Unmarried or live alone.
What culture they follow?
Its Dog culture.
March 28 at 12:08am ·

Alexis Kriel
Maybe what Srila Prabhupada meant when he said that a "woman likes to be raped" is that a woman likes to be taken by force. Given the subservient nature of Indian women - maybe it is true. Forcing a woman to have sex against her will is something else. But maybe a subservient woman does like to be taken by force.

The place of women in temple societies is problematic - was problematic for me. But this is also the case in most religions.
I could have managed a temple far better than most of the men in the community in which I lived. And my ex-husband - who couldn't begin to understand the nature of the work that I'd been doing before I joined, was totally unqualified to engage me correctly. So, in the end - the biggest contributing factor to my leaving temple life was that I couldn't be engaged in service properly and eventually felt unstimulated, bored, frustrated and eventually angry.

The older more experienced devotees were inclined to treat women with respect (not all of them), but it was more the fanatic brahmacaris who behaved badly - pushing women to the back when prasadam was being served and laughing at pregnant women ...because of the "dirty" state of the womb where worms bite the foetus etc.
March 28 at 12:43am ·

Alexis Kriel
Abhay - it's okay for men to sleep around ...but not women? can you explain to me why you think this is okay?

And it's also okay for Indian men (especially business men) to have affairs and sex with women outside of their marriage and without their wives knowing. This is also okay?

I think you have enough work to do - making moral comments on Indian society ...which you may understand better, than to comment on women in western society - which I doubt you can begin to understand.
March 28 at 12:56am ·

Alexis Kriel
I feel like lining up a bunch of men - who think like Abhay (above) and abusing them the same way that they believe women should be abused. That would be my greatest pleasure and would give me the biggest laugh.
March 28 at 1:09am ·

Abhay Deolekar
@Alexis-No i didn't meant that.
Its totaly wrong even a Man sleep around. even he is categorised to Dog culture.
Can u please show me where i said that??

Its not at all okay even for the Indian business man or whoever State-Country he belongs....

A Lady should stand by his Husband and husband should be loyal to his family.This is it.Thats what i meant and so do Srila Prabhupada.

Please read my comments properly Alexis you are unnecessarily getting into an argument.
Abusing women? This is very wrong.You are misinterpreting my comments.
I never said to abuse any women or beat her neither did Srila prabhupada.

Kindly show me and then speak about linening me up and do whatever u want.
March 28 at 1:23am ·

Bhagavan Das
To all who have fearlessly spoken their truths and described their experiences up to this point,

I would like to conclude the communication on this note and begin a new posting. This will be based on the visible and conflicting polarities that have surfaced around the central issue of peoples perception of who the the Founder Acarya, Srila Prabhupada is.

We all know how Christianity has morphed into "Christ is Lord" theology. Judiasm has morphed into orthodox, conservative and reformed theologies and of course Sunnis and Shiites are in a theological and political blood bath. What will make those who have contacted Srila Prabhupada different? I believe it will be a refreshed understanding of Prabhupada the person in a thorough, historical perspective. This is a historical moment where ideolodical synthesis is on the fulcrum.... See More

The conflicting views are that everything he did or said is nothing short of divine lila untouched by cultural or historical influences. The other is that having touched ground here at a certain time, place and circumstance, he carries with him an angle of vision that his human personality would account for.

With this in mind the forum is open for greater understandings and emotional freedom to find clarity. I will be posting something shortly in the notes, my suggestion is that we move the discussion there.

Thank you,

March 28 at 1:26am ·

Abhay Deolekar
Where is the new discussion thread??
March 28 at 3:49am ·

Alexis Kriel
"A woman as no husband declares herself independent, which means that she becomes a prostitute." (SB 6.5.14 Purport) ... See More

Very true.take the very examples of Women in western countries who are Unmarried or live alone.
What culture they follow?
Its Dog culture.... See More

I am not married, I live alone and I am independent. I am not following Dog Culture.

And anyway - I happen to love dogs and the culture they have is sometimes preferable to human beings. They are loyal, they are man's best friend, they show great affection and are protective. They are always looking for the best in you, they overlook even the worst wrong-doings and continue to show their affection and loyalty.

And in further defiance of the statement: Very true.take the very examples of Women in western countries who are Unmarried or live alone.
What culture they follow?
Its Dog culture.

I have this to say - in all my travells to India as a single woman ...and I have been 30 times ...nearly every Indian businessman I meet is interested in having an affair with me. I don't know what their wives are doing in the meanwhile.

This is why I make the following statement: I think you have enough work to do - making moral comments on Indian society ...which you may understand better, than to comment on women in western society - which I doubt you can begin to understand.

But you feel free to comment on western society!

And I also have a problem with the following statement: In Western countries,The childrens give back answer,Abuse dere parents and even drink & smoke in front of them.They even throw out there parents, of their own House!! in dere old age. What culture is this?
Although in this era with the impact of Western culture on Eastern countires like India,Childrens are doing the same things.

I have not beaten my son - who is 16 - into submission. I have only ever had an open relationship with him where all things can be discussed.

At this point, he is an A-student, extremely ambitious, beautifully mannered, kind, generous and intelligent.

Please don't generalise and pretend to understand western culture through the blanket generalisation of the quotes that u've used above.

You are not talking to women in a temple here.
March 28 at 4:27am ·

Abhay Deolekar
Just happened to saw your photos.They say everything.I was right.
Mostly Devotees never Go to the field of Modelling where one may need to expose dere body and wear small clothes.
A typical Vaishnava,never encourage such stuffs.
thank u.Say what u wana say i am done.
March 28 at 4:35am ·

Alexis Kriel
I have never been in the field of modelling - and where on my photos am I wearing "small clothes"....certainly in every photo I am wearing more than most of the Bollywood actress's - who I happen to think are absolutely gorgeous.

I DON'T consider myself a typical Vaishnava - if a Vaishnava at all....

And I was right about you .... you are a twisted activist against women's rights - the worst small-minded product of snobbish Indian society.... See More
March 28 at 4:43am ·

Veda Sastra
Way to go Alexis !
Krishna is so nice and very liberal that he gives a chance to everyone to speak and be heard through the turn of the wheels of fortune.
There are times when this side has to be heard most in order to create a particular ephasis and times when the opposing view has to be taken into account to re-dress the balance and create ... See Moresomething new.
This letter actually encompasses many of the themes explored in this forum and provides adequate and Krishna consciouss answers for a wider application of the principles into society .
I feel to thank again the devotee who took the pains to write it and elucidate things beautifully .
March 28 at 4:43am ·

Alexis Kriel
....and I suppose the women who are independent and alone are raped by men who think they are prostitutes.

I am single and independent - and I have learnt to stand up for myself and fight the attitudes of men like Abhay.

Apolopgies to all the beautiful human beings here who have soft hearts and don't like to see agression.
March 28 at 4:49am ·

Abhay Deolekar
.You talk as if you represent The whole Western culture.For your kind info i have been to LA and i have seen the part of world dere.And yes you Loyaly follow the Dog culture(Uncivilized culture)Alright? we shall follow human culture.Be happy with Dog culture,prefer it.
Everything shows from your attire,how Moral Woman you can be.
I compare a ... See MoreWestern women with a A Women who follows Vaishnavism or the ancient typical women of India and not the current New generation of India.They are as good as those Body exposing women in western countries.
March 28 at 4:51am ·

Alexis Kriel
you see Abhay - my son would never speak to a woman the way you are speaking to me. He is far too cultured for that, and he respects women because he knows how much I have been through to raise him ....after his father (who is Indian) abandoned us.

Maybe the physical violence that your father showed towards you as a child has damaged you more than you think.
March 28 at 4:54am ·

Abhay Deolekar
What culture the 16 yr old Son must be having can be seen from a Mother who is in a field of Body exposing and over that she have Offspring with out being married or a Husband wow!!! hahaha truely this is Uncivilized and the woman proudly calls herself Unmarried with a Son!!!
Sadly its also being followed here in india and many eastern countries.
March 28 at 4:56am ·

Alexis Kriel
I am a writer, and a film maker in the field of food and travel. Please google me if you wish. I am often in front of the camera for the purpose of magazine articles on me and my work. I am not in the field of Body Exposing ;))

My son is not a bastard. I was legally married - in front of my guru and Radha Krsna.And subsequently divorced.

Every cent I earn is used in educating my son who has become my sole responsibility - since his father (who did not wish to work) returned to temple life.... See More
March 28 at 5:02am ·

Abhay Deolekar
Don't pretend as if you are the idea Woman of the world.Don't talk in a way as if you represent the whole Woman.Don't compare Bollywood Laadies with Those who are following vaishnavism.
As i said they are as good as you.
March 28 at 5:02am ·

Abhay Deolekar
As if you were politely talking to me.
March 28 at 5:03am ·

Veda Sastra
Abhay ,
you can put any label you like for that matter ,your comments are little relevant within the community most of us live.
Every woman can find her niche where she thinks fit and cultivate her concsiousness and high ideals .
If she is accepted and respected in that community for her mind and actions ,it will do .
It is not possible to willy nilly mix cultures outwardly whereas you can on a deeper level ,based on a higher principle.... See More
In other words if it socially acceptable to wear bathing suit ,why not do it within that social circle ?
March 28 at 5:07am ·

Abhay Deolekar
Why won't his father leave a woman who get herself pictured in a red dress with a Dog!! that too with small clothes!!! hhehehe
Ohh if he has gone to temple life,thats very good!!!

You are changing your words when i am catching you....Previously you said..
... See More
"I am not married, I live alone and I am independent. I am not following Dog Culture"

But now when i point out,you say yes you were married!!! and you also have a 16yr old son (so how u pretend to be alone previously)and now divorced hehhehehe.

Now you are showing yourself as a Moral woman.Which you aren't.

Please read some spiritual books.
Shall i guide you to some Spiritual center in SA??
March 28 at 5:10am ·

Alexis Kriel
Am I wearing a bathing suit in one of my pics? I doubt it ...I never consider my body good enough for that. You are talking about the pic of my mother in a mountain stream .....and these pics which are private shouldn't be looked at by envious, emotional cripples like Abhay.
March 28 at 5:12am ·

Abhay Deolekar
I agree with you Veda shastra.
March 28 at 5:15am ·

Alexis Kriel
You are right Abhay - my ex-husband also thinks that he has done the right thing. And he will be judged by the Lord.

I havn't changed anything that I've said - you don't know my situation.

I was previously married, divorced many years ago and never married again. Unlike my ex-husband who married again after me, had another child ....and has not supported either.
March 28 at 5:15am ·

Veda Sastra
Abhay ,go on to find the ideal woman of your dreams preach to her and if she sticks with you consider yourself favoured by The Lord.
If not ,then you will deal with material nature at its worst ...he he he
March 28 at 5:16am ·

Abhay Deolekar
Ohh Realyy but how many husbands you have..its seems like you hugging many husbands in the album 'people, parties, moods'
Parties with beer wishkey and all.Great!!! Enjoy the Dog culture.I dont't mind live your life.

But here i will stand by What Srila Prabhupada says.
March 28 at 5:20am ·

Abhay Deolekar
Absolutely right Vedaji.
March 28 at 5:20am ·

Alexis Kriel
Yes - I have men as friends, and we are not afraid to give a friendly hug. Most of my male friends have been better-behaving individuals than my ex-husband.

And if you are a product of Srila prabhupada's society - then I was right to leave.
March 28 at 5:26am ·

Abhay Deolekar
In other words it was Right for people like you to leave who have problems with Civilized culture and want to adapt Dog culture!!! hahahaha lol

Rspected Mam,you yourself said you like Dog culture.!!!
Go Ahead enjoy your Doggy life!!! hahhaha
... See More
Thank you Very Much Bye take care.
And Read some Bhagvad Gita if possible,give to your son.

Hari Hari.
(Bhagavan pr,sorry for messing your thread with this Uncivilized lady,she was indirectly targetting Srila Prabhupada's teachings and she don't want to understand Srila Prabhupada.)
March 28 at 5:35am ·

Alexis Kriel
I only have one more thing to say ....I have not critisized Srila Prabhupada, nor do I intend to. Srila Prabhupada loved his western disciples and was loved by them in return.
March 28 at 6:13am ·

Alexis Kriel
...he shared everything with them - even the worst aspects of Vedic culture. My problem is with the people who take THE WORST ASPECTS and use these ideas to back up their bad behaviour.

I'm sure that Bhagavan will answer you Abhay - because the comments you have made will also apply to the beautiful lady who is currently standing by his side.
March 28 at 6:25am ·

Abhay Deolekar
Respected Mam,
You forget what you say.indeed you show Double sided.
Few comments before you said ,"if you are a product of Srila prabhupada's society - then I was right to leave."

Although you Don't follow Srila Prabhupada's teaching and you also like Dog Culture which you are following loyaly and you proudly claim.You are misrepresenting my words too .... See More

"Srila Prabhupada loved his western disciples and was loved by them in return."
Yes he Loved those who took up to Krsna conscious.And helped him in his momement.
For your Kind info Your husband must be a Loyal Servant of Srila prabhupada who left a Lady who critizied Srila prabhupada indirectly and is indulge in World of beer,Wiskey,Multiple hugging with opposite sex,party in pubs,beer bar etc which is not allowed in Vaishnava Culture.

Your Husband embraced vaishnava culture,he choose to live beside the teachings of Srila Prabhupada by leaving you.
He did what was correct for his Spiritual growth.
March 28 at 6:45am ·

Abhay Deolekar
A Person Who Loved Srila Prabhupada never leaves him,never forgets him.He follow his teachings and orders even if he fails several time.
You failed to stand beside your Husband,which you say was a Devotee who is now Connected to temple.
You yourself defines yourself as a Modern Western Lady who loves to hang out in Beer bar,Hugg Multiple Men,Get Pictured with a dog having small clothes and claim to be a Pure Independent secular minded Woman,who feels to be the ideal Woman of todays era.
March 28 at 6:49am ·

Guru Gauranga Das
Abhaya, you should show some respect. Don’t think that you have the right. You see Alexis spent many years preaching in the Indian community, her father is a very respected person in society and their family is well known. You talk as if you have so much knowledge of Vedic culture, but I see that you have adopted our Western dress, Western cellphone, cars and no doubt Western education. It appears from your words that you have disregarded the highest principle of the Vedas which is to protect, women, children, the Brahmans and cows.
Abhay in the year that you were born 1987 Alexis was distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books in the tropical sun to Indians like you.
Did you know this Vedic quote; Strike not even with a flower a women guilty of a thousand faults. So Abhay, you may see some faults with Alexis, but actually she is very dear to the Lord, so why throw your thunderbolt like words on her head? It is easy to say cat and dog culture, but your attachment to such culture is proved by your aversion to it.

If you are a brave man, show your strength by being humble and apologize. If you cannot apologize then you are simply a weak minded person who is proud and number one fool. ... See More
March 28 at 7:02am ·

Alexis Kriel
Thank you Guru Gauranga - you are an old friend and I take shelter from you.
March 28 at 7:09am ·

Bhagavan Das
To Abhay,

I have left my wall open to comments by all and you have been using it to hammer righteous women because of an outmoded and judgmental perception that the female persona is less than the male and needs to be controlled, dominated and caged.

The entire world has been revolving around a male dominated, imbalanced world view that women are objects and need to be controlled and dominated like a dog when in fact it is the twisted, egotistical minds of men that are doggish. The earth is our mother and men piss on her day and night-Indians included, and have led us to a dying planet.... See More

From this point you will refrain from using my wall to lift your leg and piss on, and show some respect to women like Alexis and others who deserve to guide the world to a new and better state of being.

Love and respect are the balance points I wish to take this conversation to and you can enter that view if you are willing to evolve your consciousness and accept the woman as your equal. Please observe the upcoming postings with more heart presence.

You should consider that a prostituted intellect is one that sells itself to judgements and is unwed to the heart.

March 28 at 7:33am ·

Bhagavan Das
You are a template of what the World should no longer be. You are off the wall. And by the way off my wall as well.
March 28 at 7:52am ·

Bhagavan Das
Lisa from this point, as I requested previously. Please hold all comments until a new forum for this is posted on my wall.
March 28 at 7:58am ·

Bhagavan Das
However your comments on my response to Mr. Bhaya are welcome.
March 28 at 8:00am ·

Alexis Kriel
Mr Abhay Deolekar has poisoned the milk of the vedas. The problem with men like this is that they contain all the most vicious negative attributes of women in them. He came to this forum in disguise (as an enemy), with an agenda - and I saw him hahahahahahaha. He will not stop here - he will be more vicious than a woman scorned. I am not a vaisnava, but certain vaisnava's are very dear to me.
March 28 at 11:33am ·

Pam Ho
Abhay wasn't just displaying a sexist attitude, he was mainly demeaning what he perceives to be non-Vedic culture and the people who he perceives as taking part in that, e.g. compassionate "liberal" loving child rearing methodology, women not fully covering their bodies, sexual permissiveness, intoxication, and whatever else he believes to be "the evil of Kali yuga" or "demon culture" or as he called it "dog culture."

What's ironic about his beliefs is that if we compare the most liberal modern aka"dog like cultures" in the world today (France, Holland, Denmark, etc) with India -- anyone can clearly see a stark difference in quality of life. But because he has been led to believe that anything to do with enjoying the human body, along with egalitarian liberal society, is inherently against God therefore regardless of the ridiculousness of seeing Indian society and culture as some kind of paragon of evolved goodness and virtue in comparison to highly modern wealthy western countries, he cannot see the absurdity that should be obvious to anyone with experience of the two societies.

Is that blindness to reality normal for Indians? I don't think so. Most Indians are well aware that their current culture and society is seriously flawed in comparison to wealthy modern western countries. While they may consider Vedic or Yogic pilosophy or religion to be superior to any other, most Indians are well aware that their country is very bad off compared to the west. Rather then seeing the west as "dog culture" they mostly seek to emulate the west. ... See More

As Lisa pointed out, it is due to Prabhupada's incessant demonization of all non-Indian cultures, and his insistence that any type of sexually liberal or egalitarian society is inherently ungodly and demonic, which has convinced Abhay of his views. Another irony is the reality that was Vedic society is that it was not only openly sexual with sexually explicit carvings covering countless temples (most destroyed by Islamic rulers), but also previous to Islamic and British rule, women were at best scantily clad, with bare breasts in public being the norm even up to the 19th century in many places. As is seen in pre-Islamic Hindu art -- women never wore modern saris, and breasts are always exposed. That was the reality of Vedic culture -- yet Abhay rails against what he perceives as a deviation from a Vedic standard of women being totally covered. How did he gain that belief? For one thing even though ancient Vedic sculpture or painting never shows women with covered bodies, all of Prabhupada's books shows women in Vedic times with completely covering saris. Of course his books are not unique in that, but still because they are presented as the "authentic" representation of Vedic culture and the "spiritual world" any deviation from that is seen as inherently bad.

He also railed against beer or other intoxication. The fact is that in Vedic culture alcohol was common, even Balarama 's favorite drink is Madhu (Mead -- Honey Wine), ganja is extolled in shastra and was commonly used,and Soma (most likely a combination of ganja, opium, and ephedra according to archaeological finds) was also commonly used. But according to Prabhupada and other neo-Vedic scholars -- none of that was real, and ganja is not only only what shastra says it is (one of the most important and highly extolled herbs) he claimed it was deeply sinful and can kill you!

Also ironic is the fact of the Vedic Kama Shastra, which was cited by past Gaudiya acharyas like Krishnadas Kaviraja and Visvanath Chakrvarti as bona-fide shastra --- which teaches the art of sex for pleasure, which is condemned as sinful by so many who are ignorant of actual Vedic principles on sex.

Prabhupada preached a version of bhakti which is based upon the idea that God is some insecure selfish demented sadist who demands that you submit yourself as a slave to “his representative” if you want to escape samsara and be allowed into heaven. You have to give up the desire to "enjoy" life or your “senses” – because that is God’s position as “the enjoyer”. Your desire to enjoy is nothing more then you being “envious of God”. You are “trying to be God” if you desire to enjoy pleasure – because God is the only one allowed to be “the enjoyer”. Once you get to heaven and live life with Krishna you can be kicked out and sent to suffer in this world if you try to enjoy because trying to enjoy is God’s prerogative, only.

You are here now because you were kicked out of heaven because you wanted to enjoy instead of “serving” God. For some reason you became “envious” that Krishna is the “enjoyer” and you were just a servant. You wanted to enjoy, so Krishna kicked you out of heaven. Until you can become free from the desire to enjoy, especially the desire to enjoy sexual pleasure, because Krishna really hates that, you will be punished by Krishna with repeated births in this world of samsara.

When you finally become “exhausted of trying to enjoy”, then Krishna will send you a guru who will teach you that you have been a bad girl or boy, that you shouldn’t try to be the “enjoyer” (especially sexual enjoyer) because only God is allowed the desire to be an enjoyer. You need to cultivate the mood of being nothing but a lowly servant to God because God hates “competition” for “enjoyer” status. He demands that you give up the “selfish” enjoying mood. Why? That is never explained. You must accept…or suffer!

That bizarre theology is the basis of everything that most followers of Prabhupada and ISKCON believe to be “Krishna Consciousness”. Even many of his ex-followers who have taken up the following of some other Gaudiya guru or gurus still have that basic belief about Krishna and what Krishna bhakti is and means. It is the basal paradigm from which all the rest of the beliefs are situated within.

And it is a complete fraud. That theology is not found in any Vedic scripture. It is based upon a radical twisting of sastra for the purpose of gaining dedicated slavish followers. It’s all about the use of religion for manipulating people into fearing to do anything at all that isn't "service" to God, which of course can only be done through service to the guru. You would think intelligent people would see that philosophy for what it really is after a while, amazingly so many do not. Karma works in mysterious ways.
March 28 at 12:25pm ·

Inez Canvasser
Wow! I just read this entire discussion and I must say I have never heard such poison come out of any one's mouth , in the" Name of God" . That is how all terrorist acts, in the guise of religion , and in the name of Christ, Mohammed, Srila Prabhupada, etc. and in the name of so many countries etc. have been committed. And to animals, ... See Morewomen, children and our planet. It is impossible to have meaningful discussion with someone like him. Thank you for taking him off the blog, so we can continue with these very important discussions. I really appreciate all of you for your thoughtful ,concerned, and loving comments.
March 28 at 12:30pm ·

Sigalit Saarikivi
I wonder what Abhay has to say about the thousands of widows being thrown out or dropped in Vrndavan by their relatives and even their own children....
March 28 at 12:50pm ·

Alexis Kriel
I'm sure he is in favour Sigalit - or that women should committ Sati at the time of their husband's death. The film WATER by Deepa Mehta wasn't unpopular in India for exposed these things to the world - things that some Indians would like to continue with. And with the world watching, it all becomes a little harder.
March 28 at 1:39pm ·

Fernando Rodriguez Torres
Ok, you are right, but I said what I thought about the matter, sorry for not sharing your views in this exchange.
March 28 at 5:11pm ·

Guru Gauranga Das
Everyone welcomes your contribution, but in the case where women is attacked for whatever reason, they should be protected. Please lets all try to contribute to the dialogue without personal attacks. Thank you for the apology. I too apologize to you if I acted a little harsh.
March 28 at 5:14pm ·

Fernando Rodriguez Torres
It is not easy to understand what is happening beyond the words in the minds or the hearth of those who engage in virtual interaction online. Very often we react to our own fears.

In times in which the exchanges were through e-mail, you could take one or two days to meditate the answer, and usually there was time to realize that the first answer ... See Morethat came to mind was not the best one. So in these instant messaging systems the difficulty to understand others and get positive input is greater, so there is need also of more time and exchanges to understand each other. But a little bit at a time, the dark zones will be dispelled. Sorry for my english, I'm spanish.
March 28 at 5:32pm ·

Inez Canvasser
Respect for others , is key here, despite differences. Lord Jesus's teaching, "Who among you has not sinned, throw the first stone, " and in Bhagavad -Gita-"The humble sage sees with equal vision the gentle and learned Brahman, the dog, the dog eater," and devotee is supposed to be more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false ... See Moreprestige and ready to offer all respects to others." These are the real qualities of a lover of God. So all the rules and regs dont amount to much , if we are not taking deep in our hearts these Godly qualities, and manifesting them in our relationships with others.
March 28 at 5:50pm ·

Pam Ho
Fernando you have got things backwards on who started what.

Abhay made a comment were he supported Prabhupada telling a temple leader to essentially enslave a 13 year old boy by forcing him to work as slave labor in the fields on threat of violence. He was kicked out of the gurukula because he wasn't cooperative -- a gurukula where the children were harshly treated, violently beaten and sexually abused. Abhay compared that to a father needing to discipline a child, insisting that western culture was degraded because of too much permissiveness towards children. Here was a boy, neglected by his parents by sending him to a madhouse masquerading as a boarding school, then Prabhupada wants to make a slave out of him when he rebelled. Is that what you want to defend?

He then tries to make an excuse for a story Prabhupada told about beating women to control them. Prabhupada wasn't simply stating that it was villagers who do that in India, his implication in stories like that was that if it was alright in India it's alright period. In fact Prabhupada made many similar statements where he made it clear he supported beating of women, here is just two of many:... See More


Prabhupāda: That's all. Mūrkhasya lakuṭauṣadhi(?). When a person is fool number one, beat him. That's all. Ḍhol gobara...(?) Tulasī dāsa has said, ḍhol gobara śūdra paśu nārī, ei saba śāsana ke adhikārī. Ḍhol, drum, you have to bring it to the tune by beating, " tung, tung. " Gobara. Gobara means fool person. Paśu, animal. Ḍhol, gobara, pa..., śūdra, and nārī, woman. They should be punished to bring them into order. Ei saba śāsana ke adhikārī. Otherwise they will spoil. A barking dog, you cannot pacify him, "My dear dog, don't bark." It will disturb him: "No!" Ḍhol gobara śūdra paśu nārī, ei saba śāsana ke... So anyone who is denying the existence of God, he is a rascal number one and beat him with shoes. Bas. He is being beaten with shoes by nature.


Prabhupāda: Tigress. At daytime she is witches. Witch or witches?

Brahmānanda: Witch.

Prabhupāda: Witch. And at night she is tigress. So that is the nature of woman. But the world is so made that everyone is keeping such tigress. (laughs heartily) Din ka ḍākinī rat ka bhāginī. (Hindi) Every moment she is sucking blood. She is such a dangerous tigress. Every moment sucking blood. But (Hindi) the people, the world, people of the world has gone so crazy that each one is keeping one tigress. (laughs)


Prabhupāda: So śaśan ke adhikārī means they should be punished. (laughs) Punished means, just like dhol, when the, I mean to say, sound is not very hard, dag-dag, if you beat it on the border, then it comes to be nice tune. Similarly, paśu, animals, if you request, “My dear dog, please do not go there.” Hut! (laughter) “No, my dear dog.” Hut! This is the way.(?) Similarly, woman. If you become lenient, then she will be troublesome. So in India still, in villages, whenever there is some quarrel between husband wife, the husband beats and she is tamed. (laughs) In civilized society, “Oh, you have done this?” Immediately some criminal case. But in uncivilized society they don’t care for court or civilized way of…


He is stating very clearly that women should be beaten.

Abhay then agreed and supported Prabhupada claiming women who are not married or who are independent -- are prostitutes. Specifically Prabhupada called Indira Gandhi a prostitute for not being married -- even though she was a widow. How is it that women are prostitutes if they are not married? What does that mean? That they are all charging money for sex? Obviously not, it's simply a very crude insult, and not even a well thought out one. It was his way of insulting and demeaning non-Hindu societal norms for the raising of girls. He taught that all girls should be married before puberty, and at the latest by puberty, otherwise the father is a failure. He taught that girls should not go to school, that they should learn to read and write, and the rest of their education should only be housework and how to be a slave to a husband. His typical hyperbolic claims about women being prostitutes who weren't married was just a way to claim his views as superior as to how girls should be raised by denigrating all other conceptions in the crudest way he could think of, which was common for him. But thankfully practically no one took him seriously, how many ISKCON girls didn't go to any school and got married by puberty?

So your claim that Abhay was being some sort of noble guy is false. He first was blindly supporting everything offensive Prabhupada taught by making ignorant excuses for him, and then when he was challenged on those excuses he became crudely insulting to the devotees as if simply being a zombie cult yes man gives him the right to abuse everyone and anyone who disagrees with him.

Someone also wrote that Prabhupada's rape comments were really about aggressive sexual behavior by men that women like, not about real rape. The BBT has that explanation on their website as well. The huge problem with that interpretation is that Prabhupada made those comments 3 times. Two of the times he specifically put it into the context of real rape, specifically saying he was talking about real rape:

Morning Walk — May 11, 1975, Perth

Prabhupada: Yes, that is law always. Rape means without consent, sex. Otherwise there is no rape. There was a rape case in Calcutta, and the lawyer was very intelligent. He some way or other made the woman admit, “Yes, I felt happiness.” So he was released. “Here is consent.” And that’s a fact. Because after all, sex, rape or no rape, they will feel some pleasure. So the lawyer by hook and crook made the woman agree, “Yes, I felt some pleasure.” “Now, there is consent.” So he was released. After all, it is an itching sensation. So either by force or by willingly, if there is itching, everyone feels relieved itching it. That’s a psychology. It is not that the woman do not like rape. They like sometimes. They willingly. That is the psychology. Outwardly they show some displeasure, but inwardly they do not. This is the psychology.

Purport SB 4.25.41

In this regard, the word vikhyatam is very significant. A man is always famous for his aggression toward a beautiful woman, and such aggression is sometimes considered rape. Although rape is not legally allowed, it is a fact that a woman likes a man who is very expert at rape.
March 28 at 6:49pm ·

Pam Ho
The following should be understood by all of Prabhupada's followers, or of any other guru or teacher.

from "The Bhagavata" by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

We Must Think for Ourselves... See More

The Bhagavata teaches us that God gives us truth as He gave it to Vyasa: when we earnestly seek for it. Truth is eternal and unexhausted. The soul receives a revelation when anxious for it. The souls of the great thinkers of the bygone ages, who now live spiritually, often approach our inquiring spirit and assist in its development. Thus Vyasa was assisted by Narada and Brahma. Our Shastras, or in other words, books of thought, do not contain all that we could get from the infinite Father.

No book is without its errors.

God’s revelation is absolute truth, but it is scarcely received and preserved in its natural purity. We have been advised in the 14th Chapter of 11th Skandha of the Bhagavata to believe that truth when revealed is absolute, but it gets the tincture of the nature of the receiver in course of time and is converted into error by continual exchange of hands from age to age. New revelations, therefore, are continually necessary in order to keep truth in its original purity. We are thus warned to be careful in our studies of old authors, however wise they are reputed to be.

Here we have full liberty to reject the wrong idea, which is not sanctioned by the peace of conscience. Vyasa was not satisfied with what he collected in the Vedas, arranged in the Puranas and composed in the Mahabharata. The peace of his conscience did not sanction his labors. It told him from within, “No, Vyasa! You cannot rest contented with the erroneous picture of truth which was necessarily presented to you by the sages of bygone days. You must yourself knock at the door of the inexhaustible store of truth from which the former ages drew their wealth. Go, go up to the fountainhead of truth, where no pilgrim meets with disappointment of any kind.” Vyasa did it and obtained what he wanted. We have been all advised to do so.

Liberty then is the principle which we must consider as the most valuable gift of God. We must not allow ourselves to be led by those who lived and thought before us. We must think for ourselves and try to get further truths which are still undiscovered. In the Bhagavata we have been advised to take the spirit of the Shastras and not the words. The Bhagavata is therefore a religion of liberty, unmixed truth and absolute love.
March 28 at 6:51pm ·

Fernando Rodriguez Torres
Pam-ho, what do you want to mean? That Srila Prabhupada was an ogre? A carpetovenic fosil with no compassion not superior vision? That's not real. He was a pure devotee of the Lord, he was full of love. If you find enunciates in his writings that seems to contradict what common sense dictates, it means that you need to apply a superior principle and leave as anecdotical that particular instance, never attributing heinous behaviour or thinking to a person who is full of love for God.
March 28 at 7:07pm ·

Fernando Rodriguez Torres
Sorry, I didn't read the second text. Srila Bhaktivinoda explains it better than me.
March 28 at 7:11pm ·

Pam Ho
So a person starts a guru cult around himself as the pure representative of God almighty whom you need to submit to as an utter submissive slave in order to get on God's good side -- or the guru claims you will go to hell. Then that guru can get away with saying anything? Teacing anything? No matter how immoral or unethical, acting as God to his slave like followers -- and you see nothing wrong with that? That is some weird stuff homes.
March 28 at 7:14pm ·

Fernando Rodriguez Torres
Pam-ho, do you have any experience with devotional service? I don't know you, and don't understand your position without knowing something about your background
March 28 at 7:17pm ·

Bhagavan Das
Thank you Pam for this timely gift.

Although your disturbance may anger or frighten some, the right to express the deepest wounds held in the emotional body, is vital for spiritual rebirthing.

What many forget is that everything we experience birth after birth, reflects that monumental moment in our history when God became an alien being and original imbalance began. ... See More

You are manifesting the deepest denials the soul has carried, where the will-our feminine principle, has for ages been demoted to the realms of the lower self, pushed and trapped there by ideologies of an arrogant spirit. It is none other than self hate perpetuated by truth tinged with denial

The liberty spoken of by BVT is free will needing to now balance with spiritual understandings or risk many more lifetimes of agony.

The forum will be posted tonight. Be brave and kind,
compassionate and strong, respectful and clear. You are with family.

With love and respect,

March 28 at 7:31pm ·

Pam Ho
Fernando, Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!
March 28 at 9:15pm ·

Bhagavan Das

Enough for now please. The new forum will be up shortly. I advise you not to trigger any further emotions that a more encompassing view would better serve.
March 28 at 9:25pm ·

Veda Sastra
Ok agreed but Pam Ho' without badges' should have her allegations answered ,because she moved on the other side of simply and irrationally accusing .
On the other hand If she wants anything of what she says to be considered she should not only offer badges but her personal perfect example to back it up .Perfect in essence not nesseccarily perfect icon.
The polarities you mention between matter and spirit are a symptom of this material reality and not the fault of the absolute truth .
Every bona fide religion contains the elements that you mention and trying to find balancing points is like balancing on a tight rope with any movement one way or another proving very dangerous .
One direction is dangerous for your material life the opposite is dangerous for your spiritual life .Of the two Srila Prabhupada chose to endanger material life while gaining some headstart on spiritual life .... See More
Very sensible and nesseccary at the time .
Unless one is able to keep the balance ,spiritual life is at risk at any minute ,so no poison please as it endangers my balance.
March 29 at 12:25am ·

Alexis Kriel
I don't see any difference between the spiritual and the material. And I don't find it such a battle to live a spiritual life in the "material world". Isn't it more about the way we "see things" or the way that things are used that defines them?
March 29 at 3:08am ·

No comments:

Post a Comment