.... someone posted the GBC resolutions. I haven't read those in years. I do not go looking for them. Even, I lost this one ha, as I wanted to copy / past the exact words. But it's lost to the scroll button. :) [Hey, you can always find their yearly resolutions online, if you want to.]
In it contained the various 'concerns' and their 'resolutions.'
Since I've been up, down, and all around with their resolution making, I don't look for the latest. But I do believe new devotees should take it somewhat seriously. Even if it is to sometimes learn how to disagree properly, as that also teaches one think for themselves. Or go ahead and agree - after thinking it through.
For me, I surrendered to them a long time, but now treasure my independence. They shall run the Movement however they wish anyway, simply let me practice Krishna Consciousness in home and at peace.
Wait, wasn't I going to write about something very specific in their resolution? You bet I was. :)
One of the concerns of the year: the use of the word "prabhu," for women.
Apparently, some do not like it, claiming it's male only, and this is causing a disturbance to them. But others are fine with it.
Yet...now it's become a big topic that requires decision making after decades of also using this term for women. Do they doubt Prabhupada?
GBC state they're getting their "pundits" together to figure out some conclusion to makes everyone happy, saying we're a preaching society and don't want to offend. Which basically means - the jury is still out.
But they want to have big scholarly discussions about it. Why?
Prabhupada had little interest in us becoming big scholar, no Sanskrit-Walas. He wanted us to follow his instructions and develop love of God / Krishna.
Sure, he taught us to chant Sanskrit, but those who could not learn it well, that did not matter. What was important was, if they preformed their saddhana: chanted 16 rounds of Hare Krishna, engaged in active devotional service all day, followed the 4 regulative principles strictly & without fail, attended Morning and evening Programs - and from sincerity of heart, not mechanically. Wait, am I getting sidetracked here? ha
You may ask, how else will we know if it's correct or incorrect to call women 'prabhu,' unless they have such meetings?
Simple. Look to Prabhupada's example. He called women prabhu. It's been written in some of his letters. Therefore, this usage should never be challenged.
Some argue that Prabhupada did not refer to women as prabhu all the time, just a few times. Really, this is the way they want to go with this? In which case I'd like to ask them to ask themselves, how many times must the spiritual master say something for it to be followed? Three times? Five? Ten? Anyone who knows their scripture, knows the answer is once! Yet Prabhupada did it more than once.
That anyone wants to contradict or 'correct' Prabhupada, gets me. Oh they claim this isn't what they're doing, it's simply not traditional usage. But whose tradition? Hindu? V.A.D.? Or transcendental Krishna Consciousness of the highest level and off this bodily concept?
They agree that Prabhupada used 'prabhu' for women, but instead of just surrendering, they want to have discussions to try to make everyone happy. Clarification: to make specific men who dislike it - happy.
If a person must change something from Prabhupada otherwise they're unhappy, then change should be made to themselves and not to what Prabhupada had us do. Their purification is required.
It's suspect some of these 'so-called' traditionalists may be "misogynists," with that mentality as a reason behind lodging official complaints to authorities / GBC.
While these same men outright agree Prabhupada used the term 'prabhu' for women, some gave the example:
If a teacher calls their student, who is a child, Mr So-and-So, this does not mean he is a Mr. If a real Mr [adult or authority] walks in the room, then it will become evident. He will be the actual Mister.
As much as they like to compare women with children, there are also quotes stating men in this age often do not mature beyond that of a young teenage boy, or they are even stri.
So it works both directions. Lets not go there.
And both can easily be resolved: Surrender to transcendental Krishna Consciousness by picking up a bookbag, or preforming a ton of temple service - keep busy in such ways and give up this maya-nonsense competition and it's prajalpa.
With that said, they're comparing initiated disciples to school children? Prabhupada specifically said these women are not ordinary women. If he accepted women as disciples, no one else should try drag them down to a lesser level.
Or are they saying what Prabhupada did is on the same level as that of a mundane teacher's actions?
More likely, certain men can't handle it themselves. Ten, twenty, over 30 years of practice - and still not off the bodily platform?
To remain severely stuck there is evidence of rebellion against purification in this area. If they want to focus on body superiority, they best remember: most of them took mlecca births, plus engaged in many sinful activities, prior to becoming "prabhu's." :-)
Possibly, when stuck on the bodily platform, taking so much shelter there, unable or unwilling to move on - may indicate a physical or medical or psychological reason for some. However, stop hiding from it. Especially, stop taking it out on others.
Time to accept women issues are real problems of specific men. Until authorities give this recognition and helpful attention, then the dots they don't connect are:
Dallas Gurkula, or what happened to the lady in Canada - happening all over again. That women and children issues are highly related. For this Movement to increase to the spiritual level Prabhupada wanted us on, we need to begin owning when someone is sick and needs intervention, before they act on it. Stop letting them hide their illness behind shastra. Which is not to say all are hiding behind shastra, but how about starting with them?!
Maybe it's because some of these men are their friends. Couple friendship with scripture, and authorities tend to blind themselves. Regardless, that needs to end. Sorry, but your friends who have a problem with women.... are ill. Get them the help they need, or do something, but cease this pretending it's Vedic. Are "they" so Vedic? Ok, don't get me going. lol Simply, TP's & GBC, open your eyes.
Next, no one is claiming all women are automatically on the level of prabhu. No. Simply, it is used freely with men, and without examining if men are on that level or in that position.
Is there is not one woman they find qualified to be called prabhu? Or is there enviousness going on here, particularly over women who engage in more service than him? Because I can think of a quite a few qualified ladies. Plus know Prabhupada refereed to Yamuna as prabhu, plus as a SANYASINI.
Prabhupada (speaking of Gurudasa's wife, Yamuna):
The complainers state 'prabhu for women' is nowhere to be found in scripture. So what?! Prabhupada's use is AS GOOD AS scripture! Do they now think they understand scripture better than Prabhupada? Or that he was unaware it was not in scripture? Certainly he was aware of this, and made a 'concussions' choice. One they need to surrender to.
By the same expectation they give women, do such men think they're own behavior has been as good as men in Srimad Bhagavatam? Get real, they're struggling like many devotees in this age, particularly the ones who want to be viewed as superior to women by birth instead of by spiritual actions. It's time they focused more on instructions for kali-yuga, which can be found in the Prabhupada Letters books.
No more men laying on their laurels thinking due to their male body, women must unconditionally be sub-servant, blindly follow, and are lower. Countless quotes can be found to disprove them, yet too much to put here. Bottom line?
When men were unqualified, Prabhupada letters reveal removing them. Initiation did not mean they could do whatever they wanted.
Therefore, use this life to behave as disciple first & foremost, not a man. Go back to Home, back to Godhead, & resolve women hang-ups by renouncing so much at-home comfort, or spoiled superiority - instead go out on book distribution etc with other men who do not have this problem, plus won't puff them up like they get at home.
Anyone comparing instructions of the pure devotee to some concoction they came up with in their mind - a school child and teacher - may be walking on risky ground.
It appears they so much can't handle this concept of woman called 'prabhu,' that they have to "make things up," in order to figure it out, and to cope.
UPDATE: Been a few years since I wrote this post, and tho some have changed, others have not. It surprises me, the concoctions the human brain can come up with when something does not please the senses. ..... We use to hang on Prabhupada's "every" word, like it were a golden dove flying over head. It was as good as shastra. Now some nearly cross examine his words to see if they fit in with Sanskrit as well as with tradition. Wow! Why does anyone think they are so great as to double check him? Or that we do not have to something unless he did it and a lot. The ahcarya and pure devotee does not have to do what the conditioned soul MUST do. Are we going to start word jugglery justifications for other issues too? Don't get me started on the so-called 3 & 1/2 regulative principles. lol
Back to the original post: There is nothing more to figure out or analyze, than that which has all ready been explained. This is about SPIRITUAL talk, not mundane. Any man who has a real problem with it would use his time increasing his level of spiritual advancement to become a real prabhu thru physical devotional service to Krishna, instead of complaining about women & keeping her down.
One of their chronic fault-findings about woman is that she's not good enough wife, not good enough mother, insisting she must stay at home [really: to avoid Sankirtana & him not having 100 % control over her every move], etc. - basing it on Srimad Bhagavatam and other such literatures. Truth?
That's offensive, as these women have been terrific wives, mothers, while simultaneously behaving as disciple of guru. But such men, and not all, want to cover over their jealousy that she speaks to other men on sankirtana, or become nervous when she's given honorable positions outside of bodily concept, like 'prabhu,' etc.
Such men often prefer VAD [Varnashrama Dharma] lifestyle in order to skirt higher instructions of transcendental Krishna Consciousness - but they will never reveal that. How to tell? Simply look at what they speak about to see their interests in life. Is it women and her mundane role to him/man, or is it [significant] active devotional service to Krishna?
VAD is not automatically on the same level of Krishna Consciousness. Now, they do get mad at me for clarifying this, particularly those who want to disguise it as if the same. But even a few friends have misunderstood my point. For them I clarify:
I am not saying do not farm, not saying do not live in the country, not saying do not take care of cows. Never. What I am saying is:
... My understanding's, based on a combination of Prabhupada comments, plus what we've seen in a lifespan of our Movement in this age of kali yuga.... it works & is ok to farm etc - but most we've seen so far who took that further into VAD, even the best form - tend to take more shelter of body superiority than spiritual superiority [that must be earned].
From there, too many went downhill, justifying all sorts of activities, not recommended to achieve a high level of Krishna C. From old man age of sanyas marrying too young a girl, to others with polygamy, and others drinking wine or smoking dope.
Before anyone argues "not all do that," I agree! Not all, but why take a risk? Especially since only a few of Prabhupada's letters advocated V.A.D. whereas the majority said its not possible in this age.
Prabhupada has given us a simple program which many barely maintain as it is. It's a program to transcend the bodily platform & make God / Krishna the focus 24/7, instead of all these little rules for women or for men. Not to worry, as we have sufficient rules. :)
The reality is, many advocates of V.A.D. IN TRUTH do not want to follow those rules, misusing VAD to pick and choose rules that slam dunk them into a superior position without tapasya....worse, under the pretense of it as Krishna Consciousness.
So study what is VAD and what is Krishna Consciousness - because they are different. And grow your garden while doing so, with a related Kindle Prabhupada book playing on text-to-speech. :-)
Such men [& not all], use endless quotes to justify their proclamations, and the goal of this specific class of men [yes it's our turn to point out 'class'], is to freeze everyone in fear of making an offense, thus never to be challenged.
No one is saying to fight nor offend them. Actually do "not" do that. Simply if wondering, check out their life and see if they are practicing what they preach.
Are they truthfully on the level of a prabhu they insist they deserve? Most I have discovered [by accident!] are often struggling spiritually, often twisting scripture too. Bad habit.
Years ago I was on a devotee e-list [IWC]. They wanted to correct misunderstandings of poor treatment of woman where 'some' men passed the buck to scripture, cowardly not owning their problems / maya. [How offensive to misuse shastra like that in the first place!] Anyhow, one man who has written against calling women 'prabhu' wrote about a friends desire [it truthfully was his personal friend] for more than one wife as good, protective, helps society blah blah. I replied his friend just wanted sex. He replied: OF COURSE HE DOES. ...He placed that in the middle of a long philosophical explanation, but this offensive mentality glared at me, so I pointed it out on that egroup. Other Vaisnavi's chimed in. He suddenly seemed to get real quite for a quite awhile. Interesting how once caught, that behind closed doors, they're not so much 'prabhu's. :)
Bottom line: Don't let them run tons of philosophy and quotes past you then slip in, or hide, nonsense in the middle. Pay attention. Be ambitions and research! If you decide to respond, always do so politely with controlled mind and senses, otherwise they will say your emotionalism has proven their point. [Even tho their emotionalism against women is reeking all over the place.] Take the higher road.
Also any quotes I use or points I make - I'm human and can make mistakes - check my comments and quotes any time. Of course, I do feel someone against their nonsense, opposed to those twistings they use in order to enjoy, are in entirely different entities. lol
It is suspected many are fearful of woman as prabhu, they do not understand the following principal [and for some, not even for themselves] -
"Yes, to call one another prabhu is all right, but not to become prabhu. To accept others as prabhu, and remain as servant is the idea. But, because somebody is calling you prabhu, one should not become a prabhu, and treat others as servants. In other words, everyone should feel himself as servant, and not think himself prabhu because he is being called prabhu. This will make the relationship congenial. (SP Letter to Himavati Devi Dasi, June 14, 1968)
Anyhow, the underground organization's former attempts to sneakily change Prabhupada's Movement into one that worships men, plus grant lots of wives for lots of sex [they deny, but who believes they marry many without that? lol].
Prabhupada wrote letters stating plural marriage was a desire for more sex - & said NO.
I don't want to waste many life airs on this crazy group who attempted to overthrow & change Prabhupada's Movement for their personal sense gratification, which includes the mind.
Am merely considering they could be trying to sneak in this time around - by bending the ears of authorities over the word "prabhu."
GBC & various Authorities - remember, they were willing to throw you to the dirt before. To dig up 'stuff' and discredit any male who disagreed with them. Do not fall for their nonsense. May those in positions use their intelligence to spot manipulation and twistings.
Though it's limited to that group, as some did not join with them who held a degree of similar beliefs, while others who also did not join outright disagreed. However, something is going on. We'd like to know exactly 'what.' And 'who' is behind this silly, time-wasting, line of questioning about 'prabhu?'
When Prabhupada was here, he said 'Jump,' and we said "how high.' These days too many say: "Do you really think we should jump?" Or : "Have you analyzed and taken measurements from the top to the bottom to see if we should jump?" Or some other philosophical babble.
When the pure devotee says something, he does not do so out of ignorance, or not knowing. He knows more than anyone, so don't bring this nonsense to big GBC meetings. They've enough real issues on their plate & don't need this stupid one to waste time. [I can't even believe it was brought up. Or worse, taken seriously! Jiv Jago GBC. Keep feeding the dragon and you become their lunch. :)]
Now, there are other options when referring to women. And that is what they are trying to bring up; the use of: Mataji, Devi, or Prabhu. With some wanting to delete the last option from the list.
I may be mistaken, but never heard or read Prabhupada refer to any of his female disciples as 'devi.' If I'm wrong, email me, but ya better have the written quote of proof. :)
Plus, I find it quite interesting they've no problem removing 'prabhu' - a term Prabhupada DID use, and adding 'devi' - one he did NOT use. At least not singularly, to replace prabhu, or as one would with 'mata.' No.
While this next term was not on their list, lately its been popular to call women "didi." Again, never heard or read Prabhupada call any devotee women that either. It's not offensive, its simply more akin to Hinduism than Krishna Consciousness.
Finally, there is Mataji, or Mother. We have seen too many use the word mother as if almost swearing at us. [You 'mother!' Err I mean to say, "Yes, you .....can do that... mother." Yeah right. ha]
However, lets clarify, not all misuse it like that. There are many sincere devotee men trying to live and see thru the eyes of shastra, thus truthfully trying to view us as a mom. Using it with the right frame of mind such as that, the correct consciousness - is bona fide.
With that said, a reason some men dropped usage of the word 'mother' because they did not want to be like those who misused it. So if the word 'prabhu' has increased, the complainers need to look to themselves for offensive use of 'mother.' It may be a signal of what needs to be examined within.
Particularly those who judge that women should not be called 'prabhu' based on body parts. Then they better not be speaking like that based on being controlled by their own body parts, or that they are a misogynist in truth. [Lets clarify, misogyny is not spiritual, it's a sickness that needs treatment, or else avoid their bad association.]
Now Mataji? Sure, call me Mataji. However, don't call me a motherly name and then try to manipulate me. Or any woman. If they prefer to use an affectionate name, mata, instead of prabhu [a spiritual position], then they better meet up to a higher standard themselves.
I can all ready hear some bullies out there saying: "Priitaa wants to be called prabhu." This is furthest from the truth! I actually do not like it. What I wrote above, I was sincere about: call me mother or mata or mataji. Just say it in the right tone of voice, and mean it. [Veda speaks of 7 types of mothers.] My concerns are not for me, but for the Movement.
With these complaints about calling women 'prabhu,' are authorities now suppose to change the fact that Prabhupada used this word to women in letters? Are we expected to make them feel better and modify what Prabhupada actually said or did in the past, simply because it disturbs their mind? It does appear that is what's being said... just not that way, or not as directly. :)
As usual, the complainers never admit they're contradictory to Prabhupada, but come up with jibber jabber word jugglery. Such as: in the beginning Prabhupada had to start with whatever he had, but he wanted to change yada yada over time.
While there are some topics this applies to BUT he always made changes on typed out, letterhead stationary, signed by him, and sent to all temples word-wide. If he felt it important to stop the use of "prabhu" for women, and if it was his desire, he would have done so, in a heartbeat. Loud and clear too. No wondering.
An addition that has come to mind, is that Prabhupada gave initiated disciples various names, irregardless of their personal gender. I know a woman with a name filled with male energy - and I know a man named after a gopi, plus others! Are we to say this was only due to it being the beginning, and Prabhupada would no longer do like that? In addition to that being TOTAL speculation; it's also bogus. He knew he was leaving this world much sooner than us, and went out of his way to put everything into place so we would not have problems. But some are good at creating them. :)
Anyhow, if I know these persons with such names, surely there must be more. I challenge anyone to go to the disciple DATABASE and look thru the names. Go ahead, put your money where your mouth is. ha Did Prabhupada initiate some men with female names, and some women with male names? You bet he did. He could see into us, and off the bodily concept, more than we can.
Those who generally are the complainers about 'prabhu' usage, are either misogynists very attached to position based on body and not based on spiritual advancement - or sometimes Sanskrit scholars get lost in their head and need to be reminded to come down to earth and keep it simple by doing what Prabhupada showed us to do in the past. He used the term 'prabhu' for women, bas.
SP: "In Los Angeles I personally advised them in all the different aspects of deity worship, so you may consult, especially with Silavati Prabhu (now in Dallas) and do the needful. . . (letter to Sri Govinda, January 31, 1973)
SP: "I am glad to hear that you are determined to stay and live in the temple now and that you are becoming very much attached to the Deity worship and very serious about serving the Deity along with Malati Prabhu." (SP letter, May 9, 1974)
SP: "My Dear Sacimata Prabhu,
Please accept my blessings. I am in receipt of your letter dated 3rd October 1976 and I have noted the contents carefully. . .Chandigarh, October 15, 1976
SP: "We are teaching our disciples to address amongst themselves "prabhu." This is not a new thing; this is very old. Now Narada is addressing Vyasadeva as "prabhu," his disciple. His disciple he's addressing as prabhu. So we should give respect. Just like we address, "Kirtanananda Maharaja." Although he's my disciple, the respect should be given. Here, see, Narada is addressing Vyasadeva: "Prabhu." "My dear prabhu." (lecture, SB 1.5.1-4, May 22, 1969)
If it was good enough for Prabhupada, why are they too good for it?
If you're in a male body and never used "prabhu" for women before, we are not saying you must now start. There is no need to change whatever you've all ready been doing. You've a right to stay in your basic comfort zone. This is not about beginning something new for you as an individual; it's about others omitting something thus making it no longer acceptable as an option for the entire Movement. There should be no omission made in Prabhupada's teachings.
Please, no offense intended. There are many good male devotees in this Movement who are not misogynists. More than are! Simply those who are, run after power to get their way. Do not merge the two together. They are different.
Many male devotees are highly spiritual and sincerely following Prabhupada without modifying his words.
Conclusion: Prabhupada used "prabhu" for women - who are we to say it should not be done?! Are some thinking they comprehend Sanskrit better than the pure devotee Srila Prabhupada?! Or his teachings and usage of certain words - better than he did?
Then it becomes difficult to accept their complaint has much to do with the Sanskrit or his teachings in the first place - and more about them maintaining a low level spiritually - bodily concept - rejecting personal change. The whole world must change around them. No. Time they get rid of this part of their ego.
It needs treatment: chant the Holy Names without thinking of something else, go on Sankirtana or get out of the house and preform some devotional service, and lots of it! A busy mind has no time for nonsense, plus undergoes purification.
Those who think their body will buy them a ticket back to Godhead, or give them more sense pleasure while here - if only everyone would recognize them as superior devotee by birth instead of by qualification haha..... by birth has NEVER been Prabhupada's teachings .... so knock it off... that we can focus on Krishna, instead of you.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare - Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. :)
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