Chakra Discussions

Are traditional statements substantive?

by Jyotirmaya das

Posted December 7, 2004

In response to Amara prabhu's article, I don't remember anyone saying that Srila Prabhupada was hateful to gays. I don't remember any incident where anyone said that he was hateful to anyone either.

In ISKCON, as everywhere else in society, there are some homophobes, but I wouldn't let someone of that mentality bring me down. I would just continue to nurture myself with chanting and devotional service, doing what is healthy, happy and wise for myself and not worry about what someone thinks of me. That's their business.

As far as the following statement of Amara's: "Even thirty years ago, when one of Srila Prabhupada's earliest disciples discussed his homosexual orientation with him, Srila Prabhupada said, 'Then just find a nice boy, stay with him and practice Krsna consciousness'," I have heard this statement thrown around before. Once I read that Upendra (one of Srila Prabhupada's personal servants and now passed away) told someone this. But for me, that statement is not substantiated.

Instead, I remember reading somewhere about a young man telling Srila Prabhupada that he was now engaged in a homosexual affair, and Srila Prabhupada telling him "This will not help you at all." I also asked Upendra prabhu about Srila Prabhupada's feelings about gays, and all Upendra said was, "He [Srila Prabhupada] couldn't relate to it."

It's not that I am against people treating gays with respect and kindness -- all devotees should. It's just that the record of what Srila Prabhupada said or did not say has to be accurate and documented. As Srila Prabhupada himself said about some people incorrectly using his name to "confirm" their own viewpoints, "They have said that I have said, but I have never said it."

I don't want to ever lose sight of the truth of Srila Prabhupada's position on different matters or change it to fit my own way of thinking. That will not get us anywhere.