Chakra Discussions

MYOA (Mind your own anarthas)

by Bhaktin Erica

Posted January 5, 2005

I appreciate Hridayananda Maharaja's outspokenness on this sensitive issue of gay monogamy.

I am not gay, but I have had a gay best friend for 15 years and so have frequent interaction with the gay community. My best friend and I joined the Hare Krishna movement together. It is really the best thing that ever happened to us.

After practicing bhakti-yoga for five years, he is a completely different person than the one I knew in high school. He is so much gentler and kinder and more patient with other people and has developed many wonderful qualities. I am sure he would say the same about me.

Whether bhakti-yoga can remove the "anartha" of being gay in his lifetime, I have no clue. Just as I don't know if it can remove the selfish parts of my attachments to my husband and child in this lifetime along with all my other "maya". But I do know that we are both making progress and doing the best we can with our material circumstances and that's what matters.

Getting married was the second best thing that ever happened to me. Learning how to compromise and accept another person day after day is enormously beneficial for religious life. You have no clue how many bad qualities you really have until you have the mirror of spouse and children to reflect all your selfishness, rudeness, etc, etc right back at you.

So if gays aren't ready for celibacy, then monogamy is certainly a better option for religious life than wanton promiscuity, which is all that Amara prabhu and Hridayanana Maharaja are saying. Nobody is saying that gay marriage or gay sex is ideal, just as no one is saying that heterosexual sex for reasons other than procreation is ideal. All we are saying is that ISKCON and the other Gaudiya Vaisnava movements are made up of a lot of people that aren't yet pure devotees and therefore are not yet ready to follow high ideals.

For everyone who is not yet a pure devotee, your time would be better spent in uprooting your own anarthas and making your own situation favorable to bhakti rather than pointing out the flaws of others and criticizing their living situations.

Some devotees -- possibly even a majority, although this would be ironic, indeed -- who criticize gay marriage may be neither celibate nor having sex only once per month with their spouses for procreation, which are the only two options that are considered ideal by the sastra. I recommend that all devotees who comment on the sex life of homosexuals from now on mention in their post which of these two options they are successfully living up to.