Chakra Discussions

ISKCON should not accommodate gays

by Joshua Hawley

Posted January 9, 2005

His Holiness Hrdayananda das Goswami's qualified endorsement of monogamous gay relationships is, in my opinion, unjustified by Vaisnava scriptures. The Krishna consciousness movement or ISKCON was founded on the basis of establishing a brahminical society. To endorse gay marriage on the basis of some modern form of thought is not at all justified within the Vedic culture, which is independent of modern arguments and justifications.

As Srila Prabhupada said, commenting on Bhagavad-gita 9.10, "Amongst the demons, there is no perfect knowledge. . . . Every one of them has a particular theory of his own. According to them, one interpretation of the scriptures is as good as another, for they do not believe in a standard understanding of the scriptural injunctions."

Encouraging homosexuals to adopt spiritual life is certainly acceptable; however, to endorse homosexual behavior is condemmed. If someone is born a demon, does it mean we endorse their behavior based on their so-called psycho-physical nature? No, such behavior is condemmed always.

"Those who are demoniac do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Neither cleanliness nor proper behavior nor truth is found in them." (Bhagavad-gita, 16.7)

The whole point of Krishna consciousness is to transcend our psycho-physical nature. Hiding the truth of Krishna consciousness for the sake of popularity does nothing to advance ISKCON. As far as I understand the ISKCON movement is meant for brahmanas only, although they may give guidance to the other orders of society. Purity is the force.

Even Amara prabhu's attempt at justifying homosexuality by citing various so-called scriptures is defeated in and of itself. Does he think that every philosopher who wrote some book out of India is Vedic? The various so-called Kama Sastras are there to encourage gross materialism only. Even the Kama Sutra describes homosexuality as a kind of perversion. There are so many scholars and philosophers out of India that blaspheme the Vedas and ignore scriptural evidence. Even when Krishna Himself was on the planet, He had to defeat many nonsense arguments.

There are many arguments promoting many different types of behavior in the modern age, and some may be very attractive and convincing, but a devotee with some sinful desire he cannot forego does not try to justify his behavior; he will simply accept reactions for such sinful behavior and try to rectify his character to fall in line with the Vedic authority. Endorsements and arguments to commit what I understand to be sinful behaviour (based on Srila Prabhupada's books and lectures) are thoroughly condemned.

Please do not misconstrue my intent; I am not bashing gays or anyone else, but Prabhupada established ISKCON on the basis of Vedic authority, not modern whimsicality. From my understanding of Vedic authority, homosexuality is condemmed outright.

"One who does not follow the regulative principles as they are laid down in the scriptures and who acts according to his whims is called demoniac, or asuric. There is no other criterion but obedience to the regulative principles of scriptures." (Bhagavad-gita, 16.6, purport)

One may argue on any other basis, but a serious Vaisnava will reject, refuse and refute such nonsense. Prabhupada said we are not vox populi; we are not here trying to win a popularity contest. We are simply trying to please Krishna. I invite Hrdayananda Maharaja to justify and clarify his response to Amara das.