In response to Yasomati-stanya Payi dasi's article
Posted December 18, 2004
Hare Krsna. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
With all due respect to Yasomati-stanya Payi's article, I must say that I am apalled to read such an article. It is this very lack of understanding of what it means to be a servant that encourages and condones the mistreatment of women in ISKCON. Mataji, I would ask you to reconsider your position and understand the gravity of what you say. In modern psychology, this is what one would call rationalization, an unacceptable excusing of incorrect conduct (often due to a lack of self-esteem) on the grounds of it being "devotional" . There is a fine line between servitude and exploitation, I feel that this is an insult to Srimati Rambhoru Devi Dasi and the hardships that she has endured.
You cite the wonderful and shining example of Sita Devi, dutifully following Lord Ramacandra. What you fail to comprehend, and I dare say the most important part of your example, is that Ramacandra was an IDEAL grhasta, so the comparisson is very far from the situation at hand, bordering on absurdity.
Although you are correct in saying that a woman should be faithful, chaste
and obediant to the husband (as he should also be to her), the grhasta
ashram is the ashram of sweetness, and for such a union to work the
husband must be present and engaged in the service to his wife and
family. If he is sincere, he can do this AND continue to serve the
mission with all of his capacities. There should be more understanding on
your part of what grhasta means, i.e. householder life!! This is a time
when one collect all the nice saris, bangles, whatever you mentionned in
your article. Not to say that this is what Rambhoru prabhu was asking for,
she was asking for something much simpler, only your superficial analysis
makes it seems as if what she was after was some nice saris and bangles,
as if owning possessions prevented one from spiritual realization! All of
the things we collect in our lives as grhastas can be used in the service
of the Lord. Neglect does not constitute spiritual advancement, not for
her, not for him.