Chakra Discussions

In response to Yasomati-stanya Payi dasi's article

by Manu das

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.