Srila Prabhupada the Greatest Feminist
Posted May 24, 2008
Never has there been a greater feminist in Vaishnava tradition than Srila Prabhupada, who turned the hierarchy of power upside-down by giving women brahmana initiation and allowing them to live in ashramas and temples side by side with men.
Only few have realized yet how revolutionary a message Srila Prabhupada's dealings conveyed: men and women may have different bodies, and man may have their strengths in the rational field, women in the emotional. But neither of them has any reason to be proud about it over the other because both qualities are only two sides of the same material coin. There is no difference between hierarchical order of spiritual ratio and spiritual emotio. Therefore, female devotees are as qualified as male devotees to serve Krishna on the highest level. Therefore women should preach, women should manage, women should initiate — just as men do.
To all those who are busy in pointing out discrepancies in weaker and minority groups of which they are not a part, I say: move to the moon and preach to the stones. We don't need people who cover their attachments in aversion and sell them as spiritual insights. We need devotees who are able to convey the message of love for Krishna to the people of the 21st century. Krishna's message of pure love is meant for everybody, whether we like it or not. If we don't like it, then that means that we want to keep Krishna for ourselves and are unable to share the greatest gift we ever received.
One may try to put oneself inbetween certain groups of people and Krishna, hindering them from coming near to Krishna, while at the same time pretending to be spreading Krishna consciousness. But Krishna's all-encompassing love shines like the glaring sun; He will burn one's false ego away and make Himself available for everybody to the extent the individual living being desires.
If one is unable to attract people to Krishna but only to distract, hurt, harm and insult them in the name of Krishna, then, I humbly suggest, one should turn down the volume of one's own speech and chant a little more: "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna; Krishna Krishna Hare Hare; Hare Rama Hare Rama; Rama Rama Hare Hare" until one actually starts to feel love for the other parts and parcels of Krishna, which is the natural consequence of developing love for Krishna.