Female guru is a good thing
Posted October 15, 2003
Funny, that article, written by a female (Sita devi dasi in VNN), giving us her guru-ness, denouncing any female who gives diksa. . . . Go figure.
Prabhupada made ISKCON different -- this was on purpose, and he was criticized for it. While I think a woman's taking sanyassa is silly, her giving diksa is not.
In fact, it makes perfect sense. Many of the western mindsets in this politically correct age find Vaisnava attitudes towards women demeaning. This must be changed. Only by giving women an equal footing with men will this be done. We are all in the same boat -- man or woman, we are the same. The diksa guru is giving initiation; it is transcendental, not on the bodily platform; let's leave it that way.
If you want to initiate, gender is not an issue; the only issue is if anyone wants to be initiated by you.
This was Prabhupada's method for spreading Mahaprabhu's mercy: time and place give the necessary conditions for bringing people to the transcendental reality. If the times and circumstances demand changing traditional roles, then that is what must be done.
Prabhupada changed the traditional ashram to include women, as well as giving them brahmana initiation. The next step is not against Prabhupada's will, but a continuation of his program for liberating the conditioned souls from the mire of ignorance.
ISKCON should not become a place for smarta brahmanas, paying
lip service to "tradition". Bhakti is malleable in its presentation; there
are no hard and fast rules -- except, of course, always to remember
Krsna, and never to forget Krsna (his presence and control).