Chakra Discussions

Hridayananda's Letter to the GBC

by Naradamuni das

Posted April 24, 2009

I would like to comment on the criticism that Hridayananda das Goswami's received re. his view on homosexual relationships as stated in his open letter (printed below):

Hridayananda das Goswami wrote:

(Open letter, December 11, 2004)

"A truly spiritual society must constantly seek a balance between the strict codes of varnasrama, and the practical needs of sincere devotees. There can be no doubt that a significant number of souls, whose external sexual orientation is homosexual, sincerely strive to be Krishna conscious. It is entirely natural and predictable that a majority of these devotees, as with most heterosexual devotees, will not be suited for lifelong celibacy"My view of this issue is as follows:As a general rule, we should appreciate devotees in terms of the sincerity and diligence of their spiritual attempts, given the psychophysical circumstances of their life. In other words, in any condition of life, if a devotee sincerely strives to please Krishna, that devotee is to be admired.It is the duty of any society to recognize, and thus encourage, the admirable behavior of its members. Monogamy, among devotees of any orientation, is an admirable achievement in the context of today's promiscuous society, and should be thus appreciated and encouraged.Given the need to balance strict varnasrama with liberal spirituality, I believe that ISKCON should recognize and encourage monogamy among all its members of whatever orientation, and that such recognition and encouragement should take appropriate forms that achieve both purposes: the maintenance of varnasrama and the encouraging of spiritual sincerity.I am not convinced that marriage is the best means in all cases, but some serious, formal and public recognition and appreciation of gay monogamy is, in my view, in the best interest of ISKCON and its members."With best wishes. Hridayananda das Goswami"

I'm a devotee and I teach at the University, so I understand very well both sides, i.e. Spiritual and Secular. Hridayananda das Goswami is very clear in what he writes; why must he be sorry for this? I was raised in a catholic family and I always felt forced into a narrower space by the terrorism of the Catholic dogma until I found Krishna Consciousness. Love, compassion and mercy should be offered to everyone, especially to devotees who intend to devote their lives to God!