Chakra Discussions

Off the Altar for Good

by Gangamata Goswamini devi dasi

Posted March 26, 2009

When I first joined ISKCON, my mentor, a senior Vaishnavi whispered, "I cannot do worship, I am off the altar".

It took me some time to figure out what it meant, but after one week she was worshipping again.

Unfortunately, the female residents of ISKCON India are all off the altar in all major temples, and perhaps in their homes as well.

What I really want to see is female pujaris in Mayapura! Yet I see no such thing in the presentations in this year's GBC meetings.

If Western devotees can do it, why not ladies? Why are we so bodily conscious in Mayapura.

This issue will never go away. It must be addressed, otherwise it will keep coming up.

Standard answer:

It's just to please Indians in India. Well guess what, you can never please them. An example is always quoted of Haridas Thakur not wanting to enter Jagannath aTemple out of humilty. Well, shouldn't Western male devotees think the same? Of course not, absolutely offensive to even suggest such a thing- sorry.

BUT why not ladies, during abhishek not even one Vaisnavi- are they all off the altar?

Whenever I see Mayapur vision, during abhishek, no women.

The ladies are humbly watching from a great distance, mentally performing abhishek. So sad. Yet someone can argue that by mental abhishek they get same benefit.

Other places in the world, nothing like this, but our headquarters so much of this. Why, Kabe habe bolo se dina amara- when will I SEE that day when a senior Vaisnavis perform Srila Prabhupada's Guru Puja or worships Ugra Nrsingadeva!