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HG Urmila nominated as a diksa guru

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I'll have to look it up in Sri Guru and His Grace, but I seem to recall Sridhara Maharaja mentioning that the Guru's in Iskcon should be increased over time as it is not an 'exclusive' club. I think he mentioned a system of voting others in as appropriate. On the practical level it really only serves as a check to try to make sure that obviously unqualified devotees don't take up the post. Obviously the history of Iskcon and it's Guru's speaks to the intelligence of trying to put some safeguards in place so that devotees aren't taken advantage of. That doens't mean that the GBC doesn't make mistakes as was already pointed out in this thread earlier.


Of course, all of this presupposes that those who would take up the calling to help guide others have some level of sincerity - it looks at the bright side, the happy side and doesn't take into consideration the negative, insincere side of the sadhakas who would venture to take such a risk.


On the absolute platform, it is obvious that if Krsna calls and the devotee hears that call then he/she must take up the position according to that calling. On the practical side you have an institution which is worldwide and which brings many new aspirants through it's doors daily. There must be some method in place to ensure, as much as possible, that those who function within the society as Guru are qualified to do so in terms of their knowledge of sastra, their devotional record and their daily activities and sadhana. If this doesn't take place in the society then anyone and everyone who feels inspired either by the Lord or by their own egos would take up postions as leaders and guides and all sorts of problems would arise. I think it's really quite practical and necessary in a society that is as large as Iskcon.


But ultimately each individual whether they are in Iskcon or outside of Iskcon will have to decide for themselves based on their own understanding of sastra and their careful examination of their prospective guide if they are the right one or not. But while we are on the topic of Guru and qualications of Guru we should not forget to think about disciple and qualifications of disciple. It is probably just as hard, if not harder, to find a qualified disciple as it is to find a qualified Guru.


Your servant,

Audarya-lila dasa

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Its not about having a calling. Any sahajiya can claim they had a calling. Its about being qualified as an Uttama adhikari, and about following Prabhupada's instructions. We make it complicated. Its quite simple. Is she is a pure deovtee or not? Dont answer here, not for starting arguments. Its for pointing out qualification.


But this voting in system is nonsense too. Its all bad. Maya comes knocking on our door and we let her in with our various philosophies to jusitfy this or that thing going on, when all we need to do is listen to Prabhupada.


Tho much else I agree in previous post, not argueing, clarifying.


I'm done.

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theist: "Or is it we don't really believe there is a personal God in everyone heart that will hear and answer?"


if we are not able to recognize pure devotees, that is a feature of madyam adhikari, how can we be able to currently communicate with paramatma that is a feature of uttama? how can we know if what comes from our heart is not coming from maya?



Paramatma is already controling, directing the wanderings of all conditioned souls. Do we really believe that or just quote it to others?


Since He is directing everything already why don't we believe He would then also direct the sincere soul to His true devotee?


We may not be able to always hear His voice, or feel His impressions upon our heart but still He is already directing us and has been since time immemorable. Another point is that He can make His will known dispite our lack of hearing ability.


How did anyone recognize Prabhupada as a pure devotee? There were no GBC committees to direct them. Who told them?


You seem to believe that only the GBC is in contact with the Supersoul. So you must listen to them because you can't hear Supersoul yourself. So again I ask the question why then is there a need for a vote? One person hearing from Supersoul should be enough. Or is it Supersoul that is telling one to vote yes and another to vote no? Why the disagreement?


Here is the hard core truth. Unless you are sure that the Lord is directing you to accept someone as guru you have no business formally accepting a guru. Just continue hearing and chanting and praying and serving until you do hear His will for you from Him.


By accepting the GBC's word as final in the matter you are really accepting GBC as guru.


And then how is it that you can be sure their opinions are bone fide? Do you require another committee for that? ad infinitum.


This process is cleverly disquised atheism. Theism as philosophy but without any direct faith in the Lord. Sorry to be so blunt.


It is also a form of robbery against the new people trying to learn. They are being robbed of the hard but necessary learning process that one must go through in order to establish their own connection with the Lord in the heart. Instead their faith is lazily directed to some managerial board. No need to pray on their own, or study on their own under some more advanced devotees guidance, "just believe in the GBC brother."


All in the name of get them offically initiated. Where have I heard something similar? O' yeah, from some Christians, "Just believe brother and be saved."


Robbery. Straight up street hustle. Think you're looking for Vrndaban and you get misdirected to New Jack City along the way.


Directing someone to have their own connection with the Lord is the whole point of this movement.


It may seem harder and longer but that is just tough. It's the only reality.


Hare Krsna






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My problem is less with the voting itself than with the bureaucratic mind set. I was among the first to say publicly that it's clear from Srila Prabhupada's books that the guru should have the highest qualifications, that guru should (not must, but should, ideally) be on the highest platform of realization. There's certainly plenty of evidence that those acting on the platform of solid madhyam-adhikari are fit for such service to guru and the vaishnavas. But when bureaucracy and political considerations enter the picture, things get weird.


One thing that complicates the supposedly simply calculus involved in "is he/she an uttama adhikari or not? Bas!" is that the uttama adhikaris see themselves as least qualified and everyoneelse as more qualified. It's not an act; rather, there's a healthy lack of discrimination (unlike the kanistha's less salutary lack of discrimination) that makes "objective" classification a little messy.

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these questions are not necessarily directed at Stonehearted - his just was the last post and I clicked on it to reply.


1. Did Srila Prabhupada authorized voting in gurus?


2. If not, then how, why and when did this procedure of voting in guru start?


3. Is it too far gone to start running Iskcon in the manner that Prabhupada desired?



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Babhru Prabhu,


In Search For Sri Krishna, Srila Sridhar Maharaj speaks about Professor Nixon (Swami Krishna Prema) who took initiation in the 1920's from a Gaudiya Vaishnava lady (Yasoda). They are in the line of the Radha-Ramana mandir sevaits.


And there is also that quote in Sri Guru and His Grace about the lady gurus in the predecessor list of Vipin Vihari Goswami. But those lady gurus were not accepted by Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati. Also, in regard to Gangamata Goswamini, she was apparently the Guru of the initiating Guru of Srila Jagannatha das Babaji Maharaj. But again, the name of Gangamata Goswamini is not mentioned in the parampara list given by Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati.


Another lady guru who comes to mind is the Lady who gave transcendental initiation to Syamananda Prabhu. She was certainly qualified. And certainly Jahnava devi was a genuine Guru, and she is in our Gaudia Sampradaya. Who would dare say she isn't?


The main point is whether the guru is qualified, isn't it? The gender, or even the species, is irrelevant, in my humble opinion. Could Garuda be a Guru? He isn't human.


Srila Sridhar Maharaj told us, and in Hari Bhakti Vilasa it says it too, that a less qualified Guru should not initiate when a more qualified guru is present within any particular community. I believe it is also said somewhere that a lady should not become initiating guru if a qualified man is available within their community. Also, I have heard that a lady should only initiate other ladies, generally, (but I can't remember who said this, though I believe it was my Guru Maharaj).


Some western born sannyasis connected to Srila Sridhar Maharaj in the 1980's were keen to become gurus, and my Guru Maharaj allowed it. But we persons who took direct shelter of Srila Sridhar Maharaj often had discussions at the Math about the fact that these western sannyasis were initiating disciples when in fact they could have been connecting new persons directly to Srila Guru Maharaj. My personal feeling is, and always has been, that the new initiates should be encouraged to take initiation directly from the highest Guru available.


This is my main issue with ISKCON method of "guru appointment". I feel quite sure that qualified persons in ISKCON such as Sripad Bhakti Swarup Damodar Maharaj are genuine gurus, but why should devotees take initiation from a guru of more junior realization if a higher person is available within a community? It seems to me that this policy of having gurus in zones such as "North Carolina" in the way that the statement about Urmila didi is mentioned, is almost like the old "zonal guru" mentality.


Personally I believe Urmila didi is a good devotee and not disqualified from being a Guru, but what standard of Guru is she? Uttama, Madhyama, Kanistha? I cannot say.


your servant,

Muralidhar das




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I do not mean to offend any one here, but the fundamental thing to remember is that we are all spirit souls and not our bodies, those who do not recognize this are clearly fools... as said by krishna himself in bhagavath Gita..



I am a neophyte devotee myself , but I would like to warn people here to not offend Vaishnavas and make krishna uncomfortable by prohibiting women from becoming his close devotees just because of the body they are in.


In my humble view, the qualifications for a guru is not his/her gender, but his/her devotion to krishna.


Thank you.



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And there is also that quote in Sri Guru and His Grace about the lady gurus in the predecessor list of Vipin Vihari Goswami. But those lady gurus were not accepted by Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati. Also, in regard to Gangamata Goswamini, she was apparently the Guru of the initiating Guru of Srila Jagannatha das Babaji Maharaj. But again, the name of Gangamata Goswamini is not mentioned in the parampara list given by Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati.



I wonder why.



Another lady guru who comes to mind is the Lady who gave transcendental initiation to Syamananda Prabhu. She was certainly qualified.



Certainly She was qualified! Syamananda was initiated by no less than Lalita-sakhi Herself!



Personally I believe Urmila didi is a good devotee and not disqualified from being a Guru, but what standard of Guru is she? Uttama, Madhyama, Kanistha? I cannot say.



We can also ask the same of all the past and present GBC gurus. Why not ask this question just because they are males?
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As for the rest of you, worry about your own qualifications.



and remain irresponsible, and blind followers of iskcon.


in Prabhuapda's books we always read that one should be able to recognize if a guru has qualifications.


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Srila Narottama dasa Thakur sings and prays of his guru;


...janme janme prabhu sei

He is my Lord birth after birth


My question is how does this sentiment match up with the instruction in the Iskcon law book that if a guru chooses to leave Iskcon he has to leave all his disciples with him?


Is it, "He is my Lord birth after birth* "


*(unless he/she desires to work independently of Iskcon, in which case I will leave him/her and take shelter of the GBC)


I am confused and a bit curious. Do disciples of Iskcon gurus sing Sri Guru-vandana prayers to their initiating spiritual masters, or to Prabhupada or the GBC?


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I'm not in Iskcon, but the way I understand it is that the accepting of a spiritual master within that institution is very much in accord with tradition. It is up to the aspiring sadhaka to find someone who inspires him/her and then through time and contact both the aspiring sadhaka and the Guru learn about each others commitment and qualifications. I am not aware of anyone being forced to get initiated against their will or of an ecclesiastical arrangement such as you have suggested is going on.


But something else you said in that post about the Iskcon system being covered atheism really caugt my eye and heart and inspired me to write this post. You said that the purpose of all of this is to establish a direct relationship with the Lord in the heart. Well, I don't want to turn you away from Gaudiya Vaishnavism, but the truth is that this is not the siddhanta. Our relationship is eternally indirect - we are always in the position of dasa dasanudasa. Here in this world we are connected to Krsna through his devotee, through the parampara. When we enter the lila itself we will also be connected as the servant of the servant of one of Krsna's devotees. Depending on our relationship we will be posted as a helper of the friends of Krsna or the sakis of Radharani etc. Our experience of rasa is complete - we experience through the experience of Radha, Subala etc.


I think this is a real problem with many people - they WANT to have Krsna alone. Sridhara Maharaja made a comment about the writing of Mirabhai, who was a contemporary of the Goswamis, that her songs are all about her and Krsna - never any mention of Krsna's friends or associates. But when we actually get close to Krsna we will see and appreciate all his associates and we will be drawn up to praise and serve them.


Your servant,

Audarya-lila dasa

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Whether we like it or not, our duties are prescribed based on the conditioning of our gross and subtle bodies. It's all very nice to say, "but we are all spirit souls, so why should we worry about the gender of the guru?" The answer is, most of us can only apprecitae that intellectually, but have not achieved that realization practically. Until we can achieve such a realization, we have to follow the scriptural directions, which are pragmatic in assigning duties to people based on different genders, different varnas, different Ashramas, etc.


Arjuna was a pure devotee who had the direct association of the Lord. He was already better than a brahmin. Nevertheless, he never took up the position of guru. Regardless of pure devotion, the prescribed duties of varna and Ashrama are accepted as a matter of convention. Arjuna was not permitted to leave the battlefield for the begging profession, as a brahmin would, even though he had such qualification. People who praise the idea of a lady guru seem to miss this very fundamental point.


Also, it saddens me that there are those who feel that women cannot get respect in ISKCON unless they are allowed to become gurus, sannyAsis, etc. I think this is absurd. I don't know Urmila d.d., but she does not have to be an initiating guru to me in order to be "mother" to me. That is our culture - all women except our wives are "mothers" to us. This may mean, as a matter of course, that she could serve as one among many shiksha gurus to me. But I wouldn't expect to receive "diksha" from my mother, however qualified and saintly my mother is. The duties of a guru require gravity and just don't seem ideally suited for the psychological makeup of a mataji. My mother might sneak some prasAdam sweets to me when no one is looking, but my father is the one who would chastise me for being a sense enjoyer. :-)





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Actually the smarta brahmins are well aware of your point and make a 'religion' out of it. One of Srila Prabhupada's disciples who is a brahmin from Vrndavana wrote a book about how the Guru can only come from a brahmin lineage. Of course, he has left Iskcon and any affiliation with his Guru Maharaja and is now representing the caste goswamis..


Lord Chaitanya's opinion is quite different, however. He says that the Guru can come from any varna or ashrama. The qualification is that he/she knows the science of Krsna consciousness. He also gives the order that wherever you go, whom ever you meet - tell them about Krsna.


Remember that Krsna is adhoksaja - he is completely independent - he can do what he likes. Do you think that he is limited by your limited conception? Because you can't conceive of him presenting himself through the via medium of a lady vaishnava - he can't do so?


Also, according to Krsna dasa Kaviraja, there is no difference between the diksha and siksha Guru's - so the idea of limiting someone to being only siksha is not applicable. If they can function as one, they can function as the other. Don't confuse the issue of siksha with Guru. We may recieve siksha from anyone - that's true - but siksha Guru is fully Krsna's representative.


The advocates of 'only brahmins' as Guru say that Lord Chaitanya's accepting of Ramananda Raya as his Guru was siksha only and that his statements in that regard refer to siksha only. But you should know that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati disagreed with this assessment and had good reason to do so. Within our lineage the only qualification is that the person knows the science of Krsna consciousness. There may be some misunderstanding about what constitutes 'knowing' but I think it should be clear from all of our acharyas writings that this knowing is a combination of intellectual understanding and genuine experience based on practical application of the teachings.


I think you miss the point really. Not many are genuinely qualified to lead - male or female - there should be no disrespect for those who aren't on the highest levels of spiritual attainment - Lord Chaitanya's instruction to us all is to respect eveyone - no exceptions there. It is not that women need to be given sannyasa or function as Guru in order to be respected. It is a matter of qualification - disrespect comes in when one thinks a woman is disqualified because she is a woman even though she is both intellectually and spiritually qualified.


Your servant,

Audarya-lila dasa

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Dear R ( Forgive me prabhu,I don't want to call you "rascal", i feel that would be a great an offense if I do so)


R : I wouldn't expect to receive "diksha" from my mother, however qualified and saintly my mother is.


Qualification comes from the purity of the heart of a devotee (this is from bhagavatham). Just because one is called a "guru" does not make him qualified (ofcourse you know this prabhu), only the purity of his heart dictates his eligibility. If a mother's heart is not tainted with materialism and is full of love and compassion which comes from the divine itself, then why cannot you take "diksha" from your mother? .


Your point that tries to strengthen your arguement is that you need a "strong" person to chastise the devotee and women are not eligible for that because they are too loving.


But there are many women being leaders in this world, they are not too loving when it comes to jobs that demand chastisement of certain individuals.


For example , there are many doctors who are women and they don't give the patients inflicted with diabetes chocolate just because they want it. Nor do the policewomen today let people go after commiting a crime.


What you are trying to say is that they are helpless due to their loving nature so they will bend the rules, but they won't and we can see it in many areas where women work.


In my view, "psychological makeup of a mataji" is needed for a guru to make the devotee to advance in spirituality, because the meaning of God- HARI- is -"The one who dwells in the milk of compassion" .


So prabhu, compassion which you say exists in the psychological make up of women is the abode of Sri Hari, So, How can they deny the right of Hari to be the Guru of his own disciples... WHo gives them the right to deny God himself? /images/graemlins/confused.gif


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I think you misunderstood my point. I am not suggesting that one can only be a brahmin by having such a birth. This position is clearly refuted by shAstra, i.e. VajrasUchika Upanishad.


What I am saying is that the system of varna and Ashrama is based on guna and karma, by which one has a particular body and hence particular duties. VarnAshrama is not a transcendental institution in the sense that those differences do not persist in the liberated state. Hence, varnAshrama is at the level of the body. But then again, so are most of us, despite whatever deep philosophy we may be able to speak.


In Vedic culture, the duties of soldier, priest, King, (for example) were understood to be for men. Women had different duties. Giving up one's own duties and adopting another's duty is a definite no-no. Lord Krishna Himself said this in Bhagavad-gItA. There is no point ignoring this instruction, for then our so-called faith in our paramparA, shAstra, guru, etc is meaningless.


This is not to say that one who is born in a shUdra family cannot be reformed by samskAras and become a brahmin. What it means, for example, is that a true brahmin should not take up the work of a shUdra, a man should not take up the role of a woman, and warrior should not take the role of a priest. By virtue of the body one has, and the varna one is assigned, one has certain duties to perform and these must be carried out, even if imperfectly. Such is Lord Krishna's instruction.


Either we try to follow bhagavad-gItA or we do not. There is no point talking about what a great scripture it is if we are going to pick and choose what to follow.




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Dear ILK,


At the risk of repeating myself, I will say again that devotees of Lord Krishna should follow the scriptures which He has left for us to follow. So many arguments can be given why one should not follow this or that injunction; but "surrender" is meaningless if we can't even follow the basics.


Dear Audarya-lila,


I disagree with your point that because women are not allowed to become initiating gurus or sannyAsis, that it is somehow disrespectful. People who are influenced by Western liberalism or feminism naturally think that - they see study of the Vedas, ability to become a guru, or right to wear saffron robes as a privilege, without which there can only be unfair discrimination. I for one, do not require a mataji to wear saffron robes, carry a tri-dandi, and sit on the vyAsAsana in order to have my respect. Those who cannot respect a Mother unless she is doing these things are certainly of a diseased mentality. We shouldn't water down our Vedic culture to satisfy them. Rather, they need to be educated to better understand us.


On the liberated platform, everyone is theoretically equal. But on the material platform, people have many differences, and the varnAshrama institution is meant to engage people based on those differences. If Vedas, PurANas, PancharAtras, etc allowd for a lady to give diksha, then I will have no problem with it. Note that I am not objecting to the idea that a lady could become a "guru," since there is no specific prohibition on become a shiksha guru. But a dikha guru? It is simply not a feature of Vedic culture.


"Guru, sAdhu, shAstra." These are our three authorities. Guru is our own guru, sAdhu is someone outside our sampradAya who is also bona fide. We know what shAstra is. Do shAstras give allowances for female initiating gurus? Do devotees in other sampradAyas agree with the idea that a lady can become an initiating guru? Ask these questions frankly, and stay true to the results.


ISKCON's only remaining merit, after all the scandals which it has weathered, is the perception among the greater Vaishnava community that it is loyal to the scriptures. If ISKCON continues to manufacture practices with no basis in scripture, this perception will be washed away, and ISKCON will be seen as just another Chinmaya Mission, Ramakrishna Math, etc. It's all very fine and good to talk deep philosophy and try to justify the deviation. But if you can't follow the basics of Vedic culture, no one is going to believe you have as much faith in Hari as you claim.


I take that back - the Hinduism Today editorial staff will believe it, but then they also believe that "International Society of Divine Love" is a great Hindu institution. So who cares for their praise?







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IMHO your judgement is excessive... there are not two extremes : "feminism vs varnashrama"


personally i think that taking a shelter of a pure devotee who, incidentally, has and "inferior" body, for the "external" features of varnashrama, the social customs......... it is actually to give the real respect to varnashrama


(of course to think to the lotus feet of sri guru as "inferior body" is absolutely hellish....)


varnashrama is meant for bringing people back to godhead, if this mataji prabhu, brings people back to godhead she is respecting and promoting varnashrama.




if she is a pure vaishnava..


please do not close her in the kitchen cooking samosas all day long!!

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Please don't put words into my mouth. I did not say anything about "superior" or "inferior" bodies. In order to acknowledge differences, one does not have to grade them according to some arbitrary scale of higher and lower.


We need all parts of the body to function for the body to survive. Similarly, all sections of society must be engaged in their duties for society to survive.


And again, Lord Krishna says that one is better off performing one's own duty imperfectly than another's duty perfectly. This is not a prohibition against changing one's varna - it's a prohibition against taking up work that is not meant for one's varna/gender/Ashrama. For example, if a shUdra becomes a brahmin through reformation, then he should stick to the prescribed work for a brahmin. Gender however, cannot be changed, and so prescribed duties based on gender should be respected. Please note that BhIshma spoke on even strI-dharma (dharmas of ladies) before passing away on the bed of arrows. This is mentioned only peripherally in bhAgavatam but more explicitly in mahAbhArata. My point is, if it is not important, there would be no reason for him to have spoken it. And ignoring his instructions on strI-dharma is, in my opinion, very disrespectful to BhIshma.


Please note that I have nothing but respect for Mother Urmila. She does not have to be an initiating guru for me to respect her. And I am not saying she should "stick to the kitchen and fry samosas" (though that would be yummy!). All I'm saying is that men and women should each follow their respective dharmas.


It's odd to me that this would be such a controversial point, among members of a society that claim to follow scripture in alleged contrast to other Hindu societies which don't.




p.s. Mother KuntI devi, mother of the PAndavas, was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. She did not have to be a guru to get our respect. Her glories came not from artificially adopting some role for which she was not intended, but for her steady attachment to Lord Krishna while taking care of the PAnDavas despite so many material difficulties. If someone says they cannot respect KuntI as much as a "guru," then that person is certainly to be condemned for his misunderstanding of siddhAnta.




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Lets say you have a Genius who has all the qualifications of making people get attracted to krishna, but the only problem is that the individual is not a he but a she...then would that be fair to limit her into only the activities such as cooking, etc. when she could have done so much more?!


This is about raising the whole conscience of the society, it is not about respect.


Actually, no one here nor any where else deserves respect due to what bodies they are in. The respect one deserves should be based on how close he/she is to Krishna.


But please R prabhu, kindly answer this question : If you have a genius who can raise the conscience of the society to a whole new level but she happens to be a woman, would you still think it is fair to limit her to the steriotypical duties which the people think what Manu was explaining women should do? /images/graemlins/smirk.gif


I ask this question due to the fact that with out the liberation of women, we wouldn't be typing on these computers today, because one of the major contributors to the early programming launguages of the 20th century is a woman named Grace Hopper.

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jahnava devi was the first guru of the "ecclesiastic" era of gaudya vaishnava sampradaya


before her, the movements seemed more a group of friends than a religious organization


she made a list of wich group had to be included in sampradaya and who was bogus


she celebrated the first gaura purnima mahotsava


she, with the kethuri concile, made the first GBC




if one can teach and guide people, he/she has to do it

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As far as I understand, "genius" refers to material intelligence and has nothing to do with one's qualification to be a guru. The comparison to a female engineer who invented the computer is therefore irrelevant.


But if you meant "genius" in the sense of being gifted with "spiritual intelligence," then, I would assume that a spiritually gifted individual would understand the importance of following the Vedic example. If her intelligence was such that she could do away with Vedic regulations, then either (1) the Vedas are clearly not as far-reaching and all-encompassing as we would believe, thus leading us to reject them as a universal, nonsectarian scripture, or (2) the lady's "spiritual intelligence" is in fact lacking in some way.


So far, the supporters of the "lady guru" position are arguing on very intangible grounds. They say that a lady could hypothetically become an initiating guru if she posseses sufficient spiritual strength, intelligence, etc. But one can't assess any individuals' spiritual aptitude, spiritual intelligence, or spiritual "advancement" objectively, unless one is also free of material conditioning. That excludes most of us. Why should I believe a certain person can be a guru because you claim that person is "advanced" or "pure?" That might be your faith, but it could turn out to be wrong. Many people thought Kirtananda Swami was a "pure devotee" before his fall down; many people still do.


I don't know H.G. Urmila and I have no desire to compare her with a known rascal. I am simply questioning the validity of a certain logic that is used to evade scriptural tradition, i.e. the logic that "yeah, most of the time women can't be gurus, but this women is different because she is advanced in so many ways, so she can." How, praytell, can you use logic like that which cannot be objectively validated? And what happens if (God forbid) you are proven wrong in the future? Will you recant the logic which you used to dismiss scriptural tradition? Or will you use it again for another "exceptional" guru who supposedly does not need to follow the rules?


Actually, to hear people tell it, every ISKCON guru is a pure devotee on the highest level, and none of them have to follow any "external" rules. Apparently ISKCON members are of the idea that Vedas are relevant to everyone except for those who understand their essence, i.e. Vaishnavas. Vaishnavas, according to ISKCON devotees, can pick and choose what they want to follow.


Well, I would just like to point out that other Vaishnava lines (besides Chaitanya) don't accept this idea. Of course, they haven't opened temples all over the world either, so you could probably laugh and snicker at them. But then again, they also didn't open gurukulas where young children were abused. So perhaps a little humility is in order too. Can we possibly benefit from understanding their example? Or are we too good to take advice from them? Does "guru, sadhu, sastra" still mean anything to anyone? Or by "sadhu" do we only consult people in our own sampradaya?





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