Srila Prabhupada: Foretelling Practical Experience
by Dravinaksa Das
VNN has posted an article by Brahma Das basically saying that Srila Prabhupada's statements on women are old 1970's stuff to be discarded today. I sent the following comment to VNN, but they did not post it.
Srila Prabhupada's explanation of the Vedic view on male-female relationships is not, as Brahma Das implies, based on the time and circumstance of the1970's; rather, it is to give a hint to future generations on how society should be organized for peaceful living. Srila Prabhupada is revealing the cure for the many social ills that have been created in this dark age of Kali. Let us not make the mistake of trivializing these teachings, as they are for the betterment of human society as a whole.
When we compare Srila Prabhupada's statements with our practical experience, we find that they are right on the mark. Take, for example, the following statement: "So-called equal rights for women means that the men cheat the women. Suppose a woman and a man meet, they become lovers, they have sex, the woman becomes pregnant, and the man goes away. The woman has to take charge of the child and beg alms from the government, or else she kills the child by having an abortion. This is the woman's independence." [Science of Self-Realization, " What Is Krsna Consciousness?"]
Thirty years after Srila Prabhupada made this statement, women are exploited worse than ever before despite their independence. Quick sex is the norm, without any responsible relationships, and killing the children in the womb is a multi-million dollar business. What is the result? Take it from Krsna's friend Arjuna: "When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the family become polluted, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny." [Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 1.40]
Srila Prabhupada explains: "On the failure of such varnashrama-dharma, naturally the women become free to act and mix with men, and thus adultery is indulged in at the risk of unwanted population. Irresponsible men also provoke adultery in society, and thus unwanted children flood the human race at the risk of war and pestilence."
Are there any wars going on lately? Are there any epidemics in the world?
The other liberation of women is that they are liberated from all their clothes on the Internet. Fifty percent of the oceans of spam mail are from pornographic sites. Things that were previously done in private clubs are now a street affair. Has this elevated women's status? Or rather, has it exploited them as a class?
The image of women as the mothers of the next generation of sacred human beings and the bearers of the arts that energize and nourish society has been reduced to that of a disposable lust machine. And speaking of being disposable, the army now wants women on the front lines in combat. Here are your equal rights: Die equally.
And are the women happy? Srila Prabhupada told us: "Actually, in the Western countries we see that the woman class want equal rights with men. And there is. There is no distinction. But it is my experience the woman class are not happy in the Western countries. And still in our country, although we are so fallen, our woman class remains satisfied."
Our experience is that Srila Prabhupada is correct: The Western women are miserable. Even many Western men we know have married Asian women for a more traditional approach to family affairs.
Of course we must avoid both the fanatic misapplication of Srila Prabhupada's teachings, like the sannyasis who tried to throw all the women and householders out of ISKCON, and the other end of the pendulum, the Chakra-homosex-is-okay delusion.
Krsna consciousness bridges all boundaries. Anyone in any condition of life can go back to Godhead by applying the principals of bhakti yoga. Certainly this is the essence of our preaching in any time and circumstance. But Srila Prabhupada also points out the failures of modern life, and thoughtful persons should take him seriously, for the acharya's mission is only to help us get out of illusion and be happy in Krsna's association.
NOTE FROM THE EDITORS:
Brahma das' article "The Words of Srila Prabhupada On Women" can be
found by using the VNN search engine found here: Vaisnava News Network