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Thread: A.C. Bhakitvendenta Swami prabhupada is misogynistic

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    A.C. Bhakitvendenta Swami prabhupada is misogynistic

    This is what it says in the 9th canto chapter 9 text 32

    "A women is supposed to always be dependent...According to Manu-samhita, she is never independent. Independence for a women means miserable life."
    "My spiritual father is Swami Vivekananda" Canibus

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    Response...

    Ekamevaa Adviteeyam
    Eko Devaha Sarva bhootanataratmaa.

    Even I am greatly inspired by Vivekananda.
    Last edited by bhargavsai; 14 May 2008 at 01:05 AM.

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    Re: Response...

    Pranam

    Quote Originally Posted by bhargavsai View Post
    I have clearly observed that AC Bhaktivedanta ji has defamed many people and their beliefs to promote his views. And truly he is a very orthodox Brahmin, and similarly his views are very rigid and sometimes wrong in the context of present age. It is not surprising that he has that remark. Because we can expect that from an Orthodox Brahmin. Women were considered as a symbol of purity and respect, by orthodox people, but never a symbol of independence. But in these days it is Women who need to be more focussed as Independent Symbols.
    Independence could be very subjective, show me a truly, one very independent person?
    Women in my opinion are very powerful but at the same time very
    vulnerable.



    As to Swami Prabhupada an Orthodox Brahmin ! that could not far from truth, just to make one observation, he gave Brahmin Diksha to his devotees, some perhaps he never met, by way of tape recoder giving them sacred Gayatri.

    One can go on and list off unorthodox in his approach but i prefer to look at the positive and that is Hari Naam.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

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    Re: A.C. Bhakitvendenta Swami prabhupada is misogynistic

    Quote Originally Posted by Sagefrakrobatik View Post
    This is what it says in the 9th canto chapter 9 text 32

    "A women is supposed to always be dependent...According to Manu-samhita, she is never independent. Independence for a women means miserable life."
    Dear Sage,

    Why malign Swamy Prabhupad when this "wisdom" has come from Manu & is only re-iterated by Swamy Prabhupad ?

    We must understand that everything written in a book is not the Truth. Many of the laws given by Manu are not relevant today though they were quite relevant when they were written. Hindus have been prgoressive by nature on these issues. No Hindu refers back to Manu Smriti for "how to behave" in today's world. The vaildity of such "laws" or "statements" in the scriptures is time dependent. I call such contaminations as "Kaal-Dosh" in the books which is prevalent in almost all scriptures in the world & we must identify them to avoid pitfalls.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: A.C. Bhakitvendenta Swami prabhupada is misogynistic

    "A women is supposed to always be dependent...According to Manu-samhita, she is never independent. Independence for a women means miserable life."
    Well, though I am aware of Prabhupada being an orthodox follower of Manu Smirti,he was very liberal on issues about women and lower-caste Hindus. In fact he was known to associate with women, despite being a sannyasin. Needless to say, a good look at the story of Chota Haridas, will tell you what most Gaudiya's stance on the issue was.

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    Re: A.C. Bhakitvendenta Swami prabhupada is misogynistic

    I happen to have a copy of the Bhagavad Gita as it is, and in his commentaries to the verses Prabhupada says something to the effect that women in general aren't very intelligent and in dire need of a man's guidance (I don't have the book with me right now, so I can't point to the specific verse, but that's what he wrote). To me, that is definitely misogyny.

    Independence could be very subjective, show me a truly, one very independent person?
    That is besides the point. If you single out one particular group (in this case, 50% of the world) and claim them to lack something, you're implicitly calling them inferior to contrasting groups.

    Women can be just as headstrong as men.

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    Re: A.C. Bhakitvendenta Swami prabhupada is misogynistic

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenrisbane View Post
    I happen to have a copy of the Bhagavad Gita as it is, and in his commentaries to the verses Prabhupada says something to the effect that women in general aren't very intelligent and in dire need of a man's guidance... you're implicitly calling them inferior to contrasting groups.
    Namaste Fenrisbane

    Let me offer this POV.
    Various authors look at this great work, Bhāgavad gītā, through their eyes and paramparā. My studies take me to connecting the dots. This wisdom found in the gītā is of the highest truth. Truth (satyam) is found in the āgama-s, tantra-s and saṃhitā-s and satyam is the connection point; there cannot be multiple truths, but there can be multiple views. This is the richness of Sanatana Dharma.

    So where do my views stem from? The merging, studying and pondering the following gītā versions:
    • Śrīla Prabhupāda's work
    • Abhinavagupta's gītārtha-saṁgraha . After each chapter Śrī Abhinava offers one verse (saṁgraha) at the end of each chapter that encapsulates the main teaching of the chapter.
    • Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - Maharishi only translated the first 6 chapters (some see this great work in 3's; 1 to 6, 7-12 and 13 to 18 chapters); yet this work is worthy of study.
    • Another is by S. Radhakrishnan
    • Śrī Jānadeva, only on this planet for 20 years, his work is most insightful. If you look for it goes by the name Bhāvārṭa Dīpīka, some call Jāneshwarī ( I am sure you are familiar with this work)
    • Also Svami Śivanānda's commentary on the gītā brings a new view.
    • And - there is the offer by Kisari Mohan Ganguli who translates the Mahābhārata, home of the Bhāgavad gītā.
    It is from studying these that the cross-pollination of ideas, insights and ahhh-ha's in my understanding arise. Perhaps you can add additional insights or ideas from your readings.

    So what's my point?
    As I see it, multiple views of this wisdom is most helpful for one to have insights into Reality. Śrīla Prabhupāda's work is just one view.


    Let me leave you with a quote from the wise Yudhiṣṭhira ( Arjuna's eldest brother):
    '...the Srutis are different from one another; there is not even one rishi whose opinion can be accepted by all; the truth about religion and duty is hid in caves: therefore, that alone is the path along which the great have trod.' - Mahābhārata, Yaksha Praṣna


    pranams
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: A.C. Bhakitvendenta Swami prabhupada is misogynistic

    Yayvan, I was about to translate from my Swedish copy of the Gita, but fortunately Google led me to an English version on the Internet.

    Source: http://www.asitis.com/1/40.html

    Quote Originally Posted by "The Bhagavad Gita as it is
    Chapter 1. Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra
    TEXT 40
    adharmabhibhavat krsna
    pradusyanti kula-striyah
    strisu dustasu varsneya
    jayate varna-sankarah
    SYNONYMS
    adharma--irreligion; abhibhavat--having become predominant; krsna--O Krsna; pradusyanti--become polluted; kula-striyah--family ladies; strisu--of the womanhood; dustasu--being so polluted; varsneya--O descendant of Vrsni; jayate--it so becomes; varna-sankarah--unwanted progeny.
    TRANSLATION
    When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny.
    PURPORT
    Good population in human society is the basic principle for peace, prosperity and spiritual progress in life. The varnasrama religion's principles were so designed that the good population would prevail in society for the general spiritual progress of state and community. Such population depends on the chastity and faithfulness of its womanhood. As children are very prone to be misled, women are similarly very prone to degradation. Therefore, both children and women require protection by the elder members of the family. By being engaged in various religious practices, women will not be misled into adultery. According to Canakya Pandita, women are generally not very intelligent and therefore not trustworthy. So, the different family traditions of religious activities should always engage them, and thus their chastity and devotion will give birth to a good population eligible for participating in the varnasrama system. On the failure of such varnasrama-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.
    My boldface.

    While I agree that adultery is morally wrong, I disagree with the general tone of the purport and the message Prabhupada conveys between the lines here. So women are unintelligent and untrustworthy creatures, are they? Surely, in this day and age, we have realized that women are fully capable of taking care of themselves and have mental faculties on par with those of men? The response might be that people irrespective of gender behave irresponsibly without any moral foundation, and that might be true. However, that does not justify the way women are singled out by Prabhupada. While he mentions irresponsible men, the way that is presented is more in the form of a footnote than the brisk warning for "unintelligent" women.

    The second boldface is what I find to be the worst though. The way he stresses that women be engaged in traditional religious activities and be prohibited from freely mixing with men feels like a codified manual for domestic abuse.

    Om shanti.

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    Re: A.C. Bhakitvendenta Swami prabhupada is misogynistic

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~

    Namaste Fenrisbane,

    Yes I see the translation offered. This śloka talks about the fall of dharma. The word dharma some like to call it religion, yet this not at the root of the translation.

    It is rooted in dhṛ धृ to uphold, to carry to maintain. This is lost when the family i.e. the kula or the group, a collection, a family falls. This is the crux of this 40th śloka.
    Dharma is one of the key roots of Sanātana Dharma, so this word is of key importance. If you are considering learning more about Sanātana Dharma, a deep dive in this area would serve you well.


    It is in the 41st śloka that suggests that women of the family become corrupt. For Arjuna that is speaking, his observation is on the inter-mixture of castes. His concern is one's dharma is different for different people become co-mingled. This brings adharma or the fall, absence, some say degradation, of dhṛ as mentioned above.

    Now to the opinions in the commentary on adultery and other notions. This is owned by Śrīla Prabhupāda and he takes the responsibility for the rhetoric used. I respect your views and taking issue with this POV, yet there is not much I can add or offer. I have opinions on this matter but it will not change what he wrote of his views.

    Yet I respect Arjuna's view - his chief concern as he tells Kṛṣṇa is the unfoldment, uplfitment and general welfare of society via the unit of society, the family. And the family (kula) is rooted in mother and father. This is sprinkled throughout the Mahābhārata.

    That said, whenever possible I get as many views as I can on books of this weight and end up reading multipe versions. The other versions talk of the 'corruption of women' yet there is not additional comments regarding women in general, as they are seen as Śrī Devī or Lakśmī.

    pranams


    1. Sanātana Dharma HDF post: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=1309
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  10. #10

    Re: A.C. Bhakitvendenta Swami prabhupada is misogynistic

    TRANSLATION
    When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny
    W/o venturing into subsequent elaborations of prabhupada ji, I'll just add that state of women indeed reflect the state of dharma and morality of a family/society.
    What is Here, is Elsewhere. What is not Here, is Nowhere.

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