Formal behavior between man and woman?

Why is it necessary to behave so formal between man and woman?
I mean we are all equal...but why the devotees looks scared on me when I want to hug a person from the other gender? I don't think so, it can be offensive. We are pure souls, a hug can't be maya. A hug from deep inside.

It is sad, that I can't express my love, I just have to sit and sending Love only from my heart. :(

I want to dance not only with those people who have the same gender like me. Why this separation is needed while kirtan? Separation will make distance between devotees!

I remember, when I was 12, I couldn't be with a man (who give me Krsna-be blessed) because I am a girl! I wanted to hold his hands, but no, he had to dance only with men. No women allowed!


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  • PQPA 2: Vedic Culture: Varṇāśrama-dharma

    Original Tape Transcript

    Bob: I've asked devotees about how they feel towards sex in their relations, and I see the way they feel, but I can't see myself acting the same way. See, I'll be getting married at the end of this summer.

    Śrīla Prabhupāda: Hm-m?

    Bob: I'll be getting married at the end of this summer, in September or August when I return to America. And the devotees say that the householders only have sex to conceive a child, and I cannot picture myself at all in such a position, and—What kind of sex life can one lead, living in the material world?

    Śrīla Prabhupāda: The Vedic principle is that one should avoid sex life altogether. The whole Vedic principle is to get liberation from material bondage. There are different attachments for material enjoyment, of which sex life is the topmost enjoyment. The Bhāgavatam says that this material world...

    puṁsaḥ striyā mithunī-bhāvam etam
    [SB 5.5.8]

    Man is attached to woman, and woman is attached to man. Not only in human society—in animal society also. That attachment is the basic principle of material life. So, a woman is hankering or seeking after the association of a man, and a man is hankering or seeking for the association of a woman. All the fiction novels, dramas, cinema and even ordinary advertisements that you see simply depict the attachment between man and woman. Even in the tailor's shop you will find in the window some woman and some man.

    pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ
    nivṛttis tu mahāphalām
    (Manu Smṛti, 5.56)

    So this attachment is already there.

    Bob: Attachment between man and woman?

    Śrīla Prabhupāda: Man and woman. So if you want to get liberation from this material world, then that attachment should be reduced to nil. Otherwise, simply further attachment—You will have to take rebirth, either as a human being or as a demigod or as an animal, as a serpent, as a bird, as a beast. You will have to take birth. So, this basic principle of increasing attachment is not our business, although it is the general tendency. Gṛha, kṣetra, suta [home, land, sons]. But if one can reduce and stop it, that is first class. Therefore our Vedic system is to first of all train a boy as a brahmacārī—no sex life. The Vedic principle is to reduce attachment, not to increase it. Therefore the whole system is called varṇāśrama-dharma. The Indian system calls for varṇa and āśrama—four social orders and four spiritual orders. Brahmacarya [celibate student life], gṛhastha [married life], vānaprastha [retired life] and sannyāsa [renounced life]—these are the spiritual orders. And the social orders consist of brāhmaṇas [intellectuals], kṣatriyas [administrators], vaiśyas [merchants and farmers] and śūdras [ordinary workers]. So under this system, the regulative principles are so nice that

    even if one has the tendency to enjoy material life, he is so nicely molded that at last he achieves liberation and goes back home, back to Godhead. This is the process. So sex life is not required, but because we are attached to it, therefore there are some regulative principles under which it is maintained.

    [chanting starts somewhere in the background, with exotic mṛdaṅga drumbeats amidst laughing and the loud blowing of horns.]

  • SB 5.5.8
    The attraction between male and female is the basic principle of material existence. On the basis of this misconception, which ties together the hearts of the male and female, one becomes attracted to his body, home, property, children, relatives and wealth. In this way one increases life’s illusions and thinks in terms of “I and mine.”

    Sex serves as the natural attraction between man and woman, and when they are married, their relationship becomes more involved. Due to the entangling relationship between man and woman, there is a sense of illusion whereby one thinks, “This man is my husband,” or “This woman is my wife.” This is called hṛdaya-granthi, “the hard knot in the heart.” This knot is very difficult to undo, even though a man and woman separate either for the principles of varṇāśrama or simply to get a divorce. In any case, the man always thinks of the woman, and the woman always thinks of the man. Thus a person becomes materially attached to family, property and children, although all of these are temporary. The possessor unfortunately identifies with his property and wealth. Sometimes, even after renunciation, one becomes attached to a temple or to the few things that constitute the property of a sannyāsī, but such attachment is not as strong as family attachment. The attachment to the family is the strongest illusion. In the Satya-saṁhitā, it is stated:

    brahmādyā yājñavalkādyā
     mucyante strī-sahāyinaḥ
    bodhyante kecanaiteṣāṁ
     viśeṣam ca vido viduḥ

    Sometimes it is found among exalted personalities like Lord Brahmā that the wife and children are not a cause of bondage. On the contrary, the wife actually helps further spiritual life and liberation. Nonetheless, most people are bound by the knots of the marital relationship, and consequently they forget their relationship with Kṛṣṇa.

    • So basically because of lust?

    • I dont speak about sex, unfortunately, almost everyone put the emphasis on it. I speak about PURE LOVE, not to care about genders.

      • I understand your concern, but even if you want to hold the male devotees' hands out of pure love only, we never know when this thing called lust creeps into our heart and mind. The natural attraction between male and female is always there, depending on one's mutual attractions and interests, ofcourse. Our shastra strictly forbids intimate relationship between male and female, in general. Maya is very very strong and always tries to capture us, in such situations. So, to prevent such temptations and possibility of lust creeping in slowly, intimacy between male and female is not allowed, orelse we fall down in our spiritual quest and krishna consciousness.

        •        It gets easier as you get older......

      • We are doing sadhana , we are not Mahatmas or Paramahamsas, so Gender Distinction should be there else we Fall down into Material Existence hence Formal Relations It is said that a Man can only talk with close women members of his inlaws ,same with women.other than that Gender mixing is not Permitted.

        People Practicing devotional service have to be aware of the dangers of the Opposite Sex.For Eradication of the Primary Evils like Lust,Greed,Anger this is Must.

  • Hare Krishna Mataji,

    The God has created some rule for men & women,  whenever they are broken we put ourselves in the clutch of maya.  As you are saying that you want to hug a male devotee as you hug the females devotee.  But practically it is a fully incorrect.  Men & Women both of them come in the different sex and there are different rules have been made by God for them.  Women is just like a fire and the men are like a butter,  so whenever butter comes in the touch of fire that is for sure it will melt.  In our shastras it is said that men should not increased their presence among the women.  As strong as we are in our princepal but men should not meet any women in alone except his wife, not even to his mother,sister and even to any mataji.  Because some time our senses go beyond of our controlled and where we can come under the clutch of maya which distract us from our sadhna.  Even the strongest to strongest brahamacharis find very difficulty to grip on their senses,  specially on sex desire, which stray them from the path of brahamacharis.  That is why its specially mention in the all vedas & shastras that one who is brhamchari or in the spiritual devotional service should not meet any of mataji in alone.  Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was the greatest example of renunciation.  He lived his whole life by an example.  This rule & princepal apply on the grasht also,  they are also not allowed to mingle in women dominated places with any of the women and not much spoken excep their daily routine work, even in office, as they also consider in brahamchari position but in the renunciation they are also not accepted.  But who are married and in the Krishna Consiousness they have to accept all women as their mataji except their wife so this is the way they can fix their senses in Krishna Consiousness.  So mataji please try to understand the rules & princepal of vedas, shastras & ISKCON as well.  Hare Krishna

    • Thanks for your time to answer me.

      But it's not the guilt of the woman if the man is melted like a butter EVEN in the companionship of his mother or sister(!) That is the sign of the weaknes of the mental abilities, not the sin of the woman.

      In my opinion it is very sick, that some men can be tempteted by their own female relatives....

      Avoiding the women is not a solution, who has problems with the understanding the 2 different gender, that should heal his / her mind.

      •    You make a good point about the idea of never being alone with a female relative does make it seem like everyone is perverted when very few people are that perverted. For a regular healthy citizen, to be alone with their Mom or sister is perfectly normal and many times necessary, so this is an extreme example.... These points are very subtle and need proper context for modern life. No one except people with severe mental problems are attracted to their relatives in that way. The example reminds me of when someone's Mom would come to Temple to check on their son who says, "Hey Mom, did you know that you could be a worm in stool?" Iskcon is also part of our regular society and in preaching, in my opinion, it is better to explain things in proper societal context. If we make everything extreme, when it really isn't but it is an extreme example form 5000 years ago. I think those kinds of examples were meant for super serious lifetime brahmacharis. Just my view.... Thanks for the post :-)

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