Gaudiya Sannyasis and Brahmacharya

Prabhupada has described in his books and lectures how Lord Caitanya had always acted in an exemplary manner and was the ideal sannyasi. 

Lord Caitanya was an ideal sannyasi. When He was at Puri His feminine devotees could not even come near to offer their respects. They were advised to bow down from a distant place.

This is not a sign of hatred for women as a class, but it is a stricture imposed on the sannyasi not to have close connections with women.

One has to follow the rules and regulations of a particular status of life in order to purify his existence.

For a sannyasi, interactions with women and possession of wealth are strictly forbidden. 

But when I see in real life, our Sadhus freely interact with women and keep money with themselves. Many a times I have seen them watching performances by female devotees. 

Is this not improper from the eyes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ?

Many Sannyasis of ISKCON have gone back due to temptations. As per the scriptural position, butter and fire must be kept apart. Otherwise the butter will melt. You cannot stop it.

Please express your views regarding this...


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    ;( it should be followed by girls also ;( 

    many of us females wear clothes to attract men, we speak, smile ...act in such a way to attract men ;( how fallen we are!!!!


    It is very difficult to control lust, even father of Vedavyas - great sage desire to unite with the daughter of fisherman. How many other sages fell down because of women. 

    SO some problem and responsibility lays of women also!!!! If we were chaste even if some sannyasi out of lust and blindness desire something we would shake his mind and stop him from that nonsense or even disappear from his life.

    Lust is very powerful! And both sides are responsible.

    You are right i also disagree with that women associate close with sannyasis or brahmachir or even with any other man or women if they are not husband and wife.

    Lakshman never looked to the face of Mother Sita - this type of man should be there. He considers other women as his mother and plus never looks to their faces.

    And if men practice this strict principle their spiritual progress will flourish. it does not mean to hate women but it is their respect to consider women as the object of service not the object of enjoyment and do not interact with them closely.

    Also better to be sincere and perform our material duties also not leaving them for the sake of 'pure devotional' service. Krishna told to fight at the same time to think of Him. So we should know our position and be honest.


    But also if someone fall down we should be sad for that and never criticize but pray. It is really sad if someone falls but Krishna is Supreme Judge.

    Your servant,   

    • Hare Krishna everyone!

      In my humble opinion, it is not good for bramacharis and sannyasis to associate closely with women. If they must discuss something at length with a woman, there should always be other devotees present. This has been clearly stated in the scriptures and in the words of various acharyas. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu should rightly be taken as an example of perfection on all matters.

      When a bramachari or sannyasi falls, however, one cannot just blame the woman. Men are just as guilty of trying to seduce women as women are of trying to seduce men. When this happens, both parties are to blame.

      However, within ISKCON, men and women often live in the same temple and share services together. The only possible way to strictly prevent their mingling is to make every temple either all male or all female. And even if this were possible, it would not help individuals who are homosexual, which have been a large percentage of the falldowns in ISKCON.

      Concerning male and female devotees talking, even Srila Prabhupada was fairly lenient about their mingling because western society is so fallen.  But leniency in matters like this should never be used as an excuse for an Anything Goes attitude. The Vedic injunctions should be followed as much as possible, and devotees need to be honest with themselves and their superiors about their weaknesses BEFORE an incident happens.

      A good and ultimate solution to this problem will require leaders who are honest and sensitive to modern devotees strengths and weaknesses, and who will guide them by good example and exemplary personal conduct.  I am certainly not qualified to propose a solution. All I can do is offer my opinion. Haribol!

      • I appreciate the sincere views expressed by Bhaktin Maral Mataji and Bhakta Chris Prabhuji. In your views, there is honest acceptance of ground level reality and a desire to renew our pristine Vedic system. 

        In the Agni Purana, the subject of 8 fold brahmacharya has been dealt in a great length. It forbids sannyasis to :

        1. Not listening to speech of women.

        2. Not to talk about women.

        3. Not to copulate with women.

        4. Not to look at women.

        5. Not to talk with women in private.

        6. Not to wish for a woman

        7. Not to desire firmly for women.

        8. Not to frolic with women.

        Besides these vows, there are some other don'ts described in Srimad Bhagwatam such as not to touch a woman, not to glance at a copulating couple, not to look at images of women etc. 

        These solutions may seem to be impossible and impracticable in today's age but it is not so. I have seen Sadhus of Swaminarayan sect follow these 8 fold vows along with vow of non-possession and it shows from their glow on face. They do not keep even a single penny along with them. You may say that their Sadhus are controversial and have heard about scandals. In fact, there are many sub-sects in this emerging sect of Hinduism and the source of controversy is 1 fallen sub-sect (known as Vartal sect). So, you can not blame all sub-sects for 1 sub-sect. Even among Gaudiya Vaishnavas there are prakrut-sahajiyas. 

        Leaving aside sectarian differences, we should emulate good qualities of others. We are staunch Gaudiya Vaishnavas hence we will follow our way but there is no harm in emulating good qualities of others. Agreed that Prabhupada had few differences with the Swaminarayan sect but he truly appreciated their 8 fold brahmacharya vow and vow of non-possession i.e aparigraha. 

        Hence, introducing such strong vows in ISKCON will strengthen the foundations of our society for Krishna consciousness. Otherwise, weakness in vow of celibacy and non-possession of our Sannyasis and  may hamper the growth of Krishna consciousness movement.

        Hare Krishna and dandavat pranam...

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