ISKCON Desire Tree - Devotee Network

Connecting Devotees Worldwide - In Service Of Srila Prabhupada

Hare Krishna,

I'm relative new in KC . But in this couples of years i understood that women rarely give classes, women rarely translated classes, the women don't have the same equal status that men have. Sometimes in some situation i clearly see that is not good women give there opinion, express there feelings or correct men. Why women need to be submisse?

I live in Europe, i know that is different from India. But even that, to be woman or man is just a condition of this material world, because in fact we are Souls, and Souls are all the same, all have female and male energery. We are part of Krishna masterpieces.

Month and half ago i read a new that can be a posibility that women to be a Guru. I hope that  happen! To offend a Woman, is to offend all womens, all cow's , the Earth, and female energy.

In Bhagavad-Gita, as it is, chapter 1 verse 40 we can read that women are not inteligent. Why Srila Prabhupada say that? I really don't understand.

So, what exactly is the women position on iskcon?

Thank you,

Views: 1302

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hare Krishna

I have read the translation of Srimad Bhagwat Gita - where in the shloka 40 of arjun vishad yog, arjuna said "When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Kṛṣṇa, the women of the family become polluted, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, comes unwanted progeny."

If we see the Lord has never said anything which make a woman down in position, here arjuna is in a mood of confusion, if you read carefully the words of Sri Krishna, he has always mentioned jivatma, he has not mentioned the gender. 

Now what I could not understand, was the reason of attaching the comments of Chanakya on women in this regard. Chanakya was during 300 BC - he is not a avatar of the Lord. Also, I think during 300 bc, women had not proven their sucess in the world of maya. by 2015, there had been several countries, where women had not only been prime ministers but they had been at different post in the corporate or governmental hierarchy.

Neither Arjun or Lord Krishna made any comment to degrade women.

Hare Krsna

Neither Arjun nor Lord Krishna nor Srila Prabhupad made any comment to degrade women

Hare Krsna 

Hare Krishna

>>>Anyone who thinks they are this material body is not so intelligent be it a man or a woman or an animal or a plant or anything else. 

Correct. Absolutely. 

Now what I could not understand, was the reason of attaching the comments of Chanakya on women in this regard. 

Why was 'women'  mentioned? when in SriBhagwad Gita, the Lord has not differentiated.

you wrote "Anyone who thinks they are this material body is not so intelligent be it a man or a woman or an animal or a plant or anything else. " - ek dam accepted.

>>> "But in this couples of years i understood that women rarely give classes, women rarely translated classes, the women don't have the same equal status that men have.  - parts of Monica jis comments which is yet to be answered. :)

>>> I went to Iskcon Kolkata  temple couple of months ago...I think it was december. It is a L shaped big space. I went and attended the arati and it was beautiful. Later on, we saw the place to sit for men devotees and women devotees are separate.  It is good for discipline I suppose and appreciated it. I went to sit in the women section. I preferred to ignore the fact that from the womens zone, the Guruji who was taking the class could not be seen whereas from the men devotees zone was at a much better position location-wise. I am sure this has nothing to do with material bodies.

I must say the Guruji was discussing the childhood times of the Lord in a very  wonderful way. It was just words...bringing tears to eyes... But after a while I got distracted as I started feeling cold - then I noticed we were all sitting on plain cold floor except only one strip of mat covering 20 percent of the area (december month) - I told to myself....we are not here for luxury - we should focus on the class. But then for a while my focus shifted to the section where men devotees were sitting - it was fully covered with mats. 

I am sure all was unintentional and we should not think that any difference was due to material bodies. 

Bharat ji wrote that "What Srila Prabhupad meant is that  " --- Is this statement explained in any of his original writings - then I would like to read that in details for my better understanding. Please give the links.


Hare Krishna,

I am a part of Iskcon Kolkata. Regarding your comment on temple's sitting arrangements for matajis I want to clarify it. In our temple in morning class very few matajis come 3-4 and they fit in one strip. Rarely more matajis come except for some Maharajas visit. Also that is the place for taking darshan as it is near to their Lordships so we don't keep all the mats to the end even if the mats are big. But during the Sunday feast program there are many matajis and they sit in the place of Srila Prabhupad Vyasasana and it is very comfortable from there to see the speaker.

More over Kolkata temple is not so big as you saw so there is some problem in any arrangement.



Hare Krishna,

I am so honoured Haladhar Nitai Prabhu ji for commenting on my post. I am very grateful for this.

I am totally convinced that if there are so few matajis on regular days, there is practically no reason to cover the full area. 

I went there on a december Sunday (it was my third visit to the temple) - it was splendid. There were more than 70-80 matajis there and u can surely understand that the season was very cold - and most of them/us were sitting on cold floor and all of us preferred to accept the situation.

Hare Krsna

Why Srila Prabhupada say that? I really don't understand.

Once one very senior mataji disciple of Srila Prabhupad asked similar question. 

She asked something to this effect - Prabhupad these men are saying that women are not so intelligent. Is it true ?

Prabhupad could see that she was disturbed with such remarks.

Srila Prabhupad said something to this effect - Yes, a woman is less intelligent if she thinks she is a woman. 

What Srila Prabhupad meant is that anyone who thinks they are not the soul but the body is not so intelligent. This makes complete sense because this is the most basic teaching of Sri Krsna in Srimad Bhagavad Gita - We are not the material body. We are spirit soul part of parcel of Krsna meant to selflessly serve Krsna. Anyone who thinks they are this material body is not so intelligent be it a man or a woman or an animal or a plant or anything else. 

Krsna himself says who is an intelligent person in many instances in BG like 

karmany akarma yah pashyed
akarmani ca karma yah
sa buddhimaan manushyeshu
sa yuktah kritsna-karma-krit (BG 4.18)

Translation : One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities.

yasya sarve samaarambhaah
tam aahuh panditam budhaah(4.19)

Translation : One is understood to be in full knowledge whose every endeavor is devoid of desire for sense gratification. He is said by sages to be a worker for whom the reactions of work have been burned up by the fire of perfect knowledge.

ye hi samsparsha-jaa bhogaa
duhkha-yonaya eva te
aady-antavantah kaunteya
na teshu ramate budhah (5.22)

Translation : An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.

Mata ji check this link
Why women are considered less intelligent

Hare Krishna

I went to the link... it is not from the things written by respected Srila Praphupad ji himself. Bharat ji gave an explanation on his behalf ( I thought not sure) - I have just asked the basis of that explanation - with links to original content.


Hare Krsna Mataji

I would express my inability to be of any further assistance in this regard

Hare Krsna

Hare KRsna dear Matajis,


I would like to add what I have understood in my years in KC.

When we read that human life is the most superior and rare in all life forms, I am sure none of us have a problem with that. I have never heard any argument, even by PETA, that animals are equal to humans. So there is synchrony between the material world and our scriptures in this. Now we come to whether men are superior or women are. Materially, men and women are considered atleast equal to each other. Spiritually, it is mentioned very clearly in our scriptures that women are inferior to men.

I ask all women - what is wrong in this? When we are willing to accept everything else written by scriptures, then why not this statement? I can share my thought process - how it evolved in this matter. I have heard that the scriptures were written by a man (Srila Veda Vyas dictated to Ganesh ji). There are indications that the scriptures or atleast the Holy Bible may have been altered over the centuries, by men, to help them subjugate women. Maybe... I used to be happy with this thought. Then we were studying Bhagawad Gita intensively in Kolkata in the Bhakti Shastri course and we were asked to memorise the shloka where it is mentioned that lower yonis like women, vaishya and sudras can also get liberation this birth itself. I was up in arms that whole week - how can we be asked to memorise this shloka!!!

Later during the bhakti shastri class, I realised that's whats wrong with being the lower species of human beings - with being subservient to men. Doesnt it kill the false ego - to be always in the background, to always serve, to be always humble and accomodating? It helps more than being a man. And the same scritpures say that being in a woman's body also, a soul can attain perfection and go back to godhead at the end of that life. So whats wrong with being a woman, and with a woman being lower than man in the heirarchy of species?

So this is my realisation. I have understood and accept that woman's position is lower than man's. At the same time, I have understood that woman and man are just the outer covering - we are soul, trapped in either body. Instead of trying to make one superior to the other, we should try to get out of this body and go to the spiritual world. Then this man woman thing will not bother us.


YOur servant,


Hare Krishna

Dear Rashmi ji,

I read your post very carefully and I am totally convinced what you wrote.


whats wrong with being the lower species of human beings - with being subservient to men. Doesnt it kill the false ego - to be always in the background, to always serve, to be always humble and accomodating?


There isnt absolutely anything to contradict on this. In chapter 9, there is mentioned that the material body of women is lower in hierarchy to that of a man. There it is written that 'paapyoni wale, stri, sudra,' . This actually helps to shed the false ego. 


There is one matter - which is super-fine, but so important - that it is not to be missed - I feel. Please bother to correct me if I am wrong.

How do we commit sins? We commit sins mainly by our feelings/mind/thoughts - body is just the instrument. Let me try to explain, lets talk of a sin say murder for instance. A robber murders a man to snatch his belongings - i am sure its sin - paap. 

The robber is arrested and brought before the judge. Now suppose the judge gives capital punishment (to be hanged) as per the law of the country to the robber. Is the judge doing a sin/paap? no. its his duty as per the law of the country and also spiritually he is helping the convict to shed some of his sins by purifying with a punishment.

A soldier posted on border is killing so many in order to save his country - is it a sin? no its not, he is doing a righteous job by saving his country.

So, there was a killing done by a robbers body, a judges body, the hangmans body, as well as the soldiers body, but only the robber acquired paap/sin. All depended on the mental state of the humans.

Knowing that a woman body is inferior to that of a man - it can be a great device for a woman to help herself  shed her falso ego as a soul.

But here is another thing - which I said is getting missed out - the man is superior to woman in terms of material body - it is a great test on the part of the man. He is being tested by the maya of the Lord. How does he feel knowing this - if it is just an indifferent information for him or he feels sympathy that (though Men and Women are a part of human being) - still the womens body is inferior compared to men - also all the pains that women suffer only for being trapped in a women body - as long as indifference or sympathy is there - it is fine.

The moment a man started feeling superior - he got attacked by ego. He is subdued by Maya devi dangerously. The moment he enjoyed the fact that he is superior and he got scriptural support of this and flaunts those statement in arguments to prove he is superior - he is running a great risk. Only if his intention is pure that he wants to help someone shed her ego - its accepted. 

No one will know except for himself, only his mind will know what he thought or felt. In the beginning, if pride has attacked us, but if we realise it, we can get careful and counsel ourselves to feel sympathy and empathise with the postion of women. Each time, due to our words/attitude our women are feeling low - we know what we are doing. 

Its also Krishna's great Leela, who is giving you power only to check how we are taking/feeling about it and when it is misused - one gets the results in the following births. 

Krishna is the Absolute Truth. There is no righteousness beyond Him. 


Receive Daily Nectar

Online Statistics

Addon Services

For more details:
Click here 

Back to Godhead Magazine !

For more details:
English | Hindi

© 2019   Created by ISKCON desire tree network.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service