What is the women position on iskcon?

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,

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  • Hare Krishana, Maataji, all the same but Men and Women are a part of human being. In the spiritual world I think it will be same benefit to all the devotional service.

  • Hare Krishna Mataji,

    I am 100% agreed with Rashmi Mataji's reply. Prabhupada has never said anything wrong and when he says Women are less intelligent he is right. Women generally act more emotionally than rationally as compared to men.In general women also have tendency to become jealous and possessive more than men...exceptions are there but this is a general statement about the nature of women which is true..I got the proof of this during my university education where boys use to share there notes and assignments openly with friends while girls will keep their hard work secret including me...

    Being women is considered as lower species in hierarchy which is true, because women are physically weak as compared to men. Also they have to undergo lot of physical pains during child birth and periods. As Rashmi Mataji told there is nothing wrong in accepting this fact and focus on devotional practice as women can also get liberated by following bhakti yoga. 

    Prabhupada also mentioned that it is easier for women to surrender to Krishna because there egos are much lesser than men. They already have service attitude and women are simple hearted. When husband is following Krishna Consciousness, it is very easy for his wife to follow him but vice versa is not true because males have very high egos. For women it is very easy to realize that we are suffering in this body and also it they can easily establish loving relationship with Krishna by serving him... So rather than getting hurt by such statements from shastras and fight for equality with men (even in devotional services) it is better to accept our limitations, leverage on good qualities and positive traits we have and work hard for getting closer to Krishna.

    In ISKCON I have seen Mataji's giving lectures (Chetana festival Mumbai) and also leading kirtans. Taking Sanyasa and travel a lot to preach doesn't seem to be practical and safe for Mataji's. That doesn't mean that there is discrimination.

    Your servant


  • E-Counselor

    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,


    •   I don't see where the philosophy say women are lower than men. There are woman Gurus.... In general it has been shown that women are smarter than men. Also there are different types of intelligence like emotional intelligence, which woman excel at.   

    • In that case, God would not have to depend on a feminine energy or internal potency to operate. We would not have to bow before Radha and Sita Maa. In my experience of life, I have seen that women are actually a deep reservoir of strength, especially mothers. 

      • Sevak

        Hare Krsna 

        No understanding of any spirituality is exhibited here. 

        God would not have to depend on a feminine energy or internal potency to operate.

        The internal potency of Krsna is non-different from Krsna

        I have seen that women are actually a deep reservoir of strength, especially mothers. 

        Very true. But we need to realize that Krsna is the source of all strength and gender is bodily designation. No point in fighting for any gender when we are not that gender. We are living being part and parcel of Krsna. We should focus our energy in realizing that truth.

        Hare Krsna

    • 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. 

  • Mata ji check this link
    Why women are considered less intelligent
    Why are women considered less intelligent?
    To hear the answer, please click here This is an unedited transcript Answer: When Srila Prabhupada is referring to women as less intelligent that is…
    • 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.


      • Sevak

        Hare Krsna Mataji

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

        Hare Krsna

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