Treating Women as Mothers
1. In essence, duality means that we forget that we are part and parcel of Krsna. We want to enjoy separately from Him, we want to play the controller. This controlling tendency culminates in sex desire. 2. Man/woman concept is synonymous with material consciousness. 3. Becoming Krsna conscious means rising above duality. We have to become fixed in the consciousness that all are part and parcel of Krsna and for His pleasure-not ours. 4. A devotee's foremost duty is to transcend sex desire. 5. This takes philosophical awareness, constant practice and perseverance. (Aversion is not the solution. Attachment/aversion are two sides of the same coin.) 6. Srila Prabhupada in the compassionate mood of the Panca-tattva has opened the treasure house of bhakti to all classes of men-and women. 7. This offers us intense and unlimited opportunity to transcend material attachment and aversion and develop transcendental realization in Krsna. 8. The word "mother" generates a mood of respect and sobriety. 9. When we advise that women should be seen as mothers, we mean that our dealings with women should be reserved and respectful. 10. Such conduct will minimize offensive mentality and dealings with other living entities. 11. Women should behave as mothers. 12. In the practice of Krsna consciousness segregation of the sexes is essential.
Quotes from Srila Prabhupada
Regarding the disturbance made by the women devotees, they are also living entities. They also came to Krishna. So consciously I cannot deny them. If our male members, the brahmacharies and sannyasis, if they become steady in Krishna consciousness, there is no problem. It is the duty of the male members to be very steady and cautious. This can be done by regular chanting like Haridas Thakur did. SP letter to Gargamuni (September 29, 1975)
Protect the women (Don't Exploit Them) Please guide our innocent Godsisters who have come to our shelter. Girls are more susceptible to the finer attachments of Maya. Boys are a little stronger. Mrinalini, Jadurani and all other girls who are so qualified, good-looking, intelligent, educated, and seriously engaged in Krsna consciousness should always be given protection from the attachments of Maya. SP letter to Rayarama (October 4, 1967)
Maya's most attractive feature is women and money. We Krishna Conscious men have to deal with women and money in course of preaching work, and the only prophylactic measure to save us is not to accept them for our sense gratification. Then we shall remain strong enough. Materialistic people take everything for sense gratification and Krishna Conscious people take everything for Krishna's satisfaction. There is no fault in the thing as it is; namely women and money, but it becomes faulty by improper use. The improper use is to accept them for sense gratification. SP letter to Gargamuni (October 18, 1969)
Who has introduced these things, that women cannot have chanting japa in the temple, they cannot perform the arotik and so many things? If they become agitated, then let the brahmacharies go to the forest. I have never introduced these things. The brahmacharies cannot remain in the presence of women in the temple, then they may go to the forest, not remaining in NYC, because in NY there are so many women, so how they can avoid seeing? BEST THING IS TO GO TO THE FOREST for not seeing any women, IF THEY BECOME SO EASILY AGITATED, but then no one will either see them and HOW OUR PREACHING WORK WILL GO ON?" SP letter to Ekayani (December 3, 1972)