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30 April 2008 @ 10:41 pm
ISKCON's GBC Resolution  
Lost in the verbiage from the latest GBC powwow was this passage:

311. End Notes or Appendices in Srila Prabhupada's Books

Whereas some of Srila Prabhupada's books contain sentences such as the following, which when taken in isolation may be considered derogatory to and offensive against women:

Although rape is not legally allowed, it is a fact that a woman likes a man who is very expert at rape. (SB 4.25.41, p.)

When a husbandless woman is attacked by an aggressive man, she takes his action to be mercy. (SB 4.25.42, p.)

Generally, when a woman is attacked by a man -- whether her husband or some other man -- she enjoys the attack, being too lusty. (SB 4.26.26, p.)

Whereas some ISKCON devotees may have used these statements out of context as an excuse to offend, neglect and abuse women;

Whereas some people who read such statements may consider them to be derogatory or offensive, may misunderstand what Srila Prabhupada actually means, and may not want to further read those books, notwithstanding the many other beneficial statements in them;

RESOLVED: That the GBC Body recommends to the BBT Trustees that the above quotes, and other such statements as determined by the BBT, be explained in endnotes or in appendices.

I am dying of curiosity to see how they explain these quotes.



Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of ISKCON's GBC - Mayapur 2008

Posted April 30, 2008

Registration Number S/74662 under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961

P.O. Shree Mayapur Dham, Dist. Nadia, West Bengal 741313



thirishar on May 1st, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
OK then, so what DO they mean? >:(
Tapatitapati on May 1st, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
There has been much debate about that. Some say that he came from a cultural background where there was a tradition of kidnapping brides but in a sort of nudge nudge wink wink sort of way--like the woman was willing but convention dictated that they couldn't get parental permission to marry. Others point out different quotes that indicate that he was well aware of the modern definition of rape (he even refers to the laws in these quotes) and that like a number of men he imagines that sex is always pleasurable even if it is forced. India has a very sexist culture.

Such quotes did have an impact on me and contributed to the many reasons I left the belief-system behind.

Though in his personal dealings with women he was quite gentlemanly.
(Anonymous) on May 1st, 2008 05:37 am (UTC)
Meaning of rape
Prabhupada's understanding of rape is of course something completely different with what people have in their minds nowadays. Something similar what Prabhupada meant we find in the descriptions how during the time of knighthood a prince would kidnap a princess. This kinf of kidnapping or rape had nothing to do with harming a woman, but it was a tradition, a ritual how to "force" a girl to sit on the throne and become the queen. Of course we live in the world of faultfinders and people who even say that Prabhupada should have been immediately killed for saying "raped". Unfortunately these people don't know that even Lord Krishna Himself used to kidnap princesses and made them into queens to live a the royal court. The arrangement was like that, that the princess was informed if she would agree to be "kidnapped" by prince such and such and only when the princess agreed a particular prince would kidnap her to bring her to his royal court.
Since today people have become like hogs and dogs they cannot understand such rituals of the ksatriya class and instead drag everything down on their own level, their own situation which has become unfortunately more and more often the situation of sickos. Only sickos would attack Prabhupada and interpret Prabhupada's words into sexual abuse.
Tapatitapati on May 1st, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Meaning of rape
Naturally I disagree. Though I wouldn't say that he should be killed for saying "raped." I'd have prefer to have educated him about it if I had the chance.

Just call me a sicko...he was not talking about kidnapping and ksatriya marriage in these passages.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on May 1st, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
The mind reels...
Tapatitapati on May 1st, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, it was a very sexist culture, and India has a lot of problems as a result. Google "eve teasing" and you'll get an eyeful.
(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
I 1st reproduced all those ACBS quotes years ago on Darwins Istagosti during it's heyday, before you came there Tapati, it created quite a stir then, I believe I called the thread 'famous quotes'..

Oh and thought you would like this from Osho in this regard:


Tapatitapati on May 2nd, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
That link didn't work, too bad, I was really curious.

Yes we are going to have a topic with all those quotes at GR. It's pretty potent seeing them altogether like that. I mean, these ideas may be present in the scriptures already but I'm rather shocked that Prabhupada felt the need to reiterate them over and over in purports. Like, in case you haven't noticed the hundred other quotes, I'm going to say one more time how unintelligent women are and how they should be protected at all times by a man. (Read enslaved)
(Anonymous) on May 2nd, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)

After I posted that I kinda cringed, I certainly don't want to be part of a topic like that again, I did that years ago, but why beat a dead horse? Why continually reiterate what Prabupada said that was wrong over and over and over again. It keeps you stuck as far as I am concerned, stuck in being negative about it all continually drudging up negative and bitter feelings about it all. I prefer to remember what good things I got from him and there were some in spite of him saying things I disagree with regarding women, mayavadis etc..
As far as India being sexist, no doubt yes, but look at the historical context of it all, I don't see that being discussed much, like India before 800 AD or the Upanishadic period where women were very free and equal. Also the Muslim and Christian influences on India for so long has a key role to play in its rampant sexism which needs to be taken into consideration.
I see these quotes about Prabupada now and think what a waste of time going over all that..A need to process ones past in Iskcon? perhaps, but also perhaps an inability to let it go and get on with your own direction in life.

Tapatitapati on May 3rd, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
I have a specific reason to find them all and put them in one place now. I also think it would be good to have them as a reference for when the topic comes up from new members, as it periodically seems to. Not everyone has access to the database where these are found.

Yes, people can get stuck. If I weren't the owner of GR, I probably would check in every month or so briefly to say hi.

That's why I am spending more time doing political and feminist posts these days. :)
(Anonymous) on May 3rd, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
Here's a question for you Tapati, (not trying to trip you up) who would you say is more sexist, The Buddha or Swami Prabupada?

Tapatitapati on May 3rd, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Since I never followed Buddha, I wouldn't know. I haven't read THAT much Buddhist source material. :)

The thing is, I've been reading a lot about fundamentalists lately and one of the threads seems to be strict control of women. I'm trying to understand why those things seem to go hand in hand. So far all I've come up with is that if you control women down to how they think, you control their children's minds and your next generation of followers.
(Anonymous) on May 3rd, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
Oh I thought you had read a fair bit on Buddhism, at least it sounded that way on GR, especially in the Dharma Reloaded thread and others. Also you don't HAVE to be a follower of anyone to know if their sexist or not..

However, the answer to the quiz is....

(drum roll)

The Buddha was way more sexist...than Swami Prabupada (believe it or not)

But you see all these airy fairy types thinking..

"Oh The Buddha, How Peaceful and Loving" maybe so, but his rules and attitudes towards women put in place much of what you are against in Hindu and Indian attitudes towards women today..


Tapatitapati on May 3rd, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
I read books by Buddhists, but not the source material.

Yes there is a sexist thread in Eastern religions in general, which is why I won't call myself a Buddhist or take it up seriously. I was aware that the sexism is there, but since I wasn't taking up that path I felt no need to quantify it.
(Anonymous) on May 3rd, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
You really don't have to read Buddhist source materials to see the sexism within that system, and I must say that frankly sexism is pretty much there in ALL religious systems not just eastern, as I mentioned Christianity is very much responsible for much of the sexism seen in India today along with Islam. Sexism was prevalent even in European Pagan and Goddess based religious systems in the past.

Tapatitapati on May 4th, 2008 02:19 am (UTC)
I've been reading the Buddhist women's books, so they haven't been sexist, but I've been aware that there is sexism in Buddhism. I just couldn't do a comparison because I haven't researched it thoroughly--I wouldn't just guess, that would be unfair.

Yes as a feminist who has also taken classes in the Anthropology of Religion I am aware that sexism exists in various religions historically and to the present day.

But since I'm basically following my own religion these days, I don't have that in my belief system.
(Anonymous) on May 4th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
"But since I'm basically following my own religion these days, I don't have that in my belief system."

Good for you..

"By Following, Nobody Knows"