Notes from a think tank

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“Maharaja made some good points about not descending into the cat fight mode of the women. Thus we should not address them as “feminazis” as it may slip out and the term is inflammatory to them as well as to us (makes us more angry). Similarly, even though I coined the name “Mad Radha” we should not use it in this forum just so that we discipline our own minds against the raja & tama guna.”

The Women’s Ministry suggests that we used initials (instead of names) and the term purvapakshin as means to tactfully conceal our insincere, demonic intents. We have already explained purvapaksin. The following quote explains the real reason we used initials, not only for the purvapaksins but for ourselves also:

“Suggestion to use abbreviations for names that will often be repeated in our discussions. I offer the following simple beginning list:
(We already have MR)
R-Radha dd (MG)
P-Pranada dd
S-Sudharma dd
V-Visakha dd
J-Jyotirmayi dd
Maybe we use 2 letters for our own names (?)”

The suggestion to use initials rather than full names was simply to save time and energy by not having to constantly write out the names of authors of various treatises and proposals that were being discussed frequently on GHQ. Just as some write “SP” for Srila Prabhhupada, one member suggested the above list of abbreviations for the sake of expediency. It was simply to save time----not for some devilish reason, as portrayed by “Ardhabuddhi Dasa.”

As humans err, we did not always follow our own guidelines, but if one of us would stray, another would point out the error to preserve our intended focus:
“I humbly submit and agree that we DO need to keep cool-headed at all times. If we are not careful to avoid Vaisnava-apradha, then we are likely to be destroyed in our attempts to cause positive reform in ISKCON. We cannot afford to lose our few fighting soldiers to the clutches of *maya* in the form of unnecessary, exaggerated, blanket, or false criticism of the purvapakshins… To that end, I humbly submit that we remain very CAREFUL to avoid Vaisnava-apradha and unecessary criticisms and unecessary entanglements with the purvapkshins, all of which will cause havoc or destruction to our own spiritual lives.”
“I suggest that we gain victory on this issue without the need of personal criticism. We should benefit ourselves by sharing our realizations in sastra and Prabhupada’s behavior and words.”
“But IMHO we ought to keep it as gentlemanly as possible (guess I’m preaching to myself here as much as to you!) Malati is doing 1000 times more service for ISKCON than *** (who is doing precious NOTHING) &***, etc. Seems to me that Srila Prabhupada would’ve taken cognizance of that - I speak with reference to the actual history.”

23. Art of deception

Some of the conference members appear to be very skilled in the art of deception. For example, Vidvan Gauranga writes (in response to a question of whether he feels up to debating Sudharma and Pranada of the women’s ministry): “No I am not afraid of being intimidated. I am just playing the same game they are playing. They try to get support by saying “Ah! we are called feminazis!” etc. So I am also crying out, “Ah! I am called a woman-hater!”
We see nothing wrong in what Vidvan Gauranga Dasa has done. He is correct in his observation, and there is no deception. He simply states the facts. (For an example of abusive language used by certain of our dear mothers, please see Section 7.) Ironically it is “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” who has embarked upon a rather comprehensive exercise in misinformation and deception. And ironic it is indeed that “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” himself is soon to be exposed in his conspiratorial efforts to expose the so-called “GHQ Conspiracy.”

24. Earl of Chesterfield
Although the GHQ members typically insist that opponents always quote sastra, they seem to hold themselves to a somewhat lower standard: Shyamasundara wrote:
A man of sense only trifles with them [women], plays with them, humors and flatters them, as he does with a sprightly and forward child; but he neither consults them about, nor trusts them with, serious matters.” Earl of Chesterfield.
To which Vidvan Gauranga replied:

Good stuff. Bhaktividya Purna Maharaja told me the same thing.”

And these are the same men who are currently bashing their opponents all over COM for even daring to use “logic and common sense” if this process does not involve quoting sastra.
Here again “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” presents a false image of GHQ members. He suggests that we “insist” that the promulgators of the feminist heresy support their position with sastra (which they are unable to do), while we ourselves avoid sastra and instead employ secular literature as our epistemology. To prove this, they cite some quotes posted to the GHQ forum from various authors throughout history, ranging from the Greeks and Romans to contemporary authors. These authors give their own observations on women as acquired from experience (pratyaksa pramana). “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” suggests that it is hypocritical for GHQ members to dovetail such secular references for our purposes while insisiting that the purvapaksins usesastra to support their conclusions. This is simply another incorrect appraisal of the actual case.
Not once on GHQ was it ever suggested that the views of secular authors could become our pramana, or textual epistemology. Nor can “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” demonstrate that but is simply making false accusations to further tar and feather GHQ.
By claiming as he has above, “Ardhabuddhi Dasa” fails to employ the “logic and common sense” which he defends; for GHQ members never based our arguments upon such mundane quotes-----all arguments were based on sound sastra. The above quote simply confirms what is already stated in sastra. Sastra presents the truth, and the Earl of Chesterfield has restated that truth as obvious. Srila Prabhupada also says that women are like children:
“As for behavior, there are many rules and regulations guiding human behavior, such as the Manu-samhita, which is the law of the human race. Even up to today, those who are Hindu follow the Manu-samhita. Laws of inheritance and other legalities are derived from this book. Now, in the Manu-samhita it is clearly stated that a woman should not be given freedom. That does not mean that women are to be kept as slaves, but they are like children. Children are not given freedom, but that does not mean that they are kept as slaves.” BG 16.7p
And Srila Prabhupada in a Lecture on TLC at Bombay 17-3-71:
"Prabhupada: These are all imagination. When woman, when she is misguided, she becomes dangerous. There is no question of love. But one thing, according to Vedic conception life, that women and children are on the same level, so they should be given protection by men. In childhood the protection is from the father, in youthhood the protection is from the husband, and in old age the protection is from the grown-up sons. So they should never be given independence. They should be given protection, and their natural love for father or for husband or for children, then that propensity will grow very smoothly, and that will establish the relationship with woman and man very happy, and both of them will be able to execute their real function, spiritual life, by cooperation. The woman is known as his better half, so if she looks after the comfort of the man, a man is working and he is looking after the comfort, then both will be satisfied and their spiritual life will progress. Woman is meant for certain duties; man is meant for... Man is meant for hard working, and woman is meant for homely comfort, love. So both of them, if they are situated in their respective duties under proper training, then this combination of man and woman will help both of them to make progress in spiritual life."
Women were like children at the time of the Manu-samhita; they were like children during the days of the Romans and Greeks; they were still like children during Lord Chesterfield’s day; nor have they changed since the time Srila Prabhupada wrote those words, nor will the situation change throughout eternity.
So if Lord Chesterfield says that woman are like children, does it somehow become a falsehood? No. He has stated a fact which has been true and observed since eternity. Similarly, cow dung is pure, whether stated in sastra or confirmed by professor Bose in his laboratory. It is not pure because professor Bose declares it so; he has simply confirmed that which is already fact.
In any case, the important point is that GHQ members do not employ secular authors as our pramana, nor do we depend on faulty logic or common sense. We perceive reality through sastra caksus, the eye of the sastra. This is the way of the Vaisnava brahmanas, the followers of Vedic culture. Although we would never accept secular authors as pramana, still there is no harm to recognize others who have realized the very same truths and thus simply reconfirm the sastras . Therefore, let us reaffirm: Our authority is sastra, not secular authors.
Srila Prabhupada himself would sometimes cite a secular author (like Shakespeare) to illustrate a sastric point. That point is true not because Shakespeare said it, but because the sastras affirm it. Here is an example of Prabhupada citing Shakespeare. Please note that Srila Prabhupada does not imply that Shakespeare is an authority above sastra:
“I think there is a line in Shakespeare’s literature, “The lunatic, mad, and the poet” or something like that, “all compact in thought.” [The actual reference is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V, Scene I: “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.”]. So a madman and a atma-rati person, self-satisfied man, outwardly, you will find there is no difference, but inwardly, oh, there is vast difference. (Lecture: Bg3.1-5, LA, December 20, 1968)
Considering the apparently deceitful, vindictive, and cowardly actions of “Ardhabuddhi Dasa,” who is acting to defend the Women’s Ministry in his article Conspiracy To Terminate The ISKCON Women's Ministry, we would like to share with you a stanza by Rudyard Kipling which penetrates to the heart of the matter:
“When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,

He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.

But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail

For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.”

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