ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) recently ended a lengthy, detailed consideration of the Vaishnavi diksa guru question that has been under consideration since 2003. The Vaishnavi Ministry welcomes the new resolution, which upholds important spiritual principles and Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition while accommodating concerns about local communities having different cultural standards.
ISKCON Vaishnavi Ministry has recently announced the appointment of several new regional co-ministers.
“What’s a Woman to Do?” a new 32-page booklet written by Srila Prabhupada disciple and author Visakha Dasi, and released on Gita Jayanti day, reflects on women’s services in Srila Prabhupada’s Hare Krishna Movement.
Seventy-two women, ranging in age all the way from 12 to 76, attended the Vaishnavi Retreat in Lake County, California from October 5thto 7th. Amongst them were 23 Srila Prabhupada disciples, and many second generation devotees and new bhaktins.
The yearly International Vaisnavi Retreat was established in 2011 to give the ladies of ISKCON special educational opportunities and to strengthen networking connections between junior and senior vaisnavis.
A new book is being released this summer featuring the individual voices of 108 women in the Bhakti tradition. Over the last three years, Krishna Kanta Dasi—founder of the Vaishnavi Voices Poetry Project—has been collecting the poetry of vaishnavis, or female practitioners of bhakti, from all over the world to produce Bhakti Blossoms: A Collection of Contemporary Vaishnavi Poetry.
The 7thannual VIHE International Vaishnavi Retreat at Govardhana (India) concluded on March 26. The 6-day program, dedicated to celebrating Srila Prabhupada’s mercy upon womankind, had as its special theme “Windows to the Spiritual World”. The Bal Krsna Bhawan hall in the village of Jatipura, home of the original Gopala Temple of Srila Madhavendra Puri, was duly transformed to host an exhibition of over 60 reproductions of paintings and drawings by various vaishnavi artists from the world over, ranging from well-known BBT artists to young devotees from the St. Petersburg Art University.
Many of the wrongs done to women for so many years have now been corrected and ISKCON women have recovered some of their rights. Unfortunately, they have been rehabilitated only to higher or lesser degrees according to the different leaders in different places. Much is still to be done for men to fully recognize women’s dignity.
Devaki Dasi in conjunction with the Institute for Spiritual Culture organized an International Girls' Mela at the Jagannath Temple in Rajapur, just outside of Mayapur, at the end of February. The event was for girls between 13 and 20 years of age, coming from different parts of the world, many of them living permanently in Sri Dham Mayapur. Devaki conducted a seminar entitled "Fascinating Womanhood In Spiritual Culture".
Often pushed by his male disciples to minimize ISKCON women’s spiritual position, Srila Prabhupada reacted, for example, in the following way: Srila Prabhupada: ‘”You dance, she dances. You sing, she sings, you cook, she cooks, there is no difference. You are the same in Krishna’s eyes.”
After the first six years of the movement, at the beginning of the 1970’s, a first change took place, which of course was not contested by anyone. As those new decisions were adopted, and instead of the simple separation between men and women that Prabhupada wanted, a real segregation was taking place.
Undoubtedly, several senior women devotees in our movement are as learned, dedicated, and in other ways spiritually qualified as many of their godbrothers. Why then should there be any hesitation to induct them as diksa-gurus?
Radhika Dasi - a Gopi skirts maker is also a mother of 5 wonderful kids. She explains about her life, how she got married, who were her parents, how she manages her home and 5 kids, what she eats to remain beautiful and fit.
The role of diksha guru is an important one in Vaishnava culture and in ISKCON. Over the last several years there has been much discussion whether women can serve in this role in our society. It has been discussed formally, and in depth at the GBC level and among devotees in different venues.
A video was produced by "Vaishnavi Gurus" recently and forwarded to ISKCON News. We do not endorse the conclusion or opinion of this video. We post it because ISKCON News is a venue for news, information, and opinions about our society, and we believe our ISKCON community is strengthened by a thoughtful and balanced exchange of ideas.
A new book is being produced that calls for the participation of women poets in the Bhakti tradition. The Vaishnavi Voices Poetry Project is drawing in women devotees from all over the world, who are uniting together to represent and offer a tribute to the spiritual sentiments of contemporary vaishnavis, or women practitioners of bhakti yoga.
Gopisvari Dasi shares how her mother raised her and her siblings in the most beautiful way. She made each one of them feel included and valued. Because she was always happy even with very little to call her own and also in adverse situations they learned how to do the same! Watch as she shares wonderful nuggets of wisdom from how her own mother and other mothers from the movement included her and nurtured her in her life in Krishna Consciousness. Gopisvari Dasi grew up in the Hare Krishna movement and is currently a Pujari/Priest at the ISKCON of Washington DC temple
Students will be awarded with a certificate by successfully completing the course. Attendees can experience devotional lifestyle at Bhaktivedanta Manor amongst devotees and likeminded students. They learn to build up a regular sadhana (devotional practice), attending daily morning and evening program at the temple.
Attendees can experience devotional lifestyle at Bhaktivedanta Manor amongst devotees and likeminded students. They learn to built up a regular sadhana (devotional practise) by attending the daily morning and evening program in the temple room.
The Governing Body Commission (GBC) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) recently completed a special three-day session during which the GBC Body considered whether or not this worldwide Vaishnava community should endorse and implement the policy of having women serve as diksa-gurus, or initiating spiritual masters, within the ISKCON society.
Twenty-five young girls aged eleven to sixteen embarked on the Kishori Yatra bus tour from June 6th to 29th this summer, taking a life-changing road trip in America that was a major positive influence at an extremely formative period in their lives. With them were a group of positive role models and experienced youth leaders, dubbed “counselors,” all of them second generation ISKCON devotees themselves.
The 2014 West Coast Vaisnava Women's Retreat will be held April 25-27, 2014, at Radha’s Garden in the San Diego area.
The 2013 US West Coast Vaisnava Women's Retreat will be held March 22 – 24 at Radha’s Garden in the San Diego area.