Householder Life Vedic Injunctions

Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions for Women

“These women are not ordinary women. They are preachers. They are Vaishnavas. By their association one becomes a Vaishnava.”
(Srila Prabhupada, morning walk, March 27, 1974)

The spirit soul is equal in either a man or woman. In the Bhagavad-gita, 6th Chapter, 1st Verse it is stated “anasritah karma…” One who is actually engaged in the service of Krishna, there is no such distinction… phalam karijam karma karoti yah/ sa sannyasi ca yogi ca na niragnir na cakriyah. Anyone acting for Krishna, he is a sannyasi or sannyasini. It is also stated: striyo vaisyas tatha sudras te’pi yanti param gatim. So spiritually everyone is equal. But materially a woman cannot be given Sannyasa. But you should not be bothered because you are serving on the spiritual platform.
(Letter to Aditya. Mayapur, 4 February 1976)

My Dear Silavati…Your description of the course you are giving to the interested girls about the role they play in Krishna Consciousness is very nice, and I am pleased that you have begun this project. Actually the role of all conditioned souls is the same; to chant Hare Krishna, tell others to chant, perfect our lives in Krishna Consciousness, and to go back to Godhead when this body is finished. Now if you can induce all the women of Los Angeles to place an altar in their homes and help their husbands have peaceful, happy home life in Krishna Consciousness, that will be very great service for you. The actual system is that the husband is Spiritual Master to his wife, but if the wife can bring her husband into practicing this process, then it is all right that the husband accepts wife as Spiritual Master. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that anyone who knows the science of Krishna, that person should be accepted as Spiritual Master, regardless of any material so-called qualifications; such as rich or poor, man or woman, or brahmana or sudra. So if you can show the women of the community how to help their husbands and children to perfect their home life, and all aspects of life, in Krishna Consciousness by chanting, aratrik ceremonies, and eating Krishna prasadam, then you will improve the conditions of the neighboring communities to an incalculable extent. Your ever well-wisher.
(Letter to Silavati, New Vrndavana, 14 June 1969)

Srila Prabhupada: They don’t think there is need of husband. Eh? But they feel. That I know. I have seen one girl. She saw another friend, “Oh, she has got a husband,” whispering. So I can understand that everyone aspires after husband, but there is no hope. Hopelessness. This is the position. Every woman wants a good husband, good home, good children, little ornaments, nice food. That is the ambition of every woman, but they are hopeless. Although they are well qualified, European, American girls, they are hopeless, not to get any husband, not to get any home. This is their position. I have studied thoroughly. Is it not?
Girirāja: Yes.
(Morning Walk- 27 September, 1975, Ahmedabad)

In London, the six couples who are working very hard there have been very much appreciated by the people of London, and their character, behavior, and devotion are attracting sincere people to our movement. I want similar thousands of couples for my disciples to propagate our movement throughout the world. You can always help me in this matter because you are an intelligent girl and you have many talents. So you can utilize your god-gifted qualities for utilizing in Krishna Consciousness.
(Letter to Govinda. Los Angeles, 26 January 1969)

Prof. O’Connell: “Is it possible, Swamiji, for a woman to be a guru in the line of disciplic succession”?
Srila Prabhupada: “Yes. Jahnava devi was – Nityananda’s wife. She became. If she is able to go to the highest perfection of life, why it is not possible to become guru? But, not so many. Actually one who has attained the perfection, she can become guru. But man or woman, unless one has attained the perfection…. Yei Krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128]. The qualification of guru is that he must be fully cognizant of the science of Krsna. Then he or she can become guru. Yei Krsna-tattva-vetta, sei guru haya. In our material world, is it any prohibition that woman cannot become professor? If she is qualified, she can become professor. What is the wrong there? She must be qualified. That is the position. So similarly, if the woman understands Krsna consciousness perfectly, she can become guru.
(Interview with Professors O’Connell)

Srila Prabhupada: In the spiritual platform there is no such distinction—man, woman, or black, white, or big or small. No. Everyone is spirit soul. Panditah sama-darshinah. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini shuni caiva shva-pake ca panditah. One who is actually learned is sama- darshinah. He does not make any distinction. But as far as our material body is concerned, there must be some distinction for keeping the society in order.
Woman: The women could become panditas, then?
Srila Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Te ’pi yanti param gatim. Not only become—she can also attain perfection. There is no such restriction. Krishna said.
Woman: Do you have any panditas in the Western movement?
Srila Prabhupada: There are so many Western women, girls, in our society. They are chanting, dancing, taking to Krishna consciousness. Of course, because superficially, bodily, there is some distinction, we keep women separate from men, that’s all. Otherwise, the rights are the same.”
(June 18, 1976, Toronto)

“I am simply surprised that you want to give up your child to some other persons, even they are also devotees. For you, child-worship is more important than deity-worship. If you cannot spend time with him, then stop the duties of pujari… not neglect it or be confused. Your duty is very clear.”
(Letter to Arundhati, July 30, 1972)
“You should always live with your husband and help him with his personal comforts, and he will look after your all necessities of life. There is no question of separation. By mutual agreement and advancement of Krishna Consciousness you can stop sex life, but there is no question of separation. Separation is artificial. As Hamsaduta advances in Krishna Consciousness then by his company you will also profit. So the husband and wife are mutually beneficial. This idea of separation was developed also in Govinda Dasi, but I have sent her back to her husband, and she is now following my instructions. There is no question of separation between husband and wife until the time when the husband takes sannyasa. At that time the wife cannot remain with the husband. Even in the vanaprastha state, or retired life, the wife remains with the husband, but without any sex relations.”
(Letter to Himavati, Jan. 24, 1969)

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