Dear Sriman Gopal Govinda dasa,
Please accept my blessings.
I understand your wife’s situation and will be happy with whatever she can do in the time she has available to her.
I was never a fan of the Grateful Dead. But several of Srila Govinda Maharaja’s disciples were recruited from among their fans.
Fortunately I have a disciple who can translate my writings from English to Russian, but very slowly compared to the other translator who had offered to help and then withdrew the offer.
I read your article. It was well written, so I see you do have a talent for writing. The docx format should be fine, as is your email text. However, I don’t find the article suitable for our website in its present form. Overall, it is too informal. It seems you are still writing for your Facebook audience, rather than an international audience interested in topics related to the preaching of SCSM.
Technically, the Supreme Court of the USA does not make law or amendments (to the Constitution). That is the role of Congress. The court’s role is to tell us what the law is, not write new laws or change the Constitution. In practice, their rulings often have the effect of doing these things, which generally means the Court is abusing its role by performing actions the Constitution assigns to another branch of government. Thus, this is incorrect: “Supreme court of The United States of America passed into law an amendment.”
I liked this very much:
When I met them, they became fascinated with the idea of Krishna Consciousness. The one woman having heard of the movement in college and of course through the popularity of The Beatles. They were interested in practicing Bhakti, taking initiation and keeping Krishna as the center of their home and relationship. They asked me about their sexual preference, if that was going to be a problem. I told them that sexual preferences are an attachment to the body. And that illicit sex confirms that attachment, as would any of the other four regulations. I explained that when we enter into Krishna Consciousness, the mere thought of performing any act that will impede our spiritual progress will seem ridiculous and immature. We will understand the difference between making a sacrifice and practicing a joyful exercise intent on strengthening our bond with Sri Guru and Sri Sri Guru Gauranga.
But then you seemed to stray far afield of those thoughts.
You went on to condone the marriage of homosexuals, but without any shastric support. You merely offered your opinion on the matter based on your idea that you/we as society, Hare Krishnas, etc. have no right to judge the activities of others (as moral, immoral, right or wrong, etc.).
In doing this you stray from the elements needed for a logical argument. By condemning judgemental-ism, you become a judge yourself. If others should not judge, why are you judging them?
On Facebook you can offer your opinion, and others can counter with their opinion. Our website is not intended to be an op-ed page where different sides argue opinions back and forth on the basis of their mental speculations.
I think your argument against judging others is very weak. What you are really saying is that we should not discriminate i.e. we should make no judgements as to what is right or wrong, better or worse, higher or lower. I doubt you believe that. You could not believe that and come in the line of Krishna Consciousness.
Is all religion the same? Are all spiritual teachings equal? Or are there differences that enable us to discern (discriminate or judge) what is higher and what is lower?
That all things are equal to all other things is mayavada. But if everything were one, there would be no need to say it, no need to preach that concept to convince others of its validity.
Everything is not one. The marriage of homosexuals is not equal to the marriage of cats, man to animal or, most importantly, man to woman.
You mentioned several times the term “sexual preference.” But gave no thought (except in the paragraph of yours I quoted above) to proposing one change his sexual preference. A preference can be changed. You made that point very strongly. One can, for example, change his preference from meat eating to vegetarian and even from a preference for the material to a preference for the spiritual.
Changing our preference from being a master in the material world to being a servant of Krishna in the spiritual world is the most revolutionary preference change of all. If that preference can be changed, then what preference cannot?
What is needed to make this change is not the elimination of judgement, but the proper application of it, as you mentioned in your paragraph “When I met them, they became fascinated with the idea of Krishna Consciousness. …” There you mentioned the benefit of eliminating the preference for sex life altogether. That is optimum. But it is not immediately possible for everyone. Therefore, Krishna says: dharmāviruddho bhūteṣu, kāmo ’smi bharatarṣabha “I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles, O lord of the Bhāratas.”
balaṁ balavatāṁ cāhaṁ
kāmo ’smi bharatarṣabha
Word for word:
balam — strength; bala-vatām — of the strong; ca — and; aham — I am; kāma — passion; rāga — and attachment; vivarjitam — devoid of; dharma-aviruddhaḥ — not against religious principles; bhūteṣu — in all beings; kāmaḥ — sex life; asmi — I am; bharata-ṛṣabha — O lord of the Bhāratas.
I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire. I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles, O lord of the Bhāratas [Arjuna].
The strong man’s strength should be applied to protect the weak, not for personal aggression. Similarly, sex life, according to religious principles (dharma), should be for the propagation of children, not otherwise. The responsibility of parents is then to make their offspring Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Srila Prabhupada states clearly in his purport when sex life fits within the boundaries of religious principals “sex life, according to religious principles (dharma), should be for the propagation of children, not otherwise.”
One’s “sexual preference” may be thought of as being akin to one’s occupational preference. Someone may have a preference for stealing. That does not mean it should be permitted or thought of as equal to all other occupations. Likewise, one may have a preference for promiscuity. That also must be curbed. If it is not, then the whole society is spoiled:
doṣair etaiḥ kula-ghnānāṁ
kula-dharmāś ca śāśvatāḥ
Word for word:
doṣaiḥ — by such faults; etaiḥ — all these; kula-ghnānām — of the destroyers of the family; varṇa-saṅkara — of unwanted children; kārakaiḥ — which are causes; utsādyante — are devastated; jāti-dharmāḥ — community projects; kula-dharmāḥ — family traditions; ca — also; śāśvatāḥ — eternal.
By the evil deeds of those who destroy the family tradition and thus give rise to unwanted children, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated.
Community projects for the four orders of human society, combined with family welfare activities, as they are set forth by the institution of sanātana-dharma, or varṇāśrama-dharma, are designed to enable the human being to attain his ultimate salvation. Therefore, the breaking of the sanātana-dharma tradition by irresponsible leaders of society brings about chaos in that society, and consequently people forget the aim of life – Viṣṇu. Such leaders are called blind, and persons who follow such leaders are sure to be led into chaos.
All one’s illicit preferences can be converted to spiritual preferences if the guidance of guru, shastra and vaishnava is accepted. We welcome everyone to join with us, regardless of their previous tendencies, but only if they are willing to accept this guidance.
Our supreme law is that given by guru, shastra and sadhu. We accept their law and we accept their judgement. They know better than us what is good for us, and for society at large.
The Supreme Court, the President and others, who accept its ruling permitting homosexual marriage, are responsible for “the breaking of the sanātana-dharma tradition.” Srila Prabhupada calls such persons “irresponsible leaders of society” whose actions bring “about chaos in that society, and consequently people forget the aim of life – Viṣṇu.” Furthermore, he writes “Such leaders are called blind, and persons who follow such leaders are sure to be led into chaos.”
The “posted picture” you mentioned is appalling and disgraceful, as are the associated comments. Seeing such a sight was the cause of Ajamila’s downfall. If you have a relationship with that person you must be very wary of such bad association. I recently made mention of this danger in an email to another devotee:
Just prior to his appearance day celebration in 1999 Srila Gurudeva spoke this:
“I think that easily I can give something to them only if they will follow me and if they will try to follow me. The first thing is that I must say to everyone that this will be very good for all the practitioners. Bhaja durjana sunsargum bhaja… First it is necessary to remove the obstacles from the path of the devotion. The obstacle is asat-sanga, bad association. Bad association, how much it can do wrong we cannot conceive.”—Srila Govinda Maharaja, 22 December 1999
Under the influence of false ego, everyone thinks his opinion is valuable and meaningful. But we do not accept everyone’s opinion as being substantial. We accept the opinion of Krishna and Krishna’s devotees.
Srila Prabhupada wrote many articles in his early BTG’s by presenting a current event followed by the Vedic conclusions related to the event. His idea was to help the reader see as he did, by shastra chakshusa, through the eyes of scripture. If you follow that format, your writing will be very effective and bonafide. It is that sort of writing I hope you will submit for posting on our website.
I pray this finds you well in all respects.
Swami B.K. Giri