Published on January 5th, 2022 | by danavir-goswami | Full size image15
“Chaste Harlots” on gay monogamy in ISKCON
The term “gay monogamy” is used to argue that homosexuality with a single partner is of a superior quality compared to ordinary homosexual behavior. The redeeming word “monogamy” is intended to elevate ordinary gay behavior up to a level of respectability or acceptable morality. If that were not the case, why would the term “monogamy” be needed at all? Thus the meaning of “gay monogamy” carries contradictory nuances of homosexual morality, which, at least to my mind, is as absurd as introducing the expression “chaste harlots.”
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
namas te narasimhaya prahladahlada-dayine
hiranyakasipor vaksah sila-tanka-nakhalaye
ito nrsimhah parato nrsimho yato yato yami tato nrsimhah
bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimho nrsimham adim saranam prapadye
Whatever meager humility and scanty sincerity of purpose I possess—let it be offered to the assembly of Vaisnavas in an attempt to correctly express the teachings of our beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I beg his forgiveness for entering such a debate, yet we pray to Govinda that we too will be saved in our hour of trial, as was Draupadi.
The views conveyed in this paper are my own, not an official policy statement of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Considering the term “gay monogamy,” we will first of all try to clarify the imports of both words individually and then discuss them combined.
The word “gay” is primarily defined as: 1) someone who practices homosexuality; or 2) someone having a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex.
Concerning the second definition, one may, in other words, be attracted in that way but may not indulge in homosexual activity of a physical nature.
This paper will use the first definition of “gay” namely, “a practicing homosexual.” Similarly in our reference to homosexuality in general we will also use the same definition. In other words, a homosexual means a practicing homosexual. The reason for this is that a person may have an inclination for so many things but if one does not act on that inclination one cannot be held responsible for the act. This is especially true in Kali-yuga where one is not held responsible for impious deeds done in the mind.
The word “monogamy” has two main imports:
1.) The practice or condition of having a single sexual partner during a period of time.
2.) (a) The practice or condition of being married to only one person at a time. (b) The practice of marrying only once in a lifetime.
In recent articles the word “monogamy” has been used variously causing abundant confusion. However, since we are particularly responding to one recent article (“Gay Monogamy”), we will try to maintain a consistent usage for the term “monogamy” in keeping with the usage in that article. That article stated:
“I am not convinced that marriage is the best means in all cases, but some serious, formal, and public recognition and appreciation of gay monogamy is, in my view, in the best interest of ISKCON and its members.”
The statement uses the word “monogamy” ambivalently toward marriage between homosexuals. Thus both definitions 2A and 2B above must be eliminated. That leaves us with definition 1: “Monogamy—the practice or condition of having a single sexual partner during a period of time.”
“Gay monogamy” then, combining the two accepted definitions would portray:
“The practice or condition of having a single homosexual partner during a period of time.”
The paper adds the word “monogamy” to the word “gay” intending to distinguish it from ordinary gay behavior, which may be of a “promiscuous” nature. “Promiscuous” is defined as: “casual and unrestrained in sexual behavior—not restricted to an individual.”
In other words, ordinary gay behavior indicates the possibility of “homosexual activity with more than one partner,” during a period of time whereas “monogamous” homosexual behavior is limited to one partner during some period of time.
In the article under discussion the term “gay monogamy” is used to argue that homosexuality with a single partner is of a superior quality compared to ordinary homosexual behavior. The redeeming word “monogamy” is intended to elevate ordinary gay behavior up to a level of respectability or acceptable morality. If that were not the case, why would the term “monogamy” be needed at all? Thus the meaning of “gay monogamy” carries contradictory nuances of homosexual morality, which, at least to my mind, is as absurd as introducing the expression “chaste harlots.”
Criterion of Discussion
The aim of discussion within a Vaisnava forum is to present Krishna conscious views, not simply to put forth what is normally accepted by society. For example, slaughtering cows and eating them is a normal, accepted, and completely legal practice in society at large. Members of the Krishna consciousness movement recognize citizens’ statutory rights to indulge in such activity, yet devotees of Lord Krishna do not accept this practice as proper. Devotees argue that although society or the state allows such behavior and declares it “legal” it is in fact not approved by the Supreme state authority of God or Krishna. Vaisnavas consider cow killing demoniac despite the “legal” tag sewn on it.
Similarly, ISKCON will recognize the statutory rights of individuals to have common-law or legalized homosexual relationships (as authorized by state law); however, it cannot condone such arrangements since they are contrary to scripture.
What is the criterion for something to be considered Krishna conscious?
Sadhu-sastra-guru—all spiritual matters should be tested according to the instructions of saintly persons, scriptures and the spiritual master.
The chief saintly person Narada Muni explained, “All the rules and regulations apply equally to the householder and the sannyasi, the member of the renounced order of life. The grhastha, however, is given permission by the spiritual master to indulge in sex during the period favorable for procreation.”
Marriage, as far as I understand from reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, is meant to be a sacred event (samskara) for helping the husband and wife advance in spiritual progress and to provide a proper environment for reproduction. It is called vivaha yajna. This is corroborated in “On the Way to Krishna,” Chapter 3, as follows: “In religious and civilized societies, marriage is intended as an indication that a couple is to engage in sex for begetting good children. Therefore married sex life is considered religious, and unmarried sex life is considered irreligious.”
Sastra: Among all scriptures, Srimad Bhagavatam is the chief. There we find: “Lord Brahma, approaching the Lord, addressed Him thus: My Lord, please protect me from these sinful demons, who were created by me under Your order. They are infuriated by an appetite for sex and have come to attack me.”
Purport: “It appears here that the homosexual appetite of males for each other is created in this episode of the creation of the demons by Brahma. In other words, the homosexual appetite of a man for another man is demoniac and is not for any sane male in the ordinary course of life.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.20.26 and Purport)
The proposal of “Gay Monogamy” ignores authorized Vedic text and therefore is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.
In the “Gay Monogamy” article the word “varnasrama” was used several times although within the authorized varnasrama system there is no “gay monogamy” mentioned or allowed.
“There are eight forms of marriage mentioned in the scripture Manu-smrti, but only one process of marriage, brahma or rajasika marriage, is now current. Other kinds of marriage—by love, by exchange of garlands or by kidnapping the bride—are now forbidden in this Kali age.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.22.16 Purport)
“Gay monogamy” cannot be recognized as sex indulgence for bonafide grhasthas, i.e. those who have undergone the sacred marriage vows, intending to procreate according to religious principles. Sadhus only recommend sex indulgence within proper marriage and then only for procreation.
Analyzing “gay monogamy” from sastra, both para (transcendental) and apara (mundane) aspects, we find that homosexuality is condemned broadly, whether it is performed with many partners or with one. Scripture does not support gayness in any manner, whether it is ordinary or monogamous, wanton or socially correct. Homosexuality is not a legitimate combination for marriage. Sex outside of marriage is not allowed and none of the eight forms of marriage include gay monogamy; therefore it does not lie within the varnasrama system. Consequently gay monogamy does not qualify by either level of the Vedas or other scriptures such as the Bible. One should not manufacture a type of marriage that is based on illicit sex only. The proposal for gay marriage is such a concoction.
Encouraging Gay Persons in Krishna Consciousness
A gay person wishing to advance in Krishna consciousness should engage in favorable activities according to the scriptures and according to his/her level of understanding. Assuming such a person is still attached to engaging in illicit sex, then he should have hope that by chanting, hearing, serving, praying, worshiping, and remembering in relationship with Sri Krishna, eventually he will become freed from that habit. Until then, he may live as he chooses, either with a friend or alone, whatever is more conducive for service to Krishna.
If by Krishna’s and guru’s grace, the candidate advances on the path of bhakti, he will realize the futility of homosexuality and give it up entirely. Coming to this wonderful understanding, the former gay devotee may continue to live with his/her friend as a Godbrother or Godsister without physical contact or else he may totally change residential situations. If one chooses to give up homosexuality but not sexuality altogether, he may utilize the grhastha asrama as it is meant to be used, as a responsible householder. And yes, there are sufficient successful examples of this within our movement.
One who is interested in making spiritual progress should understand that homosexuality should be abandoned as soon as possible so that one’s spiritual progress will not be blocked. If one wants something cheap, there are many so-called gurus and spiritual societies that will happily cheat the students by offering them the moon for money, but all that glitters is not gold.
There is no need, nor sanction, for devotionally inclined persons to invent or have invented on their behalf, an artificial spousal complement program for gays or monogamous gays. That will create utpatayaiva (disturbance) in society. Indulging in illicit sex with one person as opposed to several is not the saving grace; rather the actual saving grace is the extent to which a person sincerely engages in devotional activities. They must be humble, admitting to themselves their weakness and utilizing their full energy to improve. Gay persons are welcome to visit and participate in ISKCON centers and surely Krishna will help them if they are sincere.
In my thirty-five years of devotional service I have personally helped to engage hundreds of gay persons directly in the process of Krishna consciousness. In many cases, they have demonstrated exceptional success. I continue to help them today.
Not To Be Uttered
Next is a series of excerpts spoken by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada followed by my comments.
“A person on religious category, he’s advocating something, oh, it is not to be uttered. Homosex. You see? He’s advocating homosex. Just see.” (Sunday Feast Lecture by Srila Prabhupada—Los Angeles, May 21, 1972)
Comment: ISKCON’s founder-acarya, Srila Prabhupada, has commented explicitly on the practice of homosexuality, which presumably has not changed significantly in the past twenty-seven years. It would behoove ISKCON members to familiarize themselves with his opinion.
“The sense gratification, homosex, they are supporting. Just see. Just see. At least, in animal society there is no homosex. They have created homosex, and that is being passed by the priest, the religious heads. You know that? Just see. If you say that they are animal civilization, that is a great credit for them. It is less than animal civilization.” (Room Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—August 25, 1971, London)
Comment: One of the ten offenses, sometimes referred to as the greatest offense to the chanting of the holy name, is guru-avajna or disobeying the spiritual master. To willfully disregard the guru’s expressed opinion on a particular subject is not less than disobeying the orders of the spiritual master or considering him an ordinary man. His Divine Grace saw no place for homosexuality within his movement, nor did he encourage it in any way. Homosexuality does not become valid or legitimate in Vedic terms simply by adding the adjective “monogamous.”
“Watchtower. It has criticized, one priest has allowed the marriage between man to man, homosex. So these things are going on. They take it purely for prostitution. That’s all.” (Srila Prabhupada Talks with Bob Cohen—February 27-29, 1972; Mayapura)
Comment: The “Gay Monogamy” proposal appeals for, “some serious, formal, and public recognition and appreciation of gay monogamy.” One may argue that the proposal does not actually advocate homosexuality but rather it only advocates giving recognition to those homosexuals who are willing to marry another homosexual or who are willing to limit their acts of homosexuality with one partner. Since the “Gay Monogamy” proposal approves of gay marriage and gay behavior, it is highly censurable.
“Now the priestly order supporting homosex. I was surprised. They are going to pass resolution for getting married between man to man. The human society has come down to such a degraded position. It is astonishing. When I heard from Kirtanananda Maharaja there is a big conference for passing this resolution. In India still, if there somebody hears about homosex (makes sound of breathing out). Homosex is there but nobody will support publicly. (indistinct) People are going down and this is the subject matter for priestly order? It may be subject matter for the legislator, priestly order, they are discussing for one week. Just imagine. Phalena pariciyate, one has to study by the result. Not that superficially you show that ‘We are very much advanced.’ Phalena, what is the result? Phalena pariciyate, your, that is in English word also, end justifies the means. The end is this (indistinct) ‘We are going to support homosex.’ Getting married. There are many cases the priestly order has actually got married. I read it in that paper, Watch, what is called?
“Prabhupada: Watchtower. They have complained (?). So we have nothing to (indistinct) them. The world is degrading to the lowest status, even less than animal. The animal also do not support homosex. They have never sex life between male to male. They are less than animal. People are becoming less than animal. This is all due to godlessness. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna, godless civilization cannot have any good qualities. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna mano rathena asato dhavato. They simply go to the untruth by mental speculation. (Conversation with Srila Prabhupada and the GBC—Los Angeles, May 25, 1972)”
Comment: An essential point is made here. Homosexuality will go on despite ISKCON’s stance; however, Srila Prabhupada praises India as being cultured in that ‘nobody will support publicly.’ The “Gay Monogamy” proposal not only advocates appreciation for homosexuals who live together but it also recommends gay marriage. The proposal reads: “I am not convinced that marriage [between gays] is the best means in all cases.” In other words the proposal considers marriage between gays as the preferred scheme although it suggests common-law homosexuality as secondary.
“Jayatirtha: Ordained priests, they have left and gone off to marry or whatever. Especially they are concerned that they can’t marry. Catholic priests are not allowed to marry.
“Prabhupada: Marrying? They are marrying man to man, what to speak of marrying. Sodomy.
“Jayatirtha: So that’s the alternative. Either they’re leaving or they’re marrying man to man.
“Prabhupada: Homosex. They are supporting homosex. So degraded, and still they say, ‘What we have done?’ They do not know what is degradation, and they are priest. They are teaching others. They do not know what is the meaning of degradation.” (Morning Walk Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—Los Angeles, September 28, 1972)
Comment: When sannyasis and devotees begin discussing the sanctioning of this degraded activity it pollutes the entire society, both within ISKCON and society at large. It is the duty of ISKCON and especially the sannyasis to explain why homosexual activity is degraded and how it must be overcome.
“The dog and cat they are having sex on the open street, and now they are talking of homosex in the school, colleges for education. This is their position. They do not know even what is the standard of human civilization.” (Morning Walk Conversation with Srila Prabhupada — May 11, 1975, Perth)
Comment: Through social acceptance of perverted homosexual activities, society itself is making it so that more and more people are becoming homosexuals. One astute observer has pointed out that most active homosexuals were at one point latent homosexuals who became influenced by environment and the social situation promoting homosexuality. The media is especially guilty of encouraging people who were not homosexuals before to become active homosexuals by propagating the idea that homosexuality is a normal and acceptable occurrence. The “Gay Monogamy” proposal provides unwanted stimulus for people to become or stay homosexuals.
“Yes. This is their philosophy. And as they pass laws in the Parliament, similarly, these churches approve: ‘Yes, homosex is all right.’ Then it is all right. This cheating system is going on. Similar cheating system is the Hindus also. You’ll find in Calcutta, in College Street, so many butcher house. And they have kept one goddess Kali that ‘We are eating Mother Kali’s prasada.’That’s it. This is going on.” (Morning Walk Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—April 2, 1975, Mayapur)
Comment: The “Gay Monogamy” proposal is guilty of proposing this exact scenario. In essence it says, “Practicing homosexuality is acceptable because the couple is monogamous.” In the same way that foolish customers feel better about eating Kali Prasada rather than ordinary flesh, foolish persons think they are in a better position because they have been approved by a “Gay Monogamy” proposal.
“Our difficulty: the so-called swamis, priests, popes, they are also in the pravrtti-marga. All these, priests, and they have illicit sex. Pravrtti-marga. So they are passing, ‘Yes, you can have homosex with man.’ They are getting man-to-man marriage. You know? They are performing the marriage ceremony between man to man in the open church. What class of men they are? And they are priest. Just see. Such degraded persons.” (Morning Walk Conversation with Srila Prabhupada — May 13, 1975, Perth)
Comment: Priests passing resolutions in favor of homosexual behavior are spiritually exhausted. They should get spiritually reoriented and rejuvenated or retire.
“Prabhupada: They are discussing in the university homosex. They are advanced. Advancement of education. Just see. They are not even fourth-class men; they are animals, producing so many animals, that’s all, dogs and hogs. [break] …in the beginning samah. Samah, damah—first two business. Control the sense and keep the mind undisturbed. That is the beginning. Now they are so much sexually disturbed, they’re discussing about the profit of homosex. Where is first-class men?
“Amogha: They say that homosex keeps the balance of things because…
“Prabhupada: Yes, fourth-class man can say anything wrong, bad, but we are not going to hear of it. A fourth-class man’s philosophy, we will have to waste our time to hear them—that’s not good. They are not even fourth class; they are animal class. Fourth class has got some position, but they are naradhama, the lowest of the mankind. So what is their philosophy, and who is going to spoil his time to hear about their philosophy?” (Morning Walk Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—May 14, 1975, Perth)
Comment: This is the unfortunate reality about associating with and taking education from mundane universities. One becomes contaminated by the professors’ and students’ low level of consciousness because in universities it is considered appropriate to discuss the merits of showing respect for homosexuality.
“That means they are gliding down towards hell, that’s all. Yositam sangi-sangam. Now they are coming to the platform of homosex. This is their advancement, spiritual advancement. Yositam sangi-sangam.” (Morning Walk Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—May 21, 1975, Melbourne)
Comment: If one disagrees that homosexuals are in illusion, then debates or discussions with hopes of grasping Krishna consciousness are questionable. The “Gay Monogamy” proposal seeks to provide a dignified place for homosexuality within the sphere of ISKCON, otherwise why should such an article be written and posted on the Internet’s most ISKCON-oriented site?
“Prabhupada: Priest should be ideal character. And they are advocating homosex. So where is the ideal character men? If the priestly class they are going to hospital for drinking habit, and they are allowing man-to-man marriage and homosex, then where is ideal character?
“Director: But homosexual is a sickness.
“Devotee: He said it’s an illness.
“Director: It’s an illness. It’s just like a person can’t see, you would punish him for not seeing. You can’t punish a person for being homosexual. That our society says.
“Prabhupada: Well, anyway, the priestly class, sanctioning homosex.
“Prabhupada: Sanctioning. They are allowing homosex. And there was report that man and man was married by the priest. In New York there is a paper, Watchtower. That is a Christian paper. I have seen in that paper. They are condemning it, that priest is allowing man-to-man marriage. And they are passing resolution, homosex is passed, ‘All right.’ And in Perth you said that the students are discussing about homosex, in favor of homosex. So where is the ideal character? If you want something tangible business, train some people to become ideal character. That is this Krsna consciousness movement.” (Room Conversation with Director of Research of the Dept. of Social Welfare—May 21, 1975, Melbourne)
Comment: The Krishna consciousness movement cannot condone or appreciate homosexuality in any way, shape or form. It must be condemned. Hate the sin not the sinner. Devotees do not hate homosexuals; however, there must be genuine hate for the sin. The problem with the “Gay Monogamy” proposal is there is insufficient hatred for the sin of homosexuality.
“Brahmananda: They are trying to make that more and more accepted in America, homosex.
“Prabhupada: Yes. The churches accept. It is already law.
“Nitai: This women’s liberation movement, the leaders are also homosexual. They’re lesbians.
“Prabhupada: (laughs) Just see. Hare Krsna. The whole world is on the verge of ruination. Kali-yuga.” (Morning Walk Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—September 6, 1975, Vrndavana)
Comment: When spiritual leaders think that liberality with the sin of homosexuality is compassion they become like an old lady who blows on a boil to cure it. Simply imagination. We do not need inventions like “gay monogamy” to solve problems, rather we need firm adherence to the principles of bhakti yoga as given in the Vedic literature and as taught by Srila Prabhupada. Lord Caitanya’s mission is described as vairagya-vidya-nija-bhakti-yoga or the process of renunciation and transcendental knowledge.
“Just see. Rascal priests also so sinful. Yes, they’re supporting homosex. So when the priests are sinful, the public is sinful, how the church will go on?” (Morning Walk Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—June 6, 1976, Los Angeles)
Comment: Srila Prabhupada strongly criticizes priests of commonplace churches for assenting to same-sex marriage, how much more would he denounce ISKCON priests for similar approbation. ISKCON will not be able to go on if such outrageous proposals as “gay monogamy” are upheld. It is a mistake to think that in order to spread Lord Caitanya’s movement ISKCON must make allowances for all sorts of nonsense within the organization. The “house that can accommodate the whole world” is not a house where homosexuality is welcomed. It should be left outside the door.
“Nowadays, of course, they are thinking like that, that man should remain independent, and they’ll have homosex, and the woman also independent and they will make some… This is most immoral things.” (Morning Walk Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—December 10, 1975, Vrndavana)
Comment: The “Gay Monogamy” proposal is trying to give a cloak of decency to the “most immoral things.”
“Tamala Krsna: Now they have churches for homosex. That means the priest is a homosexual, and the persons who come are homosexuals. A special church for homosexuals.
“Prabhupada: Just see. Is that religion?” (Room Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—January 8, 1976, Nellore)
Comment: Religion means dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam, to follow the principles established by the Supreme Lord. The “Gay Monogamy” proposal, in a feeble attempt to help homosexuals, actually encourages apathy towards Krishna’s instructions.
“The persons from the ecclesiastical order, they are also so polluted, they are sanctioning homosex, abortion. What can be done for the common man?” (Morning Walk Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—April 8, 1976, Mayapur)
Comment: The “Gay Monogamy” proposal also attempts to get an eventual sanction for homosexuality within ISKCON. If ISKCON’s ecclesiastical leaders become weak, as in most other religious institutions, then there will be no hope for the common man. It is the duty of ISKCON to firmly condemn homosexual behavior in all aspects.
(After hearing how parents allow their sons to go to homosexual parties Srila Prabhupada commented:) “It is horrible to hear even.” (Room Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—January 27, 1977, Puri)
Comment: Srila Prabhupada was so opposed to homosexuality and considered it so sinful that he felt it should not even be heard. In my opinion, to pursue the “Gay Monogamy” proposal is to commit the grave offense of guru-avajna.
“Homosex, what is that religion? And they’re passing to homosex, religion. They’re getting married man to man. Most degraded.” (Room Conversation with Srila Prabhupada—February 16, 1977, Mayapura)
Comment: The concept that “once a homosexual, always a homosexual” is pure nonsense. One has to get a higher taste by Krishna consciousness and then give up the degraded position. Appreciating monogamous homosexuality is so nonsensical that it is offensive to the Krishna consciousness movement. Even if we are taken to court we should preach about the degradation.
“They [priests] are having homosex. They are encouraging homosex, giving man-to-man marriage. You know that? This is going on. Doing everything nonsense.” (Conversation with Srila Prabhupada:—April 28, 1977, Bombay)
Comment: What is the use of having a big worldwide organization that tacitly approves of homosexual behavior? Maya wants devotees to think that to be progressive and broadminded we must widen our vista of acceptance. The “Gay Monogamy” proposal advocates more open-mindedness yet Srila Prabhupada did not appreciate such thoughts. Certainly persons of homosexual orientation are welcome in ISKCON and the sankirtana movement, but like all other sinful activities such as meat eating, intoxication, and gambling, the vice of illicit sex should be discarded at a pace they feel comfortable with.
“I am very sorry that you have taken to homosex. It will not help you advance in your attempt for spiritual life. In fact, it will only hamper your advancement. I do not know why you have taken to such abominable activities. What can I say? Anyway, try to render whatever service you can to Krishna. Even though you are in a very degraded condition Krishna, being pleased with your service attitude, can pick you up from your fallen state. You should stop this homosex immediately. It is illicit sex, otherwise, your chances of advancing in spiritual life are nil. Show Krishna you are serious, if you are.” (Letter from Srila Prabhupada to: Lalitananda—Hawaii 26 May, 1975)
Comment: This letter is very instructive. There are two fallacies that exist regarding homosexuality: 1) that one is born homosexual and 2) that no one can change once they become homosexual.
Srila Prabhupada explained earlier that homosexuality “is not for any sane male in the ordinary course of life.” That means it can be changed because His Divine Grace specifically recommends a change in this letter.
The compassionate spiritual master advises the candidate for spiritual life to immediately give up homosexual behavior. If the student tries to change, he will get strength and mercy from the spiritual master and from Krishna.
“Amogha: In one high school here they asked the question whether we accept homosexuality. And I said, ‘Of course not. This is only a perversion.’ And they said, ‘This is nature’s way to stop overpopulation,’ because there won’t be any children. So much foolish.
“Prabhupada: How degraded the human society is becoming. And the children, they are discussing.” (Morning Walk—May 9, 1975, Perth)
Comment: Kali-yuga has put forward the “Gay Monogamy” proposal within the society of Vaisnavas. Such things should not be contemplated, nor verbalized, what to speak of advocated on public forums. It is maya’s trick to make people believe that such discussions or arrangements will be helpful for becoming Krsna conscious.
“Now they are marrying man to man and accepting homosex, so what is the value now of this priestly class?” (Morning Walk with Srila Prabhupada– May 13, 1975, Perth)
Comment: What about the brahmanas within ISKCON? Will they also succumb to passing resolutions allowing the marrying of man to man and woman to woman?
This is the time to get more serious about never agreeing to approval of “gay monogamy,” lest we disobey the instructions of Srila Prabhupada—guru-avajna. It is a serious wake up call. Every member of the priestly class must object.
“Just like yesterday you told me the students are talking about homosex. That means tamo-guna, that the education-students, they are discussing about homosex. That means tamo-guna, lusty desires, very prominent, and how to fulfill, by homosex or sex with woman. This is their subject matter, kama. So everyone in this material world infected with this tamo-guna, all lusty desires, in various ways, varieties.” (Morning Walk with Srila Prabhupada—May 11, 1975, Perth)
Comment: There is nothing religious about homosexuality. It is 100 percent irreligious, monogamous or otherwise. It would be beneficial if the topic of gay monogamy, gay marriage, or gay rights were permanently put to rest and never be uttered in any Vaisnava forum within ISKCON in the future.
“Oh, it is not to be uttered. Homosex.” (Srila Prabhupada)
Very nice and important article for avoiding misunderstandings. Maharaja also clearly stated that it is not an official ISKCON stand, but his own understanding based on Srila Prabhupada teachings. And he personally has been helping many of people or devotees conditioned in this way. Based on civil laws everyone can eat meet and take opiats in many countries, now the gay marriages are allowed. However, our call is to help people in general to come to the spiritual path and understand the highest laws as presented by HDG Srila Prabhupada. Thank you Maharaja.
My critique of Danavir Goswami’s article, from my first read, is that:
a) his definition of homosexuality as only one who *engages* in homosexual activity and not as someone who has the homosexual *tendency* is unjust and not objective: many eternal associates of Lord Caitanya were married without ever having children (and thus without having sex). In ISKCON today also, there are many heterosexual couples who have zero sex. Are they not heterosexual couples nonetheless? Logically, therefore, a homosexual couple can be a homosexual couple without engaging in sex. Therefore his definition is much too narrow. Without this narrow definition, however, his argument falls apart.
b) Danavir Maharaja confuses the category of guru and the category of shastra. He claims that he is quoting shastra when in effect he is only quoting isolated statements by Srila Prabhupada. Of course, he doesn’t quote the isolated statement when Srila Prabhupada told one of his homosexual disciples, “Find and nice boy and settle down.” Prabhupada’s quotes are not shastra; they are “guru” (founder-acharya, Senapati bhakta, whatever you like, but “guru” nonetheless). Srimad Bhagavatam is shastra. And just because the Bhagavatam describes the lila of Lord Brahma does not imply, from a theological point of view, that homosexual desire is ontologically different from heterosexual desire. The former is a more aggravated form of the latter (Prabhupada explains it), but they both are symptoms of the exact, same thing: lust, selfish desire, wanting to enjoy separately from Krishna. Heterosexual desire and homosexual desire come from the same root: envy of Krishna.
Personally, I see that there are some problems with official government gay marriages. For example, in Canada, where gay marriage is legal since 10 years, the government is forbidding a Christian university to start a law-school (to train lawyers) because that university chooses to define marriage, on religious grounds, as union between one man and one woman. These Christian lawyers cannot practice law, therefore. I believe that in a free society, people should be allowed to believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman and should not be discriminated against in the work-place.
Hare Krishna Prabhu
No one is saying men can not live together and be friends without engaging in sex. There is no need for the temporary bodily designation of “homosexual” unless they are engaging in sex. A homosexual relationship is a relationship of men having sex with each other. That is what homosexual means.
To become Krishna conscious we have to give up the temporary material bodily designations. We have to realize we are not these material bodies but spirit souls. Not that we want to hang on to the material bodily designations. No. If we hang on the material bodily designations we will never be able to become Krishna conscious. So we have to give up these designations and just designate us as Krishna das. Servants of Krishna.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!
If someone thinks that it is not right to say that homosexuality is nonsense then they are directly opposing Srila Prabhupada. After Danavir Goswami says that ‘once homosexual, always homosexual’ is a nonsense statement he backs it up with Srila Prabhupada’s opinion.
“They [priests] are having homosex. They are encouraging homosex, giving man-to-man marriage. You know that? This is going on. Doing everything nonsense.” (Conversation with Srila Prabhupada:—April 28, 1977, Bombay)
my obeisancdes and hare krishna to all devotees.
there are many persons inside of iskcon and iskcon congregation who are ‘gay’. we could not just ignore thier condition or label them and ‘fried’ them with prapubhada quotes. who will joing iskcon if we start picking up right candidates. gay people deserve understanding and spiritual help and guidance. maybe in future some merciful soul will try to open doors for srila prabhupada mercy also to gay people. gay people are not cats and dogs having free sex, but fallen conditioned souls as the rest of in this world. would be better to properly help them with specific instructions. we have grihasta consultations, blogs on gurukula kids, guideance for sanyassis, why not sincere and productive support aslso for gay people? homosex – heterosex is as dry stool – wet stool analogy. endless discussions on this topic could be put to rest when there will be some genuine pure soul trying to reach gay people and bring them under the shelter of srila prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada’s movement has always been open to all people and will always be open to all people. The thing is the people have to accept that they are not the material body but the spirit soul and give up the false bodily identifications they have. So that means realizing I am not a gay man, I am not an American, not an Indian, not an Australian, no I am an eternal spirit soul and my eternal business is serving Krishna.
So that is all. So if a ‘gay’ person wants to take to Krishna consciousness he has to accept and admit that this ‘gayness’ is just a false bodily identification. It has nothing to do with his soul. It is a bodily thing only. So to advance in spiritual life one has to follow the four regulative principles and that includes following the principle ‘no illicit sex’. The term ‘gay’ identifies a person who has sex with others of the same sex. So ‘gay’ means a person who indulges in illicit sex by definition. For a devotee sex is only permitted within marriage and event then only for the purpose of having Krishna conscious children. So there is no scope for ‘gay sex’.
So Krishna consciousness is open to everyone but only to those who are prepared to surrender to following the four regulative principles and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day. So a Krishna conscious person is not gay. He knows he is not the material body, he is a spirit soul, and his business is to be engaged in the service of Krishna.
So Krishna consciousness is open to everyone but can not be actually followed by anyone who is not prepared to give up temporary bodily designations like ‘gay’…
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!
Hare Krsna. This is a subject that has been debated for many years even during the life time of HDG SP. During my time of living in the Temple [1969-1972] I knew of one great devotee who was married, but later separated from her husband and formed an friendship with another female devotee and this lasted up until her recent death. I know of NO ONE that would criticize her or accuse her of such a thing although many thought it. I hold no opinion one way or the other in this. All we should be interested in is Chanting the names of the Lord. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna.
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Cencorship of my comments simply proves that they are true.
Danavir Gosvami: you are completely wrong even in your first attempt to criticize homosexual devotees, by claiming:
“The word “gay” is primarily defined as: 1) someone who practices homosexuality; or 2) someone having a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex.”
That is not at all the priamary definition of “gay”. “Gay” is a popular synonym for “homosexual”. The term “homosexual” (or “gay”) doesn´t at all describe any action, opinion or practice. It simply describes the sexual identity or preference in a person. Just as “heterosexual” means someone who can be sexually attracted to a person of the opposite sex. That doesn´t mean that a heterosexual person must have sex with anyone! In the same way, a homosexual person has a sexual preference (which is not a result of choice, just as a heterosexual didn´t choose to become a hetero) but that doesn´t mean he or she must necessarily engage in sexual activities, or become attracted to anyone who happens to be of the same sex!
The conclusion is, that celibacy is possible to the same degree for hetero- and homosexuals. And the possibility of unwanted sex life is also equal.
Your expression “ordinary homosexual behavior” (as opposed to monogamy) is also inadequate. There is no such thing as “ordinary homosexual behaviour”. What you´re implying is of course promiscuity. Promiscuity may well be more common among homosexuals than heterosexuals, for different reasons, but that doesn´t make it any more ordinary. If given free choice, most people would prefer to stick to one partner and be faithful. That is human. Homosexuals are also primarily human beings, just as heterosexuals.
I strongly object to your use of words in the title of your article. You are actually saying that many Krishna devotees are whores. I find this very offensive, on behalf of all gay devotees, and you should really be ashamed of yourself.
I can not understand what grounds you would have to cencor my response to your comment!
Madhudvisa: my humble proposal to the swami is to simply wake up! He conveniently “forgets” many facts (or he is simply ignorant) in his attempt to exclude homosexual/bisexual people from Shrila Prabhupada´s mercy and from his house.
Just because Shrila Prabhupada was ill-informed about certain matters, doesn´t mean that his educated disciples must follow in such footsteps. Shrila Prabhupada´s instructions have been broken in so many other instances by the GBC, so why not this one?
In any case, Danavir Goswami makes himself a luaghing-stock by presenting completely non-scientific statements such as “The concept that ‘once a homosexual, always a homosexual” is pure nonsense'”, and stupid remarks like these is the actual reason why people will not take ISKCON seriously.
I would recommend Danavir Goswami, and all serious ISKCON leaders and members in general, to open their eyes to the real problems in ISKCON, such as sannyasis (heterosexual or homosexual) not being able to resist sex temptations (pretending to be saints but having sex when they think no one sees; then having to be removed from their thrones only when they are exposed, or sometimes not even being removed but just relocated and given a new fancy title!) or child-molestation (performed both by heterosexual and homosexual so called devotees “in good standing”).
It seems to me marriage is a union based on love.Sex is a matter that should be left to the two involved.If God or Krishna is the representation of love it would seem conterproductive to attempt to place restrictions on who we love or how we express that love to one another.Hari Krishna, God Bless, Shalom, Namaste, May God’s peace be with us all
Excuse me Maharaja, but you obviously haven´t the faintest idea what your´re talking about. Wake up.
It is a well presented paper that is backed up by a lot of evidence from Srila Prabhuapda. I can not understand what grounds you would have to criticize this paper? Is Danivar Maharaja supposed to wake up and say that ISKCON should sanction gay marriage? Is that your point?