Hari-bhakti-vilasa

Hari-bhakti-vilasa 11:708: 

“A wise man should never insult women, nor should he trust them. He should never become jealous of women, nor should he ever appoint them.” [HBV 11:708/VP 3.12.30]

An alternate translation of this verse reads:

“He should not deal with them (women) impatiently nor should he give them supremacy in important matters.” [The Visnu Mahapuranam, translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt 2005, Delhi]

Additional similar statements:

“I hope you are not placing any confidence in (women), nor divulging any secret before them.” [Mahabharata Sabha Parva Chapter 5 (Narada Muni to Yudhisthira Maharaja)]

“Those objects that depend upon women, careless persons, men that have fallen away from the duties of their caste, and those that are wicked in disposition, are doubtful of success. They sink helplessly, O king, like a raft made of stone, who have a woman, a deceitful person or a child for their guide.” [Mahabharata Udyoga Parva Chapter 38 (Vidura to Dhritarasthra)]

The HBV injunction against women being appointed in roles of authority has been dismissed by the SAC as “general” or referring only to “administrative positions like kings or other heads of state”. Ignoring the relevance of HBV to FDG, the SAC counters that a mother “is also a role of authority”; however they don’t use this to support Suniti initiating Dhruva Maharaja nor in their Jahnava Devi argument.

If the ‘mother as authority’ premise validates women becoming initiating gurus, it must also apply to women becoming heads of state; however, stating the latter would contradict Srila Prabhupada’s SB 4.16.23 Purport1975 TV Interview and May 9, 1977 Room Conversation.

There is no scriptural evidence that a mother can initiate her own children, to whom she is a natural authority. Initiation by women does not exist outside of demigod worship. There are different kinds of mother, yet none are independently authoritative: a birth mother becomes an authority to her children, along with their father who is her husband; the wife of the brahmana or guru-patni assists her husband in teaching students; the king’s wife assists him in ruling. The authority of a mother therefore does not exist independently of the father. Even Durga Devi or Prakriti does not function independently of the Supreme Controller, Purusa. [Bhagavad-gita 7.14 and 14.14] We learn from the story of Citraketu, as was discussed on Dandavats, that even Parvati’s intelligence is inferior to her husband, Siva’s:

“Thus even in the higher statuses of life there is a difference between the understanding of a male and that of a female. It may be clearly said that the understanding of a woman is always inferior to the understanding of a man. In the Western countries there is now agitation to the effect that man and woman should be considered equal, but from this verse it appears that woman is always less intelligent than man. “ [SB 6.17.34-35]

FDG, however, necessitates worship of an independent female, in the absence of her husband, thereby promoting a philosophy that contradicts stri-dharma while simultaneously undermining proper codes of conduct for brahmacaris and sannyasis. Appointing a woman as a diksa-guru, puts her in a position of supreme brahminical authority, giving her a functional role that is equal or superior to her husband. These contradict the sastric principle that Mother/Woman is inferior/subservient to Father/Man and needs to be guided by higher, male intelligence.

Even in the Sri Sampradaya, coming from Laksmi Devi, the disciplic lineage begins with male Acaryas, most notably Ramanuja, who worship Laksmi-Narayana or Sita-Rama, not Laksmi/Mother exclusively.