6: Kiba Vipra

kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya / yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei ‘guru’ haya

“Whether one is a brahmana, a sannyasi or a sudra— regardless of what he is—he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krsna.” [Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 8.125]

The words “brahmana” and “he” refer to men. Prabhupada did not say “he or she”; “sons or daughters”; “mother or father”; “brahmana or brahmani”; “guru or guru-patni” with regards to becoming a spiritual master. Neither did the CC, HBV, BS or Prabhupada’s books, lectures, conversations, interviews or letters show use of such egalitarian, politically correct, half male-half female language in description of the initiating spiritual master. FDG cannot be instituted in ISKCON as it does not confirm to our lawbooks. This Caitanya Caritamrita verse is clearly about a male Vaisnava who, although:

“born in a sudra family but has all the qualities of a spiritual master, he should be accepted not only as a brahmaṇa but as a qualified spiritual master also. This is also the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Ṭhakura therefore introduced the sacred thread ceremony for all Vaisnavas according to the rules and regulations.”

This kiba vipra quote has been taken out of context and misapplied to justify FDG in the same way as the bell metal to gold analogy. These quotes refer to men becoming qualified as brahmanas, as discussed in the IntroductionHari-bhakti-vilasa and Goswamis sections which do not support the SAC’s conclusion.

A brahmana who has no thread is restricted from becoming guru according to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura: Again, we see the use of male words, “he”, “brahmana” and “vaisnavas”. Again, we see ceremony “according to the rules and regulations”, not whimsically. A brahmana who has no thread is restricted from becoming guru according to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura:

 “If an initiated person has not undergone the sacred thread ceremony, he is not qualified to be a guru; rather he is fit for rejection.” [Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Brahmana and Vaisnava p. 189] 

A woman does not undergo “the sacred thread ceremony”; therefore she “is not qualified to be a guru” who gives diksa “according to the sastric principles” In this case the word “she” is interchangeable with “he” as a woman does not undergo “the sacred thread ceremony”; therefore she “is not qualified to be a guru” who gives diksa “according to the sastric principles”:

 “The guru is a qualified brahmaa… Even though a person is born in a brahminical family and is very expert in performing sacrifices, he cannot be accepted as a guru if he is not a strict Vaiṣṇava. A guru is a brahmana by qualification, and he can turn others into brahmanas according to the sastric principles and brahminical qualifications.”
[CC Madhya 16.186]

Pancaratriki principles prohibit women from receiving the sacred thread, even if her husband is a brahmana:

“Women are considered on the same platform with sudras, and although a woman may be married to a brahmana, she is not given the sacred thread.” [TLK Vs 5]

A girl is not allowed all the samskaras because, in all cases, a girl must follow her husband. If her husband is brahmana, she is also automatically a brahmana. There is no need for her to undergo a separate reformation or imitate men. The point is that if by chance she doesn’t marry a brahmana, her so-called brahmana training is meaningless. Therefore, even if born in a brahmana family, a woman is always taken as a woman not as a brahmana. [Sri Sri Rukmini Dvaraka-natha Deity Installation Los Angeles, July 16, 1969] A woman is known as a brahmani when she is married to a brahmana husband because she is his assistant, whereas a male brahmana is not subservient to the other classes.