We have looked at preliminary Evidence against FDG as well as the SAC’s FDG Arguments and have offered additional Evidence Ignored by the SAC according to our parampara. The collective evidence shows that FDG neglects the importance of a woman’s chastity and performance of prescribed duties, as prescribed by our Acaryas:
Lord Krsna, Narada & the Mahajanas, The Goswams, and Srila Prabhupada.
FDG ignores the concept of Guru-patni (helpmate of the husband). By minimizing and contradicting scriptural injunctions against female independence (Manu-samhita and Hari-bhakti-vilasa), it violates the traditional, Vedic model of varnasrama.
The SAC conclusion that “qualified” female devotees “should be allowed to give initiation in ISKCON” ignores the fact that women are qualified differently than men. The GBC would require only lip service to their five suggested prerequisites which they clarify “cannot be absolute rules” despite Prabhupada’s clarification that “in all cases, women should always remain dependent” and by following this, “their lives can be perfect.”
The SAC list includes a minimum age of 50 years, a minimum of half a lifetime devoted to sadhana-bhakti practice, “some family support”, and one or more instructor gurus for seeking spiritual counsel. No mention is made of chastity, engagement in cooking, or the female devotee’s husband, all of which are specified by Srila Prabhupada as essential requirements, however they contradict FDG theory. FDG relativises differences of siksa and diksa, male and female, authority and inferiority, thereby showing similarities to Mayavada “logic of half a hen” described in the book Second Chance. The principle of chastity doesn’t fit into the FDG theory so it is ommitted.
The SAC FDG theory ignores Narada’s directives on stri-dharma, which are considered non-optional for a woman who is to be considered chaste and which Prabhupada upheld as the standard for female devotees to follow. The FDG premise defies Prabhupada’s authority by its omission of chastity as a qualification for women to receive mantra initiation. It ignores sastric restrictions against a woman becoming a full-fledged brahmana or sannyasi, performing yajnas independently and taking a position of authority.
SAC: “If female devotees are to assume the role of spiritual master, then that role would be executed different than a sannyasi because women require protection…. If women accept the role of spiritual master they should not consider that they will be socially independent.”
The whole basis of FDG is that a woman is equal with and has all the rights of a brahmana who, by definition, is “socially independent”:
“A brahmana is never supposed to be engaged for anyone’s service. Accepting service for a livelihood (paricaryatmakam karma) is the business of sudras. The brahmana is always independent and busy studying sastra and preaching sastra to subordinate social members such as ksatriyas and vaisyas…
Sanatana Gosvami declares that a brahmana cannot be engaged in anyone’s service if he wants to take a leading part in society. In Srimad-Bhagavatam Narada Muni states that even if a brahmana is in a difficult position, he should not accept the occupation of a sudra. This means that he should not be engaged in service for another, for this is the business of others.” [CC Madhya 24.325]
FDG on the one hand says a woman can be as equally qualified as a socially independent brahmana to be diksa-guru, yet say she personally should not consider herself to be socially independent. Manu warns about such sophistry:
“The Veda is called the Sruti and the Dharma Sastra is called the Smriti. Their teachings should not be put to the test of logic, for virtue has emanated from these two. Editor’s note: Their imports should not be misconstrued by sophistry (Kutarka)” [Manu-samhita 2.10]
“The Brahmana, who by dint of logic, tries to bring these Sastras into disrepute, shall be excommunicated from the society, as a heretical calumniator of the vedas.” [Manu-samhita 2.11]
Srila Rupa Goswami states that devotional service, which ignores the importance of following Narada-pancaratra rules and regulations creates a disturbance in society:
sruti-smrti-puranadi- pancaratriki-vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate
(from Rupa Goswami BRS 1.2.101)
“Hari-bhakti, devotional service to the Lord, must be approved by Vedas, Puranas. Pancaratriki-vidhi. Otherwise, any show of devotional service is simply disturbance.”
“One cannot be a pure devotee without following the sruti and smrti, and the sruti and smrti without devotional service cannot lead one to the perfection of life.” [SB 7.11.7]
We are mandated, as Srila Prabhupada’s followers, to maintain what he established, not to invent women acting as diksa gurus, which they did not do in his time. “Do not try to innovate or create anything or manufacture anything,” Prabhupada warned, “that will ruin everything.” [Letter to Jagannatha-suta, August 26, 1975]
FDG promotes an artificial social position as it contravenes the natural and eternal varnasrama position of women, following which pleases Guru and Krsna and transgressing breaches etiquette and offends superiors. FDG promotes defiance of male authority and because it is is in defiance of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on and structure of diksa initiations, it is offensive.
Chastity is never irrelevant; FDG makes it so artificially. FDG fits under the category of a newly manufactured religious system, para-dharma, because it encourages action that ignores the religious principles of a woman’s chastity, natural constitutional position, dependence on her husband, and cheats others by false interpretations of scripture:
“There are five branches of irreligion, appropriately known as irreligion [vidharma], religious principles for which one is unfit [para-dharma], pretentious religion [ābhāsa], analogical religion [upadharma] and cheating religion [chala-dharma]. One who is aware of real religious life must abandon these five as irreligious.”
“Therefore, anything opposed to this religious system of progressive Kṛṣṇa consciousness is called vidharma, para-dharma, upadharma or chala-dharma. Misinterpretation of Bhagavad-gītā is chala-dharma. When Kṛṣṇa directly says something and some rascal interprets it to mean something different, this is chala-dharma—a religious system of cheating—or śabda-bhit, a jugglery of words. One should be extremely careful to avoid these various types of cheating systems of religion.” [SB 7.15.12-13]
“If someone presents an alternative doctrine he himself has manufactured, that doctrine will prove itself useless, for any doctrine that tries to prove that Vedic evidence is meaningless immediately proves itself meaningless. The followers of theVedas unanimously accept the authority of Manu and Parāśara in the disciplic succession.“ [CC Adi 6.14-15]