Queen Kunti

Excerpts From Teachings of Queen Kunti Chapter 3: The Most Intelligent Woman (SB 1.8.20)

“You Yourself descend to propagate the transcendental science of devotional service unto the hearts of the advanced transcendentalists and mental speculators, who are purified by being able to discriminate between matter and spirit. How, then, can we women know You perfectly? [SB 1.8.20]

….the Supreme Truth, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, is beyond the range of the thinking power of the greatest philosopher. He is unknowable by great learning or by the greatest brain. He is knowable only by one who has His mercy. Others may go on thinking about Him for years together, yet He is unknowable. This very fact is corroborated by the Queen, who is playing the part of an innocent woman. 

…The Bhagavad-gītā mentions striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrāḥ, and the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam speaks of strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām. According to these references women, śūdras, and dvija-bandhus are considered to belong to the same category. The word dvija-bandhu refers to one who is born in an exalted brāhmaṇaor kṣatriya family but who has no qualifications of his own. One’s social standing, according to the Vedic system, is determined by one’s qualifications. This is very practical. Suppose a man is born the son of a high-court judge. This does not mean that he himself is also a high court judge. Yet because one happens to take birth in a brāhmaṇa family, even if he has no qualifications and is rascal number one, he claims to be a brāhmaṇa, and although his qualifications are less than those of a śūdra, people accept him as a brāhmaṇa. This has caused the downfall of the Vedic civilization.

….As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (14.26):

“One who takes to bhakti-yoga surpasses the modes of material nature and comes immediately to the transcendental platform [brahma-bhūta].” Not to speak of becoming a brāhmaṇa, the person who fully engages in bhakti-yoga attains the highest transcendental platform.

The stereotyped, crippled idea that only a person born in a brāhmaṇa family can become a brāhmaṇa has killed Vedic civilization, but now we are reviving the correct understanding that the attainment of perfection is meant for everyone. In Bhagavad-gītā (9.32) Lord Kṛṣṇa says:

“O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me—though they be lowborn, women, vaiśyas, or śūdras—can approach the supreme destination.” Thus although women, śūdras, and vaiśyas are ordinarily considered to belong to a lower class, when one becomes a devotee he or she goes beyond such designations. Women, śūdras, andvaiśyas are ordinarily regarded as less intelligent, but if one takes to Kṛṣṇac onsciousness one is the most intelligent, as stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (kṛṣṇayei bhaje sei baḍa catura).

….One who has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to be considered the most fortunate because he has found the way to act so that his life will be perfect. One who is Kṛṣṇa conscious and discharging his duties nicely is the most fortunate and the most perfect. This is humbly stated here by Kuntīdevī.

Although Kuntī had the body of a woman, she was a devotee. Therefore she was not like an ordinary unintelligent woman. Rather, she was the most intelligent, for she recognized Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme Godhead.

….Now here also, in this verse, Kuntī continues to express herself with humility. This humility is very good in devotional service. Therefore Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhuteaches us, tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā: “One should be more tolerant than the tree and humbler than the grass to make progress in spiritual life.” 

….Kuntīdevī humbly submits, “You are meant for the paramahaṁsas and munis, those who are cleansed in heart and are engaged in bhakti-yoga. But what are we? We are simply women. We are in a lower class. How can we understand You?” Although she understands everything, she still takes the position of an ordinary woman and says, “How can I understand You?” This is humility.”

Excerpts From Teachings of Queen Kunti Chapter 5: The Vision of Lotuses (SB 1.8..22):

“Śrīmatī Kuntī claims herself unfit to see the Lord because of her being a woman. This is claimed because women, śūdras (the laborer class), and the dvija-bandhus, or the wretched descendants of the higher three classes, are unfit by intelligence to understand transcendental subject matter concerning the spiritual name, fame, attributes, forms, etc., of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Such persons, although they are unfit to enter into the spiritual affairs of the Lord, can see Him as the arcā-vigraha, who descends on the material world just to distribute favors to the fallen souls, including the above-mentioned women, śūdras, and dvija-bandhus…..Therefore, the Lord is merciful even to the women, śūdras, and dvija-bandhus, provided they agree to visit the temple and worship the different forms made for them. Such temple visitors are not idolaters, as alleged by some men with a poor fund of knowledge. All the great ācāryas established such temples of worship in all places just to favor the less intelligent, and one should not pose himself as transcending the stage of temple worship while one is actually in the category of the śūdras and the women or less.”