Men of Faith

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50 Responses

  1. Amara Wilhelm says:

    Very well done article, Udayan. I really like the way you presented Jayesh’s story, too. Thanks so much…you are doing a wonderful service for India’s LGBT community and, frankly, India as a whole!

  2. Ananda-Maya Devi Dasi says:

    Nice article!

    Amara prabhu has been doing a wonderful service for all LGBT vaishnavas around the world, and you can see it already affecting positively lots of people acceptance towards LGBT devotees, including within ISKCON.

    The point is that LGBT acceptance and respect is a very indivudual thing, so you’ll find different people at different ISKCON centers with sometimes opposing stands on the matter. But I believe ISKCON is steadily advancing, as a whole, to a more inclusive institution all over the planet. We just have to keep doing our part!

  3. Vasudeva dasa says:

    A very nice article. Amara prabhu is doing a most wonderful job for so many third gendered devotees (and their friends and families) all over the world.

  4. tukaram says:

    Wow, very nice article. Your group is doing a very important job within ISKCON. I do not understand how ISKCON got so crazy conservative. Prabhupada was so accepting of anyone truly interested in serving. Krishna.

  5. Thank you very much for this inspiring and informative article and congratulations to Pink Pages!

    As an openly gay sannyasi disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami I meet LGBT devotees and people around the world. One thing that I find universally true for all people is the obvious difference between what is ordinary mundane religion and what is actually spiritual. Mundane or worldly religion treats people favourably or dis-favourably according to bodily designations – one’s birth. While a truly spiritual perspective sees the individual as an eternal spiritual being with an eternal identity in relationship to the Lord and does not see any material condition which can change that reality.

    True there is much education still needed on all levels; not just with regard to LGBT inclusiveness, and Amara Prabhu and Jayesh Prabhu are admirable teachers who are making a real difference in this regard. Ignorance is the basic cause of all sectarianism and offences to others and thus is the main root cause for delays in spiritual realization.

    I would be very happy to meet and/or correspond with any LGBT persons who would like to work together to educate all people. I will be in the wonderful company of many GALVA devotees in the holy dhama of Vrindavan this Kartika month (22 October to 21 November) and would be happy to all. My email is: [email protected]

    Thank you again to Pink Pages for this honest and most welcome article revealing the natural inclination for spiritual life amongst all LGBT people.

    Vaisnava dasanudas,
    BV Vaisnava Maharaja

    • gaurasundara says:

      Your statement; as an openly gay sannyasi is insane at most; foolish at best. Number one: a sannyasi is free from sex life. Number two: a sannyasi is fully surrendered to Lord Krsna and views the body for what it is ..a bag of stool; pus; urine. A Sannyasi does not view other peoples bodies as objects of pleasure. A Sannyasi does not drink the vomit of sex life. So from your comments I can see that you are not a Sannyasi.

  6. Neil says:

    Radhe Radhe! Wonderful article! I can’t express what a positive support Amaraji and GALVA have been to me over the years. Like any family we have our moments, but I am so thankful for the GALVA Satsangha. Hopefully the wonderful work that they are doing in the Gaudiya denomination can be extended to other conservative branches of the great wish-fulfilling tree called Sanathana Dharma. The Eternal Truth is for all people, for all time. It is time that we recognize this and free it from narrow class-ism, sectarianism, and ethnic exclusivity. Jai Ram!

  7. prakash says:

    a really good and thought provoking article

  8. harish says:

    wow! what an article. Udayan! love you for this.

  9. As always, such a nice explanation by Amara prabhu! Thanks Udayan!

  10. Vrindavanand das says:

    Very nice article Udayan. Armara das has a wonderful way of bridging the “differences” between gay and straight devotees. As well as maintaining the GALVA website. He is very encouraging and understanding. I have to admit to having much less patience for homophobia than he and others in the group, but am happy to have found GALVA, in addition to having the association of the Gay, Lesbian, and Transgendered devotees throughout the US, India, and Europe, from which I have learned much.

    Although Jayesh has had a very difficult time of it, he continues to have a very positive outlook as well, they are both good examples of the all inclusive nature of Lord Caitanya’s teachings:

    “One who is humbler than a blade of grass, more forbearing than a tree who gives due honour to others without desiring honour for himself is qualified to always chant the Holy Name of Krishna.” Sikastakam, verse 3

  11. Sarah says:

    Beautiful article. I really enjoyed it. Amara Das’ writings have really helped me a lot, as a bisexual (mostly gay)/genderqueer aspiring Vaisnava who never felt like I fit in… to the point that I felt discouraged to even practice Krishna Consciousness. I tried to get married so I would “do the right thing” and that did not work out. I was really brainwashed and I am glad now that I can accept myself as third gender AND still be practicing Krishna Consciousness. I am finding also that more and more gay devotees are coming out now and this is so refreshing. Sometimes I do experience some negative attitudes or even quite condescending moods… ie “you haven’t met the right man yet, etc” but I try to just focus on what is important… serving Krishna’s devotees and my family.

    We can’t look at someone and know their relationship to Krishna. I believe Krishna put so many different kinds of people on this earth so we could learn not to judge others, and try to treat all people equally.

    Again, thanks.

  12. Uttam singha says:

    Udayan, jayesh, and dear Amara dasa,

    It was so good to read this article: i don’t recall ever having read one like this in any gay periodical. it spoke to me on different levels in a way that was, at last, meaningful and real.
    Thanks for the effort, Udayan and Jayesh. Please accept my heartfelt appreciation. To be gay/bi is to struggle for understanding, from others, from oneself. And dear Amara prabhu, you understand the Vaishnava creed so well, apply it to challenging situations so consistently, and take recourse to such a remarkable and fecund intuition, I suspect your study of Vaishnava scripture and Hinduism dovetailed into your understanding of the human condition a loo oo oong time ago!

    i think i can safely say that i like the article very much and will be so glad to read more like these. Kudos to you and all such scholars who toil for those challenged by faith and orientation over and over.

    Hare Krishna!

    uttam

  13. Shyam says:

    Thank you very much Amara Prabhu for all your dedication, sacrifice and indefatigable enthusiasm to reach out to the devotee gay community, who were facing numerous problems. Indeed, its the arrangement of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to put an end to the discrimination and harassment of the minority devotees and provide them love and support.

    Amara prabhu ki Jai!!!
    GALVA ki Jai!!!
    Gaura-bhakta-vrinda ki Jai!!!

  14. Indrani says:

    this is a very nice article. Keep up doing the nice job :-)

  15. Kevin Bello says:

    Thank you so much for this thought provoking article. I am very happy that there is more and more publicity concerning third gender issues and Vaishnava Dharma. This Vaishnavism is so sweet, so precious, and so divine, that to have it eclipsed by the prejudices of external society would be retrogressive and counterproductive to the loving devotional practices of Krishna bhakti.

    May all beings benefit from the non-sectarian, non-dogmatic, all-auspicious movement of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Dharma! :)

    Dandavats,
    Kevin.

  16. rudradev says:

    What a powerful article! I just wanted to thank you, because your efforts with GALVA have contributed greatly to my own growth and development into a more loving and accepting person. I have come to understand that my previous homophobia was borne of prejudice, ignorance and insecurity. Keep up this wonderful service, prabhu. Lives CAN and DO change!

    Mahalo, Bhakta Rudra

  17. Ananda das says:

    Thank you for an informative article. I agree that among at least some of the ISKCON leadership there seems to be a drift towards homophobia since the departure of Srila Prabhupada.

    The examples mentioned of Ginsberg and of Upendra prabhu are germane. Allen Ginsberg and his lover Peter Orlovsky visited the ISKCON temple in Montréal in 1968; Prabhupada greeted them both warmly and asked Ginsberg to lead kirtan with his portable harmonium. Further, he asked Ginsberg to chant Hare Krishna at every poetry reading or public meeting he gave — a request which Ginsberg honoured out of his great respect for Prabhupada. They also visited the Vancouver temple in March of the following year and led a rousing kirtan at the Sunday love feast.

    Upendra prabhu was a good friend of mine who had held some kirtans on Second Beach in Vancouver in the summer of 1968 but ultimately decided to establish a temple in Seattle instead. During the time that I was trying to establish a Vancouver temple in 1968 and 1969, I often took the Greyhound bus to Seattle to benefit from his association, to purchase books and magazines for distribution in Vancouver and to pick up hints on running effective classes and Sunday feast programs. I always thought of Upendra das as being a wise, empathetic and inspirational devotee leader. Before reading this article I had not known that he had been gay, but my friendship with him would not have changed had he told me. To me, his warmth, his kindness to all and his obvious spiritual understanding were all that mattered. He had truly internalized the devotional philosophy and was a realized bhakta of the first order.

    Sadly, I have also known many closeted gay devotees — some of them in positions of great power over other devotees as sannyasis or supposed gurus — who made assiduous efforts to mask their orientation under a public show of celibacy. Many of these turned their private attraction for men into a public repugnance for women, and because they held positions of power, their misogyny greatly hurt ISKCON in ways that the movement is still recovering from. A hypocrite should not have been allowed to assume responsibility for the care of disciples, but many of them did so. Thankfully, many of these dacoits have now utterly left the movement they did so much to harm; unfortunately, a few such men still hold positions of temporal and spiritual authority and are still able to harm devotees in their care.

    Sri sri guru-gauranga jayatah.
    Ananda das

  18. Nitya says:

    “When Jayesh first came out to his family at age 17, he was promptly taken to Dr. Mrugesh Vaishnav, a prominent psychiatrist in Mumbai. There he was given shock therapy to his genitals,”

    I bet that Dr. really got a kick out of this. Great article!! Two thumbs up!

  19. Nick Wasko aka Nandalal says:

    Be great to see India and the Vaisnavas in some circles change their attitudes to Gay Vaisnavas, this kind of education can only go to help that. I know by karma we are destined to be this way, but in terms of this life, I don’t remember asking for it. Made it difficult to grow up, hiding from parents and school, the taboo subject.

    Hoping this also leads to a more spiritualisation of the ‘gay’ scene and people don’t see us as an easy buck.

    Great Work and All Glories to Sri Sri Gurudev and Gauranga. Hare Krsna………

  20. Manohara das says:

    Yes, indeed, Amara Prabhu’s work on behalf of 3rd-gendered devotees is amazing! I highly recommend his book and his association. Without Galva, I think I would have gotten discouraged in my spiritual life. Thank you Amaraji!

  21. Sameer says:

    This is very intersting. 1st time i heard about this. I am gay but serving Krishna and other vaishnavas. Can GALVA help me in this regard?. I desperately need a guidence.

  22. Tomas says:

    Hare Krishna.Many thanks for Your article.I just wanted to clarify few points,Actually gandharva marriage is not at all recommended in Kali yuga either for hetero or homosexuals.If the homosexual devotee feels emotional need to live with a partner,still he has to keep celibacy.Otherwise any sexual activity will be considered illicit as there is no question of procreation.So the relationship should be based on emotial exchanges and not on sexual relationship.I think there is no need for marriage for the homosexual devotees.Many thanks for the understanding.

  23. Kali Chandrasegaram says:

    I just want to say thank you to Amara Das for bringing back my religion and spiritual believe in me. I am so happy to discover GALVA………Now there’s hope! Thank you.

  24. It is nice to see such nice devotees helping to fight this horrible stigma. We all have a right to worship God.

  25. jasoda says:

    Hi

    I am all for inclusion, however the basis of this public cry for inclusion is flawed by the fact there is no worthy insititution to be included in within Iskcon!! as this institution has no body or core to measure up to anyway!! Lets hope it develops ones again by dint of all of use recreating it moment by moment in the name of Srila Prabhupad…so that those despearately wanting to be accepted is not so farcical. I am a single parent and I cd cry a double volume book about not being accepted into Isckon and have considered it , but I realize that the crux of Srila Prabhpads message is to become self realised and thats not happening in the temples or institutional consciousness..its happening at home in our four walls privately and deeply with my kid leading kirtans and many more preme coming!!

    I have noticed the gay issue goes hand in hand with ‘being noticed’. There is another issue here afoot which is ;proper understanding of our sexuality and this has so far been omitted in Iskcon due to inadequate leadership. I have been most fortunate to have met a bonafide (pro Prabhupad!) guru 13 yrs ago who did teach this rare and elevated teaching…I see this as the missing link and whilst this teaching is not out there, this, like other issues will conflagrate and continue to create disturbance from our true focus…we are not male nor female, old nor young american or hindu etc.or gay or straight for that matter!!lol!..we are sprirt soul and we need proper guidance on consecrating everything including our sexuality to Krisna…not supressing it or considering it ‘outside’ of our devotional activity.

    Please contact me if you want guidance with this knowledge I have been given.

    Yours in search of increasing awareness in Krisna consciousness,

    jaya Srila Prabhupad!

    Jasoda

  26. bhaktajames says:

    There are 4 pillars of sinful activity as you all well know…in my humble opinion…being “gay” plays a close 2nd to killing cows. Yes, even the cow killers have a right to worship God…but I’m pretty sure that the good Lord above would prefer we all get around to following the regulative principles along with dancing and singing the holy names. Jai Radhe.

    • Nilay says:

      @bhaktahames,

      “in my humble opinion…being “gay” plays a close 2nd to killing cows.”

      Can you please cite any scripture,etc to back that statement up?

  27. Corey says:

    So, ISKCON kicks out all of the Prabhupadanugas and people who just want to surrender to Prabhupada, but they welcome all kinds of riff-raff, homosexuals, criminals, pedophiles, drug addicts, schizophrenics, murderers, etc.

    Who the hell would want to join ISKCON at this stage? They are attracting some of the lowest class people in the world, and kicking out some of the most sincere people in the world (people who just want to surrender to Srila Prabhupada).

    “ISKCON gurus have opposed, oppressed, and driven out many sincere Godbrothers and Godsisters.”

    -Jayadvaita Swami

    I don’t get it? Sincere and serious devotees are not welcome, but child molesters and criminals ARE?

    This is the madness and hypocrisy of ISKCON’s criminal leadership. They promote and protect pedophiles like Bhavananda, and kick out those who don’t agree to worship their pedophile gurus?

    The only conclusion one can come to is that ISKCON’s leaders like Jayapataka, Tamal, and Radhanath are some of the greatest cheateres and criminals in the universe. They are claiming to be pure devotees, but in reality they are just a bunch of low class scumbag criminals.

    People who knowingly promote homosexual pedophile child molesters are themselves criminals as well.

    “…one who is mischievous, he is culprit. But one who tolerates mischievous activity, he is also culprit. If you are mischievous, you are criminal. But if you tolerate mischievous activities that is also criminal. ”

    -Srila Prabhupada, May 3, 1973, Los Angeles

    Srila Prabhupada is the real guru who should be worshipped, not these stupdi pedophiles and homosexual bogus gurus.

    Homosexual pedophile gurus and their supporters are going to the darkest regions of hell after their “guru business” is finished:

    “These rogues are the most dangerous elements in human society. Because there is no religious government, they escape punishment by the law of the state. They cannot, however, escape the law of the Supreme, who has clearly declared in Bhagavad gita (16.19-20) that envious demons in the garb of religious propagandists shall be thrown into the darkest regions of hell. Sri Isopanisad confirms that these pseudo religionists are heading toward the most obnoxious place in the universe after the completion of their spiritual master business, which they conduct simply for sense gratification.”

    -Srila Prabhupada, Sri Isopanisad, mantra 12, purport

  28. sarvopama dasa says:

    Unless people can transcend both hetero and homosexual tendencies and become truly omnisexual, they are destined to suffer more and more. If the males cannot retain their semen, they will lose power and only suffer. This is the truth that no one wants to hear. Spiritual life will elude those who are intent upon any form of material enjoyment.

  29. jai das says:

    Amara you are not disciple of HDG Srila Prabhupada.If you were you would not be into glorification of this stool pushing business.Why don’t you,like the rest of us,endure onslaughts of lust desire and pray to Krishna to enable you to follow the principles some day.This taste for anal sex that you are cultivating and showing proudly to the world is not good basis for decent association.I think that you are doing this because of your insatiable desire for fame and adoration by your gay brothers.Shame on you.You should be shunned.

  30. lusty pig das says:

    This shameless gay parade should be stopped.You Amara are a rascal of worst kind.Your ridiculous movement would be equivalent to the movements such as “straight grihastas association for anal sex” or “old pervert sanyasi association for sex with children” .

    You are either a vaishnav or a person that is aspiring to be one.You either follow the principles or you are doing your best and praying hard to come to that stage.

    For one seriously interested in advancing in spiritual consciousness there is no need to identify with or associate with one whose sexuality is on the forefront on his consciousness.It can only be degrading and detrimental for ones spiritual progress.

    If I as a straight married male start identifying with my desire for sex with the ladies and I form equivalent organization in order to attract all the sexually deprived men and women,will that help me in any way except to get laid more often and increase my sex desire?

    Why not be humble and admit that you are a lusty pig like most of us and don’t be so darn proud of your bizarre,grotesque,filthy animal propensity.

    Keep your genitalia in control you fool.Find a nice boy and hide in shame if you really can’t live without the scent of stool and man’s sweat.Stop misleading others into thinking that digging stool out of someone’s butt is a goal of life.

    Shame on you twice.Rascal.

  31. sean says:

    I suspect that a number of the last anti gay tirades above are all coming from the same person. It is probable that this person is the same individual who runs a web site dedicated to the hatred and slander of other Vaishnavas. He continually attacks both straight and gay devotees in an onslaught of apparadha or offense, so please do not take him seriously.

    Amara, this was a very nice article which was very enlightening to me as a “straight” person. Thank you.

  32. Mulasimha says:

    Lustypigdas:please control your words when you refer to vaishnava. It doesn’t matter if these devotees are gay or else they are worshiping our Lord Krishna and having faith in Srila Prabhupada. No vaishnava should be ill-judged for the body is in. There are not “better” residents in this prison.

    Corey : please list the many devotees in Iskcon who are there serving the other devotees and strictly following the principles and chanting Hare Krishna. Those who talks like you are just faultfinders and fingerpointers and always nourishing the same diatribe which is offensive to all those vaishnava who are in Iskcon faithfully and silently serving Srila Prabhupada lotus feet. Statements as such made in your message are harmful only to the spiritual life of those uttering them and to them only. Srila Prabhupada would not have listen at them not even for half second. So we should avoid even reading them.

  33. Vivek Kaul says:

    Very nice interview Amara! Just give me the comments on the following.

    I had difficultly with this video where Prabhupada criticizes Christians priests for sanctioning gay marriages. He criticises so severely. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7kCcxNQg3Q
    I really did not like the video.

    I was reading a recent article by a trained researcher who happened to be a gay activist.
    http://www.christiantelegraph.com/issue9735.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luiz_Mott

    His ideas have made me consider that sexual orientation can be to some extent fluid, especially because a gay person with credible academic background says so. In one sense, it is good that there is some “free will” for the person in choosing their orientation and it is not completely deterministic.

    Obviously these are complex issues, which cannot be answered easily and I don’t know if there is an absolutely right view to deal with this issue. It is somewhat similar to abortion.

    One of my good friend Puneet who is homosexual and is pretty balanced did his research on Hindu scriptures and found out a few references where homosexuals will have to be confined to a lower status in society. He asked for your opinion on this matter.

    “Foolish and evil men engage in all forms of sexual intercourse without a female womb, forcing themselves upon other men. They are born again without their organs as neuters.” (Mahabharata 13.145.52)

    Then he sent this article
    http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/hinduism.htm

    Most of the quotes here from the Kama Sutra condemn or chide oral and anal sex and my friend Puneet thinks there is some ground for modern day yogic masters who don’t want their disciples to engage in oral and anal sex to discourage homosexual union, which is physical.

    Vatsyayana notes: “According to the Acharya, the masters of learning, this practice is not recommended. It is contrary to sound morals and is not a civilized practice. One is defiled by the contact of the sex with the face” (2.9.26).

    Vatsyayana (2.9.40) advises that high-caste Brahmans (priests), educated men, government officials, and famous persons should avoid oral sex. The commentary notes that such a prohibition was not absolute, however. Vatsyayana observes that youthful servants sometimes performed oral sex on “other men” (2.9.35).

  34. Amara Wilhelm says:

    Dear Vivek,

    Hare Krishna! Here are my comments:

    As mentioned earlier, Srila Prabhupada strongly condemned homosexuality as was typically done by any man raised during the early twentieth century. However, if we study his actual dealings with homosexual friends and disciples we see he was actually quite flexible and loving. It is said that “actions speak louder than words” and I believe that is the case here with Srila Prabhupada.

    In regard to sexual orientation being fluid, only bisexuality is mutable in the sense that it can switch back and forth and change focus from one sexual preference to the other. People often mistake bisexuality for changed sexual orientation but sexual orientation–even bisexuality–is biologically set during fetal development in the womb (in the first two months). This is stated in the Hindu scriptures and alluded to by modern science.

    However, one’s sexual orientation can certainly be changed from lifetime to lifetime, according to one’s desires (kama) and deeds (karma).

    As mentioned in my article, homosexual acts and homosexual people in general are considered “lower” in nature by ritualistic (smarta) brahmanas and texts, but these bodily considerations are easily dismissed by spiritualists with higher criterion. For instance, is a man heterosexually raping a woman higher than a loving, committed gay couple? Or is a heterosexual murderer higher than a celibate gay man simply by dint of his being straight? Of course not! Obviously a person’s heart and character must be considered foremost over mere body-type and these are the higher teachings of our scriptures.

    • Isha Prakash das says:

      Dear Amara prabhu,

      Hare Krsna. Please accept my humble obeisances.All glories to Srila Prabhupada .

      I just wanted to say that I very much support your ongoing efforts to support the worldwide Gay and Lesbian Vaisnava community . All jivas should be welcomed to serve Krsna and Mahaprabhu . According to Srimad Bhagavatam genuine sadhus are also suhrtam sarva dehinam , truly friendly to all embodied beings. Especially this is true of the devotees of Mahaprabhu who warmly welcomed those who were socially or official considered of lower status. I am sad that homophobia , or general immaturity about gender issues , still exists in the vaisnava world , and am especially pained that persons such as yourself should be publicly derided . Please don’t take heed of it , and please do continue your sometimes thankless but very important work of making the mercy of Gaura and Krsna available to one and all , as They very much want . I would also like to similarly applaud the courage of Jayesh prabhu and other who are not known to me for their similar often unthanked efforts in the same regard . I hope that you all are fully blessed by Guru and Krsna always . Hare Krsna .

      Your lowly servant,
      Isha prakash das.

  35. sp das says:

    Hawaii

    26 May, 1975

    75-05-26

    My Dear Lalitananda dasa,

    Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 13rd, 1975 and have noted the contents. 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.

    I hope this meets you in good health.

    Your ever well-wisher,

    A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

    Amara,you got some balls to put yourself in the position of leadership of the blind.It is perfect blind leading the blind scenario.the only thing you may not like is that you will also have to take some of the sinful karma of the unfortunate people that are following you.

  36. sp das says:

    “Leaders who have fallen into ignorance and who mislead people by directing them to the path of destruction [as described in the previous verse] are, in effect, boarding a stone boat, and so too are those who blindly follow them. A stone boat would be unable to float and would sink in the water with its passengers. Similarly, those who mislead people go to hell, and their followers go with them.”
    (Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 14th, 1972)

    Lets examine your case, Amara das.You admitted to not being able to follow the regulative principles.That puts you in the mode of ignorance category clearly.As such you have taken it upon yourself to lead your similarly afflicted brethren.Good luck in your journey on your stone boat.

    I just hope that your followers take heed of Srila Prabhupada’s words before they sink with you.

  37. Udayan says:

    @ Amara, Jayesh,

    I am not religious, but in the course of interacting with you people for writing this article I realized how less a role one’s sexual orientation plays in the spiritual path. You might as well be straight, it makes no difference as long as you follow what you believe in.

    Also, reading Amara’s book was such an enriching experience. I had no idea about the way our ancient religion and culture embrace even those who dare to stray from the beaten track. It respects and celebrates differences, and doesn’t make it an excuse for spreading bigotry and hate. That’s the most amazing thing about Hinduism.

    And to those who’re criticizing Amara’s work, they should realize that the God they claim to serve made us all, the way we are. He made people straight just the way He made the others gay. Thus, to criticize an aspect of God’s creation is to criticize God Himself.

    In any case, how is a gay devotee who becomes celibate different from a straight one? Please remember that becoming celibate doesn’t mean becoming asexual, it only means controlling our sexual desires, irrespective of which gender it’s directed towards.

    I sincerely hope that ISKCON and other Hindu religious bodies do not continue to met out such distressing experiences to the faithful who happen to be gay for too long. I wish Amara and Jayesh all the best in their efforts!

  38. mallika says:

    Amara D a s Wilhelm’s book &articles all are very informative as well as guide posts for the new entrants.This has nothing abusive or against Vaishnavvic/ite remarks/culture/GALVA 108/ISCON.

  39. Christopher says:

    wonderful and amazing i am proud of you amara and all my godbrothers who stand against any kind of hate and ignorance such a beautiful movement its true Prabhupada built a house for the whole world to live in .. lets stop the hate and start loving one another as krishna loves us as prabhupada loves us as we are.
    kindness compasion these are the true qualities of a devotee prabhupada taught us this now lets live his example .
    lets go home back to godhead ..

  40. Jaya Sri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu Nithyananda Sri Advaita Gadadhara Shrivasadi Gaura Bhakta Vrnda

    Hare Krsna

    I read this whole article and the dialogs between everybody also..

    “Srila Prabhupada’s statements on homosexuality are typical for someone of his generation and reflect exactly the attitudes and beliefs held during the British Victorian Era. Personally, I prefer to focus on his higher spiritual teachings such as transcending bodily designations altogether and viewing everyone equally as spirit-soul. ”

    In my opinion Amara is way out of line according to Prabhupada’s wishes.. It’s disturbing that you focus on your sexual orientation to such a degree.. and I agree with someone who said here that you are an attention whore.. (paraphrasing) It’s also disturbing that you seem to write Prabhupada’s logic off as some passing “Victorian/Industrial Age” nonsense with no bearing to our “modern times”.. Prabhupada was not the body that appears to be the beautiful old bald Indian man, Prabhupada was an ancient soul of immense proportion. His wisdom was not the fleeting feelings of an old stuffy conservative fogey as you seem to be intimating. But, since as someone else has wisely pointed out, you appear to have been taken by the modes of passion and ignorance, disguised as goodness, you look at Prabhupada and see an old Indian man with flawed logic. His reason was based on Shastra, his knowledge extends back countless aeons of service to Krishna.

    I agree also with what someone else has said, that it shouldn’t matter as long as you renounce sex and pleasure seeking from another material body, and seek your pleasure in the infinite ecstatic omnisexual union with the Divine Radha-Krishna, then you will enter into a state of utter Spiritual fulfillment and rapture, and nobody will be asking if you are gay or straight or like to have sex with chickens. You would be fulfilled and beyond these earthly designations.

    I think I will copy paste Prabhupada’s letter just one more time to make it utterly clear of his attitude towards this topic.

    “My Dear Lalitananda dasa,

    Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 13rd, 1975 and have noted the contents. 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.

    I hope this meets you in good health.

    Your ever well-wisher,

    A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami”

    The fact that so many people have become dull and devoid of discernment is disturbing. It’s an effect of our wishy washy huggy feely culture which has been so utterly ruined by the demoniac rulers of this age of Kali.

    Renounce all sex, homosex or otherwise, that is not for producing a baby. Renounce marriage, with anything that does not have 4 arms and carry a discus, lotus, conch shell, and mace.

    Jaya Sri Krishna Chaitanya Prabhu Nithyananda Sri Advaita Gadadhara Shrivasadi Gaura Bhakta Vrnda

    Hare Krsna

    Pranava Prabhu
    http://www.nifkcon.ning.com

    “First of all, the conditioned soul is cheated by so-called svamis, yogis and incarnations when he approaches them to be relieved of material miseries. When the conditioned soul is not satisfied with them, he comes to devotees and pure brahmanas who try to elevate him for final liberation from material bondage.

    However, the unscrupulous conditioned soul cannot rigidly follow the principles prohibiting illicit sex. intoxication, gambling and meat-eating. Thus he falls down and takes shelter of people who are like monkeys. In the Krsna
    consciousness movement these monkey disciples, being unable to follow the strict regulative principles, sometimes fall down and try to form societies based on sex. This is proof that such people are descendants of monkeys, as confirmed by
    Darwin. In this verse it is therefore clearly stated: yatha vanara-jateh.”

  41. If you were serious you wouldn’t be fussing about your own personal needs and wants (having a gay partner, or any partner for that matter), if you aren’t serious then there’s no need to be considering Shastra or vows of Sannyas in the first place.

    We live in a dark corrupted planet where there is endless suffering and starving children devoid of Love of God who need our help desperately and we are sitting here bickering about gay sex.

    ‘In all reference and discussions that Srila Prabhupada had on homosexuality, he never once suggested allowing same-sex relationships or marriages and especially after initiation. Maharaja has quoted Prabhupada on the first part of this sentence to his purport of 3:20:26, “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.” However, this is incomplete. The second part of Prabhupada’s sentence is: “the homosexual appetite of a man for another man is demonic and is not for any sane male in the ordinary course of life.”‘ – Krishna.org

  42. vikas says:

    Being born as gay is not the problem..but acting on it is surely a problem. Even the heterosexual couples are not allowed to have illicit sex (sex other than begetting Krishna conscious child)..so there is no point in talking about gay marriage..because gay sex is always illicit and unnatural. Discrimination is condemned, but if someone calls himself as vaishnava and wants to have homosexual relations..then he has not understood the basic four regulative principles itself. Even if someone talks about platonic relationship..its very difficult if not unrealistic.

    I still feel ISKCON should do something about accepting and clarifying the codes for LGBT devotees.

    I myself is gay and out to my fellow devotees and counselors.

  43. Christopher Driggers says:

    Never let it be said that change comes without a price.

    That change is often the sacrifice of our personal fear in facing the unknown the unfamiliar.

    But this powerful realization of letting go and release inspires the beginning of a new journey into new horizons of hope and joy, love and acceptance.

    And it is the very thing we long for (change itself)

    We proudly proclaim we are fine as we are,and nothing is needed in our personal cycle of spiritual evolution.

    We live amidst the chaos of material culture, that pushes us even further away from our center, our personal place of power, the quiet stillness within.

    In fact we fear change as a dreaded specter a ghost that haunts our minds and footsteps and causes us to flee in terror.

    We often refuse to acknowledge the very existence of our personal denial that causes us to remain steadfast and stuck in our fear.

    The familiar is easy , the mundane does not require sacrifice, if i just pretend it isn’t there then it isn’t, i will will deal with the reality of truth tomorrow

    We flee, we hide and we try and defend our position,excluding anyone or anything that challenges us .

    I will never accept you we say, i will never embrace the unfamiliar, but in fact it is simple and it is absolute denial that keeps us chained to our fear.

    But in the end the truth rises to the surface and waits to be healed with love and forgiveness compassion and acceptance.

    Alister Crowley said our greatest shadow, is our truest friend, there is something very profound in that statement.

    In the ancient schools of Veda it was taught that in order for one to become a whole balanced person, the shadow self must be acknowledged and accepted and loved, then and only then would the person be a whole complete individual.

    If i ponder this deeply, and admit my own true nature to myself and to god and the universe, then there is no need for denial ,no excuses standing between me and my true self my true nature to be as i was created to be, myself.

    Nature does not offer apologies for being nature,nor does the lion apologize for being the lion.

    His nature is complete, he knows his true power does not lie in pretense nor lies but in total honesty integrity and respect and admiration for all that he is, he simply accepts that he is as he was created to be himself. .

    If you say a path of denial is your true nature this is simply a lie.

    it is not a path, but a lie for if you deny your true nature as being who you truly are then that in and of itself is a lie pretend all you wish but you will never find the path the wholeness amidst the secrets of denial . stand strong in your power as Gay as lesbian and follow the dictates of your heart not those of another.

  44. edward says:

    Hi all, Could someone please suggest a bi/gay friendly Hare Krishna temple or community anywhere in the world? I am a male to female cross-dresser. I want to worship Lord Krishna dressed as a Gopi hand maiden. I have always wanted to be a woman! Please help me to find a Hare Krishna community or temple where i would be accepted and able to dress as a Gopi.

    Thank you Edward

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