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Good Culture (in Reply to 
Maharani Devi Dasi)
by Nikhilananda Dasa

Maharani DD Prabhu's statements in her last article are agreeable: Devotees should not quote statements out of context, to use them in the unfortunate war between genders that exists in the material world. We should try and make peace in our lives. Her observation leads to an important topic: A lot of the difficulties that we had in the past are due to sometimes rude dealings of devotees with each other. It is up to us which kind of climate we develop, which values are important for us. One little act of kindness can change another person's entire life.

I do not see any resemblance between the intelligent points that Maharani has presented and those that we find in Niscala's articles. No one can deny that the insulting statements I complained about in my essay are there in Niscala's articles. There should be no attempt at glossing it over afterwards.

If Niscala actually wanted to make a case for good culture, then she should have shown a good example herself, by being more respectful in the mentioning of the name of our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada.

Since Niscala had the nerve to make such bold statments on Srila Prabhupada and her first articles tried to teach us that Srila Prabhupada makes "mistakes," she should have the courage now, to honestly admit her previous error and apologize. That is the sign of a devotee.

I agree with Maharani on the point that the question of the size and weight of brains does not belong to the essential ones. Nor did I mention it at all. Niscala is the one who made it an issue. As Srila Prabhupada mentioned, we are a brain-giving society, so any lack can be filled.

I agree with Maharani's point that the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and shastra should not be quoted out of context to support any form of prejudice. Again, I have never seen one devotee in Europe, in thirty years, who would use the size of the brain as an argument to disqualify female devotees. If Nisacala has had a different experience recently, she could just complain about the particular incident, instead of trying to find imperfections in Srila Prabhupada.

I agree with Maharani DD Prabhu on the point that Srila Prabhupada's words are -all- perfect. I don't find that in Nisacala's articles.

I agree with Maharani DD Prabhu that there are instructions which are more essential than others: As Sri Rupa Goswami has said, developing love of Godhead is the supreme regulative principle to which all others stand in a relationship of relative dependence.

The mistake has been made by people like Harikesa who misinterpreted such subordinate instructions out of context, in their own fanatical ways, for many years, to justify their hate of women and rejection of human relationships, only to go to the other extreme now and reject Srila Prabhupada's authority. The truth is that Harikesa followed his own fanatical version of philosophy all these years, not that of Srila Prabhupada.

I agreee with HH Umapati Swami's suggestion that each instruction of Srila Prabhupada is important, in the sense that all of them are valid and beneficial and have deep meaning. We cannot just pick out those which we like and reject the others, not as his disciples.

Some of the questions that Niscala raised would have been a matter for discussion, if they were not accompanied by statements which are disrespectful to Srila Prabhupada. At the very least, it is a sign of carelessness. An apology is required.

Your servant
Nikhilananda Dasa

© CHAKRA 3 November 2001

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