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Srila Prabhupada, since there is no distinction between "man" and "woman" - these are both designations - is it possible for a woman to become a brahmana?

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"Srila Prabhupada, since there is no distinction between" |"is it possible for a woman to become a brahmana" |"these are both designations"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

He is... Woman is a brāhmaṇa's wife. Then she is automatically a brāhmaṇa.
Morning Walk -- November 2, 1975, Nairobi:

Devotee (7): Is there any difference in (indistinct) when somebody is chanting japa under the tree and someone who is chanting japa in the temple?

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Brahmānanda: I think sometimes we recommend the devotees to chant their rounds in the temple rather than walk in other places.

Prabhupāda: Why one should walk other places? Who has said that you go out, walk other places? Never said.

Devotee (7): It may not really be necessary.

Prabhupāda: No. You should chant in the temple. Why should you go to other place?

Devotee (7): So there is no difference someone chanting out of the temple, in the temple.

Prabhupāda: Why you should go outside? Who has allowed him to go outside? Unless he has got some important business for the temple, why one should go to outside? There is no need. That is the chance of falling down. Why you should go outside? We are arranging for the temple, for the food. Why? Because everyone should stick to the temple and the principles. Why you should go to outside? That should be stopped. You cannot go outside.

Devotee (7): May we go to the shop to buy something?

Prabhupāda: That is another thing. That is for temple's benefit or business. That is another thing. Somebody goes to sell books, somebody goes to make some life members. That is another thing. Otherwise one is not allowed at all. Not whimsically "I am going out." Why you are spoiling your men?

Devotee (9): Prabhupāda, sometimes I've seen devotees say that they did not like to chant in the temple room with the opposite...

Prabhupāda: Then that is a rascal. He is not a devotee. He is a rascal, when a devotee says... How you become devoted? If he does not like the temple and he thinks to be happy outside, what is he? What kind of devotee he is? He is not a devotee.

Devotee (9): What I meant to say is he does not want to chant with women in the temple room. I have seen this before. He says, "I do not want to chant in a room with women. I would rather be away from the women."

Prabhupāda: That means he has got distinction between men and women. He is not yet paṇḍit. Paṇḍitaḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). He is a fool. That's all. He is a fool. So what is the value of his words? He is a fool.

Indian man (4): So he'll go first to make...

Prabhupāda: He should always consider, "There is woman, that's all. She is my mother." That's all. Matṛvāt para-dareṣu. Then what is the...? Suppose you sit down with your mother and chant. What is the wrong? But he is not so strong; then he should go to the forest. Why he should live in the Nairobi city? On the street there are so many women. He will walk on the street closing the eyes? (laughter) This is all rascaldom. They are rascals. They are not devotees, simply rascals.

Indian man (4): Some of our devotee goes to the other temple like Swami Nārāyaṇa and they want to see the ladies there, so then they are taking these instruction from them.

Prabhupāda: Our devotees go to Swami Nārāyaṇa?

Indian man (4): Yes, they go. Here our devotees, they went to Mombassa for, after Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When I was not there, all of them went to Swami...

Prabhupāda: These things should be stopped. They leave their own temple and go to Swami Nārāyaṇa temple? Stop.

Indian man (4): They likes their lunch. They goes for lunch. Yes, that's true. All of them went without asking me. About five, six devotees, immediately from here went to Swami Nārāyaṇa.

Prabhupāda: So this should be rectified.

Indian man (4): And their theory is that... I asked Pramukh Swami that "Why you have put this? Why you say to your disciple that we should not see the face of the woman?" He said that, "We should avoid." But I said, "Well, okay, when you are walking on the road automatically you will see the ladies." He said, "We turn our face to one side." I said, "First you have seen the woman. Then you are turning." (laughter) "You will look further. You have not seen the women. You have no sense, you know."

Prabhupāda: These are all bogus things. One should train himself that matravāt para-dareṣu, all women, "my mother." Then it will be possible to live... Therefore the etiquette is to address every woman, "Ma, ma, mother." That is the etiquette.

Brahmānanda: You say like "Mother Rukmiṇī"? There's a devotee named Rukmiṇī. You say, "Mother Rukmiṇī"? How do you address a woman? Do you say, "Mother," and then the name of the devotee?

Prabhupāda: No. "Mother," simply.

Brahmānanda: Just "Mother."

Prabhupāda: Yes. They should be addressed, "Mother." That will train.

Indian man (4): In our Indian culture they don't call the name of the mother never, children don't.

Prabhupāda: No. "Mother," simply "mother," that's all. And if the woman treats man as son, then it is all right. It is safe.

Indian woman: We got a very sweet sound. Everything we use "ji." "Matāji", "Pitaji," "Brataji," "Bahinji."

Prabhupāda: Or... And the woman says, "Beta."(?) That's all right.

Devotee (5): The only trouble is in the West we're accustomed to not like our mothers.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee (5): In the West we don't like our mothers.

Prabhupāda: So you should forget your West or East. (break)

Brahmānanda: Similarly, wife should not be called "Mother."

Prabhupāda: No. Therefore it is said, "other's wife," not your wife. But Rāmakrishnan, he was saying his wife "mother," and he became famous by this foolishness.

Indian man (4): Rāmakrishnan, there are many like Shyāma mother. Her husband, he calls her "mother."

Prabhupāda: Just see. In the Brahma-samaj they call the wife as "sister," and the wife calls the husband "brother," address like that.

Indian man (6): Śrīla Prabhupāda, since there is no distinction between "man" and "woman"—these are both designationsis it possible for a woman to become a brāhmaṇa?

Brahmānanda: Is it possible for a woman to become a brāhmaṇa?

Prabhupāda: He is... Woman is a brāhmaṇa's wife. Then she is automatically a brāhmaṇa.

Indian man (6): Suppose she doesn't want to get married for the rest of her life, just wants to serve the Lord?

Prabhupāda: So in his spiritual position everyone is a brāhmaṇa.

Brahmānanda: But you give brahminical initiation to unmarried women.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But on spiritual point she is brāhmaṇa. On the spiritual platform there is no such distinction.

Devotee (7): Oh, it's not possible for a woman to become a sannyāsī.

Prabhupāda: No.

Devotee (2): What is the position of the woman in a..., late in life, the wife of a devotee?

Prabhupāda: What is that position?

Brahmānanda: After the husband takes sannyāsa?

Devotee (2): Yes.

Brahmānanda: What is the duties of the woman after the husband takes sannyāsa?

Prabhupāda: So remain a devotee, widow. She is not allowed to marry.

Indian man (4): I know, Prabhupāda, one of your Godsisters in Vṛndāvana. She is very old. She is staying in Tīrtha Mahārāja's maṭha. So she told me she took her initiation when she was about sixteen year old and still she stays in the temple and she... (break) ...say you're the most pious person on this planet.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)