Another big topic in Enquirer #5 was sexism, featured in an article blatantly titled, “Krishna and Sexism.” The article started out by defining sexism as the evaluation of a person’s worth primarily on the basis of their type of body, male or female. Thus, the ultimate root of sexism is a bodily concept of ourselves and others. Unfortunately, most modern equality movements inadvertently accept the bodily concept of self, and thus nourish the root of sexism, by identifying strongly with gender, “I am woman.”

Then I tackled the complaint, “But wait, you’re a Hare Krishna… you guys are totally sexist.” I claimed not to know where the sexist things associated with Hare Krishna came from, but said confidently that they are not a part of it’s true, core philosophy. As an example I quoted Krishna directly, who says in Bhagavad Gītā (5.18), “A wise person sees everyone equally.” Not only is Krishna consciousness not sexist, I argued, it is the ultimate cure for sexism because it provides a way to realize oneself and others as conscious beings, not just as bodies.

Who I was trying to convince more, the readers or myself? I’m not sure.

Or maybe I was trying to convince the Hare Krishna’s? Trying to remind them what Krishna consciousness really should be?

God knows I saw plenty of sexism around me every day in the temples, ingrained into the fabric of how the whole International Society operated. God knows I wished devotees would pay a lot more attention to the stuff I brought up in this article, stuff like Bhagavat Gītā 5.18 and the ramifications of “I am not this body.”

– Excerpt from an early draft of

Train Wrecks and Transcendence:

A Collision of Hardcore and Hare Krishna

By Vraja Kishor [VrajaKishor.com]

10 thoughts on “Krishna & Sexism

  1. It seems that totally homogenizing the conceptions of gender tends to take women away from their roles, yet emphasizing their differences causes oppression and envy. What then would be a healthy level of discrimination? How can one find a balance? Is it possible to see them on one level as conscious entities and also on another level as women (at least for social considerations)?

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    1. That’s a good point totally left out from this article I’m writing about. It’s not just to erase the concept of body, it’s also to have respect for all different bodies and all the different roles they perform.

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  2. This is a very relevant topic for exploration n discussion. Thank you for your mature, introspective presentation of your honest perspective. As aspiring followers of KC we have to walk our talk and only talk what we can walk.

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  3. Are these excerpts going to be compiled into a full length book, or will it be more of a zine-type thing? I’m really interested in reading the full articles. Any idea on when this project will be completed and released?
    Thanks,
    Jim.

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      1. Hi Vraja,

        Just checking in to see how the progress on the memoir is coming. Any updates on a publishing date? Thanks for all the great articles(memoir and Bhakti related as well)on the site. I enjoy your realistic take on the teachings. I have recently started to going to my local temple( after reading Prabhupad’s and others books for a year or so)and I’m finding that I really enjoy what I am hearing and experiencing. It’s a hard row to hoe as a neophyte, but I am enjoying the journey as well. Thanks.

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