How to hate and fear woman, or; “the principle of womanly disassociation.”
Prabhupada’s purport, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.6 ‒
Human life is meant for such tapasya, with the great vow of celibacy, or brahmacarya. In the rigid life of tapasya there is no place for the association of women. And because human life is meant for tapasya, for self-realization, factual human civilization, as conceived by the system of sanatan-dharma or the school of four castes and four orders of life, prescribes rigid dissociation from woman in three stages of life. In the order of gradual cultural development, one’s life may be divided into four divisions: celibacy, household life, retirement, and renunciation. During the first stage of life, up to twenty-five years of age, a man may be trained as a bramhacari under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master just to understand that woman is the real binding force in material existence. If one wants to get freedom from the material bondage of conditional life, he must get free from the attraction for the form of woman. Woman, or the fair sex, is the enchanting principle for the living entities, and the male form, especially in the human being, is meant for self-realization. The whole world is moving under the spell of womanly attraction, and as soon as a man becomes united with a woman, he at once becomes a victim of material bondage under a tight knot. The desires for lording it over the material world, under the intoxication of a false sense of lordship, specifically begin just after the man’s unification with a woman. The desires for acquiring a house, possessing land, having children and becoming prominent in society, the affection for community and the place of birth, and the hankering for wealth, which are all like phantasmagoria or illusory dreams, encumber a human being, and he is thus impeded in his progress toward self-realization, the real aim of life. The bramhacari, or a boy from the age of five years, especially from the higher castes, namely from the scholarly parents (the brāhmaṇas), the administrative parents (the kṣatriyas), or the mercantile or productive parents (the vaiśyas), is trained until twenty-five years of age under the care of a bona fide guru or teacher, and under strict observance of discipline he comes to understand the values of life along with taking specific training for a livelihood. The bramhacari is then allowed to go home and enter householder life and get married to a suitable woman. But there are many brahmacārīs who do not go home to become householders but continue the life of naiṣṭhika-brahmacārīs, without any connection with women. They accept the order of sannyasa, or the renounced order of life, knowing well that combination with women is an unnecessary burden that checks self-realization. Since sex desire is very strong at a certain stage of life, the guru may allow the bramhacari to marry; this license is given to a bramhacari who is unable to continue the way of naiṣṭhika-brahmacarya, and such discriminations are possible for the bona fide guru. A program of so-called family planning is needed. The householder who associates with woman under scriptural restrictions, after a thorough training of brahmacarya, cannot be a householder like cats and dogs. Such a householder, after fifty years of age, would retire from the association of woman as a vanaprastha to be trained to live alone without the association of woman. When the practice is complete, the same retired householder becomes a sannyasi, strictly separate from woman, even from his married wife. Studying the whole scheme of disassociation from women, it appears that a woman is a stumbling block for self-realization, and the Lord appeared as Narayana to teach the principle of womanly disassociation with a vow in life.
Lecture on SB 1.3.13 — Los Angeles, September 18, 1972 –
Prabhupada: So dealing with woman… Especially instruction are given to men. All literatures, all Vedic literatures, they are especially meant for instruction to the men. Woman is to follow the husband. That’s all. The husband will give instruction to the wife. There is no such thing as the girl should go to school to take brahmacari asrama or go to spiritual master to take instruction. That is not Vedic system. Vedic system is a man is fully instructed, and woman, girl, must be married to a man. Even the man may have many wives, polygamy, still, every woman should be married. And she would get instruction from the husband. This is Vedic system. Woman is not allowed to go to school, college, or to the spiritual master. But husband and wife, they can be initiated. That is Vedic system.
Morning Conversation — April 29, 1977, Bombay –
Prabhupāda: So far gurukula is concerned, that also, I have given program. They have given the name of “girls.” We are not going to do that.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What is that?
Prabhupāda: Girls. Boys and girls. That is dangerous.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Gurukula.
Prabhupāda: In that article.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, oh, oh.
Prabhupāda: Girls should be completely separated from the very beginning. They are very dangerous.
Tamala Krsna: So we’re… I thought there were girls in Vrindävana now. They said that they’re going to have the girls’ gurukula behind the boys’ gurukula. Gopäla was talking about that.
Prabhupada: No, no, no. No girls.
Tamala Krsna: It should be in another city or somewhere else.
Prabhupada: Yes. They should be taught how to sweep, how to stitch…
Tamala Krsna: Clean.
Prabhupada: …clean, cook, to be faithful to the husband.
Tamala Krsna: They don’t require a big school.
Prabhupada: No, no. That is mistake. They should be taught how to become obedient to the husband.
Tamala Krsna: Yeah, you won’t learn that in school.
Prabhupada: Little education, they can…
Tamala Krsna: Yeah. That they can get at home also.
Prabhupada: They should be stopped, this practice of prostitution. This is a very bad system in Europe and America. The boys and girls, they are educated-coeducation. From the very beginning of their life they become prostitutes. And they encourage.
Morning Walk — March 14, 1974, Vrindavan –
Satsvarupa: Srila Prabhupada, is this school for women also, or just for men?
Prabhupada: For men. Women should automatically learn how to cook, how to cleanse home.
Satsvarupa: So they don’t attend varnasrama college.
Prabhupada: No, no. Varnasrama college especially meant for the brahmana, ksatriya and vaisya. Those who are not fit for education, they are sudras. That’s all. Or those who are reluctant to take education, sudra means. That’s all. They should assist the higher class.
Morning Walk — July 10, 1975, Chicago –
Prabhupāda: No, no, it is not bad. It is good. Now our policy should be that at Dallas we shall create first-class men, and we shall teach the girls two things. One thing is how to become chaste and faithful to their husband and how to cook nicely. If these two qualifications they have, I will take guarantee to get for them good husband. I’ll personally… Yes. These two qualifications required. She must learn how to prepare first-class foodstuff, and she must learn how to become chaste and faithful to the husband. Only these two qualification required. Then her life is successful. So try to do that. (Car doors open, walk begins) Ordinary education is sufficient, ABCD. This is all nonsense, so big, big, sound education and later on become a prostitute. What is this education? (laughter) To make them prostitute, it doesn’t require education. [break] Yesterday we saw in the television how these rascals are wasting time, talking nonsense. There was nothing, valuable talk. Foot… No, no, hand… What is that? Handprint? And the addicted murder? That was the case? [break] Within two weeks, two divorces.
Devotees: Yes. [break]
Prabhupāda: In the Dallas there is no problem. Educate the girls how to become faithful, chaste wife and how to cook nicely. Let them learn varieties of cooking. Is very difficult? These two qualifications, apart from Kṛṣṇa consciousness, materially they should learn. There are many stories, Nala-Damayantī, then Pārvatī, Sītā, five chaste women in the history. They should read their life. And by fifteenth, sixteenth year they should be married. And if they are qualified, it will be not difficult to find out a nice husband. Here the boys, they do not want to marry because they are not very much inclined to marry unchaste wife. They know it, that “I shall marry a girl, she is unchaste.” What do you think?
Room conversation — January 31, 1977, Bhubaneshwar –
Satsvarüpa: Yes. (break) Mainly it’s about the girls who are over ten. They were in Vrndävana and discussed this with Jagadisa, but they couldn’t settle up, so they wanted to know what you think. Their idea is that… As of now, there is no plan for a school for the girls over ten, but just that they should return to their parents and not get any more schooling. But they’re thinking that there should be, and one reason is that you said in France that the girls could learn these sixty-four arts. So they were thinking that there should be a school for girls over ten, and that it should be situated in India. One reason is that in India our teachers can take help from Indian Life Member ladies who know these arts. Our Western devotees don’t know them, the cooking and painting and things like this, but the Indian women do. …
Prabhupada: My opinion is already there according to the… They should be chaste, faithful to husband. Little literary knowledge, they can read. That’s all. Not very much.
Letter to Female Disciple ‒ February 16, 1972 Calcutta –
My Dear Chaya dasi,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated January 29, 1972, and I have noted the contents.
Complete separation from the boys is not necessary for girls at such young age, so I don’t require that they must be educated separately, only that they should live separately. What do they know of boy or girl at such young age? There was one question by a little girl like Sarasvati to her father: “Father, when you were young were you a boy or a girl?”
So when they are grown up, at about 10 to 12 years old, then you can make separate departments for teaching also. But while they are so young, although they must live in separate boys and girls quarters, they may be educated sometimes together, there is no such restriction that little girls should not have association with little boys, not until they are grown up.
All the children should learn to read and write very nicely, and a little mathematics, so that they will be able to read our books. Cooking, sewing, things like that do not require schooling, they are learned simply by association. There is no question of academic education for either boys or girls–simply a little mathematics and being able to read and write well, that’s all, no universities.
Their higher education they will get from our books, and other things they will get from experience, like preaching, SKP, etc. Alongside the regular classes in reading and writing, the other routine programs they should also participate in, like arati, kirtana, preaching, Sankirtana, like that.
You ask about marriage, yes, actually I want that every woman in the Society should be married. But what is this training to become wives and mothers? No school is required for that, simply association. And it is not necessary to say that women only can instruct the girls and men only can instruct the boys, not when they are so young. At 12 years, they may be initiated.
A woman’s real business is to look after household affairs, keep everything neat and clean, and if there is sufficient milk supply available, she should always be engaged in churning butter, making yogurt, curd, so many nice varieties, simply from milk. The woman should be cleaning, sewing, like that.
So if you simply practice these things yourselves and show examples, they will learn automatically, one doesn’t have to give formal instruction in these matters.
Hoping this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami