Srila Prabhupada and gay devotees


Over the past few years it has become commonplace for devotees to depict Srila Prabhupada as very hateful and condemning of gays. What a great disservice this has been to His Divine Grace! I suspect this is more a reflection of the mentality of such devotees themselves, and not that of Srila Prabhupada. As far as I have seen, Srila Prabhupada’s exchanges with homosexual friends and disciples were always exceptionally loving and kind. Indeed, he was quite caring toward them and displayed a great deal of concern that they feel welcome and included in his Krsna consciousness movement.

It is very sad that this loving attitude has become mostly absent today among many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples and followers. Devotees seem obsessed only with the sexual aspect of homosexuality, while failing to address the more important human and personal considerations emphasized by Srila Prabhupada himself. A pure devotee always looks for the good qualities in others, while foolish neophytes take delight in pointing out faults and weaknesses. In regard to gays and lesbians, Srila Prabhupada personally taught us how to receive and treat them, so why not simply listen and follow his example?

Srila Prabhupada meeting with Allen Ginsberg.
Srila Prabhupada meeting with Allen Ginsberg.

Srila Prabhupada met many times with Allen Ginsberg, who was sometimes accompanied by his lover, Peter Orlovsky. Do you know how nicely and politely Srila Prabhupada received them? Do you think he called them demons and accused them of having illicit sex together? No. Srila Prabhupada’s mind was never in the gutter like that. His concern was for their Krsna consciousness, how to make them feel welcome in his temple, and how best to engage them in Krsna’s service. The same interaction was evident in Srila Prabhupada’s dealings with disciples like Sudama Maharaja and Upendra Prabhu. He was always very concerned and caring for them. They felt his love so strongly that it changed their hearts and lives forever!

It is these loving dealings between Srila Prabhupada and gays that convince me he would eventually have allowed for some type of concession regarding gay marriage. When the issue becomes personal and involves loved ones, it becomes much more clear and easy to understand. Even thirty years ago, when one of Srila Prabhupada’s earliest disciples discussed his homosexual orientation with him, Srila Prabhupada said, “Then just find a nice boy, stay with him and practice Krsna consciousness.” It’s plain commonsense that monogamy is superior to promiscuity for anyone unable to follow complete celibacy. It may not be perfect or ideal, but it’s definitely a step forward. And while Srila Prabhupada initially experimented in marrying gay men to women, often without the wife’s knowledge, I think it’s fair to say we have all seen the unrealistic nature and failure of such experiments, however well intended.

One time at the Hawaii temple, Siddhasvarupa dasa came to visit Srila Prabhupada in his private garden. After some initial conversation, Siddhasvarupa began complaining to Prabhupada about the gay devotees in ISKCON, apparently trying to prod him into making some negative statement he could later use against them. Srila Prabhupada remained silent and unimpressed, refusing to take the bait, and Siddhasvarupa left feeling disappointed. Syamasundara dasa, a gay disciple who had been present for the conversation, remained seated next to Srila Prabhupada, feeling angry about what he had just heard, but also somewhat self-conscious about his sexuality. After remaining silent for some time, Srila Prabhupada, perhaps sensing Syamasundara’s discomfort, said, “What is the difference if a person is held in this material world by a gold chain or by a silver chain?” Syamasundara replied, “I don’t know, Prabhupada.” Prabhupada continued, “I am glad that Siddhasvarupa is chanting and reading my books, but he is always focusing on everyone else and not on the Supreme Person. That is the important thing.”

If we study the transcendental examples of Srila Prabhupada’s dealings with gay people very carefully, keep note of them, and imbibe them into our own lives and character, then we can truly become bona fide followers and representatives of His Divine Grace. Otherwise we cannot. If we are able to display the same loving and caring attitude that Prabhupada himself embodied, only then will our preaching be inspiring and effective. Without this sincerity of heart, our preaching will be useless and filled with false ego. No one will listen, and it will drive intelligent and fair-minded people far away. It will be a great embarrassment for our movement. In short, only one who genuinely cares for others has any business preaching to them.

If any devotees are harboring deep hatred or dislike for any of God’s creatures, I beg them to please abandon it immediately. Do not act upon this lower nature because it will only grow and increase. Displays of hatred and contempt for others only anger the guru and stain the entire Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. Instead, like Srila Prabhupada, we must become emblems of love and compassion for all. I beg everyone to please chant Hare Krsna carefully and offer all respect to others. Consider only yourself as the most fallen. This is how Srila Prabhupada was, and this is how he expected us to be. I offer my humble obeisances to all of you and thank you for listening.

  • niscala

    What a beautiful article, so full of deep compassion and deep appreciation for Srila Prabhupada, common sense and profound analogies. I loved the gold and silver chain analogy. Brilliant, Srila Prabhupada! Brilliant, Amara prabhu! You have imbibed his example and are blessing us with it!

  • Frank Hallenstein

    Yes wonderful article…

  • Ramananda das

    Compassion, yes that’s a must for a Vaishnav but no same sex marriages. Very nice article though.

    • attempting servant

      The fact that you think your opinion about others’ relationships within Kc matters shows your pride. If people in a relationship wish to have RIGHTS as any other couple then EVERYONE should let them, and never ever listen to people puffed up with the sin of pride.

  • TVulgaris

    HARE KRSNA, prabhu. Please accept my humble obeisances and All Glories to BSP!!! I very much appreciate your heartfelt words, although as straight and unwilling to besmirch Srila Prabhupada’s legacy by calling myself a devotee of Lord KRSNA, there are some points of disconnect between our experience.
    I have to take exception on two points, one rather minor and the other more significant. Please do not take these as anything more than perhaps a difference in how we use certain words and phrases (in the best case) or a different personal interpretation of some sastric instructions or injunctions (in the most extreme case).
    I have come to the unshakeable conclusion that there is only one valid purpose to marriage as a human institution, that is, due to the hideous lack of capacity of most larger social units throughout most of the world, in raising children in the best, most healthy, and effective manner parent(s) are vitally,critically important; for devotees, that should be raising KRSNA-conscious children. Period. Obviously, the strongest tool to accomplish that is love, the strongest kind of love that parent or parents have access to. For a devotee, bhakti SHOULD fuel an astonishing level of parental commitment. There are, of course, many other helpful tools, but “The greatest of these is love.”
    So this is my major point of exception- you are falling into the error of much of the rest of the world, thinking that love is a purpose rather than a consequence of marriage (or an equivalent relationship). This is why, lacking spiritual over-arching purpose, I find “partner” rather than “spouse” a MUCH to be preferred label for those in relationship (and really expresses much more of mutual respect, given with how marriage tends to go in this world of samsara). Once again, perhaps this is a matter of word and phrase choice, but if these aren’t very important, why is there such controversy and will continue to be such about editing BSP’s books? And why did he not say “marry this nice boy and chant”? Marriage by the spiritual master has nothing to do with this material world, had he so desired, I have no doubt he would have married anyone (well, any two…or more) Obviously, BSP cared deeply for his disciples and wished only the best for and from them, and I would simply pray devotees not make some of the same errors in thinking virtually all the rest of the conditioned souls make.
    Any perceptive or thoughtful person would ask about childless couples, then, assuming they’re not schoolteachers or otherwise fulfilling my definition of parent, to which I reply BINGO!- that’s (ideally) a partnership, not a marriage. If it’s a relationship that fosters spiritual progress to KRSNA, it’s perfect. Otherwise, it’s subject to the modes of material nature. So my minor disagreement with your post is that we should recast this away from the marriage argument- we need to be CONSTANTLY seeking out the association of devotees, in any and every manner, because “vancha kalpa…”, only by the mercy of the devotee do I obtain the opportunity of guru-prasad, and only by His mercy can I catch a glimpse of Radha and KRSNA’s lotus tootsies…
    So ANYTHING that bolsters our desire for KRSNA is to be pursued, and ANYTHING that deters our desire, such as criticizing another out of any other motive than a raging, consuming fire of devotion, will trample horribly our bhakti-latta-bhij.
    But then, who am I to beg these questions, phony as spoiled bhoga? I see by your bio you spent a lot of time in Hawaii, was Yadavananda still there when you were? My dear wife and I were old friends from the ’70’s and miss his association so much since h left his body.

    • Amara Das Wilhelm

      Hare Krishna! In regard to your comment about marriage and raising children, approximately one-third of same-sex couples do indeed have children–either their own or adopted–and they usually cite their desire to have, raise and protect their children as one of the main reasons for marrying. Concerning Yadavananda Prabhu, yes, I was a friend of his during his last few years here in Hawaii. We just recently honored the 30th anniversary of his passing (Jan. 1984). Many of the trees he planted still grace the ISKCON Honolulu temple property.

      • Amar Puri.

        Same-sex couples….. It goes not sound good at all whereas it sounds much better when you address as …… same sex companion which is best term. It looks like you want to feel good with warm fuzzy ideas of Spirituality. It is better for you that you may enjoy it without using and identifying yourself with the Iskcon of Srila Prabhupada because you do not wish to follow Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions – VANI, the Founder – Acaraya of Iskcon.

        • Amara Das Wilhelm

          I am myself celibate but nevertheless understand the human need for young people to marry, including gays. Marriage is a part of human nature and not something anyone can stop, no matter how many verses they quote or edicts they pass. I have no identity other than as a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and servant of Mahaprabhu’s mission, including ISKCON, so it would be quite impossible for me to abandon that in any way. My only wish is to follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions in a genuine, heart-felt way, and my Godbrothers have encouraged me in this regard.

          • Amar Puri

            The ONLY human need is to educate people in Spirituality as per the Instructions of Srila Prabhupada. All other needs are taken care of by itself. Is this not TRUE ?
            So where is the need for you, as a celibate, to understand the human need for young people to marry including gays etc. ? Is this not to feel good with warm fuzzy ideas of Spirituality ? That is why I ask you not to use and identify yourself with Srila Prabhupada’s Iskcon. You can preach your way without using Iskcon. Hope it meets you well.

          • Alexander Shenkar

            Hare Krishna Prabhu – I just want to mention that we need to treat each other on this forum with the utmost respect. It’s ok to disagree and discuss these topics in depth, but let’s do so in a nice, loving way.

          • Amara Das Wilhelm

            Spiritual education does not exclude material knowledge. Devotees should have some basic knowledge of the world around them, including some basic knowledge of human sexuality and third-gender people. How can anyone possibly preach in society, particularly among young people, if he or she doesn’t understand the human need to marry? I’m not saying devotees should follow everything in the Kama Shastra, but they should be able to take useful information from it such as knowledge about suitable arrangements for marriage or practical knowledge about LGBT people of the third gender (‘tritiya-prakriti’). Please read what Srila Prabhupada himself has stated in this regard:

            “The Vedic literatures are not only full of spiritual instruction but are also instructive in how to prosecute material existence very nicely, with the ultimate aim of spiritual perfection. Devahuti asked her husband, therefore, how to prepare herself for sex life according to the Vedic instructions. Sex life is especially meant for having good children. The circumstances for creating good children are mentioned in the kama-sastra, the scripture in which suitable arrangements are prescribed for factually glorious sex life. Everything needed is mentioned in the scriptures—what sort of house and decorations there should be, what sort of dress the wife should have, how she should decorated with ointments, scents and other attractive features, etc. …Devahuti wanted the passion of her husband to be increased by the arrangement mentioned in the kama-sastra.”
            (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.23.11 purport)

          • Amar Puri.

            Amara Das WHY are you quoting SB .3.23.11 only a half of the purport ?

            Read the full purport as follows and then give comments. Otherwise, stop promoting your non-sense warm fuzzy feelings of Spirituality. Hope you get it.

            TEXT 11

            tatreti-krtyam upasiksa yathopadesam

            yenaisa me karsito ‘tiriramsayatma

            siddhyeta te krta-manobhava-dharsitaya

            dinas tad isa bhavanam sadrsam vicaksva


            tatra–in that; iti-krtyam–what is necessary to be done; upasiksa–perform; yatha–according to; upadesam–instruction in scripture; yena–by which; esah–this; me–my; karsitah–emaciated; atiriram-saya–due to intense passion not being satisfied; atma–body; siddhyeta–it may he rendered fit; te–for you; krta–excited; manah-bhava–by emotion; dharsitayah–who am struck; dinah–poor; tat–therefore; isa–O my dear lord; bhavanam–house; sadrsam–suitable; vicaksva–please think of.


            Devahuti continued: My dear lord, I am struck by excited emotion for you. Therefore kindly make what arrangements must be made according to the scriptures so that my skinny body, emaciated through unsatisfied passion, may be rendered fit for you. Also, my lord, please think of a suitable house for this purpose.


            The Vedic literatures are not only full of spiritual instruction but are also instructive in how to prosecute material existence very nicely, with the ultimate aim of spiritual perfection. Devahuti asked her husband, therefore, how to prepare herself for sex life according to the Vedic instructions. Sex life is especially meant for having good children. The circumstances for creating good children are mentioned in kama-sastra, the scripture in which suitable arrangements are prescribed for factually glorious sex life. Everything needed is mentioned in the scriptures–what sort of house and decorations there should be, what sort of dress the wife should have, how she should be decorated with ointments, scents and other attractive features, etc. With these requisites fulfilled, the husband will be attracted by her beauty, and a favorable mental situation will be created. The mental situation at the time of sex life may then be transferred into the womb of the wife, and good children can come out of that pregnancy. Here is a special reference to Devahuti’s bodily features. Because she had become skinny, she feared that her body might have no attraction for Kardama. She wanted to be instructed how to improve her bodily condition in order to attract her husband. Sexual intercourse in which the husband is attracted to the wife is sure to produce a male child, but sexual intercourse based on attraction of the wife for the husband may produce a girl. That is mentioned in the Ayur-veda. When the passion of the woman is greater, there is a chance of a girl’s being born. When the passion of the man is greater, then there is the possibility of a son. Devahuti wanted the passion of her husband to be increased by the arrangement mentioned in the kama-sastra. She wanted him to instruct her in that way, and she also requested that he arrange for a suitable house because the hermitage in which Kardama Muni was living was very simple and completely in the mode of goodness, and there was less possibility of passion’s being aroused in his heart.

            Do you read this ; ” ……. Sexual intercourse in which the husband is attracted to the wife is sure to produce a male child, but sexual intercourse based on attraction of the wife for the husband may produce a girl. That is mentioned in the Ayur-veda. When the passion of the woman is greater, there is a chance of a girl’s being born. When the passion of the man is greater, then there is the possibility of a son. …… “.

            Does it say any where same sex INTERCOURSE in the scripture you are quoting Amara Das?

            What kind of a warm and fuzzy feelings of Spirituality are you promoting by quoting only a half quote from the Scripture, Amara Das ?

            Are you not misguiding and misrepresenting Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions ?

            Please answer the questions.

          • Alexander Shenkar

            Amar Puri Prabhu – please be very careful with your tone. Remember that Vaishnava aparadha is like a mad elephant in our bhakti creeper garden. Stuff llike “stop promoting your non-sense” is plain rude and is not appropriate for this community. You can present your evidence and share your point of view without resorting to personal attacks. If you want to participate in the discussion, then behave like a gentleman.

          • Amar Puri

            Vaishnava aparadha, what a statement, Alexander Shenkar. What shall you call it when you present the half-TRUTH to mislead people with a warm fuzzy explanation under the disguise of a Vaishnava ?

            Is this not a Cheating ?

            That is why I said ; ” Stop promoting your non-sense because in the quote NO where same sex INTERCOURSE is mentioned in the scripture S.B. 3.23-11 as Amara Das quoted simply to mislead people.

            Is this not a FACT ?

          • Alexander Shenkar

            It’s better to stick to discussing ideas and not trying to assess a person’s character. Stick to the philosophy and don’t speculate on a person’s intentions. Give the benefit of a doubt that here we have since devotees who seek truth. Please control yourself. This is a moderated forum and not a free-for-all.

          • Amar Puri

            Are my explanations as per Sastras not addressed towards the misleading ideas of warm fuzzy feeling good motivated discussion, Alexander Shenkar ?

            Thus, who is assessing who ?

            How to seek the Truth IF it is not presented as it is to which you as a moderator as it appears or perhaps some one else is controlling the agenda ?

          • Amar Puri

            My Dear Jiva Atma in the different Human forms,

            All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

            No doubt, we are all attached grossly and subtly for the bodily sense gratification since the time immemorial. Due to the causeless mercy of our Jagat Guru Srila Prabhupada, we are blessed to follow some what Srila Prabhupada’s Instructions – VANI according to our respective WILL.

            We can advance in cultivating KC ONLY when we hear with rapt attention from Srila Prabhupada’s Books, recorded message, letters, lectures etc.

            Therefore, as per S.B.3.23-11 quoted in the discussion, we can control the sexual urge keeping this short explanation in the mind which reads as ;

            ” …… ……. Sexual intercourse in which the husband is attracted to the wife is sure to produce a male child, but sexual intercourse based on attraction of the wife for the husband may produce a girl. That is mentioned in the Ayur-veda. When the passion of the woman is greater, there is a chance of a girl’s being born. When the passion of the man is greater, then there is the possibility of a son. …… ”

            No matter what your sexual orientation is.

            Srila Prabhupada instructs that we should have SEX only within the marriage simply be getting children in KC. as per the regulation in the Sastra.

            Besides that, we can also pray to the Lordship Sri Sri Madana Mohan who is ALL attractive as Srila Prabhupada explains in “The Journey of Self-Discovery”:

            ” We are encaged in this material world only for sex. In other words, we are victims of Cupid. Cupid, or Madana, is the god of sex. Unless one is induced by Madana, one cannot be engladdened in sex life. And one of Krsna’s names is Madana-mohana, “He who vanquishes Cupid.” In other words, one who is attracted to Krsna will forget the pleasure derived from sex. This is the test of advancement in Krsna consciousness.”

            Hope it meets the Readers satisfactory.

            OM TAT SAT.

            Hari BOL.

          • Alexander Shenkar

            Hare Krishna Prabhu – thank you for the improved tone.

            I’m not expert in these matters – but here are my realizations:

            No one is advocating sex for sense gratification. That is a common misconception. Sex is meant to for procreation. There is no disagreement about that.

            A few things to consider:

            1) A gay relationship does not automatically mean “illicit sex.”
            2) There are gradations of self control. This could be A) uninhibited sex B) sex within marriage and C) sex for procreation only. Most devotees only follow B. The ideal is C.
            3) Heterosex for sense gratification is not superior to homosex. They’re both sense gratification activities. If you try to draw distinctions, it would be like comparing wet stool to dry stool. Both are stool.

            The biggest issue is not having properly understood the position and trying to argue and defeat a point of view without really knowing it. Hope that helps. Ys.

          • Srinjaya

            Then what should we call a person who only presents half the truth?

            There are sins of commission and sins of omission. Please let me know if you think that it is ok to purposely take a quote out of context to mislead people.

          • Alexander Shenkar

            Your opinion is not a fact. Focus on the idea not the person. Let’s stick to the sastras and engage on that level. No need to think ill of anyone.

          • Guest


          • Guest

            Hare Krishna!!! Even Shankara Acharya when he was chalenged by the queen didnt know Kama Shastra even though He was a great Vedic scholar, and you say devotees to whom His Divine Grace taught that they should read His books you say they should know Kama Shastra, am i stupid or what? Is there something wrong with my memory??? please explain to me, please, HARI-bol!!

          • attempting servant

            I beg of you to try and educate yourself, Amar Puri. Please read and re read Srila Prabhupada’s books and follow them sincerely. You will learn how to respect Vaisnavas, and how to please Krsna and His associates instead of speaking insensitively on issues you obviously have no understanding of, and offending Vaisnavas such as Amara prabhu. I have not met him but reading this article shows he is VERY much in line with Srila Prabhupada and brings up very relevant and sastrically correct points. Humility is sometimes the only path to reach Krsna. Judging others is not humble and not nice.

          • Manjari

            am sorry to say that people like you are the reason why so many lovely people don’t even wanna hear anymore about ISCKON !!! the biggest service to Krishna is to respect, love and accept everybody!!! and if Krishna allowed there are gays and lesbians … who am I for not accept this ? and don’t tell me anything about the scripture which can always be interpreted in different ways! do you really think that ISCKON does have the only truth ???

  • Alexander Shenkar

    Your quote condemns sex “with a man (or unnatural intercourse with a woman):” So I don’t see how you can claim “sex is equivalent to assaulting a brahmana and bestiality” on the basis of the quote you presented. Please provide adequate evidence for your opinion.

    Don’t think that simply because you might be attracted to a vagina that you are superior to someone attracted to an anus.

    • Amara Das Wilhelm

      It would be more appropriate to say: “Don’t think that simply because you might be attracted to a vagina that you are superior to someone attracted to a penis.” The Kama Shastra identifies gay men primarily in regard to oral sex, not anal, and despite popular notions to the contrary, polling data in the U.S. confirms that only 30% of gay men prefer or engage in anal sex. Approximately 15% of heterosexual couples also engage in anal sex, but this doesn’t mean they are more attracted to the anus than to the vagina–it is simply a variation on sex play (‘citrarata’).

      • Alexander Shenkar

        Thank you for correcting me Prabhu. I just don’t know very much about these things… to be honest. I’ll have to do more homework and become more knowledgeable in this subject matter.

        • Amara Das Wilhelm

          Most devotees nowadays are not very educated in matters of the Kama Shastra. In Vedic times, young men and women would study the Kama Shastra prior to marriage and were therefore fully aware of all aspects of human sexuality. Vaishnavas should not ignorant in this regard. I suggest reading Alain Danielou’s “The Complete Kama Sutra,” which is the best English translation of the Kama Shastra available today.

          • Amar Puri

            What is your problem Amara Das ? Where are you going with all these readings of Kama Shastra ? Were people in Vedic times IGNORANT about sex ? Does the animal read about the sex education ? If you have understood exactly the point referred to SB. 7.5.30-32, then, stop preaching your sex education. I guess that this is not a place for me after all. May Srila Prabhupada bless you.

      • Amar Puri.

        Please read Srimad Bhagavatam 7th Canto – Ch. 5 verse 30-32. I am sure it can help you.

        • Amara Das Wilhelm

          Thanks, Amar Puri! That is exactly the point. These beneficial verses are good for everyone, whether gay, straight or whatever. All material sex desire must be ultimately abandoned so there is no use in arguing over whose sex life is better, worse, natural, etc. Hence Srila Prabhupada’s quote on a gold chain versus a silver chain.

    • Srinjaya

      Read verse 38 “By committing any of these crimes one loses his caste. (38.6)”

      In elementary mathematics things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.

  • Amara Das Wilhelm

    Hare Krishna! There is nothing wrong with this verse but it should be understood properly. There are similar verses in the Manu-smriti and Narada-smriti, the idea being that ordinary, heterosexual males (‘pums’) who are married to women and duly initiated should not engage in homosexual behavior. This is commonsense, good instruction! Homosexual behavior among ordinary males is considered a minor offense that can be atoned for; otherwise, it causes the loss of one’s brahminical status. The strict codes of the ‘smritis’ are intended for brahmanas and religious initiates–they are not codes for ordinary men, sudras, the uninitiated, non-devotees, etc. Furthermore and most importantly, such verses specifically refer to ordinary, heterosexual males (‘pums’) and not to men that are homosexual by nature (‘napums’–third sex or impotent with women). In the Vedic injunctions, a person’s nature is always taken into account and this is stressed over and over again in Bhagavad Gita. By failing to distinguish the difference between terms such as ‘pums’ and ‘napums’ (ordinary males and homosexual males), devotees fall into the trap of using such words to condemn gay people without recognizing their specific nature. This is because devotees are unaccustomed to the Vedic ‘three gender’ system and, as a result, personal prejudices and cultural differences become involved. It should be carefully noted there are no verses in the ‘smritis’ condemning homosexual behavior among the ‘napums’ or ‘kliba’ (homosexuals), which Vedic medical texts such as the Sushruta Samhita describe as their inborn nature.

    • Srinjaya

      That is an unsupported statement. Hand waving. I don’t accept it. You are not the creator of dharma, Krsna is.

      • Alexander Shenkar

        If you believe that it’s an unsupported statement then please present your evidence. Saying something is not true without presenting evidence – is, as you’ve said yourself, an “unsupported statement.”

        • Srinjaya

          The burden of proof is on him not me.

          • Alexander Shenkar

            The evidence has been presented. Now the ball is in your court. If you disagree, show us your evidence. But don’t just say you disagree and expect that to stick.

    • Srinjaya

      To say that it is not considered a sin if two gay men have sex is no where supported by sastra or by that quote. The burden of proof is on you to prove otherwise.

  • nara

    Hare Krishna!

    Please bear with me and read the comment to the end.

    I just wanted to make a remark: Vedic culture – that is what Srila Prabhupada wanted of us – was NEVER exclusive. Just the opposite: it is all inclusive. But of course there are diferent levels – not everybody is the same,naturaly. So SP solution was bramacari life if possible,if not than marriage to a person of opposite sex. That is natural since one of the main purposes of marriage is continuation of the human species in a civilized way. That means hetereosexual sex. But if some persons are gay and can not bear to marry a person of opposit sex, he/she should just live with his gay partner nad practice KC anyway. Of course such a couple can not be set up as the example for the comunity to follow,but why condemn them ??! All this “pro et contra” gay thing is just a sign of western stupidity! As Amara das Willhelm nicely pointed out,anyone that is not narow-minded and maybe has been to India can see that they have a “special “cast”” : the third sex called the hijras. Anybody who has done a little traveling through India knows this. They look mostly like men in saris but are actually all sorts of persons that are neither heterosexual men nor women or they might even not be man or a woman. Every 1 in 2000 births in humas is born with both genitalia – they are called hermafrodites. So Indian “THIRD SEX” is anybody that is neither usual heteresexual man or a heterosexual woman. So this includes hermafrodites,gays lesbians,transvestites. And since this has happened since time immemorial, this was accepted as natural in Vedic culture and they have their rightful place in human society.

    So just let go of western stupidity and accept the fact that certain people are born different (either gay or hermaprodite) and stop deemeng then unnatural. If it would be unnatural,they would have not been born!
    They are human just as we are and have a right to be accepted in society and practice KC in peace! Should they be accepted as a prominent members of devotee comunity? Pobabbly not! But they should not be prosecuted and condemen either! Live and let live!

  • Anže Čimžar

    Conversation Varnasrama — July 14, 1977, Vrndavana:
    Prabhupāda: The hippies are nothing but a group of madmen, that’s all. A madman, they…, means publicly sex, that’s all. This Allen Ginsberg’s movement is that, homosex, public sex. Ginsberg was very proud that he had introduced homosex. He was telling me.
    Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He was telling you?
    Prabhupāda: When he first came to me he was very proud: “I have introduced homosex.” He thought very brilliant work it was. And another man, what is that? He’s put into jail.
    Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Timothy Leary.
    Prabhupāda: Ha, ha. What is his position now?
    Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I haven’t heard about him in the last few years. He’s in and out of jail, I think. I saw one time he was just getting out of jail. It just shows… I think he was a big professor at Harvard. So the idle mind, devil’s workshop. So he used his big brain for making this LSD. That’s the value of this Ph.D. degree.
    Prabhupāda: He was Ph.D.?
    Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, yeah. Big personality. And because of the fact that he was an important member of the faculty at Harvard, so even though all he produced was an intoxicant, he gave it so much explanation, that “This is…”
    Prabhupāda: Transcendental meditation.
    Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yeah, this is transcendental. “This is real psychotherapy,” he called it. He made it seem like this is legitimate, this is a bona fide experiment, just like you go to a psychologist or psychiatrist. He tried to explain it as a medical drug for helping the mind. But as a result of it so many people became crazy by using it.
    Prabhupāda: Howling.

  • Anže Čimžar

    Room Conversation — August 25, 1971, London:
    Prabhupāda: …not sentimental. There is no religion, and still, they are professing, “I profess this religion,” Where is your religion? If actually there was religion in the human society, why there are so many problems? There should not have been so many problems. The problems are in the animal society. Why there should be problem in human society? Because they have given up the real principles. They are simply animals. Therefore there are so many problems. Actually there is no problem. Even they are not animal. Less than animal. In animal society there is no problem. There is problem, but not so acute. They are free. Just like the ducks, the pigeons, they fly from one country to another. They have no problem of immigration department, passport, or visa. They have no problem. These rascals should understand that they have created problem on account of their animalistic, less than animalistic civilization. There is no limit of sense gratification. The sense gratification, homosex, they are supporting. Just see. Just see. At least, in animal society there is no homosex. They have created homosex, and that is being passed by the priest, the religious heads. You know that?
    Devotee: Yes, I’ve heard.
    Prabhupāda: Just see. If you say that they are animal civilization, that is a great credit for them. It is less than animal civilization. Write all this in papers and everything, all openly. Challenge strongly. First of all, realize, then challenge.

  • Amara Das Wilhelm

    Hey guys! Did you even read the article? The whole point was to follow Srila Prabhupada’s example in how to treat gay people very nicely with love and care. Here on this thread we quickly see “devotees” delving into sexual talk and condemnation, exactly against Srila Prabhupada’s own example, posting every negative quote they can find. Why are you focusing on the negative? Think about it very carefully because flys are attracted to sores whereas bees are attracted to honey. I suggest you read the article once again and post comments befitting of caring Vaishnavas. I definitely don’t feel Srila Prabhupada’s mood coming from any of you!

  • Amara Das Wilhelm

    Several devotees have requested me for a link where they can read about Srila Prabhupada’s important interactions with Allen Ginsberg and the wonderful example he set in terms of how to preach to openly gay devotees and guests. As mentioned above, Srila Prabhupada never blasted Allen with negative quotes of condemnation. Rather, he fanned Allen’s devotion, whatever was there, and engaged him happily in Krishna’s service. Please study these pure, loving interactions very carefully and imbibe them into your own preaching. Here is the link:

    “Conversations Between Srila Prabhupada and Allen Ginsberg”

  • Murli

    Homosexuality and Whole Body Fullness It is not necessary to view homosexuality as an inherent problem that we must struggle to overcome. The general taboo against sex itself leads us to exaggerate the negative significance of uncommon sexual activity.
    Homosexual desire appears in one or another form in every human individual . It naturally arises in moments of conflict or psycho-physical imbalance, when the native polarization of the body, male or female, is temporarily suppressed or converted. In the case of most individuals, the extreme forms of such character disability occur in the early years of growth, particularly during adolescents. For this reason, and many other reasons, celibacy and adaptation to higher human discipline are essential during the youthful growing years. Just so, it is also essential that the relations between the individual and his intimates, particularly his parents and superiors, be a theatre of love, understanding, right discipline,and creative human demands. Otherwise, aberrations of sexual character, sexual desire, and sexual practice will plague the individual in later years.
    The individual is, by virtue of his born sexual type, naturally disposed toward a basic sexual polarization to the opposite sex rather than his own sex. Some individuals may be born with a physiological disposition that runs to one or another degree contrary to his apparent sex. In such cases, the seed of homosexuality may be naturally present in the body. But each individual is also obliged to grow into maturity, and in that process of growth, the structures of the body go through changes that temporarily affect the polarity of the emotional and psychological components of the character. If the circumstances of life are such that homosexual experience is introduced during periods of weakness, inversion, or conversion of the natural sexual character role, then homosexual desire can remain as a fixed aspect of the individual’s drives in later life. Just so, if the parental environment does not provide a right balance of experience of sexual roles and of relationships to members of each sex, then the individual may be led to adapt to a homosexual role, or to a complicated or loveless form of the heterosexual role. Truly, every individual grows in an environment that is imperfect, and very many grow in an environments that are a profoundly subhuman kind of school. Therefore, it is very likely that every individual will come to the age of maturity with a sexual disposition that is complicated and even chaotic. Therefore, it is not in itself significant whether one tends to homosexual, heterosexual, bi-sexual, asexual, or any other kind of obsessive sexual. Rather, once we enter the common world, we must enter into the School of Life, the Divine Life. If we are fortunate enough to grow up in a truly human culture, full of right testing and higher human influences, then perhaps we have already begun to develop in that School of Life. But most people must discover that School while struggling with the effects and the society of the subhuman schooling of the common world.
    The Teaching of the Way of Divine Ignorance is a Communication within the School of Life. And it represents human demands toward Divine Realization. Those who respond to this Teaching must abandon their self-conscious reactivity and enter in Divine Communion. And an aspect of the discipline of this Way of Life is the responsible practice of sexual communion. Sexual communion involves, first of all, the demand that the individual enter into a total life of responsible religious,personal, and moral discipline, in which chronic physical, emotional, and mental reactivity is dissolved in responsible or primary activity in self-giving love and service, completely apart from any consolation by the functional pleasures of living, including sexual pleasures. This demand, rather than any problematic or strategic interpretation of one’s previously acquired sexual tendencies, is the essential force that must transform one’s habits of living, including one’s sexual character, desire, and practice.
    Some may remain homosexual in orientation, because it is bodily true of them. Others will likely discover that homosexual desire is a reactive tendency in their case, produced by the circumstantial theatre of their earlier adaptation. Therefore, in many cases, homosexual desire and activity will and must disappear, by coming under the control of the fully balanced, nonreactive, whole bodily disposition of primal intimacy with the All-Pervading Life, and with the world, and with the society of both sexes, and with one’s own native bodily or structural disposition. In such cases, homosexuality disappears in the same way that masturbation, or exotic heterosexual obsession, or impotence, or frigidity disappears in the case of others. When we awaken whole bodily, from self-possessed reactivity, to Divine Communion and the life of service to others, our aberrations fall away.
    . Members of The Free Communion Church are obliged to adapt in their feelings, whole bodily, to the All-Pervading Life. In the process, they must abandon their loveless and reactive ways, and they must become intelligently responsible as love. Thus, as they grow in School, they must consider all of their tendencies, and they must change their practice wherever it is not true to Life.
    Homosexuality is not considered to be an aberration in the lives of devotees in The Free Communion Church. However, it is presumed that it may very well be an aberration in the factual case of any such individual. Therefore, every individual is obliged to consider his own history and his own pattern of reactivity. Every individual is obliged to adapt to a life of human love, intimacy, and responsible friendship —not only with his sexual intimate, but with all other devotees, male and female. Every individual is obliged to yield his reactive life of self-possession and to love and serve in continuous surrender to the Living God.
    . Therefore, if each individual does this, then aberration will show itself to be what it is and right activity will become the natural responsibility. In that case, if a homosexual polarization of character and desire remains, then the practice of homosexual love, in the form of sexual communion, and in an acknowledged formal intimacy ( as in the case of heterosexual marriage ), is acceptable between members of the Church. If, however, individuals so inclined are not otherwise able to live the happy and full life that obliges devotees in general, their homosexuality is likely to be only a reactive, antisocial, desperate, self-possessed, and degenerative aberration —not different from any other obsession, such as promiscuity, nymphomania, sado-masochism, drug addiction,or alcoholism. And, in that case, the individual must accept the disciplines that purify and transform the habits of living and return the functions, with the whole body, to God.

    • Amara Das Wilhelm

      In some parts of the above comment there are distinct signs of heterosexism. Heterosexism refers to the idea that only heterosexual orientation is good, natural, beneficial, etc. and that people with bisexual or homosexual orientation are somehow bad, disordered, detrimentally flawed and so on. This unhealthy view does not take into account the complete picture of God’s creation or appreciate all aspects of natural diversity. God’s creation is full of diversity serving an infinite variety of purposes. There is no use considering which creations are higher, lower, better, worse and so on, trying to eliminate what in our own small minds is less good or unimportant in the natural scheme. That is basically the “cow philosophy,” which follows the train of thought that because cows are the best of all animals, therefore all animals should be cows. Gay people appear in Krsna’s creation for a wide variety of purposes–to expiate karma, to fulfill desire, to allow people to step aside from the ordinary path of life, etc. We should appreciate them for what they are and encourage them to engage in Krsna consciousness and material renunciation just like everyone else.

      • Murli

        Dear Amara,
        . Thank you for your heart felt rely. I’m pleasantly surprised ! Thank you for this forum. Please keep in mind this is a little exert from a larger work titled ; Love of the Two-Armed Form ;
        The Free And Regenerative Function Of Sexuality In Ordinary Life, And The Transcendences Of Sexuality In True Religious Or Spiritual Practice
        First edition printed in December, 1978, by Bubba Free John, and has been out of print for many years.
        . Thank you again, but if I may, try to bring a little humor into the midst of this serious discussion —- I don’t get the cow thing, ain’t that kinda like ya gettun mad at me fur havin’ pulled up all the male an hormaphadit ganja plants, cuz I wanted a nice sinsemiya crop !

  • Amara Das Wilhelm

    I’m not sure what the point is by posting these negative comments from Srila Prabhupada on Allen Ginsberg’s philosophy. Of course Srila Prabhupada didn’t agree with Allen’s views on free love, LSD, nudity, etc. That only makes my own point even stronger! Although Srila Prabhupada disagreed with many of Allen Ginsberg’s views, he still had the common decency to befriend him, exchange gifts with him, allow him to speak and lead kirtanas, etc. He never blasted Allen with anti-gay comments or beat him over the head with scripture. Quite the opposite! So my plea remains the same: Dear devotees! Please follow Srila Prabhupada’s example regarding how he dealt with Allen Ginsberg and learn how to preach to gay people properly!

  • JJJJones

    Prabhupada seemed two faced to me. He was nice to people to their face if they were donating money, but it’s the same with women. He said women have half the brain size of men, so not intelligent enough to be independent and should be child brides. He also said single women are prostitutes and the only purpose of women is to get in the way of the man’s spiritual progress. When I asked why that would be the case when they think of lord Lord Chaitanya as Radha and Krishna together and the Gopis are the best devotees, they said men are more like the Gopis, even though they’re depicted as having breasts, wide hips and being female. Then they say we’re not our body anyway, while ranting on to try and make females ashamed of their body.

    • nrisimha kripa das

      Dear JJJJones, I dont see that Srila Prabhupada is two faced, what i understand is that he writes the truth in every respect, but he acts performing the superior truth that is that every one of us, in spite of being borned with a lot of lacks, we are able to surrender to krishna. That is the goal. And thats my understanding. Hare krishna. your servant. nrisimha kripa das.

  • Shak

    Good points prabhus! Obviously Acaryaslob had nothing to do with this one. Otherwise he would be asking all his gay disciples for money, wouln’dt he? In MY opinion.

  • Shak

    Of course now I know why acaryaslob wants gay disciples. So he can tap that untapped @ss! In other words, gay people haven’t all flocked to one guru yet. Imagine if HE can get the ten percent of the population to all give their money to HIM! Wouldn’t that be a pretty little penny in his pocketbook!

    Gay devotees, worship krishna, but don’t give a cent to Acharyaslob, he will only slobber his drool with your money, in my opinion.