What about same sex couple? Spiritually, even if both of them are devotees is it the right choice for them? Is it common? Does it even exist in ISCKON?
Hridayananda das Goswami: Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah! Yeah! There is a lot, yeah. ISKCON is just the real world – with asafetida (hing), and Hare Krishna! Heheheh! Yeah, because, basically, the way I look at it is that we all have the same goal. We’re all trying to get back to Krishna and we’re all trying to find our real self which is not a bio-machine. There is a real person inside.
In the meantime, back at the ranch, you know, we’re all born in material bodies and there is a human reality to our existence which we have to work with. In fact, Īśopaniṣad says that in order to be liberated, you have to really understand not only the spiritual but you also have to understand the material world. Krishna explains in the Bhagavad Gita, whatever kind of body you have, whatever kind of nature you have, just engage in service. You have to spiritualize the person that you are, and obviously monogamy is better than promiscuity.
Again, we all have the same goal. We’re all doing the same thing. Superficially someone has this orientation, that orientation, or someone likes to write poetry, or someone likes to – I don’t know – plant trees. Everyone is different. But actually the differences are just superficial. All of us are just trying to spiritualize our lives by engaging whatever our nature is. Whatever your nature is – that is just where you are starting from.
So we’re all starting from different points, but we’re all going towards the same point. And so the goal for all of us is obviously to develop real love. Love for Krishna. Love for other souls. So in relationship, whatever it is – you know, whatever the relationship is, we’re trying to see the other person as a spirit being. So, whether someone has this or that orientation is really the same.
People are not heterosexual or homosexual because of a philosophical decision, but because they are born that way and therefore they’re taking their material desires or desire to be with another person and saying, “let me put Krishna in the middle so that it becomes spiritualized.”
It’s like, you go to a gym. You know, a good workout is based on the condition you’re in. If you’re trying your best given the reality you’re born into, if you’re trying your best then you’re as good as anyone else trying their best.
The particular situation we’re in, whatever it may be, whatever the situation is the result of our past activities. So it’s not something we’re choosing now; it’s something that is the result of past activities. And so what counts in this life is not what you did in the past; that’s irrelevant in a sense. What counts is based on, as they say, “the hand you’ve been dealt.” Based on your situation, what do you do?
So, if you try to sincerely offer your life to Krishna, whatever that life is, then you’re doing the same thing as anyone else is doing. So in that sense the differences between us are just superficial. The real point is sincerity and the sincere attempt to become Krishna conscious.