“Force will not work” The argument for gay marriage
Krsna Kirti has claimed that Hrdayananda Maharja is deviating from the commentary of Srila Prabhupada (to SB 3.20.26, regarding the homosexual appetite being demoniac) in his recommendation of restrained marriage for gay devotees. How so, escapes us totally, as Hridayananda is suggesting a way to contain the demoniac propensity- restrained monogamy as opposed to promiscuity.
This all-inclusive mentality, which is acknowledging of the principle that sense restraint cannot be forced but happens naturally as one develops one’s love for Krishna, and that anyone can become a devotee of Krishna, is reminiscent of Srila Prabhupada’s reaction when he heard his heterosexual brahman grhastha couples were not following the “no illicit sex” principle. Rather than exclude them, or separate them or nullify their marriages, and instead of chastising or guilt-tripping them, he asked that varnasrama be introduced in ISKCON and devotees adopt a varna that was representative of their conditioning in the modes of nature.
It was never followed, and that was why I wrote my book, “Varnasrama the Eight Petalled Lotus” “Everyone for Krsna, and Krsna for Everyone” was Srila Prabhupada’s mood.
Despite our total and blatant disregard for Srila Prabhupada’s instructions regarding varnasrama, we seem to be very concerned about them in regard to this topic and KK has implied a disregard for the same in Hridayananda Maharaja.
The conclusion is that Hridayananda Maharaja advocates a system of moral behavior whose legitimacy depends on contradicting the authoritative statements (and hence authority) of Srila Prabhupada.
Yet there has been no authoritative statement that has been disregarded- just the opposite. If I have a business and one of my employees is skimming money and I say “this is demoniac” and another employee makes a suggestion how to contain him- such as have him work in the kitchen instead of at the cash register, how is that disregarding the instruction?
“Following the Spirit of the Law”
The argument that it is a compromising of our standards, was the exact point made to SP during the varnasrama conversation, wherein devotees objected that such was a compromise, as most devotees were brahmanas. He replied “yes we are raising them to that platform but they are falling down. Therefore, we need this”
In devotee varnasrama, certain things such as worship of the demigods and forefathers are excuded- everything is centred around Krsna but there is acknowledgement of one’s conditioning in the modes, so there is no hypocrisy, no compromise of standards. Sudras and vaisyas just follow the “no illicit sex” principle as best they can, increasing their ability over the course of time, as love for sense objects is replaced by the inflaming of passionate, friendly, parental or servile love for Krsna.
This is the natural process of awakening one’s natural propensity to love. In the conditoned mindset, there is love and attachment for sense objects. This is called raga. The path of raga is not to nullify raga but change its flow to the lotus feet of Krsna by constant immersion in hearing, chanting etc
In the beginning, in the stage of vaidhi bhakti, some restraint must be there, however. It is not that vairagya has no place at all. Thus, restrained marriage is important in the beginning. As one develops a sense of loving Krsna, then one succeeds very easily in sense control- it is automatic. Then one may be married or not married, it does not matter, for marriage becomes a friendship between two souls helping each other love their common beloved Krishna.