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Gaudiya Discussions Archive » ACADEMIC, CONTROVERSIAL
Academic views, controversies, liberal views, eclectic discussions and so forth. Also, extended debates may be moved here. May contain discussion on views that a devotee may find objectionable.

Are homosexuals welcome? - Gay marriage? Initiation? Tolerance?



Tapati - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 03:23:59 +0530
In some parts of the GV world there is much discussion going on just now about allowing (or not) gay and lesbian relationships in those who would take initiation and participate in temple programs and communities. Some say that as long as the goal is to come to a platform of celibacy in the future it is ok, some not. I found myself wondering what the general thoughts or policies of the tradition of Vaishnavas here on GD were regarding these issues. I have made no secret of the fact that I left the association of devotees over this issue as I felt frozen out, grudgingly tolerated, etc., and I feel for those who want to stay in a Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition and want to feel welcomed and appreciated rather than despised or merely tolerated. I also wonder in what way do attitudes differ from attitudes toward anyone not following one of the other principles, such as someone who is addicted to a drug or has a gambling problem? Does the fact that homosexuality brings up people's feelings about sex make it more difficult to deal with in terms of forming policies?

Perhaps it is not even considered an issue in your tradition but I realized I had no idea how it is regarded, really, so I thought I would ask.

(GLBT= Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered)
Jagat - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 03:39:00 +0530
Yes, we have been noticing the kerfuffle. But I cannot say that I really know of an open policy. I met a few gay devotees in India, who seemed rather openly so, at least they made no secret of coming on to me, but I never made any inquiries into general policy.

The Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam people seemed to have a rather open policy as far as I could see, perhaps resulting from the cross-dressing tradition started by Lalita Sakhi from the time of Charan Dasji. We used to call one sadhu (suitably named Kishori Das) "Didi" ("Older sister") and as far as I could tell, everyone loved him and often invited him to festivals to decorate the deities, etc. He had that gay sensibility that made him extremely amusing. He did not stay in the ashram. But there were others in the ashram who clearly seemed gay (from my admittedly rather poor gaydar).

On the whole I think it is rather hard to say what a traditional society's attitude towards gays is, as it is not a subject that is much discussed. As far as what devotees here think, I really don't know. Maybe we should have a secret poll and let find out.

OK, I added the Poll here.
Jagat - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 03:46:25 +0530
If anyone has any suggestions for other questions, PM me or add them here. Hridayananda's letters are to be found on Chakra and Dipika news websites.
DharmaChakra - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 03:48:25 +0530
QUOTE(Tapati @ Jan 6 2005, 05:53 PM)
In some parts of the GV world there is much discussion going on just now about allowing (or not) gay and lesbian relationships in those who would take initiation and participate in temple programs and communities. Some say that as long as the goal is to come to a platform of celibacy in the future it is ok, some not. I found myself wondering what the general thoughts or policies of the tradition of Vaishnavas here on GD were regarding these issues. I have made no secret of the fact that I left the association of devotees over this issue as I felt frozen out, grudgingly tolerated, etc., and I feel for those who want to stay in a Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition and want to feel welcomed and appreciated rather than despised or merely tolerated. I also wonder in what way do attitudes differ from attitudes toward anyone not following one of the other principles, such as someone who is addicted to a drug or has a gambling problem? Does the fact that homosexuality brings up people's feelings about sex make it more difficult to deal with in terms of forming policies?

Perhaps it is not even considered an issue in your tradition but I realized I had no idea how it is regarded, really, so I thought I would ask.

(GLBT= Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered)


Well, I can only speak for my own viewpoint, but personally I could care less about a person's sexual orientation... I've got enough to worry about in my own spiritual life, I gotta worry about someone else's too? I know that sounds awfully PC, but such were my thoughts before discovering GV anyways.

Unless someone outright tells me they are homosexual, how am I even to know? Since I rarely discuss sexual exploits with other people, I never even bother to explore other people's sexual orientation. I've have gay friends, straight friends, and I'm sure some I thought were one, but were in fact the other...

QUOTE
Does the fact that homosexuality brings up people's feelings about sex make it more difficult to deal with in terms of forming policies?
Without a doubt. I've often wondered why some people are so threatened by GLBT folk.. a touch of the 'ol Irish themselves? I thought the attitude was best summed up by some dialog from 'The Simpsons' (paraphrase)

Sea Captain: Sorry, I don't swing that way.

Sea Captain: At least not on land.

'Nuff said.
babu - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 04:01:59 +0530
I could care less what someone's sexual orientation is. I just think its important that people remember Krishna however they are enjoying their body.
babu - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 04:12:46 +0530
Being that the overwhelming number of problems heterosexuals (mostly males with their territorialism) have created in the world, if we were honest with ourselves, this is probably the poll we should be taking.

------------------------------------------

Heterosexuality in any form is against nature and a detriment to spiritual life. Abstention is the only prescription.

Heterosexuality is natural for some. It is promiscuity that is the danger and monogamous heterosexual partnerships can be beneficial for spiritual progress.

Heterosexual experimentation is a natural expression of human sexuality and should not be restricted in any way.

----------------------------------

I am a heterosexual btw, but the behavior of my co-heteros is one for concern
Jagat - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 04:16:45 +0530
You are welcome to start your own separate poll...

True that I could have added the choice: "Sexuality in any shape or form is a negative for spiritual life. All men should be castrated and all women's vaginas completely sewn shut."
Tapati - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 04:33:34 +0530

I was prompted to start this when someone posted on Istagosthi an essay from a weblog:

http://siddhanta.com/weblogs/culture/

The essay was posted in the topic called "The Pandora's Box of Homosexuality" and I responded at length there.

Istagosthi topic

Thank you for the thoughtful replies. smile.gif
Talasiga - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 04:40:57 +0530
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ Jan 6 2005, 10:18 PM)
....
Unless someone outright tells me they are homosexual, how am I even to know? Since I rarely discuss sexual exploits with other people, I never even bother to explore other people's sexual orientation. I've have gay friends, straight friends, and I'm sure some I thought were one, but were in fact the other...

.......



Yes, these days, sankirtan is the only time I associate with people to any extent. I think when there is a kirtan in progress and there is an undercurrent of sexual flirtation that is obvious - this is a real turn off whether it is hetero, homo or narcissistic. From a sanga perspective I prefer a kirtan where all our energies are channelled into the offering of music and dance and song and our connnection with fellow kirtaniyas is warm and loving on account of the fire of the Holy Names. I also find it a turn off when devotees in sankirtan go out of their way to ignore each other and cut each other out in some way. I find it is a desperate affectation of detachment and it is destructive to the musical responsiveness of the participants.
Madhava - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 10:16:54 +0530
I don't mind. I do mind however if people are hung up themselves over their sexual orientation, and can't stop talking about it all the time. I would not care to involve myself in a discussion with a homosexual about why he is homosexual, and why it is good that he is homosexual, and why it is important that there are homosexuals in the world. Nor would I be much interested in participating in a discussion on why it is so cool to be heterosexual and have so much hetero-sex.
Madhava - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 10:21:38 +0530
QUOTE(Jagat @ Jan 6 2005, 11:09 PM)
OK, I added the Poll here.

I merged the threads. I don't think we need two threads for this, especially in the Questions and Answers-subforum here. This topic might be better suited in the Controversial-section, as the topic is certainly that in the current Vaishnava-world.
Sadhupriya - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 10:23:14 +0530
Here is something I wrote on chakra some times ago...

3rd-gender not equal to pedophilia
by Mukunda Gauranga das

Posted September 28, 2004

In response to: Continued abuse and cover-up in Vrindavan Gurukula alleged

Dear Bhima-Karma das,

Pranam and dandavat. Jaya Srila Prabhupada! I am very sad to read about the possible abuse. However, I did not really like the tone you used in your article linking 3rd-gendered people with pedophilia. I have a 3rd-gendered (bisexual) material condition. I was born like that. This condition "enables" me to be attracted both physically and emotionally to people from both gender. Am I lower, higher, in- between? I do not know and frankly do not care. Sexual orientation or bodily distinctions have no link with pedophilia which is a mental disease.

I would love to do service related to children as I am studying in Special Care Counselling and specializing in palliative care and with special needs children but this gender barrier (me being in a male body) makes it almost impossible. I find it sad, not just for me but for the children who, I am sure, would enjoy a masculine presence in their life. It is not just that I like children, they are also naturally attracted to my presence and many parents enjoy that I play and take care of their children while they perform sadhana/service.. I do understand that I have some responsability (ex: making sure there is always someone who can see us - to protect both of us from false accusations, e.t.c) but I don't think it is fair for me who want to serve Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga as well as all the wonderfull little siddhas, devas and devis, to pay for what other sick people did.

I should also mention that the majority of pedophiles are heterosexuals so beware...

I pray that Lord Nityananda can give us intelligence to call an apple an apple and an avocado an avocado so that we will be truly able to help, raise, protect and nurture our children. Please forgive any offense made.

Your insignificant servant,

Mukunda Gauranga das
tulasi3@whale-mail.com

P.S Please excuse the mistakes as English is not my native language.

Tapati - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 10:45:12 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Jan 6 2005, 11:51 PM)
QUOTE(Jagat @ Jan 6 2005, 11:09 PM)
OK, I added the Poll here.

I merged the threads. I don't think we need two threads for this, especially in the Questions and Answers-subforum here. This topic might be better suited in the Controversial-section, as the topic is certainly that in the current Vaishnava-world.



I seriously thought about placing it elsewhere, but my question was not geared to what is good for other Vaishnava traditions, or eclectic traditions, but what people from your specific tradtion think. That is why I chose the Rupanuga section and Q and A for it. I just wondered, if I encountered someone who felt rejected from those other traditions over this issue, and could not get initiation there, would they be welcome in yours or not? If you move it, that is fine with me as long as that focus is understood.

I welcome a world in which I never feel the need to mention my orientation because it's accepted everywhere, therefore I do not feel I must be "out" in order to be a good example. I feel that I must be "out" so that people know, we are not some perverts in a rumpled trenchcoat in the park. We are normal people in all respects.

I have been saddened to read the comments floating around other websites and I ache for my people whose hearts are being broken by these words. So I very much appreciate the kind and levelheaded words posted here.

I want to say that if anyone has any questions about such issues, please feel free to ask me privately. I promise not to take offense. This is what I do in Triangle Speakers--take questions from our audience.

kkchanda - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 12:59:03 +0530
Spiritual progress at one time will demand sacrificing sense gratifications in any form. Approval in any means is not going to help anyone in long run.

Moreover why there is a need to allow, disallow, discuss on these issues if one knows well that it is not going to help in spiritual progress.

We need to condition our mind and body in getting Krishna. Be sure, you will not get him by practicing sense gratification exercises. We are only cheating ourselves by justifying our actions.

This is my personal view points and I am sorry if someone's feelings are hurt in any way.

Madhava - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 13:11:25 +0530
QUOTE(kkchanda @ Jan 7 2005, 08:29 AM)
Spiritual progress at one time will demand sacrificing sense gratifications in any form. Approval in any means is not going to help anyone in long run.

Moreover† why there is a need to allow, disallow, discuss on these issues if one knows well that it is not going to help in spiritual progress.

The thing is, if some people are announced as de facto disqualified due to their sexual orientation, then that cannot be very beneficial for their spiritual progress. It is not long ago when all Western people, nay, everyone outside of India, was considered unfit or at least extremely disqualified for practicing the bhajan-process of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the Goswamis. Do you see the parallel?


QUOTE
We need to condition our mind and body in getting Krishna. Be sure, you will not get him by practicing sense gratification exercises. We are only cheating ourselves by justifying our actions.

As long as the body is there, the senses are there, and they need a certain amount of "gratification". Let us close our eyes when we see a beautiful sunset. Let us hold our breath when we smell the aroma of flowers carried by the wind. Let us block our ears when we hear the birds chirping. Let us jump into a lake of cold water when we feel the sun pleasantly warming our skin on a summer day. And so forth. Let us stop passing stool, for heaven's sake. Such sense gratification!

That aside, I don't think anyone here is talking about sense gratification exercises. The question is on homosexuality as a sexual orientation. That, just like heterosexuality, is not a "sense gratification exercise" as such. It is just a state of being in this world.
Madhava - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 13:14:55 +0530
QUOTE(Tapati @ Jan 6 2005, 10:53 PM)
Perhaps it is not even considered an issue in your tradition but I realized I had no idea how it is regarded, really, so I thought I would ask.

With regards to "our tradition". There is no unified tradition as such. Attitudes will vary depending on locales and people's backgrounds. In other words, there is no central authority to declare right or wrong in this regard.
kkchanda - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 13:40:51 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Jan 7 2005, 05:41 AM)


I am not in favour of discrimination of any kind.
In fact spiritual enlightment is required for all the fallen souls. We are no exceptions and variations are only to some degree.

Subject under discussion is a private activity and let it remain private.
In my opinion spiritual progress will give the answer in due course.

Hare Krishna!
Jagat - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 18:48:07 +0530
Sense gratification is a state of being in this world. We need to eat and sleep, and the urge to engage in sexual activity is also a potent force. Gita says: yuktAhAra-vihArasya yukta-ceSTasya karmasu, etc.
babu - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 19:01:59 +0530
Give up sense gratification and harden your heart and lose your mind. Get back to your senses.
Subal - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 21:25:41 +0530
I have been an open and active advocate for GLBT rights here in West Michigan working with Christian clergy, a Quaker group and others in the gay community. I believe we are all somewhere on a sliding scale between being purely heterosexual and purely homosexual. These qualities are natural to us and persons do not "choose" to be homosexual or hetero. The main problem around this issue is our social conditioning and uncomfortableness with sexuality period. This has certainly been encouraged by many religions over the ages leading to repression and dysfunctionality.

As a devotee of Sri Sri Radha Krishna, the supreme passionately, loving couple, I see no need to repress my own sexuality in order to enter into their service. I practiced celibacy for some years influenced by my guru ACBS. Yes, my passionate desires were channeled into my devotion and attraction to Radha Krishna and friends. However, now married and sexually active, that desire is still there. I see no need for celibacy as a requirement for spiritual advancement. That is why Mahaprabhu sent Nityananda back to Bengal and told him to get married. In fact, he took two wives.
babu - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 22:10:58 +0530
QUOTE(Subal @ Jan 7 2005, 03:55 PM)
I have been an open and active advocate for GLBT rights here in West Michigan working with Christian clergy, a Quaker group and others in the gay community.


Thank you Subal for your work and advocacy for GLBT rights. I also give honor to your church, The UCC for its work in this regard as well. While many are saying at this time that UCC stands for Utterly Confused Christians, you and your church is at the heart of what the universality of Christ's teachings are about.

In the Episcopal Church which I attend, in some parishes, 50% and up of some members left the church in their decision to give full ordination and bishop positions to homosexuals. While some have walked out the door, many now are finding reason to walk in the door.

Peace bro, Babu
Subal - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 22:53:58 +0530
Thank you babuji. Many also say UCC means Unitarians Considering Christ. It is because of the openness and universality of this denomination that I was able to serve and was never asked to renounce my vaishnava beliefs.

My neighbors left the Episcopal church over the gay issue and I have distanced myself from them as a result.
Chanahari - Fri, 07 Jan 2005 22:59:22 +0530
QUOTE(Jagat @ Jan 7 2005, 02:18 PM)
Sense gratification is a state of being in this world.



Isn't "sense gratification" inherent in all beings, be they in this world or in the spiritual?
Isn't Krishna's presence "sense gratification" to the gopis?
Tapati - Sat, 08 Jan 2005 03:22:21 +0530

In my years living in the temple, when I was single it was no problem to control my senses. I had no temptations to resist.

When I was married, it was a different story. Here I was, supposed to have sex only once a month for the purpose of conception. There were periods of time that I was able to follow that. When I "fell down" on occasion, I often cried out of my shame and sadness at disappointing my Guru Maharaj. I had confidential talks with other married Godsisters who faced similar problems coming to that platform. I now see it as something to approach in old age, when one's body naturally helps one by declining hormones and a variety of aches and pains that are potent reminders that death is around the corner and its time to get one's spiritual life into a higher gear. Family demands have also lessened at that point, allowing for increased time to chant and serve in some way.

I see no reason why this pattern of gradually decreasing sex life and increasing spiritual life should be any different for devotees with alternative sexual preferences.

Ironically, the period after I came out, and until I married my husband, was the longest period of abstinence I experienced. It lasted almost a decade.

Of course my present tradition has none of these prohibitions, rather one is to change one's consciousness about sex rather than stop having it.

I also find it curious that proponents of banning homosexuals from joining a temple or community don't seem to have the same prohibitions for the adulterers among them. My ex cheated on two of his wives multiple times, and has had 8 children by 4 different women. He also was a batterer. Yet he would probably be allowed in a temple community (and in fact is).
Tapati - Sat, 08 Jan 2005 03:34:08 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Jan 7 2005, 02:44 AM)
QUOTE(Tapati @ Jan 6 2005, 10:53 PM)
Perhaps it is not even considered an issue in your tradition but I realized I had no idea how it is regarded, really, so I thought I would ask.

With regards to "our tradition". There is no unified tradition as such. Attitudes will vary depending on locales and people's backgrounds. In other words, there is no central authority to declare right or wrong in this regard.




It appeared to me that a number of you had taken initiation from the same Guru or the same or related lineage of Gurus, yes? That is what I was referring to. What does your Guru say about this issue? Would he initiate a gay or lesbian prospective disciple? Could someone who cannot take initiation elsewhere find shelter there?
Gaurasundara - Tue, 11 Jan 2005 10:50:36 +0530
OK, sorry if anyone read my post. It was not the sort of discussion I came back here for, sorry again. Since my post was a reply to Madhava, I will PM him directly.
Madhava - Mon, 17 Jan 2005 18:39:50 +0530
Please behave. The post above will be deleted shortly.

Topics such as this are allowed in good faith that our audience may discuss them in a mature manner.
Rasaraja dasa - Mon, 17 Jan 2005 19:23:14 +0530
Dear Babu,

Please ensure to keep your job and dash those dreams of moving to Hollywood to be a comedian because... well, you arenít funny. A large part of a comedians charm is being able to chose the correct spots and you both lack that intuition and, I am afraid, any funny bone in your body must have been removed at a young age. I am sorry to break the news.

So moving forward maybe stick with mature commentary and leave such nonsense in your own head. No one said you canít laugh at your own ill humor.

Aspiring to serve the Vaisnavas,
Rasaraja dasa
Madhava - Mon, 17 Jan 2005 23:01:22 +0530
That post is now deleted and in the retired section in case anyone cares. May we never see such posts again.
babu - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 05:02:17 +0530
Sorry to anyone or all if I crossed the line of what is acceptable Krishna conscious humor. I watch "Will and Grace" quite a bit and so sometimes the line from acceptable secular humor to acceptable bhakta humor becomes blurred.

My apologies, babu

Tapati - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 05:08:36 +0530
QUOTE(babu @ Jan 17 2005, 06:32 PM)
Sorry to anyone or all if I crossed the line of what is acceptable Krishna conscious humor.† I watch "Will and Grace" quite a bit and so sometimes the line from acceptable secular humor to acceptable bhakta humor becomes blurred.†

My apologies, babu




I actually found it quite funny. But I can't answer your question. I swore an oath of secrecy.
Tapati - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 05:13:29 +0530
QUOTE(Gaurasundara @ Jan 11 2005, 12:20 AM)
OK, sorry if anyone read my post. It was not the sort of discussion I came back here for, sorry again. Since my post was a reply to Madhava, I will PM him directly.



I apologize if you find the topic offensive. It was not my intention to offend. I am just trying to be a good advocate for those lesbian, gay and bisexual devotees who are trying to find a welcoming spiritual home. They ultimately want the same thing you want, to transcend their desire for sense gratification and achieve pure love of Krishna.

I really don't want to adversely affect your own spiritual practice or focus. I believed that those who aren't interested in such a topic would avoid it.

I didn't read your original post; I am just responding to what you said above.
Rasaraja dasa - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 05:31:09 +0530
Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

Personally I just think the topic itself is such a damn shame. We all carry our baggage, our conditioning and who/what we are. I can at least speak for myself and say that my being is anything but pious or deserving of the mercy I have received.

If we really start to question who is welcome or deserving we will get a very very bleak picture in terms of of our own karmic makeup. However it is through the mercy of Sri Gauranga and the Vaisnavas that we are given entrance and the gift of Sri Radhika's service and Vaisnava seva.

All are welcome. Once the aspiring Vaisnava decides that he/she is more deserving or more welcome than another they risk the very gift in which they have been given; as it wasn't earned. So regardless of our position or makeup we should welcome all.

Aspiring to serve the Vaisnavas,
Rasaraja dasa
ananga - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 06:21:19 +0530
QUOTE(Rasaraja dasa @ Jan 18 2005, 12:01 AM)
Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

Personally I just think the topic itself is such a damn shame.



I am assuming that you think it is a shame that someone even feels the need to start this thread rather than it is a shameful thread.

Before meeting my diksha guru and my lovely guru brothers and sisters my only exposure to krishna was iskcon and if I believed what they said it would be necessary to have a sexuality amputation to be accepted. As I was neither able nor willing to pretend not to have a sexuality in order to follow a spiritual practice I didn't feel welcomed or at home there (and being gay of course wasn't the only reason). Instead I thought (and still think) that sexuality has to be incorportated healthily into spiritual life and that sadhana has to incorportate rather than supress sexual energy. Therefore it was one of my first questions to my prospective diksha guru and suffice it to say I got some very satisfactory answers.

It is clearly a very wise question for gay/lesbian/third sex devotionally inclined people to ask as so much subtle and not so subtle homophobic abuse has gone on in celibate religions and forewarned is forearmed.
ananga - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 06:31:08 +0530
Such was the silence among gay/lesbian vaishnavas online that I set up the gaykrishnas yahoogroup a few years a go. At the same time Amara Das Wilhelm published his GayLesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) material and devotees now have somewhere to congregate online.

I have become inactive at those sites as I do not share the same issues or devotional mood as those with an ISKCON/GM background and a lot of the talk is not so relevant to me so I spend more time here now. I would be interested in what the more shastralogically inclined and learned think about the validity of Amara's writings.

gay and lesbian vaishnava association

Rasaraja dasa - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 06:41:26 +0530
Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

I think my post clearly shows that I find the topic a shame because we are all "welcome" and qualified for Sri Gaurangas mercy. For someone to state that one is not qualified is to both doubt the mercy of Gauranga and the Vaisnavas and to risk their line of mercy as to think one is qualified is a dangerous thing.

Aspiring to serve the Vaisnavas,
Rasaraja dasa

PS. I remember a newsletter called Hot Milk from the SF area in the arly 90's... what happened to it?
Tapati - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 07:19:49 +0530
QUOTE(ananga @ Jan 17 2005, 08:01 PM)
Such was the silence among gay/lesbian vaishnavas online that I set up the gaykrishnas yahoogroup a few years a go. At the same time Amara Das Wilhelm published his GayLesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) material and devotees now have somewhere to congregate online.

I have become inactive at those sites as I do not share the same issues or devotional mood as those with an ISKCON/GM background and a lot of the talk is not so relevant to me so I spend more time here now.† I would be interested in what the more shastralogically inclined and learned think about the validity of Amara's writings.

gay and lesbian vaishnava association



Yes, I don't feel like I fit into the GALVA point of view quite either, as it still operates from the assumption that sexuality is inherently detrimental. "Sexuality amputation" is a great way to put it. I was just saying over on Istagosthi, where I started a topic about what a liberal non-literalist tradition might look like, that "in fact, one can accept such gratification with appreciation expressed to God--'Thank you for making it possible for me to enjoy this!' In the case of sex, the pagan mood is to recognize that giving someone that pleasure with love and respect is a sacred act, and a gift from the Goddess. Not an evil or dirty thing, but a beautiful and loving activity. Sex can become evil or dirty only by being coercive, forced, done with disrespect or hate, or otherwise not in the spirit of love and respect." I also made the point that even if it is seen as a distraction, it is more of a distraction when one is obsessing about avoiding giving in to the desire, rather than simply fulfilling it and moving on.

But that is just my opinion. smile.gif Your mileage may vary.
babu - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 07:20:40 +0530
I think some's inability to accept homosexuality is only skip from their ability to handle any sexuality. This "shame of who one is factor" is not only what gives this thread a laboring quality, but spins its way into other threads and throughout the forums and world. If we deeply and honestly accepted our selves, our energy, our night would become day in a flash.

This is the last part of a paper by Jagat called "Obscenity" which speaks of this inability to handle sexuality.

QUOTE
My feeling is that sexuality, like all things in this world, has a spiritual function if properly used--like the sound vibration used in the service of Krishna through chanting his Name, like the food offered to Krishna becomes prasada, and just like ordinary work when performed in consciousness of Krishna, all have the effect of bringing the spirit closer to Him.

Sexuality is a powerful and potentially disruptive force, both for the individual and society. No one can deny this. Its very power makes it the ideal analogy for the union of the individual soul with the divine, an metaphor found in all theistic religious traditions. But if the "most difficult sense to overcome," the tongue, can be dovetailed in Krishna's service, why can sexual energy not also be so dovetailed?

I repeat that we live in a society where sexual mores are far freer than they were in Victorian England and, by extension, its empire. Religion dominated by a celibate male priesthood has rightly come under fire in Western culture. At the same time, nothing seems more decadent and a source of greater confusion than modern sexuality and popular attitudes toward it. But an unreflective rejection is an inadequate way of dealing with the problem.


Jagat calls sexuality a potentially disruptive force and it is. We have been lied to and shamed about our sexuallity by our traditions to keep us impotent... so society and its structure would not be disrupted.


jijaji - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 07:25:50 +0530
Excuse me..

If these Guru's are so liberal-minded to give diksha to Gay's (which I am not against) then why the backward stance on westerners who have an occasionl glass of wine?
You can all poke fun at this all you want, but this is totally acceptable behaviour in western society and in most religious circles really.
Even the modern Yoga movements in the West are not as restrictive and hold onto such old taboos in this regard.
It seems rigidly repressive and out of contact with reality frankly.
If a mature Gay non-celibate can be accepted into the fold, why not an adult who is responsible with family, business and the like who has an occasional glass of wine not be allowed in your sacred club...?

Besides many say Nityananda and Virabhadra were Tantric., but I get beyond myself here...

Sorry to distract from the topic...

namaskar,

bangli

Tapati - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 07:29:16 +0530

People who prefer the celibacy and abstinence model often point to the sexual excesses of modern society as the reason these things are preferable or even necessary.

I would say as a sex-positive pagan that anything can be abused, and just because there are gluttons is no reason not to enjoy food.

A healthy sexuality that includes a mutually respectful relationship with another person can be a benefit to our entire life, spirituality included. Learning to love one person fully can only help us in our quest to love the Supreme Person. (And no, not in the sense of imitating conjugal rasa, but by being fully involved and present in our relationship with our significant other.) We often work out many issues we have in relating within the context of a marriage (or civil union).
jijaji - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 07:35:44 +0530
QUOTE(Tapati @ Jan 18 2005, 05:08 AM)
QUOTE(babu @ Jan 17 2005, 06:32 PM)
Sorry to anyone or all if I crossed the line of what is acceptable Krishna conscious humor.† I watch "Will and Grace" quite a bit and so sometimes the line from acceptable secular humor to acceptable bhakta humor becomes blurred.†

My apologies, babu




I actually found it quite funny. But I can't answer your question. I swore an oath of secrecy.




I found it funny too...

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babu - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 07:38:07 +0530
QUOTE(bangli @ Jan 18 2005, 01:55 AM)
Sorry to distract from the topic...


Not really a distraction at all but asking a question of how to fit the homosexual idea and other taboos like drinking into the bigger field of what are grounds for accepting or rejecting an action.

I have a personal preference for the wicca maxim:

"Do what thou wilt but hurt no one."

jijaji - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 07:39:48 +0530
QUOTE(babu @ Jan 18 2005, 07:38 AM)
QUOTE(bangli @ Jan 18 2005, 01:55 AM)
Sorry to distract from the topic...


Not really a distraction at all but asking a question of how to fit the homosexual idea and other taboos like drinking into the bigger field of what are grounds for accepting or rejecting an action.

I have a personal preference for the wicca maxim:

"Do what thou wilt but hurt no one."



indeed...

wink.gif
Gaurasundara - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 08:04:02 +0530
QUOTE(Tapati @ Jan 18 2005, 12:43 AM)
QUOTE(Gaurasundara @ Jan 11 2005, 12:20 AM)
OK, sorry if anyone read my post. It was not the sort of discussion I came back here for, sorry again. Since my post was a reply to Madhava, I will PM him directly.



I apologize if you find the topic offensive. It was not my intention to offend. I am just trying to be a good advocate for those lesbian, gay and bisexual devotees who are trying to find a welcoming spiritual home. They ultimately want the same thing you want, to transcend their desire for sense gratification and achieve pure love of Krishna.

I really don't want to adversely affect your own spiritual practice or focus. I believed that those who aren't interested in such a topic would avoid it.

I didn't read your original post; I am just responding to what you said above.

Oh no, no worries Tapati devi! I was not offended at all. I initially thought that this (forum) was a weird place to discuss such issues, but in any case the great and the small will be all in all, and all that..
Since my post was mainly a reply to Madhava's earlier posting, I sent him the PM and I trust he has read it already. Basically I said some things that could have exploded this topic into a war and I only realized it after posting, me being an egghead as usual. So rather than initiate a war I decided to de-facto delete it. Don't worry, I was not offended and I sincerely hope that you are not offended either. flowers.gif
babu - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 08:08:57 +0530
QUOTE(Gaurasundara @ Jan 18 2005, 02:34 AM)
Basically I said some things that could have exploded this topic into a war and I only realized it after posting, me being an egghead as usual. So rather than initiate a war I decided to de-facto delete it.


I think you exagerate. You would have started a little fire. Little fires are good and healthy to get some stuff out for meaningful communication.
Gaurasundara - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 08:09:39 +0530
QUOTE(babu @ Jan 18 2005, 02:50 AM)
I think some's inability to accept homosexuality is only skip from their ability to handle any sexuality.

What would you to say to those who believe that homosexuality is, for very good scientific reasons, a mental aberration? Just curious.
jijaji - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 09:02:00 +0530
QUOTE(Gaurasundara @ Jan 18 2005, 08:09 AM)
QUOTE(babu @ Jan 18 2005, 02:50 AM)
I think some's inability to accept homosexuality is only skip from their ability to handle any sexuality.

What would you to say to those who believe that homosexuality is, for very good scientific reasons, a mental aberration? Just curious.



Are you Gay Gaurasundara?

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jijaji - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 09:36:41 +0530
I'm kidding ..

lighten up!

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Talasiga - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 17:53:24 +0530
QUOTE(bangli @ Jan 18 2005, 01:55 AM)
Excuse me..

If these Guru's are so liberal-minded to give diksha to Gay's (which I am not against) then why the backward stance on westerners who have an occasionl glass of wine?
You can all poke fun at this all you want, but this is totally acceptable behaviour in western society and in most religious circles really.
Even the modern Yoga movements in the West are not as restrictive and hold onto such old taboos in this regard.
It seems rigidly repressive and out of contact with reality frankly.
If a mature Gay non-celibate can be accepted into the fold, why not an adult who is responsible with family, business and the like who has an occasional glass of wine not be allowed in your sacred club...?
......




Perhaps these Guru's you speak of may be under the impression that those who imbibe wine or may be inclined to use abusive or foul language. They would prefer followers who can cultivate their tongue and breath for the Holy Names.

Of course, if this is the case, these Guru's may be overgeneralising about wine drinkers, and someone who is a wine drinker and does not use foul language should petition them and demonstrate the contrary to them.
Jagat - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 18:06:03 +0530
Let us expect some variety in response to these questions. I am sure there are liberal gurus out there who will share Talasiga's attitude--it is more important to cultivate humility and other social skills than to be a complete teetotaller. Priority should be given to the essentials of devotional life.

Yamas and niyamas are an essential part of all yoga systems, but in bhakti restrictions and prohibitions are secondary to sharanagati and positive engagement in devotional activities like chanting and hearing. When one realizes that greater benefit can be had from these activities by being situated in the sattvika mode, then activities that promote rajas and tamas are abandoned.
jijaji - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 18:16:17 +0530
You are such a child Talasiga....

And pretend in public that you are above anything like foul language and such, give me a break.
Your arrogance on these forums were experienced from day one by not only me, but the moderators themselves whom you constantly needled and harressed. This was all discussed in private for your information as we all witnessed your behaviour that was attacking with ad-nauseum needleing.
You jump in on me last week when I am being hammered for being honest and asking about wine, AND like your some puritan protestant you kick, laugh and of course needle (your speciality) and piss me off and YES I said some 'foul' words to you in pm's..... whoopie.
I apologized to you little boy and like a little boy you now stomp around and whine saying you wont' accept. and want to cry about it here in public more.

What are you 12 or something? How embarressing for you to behave in such a manner. If you piss someone off in the adult world yes sometimes words are exchanged...get real, and get in the real world.

And I'll tell you here in public , if your gonna stalk me on these forums you won't like the reaction ..

wink.gif
Madhava - Tue, 18 Jan 2005 18:29:28 +0530
I think we'll call it a topic and close it. Moved to "Controversial".