Q&A with Srila Hridayananda das Goswami on Protecting Women

Questions: What does it mean when the Vedas state that men should protect women?


Answer by Srila Hridayananda das Goswami:

Prabhupada and Shastras do teach the protection of women. Krishna also says in the Gita: yad yad acarati sresthas… “people follow the leader’s example.” Thus a man who sets the right Krishna conscious example will be able to guide and inspire a woman.

Men must also realize that to protect does not mean to subjugate, humiliate or dominate. It means to protect. Shastra gives many examples of husbands who protected their wives by occasionally accepting that in a particular case, the wife had a better understanding of a situation. Examples:

1. The brahmana wives fed Krishna’s friends, when their husbands refused and forbade them to do so.

2. The wives of Kaliya surrendered to Krishna before their husband.

3. The great Pandu gave up his determination that Kunti have more sons with demigods and accepted her argument.

Power corrupts and in this age, we have seen many instances not only of women becoming corrupted by seizing power, but of the same happening to men. In the name of Vedic culture, we have seen too many cases of domestic violence and other forms of marital abuse.

Vedic culture is sophisticated, nuanced and subtle. Ignoring those subtle, deep qualities, we are at times left with crude male chauvinism or mundane feminism, rather than true Vedic culture.

With best wishes,

Hridayananda das Goswami



Filed under HDG Uvaca

2 responses to “Q&A with Srila Hridayananda das Goswami on Protecting Women

  1. Not just women should be protected but children as well, yet in our own society we have such a deplorable track record in regard to protection of children. It wasn’t until the society was threatened with bankruptcy that it started to try to make amends- so is it the money and property we care about, or Krsna’s devotees? The answer is obvious when one considers that a child abuser is currently in charge of Mayapura gurukula, is a sannyasi and also a guru. Why wasn’t he removed permanently from the care of children after beating children so hard that he took the skin off their backs, and allowing the rape of children, and claiming it was no different to illicit sex between a married couple? What sort of sadistic philosophy is he cultivating, and being rewarded with name and fame in our movement? Until great and good leaders, such as Srila Acaryadeva, start taking a vocal and determined stance, nothing will change, as no one listens to people without position- such as myself and other concerned individuals. Maybe if all of us get together and make demonstrations in the Holy Dhama, with placards and so on, and invite the local media– what lengths do we have to go to, to be heard? Our voices are no better than whispers. We need a lion amongst us.

  2. Ru

    Women only need protection from domineering and misogynist men. I would suggest other men are not the best choice when it comes to protection from that. The best protection for women is an education, financial independence and equal civil rights.

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