Iskcon Policy on Homosexual devotees

Subject: Gay devotees, discrimination etc.

An old text from 1994 but touches on current homosex marriage/monogamy issue

Jayadvaita Svami in usual fine form is giving a tongue in cheek response to
Madhusudani Radha dd.

Text 45394: 21-May-94 21:23 /62 lines/ Jayadvaita Swami (BTG)
Comment on: Text 43735 by com: Madhusudani Radha (dd) JPS (Berkeley - USA)
Receiver: Philosophical Exchange (Global) <156>
Subject: Gay devotees, discrimination etc.
Sorry to be slow in responding to texts. I've been busy elsewhere.

You say:

     Surely you could not have been seriously suggesting that
     homosexual feelings are the same as zoophilia, pedophilia,
     necrophilia.   Even the US govt. and the American
     Psychiatric Association recognize this. The reason this
     homosexuality is different from the other categories you
     mentioned . . . is that it involves CONSENSUAL interactions
     between two adults!

Yes, I *am* seriously suggesting that homosexual acts and feelings
are "the same" as those of zoophilia, etc. They are not identical,
any more than murder, theft, and arson are identical. But just as
murder, theft, and arson are all criminal, acts of homosexuality,
zoophilia, pedophilia, and necrophilia are all sinful.

The participants in a sin may be adults who both agree to do it.
Does that exempt it from being a sin? No. In fact, that they are
adult means they are supposed to be responsible and accountable
for what they do.

Two military people may use their military car as, for example, a
site for sexual intercourse. But the consensual nature of their
act doesn't excuse them from having misused the government's car.
So also, two adults may consent to get together and misuse their
bodies. But those bodies belong to Krsna. And the fact of
consensus provides no excuse for abusing what Krsna has given

(By the way, although in necrophilia the element of consensus is
absent, so too is the party who might have been harmed by lack of
consent. Once we're dead, whatever happens to our bodies can no
longer hurt us. So necrophilia, argueably, can be quite harmless.
And the dear animals who serve as partners in zoophilia presumably
undergo no physical or emotional trauma, so zoophilia can be
pretty harmless too. So let's see: Pedophilia is probably pretty
bad, but zoophilia is a lot less bad because it involves merely
animals, and necrophilia is still better because it harms no other
living entities at all. And in homosexuality all involved are
agreeable, so--hey--what's the problem?)

You say:

     The  issue is that we should not discriminate against [etc.
     etc.] Who of us is perfect? Isn't the most important thing
     that we are all trying our best?

Well, our movement follows Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the ideal
teacher. And we are told of several instances in which, for Him,
that argument simply didn't fly. (Junior Haridasa comes to mind,
and also the brahmana Krsna Dasa who fell down with the

Srila Prabhupada too, as another member of this conference has
noted, was not unlimitedly acquiescent and accommodating. The
Srila Prabhupada of Unlimited Understanding and Accommodation is a
product of post-1977 mythology.

Hare Krsna.

Subject: Srila Prabhupada condemned the homosexual lifestyle

More grist for the mill.

Letter PAMHO:12641959 (145 lines) [W1]
From:      XYZ (das)
Date:      29-Nov-06 01:18 -0500
To:        Shyamasundara (das) ACBSP (Vedic Astrologer) (USA) [33489]
           (received: 29-Nov-06 04:13 -0500)
Subject:   a blast from the past
 Dear Shyama,

 Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila

 An interesting text. JAS has a unique and penetrating perceptive

 As far as the issue of homosex in ISKCON goes, his final paragraph
was very pertinent:

> Srila Prabhupada too, as another member of this conference has
> noted, was not unlimitedly acquiescent and accommodating. The
> Srila Prabhupada of Unlimited Understanding and Accommodation is a
> product of post-1977 mythology.

 I can think of at least two examples where Srila Prabhupada would
not allow homosexuals to live in the temples or he condemned the homosexual

 One was Rayarama, who rendered such valuable service in the early
days in NY. After about 3 years he left, complaining that Srila Prabhupada
was "denying the basic necessities of life" (Srila Prabhupada personally
told me this).

Letter to: Rayarama — Los Angeles 29 June, 1969
You are praying for Krishna's blessings in order to serve me better, but
when Krishna speaks through me, you hesitate to accept the words.

Letter to: Brahmananda — London 25 November, 1969
"The idea is that BTG is our backbone of Krishna Consciousness propaganda,
and since you have taken charge from Rayarama's hand, certainly it has
improved in so many ways. Recently I have received one letter from Rayarama
which he has signed his name to as "Raymond''. That means he has drifted
from our society completely and his letter is very discouraging. He has
accused everyone save himself. So I do not know what can be done with him.
In the Bhagavad-gita we understand from the 16th Chapter that when a living
entity becomes envious of Krishna, he is put into the darkest region of
material existence, exactly in the same way as when a citizen is
disobedient, lawbreaker, he is put into the prison cells. So this is
nature's way beginning from Krishna, and one has to undergo such stringent
regulative principles of material nature in such disobedient position. So I
have not replied that letter; I have got it in the file. When I return to
Boston, if you like, you can see it."

 Later on he wanted to come back and render some service doing
editing, but while still maintaining his fallen life style. This is Srila
Prabhupada's reply:

22 October, 1971

My Dear Rayarama,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 11th
October, 1971 and have noted the contents. I welcome you for your coming
back to our society and you are feeling very nicely the association of
devotees. Srila Rupa Goswami has described that devotional service can be
advanced by six processes. Perhaps you know them. They are as follows:
enthusiasm, patience, conviction, following the regulative principles, being
honest in one's profession, and in the association of devotees. So this
Krishna consciousness society is especially meant for giving people the
opportunity to associate with devotees. Devotees means who are following the
regulative principles. One cannot be independent and at the same time become
a devotee because all devotional activities are based on surrender. So in
the association of devotees we learn this important item—how to surrender,
but if we keep our independence and try to become devotees, that is not

You write to say that you cannot feel any taste for temple life or Deity
worship. This means you are keeping the same temperament you entertained
before leaving our society. Our process is to accept both the lines of
bhagavata marga and pancaratriki marga. Perhaps you might have seen the
picture of the Gaudiya mission. On one side there is the bhagavata book and
on the other side a picture of Laksmi Narayana for Deity worship. You cannot
make any progress in devotional service unless simultaneously you follow
both the lines. Just as the tracks of a railroad line; both must be there.
Similarly temple worship is essential for purifying us from the material
contamination and without being purified we cannot glorify the Lord. As it
is stated in Bhagavad-gita that the Lord is completely pure and we cannot
approach Krishna without being purified. So as you say that you do not feel
very much encouraged in Deity worship and temple life, I see that your
disease is still continuing. Under the circumstances simple academic career
will not help you. If you want to live with us you must accept temple life,
namely cleanly shaven head, observing the regulative principles, decorating
the body with tilak, etc. You know all these things.

So far your editorial work is concerned, I welcome your good service but if
you do not follow temple life and Deity worship, it will set a bad example.
When I was there in N.Y. last time I saw that the tendency was there in the
press members not to follow the principles. So I said better to stop the
press. Since then Advaita and the others are attending temple worship.
Similarly you must also do the same and chant at least 16 rounds, etc.
I am so glad to learn that you are eager to preach but we should know it
that we cannot preach without being solid in our standing as devotee. Lord
Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that "apani acari prabhu jivare sikhaya.'' This
means that Lord Caitanya wanted that one should preach by behaving himself
exactly what he preaches. So our Krsna consciousness movement, preaching,
depends on personal behavior. If you want to preach the gospel of Lord Jesus
Christ on the principles of Bhagavad-gita you will find so many differences.
Those who are following Jesus Christ, let them follow strictly to the
principles of the Bible. "Thou shalt not kill'' is now being misinterpreted
by Christian priests. Now they say "Thou shall not murder.'' This means
trying to save themselves from the crime of animal killing. So you cannot
teach such unscrupled followers the message of Bhagavad-gita. If you want to
preach Bible you can tell them why there will be misinterpretation. In N.Y.
there is a big press that prints "Watchtower.'' They are forcefully
criticizing Christian behavior. I read that one Christian priest allowed a
marriage between two men—homosex. So these things are going on. So your
proposal for preaching the gospel on the basis of Bhagavad-gita will not be
successful. If you want to do that I cannot check you but I cannot allow you
to do such things from within our society. You have to understand our
philosophy perfectly, follow the regulative principles, and then in fact you
can edit our books and papers.

When I shall go to Mayapura then upon hearing from you of my proposal as
mentioned above, I shall arrange for your coming to India. First of all you
have to decide yourself whether you are prepared to surrender to our
principles, but if you keep your independence either in Mayapura or N.Y.,
your position is the same. To associate with me you are always welcome but
not with your independence. That will not help me or you.
Hoping this will meet you in good health."

 The other example I know of was a devotee called Lalitananda. He was
a devotee who left and became a homosexual:

26 May, 1975

My Dear Lalitananda dasa,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May
13rd, 1975 and have noted the contents. I am very sorry that you have taken
to homosex. It will not help you advance in your attempt for spiritual life.
In fact, it will only hamper your advancement. I do not know why you have
taken to such abominable activities. What can I say? Anyway, try to render
whatever service you can to Krishna. Even though you are in a very degraded
condition Krishna, being pleased with your service attitude, can pick you up
from your fallen state. You should stop this homosex immediately. It is
illicit sex, otherwise, your chances of advancing in spiritual life are nil.
Show Krishna you are serious, if you are.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

        Your humble servant,
        XYZ dasa