Srimate Devī Dāsī – US: Well I have been bottling this up for many years now, until I came across this website and read about Indradyumna Swami and his ‘girls’. I want to say I am definitely not a women’s liber or a feminist but do agree with some of the rights that they promote for women. I am not sure if I have sent the pictures in this right but if not please can the publishers sort it out as they say what I mean many times better than I can.
When I was growing up in the states, to use women as a sex symbol or as a draw card was considered distasteful and exploitative. Since being a devotee I have of course travelled extensively over the years and have always enjoyed going out in the street on Harinama Sankirtan! We would have a ball singing dancing and handing out pamphlets to passersby. Being at the back of the leaders felt safe from any unruly bystander and felt right. I never had one single conflict of conscience being a woman at the back as a matter of fact it never felt like I was at the back.
But now I am seeing that women are being placed in the front and doing formulated dance routines which are anything but spontaneous. I wonder if Indradyumna Swami would let a larger woman of her mid sixties (me) walk next to him as he does these choice pretty young women? I suppose if he was in town I would stay at home rather than be made to feel self conscious that I am not a pretty woman for him to photograph.
This type of Harinama party is a new thing in the world of ISKCON and I am not sure it is proper at all. Judging from the behavior of Indradyumna Swami dancing in a wild ‘Woodstock’ type dance and then getting devotees and others to give him a ‘crowd surf’ is definitely not what I would call the proper behavior of an elderly Sannyāsi.
The message it gives is that brahmacaris should also follow this wild sexual orientated dancing and reveling in the Harinama parties of ISKCON.
Is this what we want? Will the Ācāryas be happy and more importantly would Śrīla Prabhupāda be happy seeing Sannyāsīs and Brahmacaris carrying on like this in our Harinam Parties?
Is this what modern day ISKCON has resorted to so they can get followers?
I don’t know call me old fashioned but this stinks. Look at their faces when they are dancing with women and look at the clothes the woman wear. What in God’s name is going on here? Is this what we want to world to see has become of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s ISKCON society?
We older women of ISKCON, those who still remember what Śrīla Prabhupāda taught us and what pleased Śrīla Prabhupāda should take up our shoes and beat these Brahmacaris and these Sannyāsīs of ISKCON who make a mockery out of our Vaiṣṇava culture and the noble women of ISKCON.
We will have to do it as the men it seems are too cowardly to beat these people who bring only shame and disgrace to our society. Look at these pictures carefully and ask yourself seriously is this what will please Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Originally published: February 2012