A special “Krishna Market” operated on a donation basis, with no fixed price for its wealth of saris, dhotis, kanti malas, japa beads, beadbags, jewelry, incense and spices. At this event, the goal is not money but to serve and satisfy the devotees! And in so doing they are also trying to teach the devotees how to live a happy life in service by giving voluntarily - from the heart.
Participating in this event is an unforgettable experience, which every devotee in ISKCON should have witnessed at least once in their life.
One topic in the seminar was the controversial and often heated question of women being less intelligent.
As we know, the soul is covered by a gross body made from earth, water, fire, air, and ether, and by a subtle body of mind, intelligence, and false ego. So intelligence is simply a material element of the subtle material body. As a rule, men have a stronger gross body, so they can easily fulfill the roles and purifying duties they are meant to play, and in the same way their subtle body is also stronger, for the same purpose. Usually we don’t become so agitated when we hear the statement that men have, as a rule, bigger feet. It is only the feet — we are not identifying with them so much.
But when we hear the statement that women are less intelligent, some ladies get very agitated and offended because they identify so much with their intelligence. It is so important and dear to us.
Nevertheless, it is simply a part of the subtle material body. It is our bodily identification, which stands in our way and agitates our mind and false ego.
“I was a student of psychology in my college life. Dr. Urquhart said, I remember still, that the brain substance has been found up to 64 ounce, while brain substance of woman has been found, highest, 34 ounce. Therefore woman class [laughs] is not so intelligent as man. There is no question of competition. It is actual, scientific fact.
But one thing I must explain here. So far spiritual life is concerned, it does not depend on the material brain substance. It is different thing. It is spiritual platform. It has nothing to do with this bodily construction. You must remember. We don’t make any distinction that a man can be better Krishna consciousness than woman. No. A woman can be better Krishna consciousness because they are very simple. They can accept any religious system. Generally the women, they accept it because they are very simple. They have no crooked mind. Sometimes they are exploited therefore. So in the spiritual platform there is no such distinction, although in the material...
Just like the bodily construction of man is different from woman, similarly, the brain substance may be also different, but that does not disqualify any woman for spiritual advancement in Krishna consciousness …”
As Srila Prabhupada explains, in many ways it is easier for women to take to Krishna consciousness. A stronger mind, intelligence and false ego can very well be a stumbling block in spiritual progress.
We have beautiful examples in the shastra which illustrate that it can be an advantage to be in a woman’s body: the brahmanas’ wives, who eagerly offered some food to Krishna and Balarama when They were hungry, whereas the brahmanas themselves were too busy performing their yajnas. When Krishna had a headache and was requesting the dust of the feet of His devotees, the brahmanas refused to give it to Him, fearing to go to hell, whereas the gopis eagerly gave the Lord as much of their dust as He wanted. They would have happily gone to hell for Krishna, as long as His headache was cured. And the gopis in themselves set a wonderful example of manifesting the topmost love for Krishna. In order to go back to Godhead we have to dissolve the subtle body of mind, intelligence, and false ego. So if the subtle body is less developed, it will give us less work to dissolve it.
On the 17th of September I flew on to London....
Your servant, Devaki dd