In a recent Sanga, you wrote that "women are not more lusty than men nor less intelligent." This appears to me to be quite contradictory to what Srila Prabhupada said about the subject. Can a 'sat guru' answer this question?

Srila Prabhupada has said that women are less intelligent and more lusty than men. It appears that I have said something different. However, what Prabhupada said about women is subject to time, circumstance, information available, and interpretation. If statements like 'women are less intelligent than men' are to be taken as absolute, then no woman at any time could be more intelligent than any man. Is that true? You are a man. Ask yourself if this is true and answer honestly. Are you more intelligent than every woman on Earth? Is every woman on Earth more lusty than you?

If not, then you have to interpret Prabhupada's words to fit with your own experience and with what you know to be true. You have to consider what Prabhupada meant by intelligence, who he was talking to, and whether what he said is to be considered siddhanta (absolute conclusion) or a cultural consideration relative to times past when women were uneducated, etc. This is what I have done in dealing with this subject.

Can your question be answered? I think so, but you should know that yours is not a spiritual question, neither in substance nor in form. It has nothing to do with spiritual life proper, and its tenor is not concerned with understanding the truth, but rather with showcasing your own knowledge. Unfortunately, here you have only demonstrated your foolishness.

Prabhupada's statements on illicit sex and chastity are very hard sometimes. Now that I am practicing Krsna consciousness, the question I have is if a woman did not get the proper education from family and society, and lost her chastity due to this situation, can she still properly serve her future husband?

You can serve your husband properly by being a good example of a Krsna conscious devotee, and he can also serve you well by doing the same. Focus your attention on this. In his books Srila Prabhupada often writes about an ideal Vedic situation. However, in practical reality he dealt dynamically with circumstances which were less than ideal from the Vedic perspective, always encouraging men and women to become Krsna conscious and making them feel that this lofty ideal that transcends Vedic culture was within reach.

Hindus may submit questions for the swami to editor@swami.org. Non-Hindus with questions on Hindu basics or etiquette (such as "What do I wear to a Hindu wedding?") are invited to submit them to columnists@staff.beliefnet.com.

I was terribly disappointed with your answer to the person who asked about how to spiritually resolve the issue of sexual abuse as a child, in which you said: "This is a material problem, so a trained psychologist would be the best person to consult. Otherwise, fear pervades material consciousness because material consciousness involves identification with that which will not endure. Thus spiritual pursuit in general is the solution to fear."

I think it is most telling how you apply your spiritual teachings. The questions about theology get two to three paragraphs and the only question that was real gets dumped in a few lines. What good are teachings about divine love that don't include human love? How are we to take you seriously as a teacher of divine love when there is little human love evident in your relationship with the world?

There are many areas in which I am not trained to advise people. Is it not appropriate for me to recommend that a person seek help from those who are best trained to deal with the specific problems they have? In this case, I briefly explained that all fear is a result of material attachment. But I did not feel that elaborating on this important principle would be the most human thing to do because often people are not able to put this insight into practice without first coming to a level of inner balance. They need interim material or human solutions to common human problems in order to proceed with spiritual practice. They should not artificially think that spiritual practice alone will remedy all of their immediate psychological problems any more than it will their physical problems. Such a belief is potentially harmful and shortsighted.

It is important to try to bring people into the larger circle of a spiritual worldview, but in doing so it may also be appropriate to acknowledge the strengths of the smaller circle of science. This involves acknowledging the fact that while in ultimate reality we are consciousness, in our practical reality we are very much human and need to deal with our humanity such that it will propel us in the direction of ultimate reality.

Is the Sanskrit language spoken in the spiritual world or only on the higher planets by demigods? And what about the Tamil language? It is said that it was taught by Lord Siva and has nothing to do with Sanskrit.

Sanskrit is considered to be the language of the gods, deva nagari, but it is not inherently spiritual. In the spiritual world the language is love. Selflessness is the basis of communion there, which is not limited by language. However, the human-like lilas of Krsna and Mahaprabhu, while fully spiritual, employ Sanskrit and Bengali. And as far as I know the Tamil language is derived from Sanskrit.

What advice would you give a friend whose partner asked him to compromise his spiritual and socio-religious beliefs?

Although all self-sacrifice is beneficial in a general sense because it moves us away from selfishness, as we acquire knowledge we cannot sacrifice our knowledge for the sake of others' senses and expect to make progress. However, it may be possible to accommodate one's partner through compromise of one's moral and spiritual principles if in the course of doing so one has the power to elevate one's partner over time. This would be an exception to the rule.

How can we understand demonic persons and the good and evil things that happen in this world? In both cases, are we simply reaping the results of karma and or is Krsna doing these things directly?

Demoniac persons are those who are strongly influenced by the material influences of passion (rajas) and ignorance (tamas). Their natures are detailed in chapter sixteen of the Bhagavad-gita. Both good and evil in the world are under the jurisdiction of karma. Krsna is not directly involved in the good and evil of the world. When he descends as the avatara, he comes out of love for his devotees, who suffer the pain of separation from him. A by-product of this mission is that the overly demoniac are vanquished and thereby liberated.

Hindus may submit questions for the swami to editor@swami.org. Non-Hindus with questions on Hindu basics or etiquette (such as "What do I wear to a Hindu wedding?") are invited to submit them to columnists@staff.beliefnet.com.

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