November 25, 2022, marks the UN’s International Day to End Violence Against Women. This year, ISKCON’s Vaishnavi Ministry will join the UN’s global 16 days of activism against gender-based violence
As Vaishnavas, we are mandated by our scriptures and tradition to protect the vulnerable and those placed in our love and care, including “the brāhmaṇas, the cows, the women, the children, and the old men” [Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.5 Purport]. Abuse in any form is a severe violation of the essential practices of Krishna consciousness and Vaishnava culture. Vaishnava culture requires cultivating qualities such as mercy, self-discipline, and compassion. Abuse undermines and destroys these qualities.
According to Srila Prabhupada, one of the purposes of ISKCON is to bring devotees closer to “each other and nearer to Krsna”, and to establish that each soul is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” Inherent in this purpose, are the values of community, inclusivity, belonging, acceptance, and the cultivation of loving relationships. The existence of gender-based violence within our communities limits our ability to achieve Srila Prabhupada’s vision.
Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime and ISKCON communities also suffer from domestic abuse. In times of crisis, these numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts, and climate disasters. While the pandemic of violence against women is not new, it’s not inevitable, unless we stay silent. Therefore, in cooperation with the UN, the ISKCON Vaishnavi Ministry aims to raise awareness about the issue of gender-based violence from the perspective of our teachings as presented by the Srila Prabhupada and our Gaudiya Vaishnava Acaryas.
Join us from 25 November to 10 December where we will discuss gender-based violence and domestic abuse, ISKCON’s official policies to combat such abuse, and Srila Prabhupada’s teachings on how devotees should treat each other. You can follow the campaign on ISKCON Vaishnavi Ministry’s Facebook and YouTube channel.
The panel discussions that will be posted are:
Date: 25 November
Topic: Why Preventing Domestic Abuse is an important conversation for ISKCON
Panelists: Mahatma das (ACBSP); Krishnarupa devi dasi (ACBSP); Anuttama das (ACBSP)
Date: 29 November
Topic: Understanding the Psychology of Abuse
Panellists: Caitanya-lila devi dasi and Citi-Sakti devi dasi
Date: 3 December
Topic: How to Support Victims of Domestic Abuse
Topic: Rambhoru devi dasi (ACBSP) and Keshava Madhava das
Date: 10 December
Topic: Domestic Abuse is Not Just a Women’s Issue
Panellists: Partha das (ACBSP); Uttama devi dasi (ACBSP); Krishnarupa devi dasi (ACBSP); Shuba Vilas das and Radharani devi dasi
The co-sponsors of this campaign are:
ISKCON Communications Ministry
ISKCON Congregational Development
ISKCON Justice Ministry
Grihasta Vision Team
Karuna Care Education
Find a copy of the GBC resolution against Domestic Abuse here: https://gbc.iskcon.org/domestic-abuse-policy/
The world 🌎 is turning orange 🧡 to stand against gender-based violence. Let’s kick off the #16Days of Activism and #OrangeTheWorld!
Jan 22, 2023
Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies