The role of diksha guru is an important one in Vaishnava culture and in ISKCON. Over the last several years there has been much discussion whether women can serve in this role in our society. It has been discussed formally, and in depth at the GBC level and among devotees in different venues.
A video was produced by "Vaishnavi Gurus" recently and forwarded to ISKCON News. We do not endorse the conclusion or opinion of this video. We post it because ISKCON News is a venue for news, information, and opinions about our society, and we believe our ISKCON community is strengthened by a thoughtful and balanced exchange of ideas.
In 1969, two letters sent to Hamsadutta and Kirtanananda indicated that by 1975 any disciple, male or female, passing the Bhaktivedanta examination would be empowered to initiate their own disciples in his presence in order to rapidly expand the movement.
Undoubtedly, several senior women devotees in our movement are as learned, dedicated, and in other ways spiritually qualified as many of their godbrothers. Why then should there be any hesitation to induct them as diksa-gurus?
This is a response to the video "She can become guru" for all those who want to know the arguments from both sides.
Their actions follow the appointment of a panel of experts set up by Pope Francis to consider the controversial question.
For more than a decade, Khadkikar, one of a growing number of Hindu priestesses, has solemnized marriage, birth and death ceremonies for Hindus in India and abroad.