Friday, October 20, 2017

Changing the Regulative Principles - 1

Back To Prabhupada, Issue 54, Winter 2016/17

One of the most basic and preliminary teachings Srila Prabhupada gives is that one should follow the regulative principles, which includes avoiding illicit sex:
"Those interested in Krsna consciousness should [...] strictly follow the regulative principles by avoiding illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication."
(The Nectar of Instruction, Verse 2)
"Out of these four items, illicit sex is very sinful."
(Cc., Madhya-lila, 7.128)
Srila Prabhupada mentions these principles many hundreds of times and clearly explains how to follow them. However, in the shaded panels below, we quote from a lecture entitled "What is Illicit Sex", given by GBC-elected diksa guru HG Mahatma Dasa ("MAD"), which was uploaded to social media. All emphases added.
Changing the definition
"Prabhupada has sometimes given the definition that no illicit sex means no sex outside of marriage. [...] My understanding of what he means is that even if you don't plan -- if your sexual activity is not planning to have children but you don't take birth control [...] So sometimes Prabhupada says illicit sex means no sex out of marriage -- that's what he means. He doesn't mean you're using contraceptives or having sex every few days -- that's illicit sex. [...] We're not talking about a couple trying to be celibate but really struggling and sometimes they just can't do it and one of the partners or both of them needs to be satisfied periodically"
MAD states that:
a) Illicit sex is sometimes defined by Srila Prabhupada as "no sex outside of marriage";
b) Which means that sex within marriage is authorised even if it is not for procreation, as long as one does not use birth control and it is only engaged in "periodically" rather than regularly.
However, the facts are that:
1) Srila Prabhupada always defines illicit sex as no sex outside of marriage.
2) Many times he will also elaborate that this means that sex within marriage can only be for the purpose of procreation, e.g.:
"Therefore the sastras enjoin that one may have sexual intercourse only if married and only for procreation. Otherwise, it is illicit. In our Krsna consciousness society, we prohibit illicit sex, but not legal sex."
(Beyond Illusion and Doubt)
The fact that sometimes Srila Prabhupada simply states "no sex outside of marriage" without further elaboration does not mean he is giving another definition for what constitutes "illicit sex".
Illicit sex is service
"Prabhupada has never discussed this publicly. [...] He's never talked about satisfying one's partner. [...] many marriage counsellors say this [...] they feel that keeping the marriage together is more important than strictly adhering to the most, the highest definition of illicit sex. [...] you're doing it as a service and so obviously it requires a lot of detachment to do this as a service. [...] many spiritual masters, [...] will tell their disciples that you should satisfy the sexual needs of your spouse if he's unable to control them -- if it's at the point in which it's going to disturb the marriage"
MAD states that breaking the regulative principles by having illicit sex can be a service if it is necessary to do this in order to save the marriage. However, he admits that this is not something Srila Prabhupada ever preached, and therefore it is his own concoction. MAD also speaks of the "highest definition of illicit sex". But as we just saw, there is only one definition of illicit sex, and MAD claiming otherwise is also another concoction from him.
Illicit sex helps bonding
"maybe I'm stupid for saying it [...] it should be used to create a closer bonding between them. [...] And I expressed this to one senior Godsister because she was also interested in this discussion about what is illicit sex and when she heard that she said that is wonderful, she was so happy to hear that, because as men who have sexual desire, they have to learn if they want to express it, to express it in a way which helps the relationship, which creates what you could call a better bonding or a closer relationship or a better relationship with the wife"
MAD claims that illicit sex can be used to create a better bonding between the husband and wife. However, Srila Prabhupada has never preached this possible "benefit" of illicit sex. Instead, Srila Prabhupada states that all sex life leads to material bondage, rather than any beneficial bonding:
"That means sex life is condemned throughout because that is the cause of material bondage."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 21/1/68)
MAD himself realises the contrary nature of his statement, as he accepts he may be "stupid" for stating it.
"Better" illicit sex
Another GBC-elected diksa guru, HG Matsya Avatar Dasa ("MAT"), has additionally claimed on a GBC-funded website that:
"Illicit sex in family life is like giving methadone to a heroin-addict. Methadone is better than heroin (extramarital conjugal sex) but better than methadone is to rise above the problem. Methadone also creates addiction, but not as strong and devastating as the addiction created by heroin."
("Dandavats", 24/12/16)
MAT claims that just as methadone is better than heroin, so illicit sex within marriage is better than illicit sex outside of marriage since it creates less addiction. But Srila Prabhupada has never stated that one type of illicit sex is "better". Nor has he stated that sex attraction within marriage is less:
"Sex serves as the natural attraction between man and woman, and when they are married, their relationship becomes more involved. [...] The attachment to the family is the strongest illusion."
(SB, 5.5.8)
When speaking of the GBC, who are supposed to lead the Society, Srila Prabhupada stated that they should be "teaching what I am teaching" (Letter to GBC member, 4/8/75). However, as documented above, ISKCON's leaders are not teaching exactly what Srila Prabhupada has taught even in relation to the most basic of his teachings. Rather, due to their tendency to try to surpass Srila Prabhupada being so strong, they will give their own teachings instead of just simply repeating Srila Prabhupada's teachings. Thus, we see here another example of the Prabhupada-Free Paradigm (PFP) in action. 

Follow Me on Pinterest
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More