As Srila Prabhupada dramatically underscored that, ‘you are not your body’, how do we deal with the fact that we are our bodies? Some propagate that following Vedic culture and gender norms is the panacea for solving all of ISKCON’s social issues. However, do Vaishnava and Vedic culture always align? Will being ‘Vedic’ help or hinder vaishnavis to flourish? Do we even really know what Vedic culture is? If we are conscious that we are spirit-soul, then why should we limit any devotional potential based on the body? The answer is ātma-nivedanam . . . we offer the body fully in our loving sevā to Śrī Śrī Rādhā Krishna. But there is no set formula for this; each devotee will fill her live with bhakti in a unique way. If we impose cultural norms on devotees, which discourages them, this literally is aparādha, or “opposing devotional service.” So can we harmonise being Vaishnavis, being Vedic and practicing Bhakti in 2022?
Watch the discussion here – The Vedic Women Podcast