Mataji: What is your view of Matajis doing full dandavats?
HH BVPS Maharaja: Ahh, if they want, they can… Problem is is, see, Gaudiyas generally don’t. Others do, but the Gaudiyas generally are not so… See, there is Vaishnavas in general, then you have your peculiarities of the group, or particularities of the group. So Gaudiyas are the ones, they don’t so much get into full dandavats. They can do it, but why are they doing it? Generally speaking, they are doing it because the men do it. The basic point is, Bhumidevi doesn’t appreciate that the women’s breasts touch the ground. So then if it’s matter of ‘No, we have the right to do it,’ then what about her? She is also a woman. So she has got to put up with it? Because she doesn’t like it because, generally speaking, that would only happen when there is a very strong emotional reaction, some lamentation, this that, rolling around on the ground, that kind of thing. So it’s generally, from what I have understood, is that’s the…
Mataji: I have just seen videos of Prabhupada where Matajis were doing it…
HH BVPS Maharaja: That they were doing, but then at some point they all figured out stuff… That’s my point, it’s no big deal, if they do it, what’s the complaint? But to do it because it’s a right, that’s not… What’s rights? We are in the material world, we are fallen, we are disgusting, so what’s our position to jump up and down about rights? So it’s… That’s the point. If it’s by rights, anything by rights then is a problem because then what’s the obligation? Because the men can only offer full dandavats if there is facility for it. But if the woman is going to offer, then everybody else has got to stay out of her way because she is offering full dandavats. Do you understand? So, there is a difference, and that has to be appreciated. So that’s why there is a mentality. So if that sense of full surrender is there that it would cause one to offer full dandavat, nice, but that full dandavat means, the body, the mind, the words all are engaged. It’s not that ‘I am offering this because it’s…’ You know what I am saying?
The point is is, you have all these videos, but you also have a whole lot of other videos that there isn’t. So earlier years they did, yeah, but the earlier years also is that the dealing… Yeah, it was… The mood was different. The men and women respected each other’s position, stayed out of the way, but they had no problem. Let’s say also from that time, I think it was Rohini Kumara who was telling me this. That they were in Harinama, I think it was in New York, and must have been like 1968-69. So it’s during all that time there was student unrest, and then at some point while they were doing Harinama, one of these student riots break out. So the police show up with their teargas and everything like that. So the devotees try to stay out of the way, but depending on how the wind moves and that, so the devotees started to move, but the teargas caught one of the girls, she fainted. So one of the brahmacharis just picked her up, put her on the shoulder and they all went back to the bus and put her on the bus. And that’s all, you just go back and no one says anything. If that happened today, you can imagine how many weeks and months that would be on internet. And discussions,’Is this right, is this that…’ and so many things. Therefore, they go together.
Mataji: So we have made Krishna consciousness complicated?
HH BVPS Maharaja: I will… I will respect your observation [Laughter]. Okay?
(From Lecture on Nectar of Instruction, 25th Nov 2011, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur )
Lecture audio, this passage starting about 34:25
Picture credit: Himalayan Academy