I have to study for finals but I just wanted to post something really quickly about something Bir Krishna Swami wrote on Dandavats.com that caught my attention, especially since I was, for some reason, under the impression that he was a bit liberal.

I thought about commenting to his post but I usually get myself in trouble in public forms so I try to say as little as possible on them.  But I think its perfectly all right to say something here because, well, its my blog, and not a whole lot of people read it anyway.

Now, if I am not mistaken, I think his words are directed toward the gurukulis. We all know that I am not their greatest advocate for a variety of reasons. But for some reason I find myself sticking up for them in this post.

First I do agree that there should not be any rasa-dances performed to modern music. Thats just weird and misleading to the public. I have also seen devotees perform dances to various Bollywood songs that talk about Radha and Krishna (though the song is usually in lieu of the relationship of between the male and female main characters). And its stupid. Srila Prabhupada never encouraged these kinds of performances, check it out in the Krishna Book.

However, I think its okay to do a Rasa-dance performance in tradition indian style with traditional indian music and song. Much like the Odissi dancers Indradyumna Swami uses in his Polish Woodstock Festival. Its not blatantly sexual, its extremely tasteful, and done in a mood of service to Krishna, not in service to the senses.

The next point he makes is, “having ladies dance in such a way in Harinamas that attention becomes focused on them”. And I wonder, how should they dance exactly? Despite my issues, one of the things I have always admired is how beautifully the girls dance. I have always wished I could dance like that instead of jumping around like a clumsy idiot. Is that what we would rather see? Girls jumping around? I think thats far more sexual than the beautiful and organized pattern that they dance in. Maybe Maharaj would prefer that they walk quietly in the back or maybe not even come on the harinams at all.

What he fails to understand is that these girls are not ordinary at all. Srila Prabhupada said that demigods will take birth here just to be able to participate in this sankirtan movement- they are the evidence!!! Think about everything they have been through and they’re still here! Why? Because they have this internal desire that makes them stay. Despite their activities they are still not ordinary personalities. The fact that their bodies are very beautiful and their movements are very graceful it wouldnt surprise me at all if they were some sort of heavenly being.

They arent trying to look drop-dead gorgeous, they just are. Many times I have commented that if you actually look at the way they dress, nothing they wear matches at all. Yet they still manage to look so beautiful! Regular people like me struggle every day to look even half as good as they do.

I was surfing youtube.com once and some karmi girl posted a video of her dancing and singing Hare Krishna as a joke. A guy commented to her post and told her that there was no way she could be a Hare Krishna because all Hare Krishna girls are good-looking and she was ugly, he then told her to youtube search the words “Ratha Yatra” and she can see it for herself that there wasnt a single ugly girl in the crowd.

And he’s right. I’ve never seen an ugly devotee (despite the sometimes ugly personalities).  Perhaps Maharaj, what you really need to be thinking about is not how the ladies dance, but why they dance, because certainly we dont deserve their dancing and amazing kirtan.

Here’s a solution to your problem of attractive girls dancing in an attractive way: Dont look.

Thats right. Dont look. A few times my husband has commented to me about the way I dance and I made it very very clear. Dont look at the ladies side of the room. Because I believe that women hold a sort of bewildering power. It just makes you all confused and you lose focus. And when women dance it’s generally not for the opposite sex but for the joy of dancing and the joy of dancing for Krishna. So dont look. It is not ordinary. We dont have ego issues with the need to show-off our dance skillz like the men-folk do.

I especially dont like men criticizing women. That is so 1982. I’ll tell you what, you watch the male’s sadhana and we’ll keep track of the female sadhana. The senior matajis can handle us just fine, thank you. I dont need a male bodied devotee telling me how to worship my Lord.

If you really want, I could criticize the way the males dance. If you call it dancing at all. All that jumping and spinning and flailing. Maybe you all should keep yourself modest. We arent wild animals, we’re civil people. Right? Why should you be dancing in such a way that you draw attention to yourselves? I am 150% against such dancing by men.

Edit: I was just reading some of the comments on Dandavats. While some make sense, some others were really stupid my favorite one was saying women who overexpose themselves agitate the men but when they fanangle with their outfits in an attempt to cover up it agitates the men so the best thing a woman can do is to be covered up to begin with so that she doesnt have to move around her clothes…..

Clearly this person has never worn a saree…..

Maybe the next time I go to program I should just wear a burka. Or would all that mystery be too much to handle? Horny bastards…