Patriarchy Across Cultures: Over The Rainbow

by TapatiSrimati Kishori, a vision of Radharani, Krishna’s consort, during Her teen years, at the Chicago temple.Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue. And the dreams that you dare to dream Really do come true. Someday I'll wish upon a star And wake up where the clouds are far Behind me. –E.Y. Harburg, Wizard of OzOnce again I was on my way to St. Louis, grateful to be leaving my mother behind. I no longer considered whether or not I loved her; I just knew I had to get away.When I arrived at the bus station I was greeted by some male devotees in the polite, formal way that was common in ISKCON temples. We were not allowed to make conversation but rather had to keep to the ess … [Read more...]

Patriarchy Across Cultures: All Things Must Pass

by TapatiKeokuk is in the southeast corner of Iowa“All things must pass, none of life’s strings can last.” --George HarrisonPreviously I described how my mom and Aunt Gin came to take me back home to Keokuk, Iowa. I rode in the backseat, resigned, tearful, but filled with resentment. I had been assured by our temple president, Makanlal, that he would challenge my mother in court for custody. She didn’t know it yet but I hadn’t given up on going back to the temple for good.Back home I tried to pick up from where I left off in terms of doing my own worship, chanting my rounds, and staying focused on service to Krishna. I started writing my friends from the registered membership progra … [Read more...]

Patriarchy Across Cultures: Living in the Material World

by TapatiKrishna and Arjuna on the battlefield, used on album by George HarrisonI can blame it all on George Harrison.  I and my friend Carolyn were teenagers of the early 1970s, devoted to the music of the Beatles and of George Harrison in particular. We were also searching for the meaning of life, like countless others before us. We combed the library for information on various religions and encountered books like A Soul’s Journey by Peter Richelieu (unfortunately out of print now). We learned about reincarnation, astral bodies, karma, and transmigration of the soul. This all made so much more sense to us when we thought about human suffering, far more sense than the mysterious “I … [Read more...]

Connecting The Dots: Patriarchy Across Cultures

by Tapati   Hare Krishna temple in St. Louis, 1975. Tapati is in the center front row in a blue print sari.When a friend referred me to the blog “No Longer Quivering,” she knew why I would resonate with the posts I found there. Like me, she had once belonged to the Hare Krishna Movement, though years after my own involvement. We immediately saw many parallels between the lives of Christian women following the Quiverfull teachings. Vyckie and Laura described their past lives in ways that sounded like many of the young Hare Krishna women of the seventies that I knew. I had the same “aha” moment as I’d had when I read Carolyn Jessop’s book Escape about the FLDS women in Colorado City, Ari … [Read more...]


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