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Narayani Devi Dasi Initiates Her First Diksa Disciple


Narayani Devi Dasi (proper) initiates Nila Madhava (left), now Nilambari Dasi, a second-generation ISKCON devotee on Janmastami 2022 at New Raman Reti Temple in Alachua, Florida. (Photo credit score: ISKCON Alachua)

 

On August 19, Janmastami Day, Narayani devi dasi turned the primary Vaishnavi (feminine devotee) in ISKCON to function a diksa guru, or initiating non secular grasp. On that day she formally accepted her first disciple, now named Nilambari dasi.

Nilambari dasi supplied her vows and obtained her identify on Thursday, August 18th, throughout a small ceremony at New Raman Reti, the ISKCON temple in Alachua, Florida, one among ISKCON’s largest communities in North America. The ceremony was accomplished the following day, on Janmastami, the looks of Lord Krishna, when Nilambari sat for the ceremonial hearth yajna, as a part of the Janmastami celebration. The yajna was carried out by Alachua temple brahmanas (clergymen) Caturatma das and Raghunatha das.

 

Their Lordships, Sri Radha Shyamasundar, on Janmastami within the New Raman Reti temple. (Photo credit score: ISKCON Alachua)

Narayani devi dasi is a disciple of ISKCON Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. She joined ISKCON in Boston in 1970. Narayani has carried out quite a lot of providers for Srila Prabhupada together with serving as a pujari within the Calcutta ISKCON temple, touring to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books in Western India for the Bombay (now Mumbai) temple, and instructing Bhakti Sastri, Bhakti Vaibhava, and Bhaktivedanta programs within the Vaishnava Institute for Higher Education (VIHE) in Vrndavana, India.

Narayani helped write the Vaishnava Training and Education (VTE) curriculum for a number of programs and has written a collection of twelve books together with Srimad Bhagavata At a Glance and Bhagavad-gita at a Glance. Narayani is a member of ISKCON’s Sastric Advisory Council (SAC). She spends a lot of her time every year in Vrindavan publishing, writing, and learning. Narayani additionally travels yearly on a preaching and instructing tour visiting Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Germany, and the US.

Her disciple, Nilambari dasi (beforehand Nila Madhava), is the daughter of Pancaratna das and Atitaguna dasi. Nilambari dasi lives in North Carolina and has been a devotee of Lord Krishna her complete life. She is a devoted member of her group, a college trainer, a spouse, and the mom of three youngsters.

The determination whether or not or to not enable Vaishnavis to provoke disciples has been mentioned by the Governing Body Commission (GBC) of ISKCON since at the least 2005. Srila Prabhupada, ISKCON’s Founder-Acarya, had supplied numerous feedback and directions as regards to ladies gurus, and a few quarters inside ISKCON had argued that girls initiating just isn’t applicable in ISKCON. Supporters of Vaishnavi diksa gurus referred to a number of Srila Prabhupada references to assist their place, together with these:

“I would like that each one of my non secular little children will inherit this title of Bhaktivedanta, in order that the household transcendental diploma will proceed by the generations. Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will probably be allowed to provoke disciples. Maybe by 1975, all of my disciples will probably be allowed to provoke and enhance the numbers of the generations. That is my program.” (Letter to Hamsadutta, January third, 1969)

“Caitanya Mahaprabhu has stated that anybody who is aware of the science of Krishna, that individual must be accepted as Spiritual Master, no matter any materials so-called {qualifications}; similar to wealthy or poor, man or girl, or brahmana or sudra.”
(Letter to Silavati — New Vrindaban 14 June, 1969)

“I hope that each one of you, males, ladies, girls and boys, turn into non secular grasp…”
(Vyasa-puja Address, London August twenty second, 1973)

“Actually one who has attained the perfection, she will be able to turn into guru. But man or girl, until one has attained the perfection…”
(Interview with Professors O’Connell– June 18, 1976, Toronto)

After a few years of dialogue, debate, and dialogue throughout the GBC, and with leaders and members of ISKCON from the world over, the GBC finalized its endorsement of Vaishnavi diksa gurus (VDG) in December of 2021. The decision handed with a 64% majority vote of GBC members (18 in favor; 2 opposed; 8 abstentions). In its determination, the GBC designated that this decision falls beneath a particular class of culturally delicate legal guidelines, whereby areas of the ISKCON world could select to “choose out” of the brand new legislation, and never enable Vaishnavis to provoke of their area. North America was the primary area to publicly endorse each the choice and their need to facilitate Vaishnavi diksa gurus.

Narayani devi dasi is the primary Vaishnavi to satisfy the ISKCON necessities to function diksa guru (the vast majority of that are the identical for men and women). Those necessities had been clarified by the GBC’s December 2021 determination. That determination was reviewed, as required by ISKCON legislation, by the Spiritual Advisors Bhagavata Assembly (SABHA), a consultant physique of world ISKCON devotees, which affirmed its assist in May 2022. The North American Council of ISKCON confirmed its assist of Vaishnavis serving as diksa gurus in North America in June of this yr, thus clearing the trail for this historic initiation.

 

To learn the total 2021 GBC determination on VDG please see (web page 23):
https://gbc.iskcon.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/2021GBCRES.pdf

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