Sacred woman


Srila Prabhupada´s worshipable mother, Srimati Bhagavati Devi.

One of the most important contributions of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur was the establishment of the Vishnupriya Ashram or spiritual shelter for women. His concern over the lack of a real transcendental refuge for women in this age of Kali-yuga motivated him to provide an opportunity for them to pursue devotional life in an atmosphere of safety and support.

Born from pure devotee parents, Srila Bhaktisiddhata Sarasvati Thakur gave shelter to all. His mother, Srimati Bhagavati Devi, stayed in Yoga Pith to help him in his service and her samadhi is situated there under the temple of Sri Lakshmi-Nrisimhadeva.

In his classic work Prema Pradipa, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur mentions several holy women leaders who were highly respected and the women’s ashrams which operated under their guidance.

Srila Prabhupada’s Concern for women devotees

On September 21, 1925, Prabhupada gave a long lecture to the devotees assembled at the Gaudiya Math about how to lead an exemplary, devotional life. An excerpt from that lecture follows:

All of you please perceive everything of this world as ingredients for serving Krishna; everything of this world is actually meant for Krishna’s service. Please see the whole race of women as beloved consorts of Krishna, and help them to always engage themselves in the service of Krishna. Please do not consider them as objects of your sense enjoyment. They are to be enjoyed by Krishna; they are never to be enjoyed by the living entities. Please do not see your fathers and mothers as a means to your own sense gratification, but see them as Krishna’s fathers and mothers. Please do not see your sons as a means to your own sense gratification, but see them as belonging to the group of servitors of Bala-Gopala. With your eyes please see the Kadamba tree, the river Yamuna and her sandy banks, and the beauty of the full moon. You won’t have any more mundane feelings; you will see Goloka, and the beauty of Goloka will manifest in your home. Then you won’t have any material feelings for your home. You will be relieved from the propensities of the householder life.

Our Maths are being built at many places, and many sannyasis, vanaprasthas, grihasthas, and brahmacharis are living there all the time and receiving the opportunity to learn spiritual con­duct. But we have been trying for a long time to also give the women the opportunity for devotional service. Of course, those who have the facility and opportunity for devotional service in their own homes do not need a separate residence.

But every so often we hear that many of them get impeded in their devotional service due to bad asso­ciation. It would be very beneficial for them if we could build Sri Vishnupriya-palli (“palli” means “neigh­borhood”) in Sridham Mayapur near the resi­dence of Sriman Mahaprabhu, and if they can live there separately from their families and render devotional service. They actually belong to the group of Sri Vishnupriya Devi (the wife of Sriman Mahaprabhu, who was left behind in Navadvipa when He took sannyasa). Therefore, it is proper for them to live in the house of Sriman Mahaprabhu and to serve Him under the shelter of Sri Vishnupriya Devi. There should not be any bad association or mundane male association for them. Only a few devotees like Ishana (the old devo­tee servant who took care of Sri Sachidevi and Sri Vishnupriya Devi after Sriman Mahaprabhu left) would stay at a distance and take care of them.

It is necessary to have such an exemplary neighbor­hood so that women can read scrip­tures every day, discuss devotional topics with each other, and have ishta-gosthi about devotional topics, so they can give up all luxury and live an exem­plary, saintly life and always chant the holy name and take care of the ingredients of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s service and serve Him in every way.(Sarasvati Jayasri, p. 339)


Srimati Bhavatarini Devi


Srimati Krishna Mayi Devi

 Srimati Krishna Mayi Devi

Srimati Krishna Mayi Devi