(Written yesterday.) I just got into Vrindavan and I will likely be pretty busy over the next couple of days. I would like to thank the many Anonymous posters for their interesting comments, some of which touched on many crucial points. In particular I would like to answer one or two things for the person who asked about genuine realization and other things.
With regards to realization, I try to write only from such, and only use scriptural quotations where it is helpful or tasty. But I do also consider scripture and the insights of previous acharyas an important source of realization.
The other day I completed the walk through Rajaji park that I mentioned a while back, and I was carrying some verse cards that I use for memorizing. I felt such elation as I sang the viśveṣāṁ verse from Gita Govinda that I thought I was a very lucky person and wished I was able to share some of what I was feeling. That is part of the purpose of this blog, of course.
With regards to your point about the change in mythology to go against women, I will try to keep it simple.
All mythology, interpretation of symbolism and theology go through changes with time. Usually they FOLLOW and do not lead the trends that are developing in society. However, once they catch on to a trend, they tend to give it the adrenaline boost of divine approval. Eventually, however, those new trends become ossified and the process has to repeat itself.
Mostly, the customary historical process usually is to just judiciously "forget" the stuff that has become burdensome.
In the case of women: I say categorically that any philosophy or religion that does not promote or empower women to realize their full potential should be discarded. However, I am not really talking so much about women's rights as much as I am talking about spirituality, which is about going beyond even sexual identity.
In this connection, Radha and Krishna are ELEMENTAL, in the sense that they go beyond the myths in which they play a role and speak to the very substructures of consciousness. We don't have to accept the lila in every dot and iota.
What I am trying to do, in a somewhat erratic fashion, is to develop a theistic theology that incorporates the feminine, in keeping with the insights of Rupa Goswami. My feeling is that Rupa's rasa theology is full of powerful understandings about the way we experience the Divine and ultimately about the primal importance of madhura rasa psychically, socially, religiously and mystically.
As such I am opposed to certain aspects of celibacy, especially where they lend themselves to defective masculine psychologies. In this respect I could mention the posts of another Anonymous, who just wrote in the Gangesh responses. Or some of my own comments on the History of Celibacy book.
It is not that Radha and Krishna symbolize sexuality, but that sexuality itself is such a powerful symbol of so many other things. But the goal of the symbolism in the case of Radha and Krishna is to arrive at a kind of equilibrium between the sexual polarities, whatever level they are occurring on, with a general concession to the superiority of the "idealized feminine." Thus the importance of manjari bhava for both men and women.
I say the "idealized feminine" here because I want to make it clear that I am not in favor of imposing an ideal femininity on women or on men. On the individual platform, everyone must be free to pursue their own nature. Psychically, however, men and women need to take an "ideal feminine" stance, which tends to be strikingly similar to most descriptions of the ideal qualities of human or the saintly nature.
O.K. I will stop here for today. I am writing from the cyber storefront near the MVT in Vrindavan. Radhe Radhe.
News. Just saw Bisakha and Sakhi Charan. I was trying to think who SC reminded me of, and now I realize it was Tin Kori Prabhu!
Bhrigu dropped into the Jiva I. this morning looking for Satya Narayan. He got me instead. But it was a very pleasant meeting. It is always nice to have contact with a sadhu. sudurlabhā bhāgavatā hi loke.