By Visakha Dasi
In terms of our personalities and abilities, no two of us are alike. Why should we be? And why would anyone want us to be? Variety, Srila Prabhupada tells us, is the mother of enjoyment. Whatever our personality, whatever our talents, Prabhupada wants us to use them in Krishna’s service. Yet when we learn from Prabhupada’s teachings that women are to be chaste, tolerant, shy, and subservient, it may seem that while men have variegated personalities, women’s personalities are expected to be uniform. But in fact, in their service to Krishna, women’s personalities differ from one another’s as much as men’s. To accept the wonderful variegatedness inherent within each of His devotees, Krishna is unlimitedly variegated. Srila Rupa Goswami describes Krishna’s personality in his Bhaktirasamrita- sindhu. Krishna, he says, is dhirodatta, or grave, gentle, forgiving, merciful, determined, humble, highly qualified, chivalrous, and physically attractive. He is also dhiralalita, or naturally funny, always in the bloom of full youth, expert in joking, free from all anxieties, domesticated, and submissive to His lover.