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Successful Seminar on Ksatriya Dharma at Prabhupada Desh Italy

Sunday, 26 May 2013 / Published in Reports / 2,585 views

By Candramauli Swami

The term Vaisnava indicates transcendence, designated not as anything material, yet in order to perform activities of functioning as a complete social body one person may serve as a Brahmana or a Ksatriya or a Vaisya. These designations are material but work done with respect to one’s Varna and offered to Krsna in devotional service is Bhakti Yoga and called Daivi Varnashram, transcendental Varnashram. Srila Prabhupada was very concerned when he saw how those entering devotional service were not able to stay fixed in service.

“The Varnashram dharma should be established to become Vaisnava It is not so easy to become Vaisnava …If Vaisnava, to become Vaisnava is so easy, why so many…fall down? It is not easy.”

(Room Conversation, Mäyapur, 14 February 1977)

“The varnäsrama college has to be established immediately. Everywhere, wherever we have got our center, varnäsrama college should be established to train four divisions…Because if the people are in chaos, how they’ll be able to accept the great philosophy? It requires cool brain.”

(Morning Walks, Vrndävana, 12 & 14 March 1974)

The varnäsrama [phase of Srila Prabhupäda’s movement] differs from the previous phases of Srila Prabhupada’s movement in that it directly involves the ksatriya and vaisya elements of society, whereas the first three phases(Harinam and book distribution, establishing Temples and Diksa initiation) were mainly centered on brahminical concerns and activities, which may explain why we have been having difficulty implementing it.

On May 4-5 at Prabhupada Desh Italy 10 devotees who are well trained in the different sciences of martial artist along with a few others completed a very successful Seminar on Ksatriya Dharma. Yougesh Candra Prabhu from Chowpatty organized the agenda, Murari Caitanya Prabhu who has a started an Academy for training (see http://www.ksatriya-dharma.com/) presented many aspects of Ksatriya Dharma with emphasis on the qualities of a real Ksatriya as gleaned from Srila Prabhupada books. Protection, Administration, Welfare make up the main duties of a real Ksatriya supported by the qualities of a Vaisnava. An Association was formed called Vaisnava Ksatriya Dharma Association. A constitution is in the presently in the making. The idea is to provide devotional services for those who are already skilled in the various martial arts who will be able to serve as a security force for ISKCON Temples along with training others in the science of martial arts. Education seminars will be held on the duties and qualities with respect to Ksatriya Varna. Murari Caitanya Prabhu’s spiritual master H.H.Jayapataka Maharaja instructed him to “make devotees into Ksatriyas and make Ksatriyas into devotees.

The meeting initiated an important first step by bringing together devotees who want to serve ISKCON thru their skills in martial arts. A second meeting is tentatively scheduled in Italy in Sept. and another in Mumbai in Dec. Detail forthcoming

Hare Krsna Your Servant

Candramauli Swami

10 Responses to “Successful Seminar on Ksatriya Dharma at Prabhupada Desh Italy”

  1. Raja Gopala das says :

    Very nice!
    Vaisnava ksatriyas have a wonderful ultimate mantra; “kill or die”. Vaisnava mixed brahmana/ksatriyas are truly the worst types. They engage in all kinds of spiritual warfare to please guru and Gauranga. :)

  2. “Protection, Administration, Welfare make up the main duties of a real Ksatriya supported by the qualities of a Vaisnava.”

    “The idea is to provide devotional services for those who are already skilled in the various martial arts who will be able to serve as a security force for ISKCON Temples along with training others in the science of martial arts.”

    It sounds like a great program, and I do not want to sound critical (I want to encourage such sincere service based on Srila Prabhupada’s instructions), but I have a small doubt:

    There seems to be some tension between these to sentences from the article, quoted above.

    On the one hand, it seems that Ksatriyas are to be trained in all the knowledge necessary for government administration, such as politics, economics, sociology, modern warfare, international relations, law, history, philosophy and so on.

    But on the other hand the focus of this program in practice seems to be on training a group of temple security guards in techniques of hand-to-hand combat.

    Are these devotees going to seek careers in law enforcement, military, politics, academic political science, etc.? Or are they mainly aiming to be ISKCON security guards?

    It seems that being a security guard at a temple is a job for a junior soldier not for a senior officer or political leader. Why would one need training in welfare and administration to serve as a temple security guard?

    Are we afraid that our Ksatriya devotees would be contaminated or wasting their time if we sent them instead to West Point or other leading military academies and universities to become senior officers and political leaders?

    Modern soldiers learn hand to hand combat but they also learn about other things. It would be nice if senior military officers and politicians wanted to come to Varnasrama Colleges to learn about Ksatriya Dharma and the whole Vedic system of philosophy, religion, sociology, etc.

    I am still having trouble seeing how the ISKCON demimonde integrates with the greater modern society, and whether the Varnasram College is meant to train only for the former, or to provide skills for the 21st century leaders of modern nations and international policies of protection, welfare and administration.

  3. Kulapavana says :

    I’m not sure how relevant today are the skills of fighting with an ax or sword and what kind of practical service to ISKCON they can provide. The greatest kshatriya skills are the ability to lead others and to manage the affairs of society.

  4. Raja Gopala das says :

    In reaction to the two above critical comments; one has to take of somewhere, also in the organisation of vaisnava ksatriya factions. And why judge on just one picture? Apart from that, it’s very positive to learn basic, supposedly outdated, combat techniques. Ghurka’s originate from vedic culture. Many of them nowadays serve in the British army, and they are very, very expert in combat making use of only a knife.

    It’s a wonderful initiave imo and we will need these great vaisnava’s for several specific duties, including political works, management/organising and charity but also very much in the case of practical physical defence. Just as a deterrent it is already very wonderful and practical because enemies will think twice before they start having weird fantasies about doing crazy, envious things.

    In Europe, where social, political and economcal circumstances deteriorate rapidly, such an initiave may especially be needed. Definitely all glories to the great vaisnava ksatriyas!

  5. Many other questions can be raised in regards to appropriate ksatriya protection for the modern age.

    Many cities and towns are riddled with AK47’s, sawn-off shotguns and now, downloaded printable weapons that work. Martial arts cannot compete with such deadly weapons. Martial arts ‘icons’ such as Bruce Lee would also baulk at facing such weapons in a crisis.

    One would think that ksatriya protection should also involve prevention and detection, not simply reactive combat. This means being able to detect hidden weapons or possible suicide belts – who says this cannot happen?

    There is an element of culture and tradition in cultivating martial arts and they should be encouraged. Unfortunately, modern weaponry does not require martial arts expertise, because anybody in a bad state of mind, calculated or accidently, can use them. Shouldn’t we widen the scope of engagement?

    Otherwise, there is a completely untouched area governing administration. Ksatriyas should be running our GBC and other managerial bodies under the care of brahminical wisdom. Then we can claim a closer resemblance of VAD. Perhaps this will develop later.

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa,

  6. Raja Gopala das says :

    Dear Kesava Krsna prabhu,

    You write,

    “Many cities and towns are riddled with AK47’s, sawn-off shotguns and now, downloaded printable weapons that work. Martial arts cannot compete with such deadly weapons. Martial arts ‘icons’ such as Bruce Lee would also baulk at facing such weapons in a crisis.”

    Ksatriyas and martial art (the way of Mars …) are not limited to the use of a knife, sword, bow and arrow, so why draw such conclusion?

    And,

    “One would think that ksatriya protection should also involve prevention and detection, not simply reactive combat. This means being able to detect hidden weapons or possible suicide belts – who says this cannot happen?”

    Who says our vaisnava ksatriyas do not know this? Actually, ksatriyas are the second most intelligent men of Vedic society. And brahmana/ksatriyas are the worst enemies socially, specifically when they have a devotional spirit and have met an enemy.

    And,

    “There is an element of culture and tradition in cultivating martial arts and they should be encouraged. Unfortunately, modern weaponry does not require martial arts expertise, because anybody in a bad state of mind, calculated or accidently, can use them. Shouldn’t we widen the scope of engagement?”

    This of course is to be determined in time, place and circumstance. But again, why limit the execution of martial arts to conventional, traditional (out dated according to some) practice? The execution of martial arts may mean the use of laser weapons, poisoning, trapping and taking out through intelligent, more specific social works (eg kidnapping and throwing of a cliff), cooperating with the formal state authorities etc. etc.

    And,

    “Otherwise, there is a completely untouched area governing administration. Ksatriyas should be running our GBC and other managerial bodies under the care of brahminical wisdom. Then we can claim a closer resemblance of VAD. Perhaps this will develop later.”

    How is the GBC at present organised, according to your analysis? I understand that the GBC consists of ksatriya and brahmana vaisnavas. To be honest, I don’t know what the actual state of liberation and beyond is of all the individual members. And I also do not know how whether they have policies in place to refine and develop themselves further.

    Apart from all technicalities; it seems to me that there is an element of cynicism in your comment. Is this correct or is it just my weird fantasy?

    Kind regards, Raja Gopala dasa

  7. Raja Gopala das says :

    Martial art is not limited to traditional fighting skills. Martial is the art of Mars,
    the War Lord. The vaisnava ksatriya can use laser weapons, poison weapons, water weapons etc. Actually all kinds of assault tools, machineries, installations and strategies.

    Vaisnava ksatriyas are broad minded.

  8. Raja Gopal Prabhu,

    As cynical as I may appear, I am delighted to hear your rendition of how ksatriyas should be. I hope they will be incorporated in the training of our ksatriyas, beyond my expectations.

    You asked, “Is this correct or is it just my weird fantasy?”

    My answer: “Don’t be too hard on yourself…”

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

  9. “Martial art is not limited to traditional fighting skills. Martial is the art of Mars, the War Lord.”

    Maybe it would be more appropriate to refer to Kartikeya (Muragan)?

    Mount Meru and Mount Olympus may have quite a bit in common, but still, we should prefer the more accurate, Vedic descriptions.

  10. Raja Gopala das says :

    Daer Akruranatha Prabhu,

    Not in my analysis, the word “martial” refers to the word “Mars” not to “Kartikeya” or “Muragan”. Accuracy imho is an effect of purity of mind, not of purity of formal descriptions or usage of formal language.

    But perhaps we should eliminate, take out, destroy the word “martial” in our vaisnava culture and replace it by “ksatriya art” or “Kartikeya’s hobby”.

    So then we would get; “Let’s do some Kartikeya’s hobby, let’s chop a few heads of”. Or something like that. :)

    Kind regards, RGd

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