Comments Posted By Akruranatha
Displaying 21 To 30 Of 1761 Comments
Oops. The bulk of my comment #9 did not get posted. I think I learned before that I should use quotation marks rather than arrows (>), because the backwards double arrows automatically cut off the comment, apparently.
Let me see if I can remember what I wanted to say… I remember I was talking about “diksa” and “siksa”. I think we need to spend more of an effort understanding that, on the one hand, a guru is a guru is a guru. The reason Srila Prabhupada often speaks of “guru” or “spiritual master” without specifying “diksa” or “siksa” is that any guru should be accepted by the disciple as a representative of God and a dear servant of God who is due the respect and obedience we owe to our Gurus.
But on the other hand we do need to explore the distinctions in function between diksa guru, siksa guru, vartma pradarsaka guru (a kind of siksa guru) in more detail, and become versed in the nuances.
In another thread someone argued (I think incorrectly) that the “kiba vipra” verse only refers to siksa gurus and not diksa gurus. Srila Prabhupada in fact says the opposite in the Cc. Purport. A lot of mischief can be caused by imperfect understanding of the meaning and roles of siksa and diksa gurus.
Sivarama Swami wrote a nice book on Siksa and Diksa Gurus. In it, he indicated it was a preliminary book and a lot more could be said about the subject. I think we should do more to educate the general debotees about these topics.
The basic principle of all gurus is siksa. We have to be inquisitive about the Absolute Truth and how to make spiritual advancement. We need to seek out those who can give authoritative answers to our relevant questions. Generally a devotee who gives extensive instructions becomes one’s diksa guru later on. Generally a diksa guru will continue to give instructions to a disciple.
It is a misconception to think that a diksa guru has to be a Vaisnava of higher stature than a siksa guru. One may have been initiated by a madhyama adhikari devotee who introduces one to very elevated, senior siksa gurus. In ISKCON, we all take siksa from Srila Praabhupada.
One may feel one’s diksa guru is the focus of one’s guru bhakti even though he is a Vaisnava of less stature than one’s siksa guru, because of the commitment and care and intimate relationship. Sivarama Swami wrote that traditionally one’s guru bhakti is focused on the diksa guru (though there can be exceptions)
Comment Posted By Akruranatha On 21.02.2013 @ 17:15
I suppose some people may be disturbed if a neophyte is being honored as an uttama bhakta. This seems to have been a big mistake of the zonal-acarya days. We took it for granted that anyone serving as guru had to be a great maha-bhagavat like Srila Prabhupada, and we made the 11 zonal gurus pose artificially as more spiritually elevated than many of them apparently were.
It was part of our “party line”. “You should join our organization because we have the best gurus.” Of course, we do have access to Srila Prabhupada’s wonderful instructions, and the association of sincere devotees who are following them, but in retrospect it appears we mistakenly promoted the 11 zonal gurus as being great, uniquely qualified world acaryas. To the extent they follow Srila Prabhupada they are great, but they may not have been independently advanced beyond the stages of nistha, ruci, etc. (or we would not expect them to fall back down into degraded sense gratification).
The same Purport from NOI, Text Five, says, “…one should not imitate the behavior of an advanced devotee or maha-bhagavata without being self-realized, for by such imitation one will eventually become degraded.”
I am not sure what Srila Prabhupada means by “imitation” here. It may refer to sitting in a solitary place chanting all day in order to be popularly recognized as a great devotee. Or it may mean learning to imitate ecstatic symptoms like crying and faltering voice and being stunned due to bhava. But I think it may also include any kind of posing as a great authority and lording it over others on the strength of being accepted artificially as “advanced.”
We do not need to pretend that anyone in ISKCON who has a disciple must be an elevated paramahamsa, expert in the ways of prema, regularly associating with Krsna and His eternal associates in trance. They just have to be truthful, bona fide, honest deliverers of the message.
The same Purport focuses on the qualifications of the *disciple.* One should not accept a guru without following his instructions, or to make a fashionable show. One should be inquisitive about transcendental knowledge (jijnasuh sreya utamam). For most of us, our concern should be more about how we can rise from kanistha to madhyam than how to take initiation from the greatest guru.
Instructions and instructing gurus are important. In ISKCON the Founder-Acarya’s instructions will always be paramount. We need to be bona fide followers.
Comment Posted By Akruranatha On 20.02.2013 @ 19:00
>>â€śA neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritual master.â€ť
Comment Posted By Akruranatha On 20.02.2013 @ 18:25
I could make a long list of devotees who were merciful to me in my early days of joining the Krishna consciousness movement, starting with Akincana and also Jayananda, Maha-Muni, Bhakta Joe (Jaya-Rsi), Bhuta-Bhavana, Bhima, Prana, Makhanlal, Caturatma, Satsvarupa Maharaja, Tamal Krishna Maharaja, Makhanlal (Govinda Maharaja), Radha-Damodar Das, Ghanasyama (Bhakti Tirtha Swami), Uttama Sloka, Guruvagmi, Durlabha Darsana, Urukram, Tipurari Swami, Sura, Dhruva Maharaja, Kavicandra (now Swami), Bahudaka, Partha, Vijitatma, Yoginath, Makhana-Cora, Sastra Das, Trivikrama Maharaja, Apauruseya…
The list could become enormous. Some of the above devotees left ISKCON or even did horrible things, and yet they were unmistakably instrumental in passing along transcendental mercy to me.
You know how at the Oscars or other award ceremonies honorees get up and make acceptance speeches in which they thank those who helped them. There is a reason for that. We really are indebted to so many people who helped us, who gave us important instructions or set examples or gave us opportunities or whose assistance was crucial in accomplishing our service.
Each of us could probably make a list that has more than 200 or 300 names on it. My above list barely scratched the surface.
All these devotees, even those who later committed crimes (and worse), deserve to be honored by us for what they did in our own lives in helping bring us closer to the lotus feet of the great acaryas and Lord Caitanya.
When I was a new devotee I had an experience (has anyone else?) of a kind of deja-vu, that many of the devotees I met seemed strangely familiar to me. It could be (but I do not think so), that I had already seen them somewhere (because there really were not that many devotees in those days and they tended to travel around to visit where Srila Prabhupada was visiting). However, I think it was more that I had a connection with them that went beyond this present lifetime, either to a past life or a future life (I don’t know). It seemed to me a confirmation that I had somehow rejoined my eternal family.
Comment Posted By Akruranatha On 18.02.2013 @ 20:25
Even when an initiating guru falls down, for example giving up sannyas asram and getting married, or otherwise making a mistake in regulative principles and sense control, we may still think “He is more advanced than I am”.
After all, what is the guarantee that we will not make such a mistake ourselves. There but for the grace of Krishna we would go.
The guru who has given bona fide mantras and good advice through the parampara system may still be followed, even if his own acara is not perfect. His instructions, such as the instructions to read and discuss Srila Prabhupada’s books and to help push on Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON mission, are still perfect, even if his own behavior may have some flaws. And as Kesave Krishna points out, so much higher association and opportunity for receiving siksa and mahat-seva are there in ISKCON.
So, unless an initiating spiritual master actually becomes inimical to the principles of devotional service, there is no need to reject him. In ISKCON there is no need for “reinitiation” because one’s bona fide initiation is sufficient to link one to the parampara, and one may continue to take advantage of the good association of senior devotees and of Srila Prabhupada as the Founder-Acarya and principle Siksa-guru and author of the sacred literature, his translations and commentaries on primary bhakti-sastras.
And one may feel grateful for being introduced to Krishna consciousness by a devotee whose sadhana may at some point waver while still in an immature stage of advancement. Such a beginner devotee may still have bestowed upon us the chance to take up the process of Krishna consciousness. What a great benediction they have given, and what a great debt we owe them!
Or even if they leave ISKCON and join some other group or mission, we can still feel gratitude and respect, though we should obviously not follow them out of the shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s own institution.
Hey, Kesava Krishna, I have always wanted to thank a devotee named Akincana dasa who used to preach at University of Miami in Coral gables, Florida back in around 1974. I have never been able to track him down. Recently I was visiting Hawaii and someone told me, “He is in South Africa”. Do you know him? He is an American. I suppose he would be about 60-years-old by now. Someone told me he was from the Chicago area, but I do not know if that is true.
I could just ask Maha Maya (she has a list of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples)
Comment Posted By Akruranatha On 18.02.2013 @ 20:09
Yesterday in the Srimad Bhagavatam class at Berkeley temple we were trying to remember the six aspects of surrender to Krishna.
We remembered: (1) to accept things favorable for devotional service, (2) to reject things unfavorable, (3) to remember that Krishna is our protector, (4) to remember that Krishna is our maintainer, (5) to fully dedicate ourselves to His service…
After a short pause Bhavani Mataji reminded us that the sixth principle is to always be meek and humble.
Comment Posted By Akruranatha On 18.02.2013 @ 19:52
You can participate in the auction by going to the following link: http://iskconsiliconvalley.com/auction. The auction is already going on now on line.
The final, winning bids will be decided on Gaura Purnima at ISKCON of Silicon Valley (ISV), Tuesday, March 26, 2013, with a final round of bidding to begin at 9:00 p.m., California time (Pacific Daylight time).
You can participate in the final bidding by visiting ISV in person at 951 S. Bascom Avenue, San Jose, California (this will be our last program at Bascom Avenue before moving to the new Mountain View temple the first week of April).
Or, if you cannot attend in person, just call in and participate via telephone and/or video conference. The phone number to call is (949) 981 4976.
To also watch the live video feed, use this link: http://iskconsiliconvalley.com, or Mayapur.tv (and select Silicon Valley Channel)
Comment Posted By Akruranatha On 25.03.2013 @ 16:32
When Parvati inquired from Lord Siva about the highest process of worship in this world, Lord Siva answered that worship of Lord Visnu is the highest. But then he added that even higher than the worship of Lord Visnu is the worship of the tadiya of Lord Visnu. Tadiya means, those things dear to Lord Visnu.
â€śO Devi, the most exalted system of worship is the worship of Lord Visnu. Greater than that is the worship of tadiya, or anything belonging to Visnu.â€ť (Padma Purana)
In Bhagavatam, Krsna says that His devotees are dearer to Him than His own self.
Similarly, the things used by pure devotees are also dear to Visnu and are most sacred.
Following this principle, when Maharaja Prataparudra, the king of Orissa, upon receiving a garment used by Lord Caitanya, worshipped it as a Deity, accepting it to be non-different from Mahaprabhu.
There are a limited number of sacred articles in this world that were actually used by Srila Prabhupada. Hereâ€™s your chance to obtain some of these articles.
Om Tat Sat
Comment Posted By Akruranatha On 25.03.2013 @ 16:24
The countdown for the auction has been extended to Gaura Purnima. Stay tuned for exact instructions on how to participate via telephone.
While we were hoping to celebrate Gaura Purnima in the new temple in Mountain View, some construction/inspection delays have made that impossible. Gaura Purnima will be the last festival we celebrate at 951 Bascom Avenue in San Jose. We will move in to Mountain View temple during the first week of April.
The devotee who is raising money by this auction is Nabadvipa Prabhu. He has already had his surgery and is recuperating nicely. Auction proceeds up to the asking price for each item will go to help pay his medical bills, and anything over that price will go to ISV’s new temple project.
Comment Posted By Akruranatha On 20.03.2013 @ 19:57
By the way, the original portrait of Srila Prabhupada was painted by Puskar in about 1978 and comes with a frame. It is 16″ x 20″. Minimum bid is $2,000.
The original painting of Lord Nityananda instructing Jiva Goswami in Nabadvip Dhama was painted by Muralidhar, and also comes with a frame. It is 15″ x 20″. Minimum bid, $5,000.
Both are very fine paintings by well known BBT artists. Both are true collector’s items.
The pen and ink drawings were done by Ramdas Abhiram, another well-known BBT artist, The whole set is going for a minimum asking price of $1,000.
Comment Posted By Akruranatha On 20.02.2013 @ 02:55