Comments Posted By Balakrsna das
Displaying 1 To 30 Of 32 Comments
Thank you very much for posting this article. We often hear persons who pick out one reference or quote to dismiss or promote astrology depending on their pursuasion. This however is an informative, balanced and useful to any devotee; it really puts Vedic Astrology in a Krsna Conscious perspective.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Sep 29, 2014 @ 11:48 am
Excellent points mataji, it is too bad that for whatever reason a section of ISKCON devotees look to Western methods of doing something rather than first doing the research to see if there is a Vedic way of doing things. I guess until we give up our attachment to the glitter of modern “culture” it is going to take a long time before ISKCON as a whole really embraces Krsna’s Vedic civilization.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Oct 11, 2014 @ 1:28 pm
This was confirmed in the February 14, 1977, Varnashrama conversation in Mayapura:
Prabhupada: Vaisnava is not so easy. The varnasrama-dharma should be established to become a Vaisnava. It is not so easy to become Vaisnava.
Hari-sauri: No, it’s not a cheap thing.
Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore this should be made. Vaisnava, to become Vaisnava, is not so easy. If Vaisnava, to become Vaisnava is so easy, why so many fall down, fall down? It is not easy.…
But it seems that some believe that since the females are “special” and not the males, then the women are all transcendental but the men are in maya and that is why there is so much divorce and unhappiness in ISKCON marriages. Strange as it may be that seems to be the misandric message behind Mahatma’s article. Despite the fact that Srila Prabhupada said that separation and divorce was mainly caused by womanly weakness.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Oct 2, 2014 @ 2:11 pm
I think Sugriva makes a good point in #32-34. And while #35 and #37 have provided some quotes where Srila Prabhupada said the women in ISKCON are “special” they have not addressed Sugriva’s question and his points still stand. No one has yet to answer his questions:
Your whole article is addressed not to ordinary men but to devotee men, yet it seems that devotee men have flaws similar to ordinary ones. Whereas devotee women do not have the flaws of ordinary women.
Can you please explain to me why Bhakti yoga only edifies females but not males? Why men who practice Bhakti stay ordinary but the women can walk on water so to speak?
Are only the women in ISKCON “special” and not the men? If the verses about women are not applicable to ISKCON women, then are the sastric references about men not applicable to ISKCON men?
And let us consider this purport from Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.26:
“The men of the higher classes — the brahmanas, ksatriyas and vaisyas — do not beget children in the wombs of lower-class women. Therefore the custom in Vedic society is to examine the horoscopes of a girl and boy being considered for marriage to see whether their combination is suitable. Vedic astrology reveals whether one has been born in the vipra-varna, kṣatriya-varna, vaisya-varṇa or sudra-varna, according to the three qualities of material nature. This must be examined because a marriage between a boy of the vipra-varna and a girl of the sudra-varna is incompatible; married life would be miserable for both husband and wife. Consequently a boy should marry a girl of the same category. Of course, this is trai-gunya, a material calculation according to the Vedas, but if the boy and girl are devotees there need be no such considerations. A devotee is transcendental, and therefore in a marriage between devotees, the boy and girl form a very happy combination.”
Now considering that the topic of this and previous related article is about the high number of divorces in ISKCON, and unhappy marriages this leads us to the conclusion that:
We members of ISKCON are not the transcendental devotees that Srila Prabhupada is talking about in this purport because “a marriage between devotees, the boy and girl form a very happy combination.”
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Oct 2, 2014 @ 2:09 pm
A man’s role is to protect and provide.
But Manu says a woman can not be protected by force. Why does he say that? Because to protect a woman means that the man has to be able to control everything she does. Just like a mother cannot protect her child unless she can control the child. You cannot protect that which you do not control.
So a woman has to voluntarily allow her husband to control her in every way if she wants to be actually protected. But is that happening? Rarely.
Protection is now interpreted as meaning man is bodyguard while woman acts independently so the wife can be “happy.” And of course if something goes wrong the man gets blamed.
And “provide” now means that man = ATM.
No wonder men in the West don’t want to get married any more.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Sep 4, 2014 @ 7:21 am
I agree with you regarding the idea that Varna Ashrama is about farm development, that is only one feature. What is the good of having a nice farm if a bunch of people come and steal your cows and send them for slaughter. You need kshatriyas to protect that farm.
Until about 200 years ago the world was largely agrarian but we didn’t have Varansharama Dharma. VAD means brahminical culture not vaishya culture.
And we note that in the itihasa and puranas that there were large cities such as Ayodhya, Hastinapura, Indraprastha and Dvaraka where varna ashrama dharama were practiced.
Without Brahmanas who have the knowledge and the Kshatriyas to enforce the teachings you will not have VAD.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Oct 11, 2014 @ 1:15 pm
Recently the GBC published a paper “A GBC Foundational Document – Srila Prabhupada: The Founder-Ācārya of ISKCON” by Ravindra Swarupa Prabhu http://www.dandavats.com/?p=12375
In the introduction the GBC EC writes:
‘Srila Prabhupada did not simply carry the message of Lord Caitanya and Lord Krishna to us. While that in itself is a glorious task, Srila Prabhupada, as our Founder-Acarya , created the very foundation, function and vision of ISKCON as a global community aiming for the “respiritualization of the entire human society.” Srila Prabhupada’s role, as you will read, is ongoing. His presence is to be felt in the life of every ISKCON devotee today, and in the lives of devotees many centuries into the future.’
Yet Mahatma Prabhu an initiating guru in ISKCON publicly contradicted Srila Prabhupada in his text, thus undermining Srila Prabhupada’s position. If the GBC is serious about its commitment to Srila Prabhupada as the founder acarya then some public correction of Mahatma Prabhu needs to be made so the message is clear.
As Bhaktivikasa Swami pointed out:
“Surely the main qualification of a husband as guru is that he himself be a strict follower of his own guru. Only a faithful disciple is fit to be a guru; to uphold the opposite to one’s guru places one outside the parampara and renders one disqualified to instruct anyone. To misuse the status of being a disciple of Srila Prabhupada to instruct others contrary to Srila Prabhupada’s teachings is clearly a type of cheating and a betrayal of Srila Prabhupada.”
If Mahatma’s egregious behavior of betraying his guru is not publicly corrected then the whole statement of the GBC EC is a farce.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Jun 5, 2014 @ 4:04 am
Regarding the book “Did Srila Prabhupada want Women Diksa Gurus” the following email was circulated earlier this year.
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I roughly went through the book “Did Srila Prabhupada Want Women Diksa-gurus?”
I just want to share a point which might be useful.
Kaunteya prabhu had depicted some images of Goddesses’ statues from Tamilnadu and says that women in the past had [sacred] threads. I read somewhere an argument that we cannot compare the goddesses with ordinary women. That’s fine. However, I had a doubt about those strands.
Thus I contacted a Tamil stapati who makes this kind of sculptures. As per his statement, these three strands has nothing to do with upavita [Brahmin thread]. It is called sannaviram. It is a designed ornament made with pearls or similar material and worn by women for decoration. Women in traditional Indian culture used to wear so many ornaments and this is just another ornament.
It is funny that our devotees decide something just by seeing some image without doing even cursory research about it.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Nov 26, 2013 @ 9:48 pm
In the December 1931 issue of the Harmonist, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta wrote an article entitled “Thakur Bhaktivinode” therein he addressed the issue of how to understand the life and teachings of Bhaktivinode. The following are some pertinent excerpts:
“There have, however, already arisen serious misunderstandings regarding the proper interpretation of the life and teachings of Srila Thakura Bhaktivinode. Those who suppose they understand the meaning of his message without securing the guiding grace of the acarya are disposed to unduly favor the method of empiric study of his writings. There are persons who have got by heart almost everything that he wrote without being able to catch the least particle of his meaning.
“… The personal service of the pure devotee is essential for understanding the spiritual meaning of the words of Thakur Bhaktivinode.
“…The present editor has all along felt it his paramount duty to try to clear up the meaning of the life and teachings of Thakur Bhaktivinode by the method of submissive listening to the transcendental sound from the lips of the pure devotees.
“…Thakur Bhaktivinode is acknowledged by all his sincere followers as possessing the above powers of the pure devotee of Godhead. His words have to be received from the lips of a pure devotee. If his words are listened to from the lips of a non-devotee they will certainly deceive. If his works are studied in the light of one’s own worldly experience their meaning will refuse to disclose itself to such readers. His works belong to the class of eternal revealed literature of the world and must be approached for their right understanding through their exposition by the pure devotee. If no help is sought, the works of Thakur Bhaktivinode will be grossly misunderstood by their readers.”
Essentially we understand Bhaktivinode Thakura through the guru parampara, that is, Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati and Srila Prabhupada. Not by jumping over them. Thus if we want to understand the relevance and application of texts such as Manu Samhita we do it via the guru parampara not our speculation of what Bhaktivinode Thakura meant.
If there is a contradiction in Manu Samhita and the teaching of the Gita or Bhagavatam regarding varnashrama then we can assume it is an interpolation and only accept the conclusions of the Gita and Bhagavatam. But regarding the teaching of Manu on women, there is no contradiction with the Gita or Bhagavatam.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Feb 11, 2013 @ 10:07 pm
Urmila Mataji what is the meaning of your enigmatic statement? Will they not have internet or what? Why will they not be able to read such article? No electricity? Decreased literacy? What exactly are you driving at?
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Jan 19, 2013 @ 4:30 am
Thank you for this text Maharaja it is much appreciated.
Regarding devotees rejecting VAD based on that conversation with Ramananda Raya, if one were to carefully read it and see all the other things that Lord Caitanya rejected as external then one would not be so quick to just pick on VAD. For example when Ramananda Raya quoted Gita 18.66 sarvadharma parityajna … Lord Caitanya said that was also external! This puts a whole new perspective on what “external” means. It means the processes required for someone (all of us) who are located outside (external) of the spiritual realm and trying to return back to Godhead. Lord Caitanya was inquiring from Ramananda about the mood of those who are already in the internal realm and not trapped in material bodies.
What may be external for someone on the stature of Lord Caitanya (Lord Krsna in the mood of Radharani Who is definitely not to be imitated) is essential for us foolish souls lost in this material world. Why? Because we have material bodies and we are stuck in material consciouness and we need those processes to bring us into the correct position. But if one is already perfectly spiritually situated they are not necessary but should still be followed to show others the correct process.
Again thank you for reminding us that Srila Prabhupada was concerned that ISKCON establish VAD as a practical way to make spiritual advancement and thus avoid sahajiyaism. The majority of sannyasis would not have fallen down if they had followed VAD culture in regards to how sannyasis behave vis a viz women, and of course the rest of the societies duty is to also protect the sannyasis by following the same culture. Only in ISKCON (among legitimate sampradayas) do you hear of sannyasis with female secretaries, cooks, masseuse etc. It is not an accident that they fell it is inevitable because this is completely at odds with Vedic norms for sannyasis. Much more could be said on this topic.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Dec 21, 2012 @ 5:13 pm
It may just be that there is a valid distinction between initiating gurus and important acaryas. Maybe there were many bona-fide female spiritual masters in Gaudiya Vaisnava history who were competent to initiate devotees into the sampradaya, but very few who had the stature of great acaryas like Jahnava-devi. We have many male initiating gurus in ISKCON but how many would Sridhar Maharaja recognize as important acaryas?
The key word here is “maybe.” This is not a solid basis for building a whole theory.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Dec 13, 2012 @ 2:19 am
In comment #15 Candrashekharacarya Prabhu takes offense to the following sentence:
Now to save face you divert to a different topic, which has nothing to do with the original topic. By this method no conclusion can be arrived at.
He believes that my faculties of perception are all wrong, that I have to intimately know him for years to be able to make such a judgement. That would be like saying that if someone took something of mine without my permission I would have to intimately know them for years before I could call them a thief. I do not have to know the person to call them a thief because their pattern of behavior matches that of thieves since the recorded annals of history.
In a similar vein, I have been in discussions on different fora either as a participant or viewer long enough to know why people change topics when they are losing. I do not need to intimately know them to understand their motivations for what they do because it is a common tactic of certain types of people who are losing the debate and for the same motive I mentioned.
Having said that I will rephrase my last sentence:
“Now you divert to a different topic, which has nothing to do with the original topic. By this method no conclusion can be arrived at.”
This is not FB, here you will meet people who will strongly challenge your opinions. Therefore I ask you to refrain from insulting the intelligence of the readers and myself by resorting to red herrings.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Dec 11, 2012 @ 7:23 pm
In # 11 HH Swami B.A Ashram wrote:
“Traditionally, there are many examples of women giving diksa.”
This should be changed to: “Traditionally, there are many examples of women giving diksa in apasampradayas.“
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Dec 9, 2012 @ 3:06 pm
@ Chandrashekara Acarya dasa re 7
Your response has no bearing and is irrelevant to the comment I made. In your original comment you said that VAD should only be practiced in the confines of the home. I showed why this is wrong, that it should be practiced everywhere.
Now to save face you divert to a different topic, which has nothing to do with the original topic. By this method no conclusion can be arrived at.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Dec 9, 2012 @ 3:03 pm
In #3 Chandrashekhara acharya Prabhu wrote:
“Varnashrama considerations is a private matter; a matter of the home. It is a matter of how individuals want to live their lives in the privacy of their household.”
Excuse me Prabhu but this makes no sense. Since when did Varnashrama dharma end at the doorway? Varnashrama dharma is meant to be practiced everywhere not just in the closet.
To illustrate, the Bhagavad Gita was not spoken in the privacy of Arjuna’s home away from the prying eyes of the public, but in the very public area of the battlefield of Kurukshetra. This is where Lord Krsna explained in brief about Varnashrama dharma and instructed Arjuna to perform his prescribed duty as a Kshatriya, one of the varnas in Varnashrama dharma, by doing battle for the Lord’s pleasure. That battle was not a game played on Xbox in Arjuna’s livingroom but in a real battlefield. So Arjuna was instructed to publicly perform Daiva Varnashrama Dharma by the Lord.
We are forced to conclude that Lord Krsna’s instructions are just contrary to your statement.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Dec 6, 2012 @ 7:08 pm
Although in recent generations sannyasa in the Gaudiya
sampradaya had been practically unheard of, Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati pointed out that not only was Lord
Caitanya a sannyasi, but so were His guru and parama-guru,
that nine sannyasi associates of Mahaprabhu are listed in Sri
Caitanya-caritamrta (1.9.13–15) as roots of the Caitanya
tree, and that Srimat Prabodhananda Sarasvati, a prominent
devotee of Lord Caitanya, was a tridanda-sannyasi.
Furthermore, the seminal acaryas of the four recognized
Vaisnava paramparas—Sri Visnusvami, Sri Nimbarka, Sri
Ramanuja, and Sri Madhva—and numerous others in their
discipular lines had taken sannyasa in Kali-yuga.
Srila Sarasvati Thakura accepted and later bestowed
sannyasa according to the ceremony described in Samskaradipika
for inducting renunciants, which had become
identified with the rite known as giving bhek to babajis. He
and his sannyasis dressed in the ankle-length red cloth of
sannyasa, similar to that of Ramakrishna Mission sannyasis,
whose robes had become familiar and respected in Bengal.
Instead of tridandas of uncovered tied sticks like those of the
Sri sampradaya, Gaudiya Matha sannyasis carried tridandas
wrapped in strips of red cloth, resembling the sannyasa rods
of Mayavadis in North India. To the three sticks that
represented dedication of body, mind, and speech in service
to the Lord, Srila Sarasvati Thakura added another stick to
symbolize the jiva, and at the top of the danda placed a small
curved stick, symbolizing an ax for cutting nondevotional
theories.clxiii Gaudiya Matha sannyasa differed from that
within the established lines of Sankara, Ramanuja, and
Madhva in that it was not awarded solely to men of
brahmana caste, and because horoscopes of prospective
candidates were not consulted for ascertaining their fitness
for lifelong renunciation.
There is more discussion on the topic but I just quoted the beginning of the discussion interested readers can consult the original text.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Dec 3, 2012 @ 7:12 pm
Regarding taking sannyasa in Kaliyuga the following quote from Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava vol. 1 pp.166-167 gives some insight hitherto not much known in ISKCON circles.
Vaisnava sannyasa being unheard of in Bengal, Srila
Sarasvati Thakura and his disciples had to repeatedly uphold
its validity to skeptical inquirers, many of whom cited a
Brahma-vaivarta Purana verse that Caitanya Mahaprabhu
Himself had quoted, interdicting sannyasa in Kali-yuga:
asvamedham gavalambham sannyasam pala-paitrkam
devarena sutotpattim kalau païca vivarjayet
Five acts forbidden in Kali-yuga are: horse
sacrifice, cow sacrifice, accepting sannyasa,
offering oblations of flesh to forefathers, and
begetting children in the wife of one’s brother.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati would reply that
Mahaprabhu had cited this reference to rebut a sinful anti-
Vedic Muslim magistrate who wanted to justify beef-eating
on the basis of Vedic scripture, and within that debate the
topic of sannyasa was mentioned only circumstantially. In
other words, Mahaprabhu never stressed prohibition of
sannyasa, but instead demonstrated the contrary shortly
thereafter by Himself embracing sannyasa. Nor in so doing
did He violate sastra, because the injunction forbidding
sannyasa in Kali-yuga is from a rajasika Purana meant for
karmis and applies to karma-sannyasa, to be undertaken
exclusively by pure Vedic brahmanas, who no longer exist in
Kali-yuga and thus whose mode of renunciation should not
be imitated by unqualified men. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati further explained that this scriptural directive was
never meant to restrain suitable persons from dedicating
their whole self to the intrinsic function of the soul, namely
service to the Supreme Lord, Krsna. Moreover, that smarta
Raghunandana had prescribed a full-day fast as atonement
for failing to offer respect upon first seeing a sannyasi
confirmed that even the most fastidious adherents to sastriya
requirements had recognized the concept of sannyasa in
Kali-yuga. Ideological enemies further accused Srila
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati of impropriety for taking sannyasa
“by himself,” but the precedent had been set by the great
Vaisnava acarya Sri Ramanuja.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Dec 3, 2012 @ 7:08 pm
Dear Antardvipa Prabhu,
Thank you (and Shyamasundara Prabhu) for your superexcellent article.
I recently picked up a book on Suryasiddhanta in Delhi called: Suryasiddhanta—An Astro-Linguistic Study by Dr. Sudhikant Bharadwaj written in 1991, the author is professor of Sanskrit at a university in Haryana as well as an astronomer. On pages 142-143 he discusses the zodiac and makes the same point as you have made in your article. He solidly backs up your statements that the Suryasiddhanta is based on sidereal zodiac but for certain purposes only uses tropical zodiac, those uses do not include positions of the planets. Planetary position is strictly sidereal.
Your humble servant
V. 19 The Zodiac
The zodiac in the real sense is the circle of asterisms. It is divided into 12 parts, each division consisting of 2.25 asterisms or 30 degrees. The names of the divisions are: Mesha, Vrshabha, Mithuna, Kataa, Simha, Kanya, Tula, Vrschika, Dhanu, Makara, Kumbha, and Mina… (gives English equivalents).
The ecliptic is also divided into twelve parts and these divisions are also named as above. The vernal equinox is considered as the beginning point of the Mesha sign. In the European system of astronomy, these signs are variable points. In the Indian system of astronomy, the signs are the fixed points on the ecliptic and correspond to the divisions of the sidereal sphere. Thus the beginning point of the Mesha sign is the same as the beginning point of the Asvini asterism. In the Suryasiddhanta also, the signs are fixed as the instructions are given to take the precession of the equinox into consideration while determining the places of the planets. But for certain purposes as the determination of the northward and southward progress (Uttarayana and Dakshinayana) of the Sun, seasons, duration of day and night, declination, etc the real positions of the equinoxes and solstices are considered and the names of the signs are used regardless of their correspondence with the sidereal sphere. The word “Rasi”-sign- is also independently used as a unit of measurement equivalent to 30 degrees.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Nov 11, 2012 @ 7:59 am
I thought it was curious that all the devotees who commented about this glorious mataji were male devotees? Of course I’m not sure about #8 as “deepmh” is not very descriptive. Still it did strike me as odd.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Oct 30, 2012 @ 6:38 am
PS – still it is perplexing how one could argue that the equinox is fixed in relation to the stars. HH Bhakti Vaibhava’s wording
What is actually perplexing is how you got HH Bhakti Vaibhava Swami involved in this. The author is HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Sep 5, 2012 @ 9:32 pm
In #1 Urmila Mataji says below that women have a varna just like men do:
“Because I believe varnasrama to be a system of truth, I also believe it must be a system where both men and women can authentically express both their ashrama and varna natures and to do so in such a way as to nourish and allow full expression of their spiritual nature.”
This is exactly opposite of what Srila Prabhupada says:
Prabhupada: In, actually, in Bengal, Bengal has lost its original culture. In other provinces the brahmana class, they are keeping very strictly the original culture. Even a brahmana would not accept foodstuff prepared by his wife, because woman is considered sudra. The woman, when she becomes the wife of a brahmana, then she is called brahmani, but she’s not offered brahminical culture. She remains as sudra. So therefore a strict brahmana does not accept foodstuff prepared by his wife. Still there are in U.P. The wife will arrange for cooking, and he’ll sit down and cook dal, capatis. Then he will eat, and whatever remains, that is there, that will be taken by her. But he will not take foodstuff cooked by his wife even.” Room Conversation–August 2, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm)
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Jul 15, 2011 @ 10:15 pm
In #4 Pustakrsna Prabhu wrote:
“In the United States, about half of the doctors graduating from medical school are women. They fill the ranks of every specialty, medical and surgical. They demonstrate competency and extremely good intelligence.”
It may come as a surprise to you but physcians are considered sudras in Vedic culture:
Although the Asvini-kumaras were only physicians and were therefore excluded from drinking soma-rasa in sacrifices, the demigods agreed to allow them henceforward to drink it. SB 9.3.27
In his commentary on Brhadaranyaka Upanishad Madhvacarya mentions that in Svarga there is also Varnashrama DHarma and teh Asvini Kumars are considered sudras. After all being a doctor is the same as being a mechanic.
Then you wrote:
Certainly, many men, including myself, consider that if all of the political leaders in the world were women, we would have far fewer, if any, wars.
I’m not one of them. This is just feminist mythology. Margret Thatcher was involved in the Falklands war, Indira Gandhi was involved in at least two in 1970-71 with Pakistan first in what is now Bangladesh and then wit h Pakistan itself. And of course there were numerous internal wars such as with Khalistan, which led to the attack on the Golden temple of Amritsar the most holy Sikh shrine. She was then killed by her Sikh body gaurds.
Sirimavo Bandaranaike was the world’s first female political leader in modern times as Prime Minister of Ceylon/Sri Lanka. She was involved in endless civil wars and even fought with another female politician Chandrika Kumaratunga who was her own daughter. And, Kumaratunga reign was one consecutive war with the Tamil Tigers.
Then of course we have Benazir Bhutto who while she was leader of Pakistan among other things helped North Korea in its nuclear weapons program and helped start and supported the Taliban who later assassinated her. Arthur Herman, a U.S. historian described her as “One of the most incompetent leaders in the history of South Asia,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benazir_Bhutto#First_term_.281988-90.29
The only reason women have not been doing evil on a greater scale is because they didn’t have an opportunity, but once given the opportunity they are more ruthless than men. Now with women in power in different places they are equally or more corrupt that the men.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Jul 15, 2011 @ 9:48 am
Bhakta Elin says:
“Spiritual considerations should always override material ones.”
Acccording to Krsna the spiritual consideration of the soul is:
“The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind. This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.” BG 2.23-24
Therefore it doesn’t require material food, clothing or shelter. Nor does it require to mate, sleep or defend itself. Since these are the spiritual facts then they override the material needs of women in ISKCON for having a home to live in, family, clothing, food, protection, medical treatment, etc. They can all just wear tree bark, live under a tree, and eat dry leaves every second week.
We also note that animals have souls therefore dogs, cats, pigs, horses, crocodiles etc. should be allowed into the temple and do arotika. Why discriminate against them? After all spiritual considerations should always override material ones.This of course is utter foolishness.
Self-realization means to understand not only that we are spiritual souls who are eternal servants of Lord Krsna. But it also means to understand what our psycho-physical nature is in the material world and in that regard to act according to sastra so that we can make actual advancement. The fatal mistake made by many in ISKCON is to think that we are way more advanced than we really are. How many scandals do we have to see before we finally realize the truth?
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Nov 5, 2011 @ 8:12 am
Dear Campakalata Mataji,
Ref # 194.
Please don’t mind my saying this but I fail to see the relevance of this blog you guide us to in relation to the current discussion.
I visited the place and the first thing we notice is the banner at the top.
“I like my sacraments Catholic and my beer cold.”
This is a sad statement for a former devotee and I assume former student of your mother, Urmila dd. I wonder who encouraged her to go to university in the first place where she got caught up in this situation?
» Posted By Balakrsna das On May 20, 2011 @ 4:12 am
Dear Kulapavana Prabhu,
Ref your comment #193. After completely reading the texts Sita Mataji posted I think that she supported her position very well and that you are wrong to say “Thus your arguments are not valid” they are very valid. Especially in #179 she nicely explains how there can be pratiloma and anuloma marriages and harmonizes apparently conflicting texts. You have not even attempted to explain why Lord Krsna puts women in a separate category in the Gita after naming other varnas. Nor do you explain why women are put in a separate category in Srimad Bhagavatam 7.11 after other varnas are mentioned. If they also had varna then there would be no need to put them in a separate category. Hence it is your position that is not valid. (Since you have not presented even one argument so I can’t say your arguments are not valid.)
If I were a teacher and grading answers on a scale of 1-10 then it would be:
Sita 10, Kulapavana 0.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On May 20, 2011 @ 4:10 am
Urmila mataji said in 48:
“It’s a bit surprising to see so many comments on the messenger rather than the message. I am SO glad that I joined ISKCON when Prabhupada’s personal influence on management was still widely known.”
And she goes further to imply that anyone who criticizes her has hellish intelligence.
Hmmmm I found this a bit strange. It is Srila Prabhupada who taught us that the character of the person who delivers the message is important.
“That is Vedic conception. One must be a teacher according to his own behavior in life.”
“Never mind whatever his private character. We don’t mind. He has passed Ph.D, so let him become teacher.” This is western culture. “By privately, he may be rascal. It doesn’t matter.” That is not brahminical culture. There is no “private” or “public.” (Morning Walk,LA,23 June 1975)
“Now, if you think that it is very confidential, it cannot be disclosed, then I think for a person like you who is doing publicly such sacrifice, you should (sic:) not explain to Me.” Na hi gopyam hi sadhunam: “Sadhu, those who are saintly person, for them there is no secret.” There is no secret. There is no privacy. A sadhu, sadhu has no privacy. Just now in our ordinary social affairs, there is difference between private life and his public life. Now, if somebody is teacher… Now, he is very good teacher. He can very good… He can explain very nicely a subject matter, but his private life is not very good. Then he is not a teacher. He is not a sadhu. That is Vedic conception. One must be a teacher according to his own behavior in life. There is no secrecy or privacy. Now, we think that “We don’t mind what is private character. We don’t mind. We are concerned with his teaching.” No. That sort of teaching will not have any effect. Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, apani acari prabhu jiveri siksaya: a teacher must demonstrate in his practical life what he is teaching. That is the meaning of acarya. Acarya means the teacher must demonstrate things by applying the same thing in his own life. That is called acarya. Therefore Krsna said that “You cannot disclose anything. You cannot keep anything private. Please disclose.” Udasino ‘rivad varyam atmavat suhrd ucyate: “And even if it is very confidential, I am your son. You can explain to Him. I am your well-wisher.”
New York, 4 Nov 196
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Apr 11, 2011 @ 3:33 am
As Bhaktilata points out, men should also defer to more qualified men. Yet we need to give all aspiring preachers a proper chance to speak, and among senior men we do not have a strict ranking system.
But is a no brainer if Urmila dd, a woman, is involved. That was the whole point of her posting.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Apr 11, 2011 @ 3:10 am
I have been following this thread. I very much appreciated the comments of Bhaktilata Mataji. She hit the nail on the head when she said:
“Most senior western women in ISKCON don’t even know what Stri-dharma is what to speak of practice it. Why should we listen to them?”
This, sadly, is very true. Contrary to what Urmila dd said in #6 I’m struggling to think of any who are actually following Stri-dharma. They just don’t exist or are extremely rare. Certainly not the ones in leadership positions.
What is even sadder is that these “leading” women want to train the next generation of young women. My Indian friends tell me that when their wives, or god-sisters attend classes/seminars by these senior ladies they come out confused. A common complaint from the Indian women is “they may know the philosophy—that Krsna is God and we are the servants, but they do not know how to apply it in their daily lives as women. They do not know the religion (dharma) of how to be a woman in Krsna’s service. They mix in Western ideas about feminism and call this Women’s role in KC.”
Another complaint I heard is that they discourage the Indian girls from getting married, which causes a lot of distress to their parents. They don’t want their daughters mixing freely with men the way the Western women do, a habit that historically has led to many scandals. Rather they want them to get married and settle down and do their seva at home in the grhasta ashrama. This has been the way women have successfully served Lord Krsna since time immemorial. Not traveling around the world mixing with strange men outside of their family–a formula for disaster.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Apr 9, 2011 @ 11:54 am
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Mother Abhaya Mudra dd wrote:
“Let devotees judge for themselves.”
Well Mataji this is the problem, like 99% of devotees I am a layman when it comes to astrology so I am not qualified to judge. 99% of the readers including myself simply do not know if what you are saying is true or not. This was what Mother Tungavidya pointed out. And, if she wrote something we (the lay readers of Dandavatas) would not be in a position to know if what she wrote was accurate or not. Dandavatas is not a peer reviewed astrological journal.
So this challenge to her that you make really makes no sense as none of us readers is qualified to adjudicate such writings. IMHO it sounds more like evasion. Now if you wrote on Vaisnava philosophy that would be another thing but jyotish never. You could say (in an astrological context) that black was white and white was black and we would not be the wiser.
I recall reading some time back that a man had won a prize in mathematics for proving Fermat’s last theorem, but what I found remarkable was that even though there are hundreds of thousands of qualified mathematicians in the world hardly a handful had the specialized knowledge to evaluate his proof. One actually has to have sufficient qualifications to judge the matter. And if one doesn’t have such qualification then there is the chance that one will get cheated and that is what I sense is going on here.
I read the texts that Mother Tungavidya pointed us to and I am getting the sense that you are evading the questions put to you. Why is that? It certainly does not instill a sense of faith in me that you actually know what you are doing.
I do not know if anyone has asked this question but what exactly are your credentials in Vedic astrology anyway? Who is your jyotish guru? How long have you studied Vedic astrology? Where did you study? As a layman I have the right to ask such questions of any person claiming to be an expert.
Hoping to get an early response.
» Posted By Balakrsna das On Oct 16, 2010 @ 10:56 pm
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