Comments Posted By Caitanya candrodaya
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Is varna sankara (however defined) a real and growing menace to society?
The answer is yes. It is as well as a number of other things.
Can we provide a viable alternative?
Yes. But on the personal level or localized to one particular community or yatra. Not as ISKCON worldwide - that would be impossible to implement and even harder to maintain .
Even on the level of community it should be done not by “excluding bastards” but by setting high example by community leaders or elders and demanding it from ones own disciples/dependents (such as ones own children) not from equals or friends…
But the principle itself of starting with providing a viable alternative rather then “ gloating at the plight of general/ society ” is the key.
Something that as you point out we have failed to do to date. Thank you for your input.
Comment Posted By Caitanya candrodaya On 28.03.2007 @ 13:43
From Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
In answering Mallik Babu’s questions, Yogi Babaji compares raja-yoga with hatha-yoga
When everyone became silent, Mallik Mahasaya continued saying, “Babaji Mahasaya! Kindly explain raja-yoga.”
Yogi Babaji said, “So be it.” and began speaking.
“The yoga practiced by philosophers and Puranic scholars is called raja-yoga. Yoga prescribed by the tantric panditas is called hatha-yoga. I’ve little taste for hatha-yoga, because it is an obstacle in the practice of Vaisnavism. Hatha-yoga is described in the sakta and saiva tantras as well as the scriptures written from those tantras, like Hatha-yoga dipika and Yoga-cintamani. Among those scriptures I consider Siva-samhita and Gheranda-samhita the best. During my stay at Kasi I studied those scriptures and practiced some of them, but ultimately I came to see that one can only get some bodily benefit from that system of yoga. Attaining samadhi by that process is not easy.”
Babaji became extremely grave. He knew how to show young people the path of bhakti. He therefore said, “Let us leave these topics today.”
Being enchanted by Babaji’s wisdom and devotion, Mallik Mahasaya became silent. While meditating on the description of hatha-yoga, he thought, “Alas! What fools we are! I went to Madam Laurence in Madras for insignificant things like mesmerism, demonology, and a few details on hatha-yoga. I haven’t seen such a great magnanimous yogi so far. By the grace of Nityananda dasa, I’m without doubt seeing auspicious days.”
Yogi Babaji asks Pandita dasa Babaji how one can attain rasa-samadhi and raga-sadhana without practicing yoga
Everyone was seated happily in the mandapa. One lamp dimly flickered in the corner. Most of those present were counting hari-nama on tulasi-mala in their japa bags. Yogi Babaji said to Pandita Babaji, “Your instruction has dispelled much of the darkness in my heart. But I have one doubt. It is this: if we don’t recognize and practice pranayama, dhyana, and dharana of the yoga path, then how can we attain rasa-samadhi? In order to awaken one’s constitutional position within the heart, one is required to execute sadhana. What is the sadhana for arousing raga, or spontaneous attachment?”
On hearing the question, everyone expectantly looked toward Pandita Babaji’s grave, auspicious face. Mallik Mahasaya became a little astonished. Perhaps he had believed that Yogi Babaji was the greatest Vaisnava. On Yogi Babaji’s inquiry, Mallik Mahasaya understood that Yogi Babaji respected Pandita Babaji like his guru. He then looked on Pandita Babaji with great respect.
Pandita Babaji’s reply:
(A) The difference between material attachment and spiritual attachment, and attaining renunciation without performing Vaisnava sadhana or attaining spiritual attachment by yoga practice is impossible
Pandita Babaji began to speak, “It is difficult for the conditioned soul to act on the spiritual platform with pure spiritual attachment. It is this pure spiritual attachment which is pervertedly transformed into material attachment. As material attachment increases, spiritual attachment proportionately decreases. As spiritual attachment increases, material attachment proportionately decreases. This is the natural characteristic of the living entity. It is not that subjugating material attachment awakens one’s spiritual attachment. Many people take shelter of renunciation just to subjugate material attachment, but they don’t try to increase their spiritual attachment. This ends in misfortune.
“Thought and practice like dhyana, pratyahara, and dharana are advised for attaining the end result of awakening one’s spiritual attachment. And many people practice these. But they don’t sufficiently discuss how to attain spiritual attachment. That is why yogis often become captivated by yogic opulence and ultimately fail to attain spiritual attachment. On the other hand, Vaisnava practices are superior.
“You see, any sadhana is just a special activity. One may develop attachment to whatever activities are required to be performed in human life, and one may only think and labor hard while endeavoring to achieve the Absolute Truth. Are those who work in this way able to quickly awaken spiritual attachment? If the sadhaka keeps his attempts to develop spiritual attachment as a separate activity in his life, then he will be pulled by material attachment on one hand and spiritual consciousness on the other. In that case, his life will follow whichever attachment is greater. A boat moves by the strength of oars, but when the water’s current carries away the boat, the oars are defeated. In the same way, as the sadhaka tries to cross the ocean with the boat of the mind and various oars like dhyana, pratyahara, and dharana, sometimes the current of attachment quickly carries him into sense gratification.”
(B) Analysis of the superiority of devotional service in spontaneous love over yoga practice and cultivating impersonal knowledge
“Devotional service to Visnu is executed with spontaneous love. The sadhaka certainly achieves spiritual attachment in no time through spontaneous devotional service. One should know what the current of attachment is. Whatever the heart of the conditioned soul naturally likes and whatever pleasing things he accepts for his maintenance are all material attachments in human life. After consideration, it is observed that among these attachments there are five kinds connected with the five sense organs. Being attracted to the sense objects, the mind runs towards them. One eats with the tongue, smells with the nose, hears with the ears, feels with the skin, and sees with the eyes. The mind of the conditioned soul is always attached to some sense object. What power can detach the mind from the objects of the senses? Though dry impersonal speculation could be helpful to some extent in this matter, still, due to the passive nature of impersonal Brahman, the worshiper is unable to get complete strength. Therefore the ogis and jnanis face so many difficulties. In devotional service there are no difficulties. The lives of Krsna’s devotees are not separated from Brahman. Material attachment and spiritual attachment in this path are nondifferent. When the mind wants to see the sense object through the eyes, good-let it see the indescribable beauty of the Deity. In this case material enjoyment and spiritual enjoyment are the same. You want to hear? Then hear the songs and talks which glorify Krsna. Do you like to eat palatable dishes? Then offer all types of tasty dishes to Lord Krsna and accept the prasada. To smell-there is the tulasi and sandalwood pulp which was offered to the Lord. Like this, all objects are spiritualized for the practitioner of Krsna consciousness. One who executes Krsna consciousness is always merged in spiritual existence. All of his activities enhance his spiritual attachment. For him, the activities of the senses are not impediments, rather they are the means of attaining love of God. I’ve briefly exlained the relation between spiritual attachment and other spiritual paths. You are a great Vaisnava. Now I’m finished speaking. Please forgive me if I made any mistake.”
Everyone was enchanted by Pandita dasa Babaji’s explanation, and Naren and Anand Babu grow doubtful about Raja Rama Mohan Raya
Everyone was amazed by listening to Pandita Babaji’s speech. Different persons had different feelings arise. Although Yogi Babaji was adept in the field of yoga, still, he was fully qualified in Vaisnava mellows. He was now free from doubt and relished the dust particles of Pandita Babaji’s feet. Pandita Babaji embraced him with love and affection. Mallik Mahasaya’s feelings could not be understood by anyone.
Naren Babu and Anand Babu considered for some days the basic truths about Deity worship. Yogi Babaji gave them Sri Caitanya-gita to study. After studying and considering the various aspects, they more or less understood the purport, but still had no faith. They heard the grave, devotionally pregnant instructions of Pandita Babaji and they discussed together:
“Alas! We are enchanted with foreign knowledge! We don’t know what priceless jewels our own country has!”
Naren Babu said, “Anand Babu! What education made Raja Rama Mohan Raya neglect the science of Deity worship? Perhaps he was somewhat mistaken on this subject! Raja Rama Mohan Raya can make a mistake? I’m afraid to say this! This Rama Mohan Raya made us believe that our Vyasa and Narada were mistaken, so today how will we say that he is wrong?”
Anand Babu said, “Why fear? For the sake of truth we can reject even Rama Mohan Raya.”
Comment Posted By Caitanya candrodaya On 24.09.2006 @ 22:27
I believe it would encourage everyone to utilise (or not) the principle of Vaisnava etiquette.
There are two aspects to respecting ones gurus. One is not to pronounce his/her name in vain of without respect. Another is to glorify him by pronouncing his name fully and with faith.
There is a strange email system (that spills over to internet) when an abbreviation of gurus name seems to be an identifications stamp of an online person. There is hardly any if no requirement for such a false etiquette and in many cases such reference is contrary or even offensive to traditional Vaisnava etiquette. When pronouncing gurus name one should offer obeisances at least in the mind and of course one should pronounce his name fully. I do not think that shorthand and id. stamps has anything to do with vaisnava tradition and were invented without much reference to it.
Names as given by guru are different and should not be shorten. I personally can not stand when someone just out of share laziness shortens my name that I love as given to me by my spiritual master.
Caitanya candrodaya dasa (Dublin)
Comment Posted By Caitanya candrodaya On 24.09.2006 @ 22:53
So there was very nice meeting in Tehran. Many scholar, Muhammadan, came to see me. So everyone is understanding the importance of this movement. So in Tehran I discussed about chanting of the Hare Krsna mantra. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that there are many names. Namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktih.
Krsna’s name, manyfold. So I pleaded to the Muslim audience that “You can chant the name of Allah also. Not necessarily that you have to chant the Krsna name, but any name indicating the Supreme Lord can be chanted.” Because in the sastra it is said, harer nama, harer nama, [Cc. Adi 17.21]
the holy name of the Lord. But it must be the name of the Lord. Actually, Krsna has thousands of names, and His names are enumerated by His activities. Just like Krsna accepted to become the son of mother Yasoda; therefore He is called Yasoda-nandana. Krsna accepted Vasudeva as His father, or Nanda Maharaja; therefore He is called Nanda-nandana, Vasudeva, or Devaki-nandana. Krsna acted as the charioteer of Arjuna; He is called Partha-sarathi. So Krsna’s name means attached with the activities along with His devotees. This is Krsna’s name. So if the Muhammadans’ aim the Supreme Lord, Allah akbar, “God the great…” Just like we say Parabrahma. Brahman means the biggest, brhatvat brhannatvat. On account of being very big, including everything, that God’s another name is Parabrahma. Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12]. Arjuna addressed Krsna as Parabrahma. So Allah akbar means Parabrahma.
So we do not make any distinction that this type of religion is better than that type of religion. Any religion which teaches how to love God, that is first-class religion. That is the injunction of the Srimad-Bhagavatam.
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
yena atma samprasidati
Comment Posted By Caitanya candrodaya On 31.08.2006 @ 22:38