Comments Posted By Chintamani
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Thank you for this thoughtful paper prabhu. Your main thrust seems to be that we co-operate together around a common mission or purpose and thereby dispense with formal authority structures. Is this correct? Forgive me if I have misunderstood. If though this is your suggestion I would be curious to know how you view the instruction that the GBC be the “ultimate managerial authority” in ISKCON? How would you see this authority being delivered through the organisational structure of ISKCON? Indeed, do you feel that there is a need for such a structure in the first place? I got the impression, perhaps mistaken, that you are averse to any kind of hierarchical model that places one person above another. However, could such a model not be acceptable in situations where the leaders are enlightened and actually leading their dependants toward emancipation, as per sastric direction? (vide. SB 5.5.18) Spiritual authority is surely the very essence of our movement, and one might argue that as a spiritual movement this authority should be reflected in our structure.
I would be grateful for your thoughts.
Comment Posted By Chintamani On 23.08.2007 @ 18:00
In the Gita, where Arjuna raises the question of falldown, there are some wonderful instructions. Here’s one purport that I have found helpful. Simply hear about Krishna and take prasad. I’ve the second part of that one nicely together, just working on the first part now :)
Lord Sri Krsna said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment.
The difficulty of controlling the obstinate mind, as expressed by Arjuna, is accepted by the Personality of Godhead. But at the same time He suggests that by practice and detachment it is possible. What is that practice? In the present age no one can observe the strict rules and regulations of placing oneself in a sacred place, focusing the mind on the Supersoul, restraining the senses and mind, observing celibacy, remaining alone, etc. By the practice of Krsna consciousness, however, one engages in nine types of devotional service to the Lord. The first and foremost of such devotional engagements is hearing about Krsna. This is a very powerful transcendental method for purging the mind of all misgivings. The more one hears about Krsna, the more one becomes enlightened and detached from everything that draws the mind away from Krsna. By detaching the mind from activities not devoted to the Lord, one can very easily learn vairagya. Vairagya means detachment from matter and engagement of the mind in spirit. Impersonal spiritual detachment is more difficult than attaching the mind to the activities of Krsna. This is practical because by hearing about Krsna one becomes automatically attached to the Supreme Spirit. This attachment is called paresanubhava, spiritual satisfaction. It is just like the feeling of satisfaction a hungry man has for every morsel of food he eats. The more one eats while hungry, the more one feels satisfaction and strength. Similarly, by discharge of devotional service one feels transcendental satisfaction as the mind becomes detached from material objectives. It is something like curing a disease by expert treatment and appropriate diet. Hearing of the transcendental activities of Lord Krsna is therefore expert treatment for the mad mind, and eating the foodstuff offered to Krsna is the appropriate diet for the suffering patient. This treatment is the process of Krsna consciousness. Bg 6.35
Comment Posted By Chintamani On 14.08.2007 @ 06:57
Our only hope of maintaining spiritual life is to associate with pure devotees, bhagavata sanga. Devotees need to be trained in how to do this, specifically take shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, systematically and regularly, deeply studying his books and hearing from him as much as possible. Sadly it seems this is all too often neglected, with disastrous consequences. We work hard for some years, neglect our hearing and chanting, and reap the inevitable consequences. Especially we who have come from duskritina backgrounds are always poised on the precipice of our past life, liable to quickly forget even the most basic spiritual points and go back to what we were — unless we constantly recharge our spiritual batteries with serious amounts of sravanam kirtanam.
‚Äú Sat-sanga means assembly, discussion. Bodhayantah parasparam, tusyanti ca ramanti ca. If you are not interested in association, discussion, then you are finished. So… karmis, they are fools and rascals. When you have got this center, it is not that you should be engaged from morning till you go to bed for sense gratification. That is not life. That is karmi’s life. You have no time for sat-sanga, for association. You cannot make any progress by this sort of karmi’s life. We have to work for organization, but not that whole day and night engaged and no sat-sanga. That is a misguided policy, and it will spoil the whole structure.‚ÄĚ SPC.New Delhi, Nov 3, 1973
Comment Posted By Chintamani On 13.08.2007 @ 18:02
Surely we need to develop self sufficient communities that produce all our milk and other needs, but how far away is that? Meanwhile, shall we stop offering milk products to Krishna? We can’t offer him soya products. Is there any benefit for the poor cows in the hellish dairy industry when we offer their milk? And Ananta makes a good point — violence is everywhere in today’s food industry, and indeed in many other non-food products. Very difficult to avoid. We have to work towards avoiding it asap, but in the meantime can we not take a branch from that tree to make an axe to cut it down?
Comment Posted By Chintamani On 12.08.2007 @ 07:07
Good points here, IMHO. Srila Prabhupada said that “every center” should be a varnashrama college. Perhaps if spiritual masters began following the direction below from SB it would help.
“The people who take birth in this tract of land are divided according to the qualities of material nature — the modes of goodness [sattva-guna], passion [rajo-guna], and ignorance [tamo-guna]. Some of them are born as exalted personalities, some are ordinary human beings, and some are extremely abominable, for in Bharata — varsa one takes birth exactly according to one’s past karma. If one’s position is ascertained by a bona fide spiritual master and one is properly trained to engage in the service of Lord Visnu according to the four social divisions [brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra] and the four spiritual divisions [brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa], one’s life becomes perfect.” SB 5.19.19
Comment Posted By Chintamani On 12.08.2007 @ 07:41