Comments Posted By Dhanesvara
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Wonderful news Chandrasekhara Prabhu! If all jails could be like this then would truly be places of reform. Only problem I see is that it may encourage crime so that the perpetrator would get complete support to carry on with his bhajan! LOL
Thanks so much for sharing this!
Comment Posted By Dhanesvara On 10.02.2011 @ 19:19
Causeless mercy is of course necessary, but we should not think that the loving force of bhakti, lobha, is a sort of transcendental lotto, where we passively wait to see if we have are the lucky one with the winning number. It is an active process and our acharyas have given us the clear and concise science of bhakti. If we follow the science properly we will get the proper result. We must have faith in that. At the same time we pray to the Lord for his mercy. We must pay close attention to our progress, and if we are not getting the result that is expected we need to examine the details of our practice, determine what we are doing wrong, and correct it. Failure to do this is will cause our progress to be very slow, or cause us to think that progress is a function of mercy alone. As Aindra Prabhu puts it “it is a gradual process, but it doesn’t have to be that gradual.” The esoteric writings were written because they are required at the proper stage. When the sadhaka has achieved the proper stage, they become his next step. This is exactly what Aindra was endeavoring to make clear to me, and it is this that I desired to pass to others in writing this piece.
I do believe that Aindra Prabhu spoke from his realization, and hearing his lectures or reading his book indicates that his realization was considerable. His expressions, as well as his exhortations to me, indicate that it is indeed possible for us “ordinary devotees” to achieve that lofty peak of Love of God in this life. After all, isn’t that why Srila Prabhupada began this Movement? He said that if just one devotee achieves that pinnacle he would consider his effort a success. But why just one? While he may settle for one, he certainly hoped for a greater result. Why not hundreds, or thousands, and even more? After all, there are tens-of-thousands of devotees in this movement. The attainment of Krishna prema has become our birthright with our second birth. It is not impossible. Indeed, it is our destiny.
Aspiring to one day be a humble servant,
Comment Posted By Dhanesvara On 11.02.2011 @ 08:46
Pusta Krishna Prabhuji, those are Srila Bhaktivinoda’s words, not mine. He writes that sahajiyas were many in his day, yet he didnâ€™t include so many caveats or disclaimers. Whatever else there may have been, there was one Gaura Kisora Das Babaji, and that was all that was needed. In this regard little changes over the years. Whatever else may be going on says nothing about the presence of a suitable and qualified personality who may be sent by Sri Krishna to bring His devotees closer to His personal loving service. Letâ€™s be careful not throw the baby out with the bath water.
In any case your point is well made and I agree wholeheartedly that we should not artificially try to become something we are not. Further, it is not necessary. We have a powerful process of sadhana, which, when followed correctly, will bring us to the stage of anarta-nivritti, and nistha, the proper time to enter into the practice of the other stage of sadhanaâ€”raganuga. Correct following means to understand that nothing can be achieved artificially. By patient practice the dirt is removed from the heart and we advances to the next stage. This is not an impossible goal that must remain forever out of our reach. We should earnestly strive to achieve the stages of bhakti one after the other, step by step, being confident that if we follow properly we will be successful.
Comment Posted By Dhanesvara On 11.02.2011 @ 08:44
Dear Pusta Krishna Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you for your efforts to clarify things. You are quite right that any sadhaka who is attempting to enjoy Krishnaâ€™s lila is engaged in mixed devotional service. We must be careful to note that the enjoying mentality must be abandoned *before* the sadhaka can achieve the stage of anarta nivriti. The acharyas caution that one may only begin their bhajan (internal devotional service of raganuga bhakti) *after* they have achieved the stage of anarta nivriti, otherwise they risk grave offenses, becoming guilty of the sahaja-ism that you warn about.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur makes it clear that raganuga bhakti is not a â€śspontaneous inside-out flow of devotional serviceâ€ť as you suggest, but a stage of sadhana (see above: â€śThere is another type of sadhana bhakti besides vaidhi bhakti. It is called raganuga bhakti.â€ť) or practice, based on attraction, not rules. That spontaneous devotional service, as demonstrated by Sri Krishnaâ€™s most intimate associates who are nitya-siddhas, is ragatmika bhakti. The distinction between these two is very important and is exactly the point that Aindra Prabhu was forcefully making to me, because if these two are confused then we cannot avoid misunderstanding the process of sadhana.
Raganuga sadhana is indeed a meditation on the sentiments and lila of the gopis, and in the practice of raganuga bhakti one does indeed meditate on their own participation in Krishnaâ€™s lila as a follower of the manjaris, serving Radha-Krishna in their daily eight-fold pastimes until they completely identify with that spiritual body. This practice is explicitly explained by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur in Sri Caitanya-siksamrita, and the Thakur recommends that â€śas this process is by nature very esoteric, the devotee, being spotless in character, should learn it from a well-qualified guru.â€ť This important book should be studied thoroughly by those interested in understanding the complete path of sadhana bhakti that ultimately culminates in pure love of God.
We also extend your caution that the serious sadhaka must carefully follow the process of sadhana as given by the acharyas, and not try to jump ahead, which will certainly lead to an unfortunate result.
Comment Posted By Dhanesvara On 06.02.2011 @ 07:56
Haribol Gadi Prabhu!
All glories to Bhagavad-gita! All glories to book distribution! All glories to your service!
It’s very difficult to know that the Gitas are being taken by interested readers, or if they are maliciously stolen. I agree with Trivikrama Swami’s suggestion. A simple note explaining that that book was put there for the convenience of the hotel guests, and others are available at the desk for a small donation. Also, a card should include contact information for Bhakti-Life so the readers can learn more. A website dedicated exclusively to this purpose would give feedback about the theft v. interest ratio.
In either case, it is obvious that people are seeing the Gita, and even by simply touching it one receives eternal benefit.
Comment Posted By Dhanesvara On 25.12.2010 @ 14:15
This may seem rather strident to those who are attached to the idea that capitalism is the best system. Of course it is the best for those who are overly influenced by tamo-guna. They like to be able to exploit others. Shastra however has a different opinion.
Seeing the extreme exploitation that is going on in the world today, many people long to return to the â€śnice capitalismâ€ť of 40 or 50 years ago. What made that capitalism more nice than todayâ€™s? In the 1950s there was still some semblance of sattva-guna in the world, while today sattva is all but lost and there is a preponderance of tamo-guna. The four pillars of sinful life are available on every street corner throughout the world. Tamo-guna is the standard of living today, and peopleâ€™s economic behavior reflects that fact. Everyone tries to game the system and get as much as they can. The problem is that some are far more clever than others and the winner takes allâ€”including your house, your job, and even your right to live.
The conclusion of the book is that the only way to achieve an economic system that is going to work for the vast majority of the people, and which does not destroy the environment, is to increase the relative amount of sattva-guna among the populace. That is best done through the yuga dharma, the chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
In terms of the political system the same influences exist, with the same results. All of the ismâ€™s are flawed to the degree that they are atheistic and neglect the Lordâ€™s instructions for the welfare of society. We do not prefer free-market capitalism over socialism, or the planned economy of communists, and we must tolerate all of these variations while we attempt to increase the influence of dharma. I agree with you that In preaching Krishna Consciousness, we would be fine in either a socialist or capitalist nation, as long as culturally and politically we are not hampered in our missionary work. Ultimately we want to see Rama raja, a rajarsi, a saintly king who follows the plan of the Lord according to the system of Daiva-varnashrama dharma for the benefit of every living entity in this world.
Comment Posted By Dhanesvara On 10.12.2010 @ 06:36
Dear Yugala Kishor Prabhu,
Dandavat pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. It is always interesting for a writer to hear the reactions of people to their work. It seems that, at least with yourself, my main thesis was somehow missed, that being the influence of the gunas on economic behavior. The book is not intended to be any kind of analysis of macroeconomics. I am not an economist by training and have no interest in discussing economics in the normal terms of that profession. Rather the book is an analysis of consciousness based on the gunas, and I give examples of the differences in consciousness from various economic behaviors.
I indict capitalism as an example of economics influenced by tamo-guna due to the fact that the objective of capitalist class (the share holders) is to â€śownâ€ť the resources of production and then from dividends (â€śunearnedâ€ť income as the IRS calls it) live at the expense of others. I suppose the many examples I offer of how capitalism has run amok under the influence of tamo-guna is what you refer to as a rampage. The fact is that the situation today is extreme and all-pervading, which is what I wanted to demonstrate.
This is due to the imbalance of the gunas. In the chapter â€śThe Economics of Ignoranceâ€ť I explain:
â€śOnly under the spell of illusion do we claim anything as our own. Nothing is ours to claim as our personal property beyond the minimum necessary to maintain a healthy life. Therefore in the ultimate sense, the capitalist cannot claim â€śhisâ€ť so-called capital as his own, and neither does he therefore risk anything of his own. Any accumulated capital must have already been unlawfully taken from others. As such all claims of exclusive entitlement to profit are null and void, and the proceeds of the enterprise should equally be distributed among those who labored together to produce the result.
â€śThe Bhagavad-gita (18.25) gives further proof of this argument. There it is explained that actions performed under illusion (of ownership), in disregard of scriptural injunctions (such as from Isopanisad ishavasyam idam sarvam), and without concern for the future bondage of people or for violence or distress caused to others is said to be in the mode of ignorance. This is an apt description of capitalism. The Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.25.4) adds that stinginess, and living as a parasite are the symptoms of tamo-guna.â€ť
Comment Posted By Dhanesvara On 10.12.2010 @ 06:34
Tulasi Priya, your writing is so artistic! This was such a joy to read that I went to read your blog, and found more beautiful art over there. You have such a gift that I subscribed to your blog - the first time that I’ve done such a thing.
Please write a book, or two, or more. Books have a greater reach, and I am sure that they will touch the hearts of many!
Thank you for sharing your gift!
Comment Posted By Dhanesvara On 26.10.2010 @ 13:04
Thank you Pusta Krishna Prabhu for your comments. I would like to say that my motive for writing this essay was to highlight the fact that as devotees we have not yet fully understood, what to speak of taken up, the full culture of Krishna Consciousness. The culture is based on duty and dharma, both of which find their full expression within the varnashrama culture in a village setting. However, we continue to live according the tenants of the dominant materialistic culture, in which dharma and duty cannot be properly expressed. I am concerned about our involvement with modern society in which our devoteesâ€™ spiritual lives are compromised.
To give an example why, let me offer a quote from Srila Bhaktivinodaâ€™s Jaiva Dharma:
Sri Nityananda dasa Babaji, â€śMany kanishta-bhaktas do not progress,
what is the reason for this?â€ť
Sri Haridasa Babaji, â€śIf the kanishta-bhaktaâ€™s, dveni-sangaâ€”association with the inimical agnostics, atheists and impersonalists, etc.,â€”is frequent, very soon he loses the kanishta status and becomes
entangled in the pursuit of karma and jnana, etc. In some cases the kanishta neither progresses nor regresses, just remaining at the kanishta level.â€ť
Sri Nityananda dasa Babaji, â€śIn which cases?â€ť
Sri Haridasa Babaji, â€śIn cases where both sadhu-sanga and dveĂ±i-sanga exercise equal influence upon the kanishta, his devotion maintains the status quo.â€ť
Sri Nityananda dasa Babaji, â€śWhat ensures certain progress?â€ť
Sri Haridasa Babaji, â€śWhen devotee association is frequent and powerful and non-devotee association minimal, the kanishta progresses swiftly.â€ť
Srila Prabhupada wanted us to create an alternative culture that could provide shelter for the devotees from materialistic association so that we could rapidly progress in Krishna Consciousness. But we see the devotees avoiding creating this cultural alternative by preferring to live in the cities, with the result that our progress is very slow. Uttama Sloka (IDS) posted an essay on his FB page a few days ago titled â€śWhy are the devotees so unhappy?â€ť I see all of this as connected.
We must understand the differences between the two cultures and insulate ourselves from materialistic people and activities. To do that the men of ability must understand their duty and act on it, because without them it won’t happen. If they will act according to the dharma and duty, then everyone can have shelter and we can all make rapid progress in becoming fully Krishna Conscious.
Comment Posted By Dhanesvara On 04.10.2010 @ 14:43
Not only are we now free and equal, and depending on ourselves alone, we are divided. Having the state in between the people has isolated them. Even worse, having been acculturated to this idea we think of independence as good and the proper way to live, and distrust or even fear having to depend on others, thinking it a source of shame. Having lost the culture of mutual dependence, and having nobody to depend on but ourselves, many people have lost a sense of responsibility, and have indeed become untrustworthy. When we are not called on to be responsible we do not behave responsibly. Parents and teachers know that what we become depends a great deal on what is expected of us.
Sorry for the above confusion. The article in its entirety can be found on my blog: http://spiritual-econ.blogspot.com
Comment Posted By Dhanesvara On 30.09.2010 @ 16:24