Comments Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi
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Hare Krsna Sitalatma prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada
Kindly forgive my oversight in not seeing the ‚Äėdas‚Äô in your name and addressing you as mataji in my reply to your questions which I really liked.
Aspiring to serve,
Comment Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi On 18.07.2012 @ 20:02
(to dear Sitalatma mataji) Part 3 continued…
A man‚Äôs concept of ‚Äúcorrectness‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúacceptability‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúmorality‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúdecency‚ÄĚ may change according to time, geography and culture. Even the ‚Äúgay relationships‚ÄĚ that you refer here have received different responses through different times in the same country. What has made their attitude to change? ‚Äď Only the progression in time (kaliyuga) which has allowed for more depravity and degeneration. Acts which were once considered devious are now very much acceptable.
But truth is one cannot take guidelines from a social verdict which keeps changing, we have to follow what shastras say as they are eternal. And we have just discussed what shastras say in this regard.
To add further, the Srimad Bhagavatam says, one should not become a guru, a husband, a father, and a leader unless one can assure their respective dependents‚Äô return to their original home (back to Godhead). How do you think a gay couple who themselves have flouted the laid out instruction for marriage for procreation can endeavor to put their dependents on the path of return to Him? The wife‚Äôs first spiritual master is her husband. What kind of ‚Äúguru‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúhusband‚ÄĚ will a gay couple play?
I have all sympathies for the souls who are facing this problem and who need to suppress their ‚Äúsvabhava‚ÄĚ; but this cleansing is a prerequisite. It may be difficult, but certainly not impossible. Anyone who is really sincere and decides to tread the path of devotion with determination, patience and surrender, the Lord will certainly give the strength to fight their degraded ‚Äúsvabhava‚ÄĚ. One can come out of this ‚Äúsvabhava‚ÄĚ, only when they feel that there is something wrong with it. If the society sanctions and accepts the relationship, those who are facing those problems, will not feel any need to cleanse or come out of it.
Aspiring to serve,
Comment Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi On 17.07.2012 @ 08:22
Part 2 continued…
>>What about gays? In the West they aren‚Äôt considered degraded or devious anymore and are expected to follow that local implementation of varnashrama …
**Sexual attraction whether between man and woman (now even between same genders) forms the basis of material life. The Vedic principle is that one should avoid sex life altogether. Though this is the general tendency, but the Vedic principle is to reduce it to become nil. ‚ÄúTherefore the whole system is called varnasrama dharma. Out of four spiritual orders, it is only in one order of ‚Äúgrhastha‚ÄĚ that there is room for sex life. In view of the significance of exercise of its austerity, even in this ashram it needs to be practiced with restraint. As Srila Prabhupada says, ‚ÄúSo sex life is not required, but because we are attached to it, therefore there are some regulative principles.‚ÄĚ The regulative principles are that one has such relationship only with whom one is married. And further, within marriage also it is only for begetting children. In conversation with Bhakta Bob, Srila Prabhupada predicts degeneration in Kaliyuga, when girls and boys will not marry (we are already seeing live-in relationships), ‚Äúand their relationship will exist on sexual power‚ÄĚ (the concept of gay is also same as it allows no scope for procreation which is one of the aims of marriage). [Based on Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs conversation with Bob, February 28, 1972 in PERFECT QUESTIONS PERFECT ANSWERS, ‚ÄúVedic Culture: Varnasrama Dharma‚ÄĚ, pp.16-22]
[To be continued]
Comment Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi On 17.07.2012 @ 08:20
Hare Krsna dear Sitalatma mataji, Dandavat pranam!
>>Lovely article but after agreeing with everything said there I still have questions.
**Thanks for appreciating the article.
If there has been any merit, I owe it to my guru who chose me for this service; if there has been any wrong, it is simply because I could not become a good instrument in his hands.
I am glad that you have put a few questions which raise serious concerns that plague the present age (therefore also our movement).
Since we are all still on the path of making endeavors of reviving daivi varnasrama dharma in this age (in sync with the instructions of our acharyas), we (at least I) do not know how things will unfold themselves. I am a very small fry‚Ä¶ I welcome other senior devotees to give their valuable advice on the subject while I share my understanding and perception about the varnasrama dharma.
>> What about people of demoniac and degraded ‚Äúsvabhava‚ÄĚ who can‚Äôt be placed in varnashrama? Should they act according to their own nature or according to promises made before their spiritual masters? That calls for some serious repression.
** In Srimad Bhagavatam (7.11.8-11) Narada Muni lists 30 qualities of a human being, two of them which are relevant in this context are ‚Äúausterity‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcontrol of the senses‚ÄĚ. If one does not endeavor to possess them, one is no better than an animal. Varnasrama dharma and marriage are institutions meant for human beings not for animals.
So, the people who may appear like human beings but do not possess those qualities cannot follow varnasrama dharma. It may call for ‚Äúserious repression‚ÄĚ as you rightly say but that is the way it is. An animal if set free ‚Äúto follow his svabhava‚ÄĚ in however organized set up can easily create ruckus not just for one‚Äôs own self but also for others. Therefore, one needs to first come to the platform of a human being and then pursue the spiritual goals of devotion in a conducive set up of varnasrama dharma. They cannot be directly ‚Äúplaced in varnasrama‚ÄĚ. Varnasrama dharma is meant for human beings not for animals.
Further, when I said ‚ÄúOne needs to be what one is‚ÄĚ I certainly made that observation with the assumption that a person even though may not possess those thirty qualities but is certainly serious about acquiring them; and therefore accepts only those things which are favorable to their acquisition.
(Reply to be continued…)
Aspiring to serve,
Comment Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi On 17.07.2012 @ 08:13
Contd. Part 6:
It is always better to know the object of our service nicely in order to serve them better. We have Krsna‚Äôs description, how He looks, what He wears, how He dresses up, what He does, where He lives etc. Does our knowledge about Him not help us in meditating and serving Him better? Similarly, what is the harm in knowing about gomata or mother cow?
Aspiring to serve,
Comment Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi On 29.06.2012 @ 17:06
Contd. Part 5:
So Krsna has created lot of variety everywhere, in humans, in plants, in planets, in food, in cows too. Why not accept the difference between the different variety of cow breeds? Acknowledge it, know more about them and serve them. Acknowledgement of differences between different cows can be seen even in Vrndavan. ‚ÄúNanda maharaj had 9 lakh cows but Padmagandha cows were special cows. ‚ÄúVery special fragrant grasses were reserved for their grazing and their bodies emitted the wonderful lotus fragrance. There were 100 such cows and the milk produced from these cows was very special and Mother YaŇõodńĀ kept some of this milk especially for KŠĻõŠĻ£ŠĻáa‚Ä¶.‚ÄĚ (source mentioned in the article).
Those who come from the background of ayurveda, or those who make panchagavya products will easily testify that medicines can be prepared only from the panchgavyas of desi cow. Let us acknowledge the differences and work accordingly. In humans also not all are brahmanas, in devotees also not all are uttama adhikaris; some are qualified to become gurus while others are disciples, somebody (Haridas Thakur) loves to chant day in and out and his chanting converts even a prostitute while some struggle even to complete their avowed quota itself. One may say, ‚ÄúGomata irrespective of being a Vedic Gomata or Non-Vedic Gomata.‚ÄĚ We have seven mothers according to the scriptures; do we not differentiate between them? While mother cow is given grass and other fodder, mother Earth is given water. Their requirements are different. Similarly even here, there is so much of variety. We all agree to the idea of cow protection and service to mother cow but still our perspectives are different. Isn‚Äôt it interesting? There can be differences in thinking, in perception. Similarly there are differences even in the cows. So what? It does not demean any creation. The variegatedness simply stands testimony to Lord‚Äôs work of variety. Still if one does not agree to differences in cows, I request them to kindly read the book first before considering the statements made in the article as ‚Äúracist‚ÄĚ. Every detail given in the book has been presented from the scientific and shastric perspective with a motive to serve gomata better and more effectively.
Comment Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi On 29.06.2012 @ 17:04
Contd. Part 4
It is this silence of ours which has already resulted in the loss of precious more than 100 desi cow breeds of India, the few which are left are also on the verge of extinction and need our protection.
Any word in the glorification of Srila Prabhupada is always less. Among so many qualities, one that hits me in the context is his foresightedness and practical approach. His each and every instruction is DOABLE (including implementing daiva varnasrama dharma). Varnasrama dharma or Vedic culture is based on simple life and localized living (there was exchange but no large scale imports as we have now). The simple life revolved round land, cows and Krsna. How can we serve cows if we do not keep local breed of cows for they are naturally designed to meet the requirements of that particular place?
>>I could say more but I will leave it. Srila PRabhupada was happy to drink that milk of foreign cows and to make brahmanas out of melechas.
** Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs actions and instructions have to be blindly considered as DOABLE, simply because they were given according to desha-kala-patra. The Supreme Lord Krsna was given only Padmagandha cow milk by Yasoda Ma, Lord Balaji (Tirupati) is offered only Punganur cow milk, and in the same vein Lord Udupi Krsna is offered only Malanadu Gidda cow milk. All the mentioned cows are local to that place. Why would Srila Prabhupada ask a desi Indian cow milk outside India? He lovingly accepted it as does the Lord. This gesture however does not mean there is no difference between the cows. What is the harm in accepting the differences in cows? It only helps us serve them better as we know for which climatic conditions they are suited better and many more relevant details. If I make a huge cow breed live in a hilly area saying that all the cows are similar, it will be injustice with her. Better we accept the differences and serve her accordingly. There is variety in His creation:
Srila Prabhupada: Yes, everything is full of variety. In one species of rose, you’ll find many varieties. And in the human species, you will find variety even between twin brothers.
Guest: And in the spiritual world, are there also varieties?
Srila Prabhupada: Oh, yes. There is unlimited ananda, or pleasure, and pleasure means variety. “Variety is the mother of enjoyment.” ‚Ä¶‚Ä¶. [August 1973 at the Hare Krishna center in London]
Comment Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi On 29.06.2012 @ 17:03
>>Cows and buffalos do not interbreed, they are different.
** Yes, under natural circumstances cows and buffaloes do not interbreed, but what to talk of man who wishes to play God. Demoniac men have interbred them for different reasons ranging from making them immune to blizzard to increased beef production. Srila Prabhupada did not give any specific instruction on this but we know; any sane person knows it is not natural. Similarly crossing of cows of different breeds is not natural under normal circumstances. But demoniac kali society in the pursuance of its goals of greed is doing both intercrossing as well as giving unnatural living conditions to mother cow. All the indigenous cows (desi cows of India) belong to the scientific class of zebu or bos indicus while exotic cows (videsi cows including jersey, HF etc) belong to bos taurus. They have entirely different features but they have been crossed! Is it not varnasankara population?
Similarly even within the different desi Indian breeds there has been lot of interbreeding, causing lot of problem for the mother cow. In many instances this also leads to death of the cow while mating, while giving birth, cases of miscarriage and many more related complications. What kind of cow protection is this? Unfortunately in India, the land of gopuja (cow worship), people in their greed to get more and more milk are blindly turning to jersey or other exotic cow breeds, crossing them with desi (indigenous local breeds). They do not care that jersey cows are not suited to Indian climate. I personally know of instances where jersey cows died because they could not bear normal Indian heat. They died of heart attack despite being given cool showers in summer. They belong to a different geography. A normally built Indian cow has difficulty in breeding with non-Indian breed. They have practical problems. So, indifferent to their problems, the government has introduced the concept of artificial insemination. One demoniac action after the other‚Ä¶ According to them, whatever be the situation the cow has to obey the commands of man rather than of nature. Is this not a case of cow torture?Is it right to keep silent on these issues of cow torture and disguised cow slaughter saying that Srila Prabhupada did not say anything on this subject?
Comment Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi On 29.06.2012 @ 17:01
Part 2 (to dear Maharaj and Sureshkari mataji):
>>I am sorry to say but this sounds similar to the ‚Äúonly Indians can be gurus‚ÄĚ that is sometimes propagated. If fact one previous ISKCON member wrote a book about that.
Cows and buffalos do not interbreed, they are different.
** Maharaj, regarding gurus, I am sorry if it makes you feel like that, but I cannot even think about it even in my remotest thought. This is simply because first, guru is direct representative of the Lord. Therefore, confining or identifying guru by his place of birth only tantamounts to demeaning the special position of guru. Others may have written a book on that subject, but I certainly do not condone that. Second, even if it were so the only thing that I can be proud of is my guru maharaj. And if I have to define him in material terms of his place of birth, he is a non-Indian. I therefore do not belong to that bogie which propagates ‚Äúonly Indians can be gurus‚ÄĚ. I request you not to mistake my intentions.
Comment Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi On 29.06.2012 @ 16:59
Part 1 (from Vrindavanlila dd)
Hare Krsna dear Maharaj and Sureshkari mataji,
Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Thanks for your interest in cows and reading the article.
Before I begin I would like to humbly declare that the article is no way meant to demean any other animal including videsi (exotic) cows. The very address of non-Vedic or videsi cows as ‚Äúexotic‚ÄĚ says all. It is written to bring us closer to cows who participated in the Lord‚Äôs pastimes and open the eyes of administration to the wide discrimination against India‚Äôs own godhan (cow wealth), which has resulted in the disappearance of the country‚Äôs local cow breeds.
>> Srila Prabhupada never gave us this information.
**I agree with you Maharaj that Srila Prabhupada did not give any specific instruction on this subject.
>>In the USA there is a term ‚Äúbrahmana cow‚ÄĚ. That refers to the one imported from India. There are different classes of humans, but those who are not Brahmanas are still humans.
**There will always be a difference in all the human beings though they all be under the same category of ‚Äúhumans‚ÄĚ. I do not deny that even non-brahmanas are humans but I am just suggesting acknowledgement of differences in every individual. Does this uniqueness mean demeaning? Let us accept the differences that is why even the Lord listed different qualities of different varnas; thirty qualities of a civilized human being. It is this pseudo-equality approach which has created lot of problems of modern society ‚Äď democracy where every voter is treated equally be it a highly qualified vaishnava or a totally corrupt maleccha materialist (all are equal). There can be many such examples but if I go further into it, it will only take the discussion in an area which is not connected to the subject of cows.
Comment Posted By Dr Vrinda Baxi On 29.06.2012 @ 16:56