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Comments Posted By Haripada dasa

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Understanding and accepting that there is spiritual hierarchy

Romapada Maharaja,
Obeisances. Jaya Srila Prabhupada. IMHO, your answer to the question posed to you has to be counted as one of the best ever stated on this subject. This specific and very important topic has unfortunately been misunderstood by many within our Movement for years and has consequently been the cause of much friction among devotees. I hold strong hope that your cogent words on this subject will have an uplifting and purifying effect on the understanding of all devotees who read your post. You presented it so nicely that it would seem indeed difficult for anyone to find any fault in your statements. Thank you for your clarifying words. Our beloved Srila Prabhupada also explained this same important point in a similarly wonderful way as follows:

Take instruction from Bhagavad-gita and make everything useful. Then the human society will be perfect. Otherwise you’ll go on manufacturing ideas, you’ll never be successful. Because nature’s law is working, you cannot interfere with the nature’s law. That is not possible. You may think yourself very much advanced in science, but nature’s law, you cannot interfere. Just like now there is movement, man and woman, equal.
Nityänanda: Women’s liberation.
Prabhupäda: Yes, but how the nature’s law is strong. Woman has to become pregnant, not the man. Why equal right? Let the man become pregnant once. Woman became pregnant once. The right. Where is that law? So why equal right? Brahmänanda was saying one day they’ll not mix with man.
Nityänanda: Yes, they want to become not dependent sexually, even on the men. Just on themselves.
Prabhupäda: So you have to study first of all what is nature’s law. You cannot surpass the nature’s law. That is not possible. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]. Nature’s law will go on. Best thing is, let the hand… the hand can typewrite, but if you say “No, the leg will typewrite,” that is not possible. Take hand’s business, take leg’s business, and combine them cooperatively. Then the body will be nice. If the leg says “Why hand will type? I shall type,” that’s not possible. “Legs, all right, you walk, and hands that you type.” Then combine together. Then it will be nice. You cannot change the different capacities. There is God’s law, nature’s law. Let the man and woman combine together, live peacefully. The woman takes charge of the household affairs, the man may take charge of bringing money, and they meet together, have Deity at home, together chant Hare Krsna. Where is the difficulty? That is unity. Combine together, working differently but for the same purpose, for pleasing Krsna, then you will become happy. That is equality. Unity in variety. That is wanted. Variety is enjoyment. Variety is not disturbing. Just like Krsna gave, all of them fruits, but variety. They are coming from the same source, earth, but Krsna is so intelligent—varieties of fruit, varieties of flowers, varieties of grain, varieties of brain. That is enjoyment. So, take instruction from Krsna. Why He is sending so many varieties? He could have given one fruit, the coconut. With great difficulty to chop it you can get out the water, no? There are so many nice fruits. Just see Krsna’s intelligence. So Krsna has made the varieties. Why should you disturb? Let the variety be united, just like these varieties are united, and it looks nice, and if you eat that will be nice. Why you want to stop the variety? That is Mayavada. Equality does not mean to stop variety. All the varieties combine together for the same purpose. That is required. Is it not? One must know how to put the variety to look very (indistinct). If all the vases have only rose flowers it would not have been so beautiful. Rose is costly, but the leaves are not costly. But the leaves and the rose fit together, it becomes very good variety. That art is required, how to keep varieties together for Krsna consciousness, and look very beautiful. This art is known to the Krsna conscious person, not to the fools and rascals. Why Krsna has made varieties? Why you should try to change? That is lack of Krsna consciousness. When Krsna has made so many varieties there is some purpose. That one should understand. That is intelligence.

Conversation July 31, 1975 New Orleans

Comment Posted By Haripada dasa On 10.12.2006 @ 15:16

Out of the Woman Comes the Man, Spends the Rest of His Life Getting Back When he Can

Haribol Akruranathji,
I hope you are feeling better these days. Just a couple of brief points. If I scared you off with the vision of huge gulabs, I can make them golf-ball size if that would work better for you, should you reconsider my offer to come visit us. I will just compensate by making the curd patties larger in the palak paneer subji. :) And if you still decline to come, well of course we would like very much to see you in the Holy Dhama one of these days.

Regarding your plan to respond to my post, please take it easy on me, ok? I’m obviously no intellectual titan like you and our Krsna Kirti Prabhu. :) Haribol.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,

Haripada dasa

Comment Posted By Haripada dasa On 03.01.2007 @ 03:17

Dear Krsna Kirti and Akruranath Prabhus,
Dandavats. Hare Krsna.
Now that the two of you are considering meeting in person some day I have a suggestion. Since North Carolina could be said to be, well, sort of between California and New Mexico, how about if we send each of you a round trip ticket at our expense, pick you up at the airport and arrange accommodations for both of you in our home? Heck, why not bring your wives as well?! I’m game to provide all four tickets. By the way, my wife, Phalini devi, is an excellent cook, and I have been known to make decent pallak paneer subji with unlimited puris and tasty fist-sized gulabjamons. If that menu doesn’t work, you two write up one and we’ll cook it. Also, Phalini knows many wonderful mahamantra melodies on harmonium so we’ll have tons of kirtan, lots of prasadam, and ecstatic discussions on how to expand this wonderful Sankirtan movement given to us by Srila Prabhupada. And of course we’ll invite plenty of devotees to join us and make it a grand festival. What do you say, fellas? We can work out the dates, no problem. Let’s do it. What do you say?

Comment Posted By Haripada dasa On 22.12.2006 @ 14:14

Dear Akruranatha Prabhu,

Dandavats. Hare Krsna. Regarding some of your comments in post #136: I have to admit that I haven’t been reading the Krsna book very much as of late, but if my memory serves me correctly, Rukmini was around 13 or 14 years old when she requested Lord Krsna to kidnap and marry her. Also, I seem to recall that SP said girls should be married by at least age 16. (Our daughter was engaged at age 19 and was 20 at the time of her marriage and a pure, untouched virgin, a kumari.) Although your concern about publicly discussing early marriage for girls (or other similar cultural subjects) is on one level understandable, in that the Zeitgeist will undoubtedly howl loudly and cry foul at the notion of girls marrying young, say around the time of puberty, it amazes me how those same folks (primarily the liberal elite) remain almost as quiet as church mice about the fact that oral sex in junior high schools is common-place activity. They may complain about our ideas when presented to them but the behavior they have created and condone is abominable. Naturally the materialists won’t like our Vedic concepts of social interaction since they have arranged everything for maximum sense gratification whereas the social system given to us by Krsna is designed to reduce the deadly fever of material enjoyment. By the way, you made it common knowledge in an earlier post that you voted twice for President B. C., who is widely known to have popularized the sexual activities that have captivated youngsters in America as mentioned above. :) or :( Although James Dobson, one of the leaders of a conservative Christian group, Focus on the Family, makes efforts to bring a broad range of social maladies to light, I have gotten the impression from some of your previous comments that you are not fond of folks like him. Possibly I misunderstood you. STD’s (which routinely manifest in horrible symptoms like herpes sores in their throats) are at almost epidemic levels among 11, 12, and 13 year olds. These disgusting things are the totally understandable consequences of what young children are exposed to in our modern, secular, and highly sexually-charged society. This nearly all-pervading sexual permissiveness is precisely why the sexually suggestive clothing in the not- so-soft porn advertising brochures of stores like Abercrombie and Fitch appeal to ever younger audiences. It is no longer rare, especially among city-dwelling families, for parents to purchase thong underwear for their 8 and 9 year old daughters. SP describes this modern lifestyle that surrounds us as a “free mixing, lusty society.” To point out how degrading all this illicit sex is and to emphasize a far superior lifestyle is part of our preaching. It should not be all we talk about but we shouldn’t be afraid of pointing out the defects of modern society and directing the innocent to a better way of life.

The essence of what I hear Krsna Kirti Prabhu saying is “you can’t hit a target you can’t see.” I don’t disagree with you at all that we should continue to emphasize the basics that we all grew up with in Krsna consciousness. Of course that all has to be there. But at the same time I agree with Krsna Kirti Prabhu that we simultaneously need to point to Krsna’s way of doing things, His culture. The more we, as practicing Vaisnavas, can adopt in our own lives the behavior patterns that reflect how Krsna prefers humans to act and to interact, and pass them on to our children, the better. Srila Prabhupada gave us Bhagavat-dharma, Pancaratriki Vidhi, and varnasrama dharma. IMHO, we need to emphasize and work at applying all three of the above in our lives simultaneously and encourage others to do so.

SP describes the protection of women as a preliminary condition for spiritual progress. This is what I believe Krsna Kirti Prabhu is trying to say. Please consider the following statements from SP:

“So modern civilization is not strictly following the Vedic injunction. Therefore, especially I have seen in the Western countries, there is no home practically. There is no homely happiness, because women are allowed to mix freely and there is no protection. They are not married, there is no husband. The father also does not take care. As soon as the girl becomes fifteen, sixteen years, she goes away. Therefore I have practically seen there is no home, there is no peace in the Western countries. These are very important things, that soft-hearted woman, vama-svabhava, they should be given protection. They should be trained up how to become faithful wife, affectionate mother. Then the home will be very happy, and without happiness we cannot make any spiritual progress. We must be peaceful. This is the preliminary condition. Therefore, as far as possible, the Vedic injunction is there should be division in the society, varnasrama….Varnasramacaravata. Because the whole aim is to reach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu.”

Comment Posted By Haripada dasa On 22.12.2006 @ 02:18

Constant Practice and Detachment

Both post #36 by our Vaisnava barrister, Akruranath Prabhu, and post #37 by Sugriva Prabhu were, in my humble opinion, filled with many wonderful nuggets of truth.

Akruranath Prabhu’s statement, “We should be careful not to let our American cultural biases impede our appreciation of ideal Vedic civilization as described in Srila Prabhupada’s books” was one such gem. It would be a difficult task indeed for one to open-mindedly study Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and not be convinced that he wanted his followers to establish and exemplify the liberating principles of Vedic culture as far as possible. Srila Prabhupada was not one of the streamlined swamis who came with a watered-down Indian philosophy designed to attract wealthy benefactors. He boldly chanted the holy name in public and preached the straighforward message of Bhagavad-gita to anyone who would listen. It was never his strategy to dilute the Lord’s transcendental message to make it more palatable to his audiences. He said that when one is selling diamonds one cannot expect so many customers. Few will be willing to pay the high price. Objectively, we can easily see that he was the strongest and most widely traveled advocate of Vedic culture this world has ever seen. And the results he got were extraordinary. His incredible potency to effect change in the hearts of those of us who fell at his lotus feet was primarily due to his unflinching faith in the Vedas and the eternal spiritual culture described in those transcendental literatures.

Upon his arrival on the shores of America Srila Prabhupada prayed to be empowered to uplift the fallen souls he would soon encounter who were steeped in the modes of passion and ignorance. His tools were a pair of karatals and his Srimad- Bhagavatams. And his plan was to give us the Holy Name and introduce us to a transcendental culture that would protect us from our strong tendencies for sense gratification.

Once Srila Prabhupada was asked:

Virabhadra: Are you in this world?
Prabhupada: I am?
Virabhadra: Are you in this world? I mean you, are you…?
Prabhupada: I’m not in this world, yes.
Virabhadra: You’re not in this world.
Prabhupada: No.
Jaya-gopala: I thought I heard it said that you are in this world without being a part of it. You are in the world without being a part of it, being a part of it, like the lotus flower which floats on the water.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is the way. That is the way of understanding. Just like I am in America. It is very easy to understand. I am not adopting any ways of life as the Americans do. So I am not in America. Not only myself, all my disciples who are following me, they are also not Americans. They’re different from American behavior, American ways of life. In that sense I’m not in America. I am in Vrndavana because wherever I go in my apartment or in my temple I live with Krsna and Krsna consciousness. I don’t accept any consciousness of America. And I teach my disciples also to take to that consciousness. So one who takes to that consciousness, he is also not in America, not in this world.

Srila Prabhupada’s behavior was different from American behavior, American ways of life, as he personally stated above. And he wanted us, his followers, to behave differently from the American ways of life. He wanted us to imbibe the values of Vedic culture and apply those principles and superior patterns of behavior in our lives for our own purification and as an example to others.

The following three sentences by Akruranathji were my very favorite of all that he wrote in his post. “We should learn these things carefully from Srila Prabhupada’s books. If we love studying Srila Prabhupada’s books (as I am sure you do) we cannot avoid hearing about all these things, which are elaborately and beautifully explained. Even though that Vedic culture is somewhat foreign to us, it appears very intelligent, satisfying and wholesome to me.”

May we all take to heart his encouraging words above and work together to help establish Lord Krsna’s culture in every town and village in the world.

In post #37 our Sugriva Prabhu made the following poignant comment, “There are plenty of sources out there on domestic violence but how much is there especially in ISKCON for how to have a happy marriage?” I believe that this point is critically important. Sastra and Srila Prabhupada’s teachings are filled with examples of ideal marriages and instructions on how to live an ideal family life. These things are not spoken of nearly enough and often little if any practical guidance is given to devotee couples. Worse yet, in some quarters, Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on these matters are dismissed as impractical or even fanciful. Of course, we can expect that it will take time for those of us raised here in the West to learn these things. Probably several generations, as mentioned by Sugriva Prabhu in a previous post on this thread. Yet I am personally encouraged in several ways regarding this issue. One, by the positive experiences Phalini and I have had in attempting to apply Srila Prabhupada’s teachings in our marriage. Secondly, by the experience of arranging the marriage of our daughter, Kamalini dasi, to a very nice devotee, Krsna Nam dasa, and watching them practice these Vedic principles. And thirdly, I have recently heard of several new projects which have been started by other devotees who are seeing a need to emphasize these teachings for the benefit of our devotional society.

Another statement by Sugriva Prabhu was equally important. He said, “Krsna’s Vedic culture is not obsolete! It is eternal. Its values were true in the past, they are true in the present and they will be true in the future. That is the meaning of eternal.” This is critical to understand and emphasize as well. No one makes this very point better than Srila Prabhupada himself wherein he states:

“So sometimes people say, the modern age… Modern age and past time or future, past, present and future, the real principles of life, they are the same. It does not change. Millions of years ago, the past and present and future as they were, at the present moment also, the same past present and future are there. So there is no question of modern age or past age, the nature’s law is the same. Millions of years ago the sun was rising early in the morning, and it is rising early in the morning at present moment. There is no change. Millions of years ago all living entities were interested in eating, sleeping, mating and defending; the same thing is going on. There is no change.
So Krsna spoke all these words five thousand years ago. Apart from taking account of millions of years, because nature’s law is the same, so even in those days, five thousand years ago, you’ll find the demonic people as they are now. These words about the demons… There were demons like Ravana and Hiranyakasipu, Kamsa. So many demons there were, historical demons. But their process of life was the same as the modern demons. There is no change. Therefore sastra means it is for all the time, not that sastra was meant in the past for something else, and now something else. That is not the fact. That is, means, sastra, that it does not change. The time, place and atmosphere, according to that, everything is the same.” (Bg. Lecture, 2/7/75)

Of course, the Vedic sastras are voluminous. My personal method is to stick with and advocate that which was given to us by Srila Prabhupada. Many thanks to Akruranath Prabhu, Sugriva Prabhu and all of the faithful followers of Srila Prabhupada who share their valuable insights for the benefit of all.

Comment Posted By Haripada dasa On 16.11.2006 @ 04:52

All I can say regarding post #15 by Akruranatha Prabhu is: I can scarcely imagine it being spoken any more nicely. Sadhu! Sadhu!

Comment Posted By Haripada dasa On 06.11.2006 @ 16:40

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