Comments Posted By Isana das
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Dandavat Pranams. All glories to param-jagatguru Srila Prabhupada.
I feel Pandu prabhu’s point about remaining credible is very important. Actually it’s of the utmost importance if we want Prabhupada’s ISKCON to remain relevant & dynamic enough that it will continue to attract jivas back into Krsna’ service.
When we state “facts” like chocolate containing caffeine, we need to be sure we are speaking the truth & not speculating. Neither chocolate nor the cocoa plant that it is derived from contain caffeine. There is a stimulant contained in the edible portion called theobromine. However, one would have to ingest huge quantities of chocolate in order to become chemically stimulated by the minute quantity of remaining theobromine present after processing. Factually the extremely high processed sugar content would be much more stimulating to the human nervous system than the theobromine. Processed sugar has been linked to many adverse health effects & diseases such as diabetes. However we offer it, & we eat it, because it is offerable & enjoyable. Many of us eat ALOT of it. To tell an educated public that they can eat as much sugar as they can get their hands on, but not one bite of it can contain cocoa due to “the caffeine” content, or the stimulants, is not a leg that we as the topmost society should be standing on. Cocoa is not related to coffee or the coca plant & it has been proven to contain high amounts of bio-available antioxidants, something that we can always use more of.
My humble understanding is through his love for us, Prabhupada said not to take Chocolate due to the “caffeine”. Unfortunately someone misinformed him as to what it actually was & what it contained & what those contents did to the human nervous system when eaten at sane levels. Of course as a chemist he knew all about caffeine, but the chemical composition of cocoa was not accurately, or widely known at that point in time.
I am in no way claiming that I know all the facts or that I can decide what is best for the devotees. However, I do feel that as a representative of my gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada & of ISKCON, that the onus is on me to use my intelligence in order to present our best side to the public.
On an end note, I do think it would be very wise of us, as the devotee community, to think deeper, & to become more educated about what we are offering to Sri Krsna. This chocolate topic has really started me thinking. We (myself included) regularly offer milk that is taken by a machine from a mother who has had her babies taken away for a short life of veal torture, or just straight to the slaughterhouse. Is this the type of milk that Krsna asks for? Isn’t it logical that the subtle influence of the fear & pain that these cows suffer is having an effect on our consciousness? Or what about milk containing vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, usually sourced from non-vegetarian origins? Or what about wearing leather? … Sitting inches away from Prabhupada on the beach blanket, Satsvarupa asked a question on behalf of the devotees in New York. âSwamiji, is wearing of leather shoes permissible?”
âWhat if someone has given us some leather shoes?”
âLeather means violence,” Prabhupada said. He pointed to Satsvarupa’s shoes of inexpensive man-made material. âYour country is very nice. By your technology you can get these shoes easily without wearing leather.” For Satsvarupa and the others the question was answered for a lifetime; and the time and place became a reference, like a chapter and verse number in the scriptures. (Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta 25: Long Branch, New Jersey, 1967)
Just some food for thought (100% cocoa free) & my humble .001 cent, your fallen servant Ishana dasa
Comment Posted By Isana das On 02.02.2007 @ 03:17