Comments Posted By JivaGoswami

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What Does Too Much Democracy Look Like?

I’m a non-academic who works with PhDs, MDs and MD/PhDs all day, every day at a major university. Few could be mistaken for brahmans by any standard (and not just because what they eat, etc.). Not that they’re bad people, they just regular people who are smart and focused. I had a really good auto mechanic once who was quite similar. I suppose that my medical department and college are tilted towards more “practical” and less theoretical work. Maybe if I worked in a philology or a theoretical physics dept, I might feel differently.

Some professors/PhDs are intellectuals, some intellectuals are professors/PhDs. A few professors have a tremendous amount of influence, most only have a little influence. Hardly any professors are a Krugman or a Chomsky.

It is my opinion from an admittedly limited observation that attending university for the sake of preaching doesn’t lead to more preaching. It leads to less preachers, and sometimes less devotees. Studying law isn’t likely to beget more Bhaktivinoda Thakurs. More than once I’ve sat and eaten lunch on campus with vaisnava preachers turned students who have lost faith on a very deep, possibly irrevocable level. I’ve also spent time with a prominent vaisnava going to a prominent school (and I’ll stop right there).

Again, if an individual vaisnava is academically inclined and and can do that kind of work, all the better. But in my opinion, it should be a path of *work*. For the few who might prove to be the exceptions (including at least one of the writers on this thread), good for them!


Jiva Goswami

Comment Posted By JivaGoswami On 04.01.2012 @ 04:11

Sita Rama-ji,

Your picture on this post looks quite distinguished now that you’re going to grad school!

As the committees for the Declaration and the Articles of Confederacy before it, the US Constitutional assembly was, by my understanding, dominated by the fear of a monarchy or anything that smelled like it. Our (US) current form of government has quite a few inefficiencies in part due to this fear. Actually, a government with a very strong executive is much more efficient and effective. However it is clear to me that a strong executive type of government does not work, and I believe never will.

Yet protection of minorities from majorities, one of the clear deficiencies of “democracy”, was an important goal. The weak, ineffectual government of the Articles of Confederacy was replaced with the much stronger, much more centralized government of the present Constitution. Issues of individual property rights and uniform monetary policy from situations like the Shay’s Rebellion, is part of what prompted the call for a new constitution/government. Along with the problems of not being able to levy taxes and pay pensions (a primary contributor to the Shay’s Rebellion in fact).

Even our first Libertarian president, Jefferson, argued for a stronger central government prior to his presidency.

Oh, and getting more PHDs and professorships as a preaching method is a bad idea in my opinion. Devotees who need to maintain themselves and their families can be encouraged, even institutionally, to do that as an extension of their natural inclinations. Why be a ditch digger if you can be a professor? Going to school means you want to get a job. Brahmanical preachers, especially sannyasis, should just be preachers and sannyasis. College professors, which is way, way different than being a brahmana, can be the college professors.

Not that devotees with degrees and training shouldn’t work within the society, but degrees and training do not equate to brahmanicality nor even intellectuality. A PhD is usually smart and focused, but that’s about it.


Jiva Goswami dasa

Comment Posted By JivaGoswami On 02.01.2012 @ 00:27

Sriman Sundararupa prabhu

Along with the trauma of losing her husband and friend, Sudharma prabhu also is looking at the stark economic reality of the loss of the family income for her and her 13 yo daughter.

Please help with a PayPal gift to, or a check to Susan Wieland, PO Box 2038, Alachua, FL 32616. Many small gifts, and maybe a few larger gifts will make a very meaningful difference to the family as they struggle to regain their footing.

Your servant,

Jiva Goswami

Comment Posted By JivaGoswami On 23.09.2008 @ 05:14

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