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Comments Posted By Karuna

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Women, ISKCON, and Varnashram

The good news of course are that there is another world or plane, where there is a Supreme Being, Krsna, the adi purusa, and everything there revolves around Him. (Which of course does not mean there are also relationships between the finite particles of consciousness such as us, in other words it´s not reasonable to believe that if Krsna is not present in His two armed or any other form we just become imanifest until He comes back from tending the cows or whatever other wonderful pastime He might be performing, in fact once we purify ourselves completely the sastras state that each and everyone of us becomes in one sense a transparent means to see Krsna for the other person, and certainly this relationship would have be totally absent of any speck of lust.). And Krsna is our dearmost friend, and in no way wants to exploit us. And we can all surrender to Him allow Him to lord over us and be happy. So simple, yet so difficult to grasp sometimes.

Just as a final note the paradox might be that in the spiritual world in the end prakrti also rules over purusa due to intense love, but it’s a topic we are recommended not to dwell in specially in our neophyte stage.

Comment Posted By Karuna On 08.03.2008 @ 18:16

Regarding the wowen’s issue which is being discussed I believe it is relevant to analise this under the following perpective as well:

Although the female body is certainly a more receptive receptacle for a feminine material intellectuality, which according to sastra tends to be less discriminatory in terms of real spirituality than men’s material intellectuality, according to sastra this same female material intelectuallity has more power to enjoy material life.

But this same feminine intellectuality, along with the masculine one, may also be found predominating over a man’s or woman’s subtle body respectively, to a greater or lesser degree.

It is also common knowledge that materially speaking a woman can control a man by the simple movements of her eyebrows. It is also common knowledge that behind many materially successful men stands a woman.

In a sense if this world is indeed and inverted reflection of the spiritual world the main principle here would then tend to be prakrti and not purusa. This we can perceive by observing how everything in this material world revolves around the female aspect. As the materialistic demon is described to say “The world turns due to sexual attachment.”

We can see that all of men’s endeavors in this world are focused on attracting or lording over the female aspect, be it in the form of a woman or in the form of nature (triguna) which he sees as superior, even if he doesn’t want to admit it.

After all why would one be struggling to lord over something he already lords over, wouldn’t make sense would it? The fact is that, in this world, the more mundane you go the more prakrti naturally lords over the purusa aspect.

This sense of lording over prakrti is the great hoax of this world, isn’t it. It reminds me of Matrix and the red and the blue pill. Take the red pill and be ready to buckle your seatbelt Dorothy because Kansas is going to go bye bye, or take the blue pill and go on believing you will lord it over one day. All there.

Comment Posted By Karuna On 08.03.2008 @ 18:15

Establishing VAD Universities

I agree with Dayananda

Comment Posted By Karuna On 16.08.2007 @ 18:04

Jaya Ameyatma Prabhu
please accept my humble obeisances, jaya Srila Prabhupada

I believe the concept I was trying to convey was absolutely grasped by your text and wonderfully further elaborated. Thank you very much for giving me more insight into this issue.

your servant
Karuna Das

Comment Posted By Karuna On 12.08.2007 @ 21:56

Interview with Chair of the Committee on Succession and Leadership

I think one point we kind of generally miss is that general directives tend to be impersonal and although necessary if not properly applied end up forcing people to adjust to criteria which is not natural for them.
So for example someone it may be natural to be satisfied with learning the philosophy in a temple life style for others a more academic setting might be more appeasing. What’s wrong with that? Aren’t both of them in the same path. Is someone breaking principles because of this? I sometimes tell students it doesn’t really matter where you are as long as you are moving in the right direction, that’s what is important.
Prabhupada used to say that real management means occupying each individual accordingly. It’s a very personal thing and it obviously should be an exercise of communication i.e there must be attention by part of the management not only to hear but also to observe the managed in order to be able to do this. Of course we might set ideals to establish our north but there must be unity in diversity and even this north might have differentiated characteriscs, for example we are all looking for krsna prema and bhakti however one may be aiming at developing a servant friend relationship with Krsna (read here Krsna meaning not only His individual personality but that of His pure devottees as well) others can be looking for a servant parenthood realtionship in this way a person might be more inclinedto associate with similarly inclined people and to study the parts of scripture dealing most with this. This is just an example bringing it to our real life one may be interested in serving as a manager, a parade organizer, a mediapreacher (time place and circumnstance, many of us might thinkthe media is just a nuisance in the world today and it would be best to just simply eliminate it completely from our lifes on the other hand it’s a great way to reach the public). So to conclude I understand that one important thing is not to create estagnating paradigms, but to be always on the move, adapting, changing, redirecting. Just like when you are on a boat. This world is constantly changing , and even the spiritual world is ever expanding. The maxim always remember Krsna and never forget him seems to me to be the main instruction whatever makes you (as an individual) forget Krsna should be rejected and whatever makes you remember Krsna should be accepted. Another example: for someone a very sumptuos prasadam might make him more conscious of sense enjoyment for someone maybe it just makes him meditate intesively in Krsna being Him the taste of the food. This does not nulify the general directive that in order to advance spiritually one should adopt a simpler diet.
hoping to have added positively to this discussion
your servant Karuna Das

Comment Posted By Karuna On 05.07.2007 @ 20:29

When disciples challenge their gurus

Jaya Prabhus, pamho
all glories to Srila Prabhupada

In the bhagavatam we find the following story:

Asvathama driven by anger and vengeance kills chuldren and unarmed warriors by treachery. He is captured and the Lord orders Arjuna who had already declared during the battle to be His surrendered disciple isn’t so sure this should be done. The Lord orders him again but Arjuna counter arguments and proposes to see what the mother of the slain children thinks about it. The Lord then accepts Arjuna’s proposition and devises an alternative solution after hearing the mother’s arguments.
Now during the battle of Kurukshetra one of the roles of the Lord is He plays the part of the perfect spiritual master and Arjunsa the perfect disciple. So how do we reconcile. Of course they had also previously been friends, which they still obviously continued to be, and this can have continued to influence the interaction between them even after the “formal” acceptance of the Lord as his spiritual master by Arjuna.
I personally think that the idea here again is that the books propose general directives to guide master and disciple relationships, but not everybody will have a same individual realtionship with his master. Also realationships may mature and are dynamic by nature. Take a father/son relationship for example. in the beginning it’s neutral, for a little time the father might then have a very pampering attitude with his baby, then the father takes a more authoritative posture, gradually as the son matures he (the son) will develop a more friendly relationship, during his father’s old age he might even act paternally towards him and finally if all goes well he will experience a deep profound love for his father. As far as I understand the science of science is the science of relationships so shouldn’t we take all this in consideration.

Comment Posted By Karuna On 19.06.2007 @ 19:49

ISKCON and Varnasrama-Dharma: A Mission Unfulfilled

Jaya Prabhus, pamho, all glories to Srila Prabhupada

sorry for being a bit late in joining this discussion I hope it might still reach some of you

I’ve been a devotee since 1980 and although varnasrama has always been a recurring topic it was only around the year 2000 that I have taken special interest in the varnasrama issue, actually HG Ravindra Svarupa’s article much motivited me in this direction. Nowadays I’m more and more convinced I’m a sudra, not out of fake humbleness, or as a result of being born in the threshhold of the Kali yuga age, but just as a result of an objective analysis of my personality characteristics.

I would like to add a little food for thought which no one seems to have yet come up with. Actually someone already presented an opposite perspective declaring a brahmana is a brahmana a sudra is a sudra bas. These should be no intersection of varnas , especially between the two so called extremes of the social division. However from a careful analysis we will notice there were sudras who engaged mostly or totally in aiding the vaisya community, sudras engaged in serving the ksatrya community, sudras serving brahmanas, and even sudras serving sudras. Same goes for vaisya and ksatryas. For example some vaisyas would specialize in supplying belic material for the ksatrya community, sudras could for example act as scribes and library staff men for brahmin communities etc. We also know that the principle of association directly affects the behaviour of a person. So for example a sudra serving brahmins would probably have more privileges and respect within the society as a whole but would also be expected to have a higher responsability to set a saintly example for his fellow community, even though due to the vehicle he is riding on ( his body) he would not be able to act as a full brahmin, he would probably not be entrepreneurial by nature, his memory might not be adequate to fully accomplish the academic sastric status expected from a brahmana, he might be more prone to anger, and he might be more subject to falldowns. My visual undetstanding of this is that the varnas are not really defined in a line going from one extreme to another but as circles which intersect themselves, although always preserving the main characteristcs of each one as their principal traits. Think in terms of colour or aromas, the section of the sudra circle intersecting only the ksatrya circle would have a specific colour diferent for example from the colour of the the section intersecting let’s say the vaisya and ksatrya community, although the main nuance of colour would always be the one pertinent to the whole circle. This would also greatly solve the high and low status designations of the caste system and help people realize the spiritual equality among all classes of men. And this take me to a last thought, the daivi varnasrama society will spring up naturally as soon as people become more spiritualized. So considering all this I do believe the solution does not lie in promoting the brahminical order or in starting from the base as has been cited, but just go on promoting the spiritual upheaval of all classes of men (note: this is actually the main objective of Iskcon if we study the mission statement Prabhupada left us, from the base building of book distribution all the way up mission statement number one) the difference being that now we are aware we shouldn’t expect everyone to act as a brahmana even if he is a strict follower. In the past we spoke a lot about a shoe too big that Prabhupada had given us, we must remember many thing Prabhupada did was contextual to an emergency situation. We know
a challenge too big can have an opposite effect and actually demotivate a person. So many actually may have felt demotivated having to comply not exactly with following the principles but with fulfilling jobs not satisfying for them. For example if a sudra gives a good , benign criticism one should not say go and do it, he should thank the sudra who will then feel very satisfied just because he served well. Another paradigm we have kind of promoted along these years was the boiling the milk theory in order to condense and refine it, on the other there is a counter argument, maybe the we weren’t such expert “milk boilers” and what happened during the boiling process is that a lot of the milk was spilt.
I hope this may help in our society’s quest to unfold varnasrama to the world.

Comment Posted By Karuna On 18.06.2007 @ 21:20

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