Comments Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa
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One will be doing an injustice if we again take Srila Prabhupadaâs âin conclusionâ as all in all. As far as the âno one falls from the spiritual worldâ quote goes, in support of your Absolute thesis, if you accept that as absolute, disregarding all else he said on the âfallâ issue, there is likelihood of pre-empting judgement on the matter because it remains largely inconclusive in favour of âSomehow or other My Lord, I have fallen into this ocean of deathâ as Sri Chitanya Mahaprabhu says in Sri Siksastakam. Pitted against this, we need to balance Srila Prabhupadaâs statements, not merely dismiss others to suit your own absolute stance.
It will be a measure of honesty to acknowledge that perhaps our Absolute postulations are not as airtight as they appear, instead of resorting to making them out to be challenges to Srila Prabhupada himself. In other words, because your Absoluteness was violated, you say it is an affront to Srila Prabhupada or yourselves as an extension. Responding this way is unscientific fanaticism, not properly following Srila Prabhupada on this level.
Iâmâ going to be away for a week, so no responses from me.
Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.
Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 18.11.2013 @ 23:10
Vraja Vilasa Prabhu,
Yes, the science of Krishna consciousness Philosophy is Absolute. But how we apply Krishna consciousness according to time, place and circumstance brings with it relative considerations as well.
What you have done is claimed idealistic Absoluteness in regard to speakers of Srimad Bhagavatam. We all know that what you propose is not feasible in each and every case in realistic practical terms, except to rely on sincerity â this is practical.
Now, if someone brings up an incident or scenarios that challenges our idealistic stance, it is useful to be broadminded and pause to think that perhaps there are other possibilities, or to respond in a âscientificâ way. Not all devotees are impressed otherwise.
You say not to take examples of nitya-siddhas. Then why are their pastimes recorded for our benefit? Although Srila Prabhupada is our prime source of information and teachings, we still harmonise his efforts with those of sadhu and Sastra, again relative to modern times and practicalities. The behaviour of Nitya-siddhas form a part of our reference base. To dismiss this as ÂŁgeneralisationâ is a cop out.
If, on the other hand we blins Kesava Krsna Dasa.dly accept everything that Srila Prabhupada said or wrote, and dismiss all reasonable contentions that might challenge certain Absoluteness according to your estimation, and dismiss it as folly, then this is a problem.
We must âfollowâ Srila Prabhupada and his teachings, as you mentioned. But our method of response does not constitute following if we remain blind to other possibilities besides our estimation of Absoluteness â then it becomes blind followowing as opposed to actually following Srila Prabhupada, which then makes oneâs application and version of his teachings unscientific.
Besides, it is very easy to use Srila Prabhupada to suit our own predilections on life â it is not difficult. But this can be difficult for other broadminded fellow devotees. The art of glorifying Srila Prabhupada encompasses all areas of human experience, and yes, our previous acaryas and ânitya-siddhaâ greats.
Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.
Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 18.11.2013 @ 23:08
Yet another consideration is, for instance, in one place Srila Prabhupada will write, âTherefore, in conclusion no-one falls from the spiritual world.â Whereas elsewhere he will say differently. This is another topic altogether, but if we make Absolute one statement or another, weâll often find an exception to the general rule.
One may quote Srila Prabhupada as saying ââŠin conclusion…,â but even then we have to be careful about applying Absolute inflexibilities to such statements, otherwise, when some contrary information surfaces that opposes it, we actually let Srila Prabhupada down.
Indirectly, by insisting on rare ideals for speakers of Srimad Bhagavatam, we might also underestimate the ability of the Spotless Purana to act on our hearts. Besides, so long as the speaker is following sincerely, this sincerity combined with the powerfully pure Srimad Bhagavatam should prove to be a potent force.
Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.
Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 16.11.2013 @ 12:56
Let us approach this in another way, because sometimes our insistence on being Absolute can cause us to be inflexible.
There is an incident in which the Srimad Bhagavatam was spoken by an unqualified speaker, namely Devananda Pandit. As he was speaking, one member of the audience went into raptures of spiritual ecstasy and lost external consciousness â Srivas Thakur.
According to this article the Srimad Bhagavatam can only benefit others if the speaker is pure. This incident reveals how an unqualified speaker did produce ecstasy. What is happening here? Is Devananda Pandit inducing this? Yes and no.
Yes, because his words are reciting the verses of Srimad Bhagavatam. No, because although Devananda Pandit was unqualified, something else was causing the ecstasy, and that is the powerful Srimad Bhagavatam itself, through an unqualified speaker.
By being insistent that only the purest can speak Srimad Bhagavatam â the ideal â practical realities tell us that we cannot underestimate the power of Srimad Bhagavatam to act. Srila Prabhupada knew this, and this is why he wanted Srimad Bhagavatam recited daily in all Iskcon temples, for the Amalaâpurana is Krishna Himself, able to purify the speaker, the hearers and the temple atmosphere.
If we wish to be idealistic about the qualifications of the speaker of Srimad Bhagavatam, let us also consider this not uncommon scenario:
It is almost time for Srimad Bhagavatam class and the designated speaker suddenly becomes unavailable. There are three minutes left. What to do? Are we to be idealistic and say, as you said, âIf one is very sincere and serious and prays to Krsna to please reveal to me, âWho is your pure devotee? I donât know. I cannot tell. I donât want to be cheated,â and completely relies on Krsna, depending on His mercy absolutely, then Krsna will definitely make that arrangement.â Or does the situation require urgent action?
Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.
Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 16.11.2013 @ 12:54
Regarding your third question, morning lecture is also allowed. Lecture is also kirtana, and so as morning kirtana is there, similarly morning lecture can also be delivered. In New York , or even in San Francisco, when I was present I was giving lectures in morning also. So far as girls or boys lecturing in the morning, that doesnât make any difference. Either girl or boy devotees may deliver lecture if they choose to do. We have no such distinction of bodily designations, male or female. Krishna Consciousness is on the spiritual platform. As such, anyone who is a devotee of the Lord, following in this line of disciplic succession, can deliver lecture, on the teachings of Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, etc. (68-10-21. Letter: Syama)
Speaking or anything all depends on practice and study. I remember when I was first called for speaking by one of my senior Godbrothers. I felt very much hesitating because I was not practiced to speak. Later on by speaking and hearing or reading I got experience and now we can speak 45 minutes, 50 minutes or one hour at a stretch. So you have to read our books very nicely and gather thoughts, then you can speak for hours without any difficulty. It requires practice. So read your books carefully, especially Nectar of Devotion now published, and practice speaking. It will be alright. (70-06-24 Letter: Upendra)
Regarding preaching work: If you simply reproduce verbatim the purports which I have given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, and chant Hare Krishna with ecstasy, that will be sufficient for your preaching work, and as you do it seriously and sincerely, Krishna gives you more and more strength for this noble missionary work. (68-06-10 Letter: Harivilasa)
As you chant your 16 rounds and follow the four regulative principles, then you will get the strength. The process is that you should memorize the purports of my books and then speak them in your own words. Do not adulterate or change anything. Then you will be the perfect preacher. You should also distribute our books as far as possible. If you do this sincerely, then you will be successful. (75-11-15 Letter: Janajanmadhih)
Ts Kesava Krsna Dasa.
Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 14.11.2013 @ 19:38
Here are sone references to think about. In some references Srila Prabhupada said that sincerity was required for speaking Srimad Bhagavatam, or to strictly follow the guruâs instructions. By following properly, one may not be a cent-per-cent maha-bhagavata, as seems to be the demand of this article, but by learning even, and practicing, the purity of Srimad Bhagavatam will act, on the speaker and hearer.
Since the demand of the article is that only the purest can speak Srimad Bhagavatam, we next have to ask, how to recognise the truly pure? Those who are not pure or who are trying to become pure, will not be able to recognise another pure soul with certainty. So how will one choose the right pure speaker to give class? It is quite common for the impure motivated to externally imitate the mannerisms of pure souls, and how many devotees were fooled this way? Many indeed.
We appreciate who the ideal pure speaker should be, but practical realities and circumstances have to prevail. Srila Prabhupada was being practical, as seen below:
Nityam bhagavata-sevaya. Not that we are almost free from all the contamination, but even little washed awayâŠ It begins immediately. As soon as you begin hearing and chanting of these literatures or chanting Hare Krsna mantra, immediately the cleansing method begins. And nasta-prayesu abhadresu. Almost cleansed, not that properly, cent percent clean. Nasta-prayesu abhadresu nityam bhagavata-sevaya. Daily. Not this Bhagavata-saptaha, officialâŠ (741230SB.BOM Lectures)
Regarding the Teachings in the temple; everyone of my disciples may become a teacher strictly following my instructions. I am a bonafide teacher as long as I follow the instructions of my spiritual master. That is the only one qualification for becoming a teacher. As soon as one deviates from this principle one is no longer a teacher. (67-10-29 Letter: Nandarani)
The Krsna consciousness movement is therefore trying to train qualified preachers to recite Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita throughout the entire world, so that people in general in all parts of the world may take advantage of this movement and thus be relieved of the threefold miseries of material existence. (SB 10.1.4 P The Advent of Lord Krsna: Introduction)
Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.
Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 14.11.2013 @ 19:36
Otherwise, without knowledge of how the organisers of these events inform the attendees of the significance of Holi, and their logistics, it is so easy to write it off as asat. We are all agreed, that if such information and preaching is airtight, then we must applaud this creation of great fortune.
These events happening in the West are different from those in India, where a sense of knowing Holi is cultural, being neglected in many cases. If we think back to how desperate we were for genuine truth and knowledge before receiving the holy name, why should we berate all those thousands who are in desperate need as we were?
As long as the Holi festivals are properly organised and inform correctly, we should support them, lest we righteously hinder Nama-bhasa and ajnata/jnata sukrti.
Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.
Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 05.11.2013 @ 19:02
I admire the intentions of this article, but is there not an area that could have been covered, that might determine the true intent of such festivals as Holi? That is the subject of Sukrti or fortune.
Self-righteous individuals might refer to all those thousands of young people who attend the holi gatherings as revellers, bums or reckless and so on, quite conveniently forgetting, or choosing to ignore our own states of ignorance prior to joining ISKCON.
Are we not able to think that each of those thousands of young people will go away from those multi-coloured fun-fests, with the holy name reverberating? Possibly not in the same way as dedicated devotees, but they will tell their friends and families what a great time they had at that âHare Krishnaâ Do or whatever?
Their repeating of the holy name indirectly or directly, in a favourable manner, must be as good as Nama-bhasa. Is this such a bad thing?
If Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said that His name will be spread to every town and village, can it not be done this way? We should take note, that the Lord said His name will go forth first. From His name, when purification occurs, then we can think of rules and regulations, including the four regs. Why should we be overly concerned that all attendees must follow the four regs? At least this is the impression created.
The beginning of the article mentioned the fallen state of humanity. Are we to expect all of fallen humanity to abide by our lofty devotional ideals and standards? Clearly not, and neither will we encourage people to do so if we insist that they do, or expect them to. They cannot do so unless they have gotten the mercy of the holy name.
If all those young people are speaking favourably about this fun event â which causes spiritual advancement â in relation to Hare Krishna, surely they are creating good fortune or Sukrti for themselves and for others.
When they speak favourably of Hare Krishna â that is indirect devotion â kirtanam. When others hear of the fun in relation to Hare Krishna â that is indirect devotion â Sravanam. If good memories are retained of this Holi event in relation to Hare Krishna â that is also indirect devotion â smaranam.
Ts Kesava Krsna Dasa.
Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 05.11.2013 @ 18:59
Surely, another reason for the âhumbugâ dismissal of mental help specialists by Srila Prabhupada is because of the usually soul-less mechanistic approach to matters of the human psyche.
With limited knowledge at their disposal, they could at whim, condemn numerous individuals to a lifetime of stringent institutional care translated as imprisonment. A famous candidate for such captivity is the famous Rain-man, about whom a movie was made.
This Rain-man has a remarkable memory and can recall widely diverse information within an instant. His memory would easily be the stuff of our Sruti-dhara devotees, if it were sastric knowledge. Yet, the Rain-man is possibly autistic with an ability to communicate. Otherwise, his aged father has to take care of him. He could have been one of many âbrightâ captives left in mindless confinement.
In modern times, many mental health specialists search into areas of reincarnation, which leads to the prospect of an existence outside of the physical body. Largely, such professionals still abide by mechanistic frameworks, if only to keep their jobs.
These mechanistic restrictions cause doubt of the integrity of mental analysts. If I remember correctly, there is a passage in the NOI where Srila Prabhupada comments that devotees should not reveal their minds to such people.
A sense of realism will reveal that had not certain devotees revealed their mental problems they would not be treated. If Srila Prabhupada had been aware of the advances made in mental health treatment since the 60âs and 70âs, would he have said something different to what he previously stated? Especially now that devotees are mental health specialists? The answer must be yes.
Why this article is brave is because mental problems are not supposed to happen to devotees are they? So we are âtaughtââŠ But they can cannot affect pure souls who have vijnana of their selves as separate from the physical body, and have realised their true ego as eternal residents of the spiritual world.
Yet, the âother-worldlyâ avadhuta behaviour of such souls as Gaura Kishor Dasa Babaji and Vamsi Dasa Babaji, being outside of ânormalâ conventions would probably present interesting cases for mental specialists. Here Srila Prabhupada would say, âHands off!â
Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.
Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 05.11.2013 @ 18:51
In some ways, this is quite a brave endeavour to write about â of all things â mental health, within ISKCON, of all places. Is this a taboo subject now seeing the light of day?
It may be tempting for us to think of certain instances of mental anguish being disguised as Krishna conscious spiritual advancement or above average self-control and discipline, that bore influence of one form or another. How many times have we heard the expression, âGet off the mental platform?â
It has been some years now since we heard from our once very prolific commentator here on Dandavats â Suresh Prabhu. He admitted to suffering from chronic depression, and took to yoga to help alleviate some symptoms. His perspectives were always useful, and he gave the readers an insight into dealing with his condition from a Krishna conscious angle. I wonder if he will resume his comments.
I have encountered murderers in the run, drug addicts who try to wean off drugs too soon and suffer withdrawal symptoms, individuals who are plagued by subtle bodies and so on, who all sought relief and shelter within ISKCON, with motivated or good intent. We had an open door policy â not fool proof - that allowed for a whole range of âmentalâ sufferers to join us and live in ashramas, that we were unaware of.
God knew whom we shared an ashrama with. There are many stories of how ashrama inmates had risky encounters. I am sure that nowadays these risks are minimised. As part of our increasingly âprofessionalâ approach to managing ISKCON, these issues will be dealt with appropriately.
Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.
Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 24.10.2013 @ 22:15