Comments Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa

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The Chorus Of One-siders

Sita Rama Prabhu,

You asked what I thought of your latest ‘both-sides’ comments. I say they are a refreshing and welcome addition to that discussion. This can create a platform from where an official stance on the fall / no fall issue can appease and satisfy both sides. Well done!

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 10.07.2014 @ 15:22

Part Two:

Compare the above reasonableness with mode of passion competitiveness: “But such and such acarya said this, therefore it is correct…No matter what acarya you quoted, this is the answer…that is nonsense, you have destroyed your credibility because all the evidence points to this…all the rest of the devotees are gullible and naïve for believing in that, when the obvious conclusion is right here before your eyes…”

How can we pit our one-sidedness against the enlightened opinions of acaryas who say differently on different matters? So what type of “competitive debating” are you referring to? One can be competive in none-negotiable situations, but not where acaryas have sided on both sides.

If your idea of competitiveness is used to justify winning just for the sake of it, that is also raja-guna. Because to be competitive means to compete, the question is, to compete for what? How can we compete with the opinions of our acaryas? However, we can consider the differing opinions made and not minimise them. If we become one-sided in these situations, we minimise one or other acaryas.

If we compete against the opinions of our acaryas, our competitiveness ceases to be competitive – it becomes tamo-guna offence-laden reputation upkeep that exposes our lack of Vaisnava discretion. If you intend to be competitive, it has to applied to the correct circumstance.

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 07.07.2014 @ 14:24

Part One:

Sita Rama Prabhu,

Thank you for your compliments in placing me as a “both-sider” or “multi-sider”. I deliberately choose to be a both-sider or multi-sider in certain circumstances, not all.

Cases where we can demonstrate “one-sidedness” are in situations where none-negotiable issues surface, like challenging the minimum of 16 rounds daily, warning of prematurely jumping to raga-bhatki when not qualified, and the need in pointing out mayavada tendencies and so on.

In cases where there are ongoing debates in which our acaryas have lent opinion, like this jiva fall case and others, it is wise that we remain both-siders or multi-siders. To be a one-sider in the face of acarya evidence differing from us can reveal our foolishness.

This is where your “competitive debate” position needs to be corrected. If we choose to be competitive where acaryas have supported both sides of a discussion by being one-sided and favouring one side only, in a competitive way - that is also foolish.

Srila Prabhupada often cited the example of the gopis of Vrndvaana in terms of ideal competitiveness. Do we ever read where ‘rivals’ gopis complain, “Oh no! Srimati Radharani has pleased Krishna first?” Spiritual rendition of competition is where all others are acknowledged and glorified for pleasing Krishna.

If we transfer this rendition to how we can properly hold “competitive” debates, then we shall see more of, “Valid point Prabhu, but how does that reconcile with my position?…Really good observation Mataji, and you quoted such and such acarya, but how does that fit in with this that is also quoted by such and such acarya?…I guess we’ll have to accept both points…I am still not fully purified in consciousness yet to give a definitive stance…perhaps if I attain bhava I might have a totally different perspective…but let us acknowledge all those differing opinions…they can help broaden my own outlook…”

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 07.07.2014 @ 14:17

Husband as Guru

I appreciate this article as it breaks ground and dispels stereotypical Prabhu/master role expectations. It is important information. Many marriages face difficulties in the early stages, because there is uncertainty about which role or which partner fits in, in the home, or in the relationship.

Such uncertainties can appear as behind-the-scenes tussles. After some time, couples will realise that each partner will yield to each other’s space requirements in pursuits of their interests in living and practicing Krishna consciousness. It is preferred that this happens sooner.

Happier devotee couples allow each other such space and it helps to broaden the scope of service and family involvement. Without this, there is usually a restrictive and narrow definitions of role making that causes continual unease and unhappiness, especially when the Master role is misused.

Thank you, ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 27.05.2014 @ 21:16

Resting The Jiva-Fall / No-Fall Case

We are observing a sort of turning point within this discussion. Some recent comments have acknowledged the need to accommodate both sides of this otherwise inconclusive exercise. This is encouraging.

Some years ago I read Drutakarma Prabhu’s contribution paper on this matter. If my memory serves me correctly, he also considered the various viewpoints given by different acaryas and concluded that because we are followers of Srila Prabhupada, we should rest our case with him. The perception created by this could appear one-sided.

This is a sensible approach but it does not acknowledge more deeply how Srila Prabhupada did say we fell and did not fall simultaneously. The impression created by this is that it appears that Srila Prabhupada is presenting something a little different, but we still accept that as final.

This approach does not fully represent the views of other acaryas. If any young impressionable devotees were to read this, they will likely conclude that, “Yes, Srila Prabhupada is right because he is our param-siksa guru…and our other acaryas are incorrect…” While there is nothing wrong with such sentiments for Srila Prabhupada, it can cause problems if those worthy sentiments minimise the views of our other acaryas on the matter.

Such minimisation is not good for our spiritual progress and it can also create a perception among ‘outsiders’ that we are somewhat ‘elitist’ in such following. In other words, if this is an official ISKCON stance on the matter then this could be qualified with an understanding of being inclusive. Failing this, then perhaps some revision is in order that gives our correct inclusive, none-minimalistic presentation that will be valid for generations to come.

If my assessment is incorrect, I stand to be corrected.

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 10.07.2014 @ 15:28

Part Three:

This discussion we generate heated feelings. The fact remains, considering the above quotes, we still have to say that Srila Prabhupada was right on both the Fall / no-fall phenomena. For example, when Srila Jiva Goswami espoused Svarakiya as opposed to parakiya, was he wrong for doing this? No. The Sastric orthodoxy will disagree.

In the same way, why should Srila Prabhupada be wrong to say “we were originally with Krishna in His lila” if this message is intended for a particular time, place and circumstance, Uttama Sloka Prabhu? Because you contend that both the fall / no-fall versions can never be right.

If Srila Jiva Goswami was right to do what he did, then why not Srila Prabhupada as well? By saying that both sides can never be right, and since you follow the no-fall versions, then the other side must be wrong. Was Srila Prabhupada wrong to say we fell, Uttama Sloka Prabhu? We have not seen this word “Wrong” used thus far, but that is the implication.

Once again, seeing the futility of arguing back and forth and reaching no consensus, it should rest with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who indicated that, in spite of our theory of where we come from, be it tastastha or other places, we still need to realise such facts with solid vijnana. This is not speculation.

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 05.06.2014 @ 22:11

Part Two;

At the same time, Srila Prabhupada would point out various differences between acaryas’ statements on certain subjects, but would not outright take sides. He would speak of the merits of each case, like we see below:

“According to Sripada Sridhara Svami, the original commentator on the Bhagavatam, there is not always a devastation after the change of every Manu. And yet this inundation after the period of Caksusa Manu took place in order to show some wonders to Satyavrata. But Sri Jiva Gosvami has given definite proofs from authoritative scriptures (like Visnu-dharmottara, Markandeya Purana, Harivamsa, etc.) that there is always a devastation after the end of each and every Manu. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti has also supported Srila Jiva Gosvami, and he (Sri Cakravarti) has also quoted from Bhagavatamrta about this inundation after each Manu. Apart from this, the Lord, in order to show special favour to Satyavrata, a devotee of the Lord, in this particular period, incarnated Himself.” (SB 1.3.15 purport)

We a;so observe that His Divine Grace was not opposed to there being differing viewpoints because as our acaryas are individuals with various opinions, and so are we who might want to espouse what we feel is correct:

“As for your question about Santa Rasa and the opinions of Rupa Goswami and Sridhara Swami, I don’t remember. You can send me the appropriate passages. There is no reason why Acaryas cannot differ on certain points.” (Letter to Upendra / 19 February 1972)

“Wherever there are individuals there is bound to be difference of opinion.” (Letter to Rupanuga / 14 February 1973)

“So far as your question about controversy amongst the disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, that is a fact. But this controversy is not material. Just like in a national program, different political parties are sometimes in conflict and make propaganda against each other, but their central point is always service to the country. Similarly, amongst the disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati there may be some controversy, but the central point is how to preach the mission of His Divine Grace. If the central point is fixed up then there is no harm in such controversy. Every individual being must have his opinion; that is the significance of individuality, but all such differences of opinions must coincide in Krishna.” (Letter to Mandali Bhadra / 28 July 1969)

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 05.06.2014 @ 22:08

Part One:

I admire the position taken by Uttama Sloka Prabhu in being demanding of Sastric evidence to prove the Fall-theory, though with strident means, not for the popularity of others.

I am still concerned that either side of this debate do not consider wider reasons why Srila Prabhupada would say we fell and not fall. By rigidly sticking to either side or either side is quoting Prabhupada or Sastra without even considering why he did so, we might be closing ourselves from something that happens all the time throughout our Gaudiya history. If we only see one side, which means taking sides, we could run into a blockage. For instance Srila Bhaktisiddhanta wrote:

“Those, whose judgment is made of mundane stuff, being unable to enter into the spirit of the all-loving controversies among pure devotees, due to their own want of unalloyed devotion, are apt to impute to the devotees their own defects of partisanship and opposing views.” (Brahma-samhita 5.37 purport, p.72, BBT edition)

And again in the:

(Sri Gaudiya Bhasya of Sri Caitanya Bhagavata, June 5,1932) There he says: “While inquiring into the Absolute Truth, we cannot remain steady in one conclusion after hearing various apparently opposing statements of many acaryas. Considering the weakness of the audiences, the instructing acarya often does not have the opportunity to disclose many subjects.”

Whether this means – as some might imply – that Srila Prabhupada did not fully explain his Fall-reasoning with Sastra because of a lack of opportunity, would defy his saying that “everything is in my books.”

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 05.06.2014 @ 22:06

Part Two:

Otherwise, as Uttama Sloka Prabhu claims, why would Srila Prabhupada purposefully oppose our previous acaryas? Why would he do this to his followers knowing full well that his words and literary output are recorded for posterity? Is he inventing something new? Is he tricking his followers? Is he sugar-coating bitter philosophical medicine? Is he accommodating Christian pre-conditioning?

Since Uttama Sloka Prabhu has claimed such disparity, we are interested to know from him, why and how Srila Prabhupada ‘chose’ to disagree with our previous acaryas please?

Uttama Sloka Produced some FACTS in 52/53. Here are some obvious FACTS that have to be considered.

FACT: We are …jivera svarupa haya nitya Krsna dasa. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says we are eternal servants of Krishna. This has to factor-in when origins from Maha-Sankarsana, Sankarsana, Maha-Visnu, and so on are quoted.

FACT: We eternally have minute independence to use or misuse our free will. This free choice remains whether we are here in Devi-dhama or in Goloka.

FACT: Our acaryas variously write that “We turned away from Krishna.”

FACT: We are tastastha.

Certain information can be theoretically known to us, like the 5 primary relationships (Stayi-bhava), but vijnana of those happen at Ashakti-Bhava. Same applies for Raganuga-bhakti. Same again applies for this Tal-fruit problem. Our theory of these matters is not convincing until we develop vijnana.

By accepting Srila Prabhupada’s explanations both ways of the fall / no-fall debate as being faithful to our acaryas, we shall remain on safe ground. Otherwise, Ping-Pong, ping-pong…

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 27.05.2014 @ 21:13

Part One:

Some revealing information has surfaced in these comments, and others. One, is the inconsiderate ease by which to brush aside Srila Prabhupada’s instructions contained in his letters, as though they are an apartheid fourth class tier of reference.

It is clear that many letter instructions are specific-but-general instructions which make them more than just irrelevant specific references.

Secondly, we find Uttama Sloka Prabhu saying he agrees with Srila Prabhupada’s words that agree with out previous acaryas. By reading in between the lines of his admission, he is disagreeing with Srila Prabhupada’s often used “We were with Krishna” output in comment 69. Quote:

“we must examine which of SP’s statements are in harmony with the previous acaryas and the Vedic literatures - from whom he said repeatedly he would never deviate.

The statements SP made that no one falls from the spiritual world are in complete harmony with the previous acaryas. Therefore, I am supporting SP 100% and NOT contradicting him. Both things he said cannot be simultaneously true. You cannot say that no one ever falls and then say the everyone in the material universes fell.”

The inference is that Srila Prabhupada is in disagreement with our acaryas when he says that “We were with Krishna.“ This is evidence of selectiveness, and is problematic. It is Plng-Pong prone.

Whenever Uttama Sloka Prabhu quotes Sastra and our previous acaryas on the No-fall issue, they are all correct, and I take such knowledge upon my head. But to say that ONLY these are correct, is again part of the problem, because what Srila Prabhupada says is also correct, even though some of us do not like it.

A faithful follower of Srila Prabhupada will accept the Fall and No-fall stance presented by him. They are not contradictions. We make them contradictions. Sometimes Srila Prabhupada would reconcile two apparently contradictory positions held by either of our previous acaryas, by accepting both positions, and not taking sides – this is considerate Vaisnava behaviour.

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

Comment Posted By Kesava Krsna dasa On 27.05.2014 @ 21:11


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