Comments Posted By Kulapavana

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The Comedy and Tragedy of Robin Williams

That is a good example of treating someone like a person, personalism. Impersonalism happens when we are unwilling to give someone the credit for the good things they did, for trying (and failing), and instead we just dish out our philosophy with indifference and lack of compassion. There are so many people out there who could use our help and we need to treat them as real persons even if they do not have a Hollywood star status, or who may not even be very likable. It may not be easy at times, but they are all deserving of our personalism.

Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 29.09.2014 @ 15:11

A life of spiritual transition in ISKCON. Varnasrama, ISKCON, and the GBC - video

Dear Srinjaya Prabhu,
Pranams. I am a kshatriya by nature, so I tend to be very practical and direct. Practicality sometimes sounds cynical to people with their heads stuck in the realms of pure theory. I have joined our movement in 1979 and have seen many attempts made at reconstituting the varnashrama system in ISKCON. They all failed, and not for the lack of trying, which means that the subject is far more complicated and far more difficult to implement then people thought. Over the years I have encountered many devotees who considered themselves experts in various theories, but very few who have actually put their theories to the test of practical implementation, and who achieved success at that.
It is a common misconception that brahminical knowledge is purely theoretical. Dronacharya was a brahmana who was not just a teacher of martial arts theory, but a great warrior and military commander, who proved his expertise in action. This is what we need: brahmanas who can actually implement in real life what they teach, not merely lecture others how to do it. That was my point.

Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 30.09.2014 @ 15:29

It is one think to understand something in theory, and quite different to put that theory to a good use, where it is applied in real life and generating good results. We all see many people who supposedly have the perfect cure for everything that is wrong with the world, the perfect solution for everything, but alas… they are merely just talking about it, so their ‘expertise’ is at best in an un-manifested form.
People would take devotees and their varnashrama message more seriously if they could actually see and experience some tangible practical examples of such communities, especially in the West. Until that happens, it is all just empty talk.

Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 29.09.2014 @ 13:51

Husband As Guru – How About Srila Prabhupada As Guru?

Pranams to all. Maharaja brings up the Vedic ideal Srila Prabhupada presented to us, where the wife is always acting in a humble and obedient way towards her husband. He quotes Srila Prabhupada: “If any wife wants to be happy with her husband, she must try to understand her husband’s temperament and please him. This is victory for a woman. Even in the dealings of Lord Krsna with His different queens, it has been seen that although the queens were the daughters of great kings, they placed themselves before Lord Krsna as His maidservants. However great a woman may be, she must place herself before her husband in this way; that is to say, she must be ready to carry out her husband’s orders and please him in all circumstances. Then her life will be successful.”(Purport to SB 9.3.10). However, it is also very important to show how Lord Krishna acted as an ideal husband in that very same situation: “All the 16,108 wives of Krsna were princesses, and when each saw that Krsna was always present in her respective palace and did not leave home, they considered Krsna to be a henpecked husband who was very much attached to them. Every one of them thought that Krsna was her very obedient husband, but actually Krsna had no attraction for any of them.” (Krishna Book, Chapter 61). Ideals are great, they are meant to inspire us and change our ways for the better. But we should not simply expect that in real life everything is going to be ideal. And that is what Mahatma Prabhu’s article is talking about. What do you do when your wife is not of the ideal Vedic type? Obviously, that is the reality for most married men and you have to deal with reality in a practical way. Mahatma Prabhu’s article offers such practical advice. Overly idealistic (or Utopian) models invariably fail in real life unless they take into account the fact that most of us are less then perfect.

Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 07.06.2014 @ 14:57

Ocean of Mercy: Bhakti Benefits for Doomed Cows?

Pranams to all.
The milk issue is certainly loaded with complexities. I can certainly appreciate the point of view Maharaja presents here, just like I appreciate the opposing points of view offered by other devotees. In BG (18.48) Lord Krishna says: “Every endeavor is covered by some fault, just as fire is covered by smoke. Therefore one should not give up the work born of his nature, O son of Kuntī, even if such work is full of fault.” And Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to this verse: “In conditioned life, all work is contaminated by the material modes of nature. Even if one is a brāhmaṇa he has to perform sacrifices in which animal killing is necessary. Similarly, a kṣatriya, however pious he may be, has to fight enemies. He cannot avoid it. Similarly, a merchant, however pious he may be, must sometimes hide his profit to stay in business, or he may sometimes have to do business on the black market. These things are necessary; one cannot avoid them.”
Why single out commercial milk as being non-ahimsa? Modern agriculture relies on wholesale slaughter of various pests that like to eat the things we grow to sustain ourselves, like insects, rodents, and myriad of lower species. How do we get ahimsa potatoes or ahimsa rice? I have been growing food in my garden for decades, and I have not found a way to grow food without resorting to some violence. Of course we can say that producing milk commercially involves violence to cows. That is a very fair point. But if we love and care about cows so much, shouldn’t we show the world how to produce abundant milk without violence? Well, that would require a lot of hard work, sacrifices, plans, investment, management, and so on. Of course it is a lot easier to go vegan. Devotees tend to chose that road often. ‘Lazy intelligent’ is supposed to be the topmost approach, right? However, we could probably debate the ‘intelligent’ component. The ‘lazy’ part is definitely there.

Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 07.04.2014 @ 20:20

The Geocentric Design Of The Solar System

The Sun is NEVER closer to us than the Moon. At its closest point, known as the perigee, the Moon is only 363,104 km (225,622 miles) form Earth. And at its most distant point, called apogee, the Moon gets to a distance of 406,696 km (252,088 miles). Aphelion (when the Earth is the farthest from the Sun) occurs around the first week of July. The distance is about 152 million km (94.4 million miles). Perihelion (when the Earth is closest to the Sun) occurs in the first week of January. The distance is about 147 million km (91.3 million miles).
Since Sun and Moon have roughly the same angular diameter (apparent size in the sky), if the Moon was further away than the Sun it would mean that Moon is at least as big as the Sun, many times the size of the Earth, which in turn would make the Earth revolve around the Moon and not the other way - smaller celestial objects always revolve around bigger ones in accordance with the laws of gravity.
The notion that Moon is further away from Earth than the Sun is untenable.

Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 10.09.2013 @ 14:14

If the Moon was further away from the Earth than the Sun, it would always appear as full when viewed from the Earth, because Moon reflects the rays of Sun. Try to model that with a light bulb (Sun) and a ball (Moon). When both Sun and Moon are present in the sky at the same time, it is very easy to see that the Moon is closer to the Earth by observing the pattern of light and shade on the Moon. All ancient civilizations, including Vedic, knew that, and the above quoted answer from Sadaputa Prabhu reflects that knowledge as contained in Surya Siddhanta. Bhagavatam does not say that the Moon is closer to Earth than Sun. It says that it is ‘above the sun rays’. That could refer to angular distance as viewed in the sky, or a planary distance with respect to the Garbha Ocean as Sadaputa suggests, or some other subtle relationship between these celestial bodies.
The argument: “But this is the arrangement all over the world. Sunday first, Monday second, then Tuesday” is even hardly supportive of the opposite thesis, because in many calendars all over the world Monday is considered a first day of the week, and the original order of the days of the week - as established by Babylonian astrologers - had nothing to do with linear distances from the earth, but assigned their planet gods to the days of the week based on their god’s prominence in daily life (Sun was obviously most important).

Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 09.09.2013 @ 14:50

Srila Prabhupada on the secret policy of British to cut down Vedic civilization

How could Macaulay have said that in the British parliament in 1835 if he left for India in 1834, and did not return to England until 1838? Perhaps another example of overzealous people inventing ‘facts’ to support their favorite theory. I would say that Indians, just like most other people, love to blame others for their own failures.
Of course it is true that British rule in India had cultural consequences for the Indian people. Some of these consequences related to the increase in Christianization of the Indian people, but it was not done by force. British promoted their own vision of culture and progress, and some people in India accepted it willingly, while others rejected it. Some people in India maintained their spirituality better than others, which is quite visible in the contrast between South India and North India. And that division seems to have little to do with British rule.
Lack of respect for the Vedic culture among the British was a historical fact, just like today in the West our Krishna Consciousness culture is also not being respected by the locals. Still, that lack of respect is not an excuse for us to give up what we know is good and valuable in our spiritual practices.
I chose to focus on the following Srila Prabhupada quote from this letter: “So it is a long process how Indians, especially educated Indians, have become victimized by the slowly deteriorating position of Indian culture, but there is no use tracing out the history but generally we have lost our own culture and our leaders are not very serious to revive our own culture to the point. But still the mass of people, not being very much advanced in education, stick to the Indian culture. ”

Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 18.07.2013 @ 15:20

Can We Compare Iskcon With Other Faiths?

Can We Compare Iskcon With Other Faiths? As it was already pointed out, Iskcon is not a faith, so maybe the question should have been phrased differently, such as: “Can We Compare Iskcon With Other Churches?” or: “Can We Compare Krishna Consciousness With Other Faiths?”. Such questions and analyses can be interesting and quite useful. Hopefully, based on the analysis of facts, sound reason and logic, and impartial philosophy, people will conclude that Iskcon and Krishna consciousness compare very favorably with others.

As to the claim that we are unique because we have bhakti, please consider the following quotes:

Srila Prabhupada: Even the Muslim religion. That is also bhakti-yoga (devotional service). Any religion where God is the target, that is applied in bhakti (devotion). (Lecture on Bhagavad-gita, 21/02/69)

Srila Prabhupada: Bhakti-yoga also exists among the Muslims, because God is the target in the Muslim religion. (Path of Perfection)

Srila Prabhupada: There are many prayers in the Vedic scriptures and also in the Bible and the Qur’an. Although the Christians and Muslims do not worship the Deity, they offer prayers to the Lord, that is also bhakti. (Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, Ch. 15)

Srila Prabhupada: The Christians and the Muslims, they offer vandanam (prayers). Although they do not worship the Deity, but they offer prayers to the Lord. That is also good. That is also bhakti. (Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, 04/12/74)

Srila Prabhupada: They accept God. They are also our brothers because they accept God. They are not atheist. Atheists don’t accept God. “There is no God,” says the atheist. But here they are theists. They accept God. They want to please God. They go to the church, go to the mosque, offer prayers. Prayer is also bhakti, devotional service. The Christian way or the Muslim way is to offer prayer. The Muslims offer obeisances and offer prayer. So that is also bhakti (devotion). The Christians also do that, so that is also bhakti. And they accept God; we accept God. So there is no difference. But the only point is who is that God. (Room conversation. Tehran, 14/03/75)

Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 17.06.2013 @ 18:29

School Blossoms in New Talavan

This is such an important program. I wish you all success. Please keep us informed on your progress.
Hare Krishna!

Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 17.06.2013 @ 18:33


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