Comments Posted By Kulapavana
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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
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? 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
This is such an important program. I wish you all success. Please keep us informed on your progress.
Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 17.06.2013 @ 18:33
I’m not sure how relevant today are the skills of fighting with an ax or sword and what kind of practical service to ISKCON they can provide. The greatest kshatriya skills are the ability to lead others and to manage the affairs of society.
Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 28.05.2013 @ 15:21
Pustakrishna Prabhu: “I would agree with Kulapavana that strictness is a passionate position, but only if Krishna is absent from the equation. Once Krishna is included in the equation, then all such perceived modes of passion or whatever become merged into the transcendental offering. “
I would argue that we must judge things by the results. Activities in the mode of ignorance never produce anything of value. Activities in the mode of passion produce things of value initially but later lead to suffering and loss. Activities in the mode of goodness produce good results that last long time and have no negative consequences. Activities which are transcendental produce results that increase spiritual consciousness and last forever.
Over the years I have observed in our movement many activities supposedly performed for Lord Krishna’s pleasure. While I can’t say whether He was pleased or not, many of these activities have yielded some initial benefit but in the long run they were quite detrimental to the causes we tried to promote. Thus I believe that Lord Krishna really is ‘in the equation’ when the activity actually results in an increase of Krishna consciousness. If our strictness leads to an increase of Krishna consciousness it is good, otherwise it is not.
Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 06.06.2013 @ 15:27
The real value of strictness is in helping to achieve a desired goal. By itself it is not something that shastras recommend as a brahminical quality, or a mode of goodness quality. Strictness by itself can be seen as an attribute of the mode of passion, since it involves rigid application of rules.
It would be nice to see a discussion using the Sanskrit terms relating to strictness, like sUkSmatA, azaithilya, and especially kAThinya.
Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 28.05.2013 @ 15:57
Wiliiam Prabhu, pranams… and thank you for a very thoughtful response.
When we look at the historical facts, we see that whether ‘rubber stamping’ or if you prefer, ‘careful selection’, is done by an empowered acharya or the managerial body appointed by him, there is no guarantee that the results of such selection will always be positive. That much is very clear from the history of our movement. Thus your argument regarding the “Sampradayic sakti flow” seems rather unconvincing to me. Simply put, the facts do not seem to support such a theory.
Srila Prabhupada started initiating disciples in 1953 in Jhansi, and there was nobody in Gaudiya Matha trying to stop him. In our lineage disciples of a departed guru have an open ended permission to accept disciples and it is a matter entirely between a prospective disciple and a person they see as qualified to be their guru. This is what Srila Prabhupada and others call the ‘law of disciplic succession’. However, since now in ISKCON these guru-disciple relationships exist within the framework of an organized global mission, naturally there need to be some standards in that matter. The GBC has set such standards and for the most part they seem to be working just fine.
Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 01.02.2013 @ 16:24
Aindra Prabhu says: “The legislation business and the rubber stamping business is a erroneous approach from the get go. That is not standard sampradayic system. The real question is who is qualified.”
Perhaps that is true in the ideal world. In 1977 Srila Prabhupada ‘rubber stamped’ 11 individuals as ‘officiating acharyas’. However we understand this term, it was a very important position, since he selected these 11 out of several thousand disciples at his disposal. Were these 11 ‘qualified’? Apparently in the eyes of Srila Prabhupada they were qualified enough for what he had in mind at that time. That would mean there is value for a sampradaya in at least occasional ‘rubber stamping’. But if we replace the term ‘rubber stamping’ with ‘careful selection’ - all of a sudden nobody seem to object and everything is fine.
Comment Posted By Kulapavana On 29.01.2013 @ 14:25