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Comments Posted By Kulapavana

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The Lower Birth of Women

Murari das writes: “One of the comments here is saying that Srila Prabhupada was wrong (!) on one of his statements about brain sizes. So you would rather believe a scientist than your spiritual master simply because of something you find on google.”
I think you are twisting or at least misrepresenting what was said in that comment. Srila Prabhupada quotes another ‘scientist’ from his youth, Dr. Urquhart, and unfortunately Dr. Urquhart was completely wrong when making that statement. You can believe whatever you want to believe, but the facts disprove Dr. Urquhart’s statement, and even a very cursory review of available data on this subject matter shows that very plainly. To claim that women’s brain size is no greater then 34 ounces is simply flat wrong, as an average woman’s brain is 43 ounces, while an average man’s brain is 47 ounces. Neanderthals had about 14% larger brains then modern men, and they go extinct, so maybe larger brain does not translate into smarter people?

» Posted By Kulapavana On Oct 22, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

Mother Devaki writes: “So therefore, if men and women are regarded as equal – how can men give protection to women? And why should women strive to accept dependance on men, if they are equal anyway? And thus we have an increase of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, exploitation and suffering amongst women all over the world – because they are not receiving the protection they need and deserve.”
There is no need for women to be accepted as lower or less intelligent in order for men to treat them properly . Men should protect women entrusted in their care out of love, sense of duty, respect, or at least self interest – not out of sense of superiority, especially when that ‘superiority’ is often merely imagined.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Oct 22, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

Lower or higher birth are very material considerations. Using the strict Vedic criteria, all of us Westerners are of lower birth. And that lower birth outside Vedic culture can be somewhat of a handicap when it comes to adopting Vedic cultural norms and customs. But does it really affect our ability to become Krishna conscious? Not so much, it would seem from the history of our movement.
Regarding brain size (as in the quote: “Dr. Urquhart said, I remember still, that the brain substance has been found up to 64 ounce, while brain substance of woman has been found, highest, 34 ounce”), things are actually a bit more complicated. Not only is the size difference much smaller, but there are also important brain structure differences between the sexes, resulting in functional differences as well. In short, all of these differences make sense and are perfect, just like the rest of Lord Krishna’s creation.
Let us use what we each have, in the service of the Lord, without being distracted by the differences between us.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Oct 20, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

Gita Nigari Farm’s “Humane, Slaughter-Free Cheese”

Wonderful and much needed program! I hope your endeavors are blessed with all sorts of success by Lord Krishna. We need more efforts like that in our movement. Gita Nagari is such a beautiful place to live and work. Dandavat pranams.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Oct 17, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

From Zonal-Acarya To Buffer-Zone

Author writes above: “What if this solemnisation had been in place after the physical departure of Srila Prabhupada and during the numerous times of ISKCON difficulty, when this could have prevented hundreds, thousands or perhaps even tens of thousands of devotees from leaving ISKCON?” People have been leaving ISKCON quite frequently even during the days when Srila Prabhupada was still present. And there were many reasons for that, from difficulties in controlling their senses, to conflicts with ISKCON management, through various types of faith crisis. So to blame merely one not-so-good element for mass exodus of devotees during the ‘zonal-acharya days’ is at best a romantic over-simplification. And correcting the ‘zonal-acharya mistake’ did not, and will not, magically fill the temples with devotees yet again. For that many other things have to fall in place, starting with the quality of our own spiritual life and purity of our message, because these are the things which attract people.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Oct 3, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

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.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Sep 29, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

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

Dear Pancajanya Prabhu,
I did not criticize Bhakti Vidya Purna Swami as I hardly know him at all. My comments were directed towards people who claim to be expert in various theories and who are unable or unwilling to put their theories to the rigors of real life practical application. Thus such theories and expertise is of little value – at least in my opinion.
Devotees featured in the video above have raised a number of rather important questions regarding varnashrama dharma. Perhaps the experts in this field or their followers would care to address these issues instead of criticizing the people ho asked the questions? That would at least be useful.
Looking at it from the historical perspective, the concept of daivi varnashrama society was introduced by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura to counteract the rigid caste system prevalent in India at that time. That system was keeping Vaishnavas not born in brahmana families from performing the social functions reserved for brahmanas, like preaching and accepting disciples. Whether that system can be transplanted in the West is still an open question, even among the devotees. Initially, Srila Prabhupada wanted all of his disciples to become brahmanas. With time it was rather clear that not all of his disciples were brahmanas so he started talking about introducing a VD system in Iskcon. So it was a working idea that was aiming at solving some very practical issues in our movement, mostly social and economical. And that is why it must remain a working idea that has very practical goals and real life applications. Otherwise it has very limited value.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Oct 2, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

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.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Sep 30, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

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.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Sep 29, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

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.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Apr 7, 2014 @ 8:20 pm

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.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Sep 10, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

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).

» Posted By Kulapavana On Sep 9, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

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. “

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jul 18, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

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)

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jun 17, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

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!

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jun 17, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

Successful Seminar on Ksatriya Dharma at Prabhupada Desh Italy

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.

» Posted By Kulapavana On May 28, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

Strictness is the Strength of ISKCON

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.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jun 6, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

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.

» Posted By Kulapavana On May 28, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

Not male or female, the real question is who is qualified?

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.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Feb 1, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

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.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jan 29, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

Some Evidence Regarding Education and Guruship for Vaishnavis

FollowSP: “I am afraid but can not find any statement from Srimad Bhagavatam, the ripened fruit of ALL THE VEDAS, in this entire paper.”
On page 2 there is this quote (SB 4.1.64)
tebhyo dadhāra kanye dve vayunāḿ dhāriṇīḿ svadhā
ubhe te brahma-vādinyau jñāna-vijñāna-pārage
“Svadhā, who was offered to the Pitās, begot two daughters named Vayunā and Dhāriṇī, both of whom were impersonalists and were expert in transcendental and Vedic knowledge.”
There are more Bhagavatam quotes on page 12 and the following pages.
Prabhu, are you sure you have actually read this paper?

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jan 11, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

When Saying “You Are Not Your Body” Is Not Enough

We could point out all sorts of deficiencies of our movement and be totally correct in every sense – that is the easy part. The hard part is coming up with a better alternative, with practical solutions that actually work. Over the years I have encountered so many discouraged devotees, so many disappointed visitors. I tried my best to explain things to them in a way that I understand them to be, and tell them why I continue the practice of Krsna consciousness despite all these problems and deficiencies. Sometimes my explanations help these discouraged people, and sometimes they seem to have no effect at all. We are not in control – Krsna is. We can only try to do our level best – with honesty, humility, and with our heart open to others.
Krishna-kishore Prabhu, I can see that you are intelligent, sensitive, sincere, humble, and thus very qualified to help others on their path to Krsna. Just continue what you are doing and don’t expect that everybody will accept our movement as their path to the Supreme.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Mar 28, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

New Farm Community : Cintamani Dham Land of Touchstone tucked away in Kentucky

Pranams, Adikarta Prabhu,
It is good to see your project flourishing. We need many projects like that and many devotees willing to participate in them to make a difference in this world.
Looks like a beautiful location with lots of good farm land. Sangi seems to be happy and in his element. Best of luck to you all!
Your servant, Kula-pavana dasa

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jan 8, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

BB Govinda Swami οn the death of the young Indian girl who was gang raped in Delhi

bbb:”You said: ”It might be argued that since Lord Krsna has inherently free will, the atomic jivas – being part and parcel of Him – have an inherent free will as well, however minute. Remember: we are the same in quality and different in quantity.”
Where is that stated in shastra? The truth is the jiva differs in so many ways, in no way does shastra teach that we are minature versions of God with the same abilities in minute form. ”
Actually there are many verses in the shastra that say we are brahman, and the philosophy of monism centers on these verses. I don’t think there is a need to quote them. Our tradition follows the achintya-bhedabheda-tattva which speaks of qualitative oneness and quantitative difference. And thus SP says: “Because we are part and parcel of God, God is completely free to do anything. And because we are part and parcel of God, therefore we have got minute quantity of freedom. ”

bbb: “People take birth after birth deluded by avidya and ahankara until their desire is purified. Their desire shapes their actions, not by their own free will, but by the will of Paramatma in deciding what the jiva needs to experience in order to become free from aversion to God’s control.”
So are you are saying that the living entity’s desire for purification, surrender, and service to the Lord is also a product of the will of Paramatma?

Srila Prabhupada’s statements regarding free will are clear and easy to understand. They also match my direct experiences. Your explanations are convoluted and largely contrary to what the acharya has said on this particular point. You dismiss his statements as “relative” and directed at people who are on a lower level of spiritual development. Because his instructions resonate more with my own consciousness I will stick to what he said. Perhaps this is what I need at this particular stage.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jan 11, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

Hayagriva: Why can’t we have free will and at the same time…
Prabhupada: Free will means…
Hayagriva: …infallible judgment?
Prabhupada: Free will means that you can act wrongly. That is free will. Unless there is chance of doing wrong or right, there is no question of free will. Where is free will then? If I act only one sided, that means I have no free will. Because we act sometimes wrongly, that means free will.
Hayagriva: A man may know better but still act wrongly.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Hayagriva: Yes.
Prabhupada: But that is free will. He misuses his. Just like a thief, he knows that his stealing, it is bad, but still he does it. That is free will. He cannot check his greediness, so in spite of his knowing that he is doing wrong thing — he will be punished, he knows; he has seen another thief, he was punished, he was put into prison — everything he knows, but still he steals. Why? Misuse of free will. Unless there is misuse of free will, there is no question of free will.>> Ref. VedaBase => Rene Descartes

From these quotes it is rather clear that our natural sense of free will is not a total illusion. We may say that it is a limited free will, because there are inherent limits to our options, yet the opportunity to make various relevant choices in life is really there. Otherwise, how could we be creating good or bad karmic reactions? Our choices may be influenced by many factors, such as the prevailing modes of material nature, yet free will is a reality.
Just like a sailor is not completely free to pick any course he likes, because he is limited by the wind, currents, lay of the land, the type of craft he is sailing, his skill – still, he can steer many different courses, thus affecting his ultimate destination.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jan 10, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

It might be argued that since Lord Krsna has inherently free will, the atomic jivas – being part and parcel of Him – have an inherent free will as well, however minute. Remember: we are the same in quality and different in quantity. Srila Prabhupada was teaching that we do have a free will. Here are some examples:
Swedish man (3): Is there free will?
Prabhupada: Yes, yes. Just like you are sitting here. If you don’t like, you can go away. That’s your free will. There is free will. Because we are part and parcel of God, God is completely free to do anything. And because we are part and parcel of God, therefore we have got minute quantity of freedom. Just like a drop of ocean water, it is also salty, but the quantity of salt in that drop is not equal to the salt in the ocean. Similarly, you have got a little quantity of freedom, but not as freedom as God has got. That is not possible. You are subordinate. Your freedom is subordinate to God’s freedom. Therefore if you misuse your freedom, then you become punishable. The government gives you freedom, but if you misuse your freedom, if you violate the laws, then you are criminal. Yes? >>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 7.1-3 — Stockholm, September 10, 1973

Devotee: Srila Prabhupada? Why God gave to man free will if He knew the man would fall down in the material world?
Prabhupada: If you have no free will, then you are a stone. The stone has no free will. You want to be stone? Then you must be, must have free will. But don’t misuse your free will. But don’t try to become stone. That is not life. >>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 15.15 — August 5, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm)

(to be continued)

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jan 10, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

Vegans in ISKCON

Bhakta Matty, dandavat pranams…
Please do not be discouraged by those who find fault with the cow protection program you are engaged in. Sometimes they have a valid point, sometimes they do not, but the important thing is to continue this valuable service. Even one cow cared for by the devotees is one cow who is happy, alive and well. That is something valuable. And the people visiting your goshala will be inspired to see cows as living entities, just like us. They will see how beautiful and gentle they are, and they will see the point of caring for them, the point of protecting them from demonic exploitation and unspeakable cruelty. This is a powerful and practical way to change their consciousness – something that verbal preaching, reason and logic, simply can not do. A child seeing a gentle cow giving milk or licking her calf is a child impacted forever by this image. We must work hard to give people actual higher taste of living the way Lord Krsna wants us to live – they will experience this higher taste and want more… and they will change their life to make it possible. That’s what it is all about.
Your servant.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Dec 31, 2012 @ 11:54 pm

Varnasrama and Bhakti

There is danger in overly complicating things by introducing too many external elements in VAD. The unity needs to be stressed, not the divisions. Without unity and mutual respect there is no society. Given that we have on record some very critical quotes regarding sudras, who will want to be classified as such? That is probably the most misunderstood varna among the devotees, yet without it there is no scope for establishing a working society. Today, a scientist working for a big company is potentially a brahminical material, and should not be seen to be “like a dog, accepting an ordinary master. Similarly, a person managing a large group of people within a big company can be seen as a kshatriya material, not merely sudra working for a master. The social realities have changed, but the 4 varnas created by Krsna are still there.
The utility needs to be stressed and strived for, not merely following some ancient system for the sake of being ‘compliant with the guru’s order. It is about creating society that actually produces the goods and services it needs. It is about creating environment where our children can – and want to – live and work among the devotees. They have to see that there is future for them in our movement. That is a measure of sustainability. We have probably burned through more converts than any other religious group I can think of. These people left mainly because they did not see a future for themselves in our projects. That is a tragic loss for our movement. We have to be practical in every respect in order to build a real alternative society, and not merely sustain yet another church.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jan 8, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

Dear Rasaraja Prabhu…. pranams.
Please share your thoughts on how exactly should modern day grihasthas support brahmacaris and vanaprasthas in the context of VAD? What is the practical role of these two ashramas in our current society? What exactly do they do? In the traditional sense brahmacaris received training from a guru while living in his asrama in exchange for service, real physical work. They tended cows, gardens, and collected alms on behalf of their guru. They did not for example require expensive airline tickets to fly half way across the world to see holy places in India. Vanaprasthas lived on the edge of the village meeting their needs with their own labor and sometimes with the help of their children. It was a simple and efficient program. How do you see that translated into modern day reality? I raised 3 children. They were the brahmacaris I helped throughout my life. When I retire I expect to continue rendering service to society in some way, living in a modest house I paid for myself, growing a lot of my own food, and be self supporting thanks to a pension program system most developed countries have.
I very much share your interest is specifics and your view that esoteric philosophy is not nearly enough to accomplish anything in this world. We have been talking about VAD and building our own working society for 5 decades now without having too much to show for it. It would be nice if we could do better.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Jan 4, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

Krishna-kirti Prabhu… I doubt very much that someone who does not have a proper brahminical nature can perfectly perform the duties of a brahmana for a prolonged period of time. That just does not happen in real life. We have all seen people who attempted to act like brahmanas only to fall back to their true lower nature in due course of time. But I agree with you that expertise is not a prerequisite for a particular varna. Expertise only comes from proper training and practice. Still, you need to have a proper nature in order to develop expertise.

» Posted By Kulapavana On Dec 26, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

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