Comments Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa)
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Murari Prabhu — good luck.
With respect, I think the Hare Krishna movement has grown much, much bigger than anyone can control. We sell pictures of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Prabhupada’s Deities and Srila Prabhupada’s books all over the world.
… and sometimes people buy them,
… and sometimes people put them on their walls and even in public places.
I have been living in India for the last 21 years and I have come across photos and sometimes deities of Srila Prabhupada in many surprising places. One example: in Jagannath Puri there is a hotel (that has 100% nothing to do with ISKCON or any ISKCON devotees) called, the “Prabhupada Hotel”. (Fortunately they stopped their public advertising of “non-veg items” a few years ago on the protest of some devotees.) Inside of the hotel, just as you come in they have a deity of Srila Prabhupada. I’ve also seen many ISKCON devotees stay there.
Aside from that example, it is not unheard of to find Prabhupada’s photo inside of public places, businesses etc in India or other places of the world. In Vrindavan, practically all of the shops in Loi Bazar have photos of Prabhupada on the wall. I’ve also seen a number of temples (not affiliated in any way with ISKCON) that have pictures of Srila Prabhupada on their altars. Similarly, there are groups who read Srila Prabhupada’s books, chant Hare Krishna and practice many other aspects of what they have learned from ISKCON, but have nothing to do with ISKCON. Sometimes even they have philosophies that we strongly disagree with. Similarly, over the years there have been many musicians (Boy George and George Harrison for two), who chant Hare Krishna on their recordings and have done some kind of promotion of our movement. Jimmy Hendrix took a photo of the universal form from one of Srila Prabhupada’s books and used it on one of his record albums (with a picture of himself inserted in the center).
Is this really a problem?
Is it really something we want to stop?
Is it possible to stop?
Do we want to stop people from being Krishna conscious? Is our message to be: “Oh you give free food for people. You have a hospital. You are a psychiatrist, etc, etc, etc. You are not allowed to practice Krishna consciousness at your work, or keep a picture or deity of Srila Prabhupada there.”
And what about varnasrama? Are we expecting that all of the people, governments, and businesses etc in the world are going to surrender to the GBC body? Isn’t it more realistic to expect that many will only take up some part of this process?
Isn’t that an integral part of Srila Prabhupada’s concept of promoting varnasrama dharma?
Once more, the Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai while ISKCON friendly is not officially, legally an ISKCON project. It seems to be similar to several other projects in India, for example Bhaktisvarup Damodar Maharaja’s temples in Nabadwip and Radhakund which are run by all ISKCON devotees but are not legally, officially ISKCON projects.
Do you have any suggestions how we can legally or practically stop people from practicing Krishna consciousness at their work places, music events, other religious houses etc?
And again — more than that — do we really want to stop them? I think that is the real question we need to consider.
Thank you again for your good heart Prabhuji. I appreciate your concern for Srila Prabhupada’s society.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 11, 2014 @ 12:54 pm
Thank you Murari Prabhu for sharing your well-placed concern about the focus of Srila Prabhupada’s mission. As our movement expands, and varnasrama in various aspects begins to manifest there will be many, many persons on the peripheral of our society who will feel inspired to promote projects that may not be 100% mukhya-bhakti (primary devotion).
The question is what should we do?
Should we try to get the secular governments to pass laws that only allow authorized members of ISKCON to chant Hare Krishna, distribute prasadam, or keep photos and appreciation of Srila Prabhupada?
Should we tell anyone working at the Bhaktivedanta Hospital, “Well it’s okay if you chant, and you can have a deity of Srila Prabhupada, but you are not allowed to come to our ISKCON temple and be a member here, as some people may think your hospital is an ISKCON project.”?
Please forgive me for being absurd. I share your concern that our society not have a mission drift away from pure bhakti. However, isn’t it both unreasonable and against our mission to try to stop private individuals, who may have some incidental connection with our society, from practicing gauna-bhakti, daivi-varnasrama acts such as feeding the poor or opening hospitals (especially if those acts of charity are conducted with the chanting of the holy names)?
Again, the simple, legal (easily substantiated) fact is that the Bhaktivedanta Hospital is *not* an ISKCON project. If the members of that hospital want to chant Hare Krishna and worship Srila Prabhupada, I don’t think there is much we can do about it.
In my humble opinion, rather than trying to discourage varnasrama dharma, acts of charity, and kindness done in connection with Krishna consciousness (but performed outside of our society), we would do better to focus on mukhya-bhakti, suddha-bhakti and strongly preach that to the devotees.
In such a case I think that everything will fall into place.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 6, 2014 @ 10:12 am
Murari Prabhu, the Bhaktivedanta Hospital is not, nor has ever been an ISKCON project. It was started by a group of independent devotees who were all doctors and professionals in health care. Most of the members are ISKCON members.
I have had the good fortune of getting treatment there several times. Like Mother Radha Bhakti, I found the atmosphere very devotional and the staff there both professional and full of bhakti. I appreciate your point and agree with it. It is not the business of ISKCON to run hospitals. What should be done in a case like this? Should we tell them not to keep Srila Prabhupada’s deity or to play Prabhupada’s bhajans in the rooms? Should we tell them not to chant Hare Krishna or serve Krishna prasadam cooked by initiated devotees? Should we try to force everyone outside of our institution to not do anything devotional?
Isn’t that a bit absurd?
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 4, 2014 @ 12:29 pm
Great article. Very balanced and thoughtful. Thank you Priyavrata Prabhu. After reading it I’m even more eager to come closer to the soil and gobar.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:28 am
With Gopal Jiu Publications, our standard is to celebrate the fact that Krishna (not Krsna) is a word in the English dictionary.
“Krishna” is easy to pronounce. However, when many non Indians try to pronounce the word “Krsna” it comes out like, “K r r r s n a”.
But, you can’t blame them there are no vowels in that word. They are just saying it as it is spelled.
Diacritics are great for technical academic terms, but personally I don’t find them very friendly or appropriate for person’s names. What to speak of when we spell the names using the diacritic system without the diacritics.
Confusing, and well, … a little strange.
Over the years, the devotees on our team find “Krishna” to be very sweet, simple, and natural. Simple, sweet, and natural, just like Krishna himself.
Krishna. What’s the problem? :-)
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Jan 26, 2014 @ 12:36 pm
Then in a nice, pleasing way, Mahaprabhu defeated him. Mahaprabhu is a practical teacher. He has taught us through his dealings. prīti pūrṇa vyavahāra yukti pūrṇa kathā — His dealings are very sweet, but when he speaks it is like a bullet. No one can defeat him because he speaks the truth. Mahaprabhu behaves very humbly, and sweet, not harsh and strong.
When Mahaprabhu went to Kashi, the Mayavadis headed by Prakashananda Saraswati were very proud, thinking, “Oh, we are great. Are there any sannyāsīs like us?” Prakashananda Saraswati’s man reported: “One sannyāsī from Gaudadesh has come. He is chanting and dancing in the street.” Prakashananda Saraswati then criticized Mahaprabhu:
‘kāśīpure’ nā vikābe tāṅra bhāvakāli*
“He is a sannyāsī by name only. Actually he is a great magician come here to Kashipur to sell his indrajāla, magic. But he cannot sell it here.”
This was very painful for Mahaprabhu’s men to hear. When they reported it to Mahaprabhu, he listened, but only smiled and didn’t become angry. He tolerated it — taror iva sahiṣṇunā. Then Mahaprabhu said:
bhāvakāli vecite āmi āilāṅa kāśīpure
grāhaka nāhi, nā vikāya, lañā yāba ghare
“I came to Kashipur to sell my jugglery, but there are no customers available here. So I will take it back to my home.
bhārī bojhā lañā āilāṅa, kemane lañā yāba?
alpa-svalpa-mūlya pāile, ethāi veciba
“I came with a very heavy load, how can I take it back again? There are no customers available, so if I can get even a meager amount, I will sell it here.”
Mahaprabhu went there to deliver those Mayavadis. Unless he showers his mercy on them they cannot be delivered. māyāvādī kṛṣṇa aparādhī — Mayavadis are great offenders to Krishna. By the will of Mahaprabhu, the sannyāsīs came together in an assembly. They invited Mahaprabhu to attend. Generally, Mahaprabhu was not going there. But this time he went and he sat down at the place where they washed their feet. He was so humble. He didn’t go where the other sannyāsīs were sitting. Finally, they came and brought him amongst the others. Then their discussion began. At that time Mahaprabhu spoke, defeated their philosophy, and established the pure bhakti-siddhānta.
This is Mahaprabhu’s process. It is so sweet and so nice. We should behave the way he did. Unless we learn Mahaprabhu’s teachings, how can we get his mercy? How can we make advancement in Mahaprabhu’s path? This is most important.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Aug 15, 2013 @ 10:08 am
(Continued from above)
PRIDE IS DEMONIAC
You should have no pride, no arrogance, and no conceit:
dambho darpo‘bhimānaś ca krodhaḥ pāruṣyam eva ca
ajñānaṁ cābhijātasya pārtha sampadam āsurīm
Pride, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness and ignorance — these qualities belong to those of demoniac nature, O son of Pritha.*
Pride is a demoniac characteristic. It is not vaiṣṇava. A vaiṣṇava is much humbler than a blade of grass lying on the street. He thinks himself lowest of the low. Only the highest person has such mentality. Everyone else will quarrel and demand: “I am great!”
“No you are not. I am great!”
Uttama hañā āpanāke māne tṛṇādhama — A real vaiṣṇava-sādhu is the topmost person, but he says, “I am the lowest of the low.”** His attitude is natural, not artificial.
FIGHTING FOR TRUTH BUT HUMBLER THAN GRASS
Devotee: How do we fight for truth, but simultaneously behave humbler than a blade of grass?
Gour Govinda Swami: Mahaprabhu has practically taught us. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat — No one is superior to him. All are subordinate.* Yet, how did he act? Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was a professor, a teacher of Vedanta. He said, “Oh Sri Krishna Chaitanya, you have taken sannyāsa at a young age. Sannyāsa is very difficult in Kali-yuga. How can you maintain it? A sannyāsī’s dharma is to hear Vedanta, but you are chanting ‘hare kṛṣṇa’ and dancing! You should hear Vedanta from me.” He had so much pride, because he was thinking, “I am the great professor of Vedanta.” He wanted to teach Vedanta to he from whom Vedanta has emanated from his breathing.
Mahaprabhu said, “Yes, yes. I am an ignorant fool. I don’t know anything. I must hear from you.” He was so humble. He heard from Sarvabhauma for seven continuous days without saying anything. Finally, Sarvabhauma asked, “Sri Krishna Chaitanya, did you understand what I said? You are not asking any questions.”
Only then, when he was asked, did Mahaprabhu open his mouth. He said, “I understand the sūtras very well. But your explanation is very difficult to understand.” Common people cannot understand the sūtras, therefore an explanation is required. But Mahaprabhu said, “Your explanation is very difficult to understand.” This is because Sarvabhauma was not presenting the correct explanation. His words were all imaginative. He was presenting Sankaracharya’s commentary, the Śārīraka-bhāṣya.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Aug 15, 2013 @ 10:06 am
An excerpt from the booklet, “VAISHNAVA INSTITUTIONS AND THE SWEET DEALINGS OF SRI CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU”
Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharajas
ORGANIZATION IS REQUIRED
This is yearly business, management of the society and organization of activities. On one side is the saṅga, society. The motto of Mahaprabhu’s movement is ekakī āmāra, nāhi pāya bala, hari-nāma-saṅkīrtane — “Alone, I do not find the strength to chant the holy name of Hari.”* Single-handedly you cannot do anything. So we should cooperate. We should form a society. In cooperation there is unity and strength. Then you can fight against māyā or bogus philosophies and establish Mahaprabhu’s philosophy.
Everything is here in Mahaprabhu’s movement in the form of kṛṣṇa-kathā, but still we have to keep up the organization. Corrections, amendments, and reformation are required. This is Kali-yuga and we are in the material world. Māya tries to stop this movement in so many ways. Elevated vaiṣṇavas have formed a society to help you get strength to fight and push on Mahaprabhu’s movement. They sit together, discuss, and make decisions. It is a combined effort. It is not easy for conditioned souls in the material world to understand paramārthika, spiritual truth. One who is very fortunate, who has sukṛti from a previous birth and has gotten the mercy of sādhu-vaiṣṇavas, may be able to understand. Otherwise it is not so easy.
TOLERATE, TOLERATE, COOPERATE
Moreover, when you try to establish truth you will find many falsehoods and opposing factors will arise. We should understand that this is the will of the Lord. When many different people come together, then different opinions will emerge. Fighting, quarrel and disagreement will naturally arise. satyam eva jayate — Truth will eventually be established, but it takes time. It is not so easy. If there was no darkness how could you glorify the light?
We have to tolerate. We have to have patience and cooperate. That is the instruction of sādhus and ācāryas. Mahaprabhu said in his Śikṣāṣṭaka (text 3):
tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.
This is the most important verse. Unless you understand and practice this verse you cannot do hari-bhajana.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Aug 15, 2013 @ 10:04 am
This is not only a philosophical point, it’s a social consideration. Having spent the last 20 years in India, I can say that in the village areas, and homes of cultured city people there, it’s simply what is done. If you go to someone’s home they will come out and insist (insist!) that they wash your feet. It’s generally not a big ritual, they just throw some water on your feet, or have you put them under a faucet, and sometimes rub them. Generally, I’ve found it more strange if you refuse or fight against them. On the other hand when visiting devotees in the west it’s never come up, and frankly I would very very uncomfortable if someone wanted to do that.
Our Vaishnava culture is different in different places.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Apr 21, 2013 @ 6:12 pm
Nice points from Gaura Keshava Prabhu. Someone may say that we only need to chant and that purifies us both internally and externally. That is a fact, however it does not purify the items we offer.
I have a few questions connected to this topic that I wonder if Gaura could address: If all bhoga and other items are considered contaminated by the eclipse does that contamination go away after the eclipse or do the items need to be purified afterwards? And in that case what about the grains growing in the farmer’s field etc? I’ve heard that some temples place kusa grass over the bhoga.
If you have any further comments or information on this topic I would appreciate it.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On May 28, 2012 @ 4:48 pm
THANK YOU! Nice article. Good common sense points. Srila Prabhupada often said that his only qualification was that he didn’t change anything. No matter how noble our intention is, why should we concoct a new name and position for Srila Prabhupada? If we do, we may end up making some offense.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Apr 15, 2012 @ 8:29 am
The following statement was given by Dhristadyumna Prabhu, when he was relating his remembrances of Srila Prabhupada. The circumstances at the time Srila Prabhupada made this statement were in 1976, when Madhudvisa had disappeared and given up sannyasa. Srila Prabhupada said:
“Actually I have not given any of you sannyasa. But I am in a war with Maya, the material energy, and I need leaders.” He said, “It is called in wartime ‘battlefield commission.’ There are no qualified leaders, but someone has to lead the charge. So you take every fifth man, ‘You are now lieutenant of the squad.’ He is really a private, but we make him lieutenant for the day and he leads the charge.” Then Prabhupada said, “It is to be understood that you are not sufficiently equipped for this fight and most of you will go down.”
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Mar 23, 2012 @ 4:58 am
The doctors at Bhaktivedanta Hospital are wonderful! My profuse thanks to them for helping me and for the help they give to so many devotees.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Feb 20, 2012 @ 5:20 pm
“When Good Fortune Arises, Life and Teachings of Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami” is now available for online purchase using paypal:
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Feb 17, 2012 @ 3:09 pm
Well written. Thank you Piyush. You really captured some of our friend Nitai. We will deeply miss his inspiration and innovation.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Feb 3, 2012 @ 4:03 pm
“There but for the grace of God go I.”
Well said. Sadhu! Sadhu!
Thank you Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja for an article that brought some happiness to my heart. Prabhavishnu Prabhu did so much for Srila Prabhupada! I take the dust of his feet on my head. I pray that whatever his situation, he continues to progress on this path. There are many lessons from this incident both for us as individual devotees and as a society.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Jan 13, 2012 @ 7:06 am
Dear Mother Yamuna, thank you so much for everything you have given us. Even though I only had your sanga a few times, your association penetrated my hard heart. Thank you for all of your encouragement. You are a great example for all of us.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Dec 21, 2011 @ 6:16 am
Beautiful handwriting. It looks almost like printed text. Thanks for posting this Maharaja.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Dec 16, 2011 @ 4:05 pm
@Puskaraksa Prabhu: The diksa-guru may or may not be as primary in our heart as our siksa-guru. However, it is the diksa-guru who gives the mantra which is non-different from Krishna and therefore traditionally is worshiped by the devotee on the altar. Raghunath Das Goswami is famous as svarupera raghunatha — or the Raghunath of his siksa-guru Svarupa Damodar Goswami. However, in his writings Raghunath always describes his guru as Yadunandan Acarya (the disciple of Vasudeva Datta and friend of Haridas Thakur). Although he received more from Svarupa Damodar, Raghunath gave more official respect to Yadunandan Acarya because it was he who was his formal diksa-guru. Similarly we consider that Thakur Bhaktivinode was closer to his siksa-guru Jagannath Das Babaji than to his formal diksa-guru Vipina Bihari Goswami. However, nowhere in his writings does Bhaktivinode cite Jagannath Das as his guru. In fact he doesn’t even mention Jagannath Das Babaji in his writings at all. He always speaks of Vipina Bihari Goswami, whom he says “he was praying for and Krishna sent to him”.
Again, this is because there is a special formal respect that is given to the diksa-guru. Hari-bhakti-vilasa (4.353) quotes the Vāmana-kalpa:
yo mantraḥ sa guruḥ sākṣāt
yo guruḥ sa hariḥ smṛtaḥ
gurur yasya bhavet tuṣṭas
tasya tuṣṭo hariḥ svayam
“The mantra is the guru himself, and the guru is said to be the Lord Himself. If the spiritual master is pleased with his disciple, then the Lord Himself is pleased with that person.”
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 17, 2011 @ 1:27 pm
@Akruranath Prabhu: Thank you for your clarification. I agree 100%, it’s the duty of the disciple to serve the mission of the spiritual master. Like Krishna when he entered Kamsa’s wrestling arena, different persons will see Srila Prabhupada and his mission in different ways. I consider ISKCON to be the seva-sanga of Srila Prabhupada. We should serve it not because of mechanical institutional considerations, but out of devotion because it is Srila Prabhupada’s seva-sanga. I think our point is the same.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 17, 2011 @ 1:25 pm
@Pusta Krishna Prabhu: My humble understanding is that the bonafide disciple will hear the voice of his guru and see his guru everywhere. Srila Saraswati Thakur has said:
It is my Gurudeva who is graciously present in all different forms. If he were not graciously present in all of these different forms, then who would preserve me? Those whom my Gurudeva made his own are my saviors. But may I never have occasion to see the face of that wicked person, who is a source of evil, who maligns the lotus feet of my Sri Gurudeva or who countenances in any way such a slanderer.
The moment I fall away from the lotus feet of Sri Guru or forget them, I certainly fall away from the truth. As soon as I fall away from the lotus feet of Sri Guru I find myself encompassed by innumerable wants. I run in a hurry for my bath. I become busy for preventing a cold. I run after other occupations different from the service of Sri Gurudeva. It is the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva that alone protect me constantly from all this attachment for objects other than the truth. If I do not remember the lotus feet of Sri Guru at the beginning of every new year, every new month, every new day, and every new moment, then I am sure to fall into far greater inconveniences. If I do not remember his lotus feet then the desire will come to dress myself in the garb of the guru. I will become liable to the bad desire of seeking to be worshipped by other people as guru. It is this which constitutes addiction to things other than the truth. •
— Sri Chaitanya’s Teachings page 262-263.
This is something like the avadhuta brahmin who heard the voice of guru in the bumblebee, the prostitute, the elephant, the arrow maker etc. At the same time, it is not that, that bumblebee or elephant was the same to him as his guru. There is a distinction. Such a devotee is always attentive to receive instruction however his or her guru may send it, but it’s not that they necessarily consider that medium to be identical in all respects with their guru.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 17, 2011 @ 1:24 pm
Continued from above:
… Prabhupada: The body is just like a machine, the spirit soul is sitting on this machine, and God is there within the heart. He is giving the direction, “You wanted to do this. Now you go and do this.” So if you are sincere, “Now, God, I want You,” then He will give you directions, “You go and get it.” This is the process. But if we want something else than God, then God will give you direction, “You go and take it.” He’s very kind. isvarah sarva… I want to have something and He is within my heart, and He is giving me direction, “Yes, you come here. You take this.” So if that God can give you indication, “You go and take this,” then why not the spiritual master? First of all we must be eager to again revive our God consciousness. Then God will give us the spiritual master.
— Room Conversation with Irish poet Desmond O’Grady, Rome, 23 May 1974. The Science of Self Realization, chapter 7. Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Los Angeles.
It is not ISKCON’s (whoever that is) responsibility to give us a guru, anymore than it is ISKCON’s responsibility to give us a husband or a wife. The society can provide training and counseling, but ultimately we have to make our own decisions about our spouse, our guru and our association.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 13, 2011 @ 4:12 pm
Continued from above:
Blind following and blanket rejection are two sides of the same material coin. The only guarantee to find a bonafide guru is to take shelter of Krishna. In Vraja there was only one person who could recognize Putana as the false guru. Even Yasoda and Rohini could not recognize her. Only one small baby saw Putana for what she was. Sophisticated persons don’t have faith in taking shelter of babies. However if we want to be protected from the false teachers in this world, there is no other option than to take shelter of Yasoda’s darling child.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura has described:
“At the dawn of our spiritual life we sincerely and with complete submission and self-surrender pray to God for receiving the protection of Sad Guru. The Supreme Lord, perceiving our earnestness and devotion with a view to guide us on the true path, will send a real guru to us. Otherwise it is impossible for us to find Sad Guru by our own fallible energy. If we guide ourselves by our own energy we shall come across the pseudo-gurus and being caught hold of by them by their temporary pleasing manners, run down to hell.” — Harmonist p. 139 Vol. XXVII, No. 5. Oct 1929.
There is a nice discussion on this point, wherein Srila Prabhupada has described:
Prabhupada: The best friend is the spiritual master because he saves one from the blazing fire of confusion.
O’Grady: The problem is to find this spiritual master.
Prabhupada: No, there is no problem. The problem is if you are sincere. … You have got problems, but God is within your heart. isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ‘rjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. God is not far away. God is within your heart. So if you are sincere, then God will give you a spiritual master.
O’Grady: Thank you. That I know.
Prabhupada: Therefore God is called caitya-guru, the spiritual master within the heart. And the physical spiritual master is God’s mercy. If God sees that you are sincere, He will give you a guru who can give you protection. He will help you from within and without, without in the physical form of spiritual master, and within as the spiritual master within the heart.
Continued below …
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 13, 2011 @ 4:11 pm
Dear Kesava Krsna Prabhu,
Thank you again for your gentle behavior and thought provoking articles. Regarding your questions:
“Further instruction” doesn’t just mean information. There are two types of siksa-gurus –realized, and not realized. The second can repeat what he or she has read or heard. However, the first can more deeply inspire. Because of their realization, pratyaksavagamam dharmyam, they can present that which is raja-vidya, and raja-guhyam — the topmost, most confidential knowledge. By nature such “further instruction” should enhance one’s relationship with their diksa-guru.
Ie: A devotee takes initiation from someone and receives Krishna-mantra. If they take shelter of their guru via the mantra and instructions they have been given, Krishna will further appear to them to guide them. In his Brhad Bhagavatamrta, Srila Sanatan Goswami has given the example of Gopa Kumar, who only had a few moments’ association with his guru. He received mantra but no instructions on it. Even he didn’t know who the deity of the mantra (Gopal) was. Still Gopa Kumar had faith in his guru, and faith in the mantra. By Gop Kumar’s chanting in such a mood, Krishna took care of him and appeared before him in different forms as siksa-gurus to help him progress on the path. This appearance of the Lord in the form of various siksa-gurus gave Gopa Kumar more faith in his mantra and in his diksa-guru who gave it to him.
How can we be sure that “other gurus,” will have utmost fidelity to the diksa (Srila Prabhupada)?
Srila Prabhupada is of course not everyone’s diksa-guru. For myself and many others he is our param-gurudeva and the Founder Acarya of this society. The question is: how can we be sure that other gurus will have fidelity to our guru or to Srila Prabhupada?
I’m sure if you have an easy answer to this it would be much appreciated by many devotees.
The simple, unpalatable fact is that there is no material way to ensure it.
Srila Jiva Goswami advises that sincere aspirants on the path of prema, not take initiation for ecclesiastical reasons. If we contemplate it, we can see that there are two types of ecclesiastical or institutional attitudes towards guru: 1) Sentimental devotees who blindly depend on the institution (whoever that is) to give them guru. And 2) Disgruntled persons who blindly reject anything from the institution (whoever that is) as being bogus.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 13, 2011 @ 4:10 pm
Dear “SriGopaldas” (nice alias),
Thank you for your concern and for reminding us of Srila Prabhupada’s special position. If you were really curious about our purpose, you can always try writing me directly.
Anyway, I came across this quote that was spoken by Srila Keshava Maharaja on the internet. If you contemplate on it, I think you will see that it perfectly supports Kesava Krsna Prabhu’s article.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 9, 2011 @ 8:43 am
I agree with Pusta Krishna Prabhu, Krishna may later send us further instruction through the medium of other gurus. However, traditionally, one’s diksa-guru occupies a special place. He is sambandha-datta, or that person who establishes our relationship with Krishna. The siksa-guru is abhideya-datta or that person who teaches us how to use what we have gotten from our diksa-guru. Traditionally, the function of the siksa-guru is to bring one closer to the diksa-guru. This is nicely described by Srila Bhakti Prajnan Kesava Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada’s godbrother who gave him sannyasa:
“It is imperative to worship diksa-guru at the first place. When we deliberate deeply, we see that the guru who bestows mantras is indeed the most prominent. Only those who give the instruction to serve diksa-guru are actually siksa-gurus. Those who are averse to giving instruction regarding service to diksa-guru can never be called siksa-gurus. In fact, they are not even Vaishnavas, for they forsake their responsibility to instruct others to give due respect to diksa-guru.”
–Srimad Bhakti Prajnan Kesava Maharaja’s Upadesavali (most important instructions) No. 17, from the book, “Acarya Kesari Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnan Kesava Goswami His Life and Teachings”, by Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaja. Page 564.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 5, 2011 @ 7:59 am
Thank you so much for your saintly comments Pusta Krishna Prabhu! They really resonate with my heart. It’s easy to criticize, but hard to encourage. I agree with you about the S Eclipse site — not recommended for healthy bhakti.
You may not remember me, but I recall meeting you when my Guru Maharaja (Gour Govinda Swami) visited Berkeley to give a Sunday feast lecture in 93 or 94.
If you ever come to Oriss/Puri, please stop in our ashram in Bhubanswar for prasadam. We would love to see you.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Nov 2, 2011 @ 1:08 pm
All glories to the devotees performing Hari-nama Sankirtan!
Thank you so much for your important and inspiring seva, Parasuram Prabhu.
ALL GLORIES!! :-)
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Aug 14, 2011 @ 11:21 am
Thank you Mother Vishakha Priya for your thoughtful comments. I’ve also noted this point about “50 %” of Srila Prabhupada’s mission. I’ve also heard about, and respect, Abhiram Prabhu’s recollections.
Still, I find it interesting to note that if it was actually 50% of Srila Prabhupada’s mission why didn’t he use that phrase in writing and in recording talks.
Incidently, I’m all for simple living and escaping the matrix of modern civilization.
» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Aug 14, 2011 @ 10:53 am
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It looks like someone used a computer generated translator from something in Hungarian to this, which is supposedly English.
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» Posted By Madhavananda Das (Orissa) On Jul 23, 2011 @ 6:43 am
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