Comments Posted By Mother Gandharidasi

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Proper Gender Roles in ISKCON Must be Authoritatively and Clearly Defined

Mother Vishakha Priya, Hope these help. I have listed them to also remind me of the prescribed duties without attachment and desire for the results and performing them for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord.
These devine words of the Supreme Lord are very purifying and always relishable and contain newer and newer meanings.
Thank you very much
Mother Gandharidasi

Comment Posted By Mother Gandharidasi On 01.12.2010 @ 07:55

Vishakha Priya Mataji wrote comment 18, “So why should they surrender to inferior beings just because their external dress is male? After all, these male and female bodies are temporary designations and they change from one life to the next”
As long as we are in the women’s body, we need to follow the rules layed down for that body, as much as the police offer has to follow the rules of the dress he is wearing. A doctor has to follow the rules of his uniform, an army officer his rules.
BG 3.35: It is far better to discharge one’s prescribed duties, even though faultily, than another’s duties perfectly. Destruction in the course of performing one’s own duty is better than engaging in another’s duties, for to follow another’s path is dangerous.
BG 2.33: If, however, you do not perform your religious (duty of fighting), then you will certainly incur sins for neglecting your duties.
This allies to all the embodied beings my dear mother Vishakha Priya.
BG 2.38: Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat — and by so doing you shall never incur sin.
Purpoert - That everything should be performed for the sake of Kṛṣṇa is transcendental consciousness; so there is no reaction to material activities.
BG 2.47: You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty. Therefore, fighting as a matter of duty was the only auspicious path of salvation for Arjuna.
Purport: - Prescribed duties are activities enjoined in terms of one’s acquired modes of material nature.
BG 2.48: Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.
BG.2.51 Purport:Service for the cause of the Lord is called karma-yoga or buddhi-yoga, or in plain words, devotional service to the Lord.
BG 3.5: Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.
BG 3.8: Perform your prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not working. One cannot even maintain one’s physical body without work.

BG 3.9: Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage.

Comment Posted By Mother Gandharidasi On 01.12.2010 @ 07:52

So how do we go about doing this?

So far in ISKCON, we do not have the training for All the Ashrams, (meaning Grihastha and Vanaprasthas, then how can be begin to understand the duties and natures of various Varnas in the present context of time (present social circumstances. We have a LOT OF WORK ahead of us.

We need to understand that as long as we have these material bodies, we need to follow the rules of living in this material world which are called Varnashram Dharma (which were created at the beginning of time by Lord Brahma 3rd Canto and BG. Chapters 2 and 3.

If we say that we are spirit souls and don’t need to follow Varnashram Dharma, Then, we don’t need to eat, sleep, communicate, work etc. because we are spirit souls.
But so as long as we need to continue with all the worldly activities because we have material bodies and material needs, we need to follow the rules of THIS MATERIAL world which are CALLED Varnashram Dharma.

Then as we advance spiritually, we can gradually start to give them up with the premission of our gurus and senior devotees who themselves will be following them for the sake of teaching and encouraging others.

It is very encouraging to see senior devotees like Jaiadvaita Maharaj to give classes encouraging performing one’s duties instead of giving them up in the name of devotional service as was taught in the early days of ISKCON. We have many references of seminars and classes given by senior devotees if anyone is interested in learning more on this subject. Again, I beg your pardon for any offenses. And I thank you for this opportunity.

Insignificant servant
Wife of Svayambhuva Manudas - SDG
Mother Gandharidasi

Comment Posted By Mother Gandharidasi On 30.11.2010 @ 10:50

We don’t know to full extent what other duties and obligations are in that relationship, like in the example of Kamsa and Lord Krsna or duty if Kamsa towards his sister Devaki where Vasudeva clearly outlines many of them not all. (oops, I am getting carried away and making this too trivial).

But the real point is that as long as we live in this material world we need to follow this system, UNLESS one is an AVADHUTTA or one wants to remain outside of Varnashram Dharma.

At this point many devotees will cite the verse that for one who has taken shelter of pure devotional service one is free of all obligations. (but my point is that we are NOT giving up any principals of pure devotional service, we are ONLY going to ADD the basic rules of Human life to decorate our external interactions which will further beautify the qualities of devotees and endear them to others.

—–Second duty of a grihastha is to make his family, relatives and community Krsna Conscious as per order of Lord Caitanya.

In order to prepare a meal, there are so many many rules one has to observe. What to speak of serving a meal to a Guest. There are hundred of rules. Do we know them. These are suposed to be taught in Varnashram College. It is mentioned that Lord Krsna and Lord Rama learnt these rules in the gurukula where Dharma Sastras like Manu Samhita and Ayurveda were also taught along with all the other Vedas (Bhakti Vidya Purna Maharaj’s tapes on Varnashram and Manu Samhita)
What food item to serve when, with what and how? Which direction one should be facing while eating, sleeping, cooking etc.

Varnashram in simple terms means, KNOWING the rules, duties and obligations of various Varnas and Ashrams and then Following them, Along with rules, duties and obligations of Pure Devotional Service as per example of Great devotees like our Acharyas like Bhaktivinod Thakur, Srila Prabhupada, Mahajans, Rajrishis, Kings like Janaka, Priyavrata, Ambarish M and devotees like Prahlad & Bali Maharaj who followed the rules of Grihastha life (and Varnashram Dharma) even though they came from a family of demons. —–Continued —-

Comment Posted By Mother Gandharidasi On 30.11.2010 @ 10:38

Srila Prabhipada wanted us to help develop Daivi Varnashram Dharma NOT asuri or regular Varnashram.
Daivi Varnashram is automatically included all the principals of devotional service like having Krsna in the center and also 18.66 (sarva dharma parityaja).
But we are requested to include the ’second half of HIS WORK” which is Divine Varnashram. So what is that?
That is what we need to figure out for the benefit of all the above reasons mentioned in my first post and many other reasons not mentioned like
“Human Life begins at the stage of Varnashram” SP
Now I would like to share the following observations.
1) Recently there are yearly Brahmachari Conventions happening in some countries.
2)We have a functioning or unfunctioning Sanyas Ministry
—–So why NOT have an official Grihastha Training Facilities & Programs like
Mother Uttama and her team who are giving counselling/guiding programs for couples who want to get married through Grihastha Vision team. I think these programs have become compulsary in some temples if any couples want the local pujaris to conduct their marriage.
And we also have the example of counselling system set up by Chowpatty devotees, who I beleive are also sharing their systems and skills with other interested parties.

—– We need these because Srila Prabhupada had said that the First Duty of a Grihastha is to feed others and then honor prasad.

So how to do that in our present circumstances. We need to discuss this and many other important duties of Grihasthas. E.g. Rules about interaction with other people like one’s neighbours (as given in 11th Canto), one’s statesmen, king, duties towards one’s nephews and neices? As in the case of Lord Caitanya to Chand Kazi. That discussion only implies the obligations of their relationship. —Continued—-

Comment Posted By Mother Gandharidasi On 30.11.2010 @ 10:34

Sita Rama Prabhu,

Yes, it is a vast topic. Yet, we are very fortunate that many serions devotees all over the world are doing a lot of research on these topics and already educating devotees on these subjects.
Let us discuss and educate ourselves on these principals of Divine Varnashram Dharma called - Daivi Varnshram.
I beg your pardon for too many words. It is my desire to see the discussions and further education on these topics to help us all in fulfilling Srila Prabhupada’s desire.

Insignificant servant (YIM)
Wife of Svayambhuva Manudas - SDG
Mother Gandharidasi

Comment Posted By Mother Gandharidasi On 19.11.2010 @ 09:56

Dear Sita Rama Prabhu,
This is a delemma among devotees in ISKCON. It also very confusing for the followers of Vedic Culture also, ‘the present undefined roles, duties and obligations”. Therefore it is very important that we seriously discuss the principals of Daivi Varnashram Dharma (divine varnashram with Lord Krsna in the center) and understand clearly the differnces between

Vedic Principals (rules, norms, obligations & duties) also called Sanatan Dharm in the third canto because these are eternal principals,
‘Regular’ Varnashram (sometimes called Vedic Path - (as mentioned in the 11th Canto), or Asuri Varnashram ( the present day left over of Vedic path and so called Hinduism, SP also calls it remnants of varnashram) and
Pure Devotional Service (call the Path of Bhakti) - sometimes called Sanatan Dharma &
Divine Varnashram or Daivi Varnashram Dharma.

All the above categories have specific rules, regulations, obiligations and duties towards all members of society, communities and families with scientific reasons as listed in the specific scriptures for corresponding categories. E.g. Bhakti sastras for Pure Devotional Service, Dharma Sastra for Vedic Path and amalgamations of both for Daivi Varnashram Dharma as given in the books of Bhaktivinod Thakur especially the `Jaiva Dharma’ and Caitanya Sikshamrita and Purports of his divine Srila Prabhupada.

In Daivi Varnashram Dharma or society - The Vaisnavas follow the rules of the Vedic Culture for the following reasons:
—NOT to create confusion or disharmony in the society (disharmonious situation) - BG - Chap 2
—NOT unsettle the minds of non-devotees
—To show proper example in the family, community, and society.
—NOT to break the Vedic Social Norms
—To help others progress in their paths of elevation of consciousness towards Krsna consciousness
—To protect oneself from falling down in the path of bhakti
—To prevent oneself from becoming a sahajya
—To respect the principals of eternal varnashram dharma laid down at the time of creation
—To follow the laws of material world as set by Manus and examplified by Mahajans
—To follow the instructions of one’s gurus
—To Please the Vaisnavas
—To follow the example of the Supreme Lord
—To please the Supreme Lord


Comment Posted By Mother Gandharidasi On 19.11.2010 @ 09:25

Cultural Integration

This is similar to Vedic Samskars. Starting from the name giving ceremony for the baby, going out first time, grain ceremony, mundan ceremony, then starting the school, vedic graduation ceremony, etc, and upto forty other more samskars in a persons life.

In Varnashram these rituals are norm. So if devotees seriously look at implementing Daivi Varnashram Dharma, then these cultural needs of social interactiions of family and friends will be met.

In all these ceremonies, usually, small or big yajnas are main focus with the chanting of the mantras, distribution of prasad and gifts. So these brings all the family members and friends together for exhange of gifts, prasad and glorifying the Supreme Lord by Chanting Holy Names in Sankirtan becomes a very enjoyable household duty.

Comment Posted By Mother Gandharidasi On 15.05.2008 @ 19:10

Throwing Coloured Dyes on Holi

which are used in pujas like Abil, Gulal, kum kum, tumeric, rice and mung flour and saffron and evoke devotional mood. They have wonderful healing properties for body, mind, senses, and the soul that is why they are used in puja. So when the change of season occurs these dyes were smeared on people for prevention of viruses and warding off negative energy. These coloured dyes are used in all auspicious ceremonies e.g. Diwali for Rangolis, Weddings, Holi and at all samskaras. You will see in the movie RamaVanvas (Ramayan) how Lord Rama was first smeared with all the auspicious substances by His mothers and then bathed with panchamrita. In the aame way during the vedic wedding one day is set aside for this ceremony by all the elder ladies to smear the young couple in their respective homes with tumeric, kumkum & mung flour paste mixed with auspicous scented oils for enhancing their beauty, warding off negativity from evil eyes and other spirits and creating general balance in the chakras of the body. The coloured dyes have positive effect on various chakras of the body and have wonderful healing properties e.g. tumeric has anti-fungal and anti-biotic properties and it invokes the love of divine mother. The saffron gives joy, has uplifting properties and creates laughter (it is reported that some people die of laughter in Iran from overuse of saffron). Kumkum attracts good UV rays from the atmosphere and invokes divine love. Similar to various flower dyes. So some states in India are already promoting natural coloured dyes.
Hope this helps to enthuse devotees to seriously discuss Daivi Varnashram Dharma. I beg your pardon for the length of this article. Some devotees have appreciated the contents as informative. Your servant Mother Gandhari dasi

Comment Posted By Mother Gandharidasi On 07.04.2008 @ 20:11

away men with sticks.’
(Not that we want to introduce the stick festival in Iskcon). But Hindus have Rass and Garba during this time using the stick (called Ras dance singing the beautiful pastimes of Lord Krsna). This stick dance is celebrated in many major festivals by Hindus on Vedic Calender. 1) Sarad Purnima, Navaratri, & Holi etc. I am including on of the songs that is sung in Braja. from this website.
Holi in Braj Bhumi -
Braj mein hori khelat Nandlal.

Kesar rang ki keech bhai hai,
Chahun or udat gulal,
Nachat gopal.

Braj mein hori khelat Nandlal.

Baajat jhanjhar, dhol, majari aur khartal,
Braj ki nari sangh hori khelat,
Nachat dede taal, sakhi.

Braj mein hori khelat Nandlal.

(This song sung by women describes Nandlal, as young Krishna is called, playing hori with the women of Brajbhoomi - the area comprising Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul and Barsana that are associated with Krishna and Radha. ‘Red colour is flying in all directions and the mud has turned slushy with saffron coloured water. Friend, dance to the beat as Nandlal is playing hori’ - so the song goes.)
More Holi songs about pancha tattva
I remember a class given by Sridhar Maharaj during his very last days in Vancouver before going to Mayapur, where he mentioned that actually 80% of Hindus in India are Vaisnavas. It means that we need to obeserve with a different perspective than what we are used to.

There are couple other observances. That it is recommended in CC Adi - lila part 2 that a devotee should NOT stay at a neophyte level. He MUST come to spontaneous devotional service.
What does this have to do with holi? Holi is celebrated with knowledge of relationships & etiquette towards each other and Krsna. Therefore following suggestions.
1) We need to get training of various ettiquette, duties, and relationship towards each other in family, society and community according to Dharma Sastras.
2) Form Brahman Councils to decide which festivals to include uniformly in ISKCON according to Daivi Varnashram Dharma
3) How does Vedic Calender effect devotees in Daivi Varnshram Dharma
4) What part of Dharma Sastras should we take note of e.g. Ayurveda, Sthapatya, Parasar, Manu samhita etc.
5) What steps should be take in order to implement Daivi Varnshram Dharma.
I missed out the part that the Holi Colours were originally natural dye

Comment Posted By Mother Gandharidasi On 07.04.2008 @ 20:10


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