You can submit your article, report, announcement, ad etc. by mailing to editor@dandavats.com

Comments Posted By Murari Das

Displaying 1 To 29 Of 29 Comments

The Lower Birth of Women

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Please excuse me for such a lengthy post.

I have read the kind comments and points made especially those regarding my postings and am presently not able to answer all of them. I therefore plan to work on a separate article covering all the points. I do want to make some points here though relating to a post where someone said the Guru can be wrong and also relating to post where we are told some of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions were not essential to implement.

Brahma Prabhu wrote
If the Institute for Spiritual Culture actually wants to bring about “a cultural revolution for the re-spiritualization of the entire human society” it must distill the essential teachings of the tradition from the inessential teachings, and prioritize the former.

So this is your opinon. Someone else may have another opinion. Why should we follow you or someone else? Why don’t we just follow what Srila Prabhupada put in his books as this society is based on those teachings by default, why do we need to distill them? We were instructed by Srila Prabhupada on how continue the work of his society and so we carry it forward that way (see the quote from BG, which appears after the one below). Actually if we want to speak about priorities then Srila Prabhupada did say on a morning walk in 1974 to ‘immediately’ establish varnasrama colleges. There is absolutely no sign of that.

Generally we were taught by Srila Prabhupada to strictly follow the Guru in our Krishna consciousness practice and this will enable us to succeed, otherwise we will fail:

For advancement in anything, especially in spiritual life, one must strictly follow the bona fide instructions of the teacher. Aditi did this. She strictly followed the instructions of her husband and guru. As confirmed in the Vedic injunctions, yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau [SU 6.23]. One should have complete faith in the guru, who helps the disciple make progress in spiritual life. As soon as the disciple thinks independently, not caring for the instructions of the spiritual master, he is a failure (yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ‘pi). Aditi very strictly followed the instructions of her husband and spiritual master, and thus she was successful.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 8.17.1

This is just one quote but I a sure we can all find out other quotes within seconds. So,in Bhagavad-gita Srila Prabhupada says in BG1.40

As children are very prone to be misled, women are similarly very prone to degradation. Therefore, both children and women require protection by the elder members of the family. According to Canakya Pandita, women are generally not very intelligent and therefore not trustworthy. So the different family traditions of religious activities should always engage them, and thus their chastity and devotion will give birth to a good population eligible for participating in the varnasrama system. On the failure of such varnasrama-dharma, naturally the women become free to act and mix with men, and thus adultery is indulged in at the risk of unwanted population.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 1.40

Now, in the Manu-samhita it is clearly stated that a woman should not be given freedom. That does not mean that women are to be kept as slaves, but they are like children. Children are not given freedom, but that does not mean that they are kept as slaves. The demons have now neglected such injunctions, and they think that women should be given as much freedom as men. However, this has not improved the social condition of the world. …..But modern education has artificially devised a puffed — up concept of womanly life, and therefore marriage is practically now an imagination in human society. ……The demons, therefore, do not accept any instruction which is good for society, and because they do not follow the experience of great sages and the rules and regulations laid down by the sages, the social condition of the demoniac people is very miserable.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 16.7

What is Srila Prabhupada’s point here? It looks very clear to me and thus in no need for interpretation or deeper analysis. He also used sastric references. Souls in woman bodies show less intelligence and so a system of social order is required which would suit that and also for other purposes. It is natures plan for some reason. Does it mean they won’t go back to Godhead? No, Srila Prabhupada says clearly that it doesn’t disqualify them from spiritual advancement or attaining the goal (as does Sri Krishna). They may well advance faster than souls in man bodies. Krishna consciousness is simple for the simple minded and complicated for those who are complicated. You can try to interpret this is up or down or sideways or get other references and use some word jugglery but the meaning is very clear.

For those who say that Srila Prabhupada made a mistake or can make a mistake (as one person did say in their comment), well then who should we follow? You? If some points need clarification then we can have a discussion with the assumption that Sri Guru is correct but we could not understand his instruction. Its should not be based on the assumption that Sri Guru wrong and so we have to find another way.

We have to follow someone and some system. After so many lifetimes of following our own rascal minds and scientist and philosophers we now dedicate to following Krishna through his representative, the likes of which will only come to this world once every day of Lord Brahma. So this society, ISKCON was meant for following Srila Prabhupada and his books. Its right there written under every ISKCON sign; founder-acarya…If some of the members decide that now we don’t want to follow Srila Prabhupada because we think he is wrong or a product of his environment, or we want interpret his statements in his books or put footnotes, well the first thing is that is Guror avajna; considering the spiritual master to be an ordinary person or disobeying his orders and as mentioned in the quote above and this well block further advancement. Secondly, you cannot do this here in ISKCON as it has a different basis of instruction. ISKCON is based directly on Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and any change to that effect will be a deviation.

You may take some of these words as extreme, but actually for a person to declare their Guru as wrong or capable of doing wrong is very extreme unless of course the Guru has deviated which is not the case here. If we can decide how to chart out our path or that of the society based on our own opinions then why would we need a Guru at all? Arjuna said to Krishna in Bhagavad-gita that he accepts everything that Krishna told him. But we are smarter because we know what to accept and what not to accept? This is just not how the system of Guru-disciple works. In fact this quote showing Srila Prabhupada’s warning appears in the book ‘Srila Prabhupada Nectar’ by Satsvarupa Das Goswami:

Not being loyal to Prabhupada means to create a very serious erosion in the most crucial place — dedication to the guru. Prabhupada once said that if you lose faith in the guru, it is like a crack at the very foundation of your Krsna consciousness.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SPN 2-49:

Lets make things simple again and just accept Srila Prabhupada’s quotes and accept his word as final otherwise if we start interpreting and adjusting, then we start a dangerous precedent and don’t know where it will end up. And anyway the whole idea is antithetical to the concept of surrender to the Guru.

As mentioned in an earlier comment this has gone off the main topic of the post and so I won’t mention any more on this topic or reply any comments on it. Thank you.

Yours servant,

» Posted By Murari Das On Oct 28, 2014 @ 7:19 am

I was rather taken aback by some of the comments on this page and wondered how they passed the moderation. I really hope this comment is not filtered through:

1. 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. If Srila Prabhupada is wrong about that comment then how do we know he didn’t make a mistake in all his purports and his guidance on how to become Krishna conscious? We will not attain perfection until we attain unshakable faith in the words of the spiritual master. There is a BBT book called The Spiritual Master and the disciple. I urge everyone who doubts their Guru or challenges his opinion to go through it to save yourselves ourselves from spiritual suciide. If anyone refuses to follow their Guru, why should other people follow them or their opinion? Srila Prabhupada said: “if you think the Guru is wrong then you are wrong”.

2. Another comment: “Varnashram does not exist anymore and Bhakti is the most suitable path for people of this age.”
Well, yes Varnasrama does not exist and that is why Srila Prabhupada said to ESTABLISH VARNASRAMA. Bhakti is the most suitable path for all ages actually at lest according to Srimad Bhagavatam. And if we are going to establish VD then it means we have to start carrying out our roles and if women decide not to take up their roles in society then we can forget about social stability, good population, absence of Varnasankara. The natural system in any traditional society is that in any marriage, the jiva conditioned as a male has to lead and be the decision maker and the jiva conditioned as a female follows. This was in all societies.

3 TO BRAHMA DAS:
In reply to the third paragraph of your posting; I urge you to stop basing your knowledge on so called psychology and scientific sources which are designed by people who have four defects; A cheating propensity, imperfect senses, possibility for commiting mistakes and illusoined from the fact that they think that they are the body when they are actually the soul. Instead please seek answers from the Vedic knolwedge as well as their representatives like Srila Prabhupada. These are perfect sources.

In reply to the fourth paragraph of your posting; Women were not sent to school as they didn’t need it. Instead they were trained to properly care for children, cook, take care of the household affairs, teach children the rich culture and religious education that they inherited and even heal basic ailments with natural therapies. these are not small tasks. Now in so called modern societies girls are sent to school and all the above knowledge is gradually being lost, children are growing up with emotional and mental problems. Demons who are trying to destroy the Godly cultures so that they can exploit women more promote this idea of educating the girl child and employing more women and putting women in government. So now who is going to take care of the house, family affairs, character, emotional and mental development of the children, proper food and nutrition for the family members if both men and women are getting jobs and getting ‘educated’ ?

In reply to the last paragraph of your posting:
I would like to just give you a tip about reading news sites; ‘Read between the lines’. Things are not what they seem. That girl who got shot was sent a letter from the people who shot her. They said that they shot her not because she was promoting womens education but because she was writing against them on her facebook page. That was not reported in all the news sites. News is controlled for the purposes of the people who own it. The Nobel ‘Peace’ prize is regularly awarded to people who seem to oppose traditional systems in their countries (China, Arabia, India etc) and support western materialistic values and ideas. It is a political game, so you can’t use that to prove any point.

You wrote: “So in this day and age how does preaching that women are less intelligent than men help to spread the practice of Krishna consciousness?”
I havn’t heard of any ISKCON devotee directly preaching that. But if the issue comes up we have to speak the truth as Srila Prabupada did. You remember that he is our Guru don’t you and that we have to follow the Guru? Anyway you just have to google “men women brain size” and the same thing comes up, that mens brains are bigger than womens. No one is fored to do anything against their will but remember that ISKCON was established by Srila Prabhupada to carry out his mission to his Guru. All are welcome to join and be a part of it. But if you have a different aim or opinion, please don’t do it in ISKCON. Anyway we shouldn’t care what people think too much as a majority of the world is now addicted to the four vices and have no idea what it means to be living as a civilized human being.
Again though the main point is that we are not the body and that we are the soul. However as we have a body and are not fully pure sastra tells us how to deal with our conditioned nature and that is according to our psyco-physical makeup. We shouldn’t be too disturbed by the instructions but just accept them as higher guidance from a perfect source for our benefit. Just like a parent instructing the child. If we decide not to follow that, according to BG 16.23 we will attain neither happiness, nor peace nor the Supreme Destination.
A special thank you to the moderators for posting this message.

Your servant,

» Posted By Murari Das On Oct 22, 2014 @ 7:53 am

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Niscala wrote:

I wonder how you arrived at this opinion as the ksatriyas “protect” the brahmanas and brahminical culture (real ksatriyas of course) but materially they are considered lower birth. Also women protect children, including boys, who are supposed to be a “higher” birth.

REPLY
As I understood it, this statement was contextual. There were some cases listed just before that statement;

“The brahmanas are considered to be ‘higher’ than the sudras, the Sannyasis are considered to be ‘higher’ than the other ashrams, men are considered to be higher than woman.”

So the point being made is that in these cases the superiority is due to the fact that the ‘superior’ class were supposed to give protection (and guidance) to the lower class and therefore their superior status in these examples. It is not that a new and universally applicable law was being established. Otherwise we could also go further and say that the guard dog is superior to the master because he is protecting the master and the presidential bodyguards are superior to the President as they are protecting him.

Niscala also wrote:

Certainly there are bodily differences which require women to be protected, but this does not mean they are of lower birth.

REPLY
The fact that women are lower by birth is mentioned in numerous quotes by Srila Prabhupada, the previous acaryas and great sages (Srimad Bhagavatam). Just one example is Bhagavad-gita 9.32, where Lord Krishna says that even if one of lower birth – women, vaisyas and sudras take shelter of Him, they can attain Him. Therefore this whole article wasn’t trying to see whether that point of women being of lower birth is true or not but rather analyzing and elaborating on this point in detail (the first sentence of the essay). If we don’t agree that souls in a women’s body are of lower birth then we are going against Srila Prabhupada’s opinion as well as that of Bhagavad-gita (Lord Krishna’s opinion) etc.

Of course, as mentioned in this article and in numerous quotes by Srila Prabhupada, this is all on the material platform. We are not the body, we are spirit souls. On the spiritual platform we are all equal. A soul in a womans body can achieve perfection as much as and even more than a soul in a male body. The analogy given in the article is that of the driver and the vehicle. We are all in different vehicles and if we act according to our psycho-physical natures (as given in scripture) then we can achieve a level of peace and happiness as well as the easily fulfill the goal of life. But if we go against the nature (vehicle) that we have been conditioned with then things won’t be so easy for us. Hare Krishna.

» Posted By Murari Das On Oct 20, 2014 @ 11:53 am

The power of Harinama and the potency of Srila Prabhupada

How inspiring! And from my experience, the more we go all out and give ourselves more and more for the mission of Srila Prabhupada, the more we get these reciprocations.

Book distribution and harinams are especially so powerful for Krsnization of whole societies, communities and swaths of land!

Your servant,

» Posted By Murari Das On Oct 5, 2014 @ 3:32 am

Why Veganism does not work in Iskcon

naham tathadmi yajamana-havir vitane
scyotad-ghrta-plutam adan huta-bhun-mukhena
yad brahmanasya mukhatas carato ‘nughasam
tustasya mayy avahitair nija-karma-pakaih

SYNONYMS
na — not; aham — I; tatha — on the other hand; admi — I eat; yajamana — by the sacrificer; havih — the oblations; vitane — in the sacrificial fire; scyotat — pouring; ghrta — ghee; plutam — mixed; adan — eating; huta-bhuk — the sacrificial fire; mukhena — by the mouth; yat — as; brahmanasya — of the brahmana; mukhatah — from the mouth; caratah — acting; anughasam — morsels; tustasya — satisfied; mayi — to Me; avahitaih — offered; nija — own; karma — activities; pakaih — by the results.

TRANSLATION
I do not enjoy the oblations offered by the sacrificers in the sacrificial fire, which is one of My own mouths, with the same relish as I do the delicacies overflowing with ghee which are offered to the mouths of the brahmanas who have dedicated to Me the results of their activities and who are ever satisfied with My prasada.

The devotee of the Lord, or the Vaisnava, does not take anything without offering it to the Lord. Since a Vaisnava dedicates all the results of his activities to the Lord, he does not taste anything eatable which is not first offered to Him. The Lord also relishes giving to the Vaisnava’s mouth all eatables offered to Him. It is clear from this verse that the Lord eats through the sacrificial fire and the brahmana’s mouth. So many articles — grains, ghee, etc. — are offered in sacrifice for the satisfaction of the Lord.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 3.16.8

——————————————————————————————————————-

One who loves Krsna will give Him whatever He wants, and he avoids offering anything which is undesirable or unasked. Thus meat, fish and eggs should not be offered to Krsna. If He desired such things as offerings, He would have said so. Instead He clearly requests that a leaf, fruit, flowers and water be given to Him, and He says of this offering, “I will accept it.” Therefore, we should understand that He will not accept meat, fish and eggs. Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Krsna Himself.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 9.26

» Posted By Murari Das On Mar 15, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Veganism is simply another ‘ism’ concoction. This idea of introducing all these new fangled ideas among devotees is a disease. Why don’t we just follow the system instead of introducing all these smart ideas. This is what happens when we stop reading SP’s books and give priority to karmi books. This is also what happens when we start to take association of non-devotees (rather than giving association). Srila Prabhupada wanted us to take milk as it is very important for good health and intelligence.

…if you want to have good brain, then you have to take milk. If you don’t want to remain dull, then you have to take milk.
[Srila Prabhupada, Conversation - September 23, 1971, Nairobi]

So we should offer the milk to Krishna and take it as His divine remnants. Who says so? His dear devotee and Senapati Preacher; Srila Prabhupada (krsna sakti vina nahe tare pravartan). He also took milk wherever he went. So are we know smarter than our founder acarya? Thats factually what is implied when an ISKCON devotee decides to become a Vegan. If you think he is wrong, then you are wrong. In other words we are in maya for trying to correct the Guru.

According to the Visnu Purana and more importantly, according to Srila Prabhupada, whoever isn’t a devotee is a demon, fullstop. Vegan or non-vegan. Its black and white. There is no grey area.

Simply by blinking we kill so many living entities, by breathing we kill living entities, so what about saving them? What about not wearing anymore clothes from the west as they are mostly stitched by exploited workers in the developing countries. In this way Veganism is not a complete way of solving problems of life but Krishna consciousness is.

In reality it is just another avenue for subtle sense gratification and trap for devotees whereby one cheats himself into thinking that ‘ I am so charitable and merciful and I am doing a good deed’. It is just another way that one lords over nature by thinking that ‘I’ am the controller and maintainer and ‘I’ decide like this.

Of course if Vegans come to our temples we can entertain their nonsense a little to gradually bring them to Krishna and needn’t tell them all this immediately. But devotees should understand the position clearly. And we should eventually tell them all these points for their benefit.

Your servant,

» Posted By Murari Das On Mar 10, 2013 @ 9:46 am

On the Subject of Female Diksha Gurus

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

These are finally some words of wisdom. Quite simply put; ISKCON needs to start fulfilling the desire of the founder acarya, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and ESTABLISH SOCIETIES BASED ON VARNASHASHRAMA . This cannot be done suddenly but we should work towards it.

So many devotees claim to be followers of of Srila Prabhupada or ISKCON and yet this instruction has been totally blacked out from our long or medium term goal as a society and even from lectures. We are not pure devotees and so we cannot ignore bodily designations. A man, brahmacari, brahmin, vaisya, woman etc everyone needs to follow their own prescribed duties.

For a balanced society a well balanced family unit is important. Woman are required to perform duties which only they can do properly such as child birth, inculcating good spiritual and moral values to children at a young age, seeing that the atmosphere at home is balanced and conducive to spiritual practice for the whole family by proper and timely prasadam, clean environment etc. These are not easy tasks and require training mostly from an early age. This is missing in a very big way in ISKCON, although to a lesser degree in India where the cultural background has saved the situation.

Today western society (and increasingly other societies now also) is experiencing moral decadence with Teenage pregnancies (out of marriage), incest, higher than 50% divorce rate, suicides and disillusionment among the youth, crime etc all due to the broken family unit. There are some things you can only learn at home and only from a qualified mother which will affect the rest of your life.

If women are now also made into diksha gurus who will carry out those roles in society meant for them? We are not saying that women are not advanced or can’t do these duties. We are just saying that everyone has a different role to play to make society whole and complete. This is a crucial point in ISKCON’s history. We have to make decisions that will create stable and nurturing society otherwise what will we preach to the materialists?

Your servant

» Posted By Murari Das On Dec 6, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

Female Diksha Gurus – “Yes. But, Not So Many.” Sp

PART III of III

Suniti, however, being a woman, and specifically his mother, could not become Dhruva Maharaja’s diksa-guru.
(SB 4.12.32)

Your servant

» Posted By Murari Das On Dec 2, 2012 @ 6:56 am

PART II of III

Well informed and thought out opinions based on Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and his (SP’s) desire for developing VAD.
The various opinions and views expressed by many different devotees should not be lumped together as simply abusive extremist personalities. I think one of the main articles you are referring to is the one titled Gurudevis and Grandmothers by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami. This article was written very logically and not in any way abusive to Women. Maharaja actually begins the article by stating that

“Undoubtedly, several senior women devotees in our movement are as learned, dedicated, and in other ways spiritually qualified as many of their godbrothers.”

So these are not extremist but in fact realistic and based on Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and books. I challenge you to find any part of that article which is not from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.

Sad Mentality?
You wrote

But unfortunately there is a small group of devotees determined to totally restrict all women to Stree Dharma only, to not let any women who are qualified participate in any other services which they want to be reserved exclusively for men even though in some instances a woman might be many times more qualified. This is a sad mentality indeed.

Again you said ‘small’. Perhaps we should start an online petition so that you can see how small a group we are. In reply to the comment above I will say that this is not our opinion it is the opinion of His Divine Grace. Srila Prabhupada stressed many times that the best way for a woman to be happy and for society to be in perfect functioning order, women should be protected and not left to be independent. This is because as a class they are easily misled and taken advantage of by unscrupulous men. We have seen this so many times even within our ISKCON. In fact Srila Prabhupada said in an interview that most men who were fighting for women’s ‘liberation’ were lusty men who wanted to lure them out of their protective situations so that they could enjoy them.

The quotes by Srila Prabhupada about Women bodied Gurus should be taken in context based on all his other quotes regarding women’s roles. Also there is a big difference between a very rare case of accepting a woman bodied spiritual leader and INSTITUTING the same. Actually instituting this is a very big step which will be unprecedented in the whole history of the sampradaya.

CONTINUED>>>

» Posted By Murari Das On Nov 28, 2012 @ 8:26 am

PART I of III

Dear Ajamila Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

It is good that this matter is now coming out in the open for discussion so members of ISKCON can have an idea of these FDG resolutions which were discussed and passed with no knowledge of the general mass of devotees.

Small Group?
Firstly although it is definitely what some people would wish, this is not a small group. There are ALOT of devotees in ISKCON who feel that this is a step in the wrong direction. It’s just that not all of them will be writing about it or discussing it online. For example majority of devotees in India and Russia who make up an extremely large bloc in ISKCON don’t know English and so won’t be writing or reading articles on Dandavats. What is their opinion? In my opinion in India (the land of culture, religion and civilization according to Srila Prabhupada), they wouldn’t be too happy about it. One supporting fact about this claim is the message that the RGB of India passed to the GBC about this stating their opposition to FDG. Again we cannot just ignore their opinion as they represent the largest bloc of devotees in the ISKCON.

Only GHQ members opposing FDG ?
I don’t know what GHQ is but all I will say is that there is a big cross section of persons opposed to this idea. Practically anyone who is regularly reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and assimilated his true mood and message would be quite taken aback by this proposal. Srila Prabhupada time and again wrote so much about how a woman should be protected and not be independent. Granted that perhaps we are not at the stage to follow all these practices now, but to endeavour to institutionalize FDG means going against the whole teaching of how Srila Prabhupada wanted to model the human society. Actually for quite some time now there have been exchanges between you and a WOMAN bodied devotee who OPPOSES this idea on an online forum. Also on various other forums up until yesterday I have seen postings by women bodied devotees who are staunchly against this idea. I don’t think they are in this ‘GHQ’. So as I said although some people would wish it, this is NOT A SMALL GROUP of people who oppose FDG.
CONTINUED>>>

» Posted By Murari Das On Nov 28, 2012 @ 8:13 am

World Food Day – How about a new perspective?

Thank you for the suggestion Prabhu. However, I think you are misquoting me and this is not fair as you are turning the attention away from the whole point of the posting.

I didn’t say we should stop Prasadam distribution, as doing so would actually be a deviation of our duty. I recall a quote of Srila Prabhupada where he mentions one of the aims of ISKCON is to distribute Prasadam as widely as possible. However we shouldn’t just go to poor people and disaster zones. That is what I said we should stop. It should be distributed profusely to all people regardless of rich or poor because all people are poor (spiritually). Why? because this is the result of Yajna and one who takes the remnants are liberated from sinful reactions (BG 3.13). Everyone require to advance spiritually, not just the poor.

This is mentioned in the Conclusion of the write-up above. I will put it again here with emphasis on the relevant points:

Yes Srila Prabhupada wanted prasadam to be distributed profusely and that should be done, to everyone, not specifically to the poor.

So far prasada distribution, it is not a question of rich or poor. That will be Karma Kanda. Our program therefore is that we offer prasada to everyone. Make our temple so nice that everyone who comes is offered some prasadam. Not that we are after poor men.
[Honolulu 15 May, 1972]

And yes, I do free Prasadam distribution.

» Posted By Murari Das On Oct 30, 2012 @ 9:03 am

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I just wanted to mention that although the main article here doesn’t mention much about poor feeding, I wrote the above three parts after clicking on the link at the bottom of the article titled “MORE ON SOLUTIONS TO WORLD HUNGER”, which leads to the ffl website.

From there I surfed into the Aims and Objectives of FFL and saw the text below which outlines part of the aims of FFL.

Welfare
– To provide pure plantbased meals to te disadvantaged, malnourished and victims of disaster (natural or manmade), wherever there is a need in the world.

Your servant,

» Posted By Murari Das On Oct 29, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

PART III of III


Guest (3): Now people… There are drought conditions, people are starving. Cattles are dying. There are no rains.
Prabhupäda: Yes, because they are not God conscious, they are thinking like that. Now, suppose in the hospital, there are many patients. They are starving, many patients in the hospital. Do you know that or not? So why don’t you give them food? They are starving. Why? Why don’t you go to the hospital and you’ll find hundreds of patients, they are starving… So similarly, why you are bothering? You are not bothering the hospital because you know that is right, they are starving. That is the physician’s prescription. They must starve. So if you know God, then you will understand that you cannot help anyone. They are put into the starving condition under certain condition. So you cannot help them. You are simply thinking that “I will help.” There are hundreds and thousands, millions of people starving. What you can do? ….. What you are doing for them? What you can do? You are simply thinking falsely. What you have got to give? Just oil in your own machine. Try to understand God, instead of thinking foolishly, “Oh, what I shall do, this? What I shall do, that?” First, of all try to understand the situation.

[Room Conversation -- September 19, 1973, Bombay]

Conclusion
Based on these views , I feel that we shouldn’t be doing all these activities as it was against Srila Prabhupada’s wishes. We should revert to the direct preaching of Krishna consciousness as His Divine Grace intended. Yes Srila Prabhupada wanted prasadam to be distributed profusely and that should be done, to everyone, not specifically to the poor.

So far prasada distribution, it is not a question of rich or poor. That will be Karma Kanda. Our program therefore is that we offer prasada to everyone. Make our temple so nice that everyone who comes is offered some prasadam. Not that we are after poor men.
[Honolulu 15 May, 1972]

Yes, some people are too hungry or are suffering too much to be able to pay attention to the message. This is very regrettable. But if we start feeding all the hungry people then who will preach Krishna consciousness?

Your humble servant,

For further information, please see:
http://www.dandavats.com/?p=10711#more-10711
yasyaprasada@gmail.com

» Posted By Murari Das On Oct 27, 2012 @ 10:42 am

PART II of III

All decent men want to give service to humanity, only thing is they do not have information really what is that service. Hospitals, feeding the poor, Red Cross, these are service to the bodies only, not to the man. Service to humanity means jnana. By giving people knowledge, jnana, that is the highest service to humanity. So we are performing the actual welfare work of society by informing everyone through our literatures who is God, who they are, and what is the relationship. In this way everyone who hears our message gets the opportunity to fulfill his actual position as human entity and become delivered from the clutches of maya……..
So you may understand it that by disseminating our Krsna consciousness propaganda anywhere and everywhere, by selling books, by making publicity, newspapers, television, so many ways there are to spread Krsna consciousness information, you may know it that by utilizing our energy in this way to give everyone access to the Absolute Truth, that is the real understanding of desire to serve humanity.

[ Letter to: Ramesvara -- India 9 January, 1973]

Here is an explanation of how those engaged in activities for the welfare of others are very quickly recognized by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (18.68-69), ya idam paramam guhyam mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati. .. na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah: “One who preaches the message of Bhagavad-gita to My devotees is most dear to Me. No one can excel him in satisfying Me by worship.” There are different kinds of welfare activities in this material world, but the supreme welfare activity is the spreading of Krsna consciousness.
[SB 1.5.18 purport]

But people are poor, hungry and suffering !
One may say that this is heartless and cruel, we have to feed the hungry people and give relief to the disaster victims (droughts, floods etc). Of course we also don’t like to see people suffer but we should try to understand the situation. How many people will we feed? There is a specific plan of the Lord as people have rebelled against God’s authority and they refuse to be Krishna conscious. This world is inherently a place of suffering (duhkhalayam asasvatam) and we should try to get people onto the Krishna conscious platform and not make futile attempts to stop the suffering (which is impossible). We cannot and actually should not change Krishna’s plan.
>>>>CONTINUED>>>>

» Posted By Murari Das On Oct 27, 2012 @ 10:22 am

PART I of III

Dear Priyavrata Prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Concern for the welfare of other living entities is something all civilized persons should aspire for. Actually a devotee being full of all good qualities (sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah), is by nature compassionate to all suffering souls.

A holisitic approach to Welfare
When we speak of welfare activities however, we have to understand how we can really help the suffering souls. We have to have a holistic approach to the welfare of the suffering souls and not temporary patchwork solutions (feeding them, educating them materially etc). Any help for the body is temporary. We are taught by His Divine Grace to rescue the eternal soul from this material entanglement. This is real help. As Srila Prabhupada says in Bhagavad-gita,

Material compassion, lamentation and tears are all signs of ignorance of the real self. Compassion for the eternal soul is self-realization..…. No one knows where compassion should be applied. Compassion for the dress of a drowning man is senseless. A man fallen in the ocean of nescience cannot be saved simply by rescuing his outward dress — the gross material body. One who does not know this and laments for the outward dress is called a sudra, or one who laments unnecessarily.
[Bg 2.1]

Srila Prabhupada established ISKCON to do the supreme welfare work which stops the suffering of all souls once and for all; the preaching Krishna consciousness. Also, Krishna mentions in Bhagavad-gita that one who spreads this knowledge of the science of Krishna consciousness is most dear to Him. He doesn’t mention anything about feeding needy persons or medical aid or any other form of material help. This is the best way to please Krishna; by directly preaching Krishna consciousness. >>>>> CONTINUED >>>

» Posted By Murari Das On Oct 27, 2012 @ 10:17 am

Mundane welfare work in iskcon

A more readable version of this article with distinction between quotes and text, can be found HERE

Your servant,
Murari Das

» Posted By Murari Das On Sep 24, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

Instances of Prasadam distribution by Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur to the poor or needy

There might have been some instances where prasadam was distributed to poor or needy people but if we study the situation and the quotes, we will definitely find that it was for the spiritual elevation of those souls .

Also of course if I am walking on the road or in a train and I see a beggar or a poor person come up to me, then I will give some prasadam to them as this is auspicious for them. I would also give prasadam to a person who is not materially poor or not needy as everyone in the material world requires spiritual elevation.

In private, grhasthas may also distribute prasadam and devotees travelling and moving around would do good to always carry prasadam for distributing among people they meet.

The argument here however is that establishing an international organisation for distributing prasadam, collecting donations for it, using temple resources and promoting this organisation for poor and ‘disaster victims feeding’ under the banner of ISKCON is incorrect as this is not the aim of the ISKCON (see: The seven aims of ISKCON).

Your servant,
Murari Das

» Posted By Murari Das On Sep 4, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

Respecting Our Women In Iskcon

CONTINUED>>>

Anti-renunciate mentality
The atmosphere in this whole material world especially in Kali-yuga is antithetical to renunciation. Add to that an anti-renunciant mentality among some of our dear ISKCON members and one can begin to see why our renunciates are sometimes mistaken as being ‘self-centred’ in their endeavour to maintain a conducive situation or environment for their practice. Again this is something that should be there; in-built in society, yet it is not and so renunciates are sometimes placed into an awkward situation of trying to adjust situations to guard against high risk situations. Srila Prabhupada actually mentioned many times how it is best for someone to remain a brahmacarya (if he is able to) and how it was a simpler life for cultivation Krishna consciousness. So he did encourage it.

Conclusion
By trying to break the barriers and controls so necessary for cultivation of a renunciate mentality (even among grhasthas!) in our societies by encouraging free mixing, we are actually harming the fabric of our future spiritual societies.

Srila Prabhupada said in the text for SB 7.12.9 (see#1 above) that separation of the sexes was was basic human civilization.

Thus all our expert erudition of sastra, sloka quoting, expert in logic and argument are not put to proper use if they are used for destroying our society instead of trying to sow seeds for a powerful spiritual society to herald in the golden age.

Brahmacaris, Sannyasis and vanaprasthas are not separate members of another society but integral members of ISKCON and instituting systems for their proper practice will have an effect on the whole society. Having come from degraded societies based on sense-gratification, we sometimes see such controls and systems as fanaticism, but they are in fact the basis of any advanced civilization. But if these principles help to lead us to a higher, purer civilization and a society free from lust then why not accept them? Anukulyasya sankalpah !

Your servant,
MD

» Posted By Murari Das On May 22, 2012 @ 11:17 am

Dear Kesava Krsna Prabhu,

The ‘descent into forgetfulness of Krishna’ applies to all persons not only renunciates as you are portraying it. Material desires are there and if not controlled by engagement in Krishna consciousness lead one to go astray and thus fall away from the proper practise of his Ashrama; Grhastha, Vanaprastha, Brahmacarya or Sannyasi. How can one learn to control these material desires and be aloof from them?

Importance of the Brahmacarya Ashram
The importance of the Brahmacari ashram for training one to control the senses cannot be overstated. It is the foundation for success in other ashramas. If one was a good brahmacarya, he would be an excellent Grhastha, vanaprastha and Sannyasi. If we do not properly institute systems for facilitating the proper practice of Brahmacaris then what kind of Grhasthas, Vanaprasthas or Sannyasis will we have in the future? Indeed the present commotion and standards of the ISKCON grhastha ashram (higher than average divorce rate, difficulty in following the ‘regs’ etc) and sannyasa ashram, can be attributed a lack of training for sense control at an earlier age. Although anyone in any ashram can preach; we see that when it comes to full-time preaching and book distribution in any community those who are not married or taking care of family and business (brahmacaris) are best suited for it. Therefore Brahmacaries are not anti-social elements in our Krishna conscious societies or parasites but in fact future (and present) pillars of stable members of other ashramas and a source of free volunteers for helping us to preach and run our temples.

Proper social systems and etiquette
Now in order for one to practise Brahmacarya there has to be a certain constraints and restrictions in-built which exists in any civilized (Aryan) society. We find how in India even today when a renunciate enters a bus or any public place they are treated differently compared to just any person especially in interactions with the opposite gender. The reason being that other persons also know that it is in their interest and that of the whole society that brahmacaris are able to practice and for some section of society to even remain brahmacaris.

Although it is not expected that everyone will remain a renunciate, at least one should be able to properly practice while in that ashram and society should be sensitive to its importance and purpose otherwise what is the whole point of it?

CONTINUED>>

» Posted By Murari Das On May 22, 2012 @ 11:08 am

Dear Kesava Krsna Das,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

In answer to #18;

Two of the quotes whose sources I wanted clarification on:

“..This natural aggression leads the male to think he is superior to females”

“… aggression – self-defence = aggression”

Also you said;

“A natural barrier is formed by ‘higher taste.’ With this higher taste, one’s aggression is then directed for higher pursuits in Krishna consciousness, and a secure friendly disposition finds agreeable acceptance for all community members.”

However, even if one acquires a higher taste and thinks he has ‘natural barriers’, he should still not freely interact with the object of the senses, Srila Prabhupada was an example of one who refused to remain alone with his septaganarian sister. Does this mean he did not have a higher taste?

Separation of the genders is required for any civilized society, even if they are paramahamsas as long as we have these material bodies, the reason is given below:

“If a butter pot and fire are kept together, the butter within the pot will certainly melt. Woman is compared to fire, and man is compared to a butter pot. However advanced one may be in restraining the senses, it is almost impossible for a man to keep himself controlled in the presence of a woman, even if she is his own daughter, mother or sister. Indeed, his mind is agitated even if one is in the renounced order of life. Therefore, Vedic civilization carefully restricts mingling between men and women.”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 7.12.9, text

Again, although your argument seems to be directed at renunciates the quote above shows that Srila Prabhupada maintained that this separation should also be within families not only among renunciates!

“However advanced one may be..”, ; therefore your argument that only the less advanced with ‘no higher taste’ show this tendency is not valid since even if one is very advanced he should still continue this practice as recommended by our sampradaya acarya Narada Muni.

These quotes are repeated by Srila Prabhupada, time and again. Therefore it behooves us to try to take these practices up even if they don’t make sense to us, as they will lead to a greater good for one and all. Indeed if we can’t understand their benefit one can try to find out the reason for their importance.

Your servant,
MD

» Posted By Murari Das On May 22, 2012 @ 11:02 am

“Another mataji, Candravali, who was one of Prabhupada’s senior disciples and who had pioneered ISKCON’s preaching in Mexico with her husband, voiced a complaint.
Candravali: Prabhupada, we hear that in our philosophy the men should treat the women as mothers. But actually, the men, especially the sannyasis, don’t treat the women as mothers. Instead they treat them as maya. Their attitude, not the women, seems more like maya! It doesn’t seem proper.
Prabhupada heard her complaint carefully. He smiled softly and began to reply. His words dropped from his mouth as if they were sweet ripe fruits falling from a tree.
Prabhupada: Yes, the men do not treat the women as mothers. Nor do the women act like mothers. Neither do they dress as mothers.
Prabhupada answered this delicate question with directness, acknowledging the “butter and fire” nature in the dealings between men and women. Vedic culture compares men to butter and women to fire, not vice versa. In Kali-yuga, women seem determined to break from their traditional roles in social dealing. They seem to be thinking, “If the butter-like men are disturbed, then that’s their problem, not ours. Why should we be penalized and our position restricted or minimized?” Prabhupada, however, was not inclined to compromise the Vedic standard.
It is true that our bodily identity as male or female is illusory, but we still have to deal practically with the temporary nature of that illusion. ISKCON’s men and women, therefore, need to conscientiously adopt the activities, restrictions, and responsibilities of their temporary, bodily roles and become sympathetic, not antagonistic, to the position and needs of others.”

>>> Ref. VedaBase => MGM 18-10: A Darsana

» Posted By Murari Das On May 21, 2012 @ 5:12 am

Dear Kesava Krsna Prabhu, PAMHO AGTSP

Regarding the comment you wrote above in post #15; I have never read anything like that or close to that in Srila Prahupada’s books and neither have I heard it in any lecture of Srila Prabhupada. In fact, it looked really strange to me and almost mathematical.

It looks to me like you got the info above from some mundane psychologist book or source. This means the knowledge is tainted by the three modes of material nature and thus not ‘apauruseya’.

Please can you include proper Pramana for your comment as this will show us that it is really bonafide and from an inffallible source. But if it is something coming from your own opinion, then why should we accept it as we are all in Maya (BG 7.27) and thus have imperfect senses, are prone to commit mistakes, have a cheating propensity and are illusioned.

Why don’t we all base our spiritual lives on Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. That way we remain safe. When we start speculating like this, who knows where or how we will end up? Probably not in Goloka.

Normally when devotees write we can easily see whether they are reading and studying Srila Prabhupada’s books or not. Alot of ideas floating around and ‘opinions’ will not have come about if devotees just regularly read Srila Prabhupada’s books. If we decide to start having alternative ideas to Srila PRabhupada about how things should be done then best not to do them in ISKCON as this was a society setup with Srila PRabhupada’s books and teachings as its basis.

Ys
MD

» Posted By Murari Das On May 19, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

Also, regarding “Women’s empowerment”, Srila Prabhupada mentioned in a conversation (Room Conversation with writer, Sandy Nixon — July 13, 1975, Philadelphia) that it was started and propagated by lusty men who wanted to lure chaste and protected women out of their protected situations to exploit them.

This article is titled “Respecting our Women In Iskcon”. If we really want to show respect for the women in ISKCON we should rather be encouraging a return to traditional Vedic (Varnasrama) values as a role for women who would then be better cared for in a family and allowed to engage in activities more suited to their nature and not sent out to ‘earn a living’ and be exploited by unscrupulous men.

One of the ways you advocate for us to ‘respect’ women is to more freely interact with them and not be so restricted in our communication with them. Yet respect as defined in Vedic terms is to not just be able to approach any woman and start a conversation with her (this is actually an insult). Rather one should not deal with her directly, and in case of services deal with her through her husband or male relatives. It may be that this is not completely possible at present due to societal setup, but at least we should understand the ideal and work towards it.

These restrictions are very essential as free mixing of the sexes will most certainly lead to degradation of society [again; see SB 7.12.9 text and purport]

Srila Prabhupada writes in BG 16.7 purport how the social position of women should be, and this is repeated in His Divine Grace’s lectures, purport and conversations etc. The modern egalitarian influences that have permeated ISKCON in recent times have no place in its vaikuntha spiritual culture carefully handed down to us by Srila Prabhupada, which is supposed to be the panacea for this demonic suicidal civilization which is progressively causing moral decadence on an unprecedented level.

Srila Prabhupada also states in BG 16.7,purport how due to neglect of these rules;
“…marriage is practically now an imagination in human society. Nor is the moral condition of woman very good now. The demons, therefore, do not accept any instruction which is good for society, and because they do not follow the experience of great sages and the rules and regulations laid down by the sages, the social condition of the demoniac people is very miserable.”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 16.7

Thank you,
Ys,
MD

» Posted By Murari Das On May 9, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

Dear Kesava Krsna Prabhu, PAMHO AGTSP

There is nothing wrong with women or men. But the two of them just do not go together, as Srila Prabhupada stressed many times that they should not mingle and if so then very cautiously. This is basic civilization and sets us apart from Animals;

“If a butter pot and fire are kept together, the butter within the pot will certainly melt. Woman is compared to fire, and man is compared to a butter pot. However advanced one may be in restraining the senses, it is almost impossible for a man to keep himself controlled in the presence of a woman, even if she is his own daughter, mother or sister. Indeed, his mind is agitated even if one is in the renounced order of life. Therefore, Vedic civilization carefully restricts mingling between men and women. If one cannot understand the basic principle of restraining association between man and woman, he is to be considered an animal.”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 7.12.9

The senses are too strong and fear of maya and falldown is very healthy and should be inculcated by anyone who is serious about spiritual life. We have seen too many devotees become complacent in their dealings, only to succumb to maya in time.

“As long as a living entity is not completely self-realized — as long as he is not independent of the misconception of identifying with his body, which is nothing but a reflection of the original body and senses — he cannot be relieved of the conception of duality, which is epitomized by the duality between man and woman. Thus there is every chance that he will fall down because his intelligence is bewildered.”
>>>Ref. Vedabase=> SB 7.12.10, text

In our Krsna consciousness movement it is advised that the sannyasis and brahmacaris keep strictly aloof from the association of women so that there will be no chance of their falling down again as victims of lusty desires.”
>>>Ref. Vedabase=> SB 7.15.36, text

Your conception of family is based on the materialistic, western model; with men and women having ‘normal healthy relationships’ even across different families (“..When males and females from these families interact, we often see normal, healthy relationships without artificial celibacy uncertainties affecting them”….). Yet Srila Prabhupada always stressed repeatedly that in Vedic culture there was restriction of free mixing even WITHIN FAMILIES (see 1st quote above; and SB 9.19.7 which SP would quote repeatedly).

Ys, MD

» Posted By Murari Das On May 9, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

Your Temple/Community Not Listed on Krishna.com

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prahbupada

I once went there and filled all the details to register our preaching center and also gave references of our GBC etc. But for some reason it wasn’t added to the list.

Your servant,
Murari Das

» Posted By Murari Das On Nov 24, 2011 @ 6:34 am

Letter of Bhakti Vikasa Swami

Dear Akruranath Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Thank you for your reply,

We should accept that all devotees sincerely trying to understand Srila Prabhupada’s teachings are special souls, and that if some have not come to exactly the same conclusions as we have (over issues such as, whether to open a hospital or school), it may be that they are seeing some other angle that we have missed.

I am in favour of dialogue and discussion, on the basis of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, to try and come to an understanding of ISKCON’s role in relation to welfare work. We should definitely try to understand properly, our role as Prabhupadanugas. Srila Prabhupada gave a formula for how we can become fully Krsna conscious. If we change this formula the result will change, we will not advance spiritually (see quote below), however many lifetimes we engage ourselves. This is the concern. This movement is supposed to be there for the next 10,000 years and if we start making adjustments to the formula now, then how will future generations become purified?

I urge the respected devotees not to see this as a criticism but rather a call to action for us to delve deeper into Srila Prabhupada vani to thoroughly understand the philosophy in terms of practice as well as how we (ISKCON) can do the utmost service for the suffering souls. Go through Srila Prabhupada’s conversation, lectures and letters on this subject and try and see how His Divine Grace wanted ISKCON to alleviate the suffering condition of living entities. And also what He considered the highest welfare activity.

“In this verse the word atad-arhanam is very significant, for it means that one should not be overly engaged in welfare activities for one’s family members, countrymen, society and community. None of these will help a person to advance spiritually. Unfortunately, in present-day society so-called educated men have no idea what spiritual progress is. Although they have the opportunity in the human form of life to make spiritual progress, they remain misers. They use their lives improperly and simply waste them thinking about the material welfare of their relatives, countrymen, society and so on.” [SB 4.28.22 purport]

If one tries to spread Krsna consciousness all over the world, he should be understood to be performing the best welfare activity.[SB 8.7.44 purport]

Your servant

» Posted By Murari Das On Nov 30, 2011 @ 9:14 am

Dear Isvara Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Actually, the first person to criticize the opening of schools and hospitals was our ISKCON founder acarya; His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Hrdayananda: You’re the only one, Prabhupada, who dares to criticize hospitals and schools. (laughter)
Prabhupada: Yes, so many people came to request me… Even Dr. Ghosh. Eh? You know.
Satsvarupa: He wanted you to open a medical dispensary.
Prabhupada: “No, no, we are not going to waste our time in that way.” I frankly told him. We have no extra time to waste like that. What he thinks very big project, we say it is waste of time. (laughter)
Jayatirtha: Yes.
Hrdayananda: Jaya. It is a completely revolutionary idea.
Prabhupada: Yes. I cannot allow anyone he’s waste his valuable time of human life.
Guru-krpa: You said before that the more hospitals they open that means the more people have to become sick.
Prabhupada: That, more… Yes.
Guru-krpa: To get in the hospital.
Prabhupada: They are very much proud, “We have opened fifty hospitals.” That means fifty thousand people have become sick. “We have increased so many beds.” That means so many people have more increased their disease. But they’re proud of doing this.
[ Morning Walk -- July 9, 1974, Los Angeles]

You can open a hospital for the human being but where is your hospital for the tiger? Can any man open a hospital for the tigers, for the snakes? And why not? You are compassionate with living entities. Are they not living entities? This is the frailty of imperfect knowledge
[Bhagavad-gita 5.17-25 -- Los Angeles, February 8, 1969]

They are very much puffed up, that “We are doing this, opening hospital and school, and philanthropism, nationalism.” Is there any such thing in the Bhagavad-gita? Is there any advice that “You open hospital, school and do this philanthropic work”? No. If you have got anything to give in charity, you are charitably disposed, Krsna says, “Give it to Me. If you are so rich and if you have got this good intention to give in charity, give it to Me.” Yat karosi yaj juhosi yad asnasi yat tapasyasi dadasi yat. Dadasi yat means “whatever you give in charity.” Kurusva tad mad-arpanam: “Give it to Me. Yes, I am expanding My hand. Come on.” But they have forgotten Krsna or Krsna’s advice, and they remain puffed up, that “I am engaged in this activity, that activity, this activity.”
[Bhagavad-gita 2.2 — London, August 3, 1973

» Posted By Murari Das On Nov 24, 2011 @ 3:22 pm

Dear Akruranath Prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

You wrote
“I think we are a big enough movement now to accommodate many different styles and strategies, but we should thoughtfully and respectfully discuss different opinions about all these things.”

Actually, I might have my opinion, you might have your opinion but that is not the point. What is Srila Prabhupada’s opinion? It’s all there in His books, conversations lectures, very clearly explained. We have gone all out now doing this and that welfare work, but not only did Srila Prabhupada never do any welfare work personally, but he actually denounced it continually.

We are not social welfare worker or political worker. We are worker for Krsna. [break] …in this world that people are suffering for want of Krsna consciousness. Let us try to make them Krsna conscious. That is our only interest. Otherwise we have no interest in this material world.
[Morning Walk -- January 10, 1974, Los Angeles]

The highest perfectional project of philanthropic activities is to engage everyone in the act of preaching bhakti-yoga all over the world because that alone can save the people from the control of maya, or the material nature represented by kala, karma and guna, as described above. The Bhagavad-gita (14.26) confirms this definitely.
[ SB 1.13.46]

What is more public welfare than Krishna Consciousness? To awaken everyone’s original consciousness is the best public welfare in the whole world.
[ Letter to: Yasomatinandana -- Bombay 9 January, 1976]

According to Srila Prabhupada, welfare work, Philanthropy etc are different guises of maya.

In politics, social service, altruism, philanthropy, and ultimately in religion or even in salvation, the very same tint of sense gratification is ever-increasingly predominant.
[ Ref. VedaBase => DWT 5: What the Senses are Meant For]

Philanthropy is when one becomes interested in Krsna’s interest, that is real philanthropy. Otherwise it is all kama.
[Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.7 -- Vrndavana, October 29, 1976]

Srila Prabhupada is the founder acarya of ISKCON meaning he set down what should or should not be done. If someone started a society for a particular aim and some of the members started doing some activities not according to the aim of the society, then this should be brought to their attention and persons should desist or else continue the same outside the umbrella of the society.

Your servant,
Murari Das

» Posted By Murari Das On Nov 24, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

OPEN LETTER TO Bhakti Vikasa Swami

The argument in the lecture in question is not to stop prasadam distribution but to combine it with preaching, Harinam, book distribution etc. Also Prasadam can be distributed everywhere not necessarily to disaster areas, poor and needy. It shouldn’t be seen to be like a charity, philanthropy, feeding the poor or feeding the hungry kind of thing because this is a Transcendental actitvity meant to alleviate spiritual poverty of which everyone is a victim in the material world.

The goal of ISKCON is to spread Krishna Consciousness. Distributing Prasadam helps and is very beneficial, but we have to preach to come to the stage of making people chant Hare Krishna or to hear the mantra, take books, hear the philosophy etc. If we just continue to feed prasadam without doing the other above activities then we didn’t really do as much as we could have to elevate them. If we study the seven aims of ISKCON we can see that actually all the money and effort should go primarily to book distribution. Of course Prasadam distribution has a very important role to play. I personally want to get the benediction of being able to distribute Krishna Prasadam widely my whole life, but not as an independent activity separated from Harinam kirtan, Book distribution, philosophical discourses (the activity would depend on the level of the attendees).

Some quotes:

If we open a branch in Madras, actually there are so many poor children there. Spiritual education and food, that is proper. Simply supplying food is nonsense. Spiritual education means just to inject in their ears about our philosophy, externally they chant beads, wear tilak, without any discrimination of Hindu or Muslim or anything.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Gurudasa — Honolulu 13 May, 1972

In Vrindaban we can begin this prasadam distribution program also. Of course, there are many chatras for distributing, but we shall give them also Krishna Consciousness, that will be unique.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Gurudasa, Yamuna — Tokyo 25 April, 1972

Kirtana and prasada distribution. So our men can perform very nice kirtana, and if they come to take little prasadam, that is preaching. You have to maintain this standard, that kirtana must go on and prasadam should be distributed.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation — January 29, 1977, Bhuvanesvara

I recommend a seminar by H.H. Jayadvaita Swami titled “Food for Death” http://www.jswami.info/seminar

Your servant,
Murari Das

» Posted By Murari Das On Oct 13, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

«« Back To Stats Page

TOP