Comments Posted By Pancha Tattva dasa

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Krsna Answers All of Arjuna’s Questions

Dear Shyamasundara and Sita-Rama Prabhus,

Here is part two.

Having said that, it is not misguided to study the works of the previous acharyas ‚Äď unless it is done without full experience and mature understanding of Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs books. As a nod to Sita-Rama Prabhu, I have sometimes seen devotees rush with great enthusiasm to the books of the Goswamis and other confidential texts while not having full knowledge of Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs books and the other spiritual assets required.

But I do not believe this applies in the case of ‚ÄúSurrender Unto Me,‚ÄĚ by His Grace Bhurijana Prabhu. His book is offered as a supplement (not a subsititute) to Bhagavad-gita As It Is and is entirely loyal to Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs purports, while drawing on the commentaries of Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura and Srila Baladeva Vidyabushana to further elucidate upon the text. Any apparent differences in meaning or interpretation are, in Bhurijana‚Äôs own words, ‚Äúrelevant to particular contexts, with differing emphases, each meant to carry the reader to the same point: ‚ÄúSurrender unto Me.‚ÄĚ‚ÄĚ

And I conclude, with reference to Srila Prabhupada and the previous acharyas, and without equivocation, that Arjuna’s question in the 54th verse of the Second Chapter of Bhagavad-gita was relevant, and that Lord Sri Krsna answered his question.

Comment Posted By Pancha Tattva dasa On 08.03.2011 @ 08:28

Dear Shyamasundara and Sita-Rama Prabhus,

I reply in two parts. Here is part one.

I thank you both for the engaging and thought-provoking debate concerning the dialogue between Krsna and Arjuna that constitutes the crown jewel of the Mahabharata, the Gitopanisad, or Bhagavad-gita. I especially applaud Shyamasundara’s last response, which emphasizes the expansive nature of commentary on Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. I also appreciate his points regarding guru, sadhu and sastra.

At the same time, as a grand-disciple, I understand and empathize with Sita-Rama Prabhu’s sentiments for Srila Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta purports. I acknowledge that, even without approaching the commentaries of other Vaishnava acharyas, everything necessary for perfection of one’s spiritual life is present in Srila Prabhupada’s books. It is important to understand, however, that Srila Prabhupada amplified upon the previous acharyas’ commentaries throughout his writings. He did not disregard them or consider them incorrect, antiquated or inexplicable.

An article appearing in a 2002 issue of Back to Godhead magazine, #36-04, illustrates this adherence very nicely. In ‚ÄúServing the Words of His Predecessors,‚ÄĚ His Grace Gopiparanadhana, senior BBT editor, explores Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs commentary on a single verse from Srimad Bhagavatam ‚Äď Fourth Canto, Chapter 28, verse 51. A careful reading of this article gives a glimpse into the spiritual fidelity of Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs commentary with those of the previous acharyas. This article can be found in the Vedabase, if you are interested.

Comment Posted By Pancha Tattva dasa On 08.03.2011 @ 08:25

Dear Sita-Rama Prabhu,

Here is part two.

In regard to whether or not Krsna answers Arjuna’s question, you may recall that, in my original post, I wrote this:

“The author (Abhaya Mudra dasi - ed.) writes that Krsna ‚Äúnever really answers the question asked by Arjuna‚ÄĚ, and, further, this is “the one question left unanswered in the epic conversation between Krsna and Arjuna.”

I then wrote:

“It would have been far better to write that Krsna answers Arjuna‚Äôs question, but in a way differently than what one might expect if he is thinking only of external symptoms.”

I hope we can agree that this is a fair approach. Arjuna is asking important, pertinent questions and Krsna is answering his questions. Not that Arjuna has asked an impertinent, stupid question and Krsna chose not to answer it.

Your servant,

Pancha Tattva dasa

Comment Posted By Pancha Tattva dasa On 01.03.2011 @ 16:36

Dear Sita-Rama Prabhu,

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

(I answer in two parts. Here is part one.)

Thank you for your gracious reply. I would not have pursued the matter further, but for your question to me regarding Arjuna’s alleged “false assumption about spiritual life.” My contention, as supported by Srila Prabhupada’s purport, was that Arjuna’s question did not contain a false assumption. I think we have established this much. The fact that Lord Krsna goes directly to describing the transcendentalist’s consciousness and dealings does not invalidate Arjuna’s question. Nor does it mean that it’s not answered.

The false assumption about spiritual life is made by persons who think that Arjuna is wondering if a transcendentalist walks with baby steps or is pigeon-toed. The false assumption is made by persons who think that Arjuna questions whether he sits in a straight-back chair or in a recliner, or whether he “talks in a deep voice” or a whisper. Now, those are false assumptions! Let’s at least allow Arjuna credit for a little more intelligence than that. He’s not an idiot. He is an eternal associate of the Lord, and he was a contemporary of Srila Vyasadeva and many other great transcendentalists. The fact that we cannot grasp Arjuna’s poetic use of language (this is Sanskrit poetry) which he uses to ask about ’specific symptoms in various dealings’ [Prabhupada’s purport] does not mean that Krishna and our acharyas - past and present - don’t understand him. They understand him very well.

We are the ones who sometimes don’t understand - although we may insist on pretending to, at the risk of intellectual dishonesty. Our misunderstanding is cleared by submissively hearing from Srila Prabhupada and the previous acharyas. If they concluded that Arjuna asked a dumb question, they would certainly have told us, and then we would have been obliged to accept this and preach it all over the world. But’s that’s not what they say. Quite the opposite. And, since it is the opposite (see Srila Prabhupada’s purports, and those of Srila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura, if you dare), by not accepting, we run the risk of misleading people with our unsupported, so-called “insights” into the Bhagavad-gita.

Comment Posted By Pancha Tattva dasa On 01.03.2011 @ 16:35


Dear Bhakta Chris,

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Only one comment, er, ‘constructive criticism’: I know what you actually meant to write, but the English translation you gave for the ‘om ajnana timirandhasya’ sloka needs a little work:

‚ÄúBorn of the darkest ignorance, my spiritual master has opened my eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him‚ÄĚ

I think what you really meant to write was:

“I was born in the darkest ignorance, but my spiritual master has opened my eyes with the torchlight of knowledge… etc.”

A non-devotee visitor to the dandavats website, or someone not familiar with the prayer, would think that you are saying that your spiritual master was ‘born of the darkest ignorance’ - and he has opened your eyes with the torchlight of knowledge.

And while I’m being picky: The third pada of the verse should read ‘caksur unmilitam yena’, not ‘vena’. But that is a small objection when compared with my first one.

Oh, the fun of English.

Your servant,

Pancha Tattva dasa

Comment Posted By Pancha Tattva dasa On 31.01.2007 @ 22:53

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