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Varnashrama and Harinam Sankirtan

“wouldn’t it be nice to also discuss a few other points, such as:
– the quality of our chanting, versus just quantity…”

One thing leads to another. Obviously by chanting better, we want to chant … MORE. Prabhupada explains that we can increase the number of rounds, but not reduce. And also we are a Gostyanandi movement whose main function is preaching. And so there must be a balance.

“- the service we perform after having performed our saddhana, which also features ‘asking for service’…”

The Sadhana is not just some morning practices. All our daily activities are Sadhana.

Definition of Sadhana
Sadhana – Activities of devotional service.

Chanting Hare Krsna, associate with the devotees, read Srimad Bhagavatam, worshiping the Deity, to do a service during the day, distribute many books, take care to keep the family who are devotees, through work, etc.. All this is Sadhana. At the begining it is Vaidhi (Ajata Ruci Raganuga) and after, Jata Ruci Raganuga.

“- developping taste (ruci) for the performance of devotional service and attachment for Krishna, while entering the world of raganuga bhakti, after having gone through anartha nivritti (saddhana)…”

In Bhakti-sandarbha Anucchedya 311, Jiva Gosvami explains: “Devotees who have an interest to practice
raganuga-bhakti, but who are still ajata-ruci (without much taste for hearing and chanting), should combine vaidhi-bhakti principles with their practice of raganuga-bhakti.” In summary, according to Srila Jiva Gosvami there are two kinds of raganuga-bhaktas: jata-ruci (those whose taste has come about) and ajata-ruci (those whose taste has not yet come about). It is not that ajata-ruci devotees in ISKCON only deserve to be called “vaidhi-bhaktas.” On the strength of Srila Jiva Gosvami’s explanation of raganuga-bhakti, all ISKCON devotees may be called raganuga-bhaktas.” (HG Suhotra Tapovanacari)

» Posted By Prahladesh On Sep 17, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

Morning Walk — April 20, 1974, Hyderabad:

“Pancadravida: Srila Prabhupada, you were talking that a person, he can come up to that position of nitya-mukta by either following the principles of sadhana-bhakti or causeless mercy, or you said there was also the question of krpa, the krpa-siddhi, that one can attain perfection…
Prabhupada: No, that is sadhana-bhakti.
Pancadravida: One gets mercy by sadhana-bhakti.
Prabhupada: Yes. In the stage of sadhana-bhakti… Sadhana-bhakti is for the conditioned soul.”

Question: One GETS MERCY BY sadhana-bhakti?
Answer by Srila Prabhupada: YES !!!

“As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.” (BG 4 – 11)

Krsna wants to see our sincerity and then He shows His mercy (Krpa).

According to Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana there are 10 kinds of prayers. One of them is:
“Svadhainyabodhika – expressing humility and embarrassment, informing the Lord: I am very fallen.”

The devotee prays that way, but at the same time strives STRICTLY to follow the simple Sadhana of chanting Hare Krsna avoiding the ten offenses and associating and serving Guru and Sadhus.

One might say that Krsna is very merciful and will bring a soul back home without having achieved perfection. Maybe. But we can not “force” Krsna to give it and not even know if this will really happen.

Just like we can not force Krsna because the strength of our Sadhana, we can not force Krsna because He is very merciful. He is completely independent.

But one thing is certain. So quite sure Krsna will show His mercy by giving many lives (those necessary) for someone to attain perfection. This is the mercy (Krpa) of Krsna. He gives many lives that are necessary to achieve perfection …;)

Your servant
Prahladesh Dasa

» Posted By Prahladesh On Sep 17, 2011 @ 11:26 am

Krpa Siddhi is very, very rare.

In Chapter 17 of the Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada explains:

“Elevation to the ecstatic stage of life is generally attained through association with pure devotees, while elevation to that stage by the special mercy of Krsna or His devotee is very rare.”

Therefore, for most, it is Sadhana Siddhi, or association with devotees chanting Hare Krsna and become absorbed in the Srimad Bhagavatam, while waiting for Krpa of Guru and Krsna.

It is very simple. We have to keep Sadhana waiting for Krpa of Guru and Krsna. Sadhana and Krpa together. We can not arrogantly think that we will reach Krsna with the strength of our Sadhana, but we can not sit idly by and do nothing waiting for Krsna and His devotee give Krpa without merit.

sadhana ekane, siddhio ekane
bhaver gocar seekane jadi ta,
dekhite na pao, marile dekhibe ke

“Sadhana is to this world, Siddhi also happens here, and it can be seen in Bhava. So if we do not see Krsna here, how we shall see Him after death?” (Mana Siksha of Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami)

Krpa Siddhi is very, very rare.

In Chapter 17 of the Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada explains:

“Elevation to the ecstatic stage of life is generally attained through association with pure devotees, while elevation to that stage by the special mercy of Krsna or His devotee is very rare.”

Therefore, for most, it is Sadhana Siddhi, or association with devotees chanting Hare Krishna and become absorbed in the Srimad Bhagavatam (Sadhana) waiting and longing for Krpa …;)

“the practice of yoga, especially bhakti-yoga in Krsna consciousness, may appear to be a very difficult job. But if anyone follows the principles with great determination, the Lord will surely help, for God helps those who help themselves.” (BG 6-24 by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

God helps (Krpa) those who help themselves (Sadhana)…;)

Dear Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis thank you all for all these important articles. Learning a lot from you all.

Your servant
Prahladesh Dasa

» Posted By Prahladesh On Sep 11, 2011 @ 6:59 am

Regarding Varnasrama often we heard statements saying that many devotees in ISKCON are engaged in activities that are not their nature (Varnabhasa), or a incompatible mixture of Varnas. Devotees who are not able to administer (Ksatriya), which are not able to trade or cultivate land (Vaisya) or are not able to study in depth the scientific and transcendental knowledge (Brahmana) are “forced” to do it. And this, all of us as participants in this movement have to be able to keep adjusting.

However, it is important to say, as noted above, the mixture of incompatible Varnas is not related with the four principles and chanting 16 rounds. Because it is for all Varnas.

For example we can not ask someone with Sudra nature to act as a Brahmana and scientific and methodically study Sastras. But we can and should ask this same person follow the four principles and chant 16 rounds.

Follow the 4 principles and chant 16 rounds is not a Brahmana standard, BUT a minimum standard for all Varnas.

» Posted By Prahladesh On Aug 25, 2011 @ 11:12 am

Krpa Siddhi – Sadhana Siddhi

Srila Prabhupada explains that for most, the path is through Sadhana Siddhi.
In the book “The Nectar of Devotion” is explained that there are two ways to achieve perfection in devotional service:

Krpa Siddhi
Sadhana Siddhi

However Krpa Siddhi is very, very rare.

In Chapter 17 of the Nectar of Devotion, Srila Prabhupada explains:”The purport is that one should execute devotional service rigidly in the association of devotees so that there will be certainty in raising oneself to that ecstatic position. In special cases, of course, there is special favor from Kṛṣṇa, and although we should always expect that, we should not sit idly and simply wait for Kṛṣṇa’s special mercy; the regular duties must be performed. It is just as when, sometimes, it is found that a person who never attended school or college may be recognized as a great scholar, or an honorary degree from great universities may be offered to him. But this does not mean that one should avoid school and expect to automatically receive an honorary degree from some university. Similarly, one should devoutly execute the regulative principles of devotional service and at the same time hope for Kṛṣṇa’s favor or for His devotee’s favor.” (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

That is, through the cultivation of a strict internal and external Raganuga Sadhana (“one should devoutly execute the regulative principles of devotional service”) we’ll reach Krishna Prema. And also waiting for Krpa of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna. But there has to be a cultivation, because things do not come from nothing.

» Posted By Prahladesh On Aug 25, 2011 @ 11:11 am

- what does “work now” mean ? Perform the service given / granted to you by Sri Guru

Exactly, Sri Guru will ask us to execute a practical external service and simultaneously cultivate an inner Sadhana. Simultaneously. That is the service given/granted by Sri Guru for all his/her disciples. Is not that everyone will leave their occupations (Varnas) and go sit in the holy Dhama as “Babaji”. But the internal Sadhana has to be there.

In the following quote, Sripada Namanandi Aindra Das Prabhu warns about the danger of neglecting the deepening of internal conceptualization of Krishna’s service, which can result in the practitioner “a devotional vacuum” that will take to fill it with subtle and gross mundane Rasas . Or in other words, “chewing the chewed”.

“It’s not enough simply to know the denial that “I’m not “this” [illusory material] body.”
There comes a certain point, an individual seriously inquisitive inevitably asks, “If I’m not “this” body, which body then am I?”
More than the idea of being an indescribable “eternal servant of Krishna” and being a spiritual entity, as well as psycho-physical tabernacle currently acquired, could theoretically be quite entrenched in the brain, just the realization that “I am not “this” body” without cultivating a more internal spiritual concept tends to give the “I” an internal spiritual dissatisfaction “formless” (nirakara) vulnerable to a corporeal nostalgic selfishness that “something is better than nothing” and the individual return to the subtle or gross mundane Rasas.” (Sripada Aindra Dasa Prabhuji)

– What does “samadhi later” mean? … Neither is there any scope for impatience, the it is a matter of unalloyed receiving the mercy of Guru and Krishna …

“Nothing happens automatically or blindly by chance. Everything must be cultivated scientifically and consciously for the absolute pleasure of Guru and Krishna with a clear conception of deliberate cause and due consequence. One could hardly expect to achieve the supreme spiritual perfection by unapprisedly harboring anomalous devotional (what to speak of non-devotional) idiosyncrasies, which are not accommodated by the purest realm of Vraja.” (Sripada Aindra Dasa Prabhuji)

» Posted By Prahladesh On Aug 25, 2011 @ 11:08 am

It is clear that Sripada Aindra Baba never received “Babaji Vesa”. He was a devoted Brahmacari following the request of his Guru Srila Prabhupada to maintain 24-hour Kirtan in Vrndavana. He was affectionately called “Baba” for his friends. Nor was his proposition that all remained in Vrndavana and there were no more preaching.

Here’s what he said:
“Work now samadhi later’ … that’s alright, but what work? and how much later?
How later does later have to be, before later can be considered later enough?
Later after some future, God-knows-how-many-births? ” (HG Kirtancandra Namanandi Sripada Aindra Baba)

Work now, but what work?

Work without an adequate internal Sadhana cultivation?

This leads to “chewing the chewed” for many as we know.

Regarding Varnasrama, Srila Prabhupada instituted Gurukulas but had no time to set Varnasrama Colleges. However, he left the guidelines in this regard. And so we can say that Srila Prabhupada left his work complete. His followers have simply instituting Varnasrama Colleges.

“The Varnasrama College has to be established immediately. Everywhere, wherever we have got our center, a Varnasrama College should be established to train four divisions…” Morning Walk Vrndavana 12 March 1974

Another important point:

Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 7 Chapter 11: The Perfect Society: Four Social Classes
“In verses 8-12,
Narada lists “the general principles to be followed by all human beings” (i.e. all
varnas). Prabhupada clearly states in the purport that these principles are for everyone, even Muslim, Christians and Buddhists” (HH Suhotra Tapovanacari)

Vrindavana, March 12, 1974.

“Hridayananda: Prabhupada, to be clear. I want to see if I’m sure about this, that if someone comes to our Varnasrama College , even though this is as an initial help in general – you made some exceptions – but in general when they come to our school, they must follow the four principles, and also learn something about the Bhagavad Gita and then, step by step, they learn
Prabhupada: The four principles are compulsory. ”

All receive Brahmana initiation ( A Vaisnava even without Brahminical qualifications is higher than a Brahmana who is not Vaisnava), and even without Brahminical qualifications, should still follow the four principles and chant 16 rounds. That is human civilization. This is for everyone. For all Varnas.

» Posted By Prahladesh On Aug 23, 2011 @ 7:56 am

“Srila Prabhubada instructed that book distribution and nama-sankirtana should go on together, side by side. They go hand in hand.” (Sripada Kirtancandra Namanandi Aindra Dasa Prabhuji)

“Book distribution, kirtan, or why not both and why?” by Sripada Kirtancandra Namanandi Aindra Dasa Prabhuji:

Whenever we talk about Varnasrama, we must stress that there are three types of Varnasrama as evidenced by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. If these three types are not taken into account, our analysis will be partial.

According to the Vedic system, there are two paths:

Pravrtti Marga – the path of sense enjoyment.
Nivrtti Marga – the path of renunciation.

According to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura there are three classes of Varnasrama:

A-Daiva Varnasrama or Pravrtti Marga Varnasrama Dharma

Daiva Varnasrama or Nivrtti Marga Varnasrama Dharma

Asura Varnasrama or Smarta Varnasrama (Caste System)

For me, the following explanation of HH Suhotra Tapovanacari, is conclusive and definitely enlightening:

» Posted By Prahladesh On Aug 14, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

Secrets of the Bible

Sampradaya means authorized disciplic succession.

Apasampradaya means unauthorized disciplic succession. There is a disciplic succession but is distorted.

There are 4 authorized Sampradayas in Vaishnavism. Anyone who follows one of these 4 Sampradayas know that is following a safe path. There are also many Apasampradayas, unauthorized disciplic succession in Vaishnavism.

All Protestants lines only accept the doctrine known as “Sola Scriptura” and reject an Apostolic Succession. However without a disciplic or Apostolic Succession, over time the message may become distorted.

However there are Churches that accept a disciplic or Apostolic Succession:

Patriarchate of Constantinople, Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Russian Orthodox Church, Armenian Apostolic Church, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Assyrian Church of the East, Church of Cyprus, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Catholic Church.

But these different Churches insist that they alone are the true Church, and other Churches in the Apostolic Succession are false.

So which one should we follow ???

And when we choose any one of them will not be certain to follow a safe path, because they reject each other.

But we must not forget that Srila Prabhupada admired the Lord Jesus Christ and no doubt there are now faithful followers, such as:

Your servant
Prahladesh Dasa

» Posted By Prahladesh On May 23, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

Proper Gender Roles in ISKCON Must be Authoritatively and Clearly Defined

Only with understanding, patience and generosity towards each other is that men and women can lead a harmonious existence.
For example, a woman should not be overly so, but should leave the man to express the quality of Rajas participating in events that involve action and movement.
If the expression of Rajas of men is so intense, women must subtle involve man in practices that bring peace to mind.
Meanwhile, a man must understand the desire for a woman to have a family and home, and still encourage, not suppress, the Rajas of it.
If the Rajas of her is deleted, Tamas increases, leading to anxiety, depression and sometimes the eruptions of anger.
Man should also understand the kind and quality of her maternity and not be angry with her for being lenient with the children.”

End Quotes

There is no doubt that any man or woman – if they are in pure devotional service – could act as a Guru and help all.

It is a fact that no physical barrier can prevent the execution of devotional service.
So no matter whether someone is male or female, they must take care to spread the message of Krsna consciousness.

Srila Prabhupada explains:
“This dress is not formal sannyasa. True Sannyasa is when a person induces others to become Krsna conscious and dancing in Krsna consciousness.
If you can make only one person Krsna conscious then you will return to God, to home, this is guaranteed.
This is the real purpose of sannyasa.” SPT 20/2/70

Furthermore, when one spiritually advances, whether man or woman, will feel the need, by the desire of Krsna Himself to let flow all the spiritual nectar.
And so this person as a service to Krsna and Guru would be a powerful tool in spreading the spiritual culture.

In general, according to their Prakriti, women will accept family life. But those who do not feel inclined should be encouraged to preach intensely as renounced devotees.

Furthermore, “Matajis” who have gone through family life and had raised her children, can and should concern itself actively in the preaching as renounced devotees.

Your servant
Prahladesh Dasa Adhikari

» Posted By Prahladesh On Dec 2, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

There is always a big discussion about this issue in all civilized societies.
In many cultures are stereotyped traits attributed to one or the other sex, damaging the delicacy and flexibility of almost all relationships.

There are male and female in both men and women, but the proportion varies from one to another – as well as within the same sex.
Expressions like “a girly man” or a “masculine woman” are very common in many languages and are in use to describe individuals who believes that this ratio is too unbalanced.

There are more Sattva and Tamas than Rajas in the female component.
In the male, the predominant is Rajas, while Sattva and Tamas are less important.
It is the proportion of these qualities that makes male and female different from each other.

A woman with 20 percent of the male and 80 percent of the female, will have 26 percent of Rajas and 37 percent of Sattva and Tamas.
A man with 80 percent of the male and 20 percent of the female will have 44 percent of Rajas and 28 percent of Tamas and Sattva.
But there may be variations.

The innate attributes of women and men emerge from the different proportions of the three qualities.
The male attributes imply activity, action and movement.
The feminine attributes are tranquility, spirituality, creation, care, etc..

These features can be seen readily in young children.
Girls are usually more stable and more peaceful quieter than the boys, who jump and move about much.
Often, girls play with dolls taking care of them, giving them assistance and putting them to sleep.
Some say that these characteristics result from the imposition of social norms by parents.
Not true. If so, all the mothers who were exhausted because of the naughty behavior of their boys would be able to manipulate them easily.

Therefore, as noted earlier, a woman has more Tamas and Sattva in her than Rajas.
It is the dominant quality of Tamas with a bit of Rajas that gives women the desire to make a home and be in the same place and want to have a family.

Freedom of expression and understanding of each other’s qualities are essential for the companionship between women and men.

» Posted By Prahladesh On Dec 2, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

A parallel with Christianity

Christian Egalitarianism

Christian Egalitarianism holds that all people are equal before God and in Christ. All have equal responsibility to use their gifts and obey their calling to the glory of God. God freely calls believers to roles and ministries without regard to class, gender, or race.

Christian Patriarchy

Biblical patriarchy is a set of beliefs in evangelical Christianity concerning marriage, the family, and the home. It sees the father as the head of the home, and responsible for the conduct of his family.

Christian Complementarianism

Complementarianism holds that “God has created men and women equal in their essential dignity and human personhood, but different and complementary in function with male headship in the home and in the Church.
In contrast with adherents of Biblical patriarchy, some complementarians are open to the possibility of women assuming leadership roles in civic and commercial life.

An alternative view: Egalitarianism and Complementarianism

Complementarian and Christian Egalitarian views need not be mutually exclusive, according to some, one can subscribe both to Complementarianism and Christian egalitarianism. This theoretically would allow men and women to complement each other without any form of hierarchy. This view is sometimes (informally) called complegalitarian.

This view argues that the Bible prescribes both equality and complementary positions and roles for both men and women.

It seems that the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition would be closer to the latter.

Although women and men play different roles (in pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, women has a unique role), as we do not follow the Asura Varnarsrama Dharma but the Daiva Varnasrama Dharma, those ladies who show different inclinations should be encouraged to actively participate.

Everyone should be educated to know that a Guru does not necessarily have to be a Sannyasi or a man.

In the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition there were women who acted as Siksa and Diksa Gurus.
Jahnavi Devi, the wife of Nityananda Prabhu.
Gangamata Goswamini who initiated the King Mukunda Deva and many Brahmanas.

That is, who is qualified – whether man or woman – can become a Guru.

Your servant
Prahladesh Dasa Adhikari

» Posted By Prahladesh On Nov 23, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

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