Comments Posted By Radhananda Dasa

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Letter of Bhakti Vikasa Swami

So the point is appreciation is there, but that doesn’t mean you stop discriminating. Just like in this letter H.H. Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja showed his appreciation for H. H. Radhanath Maharaja by glorifying all the wonderful qualities that he has. However, that doesn’t mean that he has changed his position on what the proper standards are, as seen in the statement where he is urging vaisnavas to not discount his concerns because of his apparent crudeness. Hope this helps.

Hare Krsna

Comment Posted By Radhananda Dasa On 23.11.2011 @ 05:23

OPEN LETTER TO Bhakti Vikasa Swami

If we are distributing ordinary food instead of prasadam, it has a negative effect and simply increases sex desire. Please see the quote below:

Prabhupada: Why not? But prasadam, not ordinary food. From all our centers you can distribute food, prasadam, because that prasadam means they will gradually become Krsna conscious. Otherwise if you give them ordinary food, they will get strength, and they will increase their sex desire, that’s all, problems. [break]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk — February 21, 1975, Caracas

So, we shouldn’t be thinking whats the bare minimum standard we can follow so that the food distributed is indeed prasadam. If we follow bare minimum standards, then it is likely that there will be shortcomings and food is not prasadam. If we instead strive to follow the highest standard, then even if there are shortcomings, it is possible that we are above the bare minimum standards. But if we set the bar low, we are likely to miss it.

Comment Posted By Radhananda Dasa On 30.10.2011 @ 12:43

(contd. from previous comment)

Prabhupada: But I am not in that stage. I say because you don’t surrender to Krsna, you are sinful. That is my darsana.
Guest (4): So then you should be also seeing as sama-darsinah.
Prabhupada: No, why shall I? I am not in that position. I am not within that… I am simply repeating the words of Krsna.
Guest (4): Then that… You came to… Even your… (?)
Prabhupada: I am simply teaching the teachings of Krsna. That is my point. I may be sama-darsi, I may be not sama-darsi.
Guest (4): Not be, but you teach that we should worship the sama-darsi.
Prabhupada: Krsna says. I don’t say.
Guest (4): Ah! You say, Krsna says that…
Prabhupada: But that does not mean that one has become sama-darsinah. That is… That is his…
Guest (4): Then he is not following the guru.
Prabhupada: No. My position is simply repeating. That’s all. My position is.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Discussion with Indians — January 18, 1971, Allahabad

So your proposition that everyone should be sama-darsinah and overlook the faults doesn’t work well for a missionary institution.

The whole thing with prasadam distribution is that it should be accompanied by philosophical presentation of Krishna katha. Please see the below quote:

Therefore the best humanitarian work is to give knowledge to the humanity, not that one is suffering for want of food and… If I give some food, that is good work, but that is not sufficient. I may give food; that’s all right. You give. We also give prasadam free. But that does not mean simply by giving prasadam, we are silent. We give knowledge also. This is Krsna consciousness movement. Food, automatically you have to give. That is… There is no prohibition. But at the same time: knowledge. Without knowledge-giving, if he remains ignorant… Just like the same example. If you have got some children, if you don’t give them education, simply feed them, that is not your proper duty. You must give knowledge.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.5-6 — Vrndavana, September 9,

Prasadam destroys all sins, but that should be followed by an endeavor to advance spiritually. Just like when Ajamila chanted “Narayana” indirectly, his sins were destroyed, but we wasn’t transferred to Vaikuntha directly. He got a second chance, he went to hari-dvara, where he fully applied his mind in service of the Lord and then he got liberated. So the recipients of prasadam, also have to be encouraged to make spiritual advancement.

Comment Posted By Radhananda Dasa On 30.10.2011 @ 12:30

Dear Puskaraksa Prabhu,

Your are suggesting that we should be sama-darsinah - see everyone with equal vision and overlook all shortcomings. By your logic ISKCON should stop operating. If we see with a vision of uttama adhikari, that everyone is liberated, there shouldn’t be a need to preach, to distribute books. right? We shouldn’t be making a distinction between ordinary food and prasadam either. But this is all maya-vada. Srila Prabhupada’s attitude wasn’t like that. Please read the below quote:

Prabhupada: Sama-darsinah means you have no distinction what is sin and what is…
Guest (1): Sama-darsinah means to treat everyone as equal.
Prabhupada: No, no, no. Sama darsinah means there is no distinction between sin and virtue. That is sama-darsinah. As soon as you see, “This is virtue, and this is sin,” it is not sama-darsinah.
Guest (1): Virtue and sin become the same in sama-darsinah.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is sama-darsinah.
Guest (2): In other words, the sin does not remain sin any longer.
Prabhupada: That is another thing. But he has no vision that “This is sin, and this is virtue.” That is sama-darsinah. As soon as you make distinction, you are not sama-darsinah.
Guest (2): In another interpretation, in…
Prabhupada: You may interpret in a different. Sama-darsi, this is plain word. Sama-darsi means there is no difference, that’s all.
Guest (2): But sama-darsi equals sama-darsi. The sin and virtue are the same.
Prabhupada: No, here… Yes, that is sama-darsinah because here it is said clearly, vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmana [Bg. 5.18]. A brahmana, learned brahmana, and vinaya, very humble… That is the sign of goodness. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne gavi hastini sunica. Sunica means dog. Now he is seeing a dog and a learned brahmana-same. Now, dog is supposed to be sinful, and this learned brahmana is supposed to be virtuous. Therefore his vision, the virtuous and the sinful, the same. That is sama-darsi.
Guest (1): I think that they have made a many mistakes in writing of the slokas.
Prabhupada: That’s all right. Now you are finding mistake with Vyasa, so who can talk with you?
Guest (2): No, but, but…
Prabhupada: Please excuse me. Please go out. Please go out. Don’t trouble. You are finding faults with Vyasa.
Guest (4): We only want you to be understood here.
Prabhupada: (shouting) I am not sama-darsi! I don’t say I’m sama-darsi! I don’t say, sama-darsi. So you say sama-darsi. Sama-darsi.
Guest (2): You should be sama-darsi.
(contd. on next comment)

Comment Posted By Radhananda Dasa On 30.10.2011 @ 12:13

Dear Sita Rama Prabhu,

This is in regard to your comment that if one is not ready to surrender to the proper standard, then they should just continue with a lower standard that they are comfortable with. First of all one should acknowledge that one is not following the proper standard. Without such acknowledgement and desire to come up to the proper standard, how will one improve?

Also, someone not following the proper standard in their personal sadhana is one thing, but to not follow the proper standard while performing institutional role or duties is a completely different ballgame with serious implications. In the former case one is just responsible for his own self, in the later case one is responsible for lot of individuals and this can have serious implications.

So the callous attitude of ‘just keep doing what you are doing’ regardless of anything else isn’t right. Please give it a thought.

Hare Krishna

Your Servant,
Radhananda Dasa

Comment Posted By Radhananda Dasa On 20.10.2011 @ 01:42

Dear Gaura Kesava Prabhu,

The story that you quoted from Narada Pancaratra is meant to enable develop faith in prasadam for those who don’t have any faith and/or are envious.

What about quotes like one below which state that by considering prasadam as ordinary food, one commits a great offence and goes to hell.

“Nityananda Prabhu replied, “These are the remnants of food left by Lord Krsna. If You take them to be ordinary remnants, You have committed an offense.”


In the Brhad-visnu Purana it is stated that one who considers maha-prasadam to be equal to ordinary rice and dhal certainly commits a great offense. Ordinary edibles are touchable and untouchable, but there are no such dualistic considerations where prasadam is concerned. Prasadam is transcendental, and there are no transformations or contaminations, just as there are no contaminations or transformations in the body of Lord Visnu Himself. Thus even if one is a brahmana he is certain to be attacked by leprosy and bereft of all family members if he makes such dualistic considerations. Such an offender goes to hell, never to return. This is the injunction of the Brhad-visnu Purana.”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Madhya 3.99

As explained by Vaisvata Prabhu in his reponse ( to this open letter, the MDM program lists all the material benefits and identifies itself as “non-religous” entity and thus presents prasadam as an ordinary food. The promoters of the program as well as the recipients of prasadam also consider it as an ordinary food. How can they be saved from from this great offense. Any ideas?

Hare Krishna

Your Servant,
Radhananda Dasa

Comment Posted By Radhananda Dasa On 19.10.2011 @ 10:50

Dear Pustakrishna Prabhu,

You quoted: “The distribution of prasadam on a mass scale in ISKCON, apart from the festivals like Rathayatra and the like, started to the best of my recollection in Mayapur. After the Bangladesh war or floods, ISKCON Mayapur developed large covered shelters in which to feed large numbers of people. This was blessed by Srila Prabhupad.”

Yes, Srila Prabhupada was very much in favor of ISKCON Food Relief and it should go on. But ISKCON Food Relief was strictly restricted to people (refugees or otherwise) coming to our centers, festivals. I didn’t find a single instance in any conversation or letter where ISKCON Food Relief was operating beyond the 10 mile radius limit that Srila Prabhupada clearly delineated. In a room conversation About Mayapura Construction, Aug 19, 1976, at Hyderabad, H.H. Jayapataka swami stated that price of rice had gone up significantly and weekend attendance in Mayapura went up from twelve hundred to two thousand and ISKCON Food Relief was feeding them nicely at the center (not beyond 10 mile radius). Srila Prabhupada appreciated it very much. But when chief minister of Andhra Pradesh requested Srila Prabhupada to support food relief programs by GOING OUT, he simply rejected the idea. Current programs have transgressed the boundaries set by Srila Prabhupada.

Here is one more example of violating Srila Prabhupada’s instruction. Srila Prabhupada was very clear that even the restrictive 10 mile radius Food Relief Program shouldn’t be advertised and promoted even in ‘Back to Godhead’.

“BTG is not meant for advertising ISKCON Food Relief.”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Rupanuga — Honolulu 2 February, 1975

I didn’t find a single reference to ISKCON Food Relief in BTG prior to 1978. The highest number of references to ‘ISKCON Food Relief’ in the BTG can be found in the year 1978, immediately after his departure.

Also, the very state of Andhra Pradesh whose chief minister was personally denied by Srila Prabhupada of any help on relief work became one of the first recipients of mundane relief work after his departure and this was advertised in the BTG.

From BTG, 13-06, 1978:
“And not long ago, when a cyclone killed tens of thousands in southern India’s Andhra Pradesh province, ISKCON Food Relief came through for the survivors with emergency food distribution.”

Hare Krishna

Your Servant,
Radhananda Dasa

Comment Posted By Radhananda Dasa On 16.10.2011 @ 12:18

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

You quoted SB 3.29.27: “The method of worshiping the individual soul is described here as either giving charitable gifts or behaving in a friendly manner, free from any separatist outlook…”

Response: These are instructions by Lord Kapila-deva to individuals aspiring to advance in devotional service (BG 16.1-3 states that charity is meant for the householders). A spiritual organization on the other hand by its very establishment in society is taking up a higher role and is meant to elevate others and that can’t happen by worshipping them. Theoretically we can even go around offering dandavats to every living entity we encounter and in this way worship them but it won’t benefit these jivas in any way.

Hare Krishna

Your Servant,
Radhananda Dasa

Comment Posted By Radhananda Dasa On 16.10.2011 @ 10:10

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

You quoted SB 1.9.27: “To give charity is one of the householder’s main functions, and he should be prepared to give in charity at least fifty percent of his hard-earned money.”

Response: The key point is that it is householder’s main function and not that of a spiritual organization. Please read the below purport.

“The next item is charity. Charity is meant for the householders. The householders should earn a livelihood by an honorable means and spend fifty percent of their income to propagate Krsna consciousness all over the world. Thus a householder should give in charity to institutional societies that are engaged in that way. Charity should be given to the right receiver. There are different kinds of charity, as will be explained later on—charity in the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. Charity in the mode of goodness is recommended by the scriptures, but charity in the modes of passion and ignorance is not recommended, because it is simply a waste of money. Charity should be given only to propagate Krsna consciousness all over the world. That is charity in the mode of goodness.” Purport, BG 16.1-3

Hare Krishna

Your Servant,
Radhananda Dasa

Comment Posted By Radhananda Dasa On 16.10.2011 @ 10:08

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

You quoted BG 18.5: “Therefore, in the lower stages, they should not be given up. Similarly, charity is for the purification of the heart. If charity is given to suitable persons, as described previously, it leads one to advanced spiritual life.”

Response: By quoting this do you imply that ISKCON is in lower stages? Also the key point here is “suitable persons”, which refers to a ‘brahmana’ or a ‘devotee’ as explained in purport to BG 17.20 below:

“In the Vedic literature, charity given to a person engaged in spiritual activities is recommended. There is no recommendation for giving charity indiscriminately. Spiritual perfection is always a consideration. Therefore charity is recommended to be given at a place of pilgrimage and at lunar or solar eclipses or at the end of the month or to a qualified brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava (devotee) or in temples. Such charities should be given without any consideration of return. Charity to the poor is sometimes given out of compassion, but if a poor man is not worth giving charity to, then there is no spiritual advancement. In other words, indiscriminate charity is not recommended in the Vedic literature.” (Purport BG 17.20)

Hare Krishna

Your Servant,
Radhananda Dasa

Comment Posted By Radhananda Dasa On 16.10.2011 @ 10:06


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