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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

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Nov 23, 2011 @ 5:23 am

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.

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 30, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

(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,
1975

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.

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 30, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

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)

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 30, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

Dear Sita Rama Prabhu,
PAMHO AGTSP

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

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 20, 2011 @ 1:42 am

Dear Gaura Kesava Prabhu,
PAMHO AGTSP

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.”

PURPORT

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 (http://www.dandavats.com/?p=9990) 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

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 19, 2011 @ 10:50 am

Dear Pustakrishna Prabhu,
PAMHO AGTSP

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

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 16, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

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

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 16, 2011 @ 10:10 am

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

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 16, 2011 @ 10:08 am

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

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 16, 2011 @ 10:06 am

In regard to the comment on Salvation Army, it might be prudent to consider that our missionary activities are prone to the same dangers that Salvation Army succumbed to. It is a well known fact that history repeats itself. When Salvation Army desired to change public opinion by positive social contributions, they didn’t want to drift away from their missionary objectives. Now they are deviated to the extent that they have gone above and beyond feeding the poor and needy. Now they help people pay for their water and electric services (http://www.use.salvationarmy.org/use/www_use.nsf/vw-text-dynamic-arrays/F506B0AFAF31957D8025734A006B0B0B?openDo). The other day I saw a Salvation Army truck offering towing/pickup services for broken cars!

How did Salvation Army deviate to such a great extent? When a missionary establishment engages in social contributions even if it is at a small extent, people and governments expect more. And the more one engages is social welfare the expectations keep on increasing. Thats how a missionary church ends up where Salvation Army is today.

Now that we have established a good reputation for feeding the school children all over India, next time the government is looking for collaboration with some organization for some other charitable work they will come to ISKCON or its affiliates and we won’t have any solid grounds to say no even if wanted to deny. So to keep the authorities happy we might have to venture into charities which wouldn’t have otherwise.

There might be genuine need for these charities, but the point is that there are other institutions dedicated for such work. For instance the Indian Military doesn’t take up the role of Judiciary just because there several hundreds of thousands of court cases pending in Indian courts for several decades and there are not enough personnel to administer them. If they do, they will be dragged into this further and won’t be able to administer their actual duties. Indian borders will then be infiltrated by the Chinese and Pakistanis. It will be disaster. Even if people didn’t have a favorable opinion about the Military and even if they accused them of sitting on the borders and consuming tax-payers money, they are better of doing that. It is bad idea for the Military to be engaged to Judiciary to get a favorable opinion of the people.

Let the charitable organizations to do the charity and let the spiritual organizations focus on their core business without venturing into gray areas.

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 15, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

Prasadam is the remnants of bhoga prepared and offered to the Lord with love and devotion by initiated devotees sincerely following the prescribed standards. However, many of us have come across instances wherein one or more of the above standards are not followed and in all likelihood the bhoga wasn’t accepted by Krishna and hence doesn’t constitute prasadam. I will quote some here. Please note that in many of these cases the leaders are sincerely interested in rectifying the situation, but are unable to do so due to operational challenges and personnel issues. So please don’t consider this as an accusation for intentional disregard to follow proper standards.
There have been instances where hired karmis are preparing pakoras at festival booths serving them to the gullible masses as prasadam. It is a valid argument that it is difficult to arrange for an initiated devotee during a busy festival who will cook bhoga with love and devotion and then offer it properly so that it is accepted by Krishna. Nevertheless, since a hired karmi is cooking in substandard conditions, the preparations can’t be considered as prasadam.
There are other instances where it is difficult to find pujaris even to ensure that the daily Deity worship continues. In such scenarios the authorities have settled with pujaris who do not chant 16 rounds, who watch karmi videos during their spare time, do Deity worship and offer bhoga mechanically, etc. In many of these instances the authorities have tried hard to rectify the pujari under consideration but with limited success. So I am not questioning the lack of sincerity of the authorities. Nevertheless the preparations served during Sunday feast and otherwise are in all likelihood not prasadam as Krishna most likely didn’t accept it.
Distributing karmi food is inauspicious and sinful, but distributing karmi food in name of prasadam (which is meant to be the ultimate medicine of material conditioning) is much worse. It is akin to selling counterfeit medicines. Contrary to the wishful thinking of accruing benefits of distributing prasadam one might be committing grave offenses.
Karmi food sold in market clearly lists its ingredients, nutritional value and conditions in which it was prepared. Similarly, the masses should also be apprised of with all information needed to know if the preparations distributed are indeed prasadam.
People will appreciate the sincerity in acknowledging the shortcomings which they are observing anyways.

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Oct 15, 2011 @ 4:02 am

Announcing the release of ‘Sri Bhaktisiddanta Vaibhava’

Appreciation from HariVilasa Prabhu (ACBSP) & Radhika Gopinatha Prabhu (BVKS)
———————————————————————————————————–
Dear Guru Maharaja

Dandavats Pranaams. Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Recently at the Srila Bhakti Siddha Sarasvati Thakur disappearance day we
read from your book Bhakti Siddhanta Vaibhava. H.G. Harivilas prabhu,
temple president was for all praise for your book and read for 2 1/2 hours
non stop from your book. Reading your book gives me so much inspiration
from Srila Bhakti Siddha Sarasvati Thakur’s life and example. I am also
working on putting some key points in a powerpoint for wider dissemination
of the info in the book.

Your humble servant
Radhika Gopinath das

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Dec 16, 2009 @ 4:56 am

Appreciation from Jahnu (Dvipa das JPS) (Mayapur – IN)
—————————————————————————————————
Dear Maharaja,

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

On Bhakti Siddhanta Saravati Thakur’d disappearance day I bought your
biography of him.

I wish to express my sincere gratefulness for the gargantuan work you have
undertaken to write these three beautiful volumes. It’s such exciting
reading – the writing is so well executed. Reading It makes me extremely
appreciative and forever grateful for belonging to such a supremely noble
liniage of Krishna’s intimate associates. We are indeed lucky to have been
put into contact with these great souls such as Srila Prabhupada and his
staunch guru.

And the book is beautifully produced, It is first class work – nice paper,
nice lay-out (In modern lay-out beginning paragraphs don’t have indentions,
though), nice design, nice everything.

Thank you, Maharaja, for this rare gift. You have done a great service to
the Vaishnava community.

Your humble servant
Jahnudvip das

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Dec 16, 2009 @ 4:55 am

Appreciation from Badrinarayan Prabhu
————————————————–

Dear Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja:

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

I recently purchased a copy of your three volume set on Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Thakur. It is pure nectar. There is something new (at least to my
limited knowledge) and enlivening on every page. Several times I have started
reading “just a little before I go to bed” around 9 pm and the next thing I
know it is 10:30 pm and I don’t want to stop.

You have done all of us, and future generations, a great service. Thank you
very much.

Your servant,
Badrinarayan dasa

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Dec 16, 2009 @ 4:53 am

From a GBC godbrother, re Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava
———————————————————————–

> Again,
> thank you for this very valuable service. I was just talking with our
> local book distributors, making the point that they are representatives of
> a noble line. When they hear about such magnanimous and powerful
> personalities like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, and realize
> that they are acting as the agents in the field of such an exalted
> acharya, they feel strength, conviction, determination, compassion, and
> humility

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Dec 16, 2009 @ 4:50 am

Appreciation from Danavir Maharaja
———————————————————————-
Dandavats Gurumaharaj,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada. All Glories to Your Holiness.

Your book ‘Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava’ has been getting very inspiring
response all over, especially here in Alachua, Florida where there are so many
Srila Prabhupada’s disciples and the word of mouth is spreading day after day.
I get calls and emails every other day inquiring about the book.
One senior devotee H G Prana Govinda Prabhu at Alachua wants to start a study
group with young devotees and cover reading and discussing the book in a
systematic format.
Today, i showed the book to H H Danavir Goswami and he was so delighted and
happy to see the book for the first time. He took the book and put it on his
head and exclaimed “This is it !” He was reading some portions and seeing the
rare pictures as he was appreciating your work and said that you have had so
much patience in finishing this book. He said this is ‘ the ‘ authoritative
book on Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaj that we were all waiting for.
Lastly, he said ‘I am very happy for my brother(Your Holiness) and i am proud
of him just as he was proud then for my book on Vedic Cosmology.

Srila Bhaktisiddhata Sarasvati Maharaj ki jay! Sri Bhaktisiddhata Vaibhava book
ki jay!

Hare Krsna.

Your servant,
Gauranga prasad das

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Dec 16, 2009 @ 4:49 am

Appreciation from Shyamasundara Prabhu (ACBSP)
————————————————————————————————————
Dear Bhakti Vikasa Svami,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Bhakti-vigna vinasha Narasimhadeva ki-jaya!

Just thought I would let you know that today I read from your book for 90
minutes and the audience was spell bound they found out many things about
BST that they didn’t know before. Because this is South India I read about
his tour of the South as well as the section about his views on the other
sampradayas. It was 98% from your book with a few brief comments from me. I
am certainly glad I had your book as they called me up late last night to
inform me I was unanimously chosen to give the class because I was reading
your book. But I thought better than my speaking was to just read out of the
book. Seems like everyone else agreed as well.

I was also thinking yesterday that just for writing that book you are
guaranteed to go back to Godhead, that was the inspiration I got from
paramatma.

Your humble servant

Shyamasundara Dasa

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Dec 16, 2009 @ 4:47 am

Appreciation from Bhurijan Prabhu (ACBSP)
——————————————————-

On another topic, congratulations on the completion and publication of your book on Saraswati Thakura. I have it but haven’t yet been able to enter into it’s depths. Too busy with retreats etc. But it really appears to be a work of devotion that has been well done. I’ve heard quite a few devotees already mention to me how it has changed their percspective on Krsna consciousness.

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Dec 16, 2009 @ 4:34 am

Appreciation from Bhagavata Mataji (ACBSP), ISKCON Belfast, Ireland
—————————————————————————————-

Dear Devotees and Maharaja

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

I am writing to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for the book on
Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Maharaja.

It is a treasure. Please convey my heartfelt appreciation to Maharaja. I can
see he really put his heart and soul into it. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati has
come alive for me through this book. Jai.

Your servant Bhagavata dasi, ISKCON Belfast, Ireland.

» Posted By Radhananda Dasa On Dec 16, 2009 @ 4:31 am

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