Comments Posted By Satyaraja Dasa
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I first met Puru in the early 1980s at the 55th Street temple. He and I were always at loggerheads about one thing or another, but we always had respect for each other as well. He was extremely conservative in those days, and I, then as now, hopelessly liberal. This caused many an argument. But at the end of the day (ours, not Brahma’s), we always stuck up for each other and often shared kind words. In fact, Puru used to give me presents — including a rare copy of “The Teachings of Lord Chaitanya,” autographed by Srila Prabhupada “to the poet Allen Ginsberg.” Puru also gave me some of the very first issues of Back to Godhead, which are now virtually unobtainable. It was this sort of kindness that defined him — not the contentious side that he often displayed in public. Actually, he once told me — and I know this to be true — that he only gave people a hard time to help them in their Krishna Consciousness. It’s called “tough love” and Puru was a master. I’ll miss you Uncle Puru, chastisement and all.
–Satyaraja Dasa (ACBSP)
Comment Posted By Satyaraja Dasa On 28.04.2007 @ 01:02
Simultaneously Hindu and Not
Essential Hinduism Makes ISKCON’s Position Accessible
By Satyaraja Dasa (Steven J. Rosen)
Readers of Graham Schweig’s review of my book have made significant comments, both questioning my approach and applauding my efforts. I must say that all questions would be resolved in a thorough reading of the book. (Hint! Hint!)
That being said,my book certainly draws distinctions between the common (mis)conception of Hinduism and Sanatana Dharma, as preached by Vaishnava Sampradayas as a whole and by Srila Prabhupada in particular.
In fact, my book is particularly dedicated to “righting” certain “wrongs” about Hinduism as a whole, i.e., laying bare the many current mistaken ideas about ancient India’s religious philosophy and showing how all such ideas are resolved in Vaishnava thought.
I take on the questionable terms “Hindu” and “Hinduism,” for example, explaining them as Prabhupada explained them to us. I also show the montheistic side of “Hinduism,” and I separate the caste system from Varnashrama. In other words, across the board, I try to express Srila Prabhupada’s teachings in a way that intellectuals and educated people might appreciate — with logical evidence, scriptural quotation, and reference to modern scholars who are respected in the “outside” world.
In this way, I see my Essential Hinduism as augmenting ISKCON’s efforts in making Prabhupada’s teachings known to the greater world, in which we too must live and preach. I hope this clears up any doubts about the book. And if it doesn’t, just buy a copy. All doubts will be resolved!!
Comment Posted By Satyaraja Dasa On 18.10.2006 @ 19:55