Comments Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa
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The vast majority of these, with a few exceptions like Kandhar, Singapore Caspian Sea are completely bogus and spring from the fertile imagination of people like P.N. Oak.
To illustrate Rome was named after its founder Romulus, Assyria was named after the goddess Ashur, France after the Franks a Germanic tribe, Milan from the latin Mediolanum, Rhodesia was named after the Englishman Cecil Rhodes, the list goes on.
As Walter Clark said: ‚Äú‚Ä¶ by popular but antiquated discussions in the pursuit of will-o’-the-wisps of etymologies. Anything can be proved by the judicious use of etymologies and the fortuitous resemblances of words from different languages.‚ÄĚ
This text is an embarrassment and should never have seen the light of day on Dandavatas.
Dasa dasa anu dasa
The Sandalwood and Peacocks of Ophir by Walter Eugene Clark from The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Jan.,1920), pp. 103-119 Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 03.03.2013 @ 08:52
‚ÄúThat is not reason for the church to change. The protestant mainline denominations are out of touch with the people in the pews because the churches‚Äô leadership changed, moving well to the left of their membership. That is a different situation than a church that is trying to remain unchanged while the culture changes its members. If the church changes doctrine and structure to follow its members‚Äô views, it is difficult to see the value of that church and its religion. Religions must claim to be true and, in their essentials, to uphold principles that are universal and eternal. No church that panders to the zeitgeist deserves respect, except from those who find it politically useful, and that is less respect than disguised contempt.‚ÄĚ
Reference: Bork, Robert, H. Slouching Towards Gomorrah, New York: Regan Books, 1997.
Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 11.03.2013 @ 09:21
We in ISCKON have two choices: either to affect society or be affected by society. The former will fulfill our mission; the latter will destroy it. In the following quote from former U.S. Attorney General and Federal Judge Robert H. Bork, simply substitute ‚ÄúISKCON‚ÄĚ for ‚ÄúRoman Catholic Church‚ÄĚ and contemplate the situation:
‚ÄúRadical egalitarianism and individualism have altered much in American life. The question of just how irresistible they are, the test case of whether any institution can maintain its integrity in the face of the deforming pressures of a modern liberal culture is, of course, the Roman Catholic Church. What is to be seen is whether the church can maintain its doctrines and its institutional structure in the face of pressure both from without and from within.
‚ÄúThe Roman Catholic Church is the test case because, as Hitchcock put it, ‚Äėfew religions in the history of the world have placed more emphasis on doctrinal purity, liturgical correctness, and moral authenticity than has the Catholic Church. . . . If at almost all times in the history of the
church, a concern for orthodoxy has been paramount, the contemporary Church has an eerie feel about it precisely because of the absence of that concern.‚Äô If, despite powerful and orthodox American bishops, orthodoxy is no longer a major concern in the American church, that is surely a sign that the church is giving way to the culture. The church‚Äôs opposition to abortion, homosexual conduct, and the ordination of women is under attack and appears to be a minority position among the Catholic laity, perhaps even among the American bishops. If the church gives way on any of those issues, the culture will have effectively destroyed it. The other reason the church arouses hostility is that its structure is hierarchical and authoritative, in addition to the fact that its priesthood is male. It has clear lines of authority of the pope. These are matters that create no small outrage in the egalitarians of our time, and one sees even within the church demands that it be democratized, that it accept beliefs and behavior it has always condemned, and that it accept radical alterations of its ancient structure. Columnists pronounce the church out of touch with the people in the pews and find that reason for the church to change.‚ÄĚ
Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 11.03.2013 @ 09:18
I just received the following email from one devotee, Sri Giridhari Dasa
from Chennai, he writes:
‚ÄúI roughly went through the book “Did Srila Prabhupada Want Women
I just want to share a point that might be useful. Kaunteya prabhu had depicted some images of Goddesses’ statues from Tamilnadu and says that women in the past had threads. I read somewhere an argument that we cannot compare the goddesses with ordinary women. That’s fine. However, I had a doubt about those strands.
Thus I contacted a Tamil stapati who makes this kind of sculptures. As per his statement, these three strands have nothing to do with upavita. It is called ‚Äúsannaviram.‚ÄĚ It is a designed ornament made with pearls or similar material and worn by women for decoration. Women in traditional Indian culture used to wear so many ornaments and this is just one another ornament.
It is funny that our devotees decide something just by seeing some image without doing even cursory research about it.
dasa dasa anu dasa
Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 04.03.2013 @ 17:08
Krsna Kirti Prabhu has written a lengthy text pointing out the shortcomings of this book. The following in an excerpt:
A lengthy appendix advocating the legitimacy of women wearing the sacred thread, including pictures of ancient statues of women wearing them. But Srila Prabhupada opposed this: “Even you’ll find in the picture of Ramacandra and Sita, Ramacandra has got sacred thread but Sita hasn’t got. That is the system. So this is Vedic system, that woman is given the mantra but not the sacred thread. Even she’s born of a brahmana father, there is no such system.” (Lecture, May 21, 1968, Boston). Moreover, Srila Prabhupada was always consistent on this point. Yet here we find Kaunteya working to contradict this.
An attempt to establish the legitimacy of the the line of Bipin Bihari Goswami within ISKCON. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura did not give credence to the disciplic succession coming through Bipin Bihari Goswami. It was for this reason that Lalit Prasad criticized him, and scholars like Jagatananda and Nitai (the one rejected by Srila Prabhupada) continue to criticize both Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. So now for the sake of finding legitimate examples of female diksha-gurus, Kaunteya is now siding with the enemies of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Srila Prabhupada. It is deeply troubling that someone so close to ISKCON’s GBC is making making this argument.
An attempt to show that Srila Prabhupada generally approved of women in positions of leadership. Kaunteya writes that “the idea that Srila Prabhupada wasn’t expecting ISKCON women to take leadership roles appears unsubstantiated by the historical record” and that ” and that Srila Prabhupada approved of it in principle. But not only does the “historical record” not include any instances of there being temple presidents or GBCs under Srila Prabhupada, but Srila Prabhupada also opposed women leaders in principle. In the Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada writes in SB 10.4.5, “As we learn from the history of the Mahabharata, or ‘Greater India,’ the wives and daughters of the ruling class, the kshatriyas, knew the political game, but we never find that a woman was given the post of chief executive.
Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 03.03.2013 @ 15:46
I thought that source was obvious. It is from the Ayurveda. I took the photograph of this sign in the lobby of the Institute for Ayurveda and Itegrative Medicine (IAIM) a very prestigious non-profit Ayurvedic research institute in north Bangalore. As one might expect they have a vast Ayurvedic library and many scholars highly versed in the subject. To find out more you could visit there website http://www.iaim.edu.in/.
Is this not good enough for you?
dasa dasa anu dasa
Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 27.01.2013 @ 12:05
In India you will meet absolutely the best of the best, the very cream of humanity. But, you will also meet the worst specimens of two legged animals anywhere on this planet.
When I was a very young devotee before I came to India, the land of Rama and Krsna, I had visions of sadhus amidst the coconut trees of the banks of the Ganga. But it didn‚Äôt take long after living here that I realized that India is not only the land of Rama and Krsna but also the land of Ravana and Kamsa. Always remember this and never forget it.
dasa dasa anu dasa
Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 30.12.2012 @ 16:12
In #24 Akruranatha asks the pertinent question:
“I continue to be baffled why this issue has become so much in the ‚Äúnews‚ÄĚ lately, and why it is spoken about in these terms.”
Because while the GBC has a law in the books that allows for ladies to become diksa gurus they have not actually given their approval for any lady to become one. The previous candidate, Her Grace Urmila mataji, was refused permission at the AGM in 2010. But since then a new candidate, Her Grace Narayani mataji, has been brought forward. She is sponsored by HH Bir Krsna Gosvami who had also sponsored Urmila mataji.
Why the flurry of debate? Because before a precedent is set by her confirmation, the whole Indian yatra has put a formal proposal to the GBC to rescind its Action order allowing for FDGs. For more details you can ask Bashu Ghosha Prabhu who posted the formal proposal on the net.
Also I want to apologize that somehow my previous response to you was mangled and only part 2 of a multi-part text has seen the light of day. (That would be #24. )
dasa dasa anu dasa
Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 11.12.2012 @ 21:45
As to why Srila Prabhupada changed his mind, I would say that based on the existing evidence is that as time went on Srila Prabhupada saw that his disciples were more heavily conditioned than he first thought. At first he thought that Bhagavat dharma (the highest) would be enough, then he introduced more pancaratrik dharma (deity worship) and finally heavily emphasized Daiva Varnashrama dharma.
To illustrate, in the beginning Srila Prabhupada acted as match maker and blessed and performed marriages for his disciples, assuming (wrongly) that like him they had a sense of performing one‚Äôs prescribed duty even if the spouse was in some way not to their liking (Daiva Varnashrama). Instead his disciples disappointed him when their marriages quickly broke down ending in divorce and sometimes wife swapping to the extent that SP became disgusted and refused to get involved in his disciples marriages. By 1977 at the latest Srila Prabhupada was insisting that VAD be instituted in ISKCON. In the Feb 14, 1977 VAD conversation in Mayapura, SP strongly pushes for VAD despite opposing arguments from Satsvarupa Gosvami and Hari Sauri Prabhu who are using SP own previous statements saying that the Holy Name was enough etc. Srila Prabhupada just overruled all their objections (his own previous opinions) by saying ‚Äúwho is like Hari dasa Thakura‚ÄĒthey cannot even chant 16 rounds‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúthe sannyasis are falling down.‚ÄĚ So already by 1974 sannyasis had fallen and numerous sexual peccadillos had occurred what to speak of by 1977. So in that length of time Srila Prabhupada was able to recalibrate what level his disciple were actually at. Hence none were initiating by 1975. And of course in Daiva Varnashrama Dharma, something that both Srila Prabhupada and Bhaktisiddhanta strongly pushed for, there is no scope for women being diksha gurus, because it is not consistent with stri-dharma (however being a siska guru and vartmana pradarshika guru is consistent with Stri-dharma).
Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 09.12.2012 @ 16:42
Akrurarnatha Prabhu said:
For example, in more recent times, Bhaktivinode Thakur did not initiate his son, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada, considering that one should not become the diksa guru of one‚Äôs child.
There is no sastra pramana that says a father cannot initiate his son. This is simply an assumption. I know of several members of Sri Sampradaya, very orthodox vaisnava brahmanas, who were initiated by their fathers. In Krsna’s Vedic civilization this system is called svayam acarya. I just got off the phone with Muralidhar Bhattar one of the chief archakas in Srirangam and he told me just now that he got his panca samskara (vaisnava diksha) from his own father Sriman Rangaraja Bhattar who was chief archaka of Srirangam (and a great friend of ISKCON). Aside from this living tradition there is statement in Srimad Bhagavatam about Jada Bharata’s father teaching his son the gayatri mantra.
“Jada Bharata behaved before his father like a fool, despite his father’s adequately instructing him in Vedic knowledge. He behaved in that way so that his father would know that he was unfit for instruction and would abandon the attempt to instruct him further. He would behave in a completely opposite way. Although instructed to wash his hands after evacuating, he would wash them before. Nonetheless, his father wanted to give him Vedic instructions during the spring and summer. He tried to teach him the Gayatri mantra along with omkara and vyahrti, but after four months, his father still was not successful in instructing him. Srima Bhagavatam 5.9.6
This clearly shows that his father was his guru. It is the diksa guru who teaches the gayatri mantra.
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura had his own reasons for wanting BSST to take initiation from Gaura Kishore Dasa babaji. But it is purely a (wrong) speculation that he didn’t initiate his son because of the father-son relationship. Perhaps he wanted to teach BSST humility for in BSST’s own words his rejection by Gaura Kishore dasa babaji had a profound effect on him. Here he was a great scholar rejected by an illiterate man who could not even sign his own name. But this also is speculation on my part. We will never really know why BVT didn’t initiate BSST personally, but one thing is certain it was not because BSST was his son.
Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 06.12.2012 @ 13:14