Comments Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa

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An Appointment with Mr. Death

Regarding #1

It is not Samarkand but Samarra:

The metaphor of “Having an appointment in Samarra”, signifying death, is a literary reference to an ancient Babylonian myth: Death is both the narrator and a central character, transcribed by W. Somerset Maugham. The story was titled “The Appointment in Samarra”, and subsequently formed the germ of the novel Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara.

The title is a reference to W. Somerset Maugham’s retelling of an old story,[1] which appears as an epigraph for the novel: A merchant in Baghdad sends his servant to the marketplace for provisions. Shortly, the servant comes home white and trembling and tells him that in the marketplace he was jostled by a woman, whom he recognized as Death, and she made a threatening gesture. Borrowing the merchant’s horse, he flees at top speed to Samarra, a distance of about 75 miles (125 km), where he believes Death will not find him. The merchant then goes to the marketplace and finds Death, and asks why she made the threatening gesture. She replies, “That was not a threatening gesture, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”

Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 08.08.2014 @ 05:04

A physician from the UK produces a film documentary of evidence for the historical existence of Krishna

While he gives some interesting information his dates are off by 30-40 years, that of course is significantly better than what the academics say. The date of Kali yuga is 3101 BC and it started after 36 years of maharaja Yudhisthira’s reign, the battle of Kurukshetra took place in 3037 BC not 3067 as stated in the article.

He says that Lord Krsna was about 55-60 during the battle but Srila Prabhupada says Lord Krsna was about 100 years old or older (I am doing this from memory so don’t hold me to any dates etc).

One thing that should be noted is that the earliest known astronomical observational data is that of the Babylonians and only goes back to the 8th century BC. This is verified by Ptolemy and other early sources. What this means is that anyone using modern astronomical algorithms is extrapolating back more than 2300 years past the earliest known observations and assuming that the calculated results they derive are accurate. Even a slight error will greatly magnify over the span of 2300 years. And of course there is the unstated assumption of “uniformanism” that everything everywhere in the universe and over time is always uniform and without variation, which simply is not true. No one knows what perturbations took place in those distant dates.

Varaha Mihira states in his Brhat Jataka that former Rishis recorded positions for the planets Mercury and Venus that were impossible in his (and our) era. So either the Rishis were imbeciles or something changed in the intervening 3000 years.

Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 05.06.2014 @ 02:31

The Return of a Cult Classic—Hare Krishnas are Back

Here are some important quotes from this article:

“Yes, Christianity and Islam may have the numbers, but Hare Krishna—the little sect that could—is winning the culture war.

‘Considering Hare Krishna’s relatively recent arrival in America, the extent of its infiltration is impressive. “Their religion hasn’t succeeded yet,” Atkin says, “but their ideas have.”’

This strongly suggests what we have always known that “purity is the force” not numbers, that is, popularity. That if we just stick to our principles we will have an unimaginable revolutionary effect on the ambient society. This is very much contrary to the position of those who have compromised their principles in a futile attempt to gain ephemeral popularity and by so doing undermined our mission and created internal divisions.

We either:

1 affect society


2 are affected by it.

I choose option 1.

Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 21.05.2014 @ 16:51

Ocean of Mercy: Bhakti Benefits for Doomed Cows?

In #47 BBD (who is bbd please reveal yourself?) wrote:

“1. It is widely accepted amongst the majority of respected scholars of indology, Sanskrit, and Vedic studies that the Manu Samhita and the dharma sastras have been heavily interpolated throughout the years and thus not intact in their original form. These interpolations are clearly identifiable and a plenty. Therefore, it is highly irrelevant to currently advocate a conclusive interpretation, or a practical application of the dharma sastras.”

So Srila Prabhupada is not respected as an authority in Vedic culture? He accepted Manu Samhita as an authority. So now we must instead take lessons from mundane scholars who also tell us that Krsna was just a tribal leader who somehow morphed into an incarnation of Visnu. That actually Visnu was not so important in the Vedas but rather Indra and Agni and somehow these old gods got forgotten and replaced by Visnu. Who also think that the Bhagavatam was written around 1000 AD, that the 1st and last khandas of the Ramayana are extra add-ons to make it look like Rama is God. Who propagate the Aryan Invasion myth. Who claim that the eternal Vedas were authored by men in 1200 BC. Who claim that there is no such thing as Kali yuga, that it was a fraud created by the “wiley” brahmanas who used Greek astronomy to back date a grand conjunction of planets in 3102 BC. That Vedic culture was from ancient times but is not current. That Vedic astronomy and astrology were imported into India in the 3rd century AD. Etc etc. The list of nonsensical opinions of such “respected scholars” fills whole libraries.

The whole enterprise of Indology was created with the sole objective of destroying Vedic culture and promote European colonialism and imperialism. Thus, I completely reject such “scholars” and authorities that you accept. I only accept Guru, Sadhu, and Sastra.

Our acaryas ancient and modern have all accepted Manu Samhita for a more lengthy discussion of this topic including how to deal with potential interpolations in Manu Samhita or any sastra see:

Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 30.04.2014 @ 12:10

Part 2

SP also points out that being a vegetarian is also violence, so we best not get caught up on the issue of violence. Living in the material world by definition means violence.

Prabhupada: Ah, yes. Patram puspam phalam. He is asking very simple thing which everyone can offer. Just like a little leaf, patram; a little flower, puspam; a little fruit; and little liquid, either water or ghee, er, milk. So we offer that. We make different varieties with these ingredients, patram puspam phalam toyam [Bg. 9.26], and after Krsna’s eating, we take it. We are servant; we take the remnants of foodstuff left by Krsna. We are neither vegetarian nor nonvegetarian. We are prasad-ian. We don’t care for vegetable or not vegetable, because either you kill a cow or kill a vegetable, the sinful action is there. And according to nature’s law, it is said that “The animals which has no hand, that is the food for the animals with hands.” We are also animals with hands. We human being, we are also animal with hands, and they are animals-no hand but four legs. And there are animals which has no leg; that is vegetable. Apadani catus-padam [SB 1.13.47]. These animals which has no leg, they are food for the animals with four leg. Just like cow eats grass, the goat eats grass. So eating vegetable, there is no credit. Then the goats and the cows are more credit, have more credit, because they don’t touch anything except vegetable. So we are not preaching to become goats and cows. No. We are preaching that you become servant of Krsna. So whatever Krsna eats, we eat. If Krsna says that “Give me meat, give me eggs,” so we shall offer Krsna meat and eggs, and we shall take it. So don’t think that we are after vegetarian, nonvegetarian. No. That is not our philosophy. Because either you take vegetable or you take meat, you are killing. And you have to kill, because otherwise you cannot live. That is nature’s way.

Mr. Dixon: Yes.

Prabhupada: So we are not for that way.

Mr. Dixon: Well, why do you put the stricture on…

Prabhupada: Stricture in this way: no meat-eating, because cow protection is required. We require milk. And instead of taking milk, if we eat the cows, then where is milk?

Mr. Dixon: So milk is very important.

Prabhupada: Very, very important.

Room Conversation with Minister Dixon,
State Minister for Social Services,
Sport and Recreation,
State of Victoria Liberal Party
April 23, 1976, Melbourne

Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 30.04.2014 @ 06:32

Hare Krsna.

Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Bhakti vigna-vinasha Narasimhadeva Bhagavan kijaya!

Some commentators have suggested that Bg 9.26 refers only to water but not to milk. Others suggest that milk is not essential or important and can best be avoided etc..

In the following conversation between Srila Prabhupada and Mr. Dixon recorded April 23, 1976 in Melbourne that I heard today our Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, has pointed out that Bg 9.26 refers to any liquid including milk and then tells us that milk is “very very important” thus nullifying the argument that it is not essential.

In any case I have faith in Srila Prabhupada not others who have been influenced by demons who want to discourage milk consumption as pointed out in comment #36 quoting from SB 8.7.3 purport.

Your humble servant

Shyamasundara Dasa ACBSP
Krsne matirastu

The conversation will be in the next part.

Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 30.04.2014 @ 06:24

Dear Muralivadaka Prabhu,

Hare Krsna.

Thank you again for your excellent comments #39-44 for the benefit to all lovers of clear thinking.

Regarding your comment to me in #45 in regards to Manu Samhita and its applicability to Vaisnavas and ISKCON. Srimad Bhagavatam tells us that Manu Samhita gives the laws for regulating Varna Asrama Dharma:

“All the Manus offered their prayers as follows: As Your order carriers, O Lord, we, the Manus, are the law-givers for human society, but because of the temporary supremacy of this great demon, Hiranyakasipu, our laws for maintaining varnasrama-dharma were destroyed. O Lord, now that You have killed this great demon, we are in our normal condition. Kindly order us, Your eternal servants, what to do now.” SB 7.8.48

It is also one of the texts mentioned by Rupa Goswami that must be followed to prevent so called Bhakti from becoming a disturbance in society.

Manu Samhita is written in such a way that it is accepted by all classes of followers of the Vedas. For example when it speaks of the “supreme destination” karma kandis take it to mean svarga, smartas to mean kaivalya, and Vaisnavas to mean Vaikuntha.

HH Bhakti Vidya Purna Svami has given a very in depth series of lectures on the Manu Samhita with explicit focus on how and which parts of it are applicable to Vaisnavas and ISKCON in particular.

The recorded lectures can be found here


Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 29.04.2014 @ 10:35

In #32 Muralivadaka Prabhu quoted this letter by Srila Prabhupada:

“We do not want all these rituals. Chanting Hare Krishna is our only business. According to the Manu-samhita you are all mlecchas and yavanas. You cannot touch the Manu-samhita, what to speak of translating it. So if you try to follow the Manu-samhita then you become a mleccha and yavana and your career is finished.” (letter to Madhusudana prabhu 5/19/77)

I personally contacted Madhusudana Prabhu about the context of that letter and he said it was a time and place thing not applicable to everyone. Hence this letter can not be taken as a tool to invalidate the Manu Samhita.

For more details see this text

Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 24.04.2014 @ 04:06

Excellent comments by Murlivadaka Prabhu.

I would like to change the perspective. Imagine in your mind’s eye if you were in a slave labor camp and destined to die but you had some small gift (a result of your slave labor) that you could give as an offering to the Lord in the temple. Would you want the devotees to take it or would you want them to refuse it in principle as an objection to your current situation. In either case you die. If they accept it you go back to Godhead, if they reject it you stay in samsara but they made their political statement.

Which would you prefer?

Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 24.04.2014 @ 03:59

How Could Sri Rama Do That To His Pregnant Wife?

Many people have difficulty understanding why Rama exiled Sita to the forest. In 2003-4 I was looking through the Padma Purana and came across an explanation of this lila. I don’t have Padma Purana with me at this time so what I am now saying is from memory and subject to error in the details, nor can I give you the exact citation. Having said that the Padma purana says that once when she was a young girl Sita and Urmila and other playmates heard some parrots singing songs and chanting mantras about someone called Rama and His adventures. Sita heard her own name being mentioned. She became extremely curious to find out what this was all about. So she and her friends caught the parrots and asked them who this Rama they were singing about was? The parrots said “We don’t don’t know anything, we just sit in the trees near the ashrama of Valmiki muni and all day they are chanting these songs and we as parrots just repeat what we hear.” This didn’t exactly satisfy Sita who said “I am going to put you in a cage and wait and see if this Rama fellow Who you describe actually comes.” The parrots become very agitated at the thought of being caged and protested “we have always lived free in the sky please don’t cage us.” Sita partially relented and grabbed the female parrot and put her in the cage saying “ok I will only put one of you in the cage not both.” The female parrot became highly aggrieved at being separated from her mate and cursed Sita thusly “You have separated me from my mate while I am pregnant. You too will also be separated from your husband when you become pregnant.” Then the female parrot died. The male parrot on seeing his wife caged and then dying swooned and fell down into a pool of water and drowned and was reborn as the dhobi in the city of Ayodhya whose wife was unchaste.

Of course Mother Sita doesn’t have to accept a curse especially of a parrot, but just like Citraketu Maharaja and other great personalities have done in the past She accepted it to further a greater plan.

Comment Posted By Shyamasundara Dasa On 07.10.2013 @ 14:48


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