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Comments Posted By Somayaji

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Are there different sizes of infinity?

The spiritual sky includes, 2, 3, 4 plus Ayodhya Dham and Dvaraka Dham. See Brhad Bhagavatamrta part 2. And all of them are eternal and unlimited.

» Posted By Somayaji On Nov 21, 2014 @ 9:27 am

Astrology

I would like to thank HH Bhaktivikasa Swami for writing this article. It sheds a ray of hope that someday ISKCON will be able to completely embrace Krsna’s Vedic civilization.

I found the following very troubling and all too true:

“Advice from an insufficiently qualified or ill-motivated so-called astrologer is liable to be useless or worse. The Ayurvedic authority Caraka repeatedly warns against quacks, considering their treatment more dangerous than poison. As with medicine, astrology is too complex to be mastered simply by self-study of textbooks. Just as no one today is allowed to practice medicine without being duly certified, no one in Vedic culture was allowed to practice Ayurveda, astrology, or any other important discipline without first being fully trained and authenticated by a recognized master. Without such training, even an astrologer who has been practicing for many years is liable to commit basic errors. Simplistic readings, such as those available from several websites, often miss important insights that can be revealed only by the probing of an experienced astrologer.”

In ISKCON there are a number of persons calling themselves astrologers but there is no way to ascertain if they are competent or not. It is not that all of them are scholars like Shyamasundara Prabhu who was Bhaktivakas Swami’s source for this article and who has written other scientific presentations on jyotish.

When we speak of physicians we tend to assume that by and large all physicians are equivalent, by that I mean that to get to the position of being called a doctor that person must have gone through very rigorous training. Of course some will be better than others, but at least there is a minimum baseline that they all had to pass.

This however is not the case when it comes to astrology. As Shyamasundara Prabhu pointed out in another essay

http://shyamasundaradasa.com/jyotish/what_is_jyotish/what_is_vedic_astrology/what_is_vedic_astrology_8.html

that now anyone who has read a book or two on astrology and can input data into a computer program can call himself an astrologer. And, the general public then has the tendency to equate such an “astrologer” to someone who has dedicated their life to scholarship in that subject. And then we wonder why different astrologers come up with different answers. And of course this brings disrepute to the science.

So I was wondering if the GBC was going to do something about protecting ISKCON devotees from quack astrologers and some how coming up with standards of education and training? I ask this because while recently going through some old GBC minutes I came across the following 1979 GBC resolution on astrology:

“4. Resolved: That as an amendment to resolution No.1, of the amendments to the GBC resolution of March 22, 1978 and res.No.24 of the general GBC meeting of March 21,1978:

That no one shall consult any astrologer unless he is certified as a genuine Krsna Conscious astrologer by the GBC. The Bhaktivedanta Institute has been given the assignment to study this matter since astrology has a basis within the secondary vedic literature (Jyotir—- an upa-Veda) the GBC does not condemn it, as the GBC would not condemn the Ayurveda. However, as the GBC not see any relevance of astrology within ISKCON or find anyone expert of astrology within ISKCON nor find anyone expert enough to properly utilize such an astrologer, or his findings, it recommends that all approaches to astrologers be restricted, and that the subject be left to the Bhaktivedanta Institute to research in order to utilize it for the good of people in general. Others who are practicing it within ISKCON for the so-called interest of devotees should be censured before they cause any obstruction or difficulty for devotees who are sincerely attempting to engage in the service of the Supreme Lord.”

It seems that the GBC did want to do this but somehow it was forgotten. As it now stands some ISKCON “astrologers” tell their clients to worship demigods, engage in “black magic” and do other things contrary to Vaisnava siddhanta. One reason for this is that these “astrologers” we not very serious devotees and because they studied with karmi astrologers they picked up bad ideas from them.

It would a positive move if the leadership took steps to clean up astrology in ISKCON.

» Posted By Somayaji On Oct 21, 2014 @ 11:48 am

A Happy Wife Has a Good Husband

If a case of illicit sex between a man and an unmarried woman were brought before Prabhupada, he never blamed the woman. He said it is the man’s fault because the man is supposed to be strong and intelligent, and that a woman naturally and innocently follows a man.

Can you please provide a reference for this?

» Posted By Somayaji On Sep 4, 2014 @ 6:40 am

How to address a woman?

Devaki Mataji wrote:

They have lost this most significant contribution to human society of being the very first Guru and creating the spiritual atmosphere within the family, and thus they are searching for other venues to be valued and respected.

Interesting, now we want to be respected. I prefer the views of Gaurangadeva:

One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.

» Posted By Somayaji On Aug 8, 2014 @ 3:50 am

Puskaraksa said:

If I may, I would like to emphasise the fact that we shouldn’t view the respective position of man and woman in terms of competition (which is not completely absent in the approach of the above article), but in terms of being complementary to each other.

I would have to agree him, the competitive spirit was very alive and well in this article and basically ruined it for me even though I support women being called mother.

» Posted By Somayaji On Aug 8, 2014 @ 3:38 am

Husband As Guru – How About Srila Prabhupada As Guru?

One of the subtexts of Mahatma’s article was that the majority of men in ISKCON are sub-human jerks that need to be domesticated and civilized by their long-suffering but morally superior and saintly wives. But, as Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 16.7:

“But modern education has artificially devised a puffed-up concept of womanly life, and therefore marriage is practically now an imagination in human society.”

And, in Srimad Bhagavatam 9.3.10: “In the modern day, the wife is never submissive, and therefore home life is broken even by slight incidents.”

Srila Prabhupada had abundant experience of dealing with his disciple’s marriages. As Srila Prabhupada warned Gopala Krsna Swami (then Prabhu) when he wanted to get married to a devotee girl.

“Another difficulty is that in modern civilization everyone is independent spirited. The girls are no longer very much humble and submissive to their husbands.

Letter to: Gopala Krsna, 26 November, 1969

The message is clear — modern women — devotee or not, are not inclined to be submissive making peaceful marriage an imagination. Thus, Mahatma Prabhu is flagrantly contradicting the founder acarya by saying the opposite and putting himself in a superior position that Srila Prabhupada as rightly pointed out by BVKS. He may hope to become popular with a certain group of women but this is not the behavior of someone dedicated to preserving the teachings of the guru parampara. I hope that the GBC EC will take steps to correct Mahatma Prabhu’s deviant teachings or stop him from being a guru, a role he seems unqualified for.

» Posted By Somayaji On Jun 5, 2014 @ 3:48 am

The Hot Issue – Female Diksa Guru

Dear Mataji I have very much appreciated your original text plus comments and agree with almost everything you have written. For example I could not understand what you meant when you wrote:

“The point is that women’s emotional nature can cloudy [sic] their vision, especially in challenging situations. And of course also men’s vision and intelligence can also be clouded, especially by their false ego. Indra is a good example for this.

Men have a stronger gross body (broader shoulders, bigger muscles, bigger feet), and also their subtle body is stronger as well: stronger mind, more (material!) intelligence and bigger false ego. This enables them to fulfill their purifying duty of protecting, providing and taking charge. And their ego often gets in their way and bewilders their intelligence and vision of things.”

Could you please explain with sastra pramana how it is that males have bigger false ego (ahamkara) than females.

It is ahamkara, which binds us to the material conception of life that “I am the gross and subtle material body.” I have nowhere read in any sastra that male’s identification with material body is greater than that of females.

Awaiting your response.

» Posted By Somayaji On Nov 26, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

The Secrets And Beauty Of Spiritual Culture

Regarding courses on Vaisnava Spiritual culture, HH Bhaktividya Purna Swami has been giving such courses since at least the mid to late 1990s.

You can find a whole series on Vaisnava etiquette and culture at ISKCON Desire Tree

http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info/index.php?q=f&f=%2F02_-_ISKCON_Swamis%2FISKCON_Swamis_-_A_to_C%2FHis_Holiness_Bhakti_Vidyapurna_Swami%2FSeminars%2FVaishnava_Etiquette_and_Culture

There are many other classes and seminars by him at this site.

And, for the record I am not a disciple of His Holiness but appreciate his efforts that have been on going through thick and thin for several decades.

» Posted By Somayaji On Nov 26, 2013 @ 7:54 pm

Women’s Spiritual Nature

Are the great warrior devotees the Pandavas “feminine?” Are Krsna’s male gopa friends in Goloka Vrndavana feminine?

In the 3rd canto it is described that the Vaikuntha vasis have wives.

It is self evident that the great devotee Bhimasena is not feminine like his equally great devotee of a wife Draupadi.

It is obvious that the concept of “feminine” in the spiritual context is not properly understood.

You said:

Such a childish man (which most men are today) is not very strong.

There are over 3 billion men in the world today, how do you know that most of them are childish? #2 is.

You said :

This is also the reason why they are not considered very intelligent (in the Vedic culture an intelligent person is one who can distinguish between matter and spirit, and women are more easily swayed to identify with their material body on account of its external beauty).

So only “hot” women are less intelligent but ugly one’s are smart? No. (The time factor will make all of us ugly.) The real reason is because the function of the female material form is to create more material forms – babies. For that to succeed means she must always be conscious of acquiring material facility to enable her “nesting” instinct. This happens even if she never has children, she is naturally materially acquisitive. Economists will tell you that more than 80% of all consumer purchases are done by women. That is a lot of material acquisition. So such focus on material things is by the Vedic definition –less intelligent.

The feminist trope is that women are spiritual. What about men’s spirituality.

» Posted By Somayaji On Oct 9, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

Download for free the book “Did Srila Prabhupada Want Women Diksa-gurus?”

In #37 Mother Visakha Priya dd wrote:

“From my point of view, using the same words, phrases, and expressions as someone else to make a different point doesn’t constitute a breach of etiquette as long as it is not attributed to the person from whom one borrows the terminology. Does this refutation make sense to you, my son?”

I don’t know if it makes sense to Krishna Kirti Prabhu but it doesn’t make sense to me. Kauteya did not specifically attribute the lexically engineered text to Krsna Kirti Prabhu but he did attribute it to his opponents, which is just as unethical.

Kaunteya Prabhu purposely kept everyone in the dark as to who or what he was quoting so that you could not check his sources to see if he did so correctly. We would not have known this if Krsna Kirti Prabhu had not pointed out what Kaunteya had done to his writing, slicing and dicing it to fit his needs. That is unethical. Who knows what else he has done. Such lack of transparency certainly makes it justifiable to doubt his motives, especially since this seems to the modus operendi of the pro-FDG camp.

» Posted By Somayaji On Mar 11, 2013 @ 8:58 am

BB Govinda Swami οn the death of the young Indian girl who was gang raped in Delhi

regarding comment #8 by “bbd” (who is bbd?) I would have to whole heartedly agree with Nitai Prabhu’s comment #9 bbd’s comments are complete speculation or wishful thinking and have no support in sastra. It’s as if “bbd” never read any of Srila Prabhupada’s books. Just last night I was reading in Krsna book about the marriage of Usa and Annirudha and the great efforts that were taken by Usha’s father to keep her away from boys. This was not a singularity but the theme of the sastras. So we find it very strange that “bbd” comes to the exact opposite conclusion regarding the mixing of the sexes than that of Vedic culture as explained in sastra and by our acaryas and sadhus.

Regarding the so called influence of Islam and the British regarding mixing of the sexes a study was done which showed that for North Indian girls they began to feel uncomfortable if an unknown male came within 2 meters, whereas in South India where Vedic culture is much stronger because of little Islamic influence because of the Vijayanagar Empire which kept them out the S Indian girls feel uncomfortable if an unknown male comes within 4 meters, twice that of the N Indian girl. So in areas of India where Vedic culture is strongest (S India) there is stronger aversion for free mixing of the sexes.

» Posted By Somayaji On Jan 1, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

A sober reply to Mother Govinda Dasi ACBSP

Acyuta Prabhu wrote:

I don’t believe it has yet been mentioned that the GBC’s Sastric Advisory Council has already (nearly ten years past) completed an investigation of this issue.

Dear Prabhu,

Though not available as a download there is a paper commissioned by the Indian RGB that resoundingly rebuts the SAC paper. It is widely distributed on the net in different locations. If you google “A Reply to the GBC Action Order 305 (2009)” including the “” you get about 900 results on the SERP.

To quote you “I urge all devotees interested in this topic to take the time to read it.”

yhs
Somayaji

» Posted By Somayaji On Dec 6, 2012 @ 8:54 am

A Tale of Two Zodiacs

Dear Antadwipa Prabhu,

Hare Krsna.

I had been following the discussion on http://www.dandavats.com/?p=10661 and was eagerly awaiting this article, it is really excellent. It successfully and conclusively deprecates the idea of using Tropical zodiac in Vedic astrology. You have provided excellent pramana from many authoritative sources like Surya Siddhanta Siddhanta, Srimad Bhagavatam, Brahat Samhit and Brhat Jataka.

You have shown that sastras mention both sidereal and tropical systems and when they are to be used. It was a breath of fresh air to see the actual facts presented in a convincing manner by someone who actually knows the subject.

I want to also thank Shyamasundara Prabhu for encouraging Antardwipa Prabhu to write this article I am sure it will be read by many astrology students such as myself in the future to clear their heads from the fog of confusion that others have created.

Yours gratefully

Somayaji

» Posted By Somayaji On Oct 21, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

The 12 Signs of The Zodiac

As Sitalatma Prabhu points out according to sastra one should approach a guru, it is not enough to simply read books. This is true even for material subjects like medicine or law; simply reading the books do not qualify you to practice medicine or law. So even if we accept your unproved statement:

‘However, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the idea that there are astrological “gurus” with bona-fide astrological “parampara” is just a dream, a fantasy.’

We should still accept a teacher for subjects like jyotisa after carefully studying their qualifications.

I notice that on Shyamasundara Prabhu’s website http://shyamasundaradasa.com/jyotish/main/about_shyamasundara_dasa.html he gives a list of all his teachers. I would assume that all his teachers also had teachers who themselves had teachers and so on, so this is a parampara. And other astrology teachers also had teachers. Perhaps they do not keep lists like we do of the 32 previous acaryas, (they don’t keep such lists in law or medical schools either) but still it is expected that one have a teacher or guru and that one is not self taught for as it is said “one who has himself for a student has a fool for a teacher.”

As members of ISKCON we are supposed to be presenting Vedic culture. That includes the concept of accepting a teacher, a superior authority, and studying under them. So the question arises: who is your teacher?

Vraja Kishore wrote:

Therefore where is the “guru” who has the bile to say that it is “Vedic” to use a sidereal zodiac.

Maybe you should wait till after Antardvipa’s article is published before making such statements. Aside from that Shyamasundara Prabhu’s articles mentioned in #1 has already demolished the concept of using Tropical Zodiac, you have not even begun to respond to that, your comment in #34 can hardly be called a response.

Somayaji

» Posted By Somayaji On Oct 19, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

In #35 Vraja Kishore wrote:

It is not accurate to depict me as a lone maverick championing an oddball cause. I am merely doing my part and carrying the torch. Many, many important personalities before me have discovered and advocated the same reform I am championing. Similarly there are many others who currently share this opinion with me.

There have always been people who have been against Vedic Siddhanta. Bhaktisiddhanta was well aware of various calendar reform movements that existed in the past. He argued against tropical zodiac and accepted sidereal calendars in vogue during his stay on the planet.

You quote Dieter Koch’s article where it says:

It is hoped that at not a distant date, further reforms for locating the lunar and solar festivals in the seasons in which they were originally observed will be adopted.”

This shows the whole fallacious reasoning behind their desire to change it to tropical zodiac, to keep it according to the seasons. As Shyamasundara Prabhu showed in http://www.dandavats.com/?p=10570 this creates the absurd position of having to define two different zodiac meanings for the northern and southern hemispheres because they run opposite to each other. So according to the idea that the calendar should be according to the season then when should Gaura Purnima be in Australia? Gaura Purnima in the north is just at the beginning of spring, but that would be the fall in Australia. So to make it in the spring in Australia you would have to move it by six months, likewise for everything else. So this idea of keeping in tune with the seasons shows that it is not universal in application. You would have to have a whole different Vaisnava Calendar for the southern hemisphere to keep it in tune with the season that that particular personality appeared in. This calendar would be out of phase with the north hemisphere calendar by six months, this is completely absurd and unacceptable. Thus the argument for tropical zodiac is absurd and unacceptable.

» Posted By Somayaji On Oct 19, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

In #20 Vic wrote:

“that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta took a stance against Sri Bapudev Shastri, Mahesha-candra Nyayaratna (Head of the Sanskrit college), Pandita Pancanana Sahityacarya was (Head of the astronomy department of the college, and “the greatest astronomer in Bengal”) and other luminaries who wished to reform the Indian astronomical / astrological system from the sidereal zodiac. It also seems that the matter which concerned Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati was the humiliation and public defeat of a champion of atheism. It seems that astronomy was only a tool or front to achieve that end.”

Could you please clarify; the way you have written the above seems that you are implying the possibility that actually Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was a proponent of tropical system of astronomy but just pretended to be a proponent of sidereal astronomy just to defeat and humiliate an atheist?

» Posted By Somayaji On Sep 14, 2012 @ 5:53 am

Re #18
Vic said:

“One of his pupils” means one of Bhaktisiddhanta’s pupils? So the argument was not made directly by Bhaktisiddhanta, but by his pupil?

Are you implying that his pupil was putting forward an argument that was in opposition to that of Bhaktisiddhanta?

» Posted By Somayaji On Sep 14, 2012 @ 5:48 am

BTW at http://www.dandavats.com/?p=10750 it mentions that a whole years worth of Jyotir Vid publication by BST have been unearthed in the Bhaktivedanta Research Library.

» Posted By Somayaji On Sep 14, 2012 @ 5:43 am

Vic said in #23:

“The book itself repeats a well known fact that Bhaktisiddhanta was not a Jataka, ever. The topic under discussion here is Jataka Jyotisha. Therefore even once we know confidently what Bhaktisiddhanta’s opinion on the definition of the zodiac starting point; still we have to take that point into careful consideration.”

It is mentioned in the short bio of HH Sridar Swami (in vol 2) that once BST picked up his chart and noted that because he had Rahu in the 9th that it would be a detriment in his life. So he definitely knew Jataka. Also the topic is actually astronomy because Jataka is based on astronomy and you are arguing for the utilization of tropical system of astronomy as opposed to sidereal. It also looks like you are looking for an out once it is shown that BST favored nirayana and not sayana. Will you then say “he only knew astronomy so his opinion has no value?”

» Posted By Somayaji On Sep 14, 2012 @ 5:42 am

Re #16
Dear Prabhu,

Hare Krsna.

You said:

“It is not reasonable, as Syamasundara has done in the past, to discredit the validity or applicability of the sastra.”

This makes no sense, where has he done that? He has only made three comments on this thread and has done no such thing. Please clarify what you mean with examples.

You said:

“So far the opposing view only has loka-pramana. That is, they only have heresay and assumptions based on word of mouth and local customs. They try to use Srila Bhaktisiddhanta as leverage for their argument, but when I ask for proof that this great mahajana held the same opinions they do, I receive no reply. “

Could you please clarify the following: What hearsay? What word of mouth assumptions? And why are local customs not valid? And when did you ask that BST had the same opinion?

» Posted By Somayaji On Sep 14, 2012 @ 5:33 am

After reading the links in #1 we look forward to Shyamasundara Prabhu’s learned comments whenever they may appear. We note that he waited a long time to write those articles in the first place. I suppose he is quite busy.

Re #2 excellent comment by Atmavidya Prabhu I know several people who feel the same way but could not express themselves in such a restrained manner. You have hit the nail on the head.

Re #3 by Vic, I can understand, after reading Shyamasundara Prabhu’s articles, why you would want him to correspond with you in private. You should have thought about that BEFORE publishing your article in public. Anyway we hope that Shyamasundara Prabhu will respond in public for our edification. I also found your whole attitude to him be rather off putting, like you are his teacher and mentor when in fact you are junior in every way. But what can we expect as this is the reputation you have on the net forums; a young gunslinger wanting to make his reputation. I suppose it has to do with an afflicted Guru in the 10th house as lord of the 12th giving a rather self inflated view of one’s own greatness leading to hubris and eventual loss as can only come from 12th lord ownership. Having an afflicted 5th and 10th lord simply adds to the mix yielding to a type of hubris that eventually attracts ruination to itself.

Regarding your comment to Atmavidya Prabhu the burden of proof is on you not him to show that astronomers of the past like Bhaskaracarya and Bhakti Siddhanta used Tropical zodiac. It is reported that Bhakti Siddhanta read the Srimad Bhagavatam 108 times, that would include the 5th canto and he would have thus read the sections you quoted many times yet he still followed sidereal zodiac. Did you ever stop to wonder why? Did he know something you don’t? I have significantly more trust and faith in him that some one of your caliber. You have some superficial knowledge but not depth. As Alexander Pope said:

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.

Re #6
Abhirama accuses Atmavidya of the logical fallacy of “argumentum ad hominem” but have not shown how this is applicable in his case. He never attacked Vic’s character. Shouting “ad hominum” is in itself a logical fallacy as many times it is misused and not applicable.

» Posted By Somayaji On Jul 20, 2012 @ 5:58 am

My Brief Against Feminism

@Atmavidya in #21

I saw 2-3 papers written on behalf of the Indian RGB that seriously contested this paper and its conclusions. One should read them as well before drawing any conclusions. Because after reading these papers I thought the SAC paper to be, how shall we say in a tactful way, not very useful or accurate.

I also saw some of these papers and agree with Atmavidya’s conclusions. I think I still have them on my hard drive. I will search to see if I still have them, if so will ask Dandavatas to publish or host it like it did the SAC paper.

» Posted By Somayaji On Apr 28, 2011 @ 9:05 am

Live From Sri Mayapur Candrodaya Mandir! HG Urmila Mataji

part 3

Now it stands to reason that a girl who has been brought up in a brahminical family and who is dominated by satva guna would be a better match for a brahmana (a male who is dominated by satva and who is doing the work of a brahmana) than a girl who was raised in the home of a man from a different varna where they follow different vows.

Thus anuloma and pratiloma refers actually to the varna of the father of the girl and not to the girl herself because she never had a varna, though she does have a guna.

But as explained in Manu 9.22-24 the wife if she has a very powerful husband who is fixed in his vows, then such a husband can impart his gunas onto the wife by her associating with him and serving him. So if previously she was tamasic then she can become satvik. This of course not only applies to the wife but also to the daughter because we become whom we associate with. This is an essential teaching of the sastras.

So whenever the sastras speak of a brahmana woman or kshatriya woman, etc they do not mean a woman who performs brahmana duties and is thus an actual brahmana, but rather she is a brahmini the wife or daughter of a brahmana and follows the vows of her husband/father and serves in his ashrama. The wife or daughter of a brahmana can never perform an agnihotra for themselves or others, nor can they study or teach the Veda in a Veda patashala. The same is true of the females dependants in the ashrama of a kshatriya or other varnas.

The common denominator for all women is Stri-dharma which is specific to them no matter what varna their male guardian belongs to.

I hope it is no more clear that anuloma and pratiloma do not refer to the varna of the girl but to that of her father for she actually has no varna but it is just a social convention to designate the female dependents of the man according to his varna.

» Posted By Somayaji On Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

Part 2

The duty of a chaste wife according SB 7.11.25 is to follow the vows that her husband follows. In fact the whole household will follow the same vows as the husband because it is the grhasta ashrama, and in an ashrama everyone follows the guru who in this case is the husband. So what happens if there are children? Whose vows do you think they are going to follow? They will naturally follow the vows of the father just as the mother is doing. This is what actually happens in culturally aware families in India. When the child is born they get the samskaras that are traditional to the father’s family. The father will teach the child to touch its head to the mother’s feet and likewise the mother will teach the child to do the same to the father’s feet. And they will both teach the child to pay obeisance to the Lord, sadhus and seniors. In this way the children learn the traditions of the family.

Since the wife and children are following the vows and practices of the father they are known as members of his varna as a conventional usage. However only the boys in the family have the possibility of doing the same karma-work as the father, not the females. Taking the standard of the Gita and Bhagavatam depending on the guna of the boy he can be trained in the appropriate karma and then be a member of that varna. It is not varna by birth but by guna and karma.

But what about the girls? Because she is following the family tradition of her father she has been designated by convention as having the same varna as him, but it is only a convention because as noted varna means guna + karma and the girl can not do the karma of the father but only that karma which is designated for all females, that is Stri-dharma. In this case for all females their karma is designated by birth because for them there is only one karma regardless of guna. But in the case of males their karma is according to guna, so it is not by birth but by guna.

Now we come to anuloma and pratiloma which confuses some people but not others. Though the girl has no varna she has been brought up in a certain environment and there is the possibility that she has a particular guna. By convention she is designated as belonging to the varna of her father, but in reality she is never allowed (by sastra) to perform any of the duties of her father’s varna, but rather she has her own god-given duties to perform as a female, that being Stri-dharma.

cont

» Posted By Somayaji On Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

Dear Kulapavana Prabhu,

It seems that you forgot the texts Sita mataji posted. In texts 177-181 http://www.dandavats.com/?p=9349#comment-14277

She explains the whole situation.

For example in 313 you say

“3. One should ask a question: where does the varna comes from? You would think it comes from guna and karma, as Lord Krishna declares in Bhagavad-gita. If that is correct, why would women somehow have no guna or karma of their own? A particular range of combinations of guna and karma is classified as ‘brahmana’, another combination is known as ‘kshatriya’, and so forth. These combinations are inherent for ALL human beings.”

This was answered by her in #178. I will paraphrase according to what I understand.

Varna as defined by Krsna is a combination of both guna and karma. Every entity has guna including women so there are women in modes of satva, rajas and tamas. But what is the karma of a woman in satva? It is exactly the same as a woman in rajas, or tamas; that being Stri-dharma. Thus for all women irrespective of their guna they have the same karma.

But for men it is different. Men who are dominated by satva can be trained to be Brahmanas. Men who are rajasic can be trained to Kshatriyas, men dominated by rajas + Tamas can be trained to be Vaisyas and men dominated by Tamas are Sudras. So according to the fact of their sex as being male they are assigned a different karma according to the guna they have and this combination of guna + karma is equal to their varna. This as we have seen is only applicable to the male sex. So actually varna =gender+guna+karma because only males of a particular guna can perform the associated karma. I hope that this clear.

It is however more suitable for a woman who is dominated by satva guna to marry a brahmana because he is dominated by satva guna. And similarly a rajasic woman should marry a Kshatriya, etc for women dominated by different gunas.

The wife of a brahmana is not a brahmana, she of course is called a brahmini-wife of a brahmana. She is not eligible to do any of the work that he is prescribed to do such as perform yajna etc. Her duties are to serve her husband etc as explained in SB 7.11.25-29.

The same goes for the women who are married to kshatriyas, vaisya, and sudras.

continued

» Posted By Somayaji On Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

Ref #235 & 257

Kulapavana Prabhu quotes from a feminist scholar who mentions Harita Samhita and also “Madhvacarya.”

First of all which “Madhvacarya” is this? It is definitely not the Vaisnava acarya to whose sampradaya we belong, as he never wrote a commentary on Parasara Smriti. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_of_Madhvacharya

Second of all Harita Samhita exists only in fragments and it was considered ancient at the time of Manu Samhita with only glimmering memories of it. And, Manu didn’t consider it valid for he doesn’t follow Harita, he follows the Veda, for as stated at the beginning of Manu Samhita by Lord Brahma the Manu samhita is congruent with the Veda. In any case as Baladeva Vidya Bhushana says (quoted in CC adi lila commentary on Chaturvyuha verse) all followers of the Veda follow Manu (not Harita). And of course we know that in Gaudiya Sampradaya, and especially our Acharya Srila Prabhupada follows Manu.

And it is Manu who specifically says that the women take on the qualities of the husbands:

Whatever be the qualities of the man with whom a woman is united according to the law, such qualities even she assumes, like a river (united) with the ocean. Akshamala, a woman of the lowest birth, being united to Vasishtha and Sarangi, (being united) to Mandapala, became worthy of honour. These and other females of low birth have attained eminence in this world by the respective good qualities of their husbands.”
Manu Smriti 9.22-24

This is exactly in line with Srila Prabhupada’s numerous statements that if the husband is first class (brahmana) the wife is also.

Sita Mataji has done a commendable job in providing umpteen proofs showing that women have no varna of their own and are a class onto themselves. They take on the varna of their male guardian, at first father and later husband and son.

» Posted By Somayaji On Jul 4, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

@ Bhaktilata in 130 wrote

If Stri-dharma to please guru, Krsna, sadhu and sastra is material as you claim, how is it that by following her Stridharma that a woman will go back to Godhead?

“The woman who engages in the service of her husband, following strictly in the footsteps of the goddess of fortune, surely returns home, back to Godhead, with her devotee husband, and lives very happily in the Vaikuntha planets.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 7.11.29

This is why I have consistently said that most senior women don’t even know what Stridharma in ISKCON is what to speak of follow it. You have clearly shown that you think it is material.

This is an excellent observation supported by sastra.

According to Urmila mataji, Laksmi devi’s following of Stri dharma is material. No it is not. It is wholly transcendental, and female devotees if they want to go back to Godhead must follow in Laksmi devi’s footsteps.

Similarly the male-bodied disciples must follow the ideal examples of male devotees. We cannot make up our own path but follow in the footsteps of the mahajanas. Surely Laksmi devi is worthy of emulation by the women in ISKCON.

In fact there is a whole Vaisnava sampradaya, the Sri Sampradaya, which has Laksmi devi as the adi Guru.

It is unfortunate that even after almost 50 years many senior ladies in ISKCON are confused about following Stri-dharma and think that in the context of ISKCON it is material and preach against it when in actuality following Stri dharma for the pleasure of the Lord is totally transcendental.

I think that in this case Bhaktilata mataji has more than adequately proved her point that “most senior women don’t even know what Stridharma in ISKCON is what to speak of follow it.”

» Posted By Somayaji On Apr 28, 2011 @ 8:54 am

part 2

“Dharma actually means ‘that which one cannot give up,’ ‘that which is inseparable from oneself.’ The warmth of fire is inseparable from fire; therefore warmth is called the dharma, or nature, of fire.” SB 3.25.11p

“Prabhupada: Just like this candle. Candle has power, illuminating power. If you change this illuminating power of the candle, if you make it dark, then it is no more candle. And there are many examples. Just like sugar. Sugar is sweet. If you change the taste of the sugar into salty, then it is no more sugar. So dharma is like that. It cannot be changed. So dharmam hi saksat. What is that dharma? It cannot be changed.” Bhagavad-gita 4.34-39-Los Angeles, January 12, 1969

Srila Prabhupada (in Journey of Self-Discovery 2.6) further defined dharma as the “essential characteristic.”

So we see that Akruranatha’s definition of dharma has no relationship to the actual meaning of the word and is a construct solely intended for winning a debate. This is word jugglery which obscures the subject instead of illuminating it.

Similarly in comment #38 Akruranatha gives the opposite meaning to a plainly understood sentence “But if a man can speak better than a woman, the man should be given first preference.” He interprets this to mean that women have carte balanche and can give class anytime without restriction.

It is regrettable that Akruranatha has to use such means to attempt to win a debate. I am not interested in debates but in the truth. Winning a debate wont get me back to Godhead, the truth will.

» Posted By Somayaji On Apr 10, 2011 @ 3:10 am

Am I the only one to notice it or am I just a faultfinder. First Akrurantha waxes eloquent about Varnashrama dharma and what it actually is all about then gets heavy with Bhaktilata Mataji because she suggested he listen to some lectures by BVPS to learn more on the subject. But when she points out he is completely wrong about VAD is about by providing suitable proofs and is supported by Kavicandra Svami Akruranatha can not bring himself to admit he is wrong or apoligise for all the innuendos he made about her and BVPS but keeps defending himself and that he was right in the first place.

Now Akruranatha, in order to defend his previous statement that Varnashrama Dharma is about “supreme morality and justice” rather than realization of Visnu as stated in sastra, Akruranatha now gives his own custom made definition of the word dharma.

in #40 Akruranatha said:

“Dharma” literally means righteousness, religious duty, morality and justice.

Then of course it follows that since Varnashrama Dharma has the word Dharma in it then the meaning of VAD must be according to the definition of dharma that Akruranatha has given it. Now this may be a good tactic that lawyers use in courtrooms to confuse judge and jury or to win debates. But this is not how the truth is reached.

Srila Prabhupada gives the actual meaning of Dharma in many places. He specifically states in the intro of the Gita that while it is common to translate it as religion such meaning is wrong. Prabhupada tells us that dharma means the intrinsic nature of an entity. For example the dharma of sugar is to be sweet, of chillies to be hot, of water to be wet.

cont..

» Posted By Somayaji On Apr 10, 2011 @ 3:08 am

No man can run a family the way a commander runs an army

It is really sad that Sita Rama pr. got so worked up in his comments (did you notice all the spelling and punctuation errors) that he started misusing quotes to try and win a debate with Atmavidya pr. It really detracts from any good points he may have had. What’s next?

» Posted By Somayaji On Nov 18, 2010 @ 7:33 am

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