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Comments Posted By Venkatesh RD

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The Vegetarian and Vegan Myth

One other thing I meant to mention earlier: Sri Manavala Mahamuni (an incarnation of
Sri Ramanujacharya)
in the Srivaishnava Sampradaya is known to have rejected any produce that didn’t
come from Vaishnava farms. It goes without saying Vaishnava farms existed back then in the 1300s

Another thing we keep hearing is trying to make karmis understand the economic sense in
keeping cows/bulls. This is in a way like trying to justify economically the existence of our mothers and
fathers. We have to also realize our end of the bargain, which is that we should value protected
cow milk for what its true worth is and pay for it (or work to pay for it). I once had a discussion
with a senior devotee and he mentioned to me that if store milk cost $3.00, devotees might
be willing to pay $3.50. This kind of a value system is not going to take us anywhere.

Right now, I think it wouldn’t be incorrect to say most city devotees at least are invested
in the stock market/modern economy. Some of it can go toward the farm. Devotees can
continue to send their children to modern universities and such, and when the retire they
could choose to stay and work on the farm becoming more and more austere as would
naturally be the case because of doing cow protection and offering with love, milk and produce from
minimally violent agriculture to Sri Krishna.

I realize there may be many other practicable ideas out there that we should bring up and discuss.
The idea is to wean ourselves away by downsizing in our current situation and upsizing on the
farm. We need not (must not) conjure up the most austere living to start with. We can start
with cow protection and valuing protected cow milk for what it’s truly worth. Same for
other produce that might be generated on the farm.

If we start going in this direction in the spirit of Srila Prabhupada’s efforts toward establishing
farm communities:

1. Srila Prabhupada and Krishna will be very much pleased.
2. On the material level, when the economy does collapse, devotees will have an immediate fallback
in Krishna’s farm, cows, bulls and any agriculture that has already been occurring on the farm.
Lack of electricity, etc, would then automatically cease to be a worry and things will only pick up
“Godspeed” from there on in terms of a fully self sustainable agararian Krishna community.

Yhs,

venkatesh Ramanuja dasan

Comment Posted By Venkatesh RD On 07.07.2012 @ 03:26

Hare Krishna!

All the issues I saw mentioned above with regard to the kind/level of violence involved with
production of vegetables, etc., I heard Srila Prabhupada was generally aware of. Given that, we know
that HDG’s own actions (as I heard at least) were:

1. Offer the best that is available to Krishna
2. Work toward establishment of Farm communities.

Most of us are now found wanting in regard to both of the above:

1. We offer the cheapest milk/produce available.
2. No effort to move toward farm communities.

I realize there are exceptions to the above, but by and large I believe the above to be true.
Unless we recognize and accept that there is a problem, there won’t be any solutions to look for.

Some of the reasons I hear given for the status quo are:

1. Srila Prabhupada offered store milk, ignoring the fact that HDG also worked toward
establishing farm communities.
2. Ajnata sukriti for the abused entities. One’s pure devotional service ought to be the
focus as opposed to Ajnata Sukriti for other living entities. When the former is present
the latter will automatically be there.
3. The understanding that it’s the devotion that is important, regardless of us found
wanting in the works part, not realizing these go hand in hand as in “devotional service”.

Once we accept we have a problem, we can try to fix in the following ways:

1. Buy the best produce one can afford (Organic Milk as cows are claimed to be treated
better, at least not given growth harmones and such), locally grown produce at farmers
markets and such.

2. We have to accept that we are addicted to city comforts. However as Dusyanta prabhu states above
we can start with cow protection. What we can do is downsize in cities (move into condos closer to work)
and come together in the spirit of Sankirtan and form a coop farm community an hour or so outside of the city.
Each family can have a share of 5 acres or so. We have a few cowherder devotees (I can name a few
if any one would like me to) that we can encourage each of them to move onto each of these
farms and start cow protection. The city devotees can drive to the farm Friday
after work and return Sunday night to city jobs, working/performing sankirtan on the farm on
weekends and taking milk and other produce back with them. We are not going to say no electricity
no running water, etc. We can let individual devotees progress at their own pace if at all.

contd…

Comment Posted By Venkatesh RD On 07.07.2012 @ 02:48

Disappearance Anniversary of Srila Ramanujacarya

One other thing I meant to mention at the end of comment#8:

We hear that Srila Baladeva Vidyabushnana considered conversion of Ramanandis as offensive, what to speak of Srivaishnavas.

Comment Posted By Venkatesh RD On 18.02.2012 @ 14:26

As mentioned by Sarathy prabhu, we are covered as far as Kirtan is concerned. The following is Sri Ramanujacharya’s commentary on Bhagavad Gita 9.14 (Satatam Kirtayanto mam) as translated by
Sri Alkondavilli Govindacharya in the year 1898:

By ever chanting hymns of Me, in firm resolve
engaged in My services, falling prostrate before
Me in rapt love, the hopers of eternal union
with Me, meditate on Me.

Overwhelmed with intense love for Me, they discover that it is impossible to support existence for even an infinitesimal part of a moment without being engaged in singing My names, or in holy exercises, or falling prostrate before Me, (the physical representation of the humbleness and poverty of the soul, and offering of self in love).

They repeat and call upon My names, –which connote the several distinguishing attributes of My nature,– their frames quivering and hairs bristling with joy, thrilled in holy excitement at such recollections, their voices tremulous and convulsed with holy joy, uttering broken speech, and constantly repeating in yearning notes such names as Narayana, Krishna, Vasudeva, etc.

With equal zeal are they assiduous in the performance of holy duties and worship, as helps to which, in firm determination, they employ themselves in the laying out of gardens and construction of temples, etc.

They stretch themselves on the ground–(overcome by holy passion)–like a fragile reed, regardless of dust, mire or pricking pebbles, all the eight members of the body –the heart (manas), the intellect (buddhi), the sense of self-regard (abhimana), the tow hands and the two feet, and the head– falling prostrate in united concerted devotion and worship.

Ever and incessantly praying (in accents of love) to be eternally united to Me, they ever meditate on Me and worship Me, with the vivid fervent appeal that in holy service they may realize their true atma-nature of abasement and abnegation (dasya).

(from http://books.google.com/books?id=VH8MLIe9sk8C) whose copyright has expired)

venkatesh Ramanuja dasan

Comment Posted By Venkatesh RD On 18.02.2012 @ 03:54

Hare Krishna,

I am also a Srivaishnava like Sarathy prabhu that has had a long association with many wonderful, humble, and sincere Gaudiya Vaishnavas from ISKCON.

As unqualified as I am, I feel compelled to say a couple of things in regard to the topic of this discussion. Vaishnavism, unlike modern Christianity (or most other modern faiths for that matter) is not sectarian. I have not seen where Srila Prabhupada was ever sectarian. I remember watching on a DVD, Srila Prabhupada being satisfied with a group of sincere Christian monks/nuns that followed certain basic principles like satvic/vegetarian diet and were chanting God’s names. He was also extremely gracious in his dealings with Srivaishnavas.

However, I have run into a few uncomfortable instances, be it when a devotee, on being told I am a Srivaishnava, would make the comment that the Ramanandi sect was defeated by Gaudiyas (as though any of the umpteen number of sects that may have adopted or subscribed to Vishistadvaitam losing in whatever way to some other sect, some how reflects on Srivaishnavam; to my knowledge there has never been a debate between representatives of Srivaishnavam and Gaudiyas), or when a devotee from Vrindavan that I had just participated in the Kirtan of, would challenge meon Sampradayic differences (Krishnastu Bhagavan Svayam …). Unfortunately rhetoric such as that in the OP would only serve to encourage sectarian thinking and behavior which we can agree would be intensely displeasing to Srila Prabhupada.

(continued)

Comment Posted By Venkatesh RD On 18.02.2012 @ 03:43

Krishna’s Cows

You mention:

“We are not protcting Cows just to stop them being slaughtered,thats just having a pet mentality,we are protecting Cows so we can put into place all the components of a Cow protected Community.”

“As described in the Brahma Samhita (surabhi apbipalayantam), Lord Krishna on His planet, Goloka Vrindavana, engages in tending the surabhi cows. These cows are the Lord’s pet animals.” Srimad Bhagavatam 8.8.2 purport

Surabhi is the name of the cows which exist in the spiritual planets and are especially reared by Lord Krishna Himself. As men are made after the form and features of the Supreme Lord, so also the cows are made after the form and features of the surabhi cows in the spiritual kingdom. In the material world the human society gives all protection to the human being, but there is no law to protect the descendants of Surabhi, who can give all protection to men by supplying the miracle food, milk.
-Bhagavad-gétä 10.25 Purport

You mention:
“If we have cows and dont develop the natural symbiotic relationship then our lifestyle will remain westernised and therefore unsustainable and dependant on oil,mobile fones and supermarkets ,and we would have missed the whole point of Cow protection.”

According to Srila Prabhupada, cow protection will feed brahminical culture. This in turn will lead to a sattvic lifestyle. So, the first step is cow protection.

You mention:
“We need to start taking the right steps to ensure that proper Cow protection is established in Iskcon or else we are just going to end up with expensive pets that we love.”

What I have seen in Prabhupada Village and Hillsborough is that when cows are privately owned, they are bred responsibly. Another important thing to bear in mind is that each gallon of milk already figures in that gallon’s worth of that cow’s/male offspring’s retirement, etc., so when they reach retirement, there will be money/land to take care of them.

So far the concepts of unqualified-ajnata-sukriti, veganism as a substitute for action, and burdening of the phrase “cow protection”, none of which Srila Prabhupada himself subscribed to, have meant zero cow protection. So, what we need are:

1. Education
2. Documenting demand

As I had mentioned, we seem to have many young devotees that in some cases haven’t graduated from college and such that are left wondering what they should do for a living. Some will perhaps be inclined to start CSAs. Haribol!

Comment Posted By Venkatesh RD On 18.09.2010 @ 01:53

Mother Ananda,

Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

You mention:

The ideal that Iskcon Cow Protection has to be able to demonstrate is not just having cows and bulls in a non-violent regime.That does not exemplify the essence of Cow Protection.Once we understand that Cow protection is an integrated component of a bigger picture.Community,then the principle of Cow protection ,symbiotic economic development,can be practiced.

This is a definition of “cow protection” that I haven’t seen where Srila Prabhupada himself gave. As quoted in comment #17 above, Srila Prabhupada definitely sought to introduce the ideal of self-sufficient village/farm communities. But I haven’t seen where he made cow protection conditioned on the establishment of a self-sufficient farm community. In other words, a village/farm community without cow protection is hollow, whereas the converse is not true. No need to burden the phrase “cow protection” to mean anything more than the protection of cows, especially those that we take milk from. Yes, Srila Prabhupada did want the oxen to be put to work as he was concerned otherwise that they will be looked upon as a burden and will eventually head to the slaughterhouse. But cow protection as in protection of cows, he did emphasize. So, the essence of cow protection is protection of cows in Krishna consciousness.

The fact is that most of the devotees now live in cities. If we have farms within an hour or so where they can get milk and vegetables from, we will have definitely fulfilled our duty of cow protection. Which, if we have faith in Srila Prabhupada’s following words, should lead to the feeding/rejuvenation of brahminical culture, which in turn will lead to sattvic living as devotees would have had a chance to drink protected cow milk and would have developed a habit of at least spending their weekends on the farms they support and/or own and thus would have developed a taste for it.

Cow protection means feeding the brahminical culture, which leads towards God consciousness, and thus perfection of human civilization is achieved. -Srimad-Bhägavatam 1.19.3 Purport

Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled.
- Srimad-Bhägavatam 8.24.5 Purport

continued…

Comment Posted By Venkatesh RD On 18.09.2010 @ 01:45

In #20, H.H. Sivarama Swami Maharaja’s article is quoted as:

And if we are not willing to be milkmaids and cowherd men here in the material world, if this service is beyond us and we cannot forsee how we are going to dedicate our lives to working with the cows, then were are we going? Then you had better look for somewhere other than Braja. Then you had better go to Dwaraka or Vaikuntha, where that is not a compulsory, integral part of life…

Lest some of us should understand this differently, Maharaja is NOT suggesting that there’s anxiety for the cows or any other being for that matter in Dwaraka or Vaikuntha. Maharaja is simply differentiating between hands-on cow protection and hands-off cow protection, but cows protected in both instances. Maharaja is particularly emphasizing the need for hands-on cow protection for those aiming to go to Goloka Vrindavana.

So unless one becomes responsible householder, how he’ll execute his responsibility? If he thinks, “Oh, what is the use of keeping a cow when the
milk is available in the market? Oh, sex life is so cheap. Why shall I take the responsibility of marrying?” This is going on.
-Sri Caitanya-caritämåta, February 15, 1967
Ädi-lila 7.107-109 San Francisco

Cow protection means feeding the brahminical culture, which leads towards God consciousness, and thus perfection of human civilization is achieved. -Srimad-Bhägavatam 1.19.3 Purport

Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled.
- Srimad-Bhägavatam 8.24.5 Purport

More at: http://www.iscowp.org/uploads/COW%20PROTECTION%20BOOK%201.pdf

Haribol!

Comment Posted By Venkatesh RD On 22.08.2010 @ 12:02

Dear Madhavagosh Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisance! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!!!

In #19 you mention:

Please Google the concept of :”carbon offsets” …
Now let us apply the principle to cow protection.

It’s impossible to apply offsets to cows since it’s impossible to measure the anxiety, pain, etc., that a cow suffers in a factory or even in a farm environment when it’s calf is taken away for example. That said, contributing to cow protection generally is always a dharmic thing. It just isn’t possible to do as an “offset”.

The harsh reality is that cow protected milk is not readily available and may not be for the foreseeable future for the large majority of devotees.

It will NEVER be available unless there’s a demand for it. If Vaishnavas are unwilling to demand protected cow milk, who will? At least those devotees that can afford to pay can make up the demand side. Then supply will automatically begin in due course of time. I have just been back from a trip to Prabhupada Village and Hillsborough where protected cow milk is available, because there’s a demand for it.

The problem with ajnata-sukrti, the concept that the cow benefits unknowingly, isn’t that it isn’t good for the producing cow, but that it can breed complacency in the devotees. So yes, let the poor cow benefit, but don’t stop there, also contribute to protecting cows.

The problem here is that, there’s really a fine line between yukta-vairagya and the seventh offense to the holy name:

7) To commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name of the Lord.

This fine line is easily crossed when one can afford to pay for protected-cow milk but chooses not to even look for it, on the plea of ajnata-sukriti. Please review the earlier comments #14 thru #18.

The key is generating/realizing demand by way of education and then documenting that demand. We seem to have many young devotees that in some cases haven’t graduated from college and such that are left wondering what they should do for a living. Some will perhaps be inclined to start CSAs and such (see #17), when they see a clear and present demand.

continued…

Comment Posted By Venkatesh RD On 22.08.2010 @ 11:57

Lord Krsna as Govinda is more inclined to the brähmanas and the cows,indicating thereby that human prosperity depends more on these two items,namelybrahminical culture and cow protection. Lord Krsna is never satisfied wherethese are lacking. S.B. 1.8.21

“For the cowherd men and the cows, Krishna is the supreme friend. Therefore He is worshiped by the prayer namo brahmanya-devaaya go-braahmana-hitaaya ca (Vishnu Purana 1.19.65). His pastimes in Gokula, His dhaama, are always favorable to the braahmanas and the cows. His first business is to give all comfort to the cows and the braahmanas. In fact, comfort for the braahmanas is secondary, and comfort for the cows is His first concern. Because of His presence, all people would overcome all difficulties and always be situated in transcendental bliss.” - Srila Prabhupada

Comment Posted By Venkatesh RD On 20.07.2010 @ 14:56


 


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