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Comments Posted By Visakha Priya dasi

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A Happy Wife Has a Good Husband

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krsna. While looking for something completely unrelated, I came across the following statement by Srila Prabhupada:

Honolulu
My dear Kusa devi dasi,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated Jan. 30, 1975 and have noted the contents. I have studied your situation carefully and I encourage you to live in the temple in the association of fixed up devotees who are following my teachings strictly. If your husband cannot follow our principles properly, you are not to think that you should let that hamper your spiritual life. You should stay with us and cultivate spiritual life peacefully under Krishna’s protection and care. If he is not interested in spiritual life, let him do as he pleases. I have given all of my disciple instructions to follow for making spiritual advancement, but if they do not have the desire to follow, then what can I do? Anyone who is unwilling to follow our regulated principles, you should not live or associate closely with such a person.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Kusa — Honolulu 3 February, 1975

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Oct 2, 2014 @ 10:23 am

Prabhupada sometimes quoted the poet Tulasi dasa about four things that can be beaten. One can beat a drum, or a dog, or a woman, or a sudra. One time when Prabhupada mentioned this, he laughed and turned to his disciple Nara-Narayana. “Nara-Narayana understands this principle very well,” said Prabhupada, and the other devotees also laughed. But then Prabhupada turned seriously to Nara-Narayana and said, “But don’t do it. These are not ordinary women. These are devotees.”
>>> Ref. VedaBase => SPN 3-24: Srila Prabhupada Said: on Women

Canakya Pandita says: visvasam naiva kartavyam strisu raja-kulesu ca. Visvasam naiva kartavyam. “Don’t trust women.” Visvasam naiva kartavyam strisu. Strisu means women. Raja-kula… And politicians. Yes. Visvasam naiva kartavyam strisu raja-kulesu ca. Never the trust the politician and woman. Of course, when woman comes to Krsna consciousness, that position is different. We are speaking of ordinary woman. Because Krsna says, in another place, striyo vaisyas tatha sudrah [Bg. 9.32]. They are considered, women, vaisya, the mercantile community, and sudra, and the worker class, they are less intelligent.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bhagavad-gita 1.40 — London, July 28, 1973

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Oct 2, 2014 @ 4:31 am

When all is said and done, there is no such thing as “a real man” in this world. All of us are prakriti masquerading as the enjoyer. In one life we accept ourselves as prakriti (woman) and in the next life we assert ourselves as purusha (man). And then again we are cast in the role of woman (and suffer for the beatings we inflicted upon our “wife” in our previous life) and then again in the role of man (and take our revenge for the beatings we received from our “husband” in our previous life). And this goes on and on and on until, by the mercy of Guru and Gauranga, we come to the realization that material life is insane and we need to get out of this cycle.

This is not meant to be a criticism of Mahatma Prabhu’s article but a pointer to higher realities. Even within the ideal varnasrama system people suffer, because the material world (especially the lower and middle planetary systems) is meant for that. We are like the proverbial fish out of water and will continue to suffer as long as we do not act in our constitutional position. So, as one respected ISKCON marriage counselor says, “Marriage is not meant to make you happy. Marriage is meant to make you married.”

As aspiring devotees, we theoretically know that we are supposed to be dasa dasa anudasa. If both husband and wife are trained to see each other as servants of Krsna, how can there be any question of abuse? But to train one section of devotees to be submissive without training the other section to be worthy of their submission is simply hypocritical and exploitative. And therefore, dear Rukmini devi dasi-prabhu-mataji, it is not just your son who recoils from marriage these days. Anyone seriously trying to practice Krsna consciousness will be weary of marriage, regardless of their present external dress.

Hare Krsna.
Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Sep 9, 2014 @ 11:28 am

Who went West – Srila Prabhupada or the Holy Name?

Dear Pusta Krsna Prabhu,

Please accept my respectful obeisances at your feet. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
“Krsna, in His own dramatic fashion, will happily surprise you when He so desires.” What a wonderful statement! Surely Krsna has inspired you to write this to help me out at this point where I need it. Thank , you very, very much for this.

“Helpless but not hopeless.” Yes. Pessimistic about the material world and hopeful about the spiritual world.

“You have tenaciously remained steadfast in remaining open-hearted to Him.” Yes. And all the credit goes to Srila Prabhupada—who sits along with Sri Krsna (and many other nitya-siddhas) in our hearts—and to his books, who kept me on the path of devotion. And, after the second debacle, I got a lot of selfless support from His Holiness Giriraj Swami, who eventually gave me full shelter at his lotus feet.
Of course, I am grateful to many other devotees who, mostly within ISKCON but also occasionally without, encouraged me on the path of pure devotional service

So it is true that we get help at every step if we really want it.

Last but not least, I am also indebted to your grace, who always post deep, balanced, and realized comments on Dandavats. I do feel embarrassed about this last one, but I take it as Krsna’s mercy to encourage me to persevere.

Again, please accept my humble obeisances. And kindly bless me to remain

Your eternal servant in the service of the Supreme Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna, the lotus-eyed One,

Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Sep 5, 2014 @ 10:40 am

Dear Nrsimhadeva Prabhu, please accept my humble obeisances. Al glories to Srila Prabhupada.

On the whole I appreciated your comment–especially the last six lines, which reminded me of the way I was able to select (or be selected by) my spiritual master after two failed attempts to link myself up to the parampara.

But I would like some clarification on your statement that “Persons who have done this [relegating the self-effulgent acarya to the position of a mere teacher] even consider Srila Prabhupada an ordinary guru who became self-realized by the mercy of His Guru, on the level with other India-born gurus.”

Why “India-born” gurus as opposed to “Western-born” gurus? Do we not all become self-realized by the mercy of Guru, no matter what kind of material background we come from? Is it not a fact that whether we are sadhana-siddha, krpa-siddha or nitya-siddha we end up at the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna?

Thank you. Hare Krsna.
Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Sep 4, 2014 @ 7:38 am

Will Hare Krishnas Go Vegan?

Sorry, Ananda devi dasi. I thought that you had written this article and therefore your name appears–completely out of place–in my yet-to be- approved and posted comment.

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Aug 6, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

Simple for the simple, complicated for the crooked. After reading Dushyanta Prabhu’s excellent article currently posted on Dandavats, any simple person who claims to follow Srila Prabhupada would conclude that drinking milk produced on non profit, Krsna conscious, farming communities is THE answer, not just ONE answer. Although there are many good points in Ananda devi dasi’s article, many of them are besides the point for us. We are not meant to become vegan but to protect cows, because the whole Vedic society is based on cow protection and Srila Prabhupada wanted us to try to revive that culture, live on farms, produce our own grains, weave our own cloth, etc., and send the surplus to our city preaching centers. The problem is, we don’t want to do it. It is too much of a sacrifice, too much of a leap of faith. I remember reading somewhere in Prabhupada’s books–but can’t trace it in Folio. Somebody please help me–that one acre of land and a milk cow is enough for a family of five to meet its daily necessities. Understandably,those of us born and brought up in cities probably can’t bear the hardships of country live, but the children can. We are working not just for our own generation but for many generations to come, so we should make plans to raise our kids on Krsna conscious farming communities. Not that we drop the whole thing and become vegan. That’s a cop out! Not for vegans themselves, of course, but for us, Hare Krsna devotees. For meat eaters, veganism is a big step forward, but for us it’s a step backward.

Hare Krsna.
Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Aug 6, 2014 @ 11:03 am

Husband As Guru – How About Srila Prabhupada As Guru?

… SB 7.11.28. Purport continued:

It is recommended, therefore, that a chaste wife not associate with a fallen husband. A fallen husband is one who is addicted to the four principles of sinful activity — namely illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. Specifically, if one is not a soul surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is understood to be contaminated. Thus a chaste woman is advised not to agree to serve such a husband. It is not that a chaste woman should be like a slave while her husband is naradhama, the lowest of men. Although the duties of a woman are different from those of a man, a chaste woman is not meant to serve a fallen husband. If her husband is fallen, it is recommended that she give up his association. Giving up the association of her husband does not mean, however, that a woman should marry again and thus indulge in prostitution. If a chaste woman unfortunately marries a husband who is fallen, she should live separately from him. Similarly, a husband can separate himself from a woman who is not chaste according to the description of the sastra. The conclusion is that a husband should be a pure Vaisnava and that a woman should be a chaste wife with all the symptoms described in this regard. Then both of them will be happy and make spiritual progress in Krsna consciousness.

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Jun 5, 2014 @ 6:06 am

Thank you, Your Holiness, for your comments on the article “Guru as Husband.” Certainly, it is hard for Western minds to always cheerfully accept Srila Prabhupada’s comments on women. But then it usually comes from not understanding the context in which his statements are made—for example, the famous (or rather infamous) statement that women like to be raped. I discussed the matter with Srila Prabhupada’s disciple Visakha Devi, and she told me that in one of her old dictionaries, one of the synonyms for the word “rape” is “kidnap,” which perfectly fits in with the story Srila Prabhupada comments on. From another point of view, I always took solace in Srila Prabhupada’s response to Jadurani and (I think) Govinda dasi when they inquired from him whether it was true that they couldn’t make as much advancement as the men because they were women. And Srila Prabhupada replied, “Yes!… If you think that you are women.”
One thing I would like to emphasize is that although Srila Prabhupada is sometimes considered to be a chauvinist by certain standards, it is actually not the case, as exemplified in the following verse and purport of Srimad-Bhagavatam (SB 7.11.28):

A chaste woman should not be greedy, but satisfied in all circumstances. She must be very expert in handling household affairs and should be fully conversant with religious principles. She should speak pleasingly and truthfully and should be very careful and always clean and pure. Thus a chaste woman should engage with affection in the service of a husband who is not fallen.
PURPORT
According to the injunction of Yajnavalkya, an authority on religious principles, asuddheh sampratiksyo hi mahapataka-dusitah. One is considered contaminated by the reactions of great sinful activities when one has not been purified according to the methods of the dasa-vidha-samskara. In Bhagavad-gita, however, the Lord says, na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah: [Bg. 7.15] “Those miscreants who do not surrender unto Me are the lowest of mankind.” The word naradhama means “nondevotee.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu also said, yei bhaje sei bada, abhakta-hina [Cc. Antya 4.67], chara. Anyone who is a devotee is sinless. One who is not a devotee, however, is the most fallen and condemned.

Continued in next post

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Jun 5, 2014 @ 6:04 am

Husband as Guru

The Duty of Married Couples
After his wedding, a rich man from Calcutta, who had taken shelter at the lotus feet of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, wished to know how he could utilize his time in hari-bhajana while situated in married life. With that purpose in mind, he approached Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura for instruction. The wealthy gentleman became very depressed when he was informed by Sarasvati Thakura that there might well be various obstacles in his attempt to perform hari-bhajana as a householder. Later on, this gentleman, accompanied by Srila Sarasvati Thakura, went to meet Srila Gaura-kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja on the riverbank at Kuliya. When it was mentioned to Srila Babaji Maharaja that the gentleman had married, Babaji Maharaja commented, “Yes, it is all right that he has married. From this time on he will daily cook and offer foodstuffs to Lord Visnu. After offering it to Him, he will serve the prasada to his wife, and then as a Vaisnava he will take her prasada remnants. He will consider her as Krsna’s servitor and his spiritual master. He will not think of her as an object for sensual gratification. Everything in this world: wealth, jewelry, men and women, are all for worshipping Krsna: That which is meant for Krsna’s service should be utilized as such. Do not consider your wife as one meant for your service. Instead, respect her as a servitor of Krsna.”
Here is the purport to Babaji Maharaja’s foregoing discussions with householders. The sense of proprietorship of one’s spouse is to be eschewed, and the conception of one’s spouse as Krsna’s worshipable servitor is to be nurtured. When one regards one’s mate as the servitor of the Lord and thus suitable for His enjoyment only, one can easily transcend the urge to indulge in illicit sex which so bedevils many a married couple.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => BM 39: The Duty of Married Couples

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On May 27, 2014 @ 7:25 am

History of Diksa Guru in ISKCON 1978-2014 – Revised

Hare Krishna. Having joined ISKCON in 1978 I am familiar with the whole history and whatever is written in this summary is pretty much correct. However, I distinctly remember being initiated in May 1979 by Jayatirtha das Adhikari, then again in 1982 by Bhagavan das ex-Goswami, finally in June 1989 by His Holiness Giriraj Swami Maharaja. However, you state in your History that Giriraj Maharaja became initiating guru in 2003. Kindly check your records, please.

Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On May 27, 2014 @ 6:54 am

Bona-fide Study Rests The Case; We Fell From Love!

…/…
It was Purnima and I was standing in front of Radhe-Shyam dressed in their moonlight outfit. I was appreciating Their beauty to my limited capacity when suddenly a man stood in front of me, not really obscuring my darshan, but close enough for me to perceive that there was a stain at the back of his shirt. So I focused my attention on his back for a few seconds and ascertained that it was not a blood stain and then I again looked up at Radhe-Shyam, as beautiful as ever. Nevertheless, for some unknown reason, my mind was trying to get me to look at that shirt again to see whether there were more stains. I had to make a conscious effort to resist looking at it again, aware that there was no point in looking at a soiled shirt, especially in front of the beautiful Lords I was facing. And then I got the idea that this was it, the initial free will. It is not that I lacked knowledge of the fact that the shirt was useless whereas Radhe-Shyam were the real thing. But this wanting to look at the shirt was my personal choice and I was free to continue looking at Radhe-Shyam or concentrate my attention on the shirt. So, I concluded, this is free will. I know it’s useless (and even offensive actually), but still I want to do this. What an appalling situation! Free will has to be there, I understand. But it is so dangerous. Clearly, the only refuge is the holy name. Kindly help me get the strength to focus on chanting Hare Krsna, please.

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On May 24, 2014 @ 9:32 am

It has already been established–either in this thread or in one of the other two dealing with the subject–that Srila Prabhupada’s letters, although by no means to be neglected, do have a limited application, whereas his books, being the lawbooks for the next ten thousand years, are applicable for everyone, everywhere, any time. As I think Uttamasloka Prabhu mentioned in another thread, no one ever refers to Srila Prabhupada’s purport to the sixteenth mantra of Sri Isopanishad, which is really as clear as can be:
“The all-pervading feature of the Lord–which exists in all circumstances of waking and sleeping as well as in potential states and from which the jiva-sakti (living force) is generated as BOTH [my emphasis] conditioned and liberated souls–is known as Brahman. Since the Lord is the origin of both Paramatma and Brahman, He is the origin of all living entities and all else that exists. One who knows this engages himself at once in the devotional service of the Lord….”

The way I understand this “both conditioned and liberated souls” is that both originate in the Brahman and both are insignificant: one-ten-thousandth the size of the tip of a hair. (As Bhurijan Prabhu says, “How does that make you feel?”) They emanate from the body of Krsna like the molecules of sunshine emanate from the sun. In that sense they are with Krsna. Thereafter it’s a matter of choice: Some jivas decide to serve Krsna and thus become liberated right away by dint of their service attitude, and some decide to either stay in the Brahman–and as Srila Prabhupada has explained, patanty ada, they fall down and become conditioned because the tatastha region is not a permanent situation and nobody can stay there forever; or else they outright reject the supremacy of the Lord and, thinking themselves to be equal to the Lord, they fall into maya’s kingdom, mistaking it for their own object of enjoyment.

For many years I have grappled with the subject matter of why did I choose maya if Krsna is all-attractive? It sounds contradictory. If His maya is more attractive, then He is not all attractive. The answer usually given to this question is that we have free will and Krsna doesn’t interfere with it. He doesn’t want our love at gunpoint. But why should we make the wrong choice if we are sat-cid-ananda by nature? The usual answers didn’t satisfy me.
Ten days ago, however, I had an illuminating experience in front of Sri Sri Radha-Syamasundar in Vrindavan.

…/…

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On May 24, 2014 @ 9:31 am

Resting The Jiva-Fall / No-Fall Case

Dear Puskaraksa Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Your last comment on this thread (#144) makes me think that my #12 comment on “Bona-fide Study Rests the Case–We fell from Love” would have been better placed here as an example of how the jiva situated at the line of demarcation makes his choice. It is not that the jiva is a helpless victim. He knows what is right and what is wrong because Paramatma is with him at all times to offer His merciful guidance, but somehow the jiva chooses to discard the good advice and to exercize his free will in another way–as narrated in my experience in front of Sri Sri Radha-Syamasundara last month.

Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.

Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Jun 5, 2014 @ 8:38 am

For the pleasure and possible edification of at least some of the gentle devotees, I am posting two anecdotes, which I remembered after reading the last post on this thread.

HELL
Srila Prabhupada is said to have told that story to illustrate the point that a preacher should give examples according to the level of his audience. In that story, a Christian preacher went to a coal mine and told the miners that unless they surrendered to Jesus they would go to hell. “What is hell?” they asked. “Hell is a dark and damp place” the preacher gravely replied. The miners were not impressed, as they were exposed to such a situation on a daily basis. Seeing this, the preacher continued, “And in hell there is no newspapers.” The miners were horrified at the thought of living without newspapers and resolved to hear from the preacher how to avoid such a terrible fate.

YOU DECIDE
This anecdote has been told several times by H. H. Giriraj Swami. It happened at the Ardha Kumbha Mela in 1971 and involved Yamuna Devi, a former sannyasi, and H. H. Tamal Krishna Goswami. Yamuna Devi and the former sannyasi (let’s say X for short) were arguing as to the position of Lord Balaram. X was saying that the only difference between Krsna and Balaram was their bodily hue: Balaram is white and Krsna is black. Baas. Yamuna Devi was arguing that there was another difference between Them: that Krsna alone is the enjoyer of Srimati Radharani. H. H. Tamal Krishna Goswami overheard the conversation and he was puzzled because both Yamuna and X were making valid points. So he went and reported the argument to Srila Prabhupada. He first recounted that X had said that there is no difference between Krsna and Balaram besides Their bodily hue and Srila Prabhupada said that X was right. So then TKG said, “But Yamuna says that there is another difference. She says that Krsna is the only enjoyer of Srimati Radharani.” Srila Prabhupada replied, “She is right.” “But Srila Prabhupada, they are both saying contradictory things, they can’t BOTH be right!” TKG retorted. “You are right,” Srila Prabhupada replied. Now at his wits end, H. H. Tamal Krishna Goswami asked: “But then, WHO is right?” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “You decide.”

Hare Krsna!
Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On May 26, 2014 @ 9:43 am

Ocean of Mercy: Bhakti Benefits for Doomed Cows?

Dear Brahma Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
In all the 35 years that I have been a fulltime devotee (aspiring devotee) in ISKCON, I n ever heard such a statement as you have repeatedly made–that milk is not essential to spiritual development. Srila Prabhupada himself drank milk every day and, as I have already written in a previous post, when devotees in the New York temple asked him whether they should discontinue offering milk products to Radha-Govinda because of the commercial milk being contaminated, he said no, they should continue. He said that in the early days of ISKCON, when the devotees weren’t very well established, and he expected that devotees would establish farms and live simply. He repeatedly said that anyone can leave peacefully with a family of five on one acre of land and a milk cow.
I am deeply disturbed to see how Srila Prabhupada’s teachings are being repeatedly distorted or misunderstood to suit various agendas. The book Bhagavata and the person Bhagavata are identical. Yet, the person Bhagavata is more important, Prabhupada said, “because he can catch you by the ear,” whereas the book Bhagavata will remain silent through our misinterpretations. Srila Prabhupada spoke out many times on many subjects. But we are now discarding his teachings as being irrelevant, although we simultaneously profess putting Prabhupada in the center. So, rather than try to get out of our duty to protect cows in the name of humanitarianism or whatever, we should protect cows to our ability and be prepared to make the necessary sacrifices and adjustments to reach this aim. We should depend on the land and cows, not on genetically modified vegetables.
I would appreciate your reply.
Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.
Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Apr 16, 2014 @ 8:23 am

With all due respect to the author of Comment 24, the eating of Krsna prasada is essential to the practice of Krsna consciousness. And therefore Srila Prabhupada commented that, “Even the pigeons are vegetarians. We are Krsnatarians.” Srila Prabhupada also said that saving oneself first comes before preaching. And therefore, instead of sweeping under the carpet our (ISKCON’s) own shortcomings in the name of befriending the vegans or anyone else, we should look at our own practices. We can do and say so many things in the name of preaching, but ultimately, achar is more important than prachar.

Hare Krsna.
Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Apr 13, 2014 @ 10:24 am

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

According to Krsna’s representative, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, Krsna does require milk. Krsna may not mention it explicitly, but Srila Prabhupada, our link to Krsna, does as follows:

Real life is that you keep your health nicely, save time, take ordinary very nutritious food within the jurisdiction of Krsna-prasada. Krsna says, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati. So Krsna eats all these things. Patram puspam phalam toyam, vegetables, liquid things, water, milk, and so many other things, grains. So you offer to Krsna. Krsna is here. Krsna, although He is very virat, universal form, but Krsna has accepted arca-vigraha so that you can serve, you can see, you can touch, and your life becomes successful. This is Krsna consciousness movement. Thank you very much. (end) Bhagavad-gita 4.22 — Bombay, April 10, 1974
And Krsna says, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati. “A leaf, a flower, fruit and liquid, milk or water, all these things, within these categories, whatever a devotee offers Me in love and devotion, I eat.” Bhagavad-gita 13.22-24 — Melbourne, June 25, 1974
Just like if you want to offer me something, so you inquire that “What shall I offer you? What do you like?” So similarly, if you invite Krsna to live in your house or temple, then you should ask Krsna, “Sir, what can I offer You?” Krsna said, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati. Krsna said that “You give Me patram, means vegetables, flowers, fruits, and phalam, fruits, and some liquid, water or milk.” Krsna does not say, “You give Me meat or egg or fish.” No. Krsna can eat everything, He’s all powerful, but He does not eat, although He is all powerful. He can eat everything. He can eat fire. That is another thing. But because we have to take prasadam, remnants of foodstuff, Krsna, therefore He says, “Give Me this: food grains, milk, or fruits and flowers.” Prepared or unprepared, it doesn’t matter. Krsna wants that. We… So far the Vaisnava is concerned, sometimes they come forward to fight with us: “Why we should be vegetarian?” No, no, we have no quarrel with the nonvegetarian. Let them eat at their risk. But because we recommend, “You take Krsna’s prasadam,” therefore we must be satisfied with this patram puspam phalam toyam, nothing more than that. Bhagavad-gita 16.10 — Hawaii, February 6, 1975

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Apr 11, 2014 @ 7:42 am

In the Seventies in New York City, devotees asked SrilaPrabhupada whether they should discontinue to offer milk products to Sri SriRadha-Govinda because all the milk available in NYC was “enriched with vitamin D” (or was it “E”?), which contains fish oil. SrilaPrabhupada replied that they should continue to offer milk, sandesh, peda, and all other milk-based products made for the pleasure of the Lord. Of course, SrilaPrabhupada also stressed that devotees should become self-sufficient through their own farming and cow protection programs and thus avoid contaminated food.
So far it hasn’t happened—at least not much. My concern is that in the name of “it being Kali-yuga” and “What can we do? SrilaPrabhupada did say we could offer contaminated milk” we do not become complacent and keep gobbling up ice creams, flavored yogurt, Brie cheese, and whatever catches our fancy in the name of “offering it to Krsna and benefiting the slaughtered cow. Here in India there is much talk about money laundering. But what about milk laundering? Whether the slaughtered cow whose milk was used benefits or not from being turned into ice cream which is then eaten by saintly devotees is not up to my pea brain to figure out; my responsibility is to see that Krsna is pleased with me.
A few weeks ago I watched a video clip of His Grace TukaramPrabhu speaking on the subject of ahimsa milk. The point that struck me the most was his suggestion to continue drinking just enough milk to honor SrilaPrabhupada’s instruction that we should drink milk but leave aside all other concocted preparations available on the market and eat simply in order to keep body and soul together. Bhogi or yogi, the choice is ours and ours only.
Another thing to consider is the Vedic status of genetically modified cows. Does their milk help one develop the finer brain tissues necessary for advancement is spiritual life? Nowadays, some cows are bred with pig’s genes in order to increase their yield of milk, and they also look piggish. Could it be that by drinking that milk we develop piggy’s brains? “… if one supplies milk to a talented sage or saint, the sage will develop finer brain tissues by which he can contemplate higher, spiritual life. Thus the Lord is supplying everyone food, but according to the living entity’s association with the modes of material nature, the living entity develops his specific character.” (SB 4.18. 22p)
Yours in service to Srila Prabhupada, Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Apr 9, 2014 @ 3:56 am

More On The Hot Issue – Female Diksa Guru

Dear Devaki devi dasi,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Someone made the point (perhaps it was Dusyanta Prabhu) that some devotees tend to quote Srila Prabhupada selectively–to prove their point. I know you to be a sincere and serious and dedicated devotee, and you know that my main concern is to reconcile extremes, not to win an argument.

I just wanted to point out that you quoted “but not so many” in a selective way. In context, it goes like this:

Prabhupäda: Yes. Jähnavä devé was—Nityänanda’s wife. She became. If she is able to go to the highest perfection of life, why it is not possible to become guru? But, not so many. Actually one who has attained the perfection, she can become guru. But man or woman, unless one has attained the perfection…. Yei kåñëa-tattva-vettä sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128].

To me, it sounds that “not so many” ultimately refers to both men and women. Otherwise, why would Srila Prabhupada states that “But man or woman, unless one has attained perfection…”? Perfection is not easily achieved, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gita:” Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” (Of course, someone might think that “mankind” means men only and subsequently argue that “out of many thousands among men” refers to men only. To such a person I bow down and have nothing more to say.)

Dear Devaki, I know that your goal is not to prove your point but to make people think. But for the sake of the innocent readers who might misunderstand the context, I thought I would clarify.

I hope this finds you well.
Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Nov 29, 2013 @ 10:53 am

Revised Initiation Procedures and Standards Policy for Iskcon UK

As per your recommendation, I went on your website but could not find trace of the new Procedures and Standards for Initiation. Is it really there or do I need new reading glasses?

Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Nov 4, 2013 @ 11:35 am

Un-Holy Holi?

Dear Mayesvara Prabhu, even in Vrindavan, where I have been living for the past seventeen years, Holi has become a dreaded event for many residents, because it simply fills the streets with lusty persons eager to give vent to their lusty whims with impunity. It has nothing to do with the wonderful pastime described in Ananda Vrindavan Campu. Instead of flower pollen and aromatic scented waters, people throw–and even rub–dyed marble dust and water (sometimes taken straight from the gutter) mixed with toxic chemicals onto one another’s faces and bodies. It is a sad, degraded, affair.

Of course, the pastime is still peacefully observed in some temples, where rose or sandalwood water is sprayed from the altar onto the visitors. But externally and on the whole, the kind of mentality you are describing is not absent from the outer covering of the holy dhama.

Thank you for your concern and courage and for speaking without hatred or envy.

Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Oct 30, 2013 @ 11:28 am

Srila Prabhupada’s letters On Guruship

Just a few days ago a disciple of Srila Prabhupada told me that as a young girl in Hawai, she became a follower of Sai. When Sai became Siddha-Swarup, Srila Prabhupada apparently told him that he could keep his disciples. But SS refused. He wanted his disciples to also take shelter of Srila Prabhupada, which most of them did. The interesting thing, as we preach in ISKCON, is that the siksa guru is more important than the diksa guru (the implication being that ultimately we are all Srila Prabhupada’s disciples), but the general idea is that the devotee who first gives faith to the disciple and instructs him (or her) in devotional service, becomes his initiating guru later on. Now, in ISKCON it doesn’t work like that, because siksa-gurus are not automatically diksa-gurus. I have met a good number of devotees who are not happy about the fact that once the devotees they have brought to and nurtured in devotional service take initiation, they just about forget their siksa-guru and are even sometimes encouraged to do so. In the case of Tusta-Krsna Prabhu, the guru he trusted and surrendered to was obviously Sai, and when Sai advised him to take initiation from Srila Prabhupada he did it out of obedience to his guru. Is he guilty?

Another interesting thing I heard from another source is that when Srila Prabhupada told Siddha Swarup that he could not remain in ISKCON unless he followed the GBC, he also told him that if he left ISKCON he could still be Prabhupada’s disciple and that Srila Prabhupada would continue to guide him. How wonderful and compassionate Srila Prabhupada is!

Which makes me think that just as all beings are in Krsna but Krsna is not in them, Srila Prabhupada is not just ISKCON but greater than ISKCON.

Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Sep 12, 2013 @ 3:27 am

Srila Prabhupada on the secret policy of British to cut down Vedic civilization

Sadhu! Sadhu! Thank you for your clear-headed thinking. All glories to sanatana-dharma, the eternal constitutional position of the soul!

Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Aug 20, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

Bhaktivedanta Manor Honoured at House of Lords with HH Radhanath Swami

Sitalatma Prabhu, Hare Krsna. Are you not aware, or do you not believe, that the appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inaugurates a ten thousand golden years period? Lord Caitanya appeared in 1486 and we are now in 2013, so we already have progressed 527 years into the golden age. Jaya!

I was not aware that this golden age refers to a period of hedonistic delights as you seem to indicate. As far as I know the golden age refers to the flood of love of God emanating from the pure chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, which our parched souls sorely need.

To answer your question more directly, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has said that when the high court judges will be wearing tilak on the bench it will indicate that Krsna consciousness is successful. The fact that His Holiness Radhanath Swami could address–in full Vaisnava attire– a gathering of influential mlecchas and yavanas (in the legendary House of Lords of all places) and draw a favorable response is a sure sign that Krsna consciousness is infiltrating the mundane sphere. All glories to Srila Prabhupada, who asked his disciples to rack their brains in order to find novel ways of presenting Krsna consciousness. May he bless you with such consciousness.

Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On May 11, 2013 @ 7:36 am

Wow! That’s wonderful! The Golden Age is on its way. All glories to the British Yatra and its congregation! All glories to His Holiness Radhanath Swami! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Your unworthy servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On May 8, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

Wash My Feet Not!

Thank you, bbd Prabhu, for setting the record straight about how karma is acquired. Sometimes, we hear things so often that we become brainwashed. One time, when he was the TP in Vrindavan, H. H. Bhakti-rasamrta Swami asked me to do some research on whether a fast (including on days like Janmastami and Gaura Purnima) should be broken with grains or not. I did extensive research–in Folio, emails to senior devotees like Hari-sauri Prabhu, Yamuna Devi, H. H. Bhanu Swami, etc… I also visited some Gaudiya Mathas. The conclusion of all that inquest was that there is absolutely no sastric injunction (Bhanu Swami) regarding breaking a fast with Ekadasi prasada. It is purely a matter of proper hygiene. Especially in India, where it gets very hot, it is quite risky to break a fast with heavy grains. Srila Prabhupada, of course, gives both points of view–interestingly enough, in the earlier years he seemed to favor breaking fasts with Ekadasi prasada, and later on he said “full feast” could be taken.

So I gave my report to our TP and he accepted it. Then, as I was mentioning how devotees in Vrindavan had become so adamant that breaking fast with grains was tantamount to breaking Ekadasi, I foolishly mentioned that, “Yes, on Ekadasi, sinful reactions get into the grains, but not on other days.” Maharaja, Prabhu at the time, looked at me with a mixture of astonishment and perhaps even slight indignation and said, “This is not why we fast on Ekadasi! There are no sinful reactions stored in prasadam! We fast from grains only because grains are so nice and we want to give up sense gratification on Ekadasi. We do not follow karma-kanda!” Immediately I felt ashamed of having been so foolish and faithless and brainwashed by ignorant propaganda.

That being said, I broke my Gaura Purnima fast with some grain mahaprasada that year–and sure enough, I got sick.

Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Apr 21, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

Kesava Krsna, Prabhu, I am sure Lord Krsna would bathe their feet. But He is like the powerful sun who can burn up all impurities. We have been advised not to imitate Lord Siva’s drinking an ocean of poison. Following in the footsteps of the acaryas will liberate us, imitating them will destroy us.

There is a story of devotees eating the guests’ remnants of the Sunday feast because it was prasada and should not be thrown away. But Srila Prabhupada is said to have instructed that unless we are powerful enough to absorb the sinful reactions sitting side by side with the prasada, we should not eat it. The prasada cannot be contaminated by the karmis’ touch but we can. Does anyone remember that episode?

Respectfully,
Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Apr 16, 2013 @ 10:16 am

Powerful Food For Thought

“I have already written to Hayagriva that the instructions which I impart are not dogmas. Our instructions are all based on sufficient logic and philosophy.” (SP letter 67-11-05)
I always found this statement fascinating. Many of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions are based on time, place, and circumstances, and I do not find it contradictory or mutually exclusive that he should have at one time instructed all of his disciples to call each other “Prabhu”—to implant upon our conditioned souls the idea that each one of us is the servant of the servant of the other servants, regardless of gender — and that he instructed at another time that the men should call the women “Mataji” and threat them as such, which of course implies that they should behave as such—as Devaki devi has so nicely explained. The women, on the other hand, have no reason to see the other women as mothers, unless those women they call “Mataji” are old enough to be treated as such. “Didi” means older sister, a term which is not suitable to address a woman younger than oneself. But, just as in ISKCON we made do with “Prabhu”, regardless of gender, for quite some time, in the Gaudiya Matha they are making do with “Didi”, regardless of who calls who like that. It is not satisfactory, but what to do? My personal objection to what I call the “Prabhu/Mataji syndrome” is that it is not a balanced pair and also doesn’t properly reflect our ontological nature. We usually speak of men and women, demons and demigods, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, and fathers and mothers –pitajis and matajis. But this Prabhu/Mataji appellation implies that the conditioned souls in male forms are superior to the conditioned souls in female forms. And guess what? I do AGREE that the conditioned female form is meant to be subordinate to the conditioned male form for the purpose of peaceful enjoyment in the material world. But this is not what the Krsna consciousness movement is about. The first teaching is that we are not these bodies, and unless we train ourselves to speak the proper language that reflects proper thoughts, we are not going get out of the material world.
(Personally, I quite like “sakhi.” It is soft and gentle and personal. But again, what is wrong with calling our godsisters by their glorious spiritual names and perhaps add “Devi” as an extra mark of respect for our god-aunties?)
Hare Krsna.
Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Apr 19, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

His Holiness Giriraj Swami describes an incident in which the Boston devotees were attacked one night by hooligans. Somehow they were caught and brought to justice and their attorney was bent on discrediting the Hare Krishnas. The main witness, His Grace Nanda-Kumara Prabhu, was very young, shy, and inexperienced in worldly dealings, and when he got to the witness stand, the lawyer was ready to tear into him. He began his investigation by asking: “Who was there on the night of the alleged attack?” Nanda Kumara Prabhu replied, “Satsvarupa was there, Murari was there,” and a host of other names of Krsna. And as he was reciting these powerful names of the Lord, his spiritual strength increased and he was able to hold his ground and ultimately the devotees won the case.
So, when devotees, especially women, thoughtlessly call each other “Mataji,” regardless of whether they are older or younger than the person they call in this way—instead of instead of calling them by the glorious names they were given by their spiritual masters, I deplore it.
I heard—and I don’t know if it’s true or not—that His Holiness Sivarama Swami forbade his disciples to call women “Prabhu.” Perhaps there are some varnasrama considerations that need to be applied in developing varnasrama communities, and I accept that. But Srila Prabhupada gave us the choice: the elevator (lift) or the staircase. So we have to be careful to validate and respect those choices since the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is meant to give shelter to everyone—including the minorities.

Thank you for reading this. Hare Krsna!
Your servant,
Visakha Priya dasi

» Posted By Visakha Priya dasi On Apr 16, 2013 @ 9:04 am

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