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Wash My Feet Not!

Continued…

As far as karma is concerned, simple action/reaction philosophy is taught to the neophyte . But when one gradually sees that he is in no way independent of the Lord’s will, and surrenders to the Lord’s supreme control, (as Arjuna did) the very idea of sinful reactions is vanquished, as Krsna states. This is the ultimate realization of BG 18:66. Here is the proper realization of one who sees the Lord’s control over everyone and everything, at all times.

CC Ādi 17.271: Keśava Bhāratī replied to the Lord, “You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supersoul. I must do whatever You cause me to do. I am not independent of You.”

The verses you cite concerning dust from feet of devotees, wash water, remnants, etc… are allegorical. There’s not some special magic in the physical act of touching devotees feet that benefits the foot tagger. It’s the sincere mindset and mood of humility that becomes beneficial to the person by recognizing a devotee, a person with knowledge of the Lord, as an exalted figure to hear and learn from. It is to gradually evolve one’s lower state of realization.

At the same time, the example set by Mahaprabhu, and Prabhupada’s purport, warns that a devotee should not ordinarily accept such attention, feet worship, and be corrupted by pride or false ego through accepting god-like status.

BG 6.32: He is a perfect yogī who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress, O Arjuna!

Comment Posted By bbd On 01.05.2013 @ 18:34

Comments 6 & 7:

Why would Mahaprabhu need to jump in the Ganges to wash away sinful reactions? That would imply that the Lord is subject to material contamination. It is clear that Mahaprabhu was rejecting any recognition as being the Supreme Lord, at that time in the assembly of devotees at the house of Sri Chandrasekhara. Otherwise, the wife of a caste brahmana would not have approached Him in that way if she did not recognize His identity or exalted personality. We know Mahaprabhu did not often favor public displays or recognition of His supremacy.

If you look closely at the word-for-word translation of Adi 17.245, you will see that the words “to counteract the sinful activities of that woman” is absent in the Bengali.

CC Ādi 17.245: Immediately He ran to the river Ganges and jumped in to counteract the sinful activities of that woman. Lord Nityānanda and Haridāsa Ṭhākura caught Him and raised Him from the river.

sei-kṣaṇe dhāñā prabhu gańgāte paḍila
nityānanda-haridāsa dhari’ uṭhāila

sei-kṣaṇe — immediately; dhāñā — running; prabhu — the Lord; gańgāte — in the water of the Ganges; paḍila — plunged; nityānanda — Lord Nityānanda; haridāsa — Haridāsa Ṭhākura; dhari’ — catching Him; uṭhāila — raised Him.

The following verses show Mahaprabhu’s reasons for accepting the role of a strict sannyasa to hide His Lordship and to gain widespread acceptance of His teachings, by accepting the saffron cloth.

CC Ādi 17.265: “I shall accept the sannyāsa order of life, for thus people will offer Me their obeisances, thinking of Me as a member of the renounced order.

CC Ādi 17.266: “Offering obeisances will relieve them of all the reactions to their offenses. Then, by My grace, devotional service [bhakti] will awaken in their pure hearts.

CC Ādi 17.267: “All the unfaithful rogues of this world can be delivered by this process. There is no alternative. This is the essence of the argument.”

Comment Posted By bbd On 01.05.2013 @ 18:32

continued…

Otherwise, to the outsider, feet washing mostly appears to be a strange ritualized cult phenomena, esp. when applied to an individual already placed on a pedestal.

The ultimate purpose of seeing the guru as good as Krsna is mainly to begin installing the practice of seeing Krsna (paramatma/antaryami) within others. It’s to begin the process of receiving divine revelation through everyday experiences. But when a devotee only sees Krsna in one’s guru and not in others, he immediately reveals his entry level of spiritual realization. Otherwise, if he was truly learned, he would see everyone with an equal vision. Equal vision and equal feet…it’s all a matter of perspective.

BG 5.18: The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].

BG 6.32: He is a perfect yogī who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress, O Arjuna!

Comment Posted By bbd On 16.04.2013 @ 20:42

“Devotees are wary of having their feet touched by others, let alone sit down for a ritual bathing. The thought of others offloading negative karma by touching one’s feet can be a deterrent, but aren’t Vaisnavas supposed to be kind and merciful to absorb the sins of others, thus purifying all?”

This kind of act, and mentality, seems to be a result of superstitious hocus pocus. The ancient practice of foot washing seems to have now become just a ritualized display of false humility. We’ve all seen devotees play the silly game of feet tag.

Foot washing was a practical service in honoring another individual. People of the ancient world typically would walk days on end, barefoot or with primitive sandals, acquiring all sorts of wear and tear on the feet, as well as filth. Removing shoes and washing feet was absolutely necessary for leaving filth at the doorstep of any residence, public building, or place of worship.

The belief that “negative karma” is acquired by touching another’s feet is the antithesis of karma. Karma is predestined and not a simple “action/reaction” as many first believe. That improper understanding of karma is very elementary and not in line with the deeper understanding of sastra. Even if that was the case with karma, true devotees don’t care about karma, right? Isn’t the mood of a true Vaisnava to uplift & serve humanity at all costs, even by acquiring “negative karma”?

My main question is this:

If devotees want to cling to the feet washing tradition, wouldn’t it be best applied & displayed to guests visiting your home or place of worship? Imagine the impression left on a guest who visited a temple for the first time and got their feet cleansed by a devotee with a true mood to serve them & not convert them. Pedicure service at the temple doorsteps anyone ? We’ve all smelled some feet in need of this service, so why not? This service would truly promote genuine humility.

Comment Posted By bbd On 16.04.2013 @ 20:40

Why Veganism in Iskcon does not work, part 2

continued….

The vision this article, and like comments, demonstrate is a very elementary understanding of tattva. The ultimate reality is that everyone and everything is comprised of and controlled by God, aikatmyam mahā-ātmani, therefore we should see that the real cause of everyone’s actions is the will of God.

Krishna is the ultimate controlling principle, therefore he is the actual cause of all causes. That vision is for everyone’s own good because by that vision one can transcend anger (by seeing God in control of people’s actions) and one can actually come to see and commune with God through everything they experience because God is in control of everything they experience.

So, if you surrender to the supreme control of Para Brahman (Isvara), you will not have some axe to grind with “vegans”, or anyone else for that matter.

Brahma Samhita 5.1: “Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.”

…even veganism.

Comment Posted By bbd On 04.04.2013 @ 00:45

Comment 30

You said: “Mayavadis of Lord Chaitanya’s time also avoided killing animals, and Lord Chaitanya avoided mayavadis. In Prabhupada’s time there were plenty of philanthropists who built hospitals and distributed food, out of compassion, and Prabhupada avoided them, too.”

I don’t see the connection. Are you labeling all who abstain from dairy as “mayavadis”? Maybe a misunderstanding of what is Mayavada/impersonal is present here, as with many devotees.

“Those who accept all spiritual objects as illusion, think that Brahman is beyond illusion, the Supreme Controller is affected by illusion, and that the bodies of the Lord’s incarnations illusory are Mayavadis.”

“They say that the functions of maya are present in the living entities’ constitution. In other words, the living entities’ false egos are created by maya.”

“Therefore they think that when the living entities are liberated, they do not remain in an individual state as pure living entities.”

“They also teach that after liberation, the living entities become one with Brahman.”
(Bhaktivinoda Thakur’s Commentary on Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 7.29)

“Mayavadis engage in the worship of 5 gods: Durga, Surya, the sun-god, Ganapati, Siva, and Vishnu. At first, there is the material energy (under the control of Durga), then appears the sun, which induces action in the material energy, then appears Ganesa (Ganapati), who confirms the existence of consciousness. Then appears Lord Siva, who is perceived as all-pervading, and finally, Lord Vishnu is served. He is the Supersoul, saccidananda, incomparable, and beyond the reach of ordinary living entities. From a doubtful person to a learned scholar of spiritual topics, all are eligible to worship the Para Brahman. The symptom of actual worship is to make advancement on the path of raga. One should therefore worship the Supreme Lord, who is saccidananda and the controller of all living entities. However, if one remains entangled in other processes of worship, one will never achieve the goal of life.”
(Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Tattva-sutra 47)

We’re talking about devotees, who by inspiration & influence of paramatma/antaryami, for whatever reason, adopt a vegan diet. These 2 articles are not really about non-bhaktas promoting veganism without awareness of antaryami. This article is ultimately voiced towards devotees, and is an embarrassment on many levels.

Comment Posted By bbd On 04.04.2013 @ 00:42

Comments 8 & 10

Irregardless, dietary preference has absolutely no bearing on the acquisition of bhakti. If you happen to feel that you are a “better devotee” than others because you eat dairy and others may not, then kudos to you prabhu. Good luck on eating your way to Krsna prema.

As for myself, sometimes I consume copious amounts a dairy and sometimes I consume none. Even past acharyas would abstain from various dairy products during Caturmasya as an austerity. So what does that say about those devotees that abstain from dairy for life? I personally know more than a handful of GBC members, ISKCON gurus, and sannyasas who have adopted vegan diets. Maybe you want to recheck your critical analysis of those who choose to abstain from dairy.

Either way, you are missing the big picture.

BS 5.38: I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Syamasundara, Krsna Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love.

SB 11.13.24: Within this world, whatever is perceived by the mind, speech, eyes or other senses is Me alone and nothing besides Me. All of you please understand this by a straightforward analysis of the facts.

Comment Posted By bbd On 21.03.2013 @ 18:22

Although no one needs to follow such tapasya to achieve bhakti, Dhruva Maharaja adopted a “vegan” diet throughout his journey of self realization. SB even says this diet is enough to keep the body & soul together. Therefore, I would advise the author to retract any statements in critique of this diet adopted by such a mahabhagavata.

SB 4.8.55: One should worship the Lord by offering pure water, pure flower garlands, fruits, flowers and vegetables, which are available in the forest, or by collecting newly grown grasses, small buds of flowers or even the skins of trees, and if possible, by offering tulasī leaves, which are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

SB 4.8.56: It is possible to worship a form of the Lord made of physical elements such as earth, water, pulp, wood and metal. In the forest one can make a form with no more than earth and water and worship Him according to the above principles. A devotee who has full control over his self should be very sober and peaceful and must be satisfied simply with eating whatever fruits and vegetables are available in the forest.

SB 4.8.72: For the first month Dhruva Mahārāja ate only fruits and berries on every third day, only to keep his body and soul together, and in this way he progressed in his worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

SB 4.8.73: In the second month Dhruva Mahārāja ate only every six days, and for his eatables he took dry grass and leaves. Thus he continued his worship.

SB 4.8.74: In the third month he drank water only every nine days. Thus he remained completely in trance and worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is adored by selected verses.

SB 4.8.75: In the fourth month Dhruva Mahārāja became a complete master of the breathing exercise, and thus he inhaled air only every twelfth day. In this way he became completely fixed in his position and worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

SB 4.8.76: By the fifth month, Mahārāja Dhruva, the son of the King, had controlled his breathing so perfectly that he was able to stand on only one leg, just as a column stands, without motion, and concentrate his mind fully on the Parabrahman.

SB 4.8.77: He completely controlled his senses and their objects, and in this way he fixed his mind, without diversion to anything else, upon the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Comment Posted By bbd On 19.03.2013 @ 17:30

This article states: “That Veganism is just a dietary consideration primarily based on a certain ethic, that shows no alternatives to pro-actively engage in, which is purely egocentrically motivated.”

It surprises me that dandavats.com would allow such an embarrassing article as this for public viewing. This article with its straw man arguments does no favor to Mahaprabhu’s mission. Rather it shows the “egocentrically motivated” agenda of those who do not yet see the supreme within and without all that exists.

(SB 3.29.20-23)

“As the chariot of air carries an aroma from its source and immediately catches the sense of smell, similarly, one in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, can catch the Supreme Soul, who is equally present everywhere.”

“I am present in every living entity as the Supersoul. If someone neglects or disregards that Supersoul everywhere and engages himself in the worship of the Deity in the temple, that is simply imitation.”

“One who worships the Deity of Godhead in the temples but does not know that the Supreme Lord, as Paramātmā, is situated in every living entity’s heart, must be in ignorance and is compared to one who offers oblations into ashes.”

(SB 3.28.42,44)

“A yogi should see the same soul in all manifestations, for all that exists is a manifestation of different energies of the Supreme. In this way the devotee should see all living entities without distinction. That is realization of the Supreme Soul.”

“Thus the yogī can be in the self-realized position after conquering the insurmountable spell of māyā, who presents herself as both the cause and effect of this material manifestation and is therefore very difficult to understand.”

Comment Posted By bbd On 18.03.2013 @ 06:51

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

Comment 10:

You said: ” …the difference between all those things you mention and FDG is that there’s practically no resistance to them in vaishnava circles, all our obstacles in implementing them are external…”

Practically no resistance? How many are sending their children to gurukulas? How many are relocating to start farms? Where is varnashrama dharma being implemented as the perfect model for society? I’d say there’s plenty of resistance as seeing these things as primary factors for achieving bhakti, even on a grand scale.

All these things are external to sentiments of bhakti. The main underlying complexity to the “FDG” issue appears to be 2 fold:

1) The external position/roles of women within ISKCON, a religious organization.

2) The over emphasis in the idea of a mystical and magical diksha ritual within ISKCON.

Some feel women are inherently inferior to men, and therefore should not have capacity to serve and practice certain spiritual pursuits like men. Rather, they feel women are dependent on men for their spiritual advancement and cannot achieve bhakti independently, due to their “weaker” nature.

Some over emphasize the oral tradition of times prior to the printing press, when sastra wasn’t available outside of hearing/reading/learning it from a brahmin or sadhu. Some feel the disksa/ritual guru is like a magician that grants one salvation through some mystical ritual, that without, one cannot achieve bhakti. Although sastra is now readily available to all, with commentaries from several prominent Gaudiya acharyas, over emphasis of the “magical” diksha ritual is still at play.

These 2 factors combined seems to make the “FDG” issue a complicated one without addressing the 2 factors individually.

Comment Posted By bbd On 27.02.2013 @ 19:45


 


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