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Comments Posted By ekendra das

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Iskcon Loses 26 2nd Avenue

Pranams.

I’m tempted to make a monthly donation but I notice that you only have PayPal subscriptions set up on your site for a minimum of US$31 a month. What if I want to only give $10? I wish you could made that easier for us.

Also do you have any goals and plans in place to turn this center into a financially self-sustainable entity or are you just hoping that you’ll get enough donations to keep it afloat on a long term basis?

I don’t know the specifics there so I can’t be more specific myself, but surely there is a way to generate funds, engage the devotees, and maintain the situation as other preaching centres do around the globe?

Your servant,
Ekendra das

» Posted By ekendra das On Nov 1, 2011 @ 9:38 am

Double-voice amplification kirtans in Iskcon Mayapur

More specific to Chandrashekara Prabhu’s point, as lovely as these kirtan duets can sound, it isn’t quite the same as a proper call and response group kirtan. Sometimes I feel like I should applaud and clap afterwards which isn’t really the best way for temple kirtans to go in my humble opinion.

» Posted By ekendra das On May 2, 2011 @ 12:54 am

Here’s an iPHone app that has a dB meter. It isn’t 100% accurate but it does give some indication of how loud a room gets.

http://goo.gl/Zd6vW

I like a decently loud kirtan but sometimes passion enters in and I think we can sometimes mistake volume for love of God. Djembes and whompers tend to accelerate this.

» Posted By ekendra das On May 2, 2011 @ 12:28 am

Twenty Foot Flames: Lord Nrsimhadeva

Intersting topic. If we are in a threatening situation should we:

1. Follow in the footsteps of the Vrajabasis and cry out for Krishna’s deliverance?

2. Refrain from bugging Krishna and be content with the truth that Krishna protects his devotees?

3. Remember the maxim: “Rakhe krishna mare ke mare krishna rakhe ke” and think “If Krishna wants to protect me nothing can harm me. If Krishna wants to kill me nothing can save me.”?

4. All of the above?

I’m interested to hear other Vaishnavas thoughts on this topic.

» Posted By ekendra das On Jan 7, 2010 @ 2:14 am

From a Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.37 class given in Los Angeles on April 29, 1973:

apy adya nas tvaṁ sva-kṛtehita prabho
jihāsasi svit suhṛdo ‘nujīvinaḥ
yeṣāṁ na cānyad bhavataḥ padāmbujāt
parāyaṇaṁ rājasu yojitāṁhasām
[SB 1.8.37]

“O my Lord, You have executed all duties Yourself. Are You leaving us today, though we are completely dependent on Your mercy and have no one else to protect us now, when all kings are at enmity with us?”

Prabhupāda: So this conversation was going on between Kuntī and Kṛṣṇa when Kṛṣṇa was going home after establishing the Pāṇḍavas in their kingdom and finishing the battle of Kurukṣetra. Kṛṣṇa is going back home, Dvārakā, and was taking leave, farewell, from the aunt. At that time, Kuntī offered this prayer. Now she’s asking directly that “After finishing Your duty, is it a fact that You are going away, leaving us alone?”

This is the devotee’s position. Here it is said, yeṣāṁ na ca anyad bhavataḥ padāmbujāt: “We have no other means of protection than Your lotus feet. This is our position.” Anyat. Anyat means “anything else.” This is full surrender. Just like Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura sings, hā hā prabhu nanda-suta vṛṣabhānu-sutā-juta. “Nanda-suta, Kṛṣṇa, You are present here with the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu. Both of You are here.” Hā hā prabhu nanda-suta vṛṣabhānu-sutā-juta. We don’t want to see Kṛṣṇa alone.

Anyway… So Kuntīdevī says, yeṣāṁ na ca anyad bhavataḥ padāmbujāt. This is called full dependence. In the śaraṇāgati, in the surrender process, there are six things. The six things is that completely, one of the…, completely dependent upon Kṛṣṇa. Ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ. The first śaraṇāgati is to accept everything favorable for Kṛṣṇa’s service. Ānukūlyam. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā [Cc. Madhya 19.167].

Devotional, first-class bhakti means accepting everything which is favorable for devotional service. And prātikūlyasya varjanam. And reject everything which is unfavorable to the procedure of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So we forbid that “You don’t do this,” because they are unfavorable. And we say something, “You do this, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa sixteen rounds,” that is favorable. Śaraṇāgati means to give up the unfavorable things and to accept the favorable. Ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlyasya varjanam. And believe that “Kṛṣṇa will give me protection.” Full faith. And to count oneself as one of the servants of Kṛṣṇa. In this way, śaraṇāgati.

(Continued in next post.)

» Posted By ekendra das On Jan 7, 2010 @ 2:05 am

Sweet.

I searched Vedabase for Srila Prabhupada’s words surrounding this topic and found some very nice excerpts.

——

From a Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.3.16-17 class given at Gorakhpur, India on February 10, 1971:

Unless one is convinced that “Kṛṣṇa will give me protection,” so how he can surrender? There is no question of surrender. Avaśya rakṣibe kṛṣṇa vivaśa-pālana. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has said to be firmly convinced: “Then Kṛṣṇa will give me all protection.” Therefore surrender is perfect.

Ānukūlyasya saṅkalpaḥ prātikūlyaṁ vivarjanam. Surrender means one should simply accept favorable service to Kṛṣṇa and reject anything which is unfavorable, and then next is avaśya rakṣibe kṛṣṇa viśvasa-pālana: “And to be firmly convinced that ‘Kṛṣṇa will give me all protection.’ ”

Therefore, instead of “trying to protect myself,” a devotee should always remain dependent on Kṛṣṇa. That is śaraṇāgati. And to consider oneself that “Now I am in the association of Kṛṣṇa,” these are different items of śaraṇāgati.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the best contribution to the human society. There is no comparison with this movement, any other welfare activity of the whole world. There is no comparison. Can you suggest any better welfare activities than this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that “Here is another item which is better than Kṛṣṇa consciousness?” What is that? Who will suggest?

(Continued in the next post.)

» Posted By ekendra das On Jan 7, 2010 @ 2:01 am

Down in the Pits

What a perfectly beautiful bhajan by Srila Narahari Dasa. I’m so glad you shared it here.

» Posted By ekendra das On Jan 19, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

Original table used by Srila Prabhupada for sale

Prabhu,

Did you mean that this table held the dictaphone that Srila Prabhupada used to speak the Krishna Book? As far as I understand, Srila Prabhupada used that method – not that he sat down and wrote Krishna Book.

ys.

» Posted By ekendra das On Dec 14, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

Radhanath Prabhu Left his body

Jaya Sadhu!

» Posted By ekendra das On Nov 1, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

THE CZECH WOODSTOCK 1987-2007

Punya Palaka Prabhu,

you wrote: “please contact me if you are willing to come.”

but there are no contact details.

ys, ekendra dasa

» Posted By ekendra das On Oct 2, 2007 @ 11:50 pm

Nando Reis with devotees – DirecTV Music Hall

such bliss!

» Posted By ekendra das On Sep 20, 2007 @ 9:25 pm

Shyamasundar ACBSP 1 Up-date

oh yeah …. to send me the details just visit http://www.gopala.org and click on ‘contact’ where you can send me a message.

» Posted By ekendra das On Oct 19, 2007 @ 11:55 am

Does anyone know how I can get in touch with Gopinatha Prabhu? email? phone #?

Also I was hoping to get a higher resolution image than the one in this article of the two together.

» Posted By ekendra das On Oct 19, 2007 @ 4:52 am

Krsna-Balarama’s Kitchen Requests Your Help

Is it not possible to make ghee for Their Lordships?

» Posted By ekendra das On Aug 11, 2007 @ 6:28 pm

The “Savior-Guru” syndrome

I’m glad you wrote this article. Often we try to look back at history and see what went wrong. Good. We should also address what is wrong in the present so as to prevent things from going off track in the future.

Let’s face it. We need formal educational structures in ISKCON so that at least such misunderstandings can be put into perspective. I think that the more we put our energy into standardized educational development then the less weight these issues will have to influence communities.

» Posted By ekendra das On Jun 9, 2007 @ 6:29 pm

ZOMBIE JAMBOREE

Devotee: Can haṭha-yoga hinder or help Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or is it…?

Prabhupāda: Hinder. Yes. Because it is useless, simply wasting time. You cannot perform haṭha-yoga in this age. You do not follow the rules and regulations. You are simply bluffed. Do you know what is the rules and regulations of haṭha-yoga factually?

Devotee: Not actually.

Prabhupāda: Yes. You have to select a secluded place. Haṭha-yoga is not practiced in assembly of so many men. Just you go to a haṭha-yoga class. There are hundreds of members practicing, and he is collecting money, five dollars per seat. And you are thinking, “I am practicing.” That is useless waste of time and money. Haṭha-yoga is not practiced in that way. You have to practice in a secluded place, alone. Do you do that?

Devotee: Yes. Not… No. I guess I don’t.

Prabhupāda: It is very difficult in this age. Then you have to restrain yourself in so many things. Complete free from sex life. You have to eat under certain direction, you have to… So many things there are. These rules are not followed. Simply they have got some bodily gymnastic sitting posture. They are thinking, “I am practicing.” No. That is one of the items. So all the items cannot be observed in this age. Therefore it is wasting. [Break] “…yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.” This is the goal of yoga practice. So that is possible very easily by this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not by any other process. And the ultimate goal is here. One should be always abiding with God, worshiping Him, transcendental loving service, and intimately united with Him, intimately. This intimate unity means that five kinds of relationship. That is the perfection of yoga. When Kṛṣṇa has advised yoga practice, sāṅkhya-yoga… You have Bhagavad-gītā? There is sāṅkhya-yoga. You’ll find in the forty-seventh verse. This is the version.

Devotee: There’s no value in keeping the body fit through exercise?

Prabhupāda: Yes, you can become very healthy. But does it mean that health is the perfection of life? Do you mean to say healthy life will not die, will not change his body? So health is required, but health is not the ultimate goal of life. Ultimate goal of life is here.

» Posted By ekendra das On Jun 5, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

Why doesn’t everyone involved with this issue try to come to a consensus by reading all of the available information regarding Srila Prabhupada’s opinion towards using Hatha-yoga as a preaching device and then decide what they want to do about it? Isn’t that the way Vaisnavas operate? Shouldn’t we be contented with the direction he has provided regarding this subject? I’m far more interested in hearing those points than anyone’s justification of what is obviously and clearly not in line with our Gaudiya tradition.

» Posted By ekendra das On May 27, 2007 @ 7:12 pm

Great humor for devotees

Good!

» Posted By ekendra das On May 24, 2007 @ 9:12 am

Chocolate – the nectar for which we are always anxious?

Once you give in to it the first time, however, it starts to call out to you: “Take me, I’m yours”. You find that you start to justify giving more concessions to it just a little more with each passing week.

Fact! It’s insidiously addictive. We know this from experience. It makes ya feel chemically happy but its only illusory mental pleasure. Wasn’t so hard to give up though. Just don’t try weening yourself and drag it out over weeks/months.

For staying awake at work why not try getting some proper sleep? I sleep irregularly at night so i take a nap sometime during the day if i can for 15 min – 30 min. its amazing how much energy you get from a quick nap.

… trying to help …

ys, ekendra das

» Posted By ekendra das On Feb 1, 2007 @ 8:31 pm

ADVANCEMENT, ANYONE? II

very nice. its refreshing to hear that there are some devotees who are battling this anartha. please bless me to have a similar sincerity.

» Posted By ekendra das On Jan 25, 2007 @ 11:30 pm

Prabhupada’s Parrots

is it ok to simply repeat but with some understanding?

otherwise it would seem that promoting my own deliberations on the conclusions of sastra could go unchecked. i think its best to try to understand as far as possible what is presented by guru, sadhus and sastra and, with whatever depth of understanding we have, repeat this message as a parrot. For this to be effective i think it relies upon a particular ‘disciplic mentatlity’ where one feels themselves to be perpetually a student of the very message they are attempting to c0nvey. Taking shelter of the parampara, such a parrot-like repeater would rely upon more upon the hope of being empowered by the predecessors than upon the strength of his/her own understanding.

I think this mentality is best expressed in Srila Prabhupada’s poem written onboard the Jaladuta as it sat at the dock in Boston Harbour 18/09/1965:

My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, You are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now You can do whatever You like with me.

But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?

Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life, they think themselves very happy and satisfied, and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vāsudeva. I do not know how they will be able to understand it.

But I know Your causeless mercy can make everything possible, because You are the most expert mystic.

How will they understand the mellows of devotional service? O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message.

All living entities have become under the control of the illusory energy by Your will, and therefore, if You like, by Your will they can also be released from the clutches of illusion.

I wish that You may deliver them. Therefore if You so desire their deliverance, then only will they be able to understand Your message.

The words of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are Your incarnation, and if a sober person repeatedly receives them with submissive aural reception, then he will be able to understand Your message.

It is said in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.17-21): “Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who relishes His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted. By regularly hearing the Bhāgavatam and rendering service unto the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is practically destroyed, and loving service unto the glorious Lord, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact. At the time loving service is established in the heart, the modes of passion [rajas] and ignorance [tamas], and lust and desire [kāma] disappear from the heart. Then the devotee is established in goodness and he becomes happy. Thus established in the mode of goodness, the man rejuvenated by loving service to the Lord gains liberation from material association [mukti] and comes to know scientifically of the Personality of Godhead. Thus the knots of the heart and all misgivings are cut to pieces. The chain of fruitive actions [karma] is terminated when one sees the self as master. He will become liberated from the influence of the modes of ignorance and passion and thus all inauspicious things accumulated in the core of the heart will disappear.”

How will I make them understand this message of Kṛṣṇa consciousness? I am very unfortunate, unqualified, and the most fallen. Therefore I am seeking Your benediction so that I can convince them, for I am powerless to do so on my own.

Somehow or other, O Lord, You have brought me here to speak about You. Now, my Lord, it is up to You to make me a success or failure as You like.

O spiritual master of all the worlds! I can simply repeat Your message, so if You like You can make my power of speaking suitable for their understanding.

Only by Your causeless mercy will my words become pure. I am sure that when this transcendental message penetrates their hearts they will certainly feel engladdened and thus become liberated from all unhappy conditions of life.

O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance. O Lord, make me dance as You like.

I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. I have been designated as Bhaktivedanta, and now, if You like, You can fulfill the real purport of Bhaktivedanta.

» Posted By ekendra das On Jan 25, 2007 @ 11:12 pm

A Response to Hridayananda das Goswami’s “Vaisnava Moral Theology and Homosexuality”

Prabhupada: Homosex. They are supporting homosex. So degraded, and still they say, “What we have done?” They do not know what is degradation, and they are priest. They are teaching others. They do not know what is the meaning of degradation.

— Morning Walk Conversation — Los Angeles, September 28, 1972

———————————————————————–

Prabhupada: The world is degrading to the lowest status, even less than animal. The animal also do not support homosex. They have never sex life between male to male. They are less than animal. People are becoming less than animal. This is all due to godlessness. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna [SB 5.18.12], godless civilization cannot have any good qualities. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna mano rathena asato dhavato. They simply go to the untruth by mental speculation.

— Conversation with the GBC — Los Angeles, May 25, 1972

———————————————————————–

Prabhupada: No no, what is their value? When they are sanctioning abortion, homosex, now they are finished. They have no value.

Karandhara: Well, most or a greater proportion of the traditional Christians condemn homosex and abortion. A good quantity of the traditional Christians, they condemn abortion and homosex.

Prabhupada: Yes, they are good, but mostly, as you were telling me that, that Pope is disgusted… Yes. Nobody cares for the Bible or the Pope. That is everywhere, not only Christian. Actually there is no religion at the present moment. All animals. We don’t blame only the Christians. The Hindus, Muslim, everyone. They have lost all religion.

— Morning Walk — December 8, 1973, Los Angeles

———————————————————————–

Prabhupada: So generally, people are suffering on account of association with tamo-guna and rajo-guna, whole material world, mostly tamo-guna and few of them in rajo-guna. The symptoms of rajo-guna and tamo-guna are lust and greediness. Just like yesterday you told me the students are talking about homosex. That means tamo-guna, that the education students, they are discussing about homosex. That means tamo-guna, lusty desires, very prominent, and how to fulfill, by homosex or sex with woman. This is their subject matter, kama. So everyone in this material world infected with this tamo-guna, all lusty desires, in various ways, varieties. And some of them in rajo-guna-politics and improvement of material condition. So we have to cut down this tamo-guna and rajo-guna, come to the sattva-guna. Then he’ll not be disturbed by these lusty desires and greediness. Then he’ll be happy.

also:

That means they are making their own lusty desires fulfilled in the name of Bible, that’s all. Everyone is doing like that. They are changing. Mass opinion is now homosex. They are passing abortion. They are passing… What is this? This is their business. For fulfillment of their lusty desires and greediness, they are bringing the authority of Bible, Bhagavad-gita. This is going on in the name of religion.

— Morning Walk — May 11, 1975, Perth

———————————————————————–

Prabhupada: This homosex propaganda is another side of impotency. So that is natural. If you enjoy too much, then you become impotent.

Brahmananda: They are trying to make that more and more accepted in America, homosex.

Prabhupada: Yes. The churches accept. It is already law.

Nitai: This women’s liberation movement, the leaders are also homosexual.
They’re lesbians.

Prabhupada: (laughs) Just see. Hare Krsna. The whole world is on the verge of ruination. Kali-yuga.

— Morning Walk — September 6, 1975, Vrndavana

———————————————————————–

Tamala Krsna: Now they have churches for homosex. That means the priest is a homosexual, and the persons who come are homosexuals. A special church for homosexuals.

Prabhupada: Just see. Is that religion?

— Room Conversation — January 8, 1976, Nellore

———————————————————————–

Prabhupada: The hippies are nothing but a group of madmen, that’s all. A madman, they…, means publicly sex, that’s all. This Allen Ginsberg’s movement is that, homosex, public sex. Ginsberg was very proud that he had introduced homosex. He was telling me.

Tamala Krsna: He was telling you?

Prabhupada: When he first came to me he was very proud: “I have introduced homosex.” He thought very brilliant work it was.

— Room Conversation Varnasrama July 14, 1977, Vrndavana

———————————————————————–

Hawaii
26 May, 1975

My Dear Lalitananda dasa,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated May 13rd, 1975 and have noted the contents. I am very sorry that you have taken to homosex. It will not help you advance in your attempt for spiritual life.
In fact, it will only hamper your advancement. I do not know why you have taken to such abominable activities. What can I say? Anyway, try to render whatever service you can to Krishna. Even though you are in a very degraded condition Krishna, being pleased with your service attitude, can pick you up from your fallen state. You should stop this homosex immediately. It is illicit sex, otherwise, your chances of advancing in spiritual life are nil.
Show Krishna you are serious, if you are.

I hope this meets you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

» Posted By ekendra das On Jan 29, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

Prescribed Duties and Sankirtana-yajna

I happened to come across this article on a recent search and reviewed some of the dialog.

There is at least one post here that questions whether this type of discussion on varnasrama-dharma will actually produce any tangible results.

Here’s my realization. It has to start somewhere. Through these discussions people (such as myself) become educated. When individuals in our society have a more functional understanding of how varnasrama works then there is a gradual and natural progression into our individual activity and then social structure – just like sambandha evolves into prayojana. This is true individually and then collectively as more people become educated by association.

So I think this topic is worth revisiting again and again at this phase in our movement’s development so that we develop a functional understanding for how to implement varnasrama. I also think that these discussions set a precedent that implementation needs to be discussed in practical ways according to time, place and circumstance so that we don’t become intellectually lazy and try to over-simplify and ‘impersonalize’ this beautiful natural way that humans can live now.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts on varnasrama since I wrote the original article that Dayananda Prabhu commented on. Even better than my thoughts are those offered by His Holiness Bhakti Vidya Purna Maharaja here. This is the first part of three classes which are also available on the same site by searching his name.

» Posted By ekendra das On Oct 4, 2007 @ 5:05 am

obeisances to all here.

All glories to His Divine Grace.

I just got back online after shifting house. i didn’t even know that my article was posted here. I put that article on http://www.gopala.org along with the other essays I wrote for the bhakti-sastri course. Dayananda Prabhu wrote:

“In Ekendra’s article (http://www.dandavats.com/?p=2584#), his understanding of the tension between one’s material and spiritual sva-dharmas is not adequately developed.”

I’m all ears here. I never claimed to be an expert on these subjects and I never asked for my article to be published in a forum such as this. I DO appreciate you pointing out that the sva-dharma has to be aimed at sacrifice as I don’t think I emphasised this enough in the original article.

In any case thanks to all for their association.

ys, ekendra das

» Posted By ekendra das On Jan 11, 2007 @ 8:38 am

Niranjana Swami’s “Taking Care of Krsna’s devotees” now online

The inmense number of devotees who leave active service because of the lack of spiritual care is proof of this. Simultaneously, the large number of devotees who are inspired to continue on -due to the same spiritual care- is the confirmation that this factor is crucial for the growth of our society.

Good point.

» Posted By ekendra das On Oct 9, 2006 @ 12:24 pm

Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Showers a Huge Cloudbank of Mercy Upon Queens, NY

pranams. all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

To make diacritics come up on this or any other website you simply need to visit here:

http://convert.granthamandira.org/convert-online.php

you can paste your text into the box, set the conversion to ‘Balaram to UNICODE HTML’ and click convert. You can then copy that text into the webpage or post. Your text will retain diacritics when copying from Vedabase or another similar source.

example ….

Haladharé —-> Haladharī
yogé —-> yogī
tat te ‘nukampäà su-samékñamäëo bhuïjäna evätma-kåtaà vipäkam —> tat te ‘nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam

ys, ekendra das

» Posted By ekendra das On Sep 23, 2006 @ 8:56 pm

A “TOUCHY” SUBJECT…

Visnu Prabhu,

PAMHO AGTSP

I really liked reading your thoughts. I suppose I’d be what many would call a member of the ‘conservative camp’ but I like to hear from those with varying outlooks so as not to become stale in my perceptions. At least I can more understand where people are coming from even if I can’t wholeheartedly agree with their opinions.

I do agree that it is silly to waste time on an issue like this. I hope that we don’t end up with different schisms and breakaway groups based on being a ‘hugger’ or a ‘non-hugger’. It sounds laughable but I spent some time in a community where there was a tangible division between the ‘chocolate eaters’ and ‘non-chocs’. Its funny how in our devotional naivety we can take things to such extremes.

I don’t think that Mataji or anyone else is here is that silly though. While I also agree that hugging the opposite gender isn’t an expression of affection that is supportive of sadhana-bhakti I don’t think that debate over this point is the underlying reason for this article having 23 responses thus far. I think this discussion between ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ is the crux of the polarization we’re experiencing here.

Personally I feel that the terms ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ relativize two vastly different outlooks far too conveniently. My perceptions are that those who hold to a ‘liberal’ view on what Krishna Consciousness is all about tend to see things more according to their reasoning capacity. To them the consideration of ‘time, place and circumstance’ is often paramount to how we conduct ourselves. Those deemed as ‘conservatives’ are often accused of following the letter of the law and neglecting the spirit of its message. Certainly both outlooks have fearful consequences if taken to extremes.

My assertion here is that both ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ outlooks fall short of the mark. Krishna is famous for resolving all heterogenous views. I find it notable how difficult it is to stereotype his pure representative His Divine Grace as either ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’. For example, those advocating homosexual marraige often portray Srila Prabhupada in an extremely liberal light. Are they COMPLETELY wrong in how they see Srila Prabhupada? I don’t advocate homosex marraige at all but I don’t think they are totally illusioned about Srila Prabhupada’s magnamity, tolerance and compassion. Surely Srila Prabhupada was all of those things. He was also disciplined, philosophically uncompromising and cultured. Does that make him a ‘conservative’? Its hard to really steroetype him isn’t it? I’m starting to realise that its best to let Srila Prabhupada be Srila Prabhupada despite that he may contradict our limited purview.

Here’s something I read recently from HG Bhurijana’s book My Glorious Master:

Once, on the Hyderabad farm during a morning walk, Srila Prabhupada was asked whether a particular mantra could be chanted within the temple. Srila Prabhupada’s reply was that there was nothing wrong with the mantra, but our principle should be not to change anything. Yet, on another occasion, while he was taking his massage in Melbourne during 1975, I heard Srila Prabhupada explain the reason for his success in preaching in the West as allowing women to live within the temples of the Krsna consciousness movement. He then laughed and said that his Godbrothers criticised him for the change, but that they were unsuccessful. ‘And the only time they have some attendance is during parikramas on Gaura-purnima in Mayapura. And who attends? Women. Old widows in white.’ He laughed. ‘And because I made this adjustment,’ Srila Prabhupada continued, ‘I was successful’.

Srila Prabhupada’s servant then asked an intelligent question. ‘Prabhupada’, he inquired, ‘how to know the difference between making an adjustment and changing the principles?’ On hearing this, Prabhupada closed his eyes in concentration for several moments. When his eyes opened, Prabhupada gravely answered, ‘That requires a little intelligence’. (Bhurijana Dasa, p. 50)

In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvami has given us a warning:

śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-pañcarātra-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyaiva kalpate

“The rules and regulations of devotional service, as given in all scriptures, are absolutely essential. If one tries to perform hari-bhakti without following these rules, his so-called devotion will simply cause disturbance.”

You wrote: “Bhakti is spontaneous and its effects will purify our actions. ” You aren’t completely wrong here yet those who’ve had some vijnana of the above scriptural quotation are wary of those who define their own practices according to their reasoning capacity. Does that mean they are backwards intellectually lazy blind-followers of rigid and impractical cultural codes? Does their lack of interest in ‘hugging-sanga’ mean they they are emotionally cold disciplinarians who look for discrepencies in others’ behaviour to fill their boring lives? I really don’t think that this is always the case and I really don’t think this was mataji’s underlying motivation.

Rather I think she has some concern that some cultural standards are upheld for the progress of our society. I hope we can agree that this principle is essentially good. Personally I would have never chosen the hugging issue as a platform to launch a cultural reform movement as it is too easily dismissed as pedantic meddling. Does that mean she should be completely dismissed and not heard?

I think that for these kinds of discussions to be worthwhile there has to be a willingness for all parties to hear one another. Some initial respect is required for such a forum to develop but that shouldn’t be hard for devotees to generate. Isn’t trinad api sunicena meant to be our guiding directive? So with a little bit of humility these ‘debates’ can turn into mutually uplifting sanga. Add a little prayerfulness to this atmosphere and everyone can leave the discussion with a far deeper understanding than can be achieved by intellectual or emotional wrangling.

So my prayer here is that Krishna enlightens us all. I hope I haven’t muddled the discussion through my attempts at being a do-gooding ‘peacemaker’.

your fallen servant,
ekendra das

» Posted By ekendra das On Sep 5, 2006 @ 1:03 am

haribol. I was trying to bring an alienated yet cultured Gujarati family into an ISKCON community in New Zealand. They started coming to the festivals and sunday feast. After seeing so many men and women hugging each other publicly they were pretty disgusted. In their tradition (pretty much what ours is meant to be) even for a husband and wife to embrace in public is considered low class. It was really hard to get them to develop confidence in the ISKCON scene there although they happily embraced Srila Prabhupada’s books and as a family read from them daily.

– btw – this idea of ‘liberalism’ as pushed on us by those who feel that they know better than Srila Prabhupada how we should conduct ourselves is contrary to Vaisnavism. I’m a bit shocked that this type of thinking is prevelant in some circles.

» Posted By ekendra das On Sep 1, 2006 @ 1:25 am

Further News On Manipur Attack

sheer cowardice. how shamefully can a human stoop? women and children? ??

» Posted By ekendra das On Aug 18, 2006 @ 12:51 pm

Hinduization of Iskcon?

Akruranatha Prabhu asked:

“I want to ask Ekendra: How do we start? What materials and resources are available? Are there already course outlines and guidance for teachers? Is this sponsored by VIHE, MIHE or some other program? Is there background information available?”

Jaya! Thank you for engaging me in productive dialogue. How can a temple start implementing an educational program such as bhakti-sastri? I suppose there are numerous ways to begin. In my local temple, where devotees are mostly unfamiliar with the bhakti-sastri training that Srila Prabhupada wanted in ISKCON, I’ve begun by simply facilitating Nectar of Devotion study sanga twice a week in the evenings before arati. For resources I use material from the VTE (Vaisnava Training & Education ala Rasamandala Prabhu (ACBSP): rasamandala.acbsp@pamho.net ) and the brilliant ‘Waves of Devotion’ by HH Dhanurdhara Maharaja. My hope is that by piloting this NOD study, devotees will get interested in this sort of educational format and want to further their studies either locally or by going to Mayapur or Vrindavana for a complete MIHET or VIHE course.

If you want my opinion on the ‘ideal’ way to start this sort of program then I’d have to suggest attending the MIHE bhakti-sastri yourself and get a taste for what is going on there. They also offer teacher training courses and specific bhakti-sastri teacher training courses that are all accredited with the VTE.

In Melbourne, Kesava Prabhu took these courses and then came back to his temple and started a simple program that rapidly grew in popularity. Now there are several courses running concurrently there and the huge mostly Indian congregation is enlivened and empowered to preach. Many had been attending temple programs for years with only a cursory appreciation for Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. Now this has changed and they are enthused to preach as they more clearly see the value of what Srila Prabhupada laboured so hard for in giving us these books.

The teaching style we use is not so traditional and quite interactive. By traditional I mean in a format similar to morning Bhagavatam class where the speaker sits and the students listen without much interaction until the end where there is questions and answers. Srila Prabhupada did not want this format changed for morning Bhagavatam class but for our study group we utelize modern teaching methods (group work, activities, group discussion, skits, etc …) so that the participants can learn experientially. Using these techniques, the absorption level for most devotees is a lot better because they are more involved with the sastric topics and less subject to passive hearing.

If you’d like more specific information, Prabhu, I’d prefer if you asked me here in this public forum so others can also be exposed to this information.

There are some relevant websites you can visit here:

http://www.mihet.org

http://www.vihe.org

your servant,
Ekendra das

» Posted By ekendra das On Nov 2, 2006 @ 8:56 pm

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