Comments Posted By gauradasa
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It seems that Srila Prabhupada was very clear regarding qualifications of guru. He said:
The definition of a genuine guru is that he is simply talking about God, that’s all. If he’s talking about some other nonsense, then he is not a guru. A guru cannot be bad. There is no question of a bad guru any more than there’s a red guru or a white guru. Guru is guru. All we have to know is that the genuine guru is simply talking about God and trying to get people to become God’s devotees. If he does this, he is genuine. Is that point clear?
>>>Ref. VedaBase - The Test of the Genuine Guru
It also seems, that if there were no problems with gurus in ISKCON, we wouldn’t be talking about this at all. We are trying to connect two realities. One is reality of bonafide guru, as is described by Srila Prabhupada, and the other is reality of ISKCON guru.
As I heard from GBC members, ISKCON guru mostly means setting good example in one’s sadhana. TPs, GBCs and temple commanders are dealing more directly with disciples than the gurus do. I was told by GBC member/guru, and it is well known in our society, that ISKCON gurus consider themselves not as traditional gurus, but institutional gurus. It is a first time in Gaudiya Vaisnava history, that there is a working institution.
I admit I do not have good understanding of above concepts of institutional guru, but I described it as I heard it from GBC members. Maybe somebody can write more on this, to make it more clear.
As I understand the term institutional guru of ISKCON, it is more an institutional position, (a person empowered to act in the name of institution, initiator), than actual traditional role of guru.
I have also heard, that it is not that, everything that guru says is true, because he is in position of guru. But the opposite is true. One is accepted as guru, because everything he says is true.
And I heard that one is, or is not, guru, depending on his actions. Title in institution doesn’t guarantee that a person actually acts as guru 100% of time.
Can somebody please comment on above points?
Comment Posted By gauradasa On 06.01.2008 @ 20:41
Here is explanation from Srila Prabhupada, The Nectar of Devotion Lecture, Vrndavana, October 23, 1972:
Krsna is satisfied more when a devotee worships His devotee. Krsna says, “If one is worshiping Me and one is worshiping My devotee, then the person who is worshiping the devotee, he’s more important than the person who is worshiping Krsna.”
Therefore in, in the Gurvastaka by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, it is said there: yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado yasya aprasadad na gatih kuto ‘pi **. The best devotee is the spiritual master. Unless one is devotee, pure devotee, how he can be spiritual master? Spiritual master means representative of God. So who can become representative of God. Unless he is twenty-four hours engaged in the service of God, Krsna, how he can be spiritual master? This is also explained by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastraih. The spiritual master is described as good as Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because the, the spiritual master is representative of Krsna because he’s most confidential servant of Krsna. Kintu prabhor ya priya eva tasya. Yasya pra… Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih **. The spiritual master is worshiped as good as the Supreme Person. Saksad dharitvena. This is not artificial, but in all the sastras, this is recommended. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih **. Those who are learned devotees, advanced devotees, they also accept this that spiritual master should be treated as good as Hari, the Supreme Person.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => The Nectar of Devotion — Vrndavana, October 23, 1972
Comment Posted By gauradasa On 03.01.2008 @ 17:48
Urmila mataji posted link to two letters where Prabhupada encourages traditional dancing for preaching. http://www.radharani.com/quotes_dance.html
I couldn’t help noticing, that Srila Prabhupada was very specific in what kind of dancing to perform. In first letter he speaks of dancing group to “depict very exquisitely stories from Krishna Book”. And please note, that “Krishna Book” is UNDERLINED. So it can be concluded, that if dancing is to be seen as encouraged by Srila Prabhupada, then it must be based on stories from Krsna Book. I’d say that the point is not in dancing at all, but in presenting Krsna Book.
And second letter, Srila Prabhupada requests, that devotees prepare 7 (seven) dances from Caitanya Caritamrita, and 7 (dances) from Krishna Book. Again, it is clear, that the point is not in dancing, but in presenting nice stories from sastra, with purpose to attract people to buy books.
Krishna Book appears in both cases, so it can be safely concluded, that Srila Prabhupada wanted that dances are based on some real stories from there, instead of dances being concocted based on our imagination.
But true, this was 1975, devotees are mature and pure now. Possibly we can now move a step further, and start describing our own realisations in dance and drama.
Comment Posted By gauradasa On 17.12.2007 @ 10:23
Dear Bir Krsna Maharaja.
Now that you are mentioning Rasa Lila dancing to the song Syama, I can think of one specific group. Since this is going on in your GBC area, you will certainly have to deal with it. This problematics was presented to you some years ago, and at that time you didn’t object the group, although you mentioned, that if you had a daughter, you would not want to see her engaged in this group.
I wish you all the best in solving this. My opinion remains, that such outreach is not acceptable for any serious religious group, what to speak of Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON. It just doesn’t look right, if you know what I mean.
Comment Posted By gauradasa On 12.12.2007 @ 18:58
Dear Bir Krsna Maharaja.
Ladies in ISKCON are often struggling with finding peace in marriage life. Public performances like Rasa-lila are not helping in this at all. Girls can (and do) thus develop a sense of independence, being self-sufficient and being attractive to male gender, and struggle with this.
One thing is expert dancer, who is trained to interact with public. But in ISKCON Rasa-lila, this is usually not the case. Some young girls, not even initiated, are picked on sunday feast, and pushed on the stage with minimal training in KC. I can only imagine what that does to their minds, and what impression it leaves, especially after they distance themselves from ISKCON.
It is not an easy decision, but besides benefits for ISKCON institution, please consider the feelings of those dancing ladies too. They are exploited at least to some degree. Surely, they dance for Krsna, hopefully, the best they can as young ISKCON devotees, but….., we all know what was the mind is like after just few months or years in KC.
Besides, such public performances have to do with girl’s respect. Srila Prabhupada mentioned, that it is not respectable for a girl to dance for men, even for a husband. What to speak of dancing for nondevotee men on party events. Developing the taste for being attractive in public can actualy damage girl’s shyness, and certain male devotees may think twice before marrying such publically exposed girl. On the other hand, other type of male may become attracted to exposed girl.
I guess it all comes down to what we want to do with this ISKCON that we inherited from Srila Prabhupada. Do we preffer brahminical standards of vaisnavism, or are we more into something that we may consider so-called more entertaining and interesting?
Comment Posted By gauradasa On 12.12.2007 @ 11:09
I have a question, and would like if somebody can help me understand the answer.
How about discrimination? We are advised to discriminate between devotees, innocent and envious. But in order to recognize an envious person, one needs to see his faults. Everybody has good qualities, and you cannot really call someone envious, just by observing his good qualities. You must see some bad in him, to consider him envious, and avoid his personal association.
And we are advised to discriminate even between devotees - we are told, that for some reason, some devotees are just best to be avoided, and are best to be offered respect from distance. Every devotee has good qualities, and without seeing bad in devotee, why would we avoid him. Isn’t it, that if we are to avoid some devotees, we must see some fault in them?
It seems that discrimination cannot exist without seeing fault in another. Is there a way to discriminate, without seeing/finding faults?
Please help with understanding this.
Comment Posted By gauradasa On 29.11.2007 @ 19:27
Great article. I found this part especially interesting: “See if you can break the habit and go a day, a week, a month or more without saying anything bad about anyone (calling a thief a thief is not considered fault finding)”
I have few questions:
1. Who gets to decide what is fault finding, and what is calling spade a spade?
2. After it is properly decided, that one is actually practising fault finding, is it ok to find faults in such fault-finder, demonising him by calling him fault-finder?
3. If we recognize fault finders and call them fault finders, is this also fault finding? So how can we be sure, that other person is really fault-finder, if we are finding fault in him?
4. How to see someone as fault finder, without finding fault in him, and thus oneself becoming fault-finder?
I used to see fault-finding as part of natural protection system, set by Krsna in this world, to help us move through. It is a well known fact, that seeing faults in others is projection of ones own faults. BUT!…, is this really bad? If it is projection, is it really just a projection, or can it also be projection triggered by something the other person is doing wrong? Like, I may be chanting inatentively. And I may be aware of it. But seeing somebody else doing same mistake, is it just projection? Or is it maybe that we are both spaced out? So, if we are both mistaken, then some ego-bruising by pointing at fault may be most welcome.
Another point to note is, that finding faults is never welcome in surroundings, where sense enjoyment is promoted. We can see this in karmi world. I’m ok, you’re ok. As result, in such karmi surroundings one can see great amount of pointing out the fault of certain people, who get labeled as fault finders. In the name of society, love and peace, and higher wellbeing, all criticism (especialy criticism against self proclaimed authorities) is labeled as fault finding, and all sinners are destroyed. With love, of course, and with devotion….. We can see plenty of this everyday in this world.
Comment Posted By gauradasa On 24.11.2007 @ 02:03
âYour body is half made of leg, so you have to ask yourself, do we utilize them enough?â
Thats a great point, and a great slogan. This walk by Maharaja is great achievement, and huge contribution to future of Srila Prabhupada’s movement. ISKCON should adopt more such innovative aproaches to reach out, and bring Krsna Consciousness closer to people. There is no limits for innovative spirit, Krsna gives intelligence to one who wishes to spread His Holy Name. It would be great, if devotees in other countries would follow this example, although I guess that such level of renounciation would be a bit too extreme for some. Jay, simple living, high thinking. Great inspiration!
ys gaura dasa
Comment Posted By gauradasa On 19.07.2007 @ 21:57
Yes, this is rally one of the most powerful speeches I have ever seen. I think it is some 20 years old? Probably there are some even more powerfull speeches delivered after that, since ISKCON and its Gurus only became stronger with years. Can you maybe post some later speeches, maybe even more powerful?
your servant gaura das
Comment Posted By gauradasa On 10.07.2007 @ 18:18
It is amazing to see endeavours of GBC to improve ISKCON even further. Srila Prabhupada must be so pleased with these endeavours. Like it is said, that nobody can preach, unless he is empowered by the Lord. Similarly one could say, that nobody can do good in ISKCON, unless he is empowered by Srila Prabhupada.
Sometimes I notice, how many devotees are sceptical regarding GBC and their work. But the fact is, that GBC is attracting Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, and nobody does it better than they do. Many have this and that ideas on how GBC should work, but in the end, none of them is empowered by Srila Prabhupada to create some result. But GBC clearly creates results, so to me it is clear, that they are personally empowered by Srila Prabhupada. And thus everybody should support GBC, even follow them blindly, and make their plans come true. Blind followind is usually not recommended, but in case of something proper, blind following is not even proper, but even practical. GBC knows what they are doing, and everybody in ISKCON should help make their plans to come true as soon as possible.
I hope GBC will be bold enough to ask devotees to fully support them and cooperate with them, in order to please Srila Prabhupada. Also devotees would have to provide all neccessary finances, so that leaders can work quickly and efficiently. And any man power that is needed, should step forward at service to GBC, and provide full help and support in endeavours of GBC to guide members of ISKCON in their service to Srila Prabhupada.
ys gaura dasa
Comment Posted By gauradasa On 11.07.2007 @ 18:11