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Comments Posted By jagabandhu dasa

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Terror

Dandavatts Radhavallabha Prabhu!

Hari! Hari! Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga Jayate! All Glory to Srila Prabhupada!

Many thanks for your kind words of encouragement upon this lowly soul! Any and all credit must go to my Teachers, Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga! And to the good influence which the Vaishnavas have mercifully showered upon my hard heart. May I at least not become a burden to Them or a cause for dishonor. Or a trouble to others.

Humbly,

Jagabandhu das

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 29, 2008 @ 12:56 pm

Discard All This Quibbling

Very nice answers by Sripad Pusta Krishna, Akruranath and Amara Prabhus! Dear Sirs: all of you are most certainly a credit to your spiritual master and it’s a great honor to hear your mature insights so kindly expressed for everyone’s real benefit! May Srila Prabhupada kindly bless you more and more!

Possibly we might harmonize by considering that mundane sense gratification of all diversity is specifically discouraged and service to Guru, the Saints and God are particularly encouraged for those who are truly devoted in their hopefully sincere attempt to practice positive spiritual life eternal, without hatred towards anyone. For anything.

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 22, 2008 @ 2:40 am

I most certainly do not believe that people should be abused for their political, racial or sensual orientation. In fact, I’m not even curious about what others may do “behind closed doors” between consenting adults. But I’m tired of having it constantly shoved in our faces by the media and pop-“culture.” Nonetheless, I was wondering how the issue of same-sex “matrimony” has anything at all to do with real spiritual life, the Vedic conception or Varanashrama-dharma (or any other kind of dharma)?

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 20, 2008 @ 11:59 am

The Solution to the Puri Situation

Dandavatts Bhagavat Maharaj(and to all present)!

Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga Jayate! All Glory to Srila Prabhupada!

I very much like your suggested solution for hopefully rectifying the great offense to Srila Prabhupada in Puri. Vaishnavas (the servants of Lord Vishnu) are naturally compassionate to the suffering of other living entities and therefore are always seeking to proffer spiritual upliftment as a means for relieving their distress. Punishment is in the province of Sri Yamaraj and sometimes Sri Sudarshan Dev as in the unfortunate case of Durvas Muni’s great offense to the lotus feet of Maharaj Amburish. The present unfortunate incident is very analogous in this regard. Just as Lord Vishnu gave advice to Durvas Muni on how to rectify his offense. We should know that Lord Vishnu’s devotees would represent Him with similarly compassionate advice towards hopefully effecting a solution for overcoming offense which is agreeable to all concerned parties.

My own letter to the Puri Venerables initially appeared in rough draft on Dandavats.com as comment to Professor Provost’s nice article on Saturday morning. When I wrote it I was thinking of how this terrible incident might hopefully be ameliorated so that the offenders might not have to suffer for their grave insult to Srila Prabhupada and his worldwide followers. The incident of Durvas Muni immediately came to mind.

I was very interested to hear from Sripad Pusta Krishna Prabhu and your Holiness more detailed information about Srila Prabhupada’s own mood and feelings regarding Sri Puri Dhama. I also saw on another webpage where Sripad Ksamabuddhi Prabhu mentions that Srila Prabhupada had said that when the ISKCON Bhuvaneshwar temple was built, Lord Jagannath would leave Puri to reside there instead. We might also remember the consideration that Srila Saraswati Thakur himself had disagreements with way kirtan was performed in Puri, which were apparently never resolved, even with the intervention of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur himself. It would be good for us to know more about these things in terms of sourcing quote veracity, etc. When seeking to harmonize opposing elements without compromising ideological integrity—always consider everything, if possible, simultaneously.

Humbly,

Jagabandhu das

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 19, 2008 @ 1:30 pm

ISKCON’s Four Movements

Dandavatts to all!

Hari! Hari! All Glory to Srila Prabhupada!

Wow! What a great question! For our panel of experts.

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 25, 2008 @ 1:32 am

Very nice article. Unfortunately, it seems that enthusiasm for Varnashrama-dharma has waned, at least in America. I recently heard that Gita-nagari scarcely has any full time members and in Alachua, they consider themselves a “temple” and not a farm per se. How do we overcome inertia wrought by lack of inspiration in order to proceed with full enthusiasm to fulfill the final fifty percent of Srila Prabhupada’s perfect vision for harmonious human life? Can we please start at once? For everyone’s sake.

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 20, 2008 @ 11:04 am

Academic responds to effigy burning

Dandavatts to all! Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga Jayate! All Glory to Srila Prabhupada!

I’m concerned that other ideological bullies in the world may now think that if they wish to impose demands on ISKCON, the need only threaten to burn an effigy of the beloved Founder-Acharya, in order to achieve their misguided objectives. It amounts to conceding to bullyism, which should not be tolerated. It also worries me that some might consider it their considerably misguided privilege to respond in kind by burning an effigy of the Lord of Puri.

This morning I noticed a report on another webpage about some of Srila Prabhupada’s followers congregating in Puri for a protest and Harinam around the Sri Jagannath Mandir. I was very disturbed to read that some of the Harinam particpants had to be forcibly prevented from immolating themselves as a protest in front of the temple.

The same article mentions that one of the offenders made a facsimile of apology claiming they didn’t intend to insult Srila Prabhupada(or his position as a Guru) by burning his effigy. Durvas Muni also did not intend to offend Maharaj Amburish. Unfortunately, the path to hell is often paved with good intentions.

Humbly,

Jagabandhu das

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 19, 2008 @ 1:53 pm

Respected Venerables,

Please excuse me. Sorry to bother you all.

I was very sorry to hear of the Sri Ratha-yatra scheduling disagreement that has taken place between the various sevaites of Sri Jagannatha Dev.

If we consider the story from Srimad-Bhagavatam about Maharaj Amburish and the offense against his lotus feet by Durvas Muni, along with Lord Vishnu’s advice to Durvas Muni: cannot the offense to Srila Prabhupada and his worldwide followers possibly become ameliorated by the earnestly appealed for forgiveness by the offenders, who voluntarily with enthusiastic repentance escort the palanquin-carried murti of Sri Jagannatha Dev’s exalted dearmost servitor Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada into His (Sri Jagannatha Dev’s) temple for a maha guru-puja offering to His Divine Grace in the presence of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladev and Lady Subhadra, thereby giving opportunity for the offenders to become rectified and redeemed by recompense fulfilled ?

In this way the global family of Sri Jagannatha Dev, regardless of particular specific institutional affiliation, might be re-united in concerted action for that one aim of prolifically promulgating truly universal love of God throughout the world.

To give dishonor, honors no one.

Humbly,

the lowly Jagabandhu das

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 15, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

Effective, Mature Outreach

Dandavatts Pandu Prabhu!

Apologies. Please excuse me for letting you think that my vulgar/offensive “asoul” reference was somehow directed towards your Grace. What I expressed was intended in a general way about the psychology of “conversion,” but because it appeared consecutively after your own comments I can see how you might think my thoughts were more specifically directed towards you. Also, it wasn’t intended as discouragement for anyone to discontinue their earnest preaching efforts. Actually, what I had in mind was that proselytizers of all traditions seem to be unable to account for or tolerate others to have different faith than their own, which seems very spiritually immature and possibly an indication of their own real dearth of actual sublime conviction.

My situation is that I’ve actually had employers who liked my work at first, but when they found out I was a “Hare Krishna,” they became very put off because the bad experience they had with “Hare Krishnas” in America raising money. Eventually, I was able to regain their affectionate trust and friendship.

I live and work in the Florida backwoods wherein I am surrounded by many simple people who aren’t likely to ever become vegetarian or listen to Eastern philosophy or even “new age” ideas—what to speak of Krishna consciousness per se. Nonetheless, they remain souls beneath the illusory veil. I see this aspect and reach out to it. Rather than condescend, I affectionately befriend them while encouraging them to sincerely approach the Divinity they know as the souls they are. After years of sincere and affectionate friendship with them, they have affection and trust for me and the sublime philosophical suggestions that I patiently spoon-feed them with in my humble attempt to be a kindly friend to all.

Generally, the people I mostly deal with are a “rough’ bunch who wouldn’t cotton to the untrustworthy insincerity of sweet flattery (which I don’t use in my dealings with anyone). In fact, they’re tired of being cheated time and again by insincere preachers and politicians of all variety. Therefore, I take the circuitous (non-confrontational) or long approach in my hopefully affectionate, hopefully mature outreach to them. And many of them have grown to trust my unusual insights into whatever severely challenging circumstance Providence places before us which might require harmonizing through scrutinizing essence.

Humbly with affection,

Jagabandhu das

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 26, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

When I look about me in the world I can see many jivas professing particular affiliation with the many attempts to socialize the apparent ideology initially expressed by great spiritual thinkers of antiquity. Regardless of external manifestation of official faith, what I perceive beneath is a diversity of souls seeking in varying degrees of sincere supplication to achieve a semblance of Divine Understanding in order to make sense of their own unique individual circumstantial strife. If others do not share my particular subjective preference or Divine flavor of Faith, I am not in the least bit threatened by cosmetic ideological variance. I am a jiva. They are also jivas. Neither of us can be anything but a jiva. The ultimate purpose of all religion is for us to become re-awakened to this irrevocable primal fact and pursue a sincere and honest progressive relationship with the Supreme Soul. And then help others to do the same.
The very idea of conversion is itself an external contrivance pandering to the collective misconceptions of institutional religiosity. A soul always remains a soul and cannot be converted into anything else. Although it appears that sometimes because of fundamental misunderstanding and ego distortion a ruinous mood may occur which can make souls behave like asouls. And then feel it is their “Divinely Sanctioned” obligation to force others to subscribe to their particular ecclesiastical subjective preference. As if God were in competition with Himself. And as if the “converters” were unable to believe in their own ideology if others do not, thereby causing their conversionary attempts to be little more than facilitation and external validation of ostensible convictions which they themselves do not truly possess at any real depth and subsequent genuinely positive environmental influence.
May we kindly remember that Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur himself boldly expresses that individual liberty is God’s greatest gift to all souls. Please consider how Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada himself once cautioned about preaching to “Christians” to get them to “give up” their “Christianity” and take to Krishna Consciousness instead, that if they “gave up” their “Christianity” but did not take to Krishna Consciousness, then they might be left with no faith at all. Like a riven cloud. With no position in any sphere of faithful association and hopefully spiritually positive influence.

Humbly,

Jagabandhu das

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 25, 2008 @ 1:41 am

Dandavatts Karnamrita Prabhu!

Your mood of compassionate outreach is very nice!

I remember your kind-hearted association when you were in Berkeley in the early 80’s. I think it was 82′ (or possibly 83′) when I rode with you and your wife in your old yellow Volvo wagon down to LA for Ratha-yatra. And how when you had moved to LA in 84′ and let me house sit your apartment near the LA temple one time when I was basically a homeless vagabond and struggling with the flu.

I’ll never forget how you were reading “As A Man Thinketh,” by Mr. James Allen. “A mind changed against it’s will, is of the same opinion still.”

Personally, I don’t preach (or condescend), but rather “reach” out to suffering jivas that happen to surround me in the world wherever I go, patiently encouraging “prabhu kohe jiva doya vaishnav seva nam ruchi…” and trying to help each soul I encounter to wake up. At least a little more than before. I’m an eternal soul and so are they. So long as we’re both genuinely progressive in our consciousness development, we have forever to really learn our lessons together.

Many years ago, I heard a quote that Srila Rupa Goswami had suggested that “…whoever worships the Divine Couple in the temple, but doesn’t see them in the hearts of all living beings, is simply wasting their time.”

Srila Saraswati Thakur’s own conception was that each soul was to be potentially considered as a temple themselves when awakened with spiritual consciousness. This type of Divine liberality eliminates all ideological demarcation points with the fundamental focus becoming the awakenment of ourselves and others regardless of apparent external ecclesiatical affiliation.

Because I’ve made my living as a construction worker, I’ve developed a sort of a rough exterior aspect (or veneer). Most people who know me in the world are only aware of my strict vegetarianism and my heartfelt insights and humor with which I’m always trying to help lighten up everyone’s heavy loads. Without argument (quarrel) or pretense.

I always try and relate to souls where they’re at and encourage further growth from that point. Most are left with a feeling left unsaid that I must certainly be of their own chosen philosophical persuasion (which is Southern Baptist in my neck of the woods).

Humbly with affection,

Jagabandhu das (aka “Kavi’)

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 20, 2008 @ 11:44 am

It’s Like You Never Left

Dandavatts Pusta Krishna Prabhu! Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga Jayate! All Glory to Srila Prabhupada!

If there is any goodness at all within me it only by the good influence of my many teachers like Your Grace. All credit is due to them. Your own beneficent influence upon this lowly jiva has also been of inestimable value to my spiritual life.

I remember you in Detroit at that time. One evening during Srila Prabhupada’s glorious visit you gave Bhagavad-gita class to a handful of new bhaktas in the temple room. I was the one trying to take notes with a spiral notebook.

Years later in the early 90’s, By Mahaprabhu’s Mercy, I was again permitted the honor of your holy acquaintance while we both lived in the greater San Francisco Bay area (you near Santa Cruz and I in Concord). Your own affectionate friendship with Vaishnavas has been very inspiring to me personally in the course my life has taken. I will always have fond remembrance of our conversations at that time and your great kindness in encouraging me to lead a kirtan at your home.

Our last contact was in 2000, when Sripad Rsabdev Prabhu (formerly the husband of Mother Kunkum and also involved with Spiritual Sky Incense) was staying at your home before going to Nabadwip to leave his cancer-ridden body. He was so dear to my heart that I can still scarcely bear to mention his passing without becoming overwhelmed with feeling. It remains one of the most painful days of my life. He was like a father to me. As you yourself also are.

May Your Grace and the rest of our much esteemed international audience please excuse me if I have somehow caused disturbance to anyone’s mind by my various extrapolations from the edge. I always try to speak only from my own level of realized understanding based on personal experience in combination with the non-theoretical personal application of the fundamental Teachings (prabhu kohe jiva doye vaishnav seva nam ruchi). It’s all I have to give in my feeble atempt to try and help the world. Doubtless, because I am inherently fallible there is an unfortunate inevitable possibility that I might fail at this for which I am truly sorry. I mean no harm to anyone.

Humbly with affection,

the lowly Jagabandhu das

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 11, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

DemonCrazy (“Democracy”)

Well said! I agree with your heartfelt impressions. And I do not consider that the establishment of Daivi-varnashram requires the “Vedicanization” of civilization. Rather, the essential consideration would be the pragmatic progressive awakenment/God-centralization of the totality of human society along with comprehensive avocational engagement. A symphony that makes “heavenly” music can be comprised of many instruments individually playing diversely, but in concerted harmony. And genuineness of individual participation would certainly be a necessarily integral component of the functional totality.

In order to achieve this goal of harmony amongst all variety of Divine faith it would be mandatory to rise higher to a much higher level of discernment. Or perhaps deeper. Much deeper.

Srila Saraswati Thakur was widely known as the “Harmonist,” for his ability to harmonize apparently opposing ideas. Thesis. Anti-thesis. Synthesis. Progress.
This same “harmonization” is required of his noble succession.

In his limitless compassionate outreach, Srila Saraswati Thakur was so broadminded that he considered that Mahaprabhu’s mission should be extended even to the vegetables and the stones. That each soul must be thought of as potentially a service asset to Sri Guru. And that each soul was potentially each a temple themselves. This type of expansive mood of consciousness has much potential to destroy divisive ideological demarcation points (or ecclesiastical boundaries) between all souls, without homogenously sacrifing the autonomous dignity of each bonafide religious conception, tradition or sacred lineage. And thereby simultaneously encourage mutually harmonious social-spiritual upliftment for all humanity. At the same time free will or individual choice is still preserved within the protective constraints of actual divinely prescribed standards.

Possibly, it might be generously considered that if souls of all diverse colors of faith focused more on their shared commonality as souls, rather than divisive conceptual distinguishments, there could be more peace in the world. And a real chance at achieving true social harmony without homogeny by Daivi-varnashram intelligently implemented by real brahmanas (those have actually realized brahma-bhuta prasannatma…) for the real benefit of all the world’s inhabitants. Regardless of specific individual concerns of either particular contemporary secular dominion or ecclesiastical subjective preference.

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 12, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

Dear Narada Muni Prabhu,

Hari! Hari! Dandavatts! All Glory to Srila Prabhupada!

Is it really too late to prove the necessary maturity of realization and deep insight required to pragmatically promote Vanashrama dharma? Instead of settling for the lesser of two evils why not take an uncompromising stand for sincerity, truth and honor? Must we tolerate mulitfarious abuses in the name of good governance and religion? How is that compassionate to the suffering masses?

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s heart was filled with loving compassion for the suffering of all jivas, as was Srila Saraswati Thakur before him. However, this did not mean abandoning reason or common sense when extemporating on the basic cheating tendency of the spiritually rebellious. Their hearts were completely devoid of hatred, yet their perceptions remained scathingly uncompromising in their constructive critical observations about mundanity and illusion. Simultaneously, by objectifying their luminous perceptions they also gave no dishonor to anyone who might require personal refinement of subjective individual ideological misconception.

Compassion might be simply defined as when my own selfish concerns are eclipsed by a very real concern about the suffering of others which can cause my own ephemeral/illusory/temporal sense of self to become greatly diminished and eventually evaporated in the awakening luminosity of genuine desire for the true well-being of all others. Or in other words, when the suffering of others becomes more important than my own petty perceived misery and I cannot therefore bear to see the suffering of any other embodied being. Ever.

This subsequential abandonment of false ego will make it possible for us to be able to segregate the mind from bias and duality while simultaneously retaining luminous discernment of the actual brutality of mundane reality without acrimony. Otherwise the brilliant light of the Krishna sun will be obscured by clouds of my false egotistical confusions and delusions and my consequential perceptions will be proportionately diffused or impaired.

Humbly with affection,

the lowly Jagabandhu das

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 6, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

Within You, Without You

Hari! Hari! Please accept my humble obeisances. All Glory to Sri Guru and Gauranga Mahaprabhu! All Glory to Srila Prabhupada!

Many thanks for your kind consideration!

We’ve actually had her on specially formulated B vitamins for some time. It’s helps a little. We also tried the gluten-free, casein-free diet for years and it also only helped a little. Autism is known as spectrum disorder and so severity of affliction is manifest in a broad range amongst all those who suffer from it. The B vitamin therapy and dietary restrictions seem to work better with those who are less severely afflicted. Our daughter is at the most severe end of the spectrum with little hope of treatment by either alopathy or homeopathy. Conventional medicine would only fill her with heavy ant-psychotic drugs like respirdol (which can have potentially fatal side-effects of diabetes and liver cancer).

The problem we presently face is two-fold. Autistic persons can suffer from self-injurious behavior (SIB) often combined with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In her case this means that she has steadily picked away at her gums until she has fully exposed the roots (nerves) of her eye teeth. The physical pain from these exposed nerves have nearly destroyed her appetite and can make her howl with excruciating pain all day and all night. Last night I was up with her all night. She barely slept at all. Also there is an unhealthy symbiosis between the medical profession and the pharmaceutical conglameracy which makes it difficult to pursue even minimal usefulness in this regard.
So we’re sort of on our own. Allwe can do is become stronger (and deeper) from within. By God’s Grace. And become evermore compassionate to her suffering until the self-indulgent false egotistical conception of our own “suffering” become completely obliterated by our real concern for the suffering of others.

The second aspect of my problem is merely economic. The intensity of our situation has rapidly escalated so that both parents are necessary at home in order care for our daughter 24/7. Having regular employment has become nearly impossible. So we are left with the thorny dilemma of income earning (even though we already have full time engagement/employment in caring for our daughter).

The only solution to this is to really assert myself according to my best innate capacity in order to finally become situated according to my true vocation/avocation. Same as it ever was.

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Oct 23, 2008 @ 1:51 pm

Changing the Design of the TVP: Reply to Ambarisa

As form must follow function, so also function must serve substance.

Please consider that Sripad Amburish Prabhu has spent a lifetime in preparation for this noble effort. And that Srila Prabhupada is well pleased with his previous noble team efforts such as Devasadhan Mandir in Detroit, a place on Earth where the devas themselves may perform sadhana to the Divine Couple. It may be interesting to note that in his current noble team effort Vedic cosmology and the devas also play significant parts in the combined effort. It is my own strong feeling that the devas themselves wish for Amburish Prabhu to please kindly proceed with the enthusiasm and momentum of his team of sadhakas.

May we please remember the extraordinary things that Srila Prabhupada said about Amburish Prabhu. Others may provide the accurate quotes but I seem to remember him being referred to as a natural brahmana along with other praises by His Divine Grace. The real intelligence of a natural brahmana is no ordinary thing. To me this means that he will have the God-given intelligence to be the best kind of steward over projects for the betterment of humanity which he oversees as team leader.

Because he is a humble gentleman, in his perfect etiquette he has demonstrated his willingness to hear constructive criticisms of truly pragmatic nature which are not cost or time prohibitive. I am really amazed by such humility shown by the significant personality who is the primary and substantial donor on a project of such vast scope. Doubtless, in his natural intelligence he is able to simultaneously consider protecting the enthusiasm of his team along with the thoughtful considerations of other souls who he may even wish to elicit enthusiastic participation in this noble project. It seems that a small team of dedicated souls would soon prove less than adequate once the ground is broken which mandates a certain functional consensus to create a larger team of dedicated and enthusiastic participants under the extremely capable stewardship of their team leader Amburish Prabhu.

Thoughtful and considerate mean the same thing in any language. It’s wonderful to see so many thoughful and considerate voices involved in this important discussion. However, please consider that throughout history vox populi (popular consensus) very seldom accurately represents vox dei (the True Divine Voice) which is the real Soul of Substance in all things manifest.

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Sep 10, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

Bridge of Sighs

Dear Guru-Krsna das Prabhu,

Hari! Hari!

Dandavatts! All Glory to Srila Prabhupada!

Many thanks for your kind words of encouragement! So nice to hear from you after so long! Just the other day my wife and I were remembering Your Grace with affection and missing your association.

I am at but an empty conduit or vessel (at best). But I cannot deny that I have had much advanced association in this lifetime (and previous lifetimes) by the Grace of the Vaishnavas, Sri Guru and Gauranga Mahaprabhu. If I can simply remove my false ego from obstructing the Divine flow then the Influential Confluence of such Beneficent Associations may exert itself through me. And be of hopeful assistance to others. But I would be ruined to vainly consider that Their advanced association has somehow made me “advanced.” My personal subjective consideration is that my own position is forever beneath the grass, regarding all others as vastly superior when in comparison with my own abysmally, shameful devotional deficiencies.

It always gives me great happiness to hear from my old friends by e-mail. For old friends (and also hopefully new) my e-mail is Hantz108@aol.com where I can be easily reached.

Affectionately yours,

Jagabandhu dasa

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Sep 9, 2008 @ 11:21 am

What a Friend We Have in Shiva

Dear Hari Bol,

Hari! Hari!

Many thanks for your kind words of encouragement.

However, all credit and glory must go to Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga and the Vaishnavas (who are like a Deity to me)!

My own subjective position is beneath the grass. From this perspective I must view all others as above me. This includes jivas of other theistic conceptions such as Christians and Muslims. And I may freely and affectionately have contact with many diverse souls of all variety of inspirational influence without pretense or argument while simultaneously perceiving all as souls.

Because you are a sincere practitioner of Krishna Consciousness whereas I am merely a mleccha you are certainly above me, Prabhu; and I would make offense against you for ill-considering your practice which result is adhosaja or beyond sense perception. Truly, in a sense, finding fault and making fun of myself is my religion. Such scathing self-analysis /self-abnegation to the extreme (atma-nikshep) in the mood shown by Sri Rupa has been a great help to my incremental true inner development.

Please continue to practice with your same humble mood of not asking the Supreme Lord for anything but Love for Him, His devotees and all other jivas. May Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna continue to smile upon you.

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Aug 23, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

A Bridge Too Far?

I simply refer to the precepts of jnana-shunya-bhakti (unalloyed) as mercifully re-established by Srila Saraswati Thakur after being excavated from the ruins of imitationism and devotional pretension by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur. Real devotion is what is the true help to any jiva’s aspirant genuine inner development. From Srila Saraswati Thakur and Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur I have gained but an inkling of what is Suddha Nam. In perpetual gratitude I must remain forever with bowed head as a fool at Their Holy feet always attempting to implicitly follow with great care and attention the gist of Their conception without dilution by improvisational adaptations. May we kindly be reminded that the ideas expressed are Their ideas of which we are merely tasting the remnants for our real spiritual nutrition.

Both of their Divine Graces were possessed of such intense compassionate liberality that they viewed the soul proper as Vaishnav when properly situated in it’s pure constitutional position. By harmonizing from such a perspective it becomes possible to disregard the superficial and temporal designational demarcation line between devotee and non-devotee while perceiving all jivas as ultimate spiritual siblings from the same seed giving Supreme Father. In this mood it becomes possible to have affectionate contact with all variety of embodied beings without considering if their present subjective understanding of topics concerning the Supreme Deity of Absolute Affection which may be in ideological divergence to the perfect conclusions of our Sacred Preceptors without sacrificing the utmost integrity of their flawless ontological conception about the aspirant evocation of the pure conveyance of the Holy Name, Who identical to Krishna in every way is for Himself and by Himself forever hidden to all but those whom He reveals Himself after being impressed by real devotion. Throughout the process of practicing the chanting/worship of the Holy Name emphasis must always be placed on the ultimate purpose achieved and perceived through a mood of unalloyed/excusive devotion.

Regarding professional musicians(or professional Bhagavatam reciters) our Sri Acharyas have given us ample warnings against such listening. There is one of the foremost proponents of the popular “kirtan” movement who is known to eat dead cows for his foodstuffs and simultaneously speak ill of the Hare Krishnas, dismissing as “…just a bunch of wife-beaters.” How is his “kirtan” beneficial?

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Aug 19, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

My Daughter, My Teacher

Dear Citraketu Prabhu,

Hari! Hari!

Please accept my humble obeisances. All Glory to Srila Prabhupada!

Many thanks for your kind words of encouragement. Please accept my condolences about your father’s departure and your brother’s situation.

Please also kindly accept my apologies in my overlong composition (which detracted you from your work and purpose). I was trying to give some indication to your esteemed international audience as to my own circumstances which have immeasurably altered my life, consciousness and perspective.

Through Love, much may be endured. Also, Mahaprabhu Teaches us that we must always chant the Holy Name with forebearance like a tree. Tolerance has no meaning if there isn’t some severity to withstand. Light also has more emphasis when juxtaposed by darkness. Transcendence has no meaning, if there’s nothing to transcend. Tolerating distress is one thing, but I consider tolerating happiness as much more of a personal challenge and distraction.

From the Beautiful Teachings of Srila Saraswati Thakur and our own Srila Prabhupada I have learned the meaning of jnana-shunya-bhakti (or unalloyed devotion) which I have tried in my own feeble way to apply within my own wretched life. The personal subjective interpretation of this is that no matter how much I may suffer, I do not plead for ameloriation of my own personal ephemeral turmoil.

Throughout whatever my life’s ordeal may be, it can have an extremely postive effect on my real inner development if I can disconnect from whatever pangs may plague me and nonetheless only consider the suffering of others (instead of my own.) Such steadfast compassion can actually eclipse the false ego as I become overwhelmed with real concern for the true benefit of other suffering jivas. If I am really fortunate, one day this concern for the suffering of other jivas may become my primary concern. And the cloud of false ego will become greatly diminished in it’s obscurance of my deeper perceptions.

By the Grace of Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga, I have been permitted to take much shelter in the verses “matra sparshas tu kaunteya” and “trnad api sunichena” without laying any blame on my own temporal external environmental circumstances. Such ashraya is all I hope for in terms of Divine Protection as eventually all priorities become focused on Transcendental Sound, Consciousness and the suffering of all jivas.

Your servant,

Jagabandhu dasa

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Aug 8, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

Domestic violence

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada gives a beautifully concise summary of ahimsa, or non-violence in his superexcellent commentary on the 37th Verse of the 7th Chapter of the Second Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

How is it that I can conceive of myself at the ultimate stage and a devotee of the Lord, if I am not humble and prideless and therefore fundamentally unable to avoid being mean and cruel to other living entities? What to speak of being respectful and tolerant. Or training the senses for controlled action. In fact, if I am unable to express such ahimsa in my dealings with others in the world, how can I truly believe that my consciousness has evolved at all or that I’ve made any real inner progress towards the aspirant genuine development of True Divine Love?

There are those who are mistakenly disposed to consider violence based upon their particular subjective interpretation of Divine Teachings. Unfortunately, history is fraught with many examples of “religious” violence. In the time of Lord Buddha, even the brahmanas themselves became so corrupted with an obsessive attachment with the taste for the blood of bulls that they attempted to co-opt sacred Vedic sacrifice to attempt satisfaction of the unbridled lust of their own senses. This necessitated Lord Buddha apparently preaching against Vedic philosophy in order to circumvent blatant ideological misconception and consequential misrepresentation which had been allowed to flourish to catastrophic proportion in it’s violent manifestations against the animals subsequently slaughtered. All in the “name” of religion. Lord Buddha taught that if this violent display was considered religion, then religion itself must be considered a harmful influence on the real inner progressive development of an individual soul. In other words, if my so-called religious practice causes me to become harmful and cruel to other souls in the “name” of God, then never mind about my “religion.” First, I must learn to treat others with respect which requires natural humility. And tolerance. If I cannot imbibe such preliminary spiritual teachings as espoused in Mahaprabhu’s Third Beautiful Precept, then possibly my presumed apparent qualification and inclination to pursue more advanced Divine Lessons or Higher Teachings are merely delusory manifestations of false ego barely disguised as “religiosity” and possibly my so-called devotion is only imaginary. Maybe I’m not really religious after all.

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Aug 1, 2008 @ 9:26 am

First ISKCON EU Farm Conference

Please excuse me. Sorry to bother you all. Congratulations on the former success in England as so kindly mentioned by Sripad Dusyanta Prabhu and also to the present success in Hungary!

If such a conference might also take place in America as well, I think it would be very helpful. Presently there is a strong renewed enthusiasm for self-sufficiency in Alachua (where curiously although they have a nearly 130 acre farm, it is referred to as the Alachua Temple and very little farming is actually done). Possibly, the conference for America might be held here in Alachua, Florida where the weather is so clement that there are four growing seasons within a year.

I personally volunteer to be yoked to an old-fashioned plow (while the cows cheer me on) to turn all in the beautiful landscaping there into fields that might easily produce food to feed many people, thereby also fulfilling Srila Prabhupada’s awesome vision of his temples being able to feed the whole world with Krishna’s help. If we have Faith.

Humbly,

Jagabandhu dasa

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Jul 29, 2008 @ 5:23 am

Who are the leaders in Iskcon?

Leadership and management aren’t exactly the same thing. Leaders guide, whereas managers organize order out of chaos under hopefully good guidance. In the varnashram social model, the administrators manage society under the capable guidance of wisely impartial intellectuals in the earnest attempt to achieve mutual benefit and harmony in a God-centered civilization wherein all souls cooperate to satisfy the Center of the Complete Whole.

Please consider the following quotes from Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada which I strongly feel concisely encapsulate his own view of how real spiritual leadership and management might manifest within his sacred mission:

“Please accept my blessings. Now you must arrange in each temple there must be sufficient stock of prasadam for distribution. You can keep first-class cooks, two or three, and they should always be engaged. Whenever any guest comes, he must get prasada. This arrangement must be made, that the cooks prepare ten-twenty servings at a time, of puris and sabji, and you can add halavah and pakoras, and the visitors must be supplied immediately. Whenever a gentleman comes, he must be served. As the twenty servings are being distributed, immediately the cooks prepare another twenty servings and store it. At the end of the day, if no one comes, our own men will take, so there is no loss. You cannot say, ‘It is finished. It is not cooked yet. There is no supply for cooking, etc.’ This must be enforced rigidly. The temple is managed by Srimati Radharani, Laksmiji; so why should there be want? Our philosophy is, if anyone comes, let him take prasada, chant Hare Krishna and be happy. Everything is being supplied by Krishna, Krishna is not poor, so why should we deny them? This should be done at any cost. There is no difficulty, it simply requires nice management. At the end of the day you may sell or give away. If we believe that Krishna is providing and maintaining everyone, then why should we be misers. This means losing faith in Krishna and thinking that we are the doers and suppliers. We are confident Krishna will supply! Let the whole world come, we can feed them. So, please, do this nicely, begin at once.” (Srila Prabhupada letter to all ISKCON, 1-18-1977)

“Yes, preaching is more important than managing. Just because you are preaching nicely and distributing so much prasadam, the management will follow like a shadow and Krishna will send you no end of help.” (Srila Prabhupada letter to SDG)

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 10, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

Very nicely phrased! Important points by both Keshava Krsna and Pusta Krishna Prabhus!

Although I’m not sure if I necessarily agree about England having a system of management that’s really been truly tested by time. It’s still too early to tell. It would be good if the right type of varnashram discussion were continued by deeply commited actual participants under the truly impartial and capable guidance of real brahmanas (those who have actually realized Brahman). Personally, my own conviction is that there is no other socio-religio-economic system that even remotely compares in terms of achieving perfect world harmony for the real benefit of everyone. And now is the time. Sometimes if not for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.

Perhaps we might completely disregard apparent external qualification for manifest spiritual authority and therefore consider Srila Babaji Maharaj himself as an ideal example of perfect spiritual leadership. If spirit is truly our prime concern. And he was well-known for his reluctance to accept even Srila Saraswati Thakur himself as a student.
Possibly, we might consider that any temple within the real line of Srila Saraswati Thakur which lacked the vision to see what truly spiritual benefit might be mutually derived from such reluctant transcendental guidance can’t have much real spiritual benefit for anyone.

Real quality guidance and leadership is what we all really need. And not mere external bureaucratic administration, however expert. The real thing that drives the true dynamism of any ostensibly religious body is it’s true inner heart and soul. Doubtless, organization and order are indeed useful and necessary. But in the same way that form and function should support and serve actual inner substance. And the promotion or cultivation thereof. Within everyone.

It’s certainly reasonable to expect and hope for sincerity and utmost integrity as a prerequisite for true leadership. However, individual conscience itself (or what Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur refers to as “…the peace of conscience…”) is the introspective gauge by which all might harshly judge their own inner sincerity, integrity and motivations. By subjective conscience, the greatest leaders of our Sampradaya such as Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhupada and Mahaprabhu Himself reckoned Themselves unqualified to lead and were therefore extremely reluctant to do so while remaining eternal fools at Sri Guru’s Lotus Feet.

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Nov 9, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

Establishing VAD Universities

Without the good intelligence of real brahmanas to guide a varnashram society, the whole thing must fail. However, please simultaneously consider Srila Saraswati Thakur’s bold declaration that true Vaishnavas are to be esteemed above even brahmanas. Because of their extreme compassion and naturally inherent spirit of supreme self-sacrifice in complete harmony with the Divine Will; a real Vaishnava may perfectly serve Sri Guru, God (and subsequently all other living entities) in any capacity within the four varnas and ashrams.

The real problem in terms of any type of education process is getting people to actually think (reflect for themselves). Srila Bhaktivinode considers basic thoughtlessness and/or unawakenedness to be the primary problem inhibiting either individual or collective social progress. For the more than quarter century since I first read Srila Bhaktivinode’s Bhagavat speech, I have contemplated that the singular principle of awakening the uniquely subjective thoughts of an individual student might effectively prove the basis of a new system of education wherein satellite-like students become truly reflective of their studies (in a Bhaktivinodian manner).

Unfortunately, many people spend entire lifetimes in vocations which they actually detest. Vocation is not the same as “avocation” (which implies a deeper affection for a unique individual’s natural life’s work). Varnashram means to have uniquely intuitive and astute avocational guidance into what specific innate skills each individual embodied soul might possess in their lifelong attempt to achieve sympathetic or harmonious dealings with the environment which comprises ‘their” world. When souls are actually engaged according to their true natural propensity (avocation) from among the four varnas they derive the natural fulfillment of being an intrinsically functional component working for the mutually beneficial, self-sufficient harmony of the Entirety.

However, as history demonstrates time and again, the emergency or crisis of any given moment may cause a brahmana to be forced to act as an administrator or farmer and simply “do the needful” for the real fundamental benefit of all the people. Nowadays, many apparently disdain the grueling sweat and grimy dirtiness which occurs when farming (or doing any hard work). This becomes an especially critical obstacle when considerable collective toil is immediately required to truly achieve successful harmonious self-sufficiency.

» Posted By jagabandhu dasa On Aug 14, 2008 @ 12:15 pm

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