Comments Posted By krishna-kirti
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Great article, good research Sita Rama Prabhu Ji!
At the very least, you have established that a traditionalist social model is also a viable model for growth through preaching.
I look forward to more such well-written articles from you.
Comment Posted By krishna-kirti On 22.05.2013 @ 03:58
Whoa! We’re already at WW 11?? And here I thought we had been trying to prevent WW III by chanting Hare Krishna. :-)
Comment Posted By krishna-kirti On 04.04.2013 @ 04:07
. . . [From my last comment]
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said,
‘Just as one is immediately frightened upon seeing a live serpent or even the form of a serpent, one endeavoring for self-realization should similarly fear a materialistic person and a woman. Indeed, he should not even glance at their bodily features.’ (CC Madhya 11.11)
Mahaprabhu has pointed out that even if a woman is a devotee, her form is still a cause for bondage. This verse and commentary from SB 3.31.35 describes the same thing:
The infatuation and bondage which accrue to a man from attachment to any other object is not as complete as that resulting from attachment to a woman or to the fellowship of men who are fond of women.
Attachment to women is so contaminating that one becomes attached to the condition of material life not only by the association of women but by the contaminated association of persons who are too attached to them. There are many reasons for our conditional life in the material world, but the topmost of all such causes is the association of women, as will be confirmed in the following stanzas.
In Kali-yuga, association with women is very strong. In every step of life, there is association with women. If a person goes to purchase something, the advertisements are full of pictures of women. The physiological attraction for women is very great, and therefore people are very slack in spiritual understanding. The Vedic civilization, being based on spiritual understanding, arranges association with women very cautiously. Out of the four social divisions, the members of the first order (namely brahmacarya), the third order (vanaprastha) and the fourth order (sannyasa) are strictly prohibited from female association. Only in one order, the householder, is there license to mix with women under restricted conditions. In other words, attraction for woman’s association is the cause of the material conditional life, and anyone interested in being freed from this conditional life must detach himself from the association of women.
The conclusion here is that women rarely became acharyas because the attraction between men and women is in and of itself a cause for bondage. Not only that, but it is the superlative cause for bondage. Thus women rarely became acharyas.
In the next comments, we will discuss Sanatana Goswami’s verse that SP comments on, and then we will discuss the legitimate female exceptions.
Comment Posted By krishna-kirti On 13.03.2013 @ 05:39
In comment #45, I introduced Srila Sanatana Goswami’s (SSG) recommendation in HBV for one not to accept a spiritual master from a lower varna if a spiritual master who is also a brahmana is present. And Srila Prabhupada’s comment is that this is an instruction “meant for those who are overly dependent on the mundane social order and is suitable for those who want to remain in mundane life.” Furthermore, SP states that “If one understands the truth of Krsna consciousness and seriously desires to attain transcendental knowledge for the perfection of life, he can accept a spiritual master from any social status, provided the spiritual master is fully conversant with the science of Krsna” (CC Madhya 8.128 purport). And the Shastric Advisory Committee (SAC) in their 2005 paper inferred that “any social status” also implies women.
But the statements of either SP or SSG do not imply women. The reason is simple: for men associating closely with men regardless of varna, the possibility of illicit sex does not arise. But if there is a woman involved with a man, then that possibility is there, and it is strong. On account of sexual attraction, the relationship between men and men is much different from that between men and women. Therefore the SAC has come to a wrong conclusion when it says “gender is also a consideration to be discarded in judging a guru‚Äôs eligibility.” Gender is indeed considered, and that is why in our disciplic succession female diksha-gurus have always been rare.
“Since I am in the renounced order, it is as dangerous for Me to meet a king as to meet a woman. To meet either would be just like drinking poison.”
Greatly lamenting, the Lord then informed Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, “‘Alas, for a person who is seriously desiring to cross the material ocean and engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord without material motives, seeing a materialist engaged in sense gratification or seeing a woman who is similarly interested is more abominable than drinking poison willingly.’”
Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya replied, “My dear Lord, what You have said is correct, but this King is not an ordinary king. He is a great devotee and servant of Lord Jagannatha.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Although it is correct that the King is a great devotee, he is still to be considered a venomous snake. Similarly, even though a woman be made of wood, one becomes agitated simply by touching her form. (CC Madhya 11.7-10)
Comment Posted By krishna-kirti On 13.03.2013 @ 04:47
Kaunteya’s fabrication of his opponents’ statements and the outspoken support for this from some of his colleagues shows that the socially progressive devotees have a tendency to prefer to address their own stereo-typed notions of devotees they disagree with than to address the actual devotees themselves. I say this is a tendency, not an absolute judgment, of devotees who are socially progressive. There are devotees who are liberal and who have more integrity than this. I know some of them. But here is a warning to those devotees: the longer you stay silent about this, the more their misbehavior will implicate you. Maunam samiti lakshanam–silence implies consent. Please speak up now while there is still an opportunity to distance yourself from what Kaunteya has produced.
Comment Posted By krishna-kirti On 12.03.2013 @ 05:28
Prabhu Somayaji wrote,
I don‚Äôt know if it makes sense to Krishna Kirti Prabhu but it doesn‚Äôt make sense to me. Kauteya did not specifically attribute the lexically engineered text to Krsna Kirti Prabhu but he did attribute it to his opponents, which is just as unethical.
No, it does not make sense to me either that a devotee would do this. Why, if the public discourse is so full of statements that accurately portray the points Kaunteya wants to attack does he have to fabricate his example statements from another’s text that does not make those points? Here Mata Ji Vishakha Priya has stated in no uncertain terms that she thinks it’s ethical to use another person’s words to construe some meaning clearly not intended by that person, and the rest of us are supposed to think we can hold a rational conversation with someone who believes that?
Srila Prabhupada identified Mayavada-bhashya as attempting the very same thing–unscrupulous scholars take Krishna’s words and ascribe some other meaning than that intended by Krishna. Unfortunately, Prabhu Kaunteya’s book has employed the same kind of misrepresentation, and therefore his work is objectionable on moral grounds.
Comment Posted By krishna-kirti On 12.03.2013 @ 05:08
This is a continuation of comment #41, which introduces the topic of the rareity of female acharyas in bona-fide Vaishnava samparadayas. The assertion in #41 is they were rare on account of varnashrama. In order to better understand why varnashrama accounts for their rareity, we shall take a closer look at a statement of Srila Prabhupada’s the SAC uses in its 2005 paper on female diksha-gurus as well as examine more closely the claims of the SAC with regard to this statement:
It is stated in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa that one should not accept initiation from a person who is not in the brahminical order if there is a fit person in the brahminical order present. This instruction is meant for those who are overly dependent on the mundane social order and is suitable for those who want to remain in mundane life. If one understands the truth of Krsna consciousness and seriously desires to attain transcendental knowledge for the perfection of life, he can accept a spiritual master from any social status, provided the spiritual master is fully conversant with the science of Krsna (CC Madhya 8.128 purport).
Now, why would SP criticize something Srila Sanatana Goswami (SSG) said? SP is not questioning that SSG himself is the origin of this reference to the Hari Bhakti Vilasa (HBV). And SP is not suggesting that this is some modern corruption and that SSG’s true text is lost. On its face, according to SP’s statement SSG is giving instructions to people who want to remain in mundane life; if one does not want to remain in mundane life, one will not accept this instruction of SSG. But why at all would SSG give an instruction that had no merit for spiritual life whatsoever?
One understanding we could come to is that SSG is wrong and that SP is correcting him. That conclusion is so unpalatable and wrong that it does not warrant further investigation, other than mentioning it for the sake of completeness.
Another, and better, understanding is that this instruction from SSG does have spritual merit for a certain class of devotee. Who comes into this class? Devotees who are too attached to the varnashram social order–they are overly dependent on it.
But what if you are not attached to varnashrama-dharma but are nevertheless overly dependent on some other social order? What if, instead, you are attached to the modern, secular regime, wherein “equal rights” is a sacred value? Does SSG’s instruction have relevance? It does (to be continued.)
Comment Posted By krishna-kirti On 10.03.2013 @ 21:53
The reason women as diksha-gurus in our sampradaya and in other bona-fide sampradayas were rare is that all these sampradayas (including ours) follow varnashrama-dharma. Because the female svabhava (nature) has certain liabilities which are detrimental to both the woman who takes up such duties and to the rest of the society, who must interact with her, only women who have fully transcended their material svabhava should take up the role of diksha-guru.
From the CC (Antya 5.51):
raganuga-marge jani rayera bhajana siddha-deha-tulya, tate ‘prakrta’ nahe mana
“Srila Ramananda Raya is situated on the path of spontaneous love of Godhead. Therefore he is in his spiritual body, and his mind is not materially affected.”
Therefore only once a woman has attained the platform of spontaneous devotional service, wherein she is free from her material svabhava, should she become a diksha-guru. Otherwise, because her mind is still materially affected, she takes up what Krishna says is “paradharma”, or the performance of another’s prescribed duties. She acts against her svadharma and hence against her best spiritual interests and against the best spiritual interests of those around her.
Comment Posted By krishna-kirti On 09.03.2013 @ 15:08
Mother Vishakha Priya wrote:
My first point is that one could argue the same about ‚Äúthe sheer volume of‚ÄĚ Vedic sources the opponents of Kaunteya‚Äôs views resort to support their views. And thus, given the wide range of speculation possible by extensively quoting those Vedic sources, one will have to appeal to Srila Prabhupada‚Äôs siksa in order to understand how he wanted his society to function in the twenty-first century.
Firstly, I never said that SP’s siksha be abandonded. I said that without appealing to tradition on certain matters SP’s words are liable to be misunderstood. Let me remind you that the elipses in Kaunteya’s text omit a tremendous amount of material, and in the omitted material I describe and explain how the ritvik philosophy is an imaginary representation of SP’s intentions. Indeed, therein I point out that when the GBC chose to respond to the ritviks, they appealed to tradition to argue their case. (I have requested the site editors to post my original email on this website so that you and others can inspect the letter itself.) My point is that SP is a reprentative of that same tradition, so when there is some question as to his intended meaning on some point (especially if controversial) we should appeal to that tradition to understand his intent.
Secondly, since I am explicitly saying that SP is a representative of that tradition, how do you get it in your head that I have recommended abandoning a legitimate part of that tradition? Your determination to understand my intent in some other way is both remarkable and misplaced. The text as Kaunteya has creatively cut and spliced it together–Frankenstein style–is his attempt to mislead his audience.
And finally, as I have stated, I object to Kaunteya’s presentation on both philosophical and moral grounds. Therefore I do not want my name associated with it without my position in his treatise clearly and faithfully stated on the matter. You and Akruranatha know perfectly well how you would feel if your names were similarly associated with a work you found objectionable. It’s just that you have chosen to be disingenuous in your replies. Hence, there is no need for further discussion between us.
Comment Posted By krishna-kirti On 09.03.2013 @ 14:46
[Kaunteya das:]Yes, √ár√©la Prabhup√§da did
write: ‚ÄėI want that all of my spiritual sons and daughters will inherit this title of
Bhaktivedanta . . . Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will be allowed to
initiate disciples.‚Äô (Letter to Hamsaduta, 3 January 1969) but because the Sun√©ti
purport was written after that letter, the conclusion is that women cannot initiate.‚ÄĚ
If we consider the facts in the proper perspective, we must recognize that the letter
comes almost two billion years after the Sun√©ti story. . . . [from comment 25]
[Mother Vishakha in comment 26 wrote:] Krishna-kirti Prabhu, do you agree with the above passage? And if not, what is wrong with it? I really need to know.
I do not agree with argument that “because the Suniti purport was written after the letter, the conclusion is that women cannot initiate.” The reason I don’t agree with that is that in the purport SP is speaking about the tradition, so the serial order in which SP penned his letter to disciples and the Suniti purport is irrelevant.
I also do not agree with Kaunteya’s Hegelian, historicist counter argument. One thing that hasn’t changed in 2 billion years is sexual attraction between men and women, and that has been the primary shastric and historical factor limiting female diksha-gurus. Sexual attraction is Zeitgeist-proof. It has been unchanging throughout the ages.
I will write more about this and provide pramanas in a couple days time.
Comment Posted By krishna-kirti On 04.03.2013 @ 05:02