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Comments Posted By madhava gosh

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Accepting, for the sake of argument, your premise that hugging is bad unless it’s man on man or woman on woman, I am wondering how illicit hugging affects seniority? I have gathered elsewhere that you consider the date of initiation as the start date for calculating seniority. I am wondering if someone does perform illicit hugging, should we subtract the time spent in such hugging from their seniority calculation, or do they have to start the seniority clock over again from the time they stopped hugging?

Rest assured, to respect your values, I vow to never hug you, and suspect most others feel the same way.

Madhava Gosh…das (see, I am coachable, though it is too late to add it to the name I registered with, which displays at the bottom of every comment I make, just as it does for everyone)

» Posted By madhava gosh On Sep 1, 2006 @ 11:01 am

A little misunderstanding

Ah, I finally rated a BS comment from Mayapur; and hot sauce at that! Thank you for showing me my place: my false ego needs beaten with a shoe everyday; you have seen into my heart.

So let me get this straight — alledgedly disrespectful to “senior” = bad. Disrespectful to “junior” = okay. Ipso facto, judging by your comment, I am your junior.

I confess I may have difficulty with this differentiating “senior” from “junior” thingy. I have a bad habit of treating everyone the same, i.e. based on their activities, rather than on their social position. Please continue to point out to me when I have been correctly disrespectful and when I have not.

» Posted By madhava gosh On Aug 28, 2006 @ 7:17 pm

I am a bit confused about the wording of your apology. Did you mean that the content of “How All Generations Can Stay With Srila Prabhupada” was flawed and thus shouldn’t have been reprinted? Or was it that it was a good paper, but not meant to be applied to your friends?

Though truthfully, when I read it, it seemed okay, and I fail to see how any of it could be construed to be a criticism of DDS. I think someone would have to be hypersensitive and hair trigger reactive to see it as such. Though I didn’t see that reaction anywhere, and I am wondering how it is you did, and what caused you to think you needed to apologize?

It is good to see you feel happy to be welcomed back into ISKCON. Apparently your re-entry is going well, since you seem to already have the confidence to be directing the actions of others:

“You have sufficiently paid for your past mistakes and it’s time for the GBC and compassionate leadership to show their forgiveness. “

I am curious though, since the original article was about “All Generations” what your recommendation would be for the gurukulis?

Madhava Gosh

» Posted By madhava gosh On Aug 26, 2006 @ 7:02 pm

The Missing Peace

Yes, it is sad that there has been an attempt to malign and disregard the stories of the Vaisnavas who entered ISKCON as children. Allegations of “false memories”, “inaccurate memories”, “inconsistencies”, “leading questions by interviewers”, “negating stories”, and “community standards of abuse”, are used against them, yet the same criterion has not been applied equally to DDS.

However, humility is often a better disarmer of hostility than a defensive response. Without humility, these issues will never be resolved.

Madhava Gosh

» Posted By madhava gosh On Aug 19, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

Guru, Sadhu, Sastra

“But now the GBC, knowingly, may take a decision that will cause great turmoil in the lives of disciples. We know the suffering of losing a spiritual master. It causes such psychological and emotional damage. Devotees lose faith and go away from Krishna consciousness.” This statement by you is an example of anticipatory grieving.

I feel compassion for DDS’s disciples. Having seen the disciple’s of so many other gurus who have gone through the same process, I know it isn’t easy. The hopeful thing is that after denial, anger, bargaining and depression, comes acceptance. We have seen these stages unfold over the years. First, the denial that anything happened, then anger at the gurukulis themselves and their supporters, and now, ipso facto, the bargaining. That grieving will come only follows.

The real test of whether DDS has given his disciples and friends Krishna Consciousness will be how they cope with this grieving. If it is a true connection to Krishna via the sampradaya, they will weather the grief and become more mature, more tolerant devotees. Guru is One. If it was simply a connection to his charismatic presentation, to his physical persona, then there will be “psychological and emotional damage.” At least it won’t be physical abuse

» Posted By madhava gosh On Aug 7, 2006 @ 4:31 am

Kali yuga Japa Counter!

I have no problem with someone using a clicker. There are no hard and fast rules for chanting. I do prefer beads, and think there are good reasons for using them. For one, it is touching Tulasi. Two, I would be interested to see which pressure point is stimulated when chanting beads – I think it must be calming or something. Maybe someone who has studied accupressure would know. Three, I think the rhythm of having to stop and go back may help occupy the mind – both in the act, and in the anticipation. Fourth, my wife made me beads out of a Tulasi she grew – she, nor I, couldn’t make a clicker. Last, but not least, 108 is a special number, and you have no way of knowing when you hit it with a clicker.

If beads were based on counting on fingers, you would think it would be 144 mantras. Counting on the joints of the fingers, you get 12 on one pass, and then you mark it on a joint of the other hand, where there are also 12 joints. 12×12 = 144. So apparently 108 is based on something other than sustainable solution to chanting on fingers (which is a good method to know, IMHO; can be handy sometimes.)

108 has some special significance. 108 = 1 to the first power times 2 to the second power, times 3 to the third power. 1 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 3 =108. A much more elaborate discussion can be found by searching the Wikipedia for 108. Point being, it is not a random number and may, by acknowledging it, evoke some special energy.

Better to chant on a clicker than not chant, though.

» Posted By madhava gosh On Aug 7, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

Rashomon: A Few Words on Perspective

To evoke the Rashomon Effect in this context is misleading. For one thing, so many are expressing their opinions who had no direct experience. They wouldn’t have been allowed to testify in the court of Rashomon.

Many of those supporting DDS’s point of view are doing so based on his memories of the events and mood of the Gurukula in Vrindavan. One person, one perspective. So they are adding little more than rationalizations for that perspective. On the other side, there are so many gurukulis who have presented a reasonably consistent alternate view. Even if some inconsistencies can be found, the sheer volume makes that issue minor. Stressing them is simply a smokescreen.

To quote you, “For example, just how much of the abuse actually came from Dhanurdhar Swami? Who was really responsible for the more serious forms of abuse, which certainly went on, not only in Vrindavan but throughout the movement.(sic)”

Good question. Anytime he wants to stop being Horatio at the bridge, to stop taking one for the team, he can. There was physical, sexual, and psychological abuse during his tenure. As former principal of the Vrndavan gurukula it is DDS’s duty to identify those abusers and their enablers.

He is being made an example to serve as a deterrent for future potential abusers. Often, the term ‘scapegoat” has been used incorrectly to describe this.

From the dictionary: scape·goat

Function: noun
1 : a goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people after which he is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony for Yom Kippur
2 a : one that bears the blame for others.

To be a scapegoat, one has to be blameless. While his degree of culpability may be argued quantitatively, qualitatively it cannot. You yourself acknowledge this. “…children were abused in the Vrindavan Gurukula. No question. And Dhanurdhar Swami was involved in the abuse. No question.” That he is open to what will be a lifelong process of healing with gurukulis is admirable. This is a proper attitude for someone serving as a positive example.

Madhava Gosh

» Posted By madhava gosh On Aug 5, 2006 @ 1:23 pm

Searching for Truth in a Forest of Misinformation: A Comment on the Recent Discussions

When I read your tit for tat argument with Badri, my initial reaction was, “same old, same old”. Then I got to your conclusion. If you had only sent that in, your position would have been better served, IMHO. To quote your conclusion,” I would suggest further that by continuing over time to highlight Dhanurdhara Swami’s past shortcomings, we only waste valuable time and energy that could be used in a positive way, toward healing.” Given that, I will only address one point.

“The CPO decision states, “With the above injunctions this panel is in no way commenting on Dhanurdhara Maharaja’s qualification to serve as a diksa guru.” This is the only sentence in the entire decision to address this point directly.”

Why didn’t the CPO state an opinion? It doesn’t say he ISN’T qualified, but it also doesn’t say he IS. Why such a vague statement? Here is one possible explanation. While I was assisting in the writing of the Minimum Cow Protection Standards ISKCON LAW 507, there was a discussion about using nose rings. There were two schools of thought. One, that if the trust of oxen were gained through proper training, they were unnecessary, and a little cruel. The other maintained that by using nose rings, oxen could be trained faster, and less experience would be needed to control them. We had been working on this in an email discussion group for over a year, and the deadline for submitting to the GBC at Mayapur was approaching. As this was the last issue remaining, and the two camps were at an impasse, it was decided to not address it at all, and at least get the rest of it approved.

This quoted CPO statement, which takes no position on DDS’s guruship qualification, strikes me as being the same sort of compromise – that something was better than nothing, and the question still needs to be resolved.

From your conclusion:

“He continues to invite those who feel offended by him to let him know so that the healing can be increased” Agreed, excellent.

“He has even left ISKCON in a sincere attempt to take responsibility for his actions.” Agreed. Most of his students have already left ISKCON also and some are ready to interact with him, now that ISKCON is not an issue.

“Instead of continued criticism, why not offer him help and support to go forward in his efforts? “ Agreed.

“Instead of crafting GBC resolutions that continue target Dhanurdhara Swami even after he has already left ISKCON, let us now address the actual concerns of the ‘growing chorus from across the range of ISKCON.’ “Agreed.

“In the course of reviewing the case file several allegations … against many persons other than Dhanurdhara Maharaja surfaced… The Child Protection Office will investigate and process all of these cases. Further, ISKCON leadership was responsible for gross neglect in the failure to provide minimally acceptable resources for the children of Srila Prabhupada’s movement.” Agreed.

“The time is ripe for accepting responsibility by taking action. Dhanurdhara Swami is trying. In fact, he is showing us how. Let’s support him in his efforts to redress his past behavior…” Agreed. He has shown some willingness, and that should be encouraged.

“ISKCON leaders responsible for setting priorities in Srila Prabhupada’s movement grossly neglected the proper care of ISKCON’s children… all of ISKCON leadership must accept its share of the burden for what happened in the Vrndavana gurukula.” Agreed. “ISKCON leadership” is not all One. Those who contributed to the Bankruptcy settlement have made a good start. There are some good guys; they also need help and encouragement.

Madhava Gosh

» Posted By madhava gosh On Aug 4, 2006 @ 3:06 am

I beg your pardon

I am a little surprised no one commented on your post. The point seems extremely germane to the current hot debate topic. I guess everyone agrees with your premise. Or do those who use the loopholes of theoretical exemption and forgiveness to avoid responsibility simply prefer to not address it because, as it is said, “If a battle can’t be won, don’t fight it.” Sun Tzu Art of War.

» Posted By madhava gosh On Aug 1, 2006 @ 2:17 pm

Reflecting on progress so far..

“Juniors and seniors”. What is the criterion? Age? Chronology of entering the movement? Academic achievement? Who your guru is? Who your friends are? Emotional or physical maturity? Or is it realization, something not so objectively categorized? While this is a valid concept in spiritual learning, the danger with making such a strong differentiation in managerial affairs is the creation of an intellectually inbred elitism.

I certainly agree that some issues should not be discussed publicly. For instance, to mention a victim’s name who preferred to remain anonymous, the victim can be forced to relive their experience every time they met someone who knows of their story. However, in this case, Dhanurdhara Maharaja’s friends have had 10 years of keeping this quiet, and I think that is an adequate amount of time. That they have clearly not yet resolved this issue to the satisfaction of many gurukulis indicates that that time is over, and new voices are needed in this discussion.

» Posted By madhava gosh On Aug 1, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

Missing the Forest for the Trees-A reply to Satyaraja Prabhu’s “Truth Is Many-sided”

>Maharaja, while guilty of much, is clearly serving as a scapegoat here.

No argument with that. A student of any justice system will quickly realize that not all guilty persons are punished. The concept of setting an example is usually at play. It serves as a deterent for future abuses and/or whatever.

An acarya should show by example. If a guru is being an artful dodger…

The Ultimate Court awaits us all, but it is not of this material world. If someone steps up and becomes a scapegoat here, the reaction due others, whether actively involved or merely aiding and abetting after the fact, is not mitigated in that Ultimate Court. It behooves them to follow in the footsteps.

Besides that, what a lot of gurukulis are asking, if someone listens instead of reacts, is less abour some tit for tat justice, and more about closure and help in moving on. That is a major difference.

» Posted By madhava gosh On Jul 21, 2006 @ 12:26 pm

The most honorable position

Satya 2419, Badri 985, Bhimasena 483

Let us take a different point of view of the current discussion. Say, for instance, post length, and ignore, for the moment, which side of an issue is taken. How long should a web post be? Let us check some “sadhus”.

“I try to keep my entries as short as possible, while retaining the important points. It’s all about better writing: keep yourself as concise as possible. Eliminate unneeded words and constantly revise what you’ve written so it flows better.

“At university, one of my lecturers spent a semester telling us anything over about 600-800 words is getting too long for (comfortable) on-screen reading and is into printout territory. We had to write a short essay for on-screen presentation which he deconstructed in front of the whole class. We all watched in horror as our carefully constructed 700-word essays were demolished and rewritten in less than 300.

“Since then, 300-500 has always been my target length.”

From this perspective, Badri wins hands over Satya on likelihood of being read completely. Add in the imagery of the forest, much more readable.

Unfortunately for them, Bhimasena comes in at 483, and wins as a dark horse.

Remember, there are so many websites, so little time.

» Posted By madhava gosh On Jul 20, 2006 @ 11:37 pm

Answer to Dayananda prabhu’s Question

Tapas – are you for real? Or are you a parody of every Don’tgetitananda das that ever drove a temple into bankruptcy? The guy donates all the flowers for 5 years, and he gets grief in the end? If you do really believe what you are saying, then you seriously need to take some economics courses to get some relativity. If a parody, congratulations, you got me going for a minute.

» Posted By madhava gosh On Jul 16, 2006 @ 6:30 pm

Time to be Dharmic

I am glad that Satyaraja has clearly identified himself as an academic, whose only knowledge of the Dhanadhar case is the historical files. Given that limited information, his conclusions have some validity. The difficulty is that the case files do not represent the full range of experience on the matter. Ergo, any conclusions based solely on the case files will be skewed.

I would suggest that more research be done before confirming his conclusion. Seeking out the truly estranged former gurukulis who were under his care would yield a different conclusion. They were never satisfied that justice was done in the Dhanadhur case, and place more weight on their direct experience than the case files. Aspersions cast at their memories aside, the sheer volume and consistency of their stories cannot be ignored.

» Posted By madhava gosh On Jul 6, 2006 @ 8:09 pm

Maharaja Clarifies His Position on Gay Marriages

Srila Prahbupada’s first disciple that moved in with him and started serving him was gay. This at a time he was contemplating abandoning his American mission. The first disciple he took to India was gay. The first sannyasa he initiated was gay. It was the gay coomunity that rallied about him at 26 2nd Avenue and helped kick start ISKCON.

Now, you could make a case that he was naive and didn’t know they were gay… Otherwise, regardless of his position on homosexuals, he didn’t exclude them. Varna ashram means everyone has a place from which to start.

» Posted By madhava gosh On Aug 19, 2006 @ 1:03 am

Implementing Varnashrama: Is it Practical?

Dayananda, “Thus, I would insist that our first priority is to refocus ISKCON on sankīrtana yajña, which Prabhupāda defines as (1) public chanting and (2) book distribution (BTG 5-20-56, Yajña).”

That is all fine and good as long as it is remembered that it is a means to an end, and not an end itself. An invaluable means, but a means.

“Seven Purposes of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness:

(g)With a view towards achieving the aforementioned Purposes, to publish and distribute periodicals, magazines, books and other writings”

The danger is having a movement dependent on going out hunting for donations instead of being based on production. That is not an agrarian archetype; it is nomadic, restricting ISKCON to small tribal units.

I think it is less an issue of implementing Varna, then of recognizing how it manifests in a particular time and circumstance. It is already here. How is it practical for devotees to live within the macro societies they find themselves in? In any case, we all eat. We are dependent on agriculture; it is merely a question of whose. So how can we be connected to agriculture when the majority of devotees will never smell the primeval scent of the earth, will never be hands on?

Jaya Govinda Caran, “The only difference I can see is that the inter-varna ratio may change. With more surplus, it may be possible to have more Brahmins and less Sudras.”

The challenge is how to have more “Brahmins” in an increasingly industrialized agriculture when Srila Prahbupada says,

“Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained; and without brahminical culture, the aim of life cannot be fulfilled” Contemporary industrial agriculture is slaughter based, ergo, no cow protection.

The idea has been kicked around for years of vicarious cow protection, where devotees not directly connected to the land would support devotee cow protection programs. The devotee programs can’t compete in the regular markets because they aren’t subsidized by meat sales, and need to care for cows for a natural life span. Subsidization is necessary, and endowing agrarian based devotee communities is an opportunity available to everyone.

» Posted By madhava gosh On Jul 23, 2006 @ 2:36 am

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