Comments Posted By niscala
Displaying 1 To 10 Of 56 Comments
Devaki wrote; In regards to emotions: we have to distinguish between material emotions and transcendental emotions. As I am mentioning in the article: material emotions are connected to the platform of our mind. You also wrote: So this emotional need and nature impells most ladies to learn how to become selfless servants by raising children. This is an argument for, not against the woman becoming diksa guru, who is the most selfless servant of all. If the emotional nature impells us to become selfless servants, and if the children we are raising are devotees, then how is that emotion not spiritual? Is it because the bodies of the children are small- or related to our bodies? Such is a mundane conception. It may be argued that our emotional nature is mundane because it impells us to care for the bodies of our children- but not their spiritual development- but we see in many devotee mothers with realisation, they care both spiritually and materially for their offspring. Caring materially is not a disqualification- Srila Prabhupada gave many caring instructions for his disciples on the topic of health.
The active word here is “care”. They are not without emotion. And neither is the good diksa guru. He feels love and compassion for his or her disciples. He or she utilizes his or her emotions- which are the natural function of the soul- to teach knowledge- but not without feeling and great concern. It is natural for the soul to be emotional in relation to Krsna and His devotees. Presently we have so many emotions about things we should not have emotion for. For example, if we lost a lot of money or our respectability, we would become emotional. That is our attachment to the mundane sphere. But when our hearts break seeing the suffering of conditioned souls- that is spiritual emotion, which Krsna also feels. Such emotions propell us to become selfless servants- and if we have sufficient knowledge, which according to Srila Prabhupada, must be to the level of the Bhaktivedanta degree, we are authorized by him to initiate disciples. The point I am making is that having emotions is a good thing, so being more emotional (than someone else) is even better! We have to dovetail this valuable asset for the right purpose. Thats bhakti.
As I wrote before, and as Srila Prabhupada makes this point many time in his books, emotions are not a “bad” thing. The topmost servants of Krsna are filled with overwhelming emotion.
Comment Posted By niscala On 30.11.2013 @ 21:15
“I want that all of my spiritual sons and daughters will inherit this title of Bhaktivedanta, so that the family transcendental diploma will continue through the generations. Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will be allowed to initiate disciples. Maybe by 1975 all of my disciples will be allowed to initiate and increase the number of generations. That is my program.”
(letter, Srila Prabhupada 3rd Dec, 1968)
Prof. O’Connell: Is it possible, Swamiji, for a woman to be a guru in the line of disciplic succession?
Prabhupada: Yes. Jahnava-devi was Nityananda’s wife. She became. If she is able to go to the highest perfection of life, why it is not possible to become guru? But, not so many. Actually one who has attained the perfection, she can become guru. But man or woman, unless one has attained the perfectionâ€¦. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei guru haya. The qualification of guru is that he must be fully cognizant of the science of Krsna. Then he or she can become guru. Yei krsna-tattva-vetta, sei guru haya. In our material world is it any prohibition that woman cannot become professor? If she is qualified, she can become professor. What is the wrong there? She must be qualified. That is the position. So similarly, if the woman understands Krsna consciousness perfectly, she can become guru.” (Conversation 6/18/76)
I therefore can’t understand why the disagreement. Is there anything ambiguous in the above? Did Srila Prabhupada EVER say that women cannot be diksa gurus?
Some opposing the idea quote Srila Prabhupada that women should be humble and submissive, to prove their point, but humility and submission that is not blind is not detrimental to Krsna consciousness and therefore cannot be detrimental to the service position of someone with the most realization of it- a guru. If a Krsna conscious person has humility and submission that is not blind, then the most Krsna conscious person, the guru, has the most of humility and a submissive attitude that is not blind. He or she humbly and joyfully submits to a more advanced person, regardless of their gender. Being submissive to a person with less spiritual advancement, is not recommended.
When the guru wants something of us, it is something we should take very seriously. It should be “our life and soul”. We failed him in giving him his expressed wish, of women becoming diksa gurus, by the due date: 1975. How long will we keep him waiting?
Comment Posted By niscala On 30.11.2013 @ 11:33
Devaki prabhu makes some really good points here, especially that sad guru does not need authorisation. It goes without saying that such a principle applies to diksa gurus as well. And as she has so lucidly pointed out, being in a position of “high managerial leadership” is a pitfall. And Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu can hardly recommend a pitfall for us, when He advises us all to be gurus, and liberate everyone. Neither did Srila Prabhupada, when he told us his desire that his spiritual sons- as well as his spiritual daughters- all become diksa gurus in the future, after inheriting/earning the title “Bhaktivedanta” Since no guru would encourage a pitfall for his disciples, it should be understood that being a guru, whether of the siksa or diksa type, is a service. It means that one is in the service of his/her disciples, to be there whenever they have doubt or difficulty, confusion or lacking clarity and/or direction. It is tireless and to some extent thankless, because it is time away from one’s personal bhajana- which is extremely joyful. Putting the need of others before one’s own personal time with Krsna is selfless compassion. As for any honour that may accompany such a task, the devotee should shun it, until he is strong enough to pass it all onto the mercy of his own gurudeva, coming to him, though so unqualified and undeserving.
There is one point I wish to contend however- that emotions can cloud the vision, or make it impossible to raise anyone up to the transcendental platform. This is impersonalist dogma- we can never be free from emotions, and the attempt to do so is artificial and will not last. The soul in its purified state is burning with emotion and desire, inflamed at ever moment! To the extent we inflame our passions with love for the Lord, His associates, and whomsoever has the slightest desire to serve Them, we become qualified to enter the abode of eternally passionately inflamed lovers of the Lord! If the soul embodied in a woman’s form is somehow endowed with more emotion, as has been suggested, then she is far better equipped to traverse the path of bhakti- she just must learn to direct all those emotions and desires towards the service of the Lord and if she does so towards His struggling devotees, being equipped with full transcendental knowledge (Bhaktivedanta) she is already performing as a guru, and only ignorant or blind people will not recognize it.
Comment Posted By niscala On 22.11.2013 @ 23:59
nice interview. I am wondering what Maharaja meant by : “And without panchagavya, the Brahmanas become unemployed”. My understanding is that the brahmanas were not employed as such. They just received maintenance. If one interprets “unemployed” not in the sense of a wage, but in the sense of being “not used” then still I am wondering why pancagavya must be there, as the main business of a brahman is teaching, and he can do that without the cow, though ideally cow would be there. Of course, panchagavya is used in diety worship, which the brahmanas perform, but 1) one can worship Krsna with other things in the mode of goodness, and 2) diety worship is not the only business of the brahmana.
Comment Posted By niscala On 23.12.2010 @ 07:39
thats a very interesting response that Srila Prabhupada gave to Atreya Rishi. Thank you for sharing it. We are more influenced by our backgrounds than we realize- and when we hear someone has converted Muslims into Hare Krsna chanters, than we may applaud, because our Christian backgrounds were all about conversion,, but Srila Prabhupada did not convert, and Krsna consciousness is not about conversion, it is about devotion, nothing else. If someone is devotedly chanting Allah, he is a vaisnava.
Sometimes therefore, Srila Prabhupada just tried to get people to become vegetarian- they already believed in God, were devotees, but they didnt know that diet had anything to do with religion, or that if they did, they thought it was not about compassion but cleanliness- avoiding pork. However, at other times he said that Krsna consciousness was not about converting people to vegetarianism- even monkeys were vegetarian. So vegetarianism, devoid of God consciousness, is not a very wonderful thing, but God consciousness without vegetarianism, is not genuine. The reason is that an important part of God cosnciousness is Supersoul consciousness, that God dwells in the hearts of all as a witness to all their sufferings, and that to cause pain to any living entity causes the pain of compassion in the heart of the Lord. So to love God means to only do good to all living entities, and even do good to edible plants by offering them up in sacrifice, speeding up their purification by ajnata sukriti, while causing minimum distress to the living entity, by killing it in its most unconscious state.
The worship of God,, without an awareness of God in the heart of every living entity, is as useless as pouring ghee into ashes. So although Supersoul realization is not as profound as Bhagavan realization, without it, Bhagavan realization remains theoretical- if we really realize Bhagavan, we recognize His energies as well, and their nature of being non-different from Him.
Comment Posted By niscala On 22.12.2010 @ 22:09
certainly a symptom of the mode of ignorance is that it destroys, and the economic system as it is, destroys the ecology of the planet. They may make adjustments to lessen the impact, but the ecology is so far gone that it actually requires a complete return to nature, in order to regain its equilbrium. Our CO2 levels are so extreme, that we need to stop technology now, if we are ever to get the planet into ecological balance. So it is not a question of whether the capitalist system works for people. One could argue that it does, in an economic way, provided one does not have the unconscienable dealings of the lending sector that led the world to the brink of ruin. But if that did not happen due to strict regulation, as is here in Australia, still the fact remains that a system based on profit, rather than protection of the environment- the right of all life forms to exist- not just human ones at the expense of others, is ideologically at war with the environment. Certainly ecological communities that actually work need to be established. For them to work, certain spiritual principles must be there- tolerance, equality of vision, pleasing He who resides in the hearts of all, generosity, kindness, in short, the qualities of a vaisnava. Those who have such qualities are the natural leaders in varnashrama, and this is why the system works. Rather than ambition being the driving force for attaining position in society, as it is at present, it is guna or personal qualities that determines position or karma, in the varnashrama system. Leadership is particularly based on the quality of being concerned about others’ welfare- it is described that the ksatriya considered all citizens including lower forms of life, with the same affection, concern and right to protection, as his own family members. With such caring and involved leadership, people naturally feel valued, gradually they become loyal and devoted, and the thought of leaving the community for the materialistic world of exploitation and impersonalism, is unlikely to occur-. If instead guna is not stressed as a criterion for leadership, and people become leaders due to driving ambition to have power over others, then the community has no advantage, socially and psychologically, over the materialistic society. and people may leave. Ecological communities that work need to be established- that is varnashrama.
Comment Posted By niscala On 23.12.2010 @ 20:57
Akruranatha:â€śSiksa-guru does not mean he is speaking something against the teachings of the diksa-guru. He is not a siksa-guru. He is a rascal, because that is offense. Gurur avajnaâ€¦
It is clear from this statement that the essential qualification of guru is that he does not change the message. In our case, that message is not from the diksa guru, as in Prabhupada’s time, but the siksa guru of all of ISKCON, who is Srila Prabhupada. To the extent that our diksa gurus don’t change in any way the message of that siksa guru, they are to that extent, bonafide. And if they are in this way, bonafide, then other siksa gurus should not speak something against their teachings- as that would be a deviation. It is not because the diksa guru is above the authority of the siksa guru, but because he is bonafide- that he does not change the message- that is the criterion of his authority, not that he performed a fire sacrifice and gave a name. And if he is bonafide, the siksa gurus should not contradict his teachings, as that would certainly be deviation.
â€śIf oneâ€™s initiating spiritual master and instructing spiritual masters are of small spiritual potency, or in other words, if they do not possess a special power to give spiritual instruction on worship for devotional service, then one may listen from the mouth of other great advanced Vaisnavas and understand the special instructions. However, thereafter the disciple must go to his spiritual master for his confirmation or instructions.â€ť
It is not clear here which spiritual master he needs to go to for confirmation- the siksa or the diksa guru, so this quote is irrelevant. Is there a quote in Sivarama Swami’s book that even if the siksa guru is more spiritually advanced or more pure than the diksa guru, one still needs to confirm the siksa guru’s instructions with the diksa guru? Lacking such evidence, it is to be understood that when Srila Prabhupada speaks of the diksa guru to his disciples, he is referring to himself, and when he says that the siksa gurus should not deviate from the diksa guru, he is referring to his disciple’s not deviating!
This is indicated in the quote you give: If K. Maharaja speaks what I speak, then he can be taken as siksa guru.
And if K. Maharaja has these days become a diksa guru, and Srila Prabhupada is regarded as the siksa guru for his disciples- then their diksa guru must not deviate. Lacking such clarity, opens the doors to minimize the instructions of S. Prabhupada..
Comment Posted By niscala On 15.09.2010 @ 12:11
thats interesting, Akruranath and Visakha Priya, that the siksa guru must only be secondary to the diksa guru- that the disciple must consider the diksa guru as his main connection to the Lord. It seems that throughout the guru parampara, the opposite happened many times- many links being siksa not diksa links. How can that be right?
Considering that Bhaktivonode Thakura considered his siksa guru, Jaganatha Dasa Babaji’s instructions most importantly, and rejected at least some, if not many, of the instructions of his diksa guru, particularly when the latter started claiming he was superior to Raghuinatha Dasa Goswami- due to his birth-I think that Srila P rabhupada’s instructions need to be taken in context- that he was preaching to his disciples according to time, place and circumstance. He knew that he was not deviating in any way from the conclusions of sastra and parampara, and he wanted that the other gurus in his disciples lives, siksa gurus, exactly follow his preaching, not be at variance with it: “my only qualification is that I do not change the message”
If a diksa guru is in any way deviating from Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and orders, and one finds a siksa guru who isn’t, then does it not make sense to follow the example of Bhaktivinode Thakura and consider the siksa guru’s instructions the vital ones? The main thing is that the guru is bonafide- whether he is siksa or diksa guru is secondary. Bonafide means that he is exactly following the orders and precepts of the predecessor acaryas, all the way back to Krsna.
I think that the essential point in understanding Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, is that when he speaks of siksa and diksa gurus, he is speaking of bonafide ones, who do not deviate in any way, personally or philosophically. Assuming both are bonafide, the siksa guru should certainly give directions in accordance with the diksa guru. In the present context, the pre-eminent siksa guru (Srila Prabhupada) is the one to allign oneself with, and diksa gurus are bonafide inasmuch as they do not deviate an inch from the instructions of the Srila Prabhupada.
Times have changed, and far more stress was placed by Srila Prabhupada on the guru being bonafide, on the guru “not deviating an inch” on “the message being passed down unchanged” than on diksa gurus versus siksa gurus. The clue is in his last words in the quote “all on the absolute platform”…
Comment Posted By niscala On 12.09.2010 @ 03:47
thank you for writing this article, prabhu, which is an expansion of the topic of your last one, which was about receiving mercy from seniors. You are certainly right that the actual mercy of the guru is his siksa- and you also mentioned that the guru may not have time to talk with everyone when he visits. Then the only siksa the disciple may get is in the form of a public lecture, which is usually tailored for newcomers, or a lecture at the temple, which may or may not allow him time to do his business as a disciple- enquire. It is also expected that the disciple will enquire on matters related to the lecture- whereas his doubts may be elsewhere. He may also feel inhibited due to shyness, to raise his hand in public, particularly to expose a doubt he has! So in 3 aspects, enquiring publicly has its drawbacks- lack of opportunity, related subject matter, and shyness. Therefore, the guru must be available for private and personal enquiries from each and every disciple, in order to ensure that the disciple is gaining ground in understanding all nuances of bhakti, and the practical implications of such- eradicating his personal anarthas- which are unique transmutations of the material modes that need specific instruction on.
It is curious that you interpret the liberating siksa as an onus on the disciple, rather than the guru- as in the carrying out of the instruction. That is only half of the siksa process- the process mentioned in the gita is not just sevaya- serving the instruction, but enquiry. If there is no opportunity to enquire, because the guru has initiated a thousand other disciples, or because he is more focussed on making disciples, rather than keeping them, or on travelling the world, rather than freeing a mind, then it will be a failure. One may object that this is exactly what S. Prabhupada did, but he did not. His personal instruction was there in the form of his books, and additional siksa could be had by mail or in person, if needed. We cannot imitate him, in initiating the numbers he did, without following in his footsteps, spending 6 hours a day, after sleeping 4 at most, writing vital instructions for his disciples and followers, now, and for generations to come.
Generally the warning is against accepting too many disciples. Thus, not following such orders can create difficulties, not least the disciples suffering from lack of guidance.
Comment Posted By niscala On 10.09.2010 @ 00:30
Great news that the Hindu Council is gearing up to help the Pakistanis, regardless of their religion, I assume! Certainly such action is part of the peace process…we want to fight atheism, but so much atheism is caused because of sectarian religious hatreds, violence, jihads, crusades, or just as bad, turning a blind eye “because they are of THAT religion”. Only non-sectarian religion can bring about peace and the breakdown of atheism among pious people who take to it only because of outrage against the above. This is not a speculation- generally atheists always argue “but religion has caused so much violence and misery!” We have a non-sectarian philosophy, but unless we get rid of our sectarian mindset, it will do us no good, and will contribute to a godless civilization of lost souls. It will also do us no good if we get rid of the sectarian mindset, but do not express the result practically. This is an excellent opportunity.
Priyavarta Prabhu, we would like to help us volunteers for FFL in poor areas in the near future- my husband is often expressing the desire- but we need to tie up a few of our material loose ends first, so for the time being, we will just donate..
Comment Posted By niscala On 31.08.2010 @ 23:01