Comments Posted By niscala
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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
Thank you, for your wonderful work, Priyavarta prabhu. Requesting Indians to help Pakistanis might seem like a long shot, as there is much ill-feeling towards Pakistan in India, after the mumbai bombings. But I hope that at least devotees can avoid the mistake of identifying the bodies of those helpless and desperate villagers, many of whom are innocent children, with those of terrorists, simply on the basis of their place of birth. Such is gross ignorance, based on bodily conception only, devoid of compassion, and the equanimity of vision described in the gita. Thank you for rising above it all, and I hope that our Indian godbrothers will follow suit, and do all they can to help spread goodwill and understanding.
Comment Posted By niscala On 27.08.2010 @ 07:18
Visakha Priya wrote: Regarding Niscala Prabhuâ€™s apparent reluctance to accept an elevated Vaisnavaâ€™s so-called failure to show affection toward his dependants, I would suggest that the closer the disciple is to the spiritual master, the more the spiritual master will treat him strictly.
Thankyou, for your feedback. I certainly agree with you that a guru will chastise a sincere disciple, as he can learn so much from the chastisement. I was not referring to chastisement, which I see as a symptom of affectionate dealings. I was referring to the withdrawal of affection on the part of the guru or advanced devotee- not as in chastisement, but as in a pulling away from the disciple, an aloofness, a non-interest in him, if you will. I think we all agree that chastisement is an affectionate dealing, so I was asking KK why a guru or advanced devotee would withdraw his affections- not why he would chastise. Such a situation appears quite rare- there is the dealing with Harikesa and Prabhupada, but generally, Prabhupada was there for his disciples- he was ever approachable.
Therefore, Kesava Krsna’s point is very valid- that there should not be so much distance between senior and junior members, but, as in the quote you gave, a feeling of oneness, closeness…your quote indicates that there should be feelings of oneness (which in vaisnava understaning, is not as in merging, but as in a sense of brotherhood) even between disciples and gurus, what to speak of senior and junior members in our society! There must be a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood. Seniors are elder brothers and sisters, and should therefore be always attentive that their younger siblings are progressing. They should not be aloof and uninterested.
Even when seniors chastise, it should not be to crush, intimidate or humiliate , but only to correct- the only motive should be to help, to raise the disciple/junior up. When one is affectionate, one may chastise or praise, and the recipient feels valued either way, even from the chastisement, because the senior or the guru has gone to so much trouble to correct him. But when the guru hardly even know’s his disciple’s name, because he is the thousandth disciple, or because he has better things to do with his time, then that is showing no affection at all- not on occasion, not as an exception, but as a general rule. What value is of a guru who has no time for you? What is the value of being a senior unless we can help our younger siblings?
Comment Posted By niscala On 02.09.2010 @ 06:20
thank you, Pusta Krsna prabhu for your appreciation! It is certainly the inter-vaisnava dynamic we are talking about, in action! An ounce of action is worth more than a tonne of theory, and I will try to follow your example of being appreciative, and not just talk about it!
Thank you also, Kesava Krsna for your explanation. I am still not sure why advanced devotees sometimes do that- be aloof- what is to be learnt from it. In the case of Harikesa and Srila Prabhupada, I think it was because Prabhupada wanted Harikesh not to be too dependent, in every respect, on him- to spread his wings and find his own potential, which was vast. Like we mentioned, the spiritual master’s goal is to make the disciple as qualified as he is, but if the disciple is always in the guru’s shadow, typing and doing nothing else, than how can that be accomplished? In the case of Gaura Kishora Dasa Babaji, maybe it was because he didn’t want pratishta, especially the glory of having such an exalted devotee as Bhaktisiddhanta as a disciple. He was happy to be unrecognized- to be thought of as a simple illiterate person…
Generally, however, the guru/disciple dynamic or senior/junior dynamic is one of affectionate guidance and approachability, like a father. Sometimes, like when teaching a child to ride a bike, the father just lets go and sees what the child can accomplish on his own and what he has learnt. Or it is like a teacher- generally he is always answering questions, but at exam time, the roles are reversed…But these are exceptions to the general dynamic.
Comment Posted By niscala On 18.08.2010 @ 09:56