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Krsna Answers All of Arjuna’s Questions

Dear Sita-Rama Prabhu,

Here’s part two.

My position still stands: Arjuna asked a pertinent question, and Krsna answered it. Neither Krsna nor Srila Prabhupada (nor Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura) regard Arjuna’s question as irrelevant, inappropriate or off-subject. I continue to insist that it is a mistaken departure from the spirit of the Bhagavad-gita to treat Arjuna’s question in this way, or to suggest that Krsna does not answer, or has no interest in answering.

As Srila Prabhupada says in “Easy Journey to Other Planets:”

“Similarly, the Bhagavad-gita was spoken by the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, to Vivasvan, the presiding deity of the sun, and when the aural chain of disciplic succession was broken, Lord Krsna repeated the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. At that time, Arjuna took the role of disciple and student in order to receive transcendental knowledge from Sri Krsna. In order to drive out all misgivings which the gross materialists of the world may have, Arjuna asked all relevant questions, and the answers were given by Krsna so that any layman can understand them. Only those who are captivated by the glamour of the material world cannot accept the authority of Lord Sri Krsna.”

Please note: “Arjuna asked all relevant questions, and the answers were given by Krsna so that any layman can understand them.” Perfect questions, perfect answers.

Nowhere in Srila Prabhupada’s writings or recorded lectures does he say that Krsna did not answer Arjuna’s question. Why would you insist otherwise? You are demanding acceptance of Srila Prabhupada’s purports as the exclusive all-in-all, aren’t you? Where does Srila Prabhupada say that Arjuna’s question is irrelevant? Where does he say that Krsna does not answer it? This is the bottom line: If you cannot point out such a statement by Srila Prabhupada then you have no authority to state it yourself.

Comment Posted By panchatattvadasa On 24.02.2011 @ 17:00

Dear Sita Rama Prabhu,

Thank you for the stimulating and thoughtful discussion. I respond in two parts. This is part one.

You write, “Why do you insist that Krishna and the spiritual master have to answer a question that includes a false assumption about spiritual life?”

Since you insist on referring only to Srila Prabhupada’s purports on this matter, then let’s just consider the very first sentences of Prabhupada’s purport for Bg. verse 2.54, wherein Arjuna submits his question:

“As there are symptoms for each and every man, in terms of his particular situation, similarly one who is Krsna conscious has his particular nature—talking, walking, thinking, feeling, etc. As a rich man has his symptoms by which he is known as a rich man, as a diseased man has his symptoms by which he is known as diseased, or as a learned man has his symptoms, so a man in transcendental consciousness of Krsna has specific symptoms in various dealings.” (First sentences from Bg 2.54 purport)

Srila Prabhupada goes on to write that the most important symptom of a Krsna conscious man is his speech.

Here Srila Prabhupada clearly refers to a Krsna conscious person having a particular nature in terms of “talking, walking, thinking, feeling, etc.,” which is exactly what Arjuna was asking about. (Oh, that silly, bewildered Arjuna!) If you want to continue splitting symantic hairs, you could make an argument about “sitting,” but since Srila Prabhupada specifies walking, I’m hoping you’ll recognize the obvious: Srila Prabhupada wrote that a transcendentalist has a particular nature of walking - in other words, all of his activities, external and internal, are meaningful - not meaningless.

And please note Srila Prabhupada’s mention of “specific symptoms in various dealings.” In this regard, the commentary of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura cited by His Grace Bhurijana Prabhu is perfectly, ecstatically complimentary to Srila Prabhupada’s commentary.

Srila Prabhupada has directly contradicted you in the first two sentences of his Bhaktivedanta purport for Bg. 2.54. So, where is the “false assumption about spiritual life?”

Comment Posted By panchatattvadasa On 24.02.2011 @ 16:57

Dear Sita Ram dasa,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Who is Tattvavit?

Thank you for your kind comments. Nevertheless, Krsna has answered Arjuna’s question. If you feel that Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s commentary is not meant for you, then what can I say? Srila Prabhupada drew from the commentaries of the previous acharyas often as he wrote his Bhaktivedanta purports. I’m sure that he didn’t pass over the Thakura’s commentary on Arjuna’s question just so that devotees could come along later and say, “Aha! Krsna didn’t answer Arjuna’s question!”

Even without considering the Thakura’s commentary, Krsna has responded, in a whole series of statements, to Arjuna’s question. It is an answer, or rather, a series of answers. And nowhere in Srila Prabhupada’s commentary do we find Prabhupada saying that Krsna did not answer Arjuna. That is your statement and that of the other writer in question. Why should you say such a thing, if Srila Prabhupada did not?

To insist that Krsna has not answered his disciple’s question, in what is the most important literature on spiritual fundamentals in our Vaishnava literature, the book which Gaudiya Vaishnavas refer to the world over to answer questions on Krsna consciousness, is an onerous mistake. That is my objection.

Simply Krsna’s answer must be understood with a little intelligence: Arjuna asked, and Krsna answered. And if one of Srila Prabhupada’s expert, surrendered, intelligent disciples, following in his footsteps and quoting from our trusted acharyas, shows another wonderful aspect of this particular exchange in the second chapter of Bhagavad-gita - about which whole books could be written - then I for one will not be averse to increasing my understanding and sharing it with others. I’m quite certain that Srila Prabhupada is proud of Bhurijana Prabhu’s service.

Your servant,

Pancha Tattva dasa

Comment Posted By panchatattvadasa On 10.02.2011 @ 11:39

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