Comments Posted By pustakrishna
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Keshava das Prabhu ji jaya!! The love of these early western bhaktas for Srila Prabhupad and Krishna helped to lay the foundation for the future worldwide mission. Without their joy of service, ISKCON could never have grown. It should not be taken for granted. We believe and know that His Divine Grace, as our eternal guide, will be there to extend his divine hand to help us into the spiritual family of Goloka Vrindaban. Such devotees always appeared to be disinterested in moksha and addicted to Sankirtan. Their very selves were fountains of Krishna bhakti. We are forever indebted to have had their association. Their encouragement was manifested by their attachment to engaging others in the service of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga. Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 03.05.2013 @ 06:13
Nrisimhananda Prabhu’s efforts are very important for a number of reasons.
First, the society, ISKCON, was conceived of and founded by Srila Prabhupad. It is vital that future generations do not lose perspective of the origin of the connection through Srila Prabhupad with Krishna. The volumes of translations and commentaries came from him. If one does not recognize this, they are potentially guilty of being like the fly on the lap of the king.
Second, our envy of the Supreme Lord is the seed of sin that places us in the prison house of the material world. It is absolutely vital that one not be envious of their spiritual master. We must not try to digest the honor of Srila Prabhupad. Hence, we say “All Glories to Srila Prabhupad” or “All Glories to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga”.
Third, to the extent that one loses contact with the emissary of the Lord, one might claim that they themselves are the emissaries, rather than the servant of the servant of the servant of the Supreme Lord.
For those who never met Srila Prabhupad, you must know that he was not interested in self-aggrandizement at all. However, he understood that the medicine for the conditioned souls necessitated the development of a proper relationship between disciple and Guru. One cannot be their own Guru. It is self-deception.
So, do not allow yourselves to become victims of pratishtha, material standing, thinking that as spiritual standing. They are very different. It is a great privilege and evidence of having received Krishna’s mercy to come into contact with Srila Prabhupad. “He reasons ill who say that vaishnava’s die, when thou art living still in sound…(Bh. Thakur)”. We must try to encourage each other to dive deeper into reality, and to go deeper into the relationship one has with their siksha gurus, especially in this case, Srila Prabhupad, a genuine acharya of the sampradaya.
Affectionately offered, and with gratitude for Nrisimhananda das, a fine devotee and good man. Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 01.05.2013 @ 06:48
Dear Akruranath and LHKrishna,
Dandavats and Hare Krishna. All Glories to Srila Prabhupad. I am happy to receive inspiration when genuinely offered. I am engaged as best I can be at present. Krishna consciousness is not usually a splint but rather a marathon, for me going on 44 years now. One has to persist and remain determined to the last breath. Still, agree or not agree, I believe it is wiser to use factual philosophical inspiration rather than metaphorical ideas. I understand well the relationship of Sri Ramachandra’s Appearance Celebration with the use of the Ravana reference. We are trying, I hope, to appeal to the rational introspective mentality of the public. Many Indians even have rejected the Indian tradition unfortunately because of their inability to conceive of the pastimes and cosmology of Vedic tradition. Such thinkers may be more attracted to the logic of the Bhagavad Gita, and the responsibility of the individual to take responsibility for their choices. The practice of yoga is dependent upon the jiva soul’s capacity to discriminate, and so by choices made, transfer the attachment away from lording over matter toward service to Krishna. It is the work of human life and the challenge is that we can inspire others to both experience this and through preaching inspire others to undertake the same. I fully accept that others will have different approaches, but through my years of personal practice, and years associating closely with Srila Prabhupad, that is what I can share. When others even senior in our mission would propose other things, and if I would in some way subscribe to these and informed Srila Prabhupad of this, His Divine Grace would chastise me personally (more than once) and say: “Why are you listening to ’so and so’, he is not your guru. I am your Guru!” Despite the growth of the movement, he did not want to allow his disciples to divert to a communal guru concept. He did not want, at least in my experience, that I accept sometimes divergent or whimsical instructions, even if they could be rationalized away. That is the foundation that I stand upon in my life at least, and I am not better than any one else for that, but I know where I stand. I realize the potential for differing opinions, but in my time at least…Srila Prabhupad is my gurudeva. Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 11.05.2013 @ 03:45
“Encourage the heck out of everybody”…but proper adjustment and philosophical scrutiny is a necessary component. We have never been encouraged to accept everything blindly. Rather than go into details of my own book distribution (which does take place regularly by me when I freely give the Bhagavad Gita As It Is to people when they show a spark of spiritual interest) and helping to make others into bhaktas which I have had the privilege to do even while a physician over the past 23 years), I give get praise to the San Jose devotees who are following the determined and steady example of Sripad Vaisesika Prabhu. He has made book distribution the cornerstone of his practicing life, and his joy in doing so is infectious in the best way.
The issue I have brought up is a simple philosophical perspective. Is Krishna Consciousness involved with exorcism or not? When Jagai and Madhai were converted by the grace of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, no spirit of evil swept out of their bodies. Rather, their’s was a change of heart. That is our conception! We must not deviate from the principle that individuals have the burden of choice through their minute free will.
I do understand the fervor that many of our East Indian godbrothers and godsisters encounter amongst the Indian community in the West. Many of the Indian people who have migrated to the West take up meat-eating, even beef, and other aspects of western life that may represent the worst aspects of Western materialistic culture. I can understand how they might view this behavior amongst their Indian community counterparts as being “demoniac”, rakshasa-like, and their compassion is to awaken their neighbors to a higher form of consciousness. What I have highlighted by my comments is by no means criticism of their enthusiasm for book distribution, but rather a simple request to re-think this expression of ‘Killing the Ravana Within.’ I strongly urge that we place the urgent need for change before others in a more rational and less emotional manner. That too, is ‘encouraging the heck out of everyone”, but without distorting the conception into one that involves exorcism…since in Krishna conscious philosophy there is no exorcism. There is no devil. These concepts belong to other religious conceptions and other scriptures, but if you truly believe that Krishna is the Supreme Absolute Truth, one does not need to read or subscribe to other scriptures. Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 06.05.2013 @ 01:50
We need to follow in the footsteps of the acharyas. Our ontological understanding of reality is that there is the jiva soul (with minute independence), the three modes of nature under higher control, and the Supersoul as Witness and Permitter/Controller. We are not in a tradition where “exorcism” is being done, ie killing the Ravana within? It is wonderful that the ISV bhaktas are inspired by holidays to make a push to distribute books, such as Lord Rama’s appearance day, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur’s birthday, and the like. It is really fine to use novel approached to distribute books (dressing up as Santa at Christmas and the like). But, the philosophical basis of teaching must remain sound. There is always the potential for the KC movement to deviate in unyet recognized ways, and we do not want to see yoga-nasta in our time. The means and the end are theoretically one in Krishna consciousness. Bhakti is the means, bhakti is the end…like the thickening of sugar cane juice into rock candy. But, I would caution against using the idea of “exorcism” within this context. The philosophical discrimination of Krishna consciousness differentiates our spiritual line from other emotional religious traditions that involve ideas such as the “devil”. That is not part of the Vedic philosophy. While there are divine and demoniac natures, we know, these are due to the attachment of the jiva soul to higher or lower modes of nature. Desires do not disappear in Krishna consciousness, but the yogi can tolerate and remain unattached to lower modes, and later even to the higher modes of nature, dovetailing desires ultimately to please Krishna to the exclusion of all else. I would not want to introduce this idea of “exorcism” into the Krishna consciousness movement. Neither do I think that this will appeal to intelligensia if those are the people to whom you are trying to sell the books. Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 03.05.2013 @ 19:09
I appreciate this discussion. At least from my own paltry experience, when I first came into the association of devotees, I would not say it was because someone told me to chant the Holy Names in order to kill the demoniac tendencies within my self. Rather, I was positively attracted to the ideal that we are searching for love that is endless. That can be provided only by relationship with Krishna. The “All-attractive” nature of Krishna was definitely the impetus to go further. Then, when chanting the Holy Names, the sublime and unparalleled joy that I tasted confirmed the hypothesis: Relationship with Krishna is full of bliss.
I think that we should invite people to experiment with the process. Not to accept it blindly. If they will, then they will discover for themselves the Truth that exists within the Holy Names. That is a positive process. We are appealing to people with some sukriti, some piety, even if it has taken many lifetimes to accumulate. These souls are ripe for planting the seed of bhakti.
When you view the opposite ploy, that you will kill the demoniac tendencies within by chanting the Holy Names, it would not appeal in the same way. People in the material world are being rewarded by the masses for being gross sensualists…movie stars, popular singers, and the list goes on and on. Krishna consciousness is available to everyone, but will be accepted by the very few: manusyanam sahasresu, and so on.
There is no doubt that the good qualities can manifest by associating with the Supreme Pure (Pavitram paramam bhavam). Pious souls are looking for higher purity and they will gladly be led to that. And, a rejection of the modes of ignorance and passion will not necessarily bless one with the mode of goodness, which is also part of the illusory energy. It is the choice of the jiva soul to surrender to Krishna, or to come under the clutches of maya (His illusory energy). And, particularly in preaching Krishna consciousness in America, if you tell one that the 10 headed demon Ravana lies within you, they will not be likely to appreciate your analysis. Christians are always preaching that the devil is the dark force that keeps one engaged in material ways. That is not our philosophy. We hold that the individual soul has minute independence at every moment. That is the work of yoga. To take shelter of Krishna is the culmination is the means and end.
Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 03.05.2013 @ 05:57
This is a small but important criticism, as I also am a small part of ISV. First, the distribution of transcendental books is beyond any criticism. The use, however, of the concept of “Killing the Ravana Within”, in my view, should not be used on several grounds. There are some who have taken the writings of the Bhagavad Gita, or of Krishna’s pastimes, as something “allegorical”. That is to say, they try to relate that Arjuna means “such and such” and Krishna means “such and such”. Different demons mean “such and such”. They do not take it literally or AS IT IS. Srila Prabhupad warned us not to think in those terms. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead plays or fights, it is always extraordinary. I recall, as I have previously mentioned in Dandavats, how Srila Prabhupad said that Vyasadeva, the great philosopher empowered compiler of the Vedas, was not telling children’s stories, eg when speaking about Bakasura. Vyasadeva is not giving us children’s stories. Vyasadeva would not waste his or our time with that. “One weak link and the whole thing is placed into question!” These words of Srila Prabhupad are sufficient.
Now, from another point of view, Ravana also (a ten-headed demon) was extraordinary and an appropriate opponent for Lord Ramachandra to fight with. So, one should not place this into the realm of “allegory” by saying that one must “kill the Ravana within”. Further, it is a negative. Killing the darkness does not assure that there will be light, whereas Godhead is light and darkness is nescience, ignorance.
I recommend we take the view that the soul is hungering for love and happiness that is beyond the capacity for the material world to provide. The positive reality is “Bhidyante hrdaya grantis…” simply by hearing about the topics of the Srimad Bhagavatam, the “knot within the heart is cut”, opening the door to the eternal love and joy that awaits all jiva souls potentially. No allegory…just REAL reality. Humbly submitted, Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 30.04.2013 @ 01:22
Even when on the surface there appears discord, I/We respect the mentality of the sincere seeker that draws from the heart from the bhakta. I envision a ball placed in rotation inside a funnel…eventually it finds its way to the small opening at the bottom of the funnel. Just see how the devotees may oscillate around topics but because of their sincere nature of seeking, they find themselves attracted ultimately to the Center, Krishna. That is a beautiful and inspiring thing to witness, and a sign of the surrender of these beautiful souls to Krishna. Krishna is the creator and owner of all souls, His senses are expanded into our own spiritual senses, He is capable of receiving the service of all souls. There is never need for envy. Just see how when the gopas/cowherd boys want to massage Krishna’s lotus feet or play with Him in other manners, Krishna expands Himself to be with each and every one of the devoted souls. Our conception, our reality of Krishna consciousness is so superior to all conceptions of spiritual liberation or heaven. How fortunate we are, grace of Srila Prabhupad. It is also wonderful to observe again and again the oscillations of faith seeking the Center which always leads to Home with Krishna. Even when it appears there is dis-unity, ultimately the souls seeking Krishna will reject lording over matter and find their shelter at the Lotus Feet of the Lord. Have faith in the process, as Srila Prabhupad does. Material adjustments are not the way, but rather HariNama.
Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 11.05.2013 @ 19:37
While not necessarily the case, having passed 63 years in this human form, I can relate that grosser desires become lessened or sublimated with the years. It may be hormonal, or lack thereof, or it may be Krishna’s mercy (I hope this is the case) to help the conditioned souls become less materially lusty. However, I remember as a young aspiring bhakta in my late teens and early twenties, it was a genuine battlefield within the psyche to work toward controlling, bridling, tolerating the urges of the senses. It is not as difficult to accomplish later in life, but then again, the passion of youth can be dovetailed in one’s spiritual life to help contribute more fervently to the Sankirtan movement. I know that many of you who have passed down that road might identify with that struggle. So what is this all about?
Kesava Krishna das brings up suggestions as to how we might greet each other in ways that avoid lust, recognize service, and may help give form and order to the society of devotees.
It is appropriate, as has been described, to relate to older women as mataji (mother), younger women as sister or daughter (and this may give meaning to didi). Men can relate to other men as prabhu perhaps, or simply by their names with das attached. Srila Prabhupad personally would address us by the names which he gave us as his disciples. He was always respectful.
I think that the key is to be thoughtful in their interactions with others (amanina manadena), don’t hanker for respect or honor for one’s self, but give honor to others. It is ultimately conducive to one’s own spritual development, as recommended by Lord Chaitanya.
Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 01.05.2013 @ 07:10
Sri Gopal Das’ heartfelt advice is very well to contemplate. But, the idea of Purushatva or “manliness”, perhaps manly ego, is of course material. All creation, both para-prakriti (jiva souls and spiritual reality other than Vishnu tattva) and apara-prakriti (material creation) is all dependent and designed by nature for being predominated by Sri Krishna, the Predominator, and Enjoyer, Purusha. True that the state of Krishna prema is one of utter self-forgetfulness, being full with Krishna consciousness (not self-consciousness), charmed by Sri Krishna’s opulences of beauty, etc. He is all-attractive. All such technically exists within the para-prakriti, but is achintya-bedabeda-tattva, inconceivably one and different. Loss of identity does not occur, but is forgotten due to the ananda-budhi-vardanam, drowning in the ocean of loving ecstasy for Krishna. Still, divine eternal pastimes and rasa occur which even further increase the pleasure of Sri Krishna in His divine play.
It is said in the Chaitanya Charitamrita that the ecstasy of seeing Krishna by the jiva soul is 10,000 times greater than the ecstasy of Krishna seeing the jiva souls. Now we can appreciate that Krishna has expanded His own senses to encompass the spiritual senses of His jiva souls…for His own pleasure. In the process, the jiva souls are immersed in divine ecstatic love. Hrikena Hrishikesa sevanam bhaktir ucyate. These are subtle ontologic facts that cannot be touched by mundane thinking.
We should appreciate that Krishna consciousness is not “Hindu culture”. We know that all religiosity is for mundane or self-centric advancement, even to the level of going to the heavenly planets for one’s own pleasure seeking. Dharma-artha-kama-moksha…all have one’s self as the center. However, Krishna consciousness is another category altogether.
We have heard such contemplation of Sri Sikshastakam before, and one must know that Vedic knowledge is not the goal of existence. Even though, BG by all the vedas I am to be known, still we understand from Sri Brahma Samhita that one can search the vedas and not find Him, but He is very easily obtained by bhakti. Also BG bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah…to know Krishna in truth and fact is only possible by bhakti, not through other spiritual pursuits.
The topic: Food for Thought…interesting and good line of discussion. Even when I have been faulty, I have grown in my alignment. Thank you. Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 24.04.2013 @ 17:41