Comments Posted By pustakrishna
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Mukunda Datta das is of course a vaishnava. In a scholarly way he is presenting the importance of “dharma” to the social fabric of Vedic society. It seems, I believe, that he has taken the point of view, at least in this writing, that historical tradition is some kind of authority for future tradition or societal obligations. He touches upon the idea that the modern (even perverse) caste system is not objected to by people because either it serves a purpose of social cohesion, or because you could not do away with it if you tried! In any case, the arguments seem to flow from the point of view that tradition or history is sufficient cause for continuation of things as they are. Now……………….
We accept that Vedic wisdom is valuable because it comes from the perfect all knowing Source. Dharma tu sakshat bhagavat pranitam, from the breath of God. The authority of the parampara is indeed only valuable because of that. Now, I want to present this to you. Krishna has presented many things to us in His Bhagavad Gita. Many of these teachings involve developing attachments to higher and higher modes of nature to improve one’s potential for ultimate spiritual life, submission to Him. Yet, He lets us know that it is very, very rare indeed for one to recognize or realize that Vasudeva is everything. So, it is Krishna’s mercy that He gives avenues of elevation for the soul through acceptable morality and cultural practices. It is not only for the most fortunate seeker, but for every soul embodied in a human form. Krishna is bringing the souls along life after life after life. Sri Krishna is so patient and merciful. On the other hand, if we conceive of “dharma” as merely historically acceptable and consistent ways of human society, then we miss the vital connection with God, Krishna, and cannot water the root of this vital serving tree. Ishayasya.
I expect that there is much interesting discussion that can come regarding this topic. We want to be so bold as to declare that spiritual culture, even when wearing the mask of culture, has its roots in reawakening the God consciousness of the souls in human society.
If human culture is ranked as the highest function of human life, that is termed as “humanism”. Humanism is atheism. Service to man without recognition of God is “srama eva hi kevalam”, useless work. As much as God may not be visible to us, yet is the essence the value of life itself, He must be sought after. Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 27.10.2013 @ 06:51
Krishna Himself describes that 4 classes of individuals approach Him to take shelter of His Lotus Feet: Those desirous of wealth, those who are afflicted, those who are curious, and those who are seeking higher Truth. Those who are afflicted are many! If they come to Krishna, then they are considered pious souls as well. Our true identity is not this body, and not the transient mind either. Misidentification with matter is the con-fusion that binds us to this world, and it is cemented with desire for sense gratification, lording over matter.
Many of the 60’s types who came to KC were survivors of acid trips, drug abuse, and mental illness. Srila Prabhupad gave hope, meaning, and devotional service to these. He called it converting “hippies into happies”. While this may sound like a joke, it was no joke! His Divine Grace brought out the very best in individuals. Some of the finest leaders in KC’s early days may be counted amongst these.
Now, the topic of this article is somewhat different. And, the author is compassionately relating the extreme condition when suicide may follow prolonged mental illness. Her efforts are very much to be appreciated. But, truly, we are carried along on the waves of Krishna’s energy. While we may mechanistically try to solve the barriers of the mind, the seeds of such karma may have their origins in the distant past. Karma is the law of nature, and it is Krishna’s. I genuinely applaud the intentions of Karuna Dharini dd. The dilemma of Subuddhi could surely have been handled differently. Hindsight (looking back) is 20:20. So, one can try to learn from this and go forward, recognizing the needs of others, and avoid the selfishness that creates a bubble of illusion around each of us. Let us therefore become more aware of the needs of devotees, being the servant of the servant, and try to bring affectionate care in our dealings with devotees.
Sincerely, Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 25.10.2013 @ 01:20
The outsider-nondevotee was criticizing Srila Prabhupada’s disciples for “mispronouncing” the Mahamantra. In my opinion, Srila Prabhupad could not tolerate such criticism, and so protected the honor of his disciples in the face of a rascal. Even when imperfectly performed, devotional service is non-material activity for the satisfaction of the Lord. Nonetheless, Srila Prabhupada is our instructor-Acharya and is intimately teaching his disciples the proper way to proceed. His Divine Grace would not tolerate minimizing the devotional efforts of his disciples! Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 26.10.2013 @ 06:58
Dear Nama Prabhu,
Dandavats, and all glories to Srila Prabhupada! (”a” included for sake of harmony). I can only relate my experience as it was. At least twice I had the same criticism/correction by Srila Prabhupada personally when I excluded the “a” at the end of Rama. His Divine Grace would say, “Chant the whole mantra”. What more can I say? Hare Krishna
Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 17.10.2013 @ 21:06
Godhead is light, nescience is darkness. Where there is Godhead (light) there is no darkness or ignorance. When we are “fortunate” that the Holy Name will incarnate or appear to us, on our tongues and in our ears, we are associating with Krishna personally. The tendency to be the center ourselves, to be the enjoyer, might lead us to try to feel the bliss our selves. We are surrounded by people who are doing yoga or practicing some form of self-realization techniques for their own bliss or peace. However, that is not the mood for chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Our Sampradaya is teaching that the Holy Name is a spiritual prayer for divine loving service. Our richest fulfillment is reawakening our identity as eternal servant of the servant…of the Lord the the Braja gopis. Krishna is inviting us to love Him, and to be loved by Him. That is rasa, and it is the confidential destiny of the pure devotees.
Living with faith that Krishna will protect us, that Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer and Proprietor of everything, may help us to awaken the proper mood in approaching Sri Krishna. Truly, Lord Chaitanya Himself expressed that His gurudeva considered Him a fool and that He must chant the Holy Mahamantra. So, on His gurudeva’s order (and not for our own pleasure), we must take the Holy Names. Mahaprabhu in His Sishastakam gives the formula (trinadapi sunicena…). Time is limited, and if yearning will fortunately appear within our hearts to associate with Sri Krishna, He will hear our prayers. (sevon mukhe hi jivadau, svayam eva sphurati adah). Bhakti yoga invites us to express the soul’s heart. What more could one ever want from spiritual practice in this life?
Good discussion and it can bring out many worthwhile sentiments. Hare Krishna.
Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 16.10.2013 @ 05:09
Someday, the direct disciples of Srila Prabhupad will all have passed on, and so some of the direct advice which is not in his books will be lost…so, I want to share this with you. As Srila Prabhupad’s secretary and more than once in any case, I sat before Srila Prabhupad chanting my japa. Sometimes we hear people, and myself, saying “Hare Ram, Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare”. Srila Prabhupad would stop me and (more than once) say to me:
“Chant the entire mantra” and he would proceed to do so. It is Ra-ma.
Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 12.10.2013 @ 23:53
When we consider the internal “logic” of Sri Krishna’s pastimes, two considerations are readily available. First, Krishna comes to His Mahatattva to save the pious and to vanquish the miscreants. Well, Sitadevi is, of course, no miscreant! The other consideration is that Krishna is the destroyer of the Mahatattva (not merely its Creator)…kalosmi lokashaya krt. By His nature of destroying the material manifestation, He is teaching us that this material manifestation is both temporary and is not our Home. Lord Chaitanya’s wife died from a snakebite. Lord Chaitanya’s reaction is noteworthy, both for His absence of material lamentation and His philosophical approach to the issue of death and loss.
Lord Ramachandra’s lila must have similar deep rationale. We may never be able to understand the extraordinary infinite intellect of the Supreme Lord, but if we want to try to grasp something of the nature of His personality in this regard, we can perhaps see the consistency with which He acts. He is an ocean of mercy! In the spiritual world, where death does not exist, and loving ecstasy abounds, there is no mundane lamentation. Even loss (absence) is stimulus for deeper love and ecstasy. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, especially when considering that Krishna is the Reservoir of Pleasure, and the love of everyone’s life. Otherwise, we can simply hear of the pastimes of the Lord with His devotees and plenary expansions, and allow the knot within our hearts to be cut!
Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 29.09.2013 @ 18:56
Krishna consciousness is reviving the natural conscious connection with Krishna. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is a Person, unlike any other. When Krishna begins to instruct Arjuna, He first focuses on the nature of the beginningless individual soul. What distinguishes spirituality is the emphasis on the identity as spirit soul. We are not human any more than one is a dog or a tree. The genuine identity is that one is a jiva-atma, or spirit soul. The challenge for one is to live within progressive Krishna consciousness rather than illusory covered consciousness. Srila Prabhupad again and again would warn us, “don’t lord over matter!” That is the disease.
So the two mentalities or planes exist as potential: the plane of exploitation and the plane of dedication. Exploitation places “me” as the center, the enjoyer. Dedication places “Krishna” as the Center, as the Enjoyer. It is, no doubt, apparently a sacrifice on the surface to avoid exploitation, but when one goes deeper, based on the knowledge given by Sri Gurudeva and Krishna, then we can easily see the futility and worthlessness of the illusory lifestyle. For example, as Srila Prabhupad often taught us, sex-life is “maya’s shackle”. If one thinks that I shall enjoy sex with a beautiful man or woman, then they must try to consider that when that beautiful body is dead, it will not be desirable. Knowledge must pierce through the illusory nature. Thus, we are implored to “see through” transcendental knowledge, rather than through the material eyes.
Dedication can take so many forms. When a person is cleaning the temple, cooking for the Deities with love, distributing books out of compassion and with a passion for the truth, preaching, or hearing, about topics related to Krishna…dedication can lead to revival of one’s Krishna consciousness. In fact, the hrdaya-granthi, knot within the heart, is cut simply by hearing about topics of Krishna consciousness. With purification, the higher taste for Krishna’s satisfaction, and the joy accrued in such activities, become self-evident. Material consciousness will take the position of phantasmagoria.
So, activities for the satisfaction of Krishna (bhoktaram yajna tapasam) becomes a natural fact of spiritual life, replacing the illusory external plane of exploitation. As His Divine Grace would say: the gopis would go about their activities but internally were always thinking about their love, Sri Krishna. Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 22.09.2013 @ 17:55
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur says in his treatise on Surrender: “Forget the past it sleeps…live in times that are with thee and progress thee shall call.” The quality of the Vaishnava, in the line of the Six Goswamis, is that they are always seeking Krishna, feeling longing for Him. The environment will change naturally, but the internal life of the bhakta is feeling dependent on the Lord. There is no doubt that Srila Prabhupad’s presence could be a tremendous stimulus to a lifetime of devotion. Some had simply seen His Divine Grace once and felt deep attachment for serving him and Krishna. The present is the reality that we must deal with ideally.
When we analyze the philosophy and the work of yoga with knowledge, we realize that there is the field, and there is the knower of the field. The jiva souls are the knower of the field (of course Krishna knows all), and the field is the body and senses. Our experience of conditioned reality comes through the gates of the body, namely the senses. It is vital that we practice sense control, whether one is a brahmachary, a householder, or a renunciate. In this way we can go deeper into the reality that the material manifestation is Krishna’s apara prakriti, and we are His parts and parcels. Sense control ultimately means Krishna consciousness, engaging the senses for the pleasure of the Lord. Bhoktaram yajna tapasam…Krishna is the enjoyer of our sacrifices. This is the current work, the moment to moment work of sadhana bhakti, whatever the vehicle of service through the nine authorized processes of devotional service.
Just as there might be those who could lament that they just “missed” direct association with Srila Prabhupad, this is always the case looking back historically. Consider Raghanath das’s plight. It was often exciting and occasionally dangerous physically to spread Krishna consciousness in the early days. Many in Russia have experienced this, no doubt. But, the faith of the bhaktas, their dedication to Lord Chaitanaya and Srila Prabhupad and other current or future vaishnava-acharyas, is inevitable. And, for those like me who were there in the early days of Krishna conscious expansion outside and inside of India, the work of Krishna consciousness, the ongoing search for Sri Krishna, is never done. We are followers of the brajvasis of Sri Krishna lila. The search can never be done, whether in meeting Krishna or in separation from Sri Krishna, or Srila Prabhupad.
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 16.09.2013 @ 02:11
The point is the acceptance, on faith, of the parampara. For example, as discussed by Srila Prabhupad in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, when Krishna explains that He previously taught this science to the Sun god, Vivasvan, some 110 millions years ago, it is knowledge that has descended from the perfect Source. It is accepted on faith. Any, repeat, any challenge to the knowledge that has come down from Krishna through the parampara is thus suspect. It is subject to the defects of mental speculation, imperfect senses, tendency to cheat, and so on.
The materially constructed history is founded on linguistics, archeological finds, cultural reconstruction, and the like. If one does not have deep faith in the descending process of knowledge acquisition, it is dangerous for a prospective bhakta to study the western, even Indian, reconstruction of Indian history. Lord Ramachandra’s reign was described for us as being millions of years ago. Srila Prabhupad once told me that people are looking for archeological remnants of the battlefield of Kurukshetra. His Divine Grace said that the bodies were cremated. Thus, he rationalized for us why there wasn’t millions of bodies bones and the like there. The point is that some believe the battle never took place and is allegorical or literary only, while Srila Prabhupad’s expression is that the battle was a historical fact, just as Krishna’s appearance some 5,000 years ago was historical. His Divine Grace said that Vyasadeva is the great philosopher, and he would not try to amuse us by literary stories. When Krishna fights with a hugh Bakasura demon, it is literally the case, not a child’s story. So, one needs to appreciate these things from that perspective.
In my opinion, the bhaktas need not fight on the same field as the mundane scholars. It is vital that the bhaktas develop the faith of their preceptor, Srila Prabhupad. One can hardly challenge an archeologist that there were no dinosaurs because they are not mentioned in the Vedas! However, Srila Prabhupad did that. His faith follows the descending pathway of knowledge from Krishna through the parampara.
I hope I have clarified this portion of the debate if there is one from this perspective. In essence, it does not matter what the conditioned souls believe or perceive.
Respectfully submitted, Pusta Krishna das
Comment Posted By pustakrishna On 12.10.2013 @ 08:38