Comments Posted By tulasi-priya
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My suggestion: Establish programs to teach new converts what guru actually means, train them in critical thinking skills so they’re not swayed by emotion and peer pressure, and emphasize that the guru-disciple relationship is a very personal one, not a cult of personality and charisma. It’s not an issue of male of female guru, it’s a matter of who inspires you, and the relationship you have with them. The person who may actually get you back to Godhead might not be the “big gun” (with a thousand disciples) sitting on the vyasasana who you see only once a year, but the humble soul in the kitchen who has patiently answered all your questions and soothed all your doubts every day since you came off the street as Bhakta or Bhaktin Nobody, looking for shelter.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Nov 27, 2012 @ 12:18 am
There’s been a mistake here. I had initially sent some comments, then thought I should edit them down to fit in a single post. Before it was published, I asked the editor to NOT publish the three-part long post and asked him to send it back to me, which he did (I don’t actually know who I was communicating with). Somehow there was a misunderstanding and EVERYTHING I wrote got published. I still stand behind my words, but the longer post wasn’t intended for public comsumption. If there was any offense on my part, please accept my apologies and obeisances.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Jun 4, 2011 @ 11:15 pm
Krishna-kirti prabhu’s response leaves me astonished. He certainly did a neat job of pegging me, my philosophy, and my character. Too bad it was all wrong. Never mind, since I have no hope of my words not being twisted, I’m withdrawing from this discussion. But first I’m going to set the record straight regarding my views on varnasrama-dharma. I will not post further here on this topic.
I most certainly did NOT express “extreme doubt” about the efficacy of varnasrama-dharma. I posed a rhetorical question, that’s all. Putting words in my mouth and doubts in my head that have no purchase there is more than a bit rhetorically dishonest. Nor did he address the valid questions I asked. Since I can’t trust him to not twist what I say or draw erroneous conclusions, I will withdraw from further comment here on this topic. I just wanted to set the record straight about me.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have no argument with traditionalism and sex-segregation in general, or more specifically, daivi-varnasrama-dharma. In fact, I have recently established a non-profit expressly for the purpose of promoting simple living and high thinking, in a way that might actually bring about real change. It’s still in the development stages but will go public soon.
However, my views radically depart from Krishna-kirti prabhu’s in the matter of priority. I don’t think that attempting to enforce rigid sex roles and segregation takes priority over establishing self-sufficient communities based on economic inter-dependence between devotees, cows, and the land. Sex is secondary to food. ISKCON has not yet solved the food problem.
When we finally excise ourselves from our profound dependency on the mainstream culture for even our most basic sustenance, when our bodies, which are made of earth, live more closely in sync with the natural cycles, disciplines, and traditions related to an agrarian culture, when we live in closer relation to land and cows, then other aspects of Vedic culture will naturally fall into place. When the body is rightly situated, the mind will be peaceful, and thus we can more easily pursue transcendence. But VAD cannot be separated from bhakti, otherwise it’s simply organized sense gratification, as the Amish experience has shown. Focusing on rigid sex roles in preference to other aspects of varnasrama-dharma is like putting the cart before the ox. Obviously, you won’t get anywhere that way.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Jun 2, 2011 @ 6:25 pm
I’m not going to comment any further on this topic here, and have no wish to read comments by Krishna-kirti prabhu, et al. This is not because I’m closed-minded to their views. I happen to agree with most of what the traditionalists say. No, I don’t wish to hear from Krishna-kirti because I have been reading his writings for years, and have concluded that his agenda and his concerns are way too narrow to be meaningful or practical.
As for the others, they strike me as disagreeable. They may be pure devotees for all I know, but they’re not able to persuade me of the rightness of their cause, a cause I actually happen to believe in, because of their vindictive attitudes toward another devotee. Urmila mataji posted about education, a vitally important matter to our society. Those who highjacked this thread for their own agendas really should have been deleted, since it was way off-topic. It’s amusing that Krishna-kirti prabhu misread me so badly, but that was to be expected when we seek acquiescence, not consensus
I was a fool to have joined in this discussion, but I did it because I like Urmila mataji, even while not necessarily agreeing with her on every point. She is doing valuable service and I appreciate her efforts. I simply wanted to express my views here for anyone who is interested, which I know KK is not. It’s too bad that he and the others who have posted here are not able to apply their intelligence to something more than just the issue of sex roles in ISKCON, but I won’t permit myself to get entangled in their obsession just to prove something.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Jun 1, 2011 @ 4:53 pm
To have completely submissive and compliant women in the context of a culture divorced from nature, with its high technology, consumerism, and general godlessness, is not doing men any favors. Men, even devotee men, are still affected adversely by that culture, and partake of its sexual attitudes. An artificially-imposed submission of women will only add fuel to their fire. It will only make men lustier, and make women more willing to take advantage of that lust in order to manipulate men to satisfy their material desires. And by “women” I mean wives. Even a wife can act like a prostitute. I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse any so-called traditionalist devotee man of promoting sex-segregation, extreme chastity, etc., intentionally for that purpose, but I’ve heard enough stories to know that it can be a by-product.
If we attempt these artificial impositions out of context, if we treasure this sort of material arrangement in hearts not sufficiently purified by sadhana-bhakti, the result is sure to be a miserable failure, because the potential for abuse will be so great. If pursued by individuals, I see no problem, but to attempt to establish it as a policy in what is still essentially a neophyte society is premature, dangerous, and irresponsible. Furthermore, it is no other man’s business how I relate to my husband or other men, provided I don’t cause trouble for him. And if it is he can address me personally. I am so repulsed by the notion of men not my husband or guru telling women how they should behave. It’s a kind of subtle sex, in my view, and they should stop it, or risk being seen as (subtle) sexual predators.
We have to focus first and foremost on the foundation of a varnasrama society: devotional service. We have to become purified enough to ascertain the next step. I believe that the next step concerns food and livelihood, not sex.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Jun 1, 2011 @ 4:37 pm
In an agrarian, low-tech society, roles and functions harmonize with the natural world, not fight against it. In a natural, God-designed economy, necessity dictates what people do, not self-styled authorities with nothing more than bombast and intellectual trickery to achieve their doubtful ends.
When I look back on some of my dealings with men who (unknown to me at the time) avidly support their notion of traditionalism, what stands out is the undercurrent of sexual predation I felt coming from them. I would be repelled by their attitudes, only to be shocked months and years later when I found out that they were gung-ho for chastity in women. It has only led me to believe that the real reason for this single-minded pursuit of a sexual idea in the absence of so many other social needs is, simply, ideal sex.
I’ve long held the view that feminism has royally screwed (pun intended) the sex lives of modern Western civilization, particularly for men. The less submissive that woman have grown with the passage of time, the more impotent and uninterested men have become, hence the rise of pedophilia, extreme porn, and human trafficking. But the change in sexual mores does not exist in isolation, but grows from an increasingly industrialized mode of life, starting with the Industrial Revolution and on down the line to the Internet. For sex to be interesting, for a large majority of men, a sense of dominance is required. Short of violent rape (the kind performed by “inexpert” men), there is no meaningful outlet for men’s sexual needs, even if they are engaged in the act, because women are not as submissive as they once were.
The whole present society colludes in this dilution and perversion of sexual nature via advertising, high technology, etc. It’s my considered opinion that those whose interest is almost solely concentrated on this one aspect of human existence are the victims of feminism, people whose sexual natures are gasping for breath, but can find no outlet that doesn’t violated their principles. But to artificially attempt to “put women in their place” in a way that clashes with the day-to-day reality we all know, without the support of a culture that is more holistic and natural, starting with how we feed ourselves and conduct our livelihood, is to exacerbate the problem. (continued)
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Jun 1, 2011 @ 4:17 pm
Krishna-kirti prabhu wrote: “This is reflected in Mataji Tulasi-Priya’s expression of extreme doubt about the necessity of varnashram,’If our characters aren’t reformed by sadhana bhakti, why should anything else work?’”
Prabhu: you are dead wrong. I have no doubts whatsoever about varnasrama, and your attempt to put words in my mouth and thoughts in my head that have no purchase there is intellectually dishonest.
I am a sold-out believer in varnasrama-dharma, but where we differ radically is how it should be implemented. Before we become sexually mature, before we self-identify with either gender, before sex organs even manifest externally in the body of a fetus, all living entities are engaged in the process of seeking nourishment, food.
Over and over again, whenever Prabhupada spoke of varnasrama, he reiterated the need for devotees to grow their own food, utilizing the cow and bull in the process. Has it ever occurred to you, or any of the blindered proponents of sex segregation (which I am almost totally in favor of*) who comment here, that many of the issues revolving around the relation between men and women would fall into place naturally if we lived in a agrarian, low-technology society, a society in which the gender roles and sexual relationships develop naturally and chastely in harmony with the day-to-day realities of survival and cultural development.
All these so-called traditionalists venting here are abstracting, beyond all recognition, something that is completely natural, but can only fully manifest when we live in a natural environment.
In short, you’re putting the cart before the ox. Instead of focusing exclusively and narrowly on sex, better to address the most basic issue that affects humans in general and devotees in particular, before the problem of sex rears its multiple heads: livelihood and food self-sufficiency. When we get that straightened out, everything else will take care of itself.
Even monks have to eat. Focusing on sex roles in the absence of community, livelihood, and food self-sufficiency is, in my admittedly non-humble view, a perversion. Is it really necessary to dwell on sex to the exclusion of everything else? Is it necessary to see everything in sexual terms? Reminds me of a saying, “Get your mind out of the gutter.” Yes, sex is a big problem, but it’s secondary to existence; you can survive without sex, but you can’t survive without food.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Jun 1, 2011 @ 3:48 pm
As far as giving preference to more learned man over a woman speaker—well, haven’t they been getting that for decades already? Is it possible that maybe, just once in her long service history in ISKCON, before she leaves the planet and we lose her association, Urmila mataji could be allowed to purify herself, serve her guru, and benefit the assembled devotees, men and women, by speaking her unique realizations in Mayapur-dhama? Are we so puffed up and in the bodily consciousness that there is nothing we can learn from another, if that other is a woman? Do we really believe that men are the only ones with anything of substance to say?And it seems that to perceive Vaisnavis as women first in all situations constitutes an aparadha, as delineated NOI, text six.
Certainly it would be proper (if perhaps a bit Phariseean) if, prior to the class, the assembled male devotees were asked if they object to Urmila mataji giving the class. I would be keen to see who steps forward to assert his male privilege. I doubt that any man present, even the most traditional, would do so. But if he does, what would that say about him?
There may be agitation if we gaze upon a member of the opposite sex sitting on the vyasasana, but nobody gets pregnant on the vyasasana during a Bhagavatam class. (Though I suppose nothing is impossible for the determinedly lusty.) For illicit sex to take place, there has to be contact away from the vyasasana after the class, planning a rendezvous, lying, sneaking, etc. Nobody needs to give a class for that to happen, but if devotees are not following the process, it will happen somehow, no matter how segregated we keep ourselves. If the mere sight of the opposite sex will result in taking reproductive action, then we need to cease all preaching and classes right now, since the risks of the current system are insurmountable.
One other thing: lust and illicit sex don’t stop, or even reduce, just because the sexes are segregated. Visit any prison or single-sex school for proof. Nor do so-called traditional values guarantee sexual purity. The Amish are a case in point: wildness among the youth during their Rumspringa, and incest in Amish families. If our characters aren’t reformed by sadhana bhakti, why should anything else work?
» Posted By tulasi-priya On May 30, 2011 @ 4:46 am
Hare Krishna. If a man thinks he’s the controller of his wife out of a desire for his own sense gratification, controlling her as he would a personal possession, in order to prop up his ego and to enjoy either the subtle or gross sense gratification thereby, they are both in trouble. He then in fact becomes the servant of his own sense gratification, and by extension, of his wife. An intelligent but materialistic woman, knowing her husband’s weaknesses, can use both scenarios to her advantage by manipulating the husband’s material desires to achieve her own. The marriage may be peaceful and happy, but they both go to hell.
But as Prabhupada said, devotee women “are not ordinary women,” so it would behoove their men to not think so much in terms of controlling, and more in protecting and serving. There is no fault in becoming the servant of one’s wife, if the husband sees her as the Lord’s property, not his own. Whatever “controlling” is done is out of concern for her as a servant of the Lord and respect for her as His property, not his own.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Nov 5, 2010 @ 3:26 pm
Thank you for this article. I find your argument very balanced, and in line with both the spirit and the letter of Srila Prabhupada’s instruction.
After sixteen years of marriage, I am only lately beginning to understand the meaning of submission to one’s husband. We women might want to get over our preconceptions and stereotypes, our bad attitudes and grudges against men as a class, which we often take out on our husbands. Instead, we can wise up and learn how to handle them properly. We are meant to learn this art and science from watching our mothers interact with our fathers. Unfortunately, if we have grown up in broken homes, or if our mothers weren’t trained in the skills of husband-handling themselves, we are left to figure things out on our own, which can take a long time, if we don’t drop out of the School of Matrimonial Hard Knocks before then.
Being submissive does not mean being an abused doormat. It means using your intelligence to figure out how to serve someone whose conditioning is off wildly at odds with one’s own. I do think that some women too easily divorce their husbands. I don’t blame them, because their current distress renders them unable to take a long view. When we’re suffering, as they say on TV, we want FAST relief. Divorce can be a painkiller for a husband who’s a headache (although many times the cure is worse than the disease). But if we would only “tough it out” a little longer, we might find that the man we can’t stand grows into a devoted servant and ally.
This is not to suggest that anyone submit to ongoing physical or psychological abuse. But with the passage of years, the things we once thought were intolerable or unforgivable about one’s husband, when seen through the eyes of compassion, turn out to be the merely human flaws and failings of another human being, just as we become more aware of, and compassionate toward, our own shortcomings. Submission is what allows us to put a lid on the false ego long enough to get to that place. It’s a dance of humility, and humility is what we must all cultivate if we are to chant the holy name in pure love and submission, thereby conquering the supreme husband, Sri Krishna.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Nov 4, 2010 @ 2:16 pm
Thank you, Dhanesvara and Tamal Krishna prabhus, for your kind words, and to Patita Pavan prabhu for your friendly warning. Hare Krishna.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Oct 27, 2010 @ 9:56 am
Hare Krishna. This will be the last comment I make on the subject of “damn it.” As Patita Pavana prabhu correctly surmised, the intention of my use of “damn it” was indeed that of the definition #8, emphasis, which I believe I also mentioned in my comment to Jaya Vijaya prabhu. But even if I were cursing someone or something, what is being “damned” here, anyway? Certainly not the holy month of Kartika! Even a casual reading would relieve anyone with a half-decent reading level of that anxiety. What I was cursing was the lazy, stubborn mind, which we are exhorted to beat with shoes and brooms for its lack of willingness to surrender. If one were beating a stubborn mule, one might let fly with a “damn it,” and a few other choice words as well.
A word may have many meanings, but usually not all of them used simultaneously in a single instance. To attribute all the possible meanings to the word as the writer’s intent is not only odd, it’s unfair to the writer, and to the reader as well. To focus on one word at the expense of the larger theme is to cheat oneself of what was intended for the reader to receive. If a reader can’t—or won’t—understand what’s being said in the article as a whole, it’s better to chalk it up to a difference in literary taste and read only those writers who appeal to us. Hare Krishna.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Oct 27, 2010 @ 12:39 am
Dear Jaya Vijaya prabhu,
Namah, namah. Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga jayatah!
Thank you for your kind words. I understand completely what you mean about the phrase “damn it” being a no-no. Frankly, I shocked myself a little when it came to me. But as I considered the propriety of using such words, I reminded myself that the purpose of my writing vrata is to get the words out, and not to be mental about what others will think. It was a way to make an emphatic statement. If I could have thought of another way to put it that expressed the same idea, I would have done so.
sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah
It is far better to discharge one’s prescribed duties, even though faultily, than another’s duties perfectly. Destruction in the course of performing one’s own duty is better than engaging in another’s duties, for to follow another’s path is dangerous.
I am perfectly prepared to accept criticism for the choices I make in my writing, but I can’t allow the fear of what others will think to dictate my choice of words. If I succumb to that fear, as I have so often in the past, I will never do anything. But I hope that whoever is offended will understand and forgive me. Hare Krishna.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Oct 25, 2010 @ 9:02 pm
Krishna Caitanya prabhu, my remark on your comment was only meant to point out what most people think of when they think of cow protection, not to pass judgment on your perspective or activities. More power to you!
All I meant was that those of us who are not directly engaged in any kind of cow protection forget too easily the other half of the equation, namely, bulls and what they’re for. We all want ahimsa milk, but how many of us are willing to give up our cars for a slow ride on an ox-cart? That’s the deciding factor as to whether cow protection will manifest in society, I think.
I agree that it’s more important to do something than to merely talk about it, or to at least support those who are doing something. I try to live my life in that way, and am working towards increasing my support and participation. Still, if we attempt cow protection without understanding why it has failed before, we may make the same mistakes, suffer the same burnout, and come to the same conclusion, namely, that it “can’t be done in Kali-yuga,” or whatever we tell ourselves to take the sting out of our failure.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Oct 23, 2010 @ 4:03 pm
I think you make very good points, prabhu. Cow protection is not something that can go on in isolation from the rest of our lives, but if we don’t develop an economy based on the resources and functions of cows and bulls, there’s no real impetus for cow protection.
The problem, I feel, is one of consciousness, of our desires and needs at their most basic. We must NEED cows for our very survival, and right now what we (think) we need are cars and the petroleum to run them. In response to Krishna Caitanya prabhu’s comments, Srila Prabhupada emphasized that cow protection without protection of bulls is not really cow protection at all. To engage the bull means to use him for transportation, heavy moving, and food cultivation.
Cow protection, ultimately, is not the goal. The goal is devotional service. But the ideal conditions in this material world to achieve that are health and a natural, decent standard of living. A cow-and-land centered economy is the means by which we achieve those conditions. Cow protection is the safeguard against cow exploitation, which describes the current spiritual, social, and economic wreck of contemporary society. Devotees are as invested in the status quo as much as anyone.
And if the goal of our movement is to bring others to the platform of devotional service, it would seem to imply that we advocate this way of life to society at large, to avail them of the means by which we achieve devotional service in the most congenial way. In other words, to slowly dismantle the machine of Western industrialism.
The reason it isn’t happening in ISKCON is that we think that how we obtain our livelihoods is something almost entirely separate and unrelated to our Krishna consciousness when, I would argue, that it determines to a great extent how successful we are at it, both individually, and collectively as a society. We pay lip service to the idea of go-raksa, but we are terrified at the implications of actually living it. Devotees are still reeling from the aftershocks of the austerities of ISKCON’s early days, and its effects on the children. Not many are eager to impose that on subsequent generations, opting instead for a more “normal” life within the mainstream of society.
Cow protection, in the fullest sense of the word, is utterly practical. It just requires a radical change in what we think is a practical lifestyle. When we’re truly willing to make that change, the means by which can achieve it will become evident.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Oct 12, 2010 @ 6:08 pm
I’m so grateful to Hari Sauri prabhu for publishing his Diaries, not only for their value in describing the activities of Srila Prabhupada, but for demonstrating the true purport of his vani, as it was practically applied in the lives of many different devotees (and thus providing a model for those of us who never had Prabhupada’s association) and within a variety of contexts. I consider them second only to Prabhupada’s books as a guide for living as a Vaisnava.
In fact, Hari Sauri prabhu’s Diaries (as well as other diaries and memoirs by devotees who had his association) constitute a sort of contemporary Vedic equivalent of the Aggadah texts woven throughout the Jewish Talmud, with all the historical and cultural import that implies. Prof. Burke Rochford recognized this important feature of the Diaries in his Foreword to the first volume.
Even more important, they allow the reader a vivid (if vicarious) experience of being in Srila Prabhupada’s association, one they might never have had even when Prabhupada was physically present. Most readers identify with the narrator or main character of a memoir or novel, and even though Hauri Sauri prabhu minimizes his role in the “story” (sometimes, I feel, too much), we can experience some of the joys and difficulties of being in his fortunate shoes. I’ve had the experience of being mistaken for a Prabhupada disciple (by other Prabhupada disciples) just by off-handedly repeating stories I’d read in the Diaries, that’s how potently they transmit both Prabhupada’s presence and the state of mind that it induces.
I read these Diaries for pure pleasure and spiritual edification. If I keep reading (and absorbing) the truths they express so compellingly, I might someday be able to pass on a fraction of their ability to make Prabhupada present in the lives of others.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Mar 12, 2009 @ 6:23 pm
Amara prabhu writes
What needs to be taught–particularly by social leaders and religious groups–are the higher qualities of love, self-sacrifice, acceptance, fairness, spiritual vision, kindness and so on. Without the strong propagation of these higher principles in human society there will always be discord, even among those who are otherwise apparently religious.
Society and society’s leaders have been trying to teach those values for thousands of years, to no avail. The material world is, and will remain, a toilet. Such re-education programs, minus the inculcation of the theory and practice of bhakti-seva, are like bandaids on a case of advanced leprosy. But those who advocate and promote such programs become prominent in the public eye and are worshiped by those for whom they advocate. Nice work if you can get it.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Nov 24, 2008 @ 5:51 am
ISKCON has been celebrating Ratha Yatra on its own schedule and wherever we desire (or rather, whenever and wherever Lord Jagannatha desires) since 1967. Why is there such an uproar at this late date? Is there some kind of politics involved in this? Does the Jagannatha Sena object to Ratha Yatras held at non-tradtional times in all countries, or only in India, fearful that revenues will be lost if pilgrims can go to Ratha-Yatra in other states besides Orissa? I don’t understand exactly what the objections are, given our long history of staging these parades. Could somebody clue me in?
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Nov 24, 2008 @ 2:52 am
Is there a reason no one has addressed my points about women being the guardians of their own virtue? Is it because it is too touchy a subject? I included a quote (see below) from Manu (of all people). It says definitively that no matter how well women are protected, if they don’t guard themselves, they are not well-protected for them. Somehow it never made it into my previous post. Is this a taboo subject? Generally, the women in these forums (that I am acquainted with) have exemplary behavior, so it’s a moot point. The ones who should be reading these discussions (but aren’t) are off getting themselves into trouble.
As for my reference to the Taliban: in case anyone thinks I was making innuendos, I was not. All I meant was that it is better to get your act together before someone forces you to do so. I know of no Taliban-like factions in ISKCON, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.
Here’s the quote from Manu-samhita. Enjoy.
Manu, 9.12: Women, confined in the house under trustworthy and obedient servants, are not (well) guarded; but those who of their own accord keep guard over themselves, are well guarded.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Nov 26, 2006 @ 8:23 am
The photo was taken by Madhva Muni Prabhu. HIs wife is Kisori devi dasi. The URL for his Flickr website is:
The photo is listed as copyrighted, “All Rights Reserved,” which means it should be used only with permission. If permission is given, then the photo should be credited to the photographer.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Nov 23, 2006 @ 6:02 am
Kudos, also, on the beautiful photo.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Nov 21, 2006 @ 7:31 pm
Your words are wise. From the ladies side, I think we ought not to wait until all the men are completely sense-controlled. We can foster such an environment, which does not necessitate wearing a burqua or traveling by covered palanquin, but by inculcating the virtues of modesty and chastity in ourselves and our daughters. We women have more power and control than we give ourselves credit for; that’s why there’s so much fuss about what we are to do and be.
Compared to cultures like radical Islam and even fundamentalist Christanity, Vedic culture in the modern world is very liberal. We should take advantage of that liberality by exemplary behavior, and not wait for the rise of a Taliban-like faction within ISKCON to make overly-restrictive rules for us.
If we are sense-controlled ourselves, depend first on Krishna for protection, we will not, in a desperate bid for protection, attract men who seek to exploit us, but men who actually represent the Lord we depend on, not just as husbands, but as leaders and members of our society. They’re out there, they just might not like what they see right now.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Nov 21, 2006 @ 7:29 pm
Thank you for posting that, Maharaja. It builds so beautifully and Srila Prabhupada’s achievements impress the reader as even more wonderful than Sri Krishna’s. Like the Lord, he brought so many souls “back from the dead.”
It is such a tonic to be reminded that if we are trying to serve Krishna sincerely, by His will we can do what is apparently impossible. Thanks for the spiritual pick-me-up.
Is it recorded what Srila Prabhupada’s response was?
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Sep 14, 2006 @ 5:38 pm
I’d like to submit a Hare Krishna cultural reference, one that doesn’t derive from our “exotic” dress or “weird” ways in the eyes of mainstream culture, but from a very real contribution that many important people appreciate. I’m talking about Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford University:
I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.
I think the whole speech should be required reading for ISKCON youth; maybe some of them will avoid the slaughterhouse and actually prosper through their creativity, by the mercy of the Lord.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Sep 15, 2006 @ 7:45 am
I understand Srila Prabhupada to mean that you can accept some hospitality or charity from a friend, but that you should not take advantage and move in with them. In other words, don’t wear out your welcom. Also, if you make yourself dependent on someone by living under his roof, you become obliged to him, at the risk of compromising your values.
“Bhisma and Drona were obliged to take the side of Duryodhana because of his financial assistance, although they should not have accepted such a position simply on financial considerations. Under the circumstances, they have lost the respectability of teachers”
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.13.23 “Dhrtarastra Quits Home,” this issue is also discussed.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Sep 13, 2006 @ 12:12 am
The term “Love Feast” was first suggested, to the best of my knowledge, by Kirtanananda Swami, and Srila Prabhupada accepted his suggestion. He likely picked it up from the southern Baptists, where it is still in usage in their churches today. It has nothing to do with material love, as far as they are concerned.
Perhaps we should drop that tag, not so that the innocent public won’t think we’re hippies, but so that they won’t think we’re (horrors!) Baptist Christians.
Since the late Sixties (more than 3 decades) all of our temples have regularly advertised the “Sunday Love Feast”, mostly targeting hippies, young people, college students, etc. Our true motive really isn’t about material love at all, but to teach the Science of Self-Realization. “Love Feast” is really an outdated and misleading term anyway, borrowed from the Flower Children of the Sixties, so why not come up with something new, and more current, so as not to create confusion about our purpose and intentions?
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Sep 15, 2006 @ 6:04 pm
I’m not going to argue either side of the issue in this comment. Rather, I’d like to ask a question. Trivikrama Swami is quoting Srila Prabhupada. He’s not stating his own opinion, even to concur with the verse and purport he quoted, although we can certainly understand where he stands on the issue.
My question is why label Maharaja’s thinking “quaint,” or infer that that he is judging anyone? He’s just repeating the words of his spiritual master. I’ve noticed several times in these forums that, when faced with reasonable (but unpalatable) facts or arguments, those who disagree with the statements resort to nit-picking, aurgumentum ad hominem, or logical fallacies, such as emotional appeals to guilt and fear. And don’t get me started on the sloppy grammar, purple prose, and spelling errors that make reading such arguments a strain on the eyes and brain.
I’d really love to see the MIHE and other educational departments in ISKCON start offering courses in logical reasoning and debating skills. Brahmanas are meant to be more than just parrots; they should be able to convince and persuade people of the truth of the acarya’s instructions logically, at least as far as logic can take you in understanding the absolute truth. I love a battle of wits, but it’s no fun (what to speak of intellectually useless) when the combatants are not properly armed.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Sep 12, 2006 @ 6:13 pm
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Is this just a bit of ISKCON lore, or did Srila Prabhupada say, “No lazies and no crazies (in the temple)”? One might add, “no convicted felons” to the mix.
While it’s not necessary that a person with a police record be prohibited from living in the temple, wouldn’t it be prudent to investigate so that management could make an intelligent decision? You might allow a bhakta who was arrested for participating in a civil disobedience action to spend the night, but if he was arrested or convicted of rape, child molestation, or assault, wouldn’t management, what to speak of the temple residents, want to know about it before the guy was allowed to move in?
I’ve seen and heard of enough episodes of violence, criminal behavior, and severe mental illness in temples to be in favor background checks to see if someone is law-abiding and/or sane. The information obtained should be sensitively dealt with, not turned into prajalpa-fodder. It would also give the authorities a better idea of how to deal with troubled newcomers. People with serious problems don’t have to live in the temple, potentially compromising its safety and integrity, to make spiritual advancement. No temple needs an extra pot-washer that badly.
Thanks for the great insights, Mahatma prabhu.
» Posted By tulasi-priya On Jun 27, 2006 @ 7:48 pm
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