Comments Posted By veda
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I was taught in gurukula that one should never consider the pure devotee to be of material nature. Thus I find it difficult to understand the need of some devotees to dissect Srila Prabhupada’s astrological chart or facial features - I dont have any sanskrit verses to throw around but I was taught it was offensive to do so. As Puskaraksa points out, it could bring into the discussion opposing views from other experts who don’t believe in Srila Prabhupada’s divinity and have a different explanation than Abhay Mudra’s for his facial features. A pure devotee, wether materially beautiful or ugly and disfigured, is a pure devotee and it is wrong to tie him down to material designations -astrological, physionomical or other.
Comment Posted By veda On 01.11.2012 @ 09:47
As an abused gurukuli I would like to say that you’re article has touched me deeply - matter of fact it’s kept me awake at night so I’m taking some time to reply while trying to remain respectful. If Iskcon decided to go chapter 11 it was not out of genuine care and loving support but more because of the danger it faced from its children. Chapter 11 is not a product of love and caring. When I was in LA in 1991 for the gurukula reunion there was a meeting with several ex gurukulis and some GBC members. During that meeting it was told that if the GBC didn’t do anything to help those who were abused there would be dangerous consequences for ISKCON. Despite that nothing was done and one GBC even went on Indian television totally denying that anything happened. Over the years I still hear of abuse cases in ISKCON and protection of the abusers. Though I believe that some of the members on the chapter 11 panel may have acted with love and caring for the abused children, the leitmotif of this move was to not lose loads of money and temples in future court cases which would be bound to come up. And itâ€™s normal that ISKCON reacted that way. Anybody in such a position would react so as to come out of it with the least harm possible. What I find disturbing is the lack of honesty and real outreach. If I took the money offered by ISKCON it is because I know I will never get anything else. Matter of fact, the Prabhupada disciple who abused me over a 4 year period is still attending his local temple. When I approached my local GBC (his local GBC too) he took one year to get back to me to tell me that he was deeply touched by my story and would take care of the matter soon. He didn’t do anything. My CPO representative was most unqualified to deal with this situation so I let the whole thing go. If these abuse cases had been treated with genuine care and loving support maybe you wouldn’t have had to counsel a chapter 11. I believe ISKCON has a long way to go to actually give a safe environement for its children. I’m actually quite surprised that you wrote this article - I mean itâ€™s a bit asking for trouble.
Comment Posted By veda On 19.03.2012 @ 23:54
In our gaudiya tradition worship of guru is of utmost importance, however in our case as a society maybe we should avoid getting into lavish vyasapujas, footwashing, and allowing devotees to be cannonised as pure devotees. I have seen, since childhood, so many pure devotees “fall down” and the sorrow and loss of faith it causes. I also think that it puts these devotees who are real stalwarts of our movement in a position where they cannot be human anymore. They have to keep up a front and get cut off from being able to confide about their weaknesses. In the case of Prabhavisnu dasa we can see that his service record is impecable and that he was and still is an inspiration to so many devotees. Maybe if he wasnt put into the position he found himself in, wether by choice or peer pressure, this situation wouldnt be as heavy as it is now. The worship of guru as given in scripture is something very dangerous unless you are totally freed from material desires and how many devotees are on that level ? I feel that, in some cases, we are creating super gurus who can do whatever they want because all their actions are transcendental. They become untouchable and no one can call them up on their actions. They are accountable to nobody. Only the uttama adhikari is on that level. And generally they show by example that it is not a healthy place to be in. In our tradition, vaisnavas have always put themselves under the guidance of other vaisnavas.
I beg forgivness if I have caused offence to anyone by my words - it is just an observation of someone trying to remain on the path of bhakti. I recognise that I havent done 1% of the service that someone like Prabhavisnu dasa has done for Srila Prabhupada and I’m sure that he will never be rejected by him. There is a story of Pritu Putra swami who completely gave up the path of bhakti. At the time of his death he apparently sat up and pointing in front of him exclaimed, “Look, Srila Prabhupada has come”. So though we should recognize the error we should avoid too much criticism of the person. We should respect even a dog who has served our spiritual master.
Comment Posted By veda On 22.01.2012 @ 13:12
I was just wondering about this whole reinitiation topic. I personally believe that without guru (read living guru) as taught by Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja one cannot advance In KC. I’m not going to go into quoting sadhu and sastra about it because others more knowledgeable have already done so. However, I feel that there is two scenarios when your guru falls down. As we know, sadhu and sastra mention that we can take a guru who is not on utamma platform and also that a falldown is always possible - there are examples in scripture. I believe that there are two kinds of falldowns - one is when the guru truely leaves the path of bhakti and another is when due to whatever reasons the guru cannot uphold his vows. I feel, reading the letter of Prabhavisnu dasa and letters of support from devotees he served with and inspired that he is in the second case. He has not given up the path of bhakti but is suffering a setback. In his case his disciples can still respect him for the inspiration he was in their devotional life, all the while recognising his present situation, and seeking siksa from another guru. I dont believe that they need to reject him totally and get reinitiated. Ultimately that is the disciples choice. The guru who has suffered a setback and his disciple should be honest about the new position they find themselves in. The disciple should not fall into blatant criticism of the guru, because that will not help his bhakti, particularly if the guru is staying under the guidance and still serving his spiritual masters mission, albeit in a humbler position; nor should the disciple be sentimental and still uphold his guru as being utamma adhikari or faultless. A honest recognition of the situation seems to be the healthiest choice for both. In devotional life, particularly in an institution like ISKCON, devotees who may at some point or other have been a source of inspiration can leave the path of bhakti. I should remain gratefull to them for being the ones who helped me on this path but at the same time recognise that maybe at his present time he is not in that position anymore.
What I do see is that apparently in our society whenever a guru suffers a falldown it seems to stem from the same place - too much travel, too much administrative troubles, physical tiredness, etc. Another problem seems to be that the standard of worship given to a guru is too high both for the good of the guru as well as for the disciple.
Comment Posted By veda On 22.01.2012 @ 12:49
Hmmm,maybe we should rephrase this article with its comments “pitfalls of discussions between devotees
Comment Posted By veda On 29.12.2011 @ 23:38
I hope that some of the older devotees from Iskcon will answer sitadasi’s lasts posts - not necessarily to prove her wrong or get into an argument but more to let us know that this is not what you believe - I hope
Comment Posted By veda On 08.05.2011 @ 19:18
Hare Krishna, _/o_ jaya Srila Prabhupada
I’d like to start a group - a sort of think-tank ;) - meant for the exchange of experiences and strategies related to preaching in nonvaishnava forums and I’m looking for devotees experienced in this preaching. I’ve seen some here and there.
Afaik, nothing like this exists anywhere in ISKCON (not sure about other GV groups).
Selected topics to be dealt with in depth with the help of practical experience of participants.
Gaudiya Vaishnavism and
- its history of preaching,
- its interaction with Western religions and modern secular philosophies,
Output could be in the form of wiki logs (to be expanded).
Interested devotees please contact me by mail. Send your short CV with links to your online presence.
Welcome is also any useful information in support of this type of preaching - summaries, arguments, links, etc. from anyone.
Thanks for your attention.
ys bh. Jan
Comment Posted By Veda On 19.01.2011 @ 10:21
i agree with you on the imitation meat and find it a bit strange when i see devotees eating imitation meat but other than the fact that i find it weird i’ve never been able to give a real reason or at least a reason that could convince those who do eat imitation meat - could you develop a little on this subject ?
Comment Posted By veda On 26.12.2010 @ 13:46
this discussion is really getting sad - maybe we should stop pretending to be twice born or vaisnavas - finding faults in each other and throwing philosophy at one another to try to prove that i’m right and you’re wrong is sad - what example are you setting to the world - i can’t say that i know what srila prabhupada wanted but i’d be surprised that this is an example of it.
Comment Posted By veda On 19.10.2010 @ 20:28
I’m always very surprised when I see devotees get all worked up about astrology. Although there are stories of Srila Prabhupada calling on astrologers I believe that he didnt put that much importance on it. I was taught in gurukula (back in the ‘70 ’s) concerning hand readings that all you had to do was clap your hands in kirtan and all the lines would change (apparently Srila Prabhupada said this…). I also heard stories of Srila Prabhupada not giving much importance to astrologers he might have indulged into listening to a reading after they had left. I believe that this fashion of astrolger-going was started in the late eighties by some of the leading members of ISKCON (like the Salagrama Sila collection fashion) and has since become a very important aspect of devotees’ lives. I don’t see how it should affect us - shouldn’t we just have faith in the mahamantra because everything is included in it ? Another thing I was taught in gurukula is that it is offensive to do astrological readings of ones spiritual master because of the dangers of considering him to be just like any other mortal - either by the disciple himself or by others. Is that still true or out of fashion ? Offering precious stones to demigods ? In which of Srila Prabhupada’s books do we find that ? I find that these discussions should be put right up there with the jiva falling or not - avoid them. Devotees seem to get very aggressive and offensive to one another in their articles… or at least some do.
Comment Posted By veda On 06.04.2010 @ 16:22