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Comments Posted By ykd108

Displaying 1 To 29 Of 29 Comments

Response to the ongoing debate

Comments on Post No. 10
Amara wrote: “If we are truly interested in preaching to the gay community and including them in Krsna consciousness, this will involve including them on all levels whether as celibate monks or as householder congregational members.”

We don’t see an en masse effort, in ISKCON, to preach to homosexuals. You are the one interested in that effort; and that’s your prerogative; we honor that. But, what we don’t buy from such endeavors is that fact that you want us to give a blanket acceptance of all homosexual behavior within the social and organizational life of ISKCON. That’s what are objecting to.

Why are you so keenly interested in the rest of ISKCON to accept homosexual behavior as normal?
Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

» Posted By ykd108 On Mar 27, 2007 @ 8:49 pm

COMMENTS ON POST NO. 2 BY AMARA PRABHU

Sadhus!

Let me enter into this debate, if I may. Really the issue at stake is whether “practicing” homosexuals are to be socially accepted within ISKCON ranks. That is to say, whether they should be allowed to participate in public functions (religious or otherwise), whether they – as ‘couples’ – are allowed to come into temples to mingle with the others, whether their presence, in this social milieu, is detrimental to the children who are obviously present in ISKCON temples’ functions, whether practicing homosexuals are a bad example to our children in ISKCON.

Amara has hinted that, “We should not think that we will preach Krsna consciousness only to the brahmanas and people following the principles. That automatically leaves out 95% of humanity!”

We can only agree with that statement because it does not address the thorny issues of practicing homosexuals’ bad habits. Once the issue of social acceptability of practicing homosexuals is brought to discussion, then many – if not most grhasthas – will object to his assertion.

Nobody has a problem with practicing homosexuals carrying on with their business, in private. But, when they push for social (and religious) acceptability, then most of us will object, because we have a lot to lose if we don’t; we have a lot at stake.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

» Posted By ykd108 On Mar 21, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

Krishna Bedtime Stories

Where can we find such books?
Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

» Posted By ykd108 On Mar 8, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

Slavery to Banks: A Vedic Prophecy

Prabhus,

Parivari prabhu has asked a direct question about economics and how it could benefit ISKCON, without devotees getting into trouble. I am currently working on an article about the subject. And those concerns will be addressed therein.

Thanks. Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

» Posted By ykd108 On Mar 8, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

Dear Kulapavana Prabhu,
This is my response to your post number 21.

“If I understood you correctly (after all, according to you I am supposed to be easily confused even by my own words) you make the point that since both Srila Prabhupada and myself used fiat money every day we have no business calling people who issue them rascals and crooks.”

Agreed. We can say whatever we want to whomever we want (in America anyway; not so much anywhere else), since we have freedom of speech. And that’s why we are having this exchange here. Srila Prabhupada certainly has his reasons to say what he said in that taped conversation you brought up. But notice that what he wrote in the purport to the Bhagavatam sloka (which started this whole thing) is softer or milder, significantly more, than just calling the economists of the world rascals and crooks.

This brings yet another issue, that of hermeneutics and exegesis; i.e., Vaishnava hermeneutics and exegesis, especially in the language Srila Prabhupada used to speak and write. The amazing thing is that Srila Prabhupada, using much simplicity in his language, was able to convey the meaning of who Krishna is (no small task at all), thus changing the lives of countless individuals around the world. Yet, some instances are there in which it is required the cautious endeavor to understand what he meant. Words by themselves have meanings — oftentimes, multiple meanings. When words are inserted in sentences or paragraphs, and even concepts, they may take different meanings, and not necessarily the ones we are first prompt or inclined to grasp.

Take for example, the purport of the Bhagavatam, in which Prabhupada wrote that “women like to be raped” (I can’t remember which verse it is, but those of you who have the Vedabase can figure it out.) If, right now, we trumpet to the whole world that statement without exercising hermeneutics, without understanding what Prabhupada meant by that, without analyzing his command of the language, or cultural expressions unique to English-speakers, without understanding the time in which Prabhupada grew up which would have some bearing in the way he spoke and syntax he used, we would be severely damaging not only his image but his preaching mission as well. If we take those words, as they appear, at first, and just throw them at people whom we want to save from the clutches of maya, the result would be 100% counter-productive. We would be probably be regarded as worst than the Taliban dimwits, at least they don’t advocate such a thing about women. Was Prabhupada wrong in writing such statement? No. It is up to us, his followers, to represent him appropriately to the world.

Similarly, if we go around the world, calling out that economists and Statemen are cheaters for having devised the use of fiat money, to facilitate commercial trade, without understanding the implications thereof, without exercising due diligence in what we want to accomplish, as preaching force, then we may have undesirable results.

There is much work to do in the field of exegesis of Prabhupada’s writings and words.
————————
“That point is actually quite absurd. What was Srila Prabhupada to do? Barter for a bus fare in NY with rasagulas? Or issue his own money based on a gold standard? Both of these would be illegal in US, so they are not even an option. So much for your “argument”…”

Agreed. That was the whole point of my posts.
———————-
“Srila Prabhupada had a very broad vision for Krsna Consciousness Movement. He thought big. He wanted his disciples to look at this world and not be confused or cheated by it’s crooks and rascals.

Agreed. But, I think he wanted us to be intelligently disposed to convey his teachings to the world. We can’t rely on wild speculations, conspiracy theories, and doomsday propositions, which was the original problem with Sri Nandananda prabhu’s post.

———————-
“More importantly, he wanted to change the world by starting a revolution, not a sleek marketing campaign for a streamlined, uncontroversial version of popular spirituality for the masses. It was precisely that grand vision of Srila Prabhupada that inspired many of us to join his movement in the first place.”

Agreed, absolutely. That revolution is a revolution of the heart. First, we need to change ourselves, then we may be able to change others, then society, then the institutions it comprises will most likely change as a result of revolution in consciousness. The revolution is not an economic one, nor even a political one. Changes in those spheres will come, once the individuals have changed their outlook of life to one purified by KC.
———————-
“Perhaps your debate is really with Srila Prabhupada and his vision. Perhaps you think that it would be better to avoid raising such topics and stirring up controversies. Maybe we should bury all the “inconvenient” Prabhupada quotes somewhere deep, where nobody can find them? Well, too late for that.

Debating Prabhupada and his mission? How could I? I have dedicated a good part of my life (30 years of my 47 in this body) to his mission. Basically, I grew up with his vision. I have participated in his mission (both as brahmacari and grhastha), and will continue to do so, not matter what. To this day, I have invested not only time, but financial resources in his mission. What I am proposing is a serious exegesis and hermeneutics of his words and writings (whenever needed or warranted), before we hit the streets with good intentions but with bad or inadequate material in our hands and heads.
———————-
“It is a nice sentiment and a catchy phrase, but as the above discussion shows, some of the “things of this world” are more appropriate for use in presenting Krsna Consciousness than others.”

Agreed on this one too. Not all things can be used in spreading KC. Just as not all attitudes and dispositions of the mind are conducive to attain and spread KC. Yet if Prabhupada used fiat money to operate in this world, we should do the same. This is a different proposition, than the one espoused by Sri Nandananda prabhu’s original post, which he, it seems, is unable to sustain.
———————-
“And it takes smart people with integrity and knowledge of the shastra to figure out what is to be used, and what is to be rejected.”

That’s the whole idea. Integrity, that’s a big word. If may add, we ought to represent Prabhupada with integrity, and that is reflected in our actions and behavior. “Like father, like son.” Yet we are not called to imitate the father.

———————

Now, it think that the best thing that came out of this whole exchange of ideas, in this forum, is not differences of opinions in the realm of macroeconomics, rather the crux is realizing that there is a lack of exegesis and hermeneutics work in relation to Srila Prabhupada’s literary legacy. In my humble opinion, that will solve a lot of the confusion that usually surrounds quoting Prabhupada out of context.

Thanks to all of you for enriching my life.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

» Posted By ykd108 On Feb 21, 2007 @ 5:48 pm

Kulapavana prabhu,

Thanks for that quote from Prabhupada. Despite of what Prabhupada stated in that quote, he himself used fiat money to push on the KC Movement. He never stated NOT TO USE IT. As I said before, we have to work with what we have.

Your post is another classic example of quoting Prabhupada out of context.

You wrote: “Srila Prabhupada did not mince words here. He called people who see nothing wrong with the fiat money system “fools”, and the ones who issue fiat money he called “cheaters” and “rascals”.

You continue to misunderstand the point. Your words are very confusing, even to yourself. Based on your statement, someone could infer that Prabhupada was mistaken in using fiat money. Notice that Prabhupada says that he remembers ‘in his childhood’ the use of gold and silver coins. This indicates that most of his life, he used fiat money. When he was grhastha, he used fiat money; when he was sannyasi, he used fiat money. Now, where is the problem with that? What is the issue that you people want to press, ad infinitum and ad nauseam, with no productive understanding of what is going on outside of your psychological shells.

The result of the propagation of this “hate-for-the-karmis-and-whatever-they-do” corrosive mentality have only brought misery to our ranks. I have seen, and continue to see, ISKCON members who take these quotes to wild extremes. Some of them sound like more and more like David Koresh (a crazy Christian guy who hated the US goverment, the FBI, and the IRS). Many of these peculiar ISKCON members become scammers, or living from “hand-to-mouth,” cheating their fellow ISKCON members and their own families for money, the fiat money they hated so much in the first place.

Moreover, in this particular quote, you have given us, Prabhupada is not arguing that fiat money is sinful, or bad or evil. He is just arguing that when the gold standard for currency valuation was in place, you could exchange your fiat money back to gold. Now, you can’t do that anymore, and that’s a government decree, all over the world. And that constituted cheating. By the same token, when the governments decided to change the gold standard, you had the right – as a holder of fiat money – to go anywhere within the borders and exchange it – exactly as you would have done it using gold – for whatever commodity you were interested in. So, in real terms, you hadn’t lose your purchasing power. PEOPLE GET THIS INTO YOUR BRAINS: FIAT MONEY IS NOT WEALTH, IT IS JUST A MEANS OF ECONOMIC EXCHANGE.

By the way, for your information, several serious, renown macro-economists are, right now, rethinking the return to the gold standard. Maybe this piece of news will make those of us, who identify ourselves as conspiracy theorists, sleep better.

Will the return to the gold standard have any impact on preaching KC? No. Will it purify our hearts, so that our preaching can be more effective? NO. Will it decrease the numbers of scammers in ISKCON and outside of ISKCON? NO.

In the final analysis, we should use whatever is there in the world to push on KC. Whether we live in an economic system that uses fiat money, or gold, or silver, or pebbles, is utterly irrelevant.

Hare Krishna.

Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)
PS: This is really…. really my last post on this issue.

» Posted By ykd108 On Feb 9, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

My final contribution to this article:

My Comments on Post No. 8 from Sita-Pati Prabhu

“I’m not sure how communism crept into the conversation…”

Because usually, the people who don’t like the current system usually foster socialistic ideas.

“Why not go point for point through the article and identify some specific issues within it?”

Because I do not have the time available for such a task, though I wish I could.

“Or better yet, if it’s so completely wrong in every respect, write another article which presents the viewpoint that you think we should be presenting in a public forum.”

Again, I lack the necessary time to address such an issue in a well-structured way, without having to resort to speculations.

My Comments on Post No. 9 from Kesava Krishna Prabhu

“Not too long ago, some of our leading devotees, some of whom may or may not still be with us, also made prophecies by citing the Bhavishya Purana and other similar Vedic texts. Whether it was the Y2k meltdown, or a 1985 world war and so on, however tantalizing the subject was, did not materialize into reality.”

I also remember the same phenomena happening here in Alachua, FL. Devotees were so paranoid of the Y2K speculation that even ‘armed themselves’ and were willing to shoot anybody coming to their property, including their fellow ISKCON members!!! My original point, in my first entry to this discussion was precisely to pinpoint this “doomsday, conspiracy-theory” flavor in the Article that triggered this whole discussion. We need to very intelligent when projecting our Krishna Consciousness to others. We are supposed to become a society of brahmanas; becoming weirdos (if I may use the word) won’t do the job.

“To use the authority of the Srimad Bhagavatam to to back up what appears to be a well organized money laundering enterprise, in this case, a banking cartel, must also be viewed with utmost care.”

Absolutely! We ought to scrutinize any speculation, from whoever, that purports to be based on Shastra.

“For instance, in the preamble to the Srimad Bhagavatam itself, Srila Prabhupada wrote of the trend towards a one world goverment. He did not disparage this momentum. Rather, as was the case 5,000 years ago he saw the positive side.”

Absolutely! Srila Prabhupada even used money issued by and from central banks around the world (paper currency, gold, whatever you want to call it) to push forward the KC Movement.

My Comments on Post No. 11 from Shiva Prabhu

“Yugala Kishor, I would agree that Nandanandana Das presented a very simplistic and even slightly misleading account of the modern world economic system, but at the same time I would disagree with you as well when you claim his arguments to be leftist conspiracy theory or being very far off the mark…. To claim that criticism/conspiracy theories about the world banking system is leftist in nature is simply in error.”

I didn’t know that the political right was into this stuff too. I have come across leftists, mostly, who proclaim and despise the evils of capitalism and the creation of fiat money is one of the issue they love to delve into. That’s why I originally wrote such statement.

“Eventually this system led to rampant corruption in all facets of modern western civilization. From banking, to corporations, to universities, government, etc, the enitre system is corrupt.”

You allude that the entire system is corrupt. But in reality, it is the whole cosmic manifestation is corrupted. Why stop at the economic system? The whole material world is corrupted. Corruption stems from the polluted heart of men, not from the institutions, or economic systems, which only mechanism of social actions. Change their hearts, and there will not more need to worry about elites ruling the world, or the evils of fiat money, etc… The fact that we see corruption in Western civilization doesn’t mean we shut our eyes and cover our ears, and lash out all kinds of wild speculations about it. We got to work with we have. Prabhupada always used the system (including fiat money), no matter how corrupted, in spreading the KC Movement. To follow in his footsteps we need to do the same.

My Comments on Post No. 13 from Kulapavana Prabhu

“Or are we merely struggling from day to day, unable to cover the cost of many critically needed programs?”

Excellent point prabhu! We have been fostering, in ISKCON, a culture of poverty. Somehow or other, we messed up things when we began to think and preach that poverty is a sign of advancement in KC. What a mistaken idea!!!

“Before we save the world from economic gloom and doom maybe we should first save our own movement.”

Another excellent point! Our KC Movements needs people who make a lot of money (ingrained in the vaisya creed) or who are intellectuals in all walks of life and fields of activity, or both. We got to get rid of the idea of scamming others, from the “hand-to-mouth” mentality, from fearing the evils of the system, when the system can be utilized for furthering KC.

“Most people are not impressed by big talk. They are impressed by big deeds.”

Rightly said! We need vaisyas and brahmanas (ksatriyas will come in due course), who are armed with purity and Shastra can change the world. Brahmanas provide the brain power, vaisyas provide the economic factor to any expansion of social ideas.

My Comments on Post No. 14 from Parivadi devi

“And at least one well-known ex-sannyasi was spoiled away while involving in money-speculation in a big style for the sake of yukta-vairagya for our ISKCON.”

I don’t know what you mean by money-speculation. We are talking about economics and how it can be utilized in spreading KC. Moreover, if an ex-sannyasi failed to understand how economics work, that doesn’t mean we all failed or that we are doomed to fail.

“Therefore we have to preach accordingly and not to imitate kali-methods in the name of yukta-vairagya.”

We should be interested in using the assets of the world to spread KC, as Srila Prabhupada did it, as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura did it, and as Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura did it. And knowledge of economics is an asset that we, in ISKCON, have long neglected.

Thanks for all your comments. I gained further insights into these matters.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

» Posted By ykd108 On Feb 6, 2007 @ 11:01 pm

I do concur with Sngdasa prabhu. The important thing to bear in mind whenever we venture into a field of expertise, in the secular world, is to be fully, and accurately well informed.

Moreover, the notion of a “zeal attitude” towards presenting Krishna Consciousness is oftentimes not the mood that Srila Prabhupada portrayed in his preaching work. A preacher of KC ought to be expert in the KC philosophy and in any other philosophy we want to change. People are not much inspired by zeal. Religious zeal, specially semitic religious zeal, has created untold misery in human society throughout the centuries. Actually, they continue to inflict misery among themselves, to this very day.

I would request devotees to give up zeal and take a reasonable, intelligent, approach to presenting KC, whether it is to economists or any other experts in different fields.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Yugala Kishor dasa

» Posted By ykd108 On Feb 4, 2007 @ 8:34 pm

Comments to Sita-pati’s post

Sita-pati: “Prabhu, thank you for publishing this elaboration. The function of brahmanas is to illuminate and clarify.”
—————-
Agreed. However, a brahmana ought to know what is he talking about. Not all brahmanas are conversant with political and economic science. In fact, all brahmanas I know (in ISKCON) are not fit to address issues involving both discourses. In my 30 years in ISKCON, I haven’t seen anyone addressing seriously these concerns. All we have gotten so far are leftist twists on politico-economic issues. We require way more in-depth analysis, than a mere tirade against the Western system of economics, which to our surprise, it has proved itself to work quite well. Communism is dead and pretty much gone.
—————-

Sita-pati: “This angle of vision definitely brings the current economic arrangements of the world in line with the analysis of Srila Prabhupada (Hare Krishna devi dasi’s Varnashrama-dharma compilation is a good place to start), and the version of Srimad Bhagavatam.”
—————–
I don’t see the validity of your claim. Srila Prabhupada, in the purport that Sri Nandanandana prabhu quoted, definitely touches on several economic issues. However, he doesn’t go into an in-depth analysis of any. The gist has been given to us, though. Gold influences and aggravates the degradation of men, in Kali-yuga. Yet Srila Prabhupada doesn’t assert that gold is “inherently” bad. What it is bad is the character (heart, consciousness, mind, intelligence) of the typical Kali-yuga man, who when he comes in contact with gold only deepens his misery in material existence, due to his lack of understanding that everything belongs to God.

Bear in mind, that the way Srila Prabhupada uses the word ‘gold’ also implies “riches, wealth, money, and prosperity.”
—————–

Sita-pati: “As Henry Ford said: “It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.””

So, what’s your point in quoting H. Ford? Money or currency is not wealth. It is only the representation thereof. And it is used to facilitate economic exchange only. It is obvious that wealth is found in real estate, in land, in eatables; not in paper currency. We don’t need the Shastra to figure it that out. Economists (the people you despise so much) and most moderately educated Joes on the street have figured it that out already.

—————–
Sita-pati: “So obviously people are not empowered with the correct sankhya to clearly see this in universities and economic textbooks. Notice that industrialists are able to manipulate the system to accumulate great wealth, whereas all your “economic experts” are simply paid lackeys. Those who know, do. Those who don’t, confuse.”

What does sankhya have to do with economic discourse? You might want to go back to check the definitions of both.
Do you mean to say that you are one of the few enlightened economics experts? That only you know what’s going on in the economic realm? Is this the only argument (in defense of your preconceived, leftist notions) you can come up with? Just another ad-hominem stand, without giving any room to reason and intellectual discourse?
—————–

Sita-pati: “I would suggest that if people have issues with specific points in this article then they address those points clearly and specifically. If you have another viewpoint entirely, then please write an article establishing yourself and your viewpoint.”
—————–
Agreed. However, we both should be aware that Dandavats is a public forum. Our views will be (and should be) subjected to scrutiny. If we want our ideas to remain private, then we should discuss in private, with friends. But, if we venture to put them for the whole world to know, then we should expect scrutiny and disagreements.
—————–

And if you really want to get into the “doomsday rasa”, check out my article from December: “What’s Really Going On?”

Thanks, but no thanks. I got more productive things to accomplish in life.
—————–

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,

Yugala Kishor dasa

» Posted By ykd108 On Feb 2, 2007 @ 7:38 pm

Prabhu,

CORRECTION:

In my previous posted comment, I made the mistake of stating that you hadn’t quoted the Bhagavatam. I see that you did. I stand corrected on this issue. Moreover, I took the liberty to go to the Bhagavatam 1.17.39.

I still do not see the correlations that would substantiate your conclusion. All of my other points in my previous posted comment to your essay, do still stand.

Moreover, I took the liberty of analyzing Srila Prabhupada’s purport to the quoted verse. He uses the following economic terms or concepts:

Gold standard:

Gold reserves:

Money:

Currency:

Currency Notes:

Artificial inflation of currency:

Prices of commodities:

Bad Money:

Good Money:

Prostitution of the State Economy:

Prostitution of Gold:

Influence of Gold in producing [economic] falsity:

Influence of Gold in producing [economic] prostitution:

[Economic] Falsity:

[Economic] Prostitution:

If you do have an education in economics, please elaborate upon those concepts used by Prabhupada. If you do not, I guess it is up to each of your readers to figure it out.

I can see that launching into a discussion on economics will be time consuming, yet edifying for all who are interested. It would require a lot of research and writing.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Yugala Kishor dasa.

» Posted By ykd108 On Feb 1, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

Prabhu,

By education and training, are you an economist?
Have you ever studied (seriously) micro and macro economic theory?
Have you ever entered into the realm of economics discourse?
On what authority, do you based your “doomsday” arguments on?

Although you do mention Srimad Bhagavatam, as one of your references, you do not provide the readers the exact quote. Nor do you elaborate upon the Bhagavatam quote itself. You are making inferences from the Bhagavatam, but have failed to correlate your ideas with Bhagavatam.

Although, some of your ideas about the definitions used in the realm of economic discourse are correct, you make wild claims that do not conform to economic theory whatsoever. Where do you get them from?

If I were you, I would caution your readers that you are making these claims, on own accord, that they do not conform to economic theory. Moreover, I would honestly disclose the source of these arguments. At first sight (and because you do not disclose your sources or references), the ideas and conclusions portrayed in your essay, seem to be more the by-product of “conspiracy theory” speculations than serious economic thinking or discourse. Which, in turn, would cast a shadow of invalidity on your conclusions.

I am surprise that the Dandavats editors did not issue a disclaimer about your essay.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Yugala Kishor dasa

» Posted By ykd108 On Feb 1, 2007 @ 8:13 pm

Putting An End to Courtesy Japa

The effort of Mahatma prabhu to provide us with his realization about chanting the Holy Names is praiseworthy. And I am sure most of us will thank him for it. Yet, there is another spin on this matter. We really don’t know the powerful extent of Sri Krishn’a Holy Name. We are given a glimpse only. I have quoted a verse from Srimad Bhagavatam (see below), which we were required to memorized, during our bhakta training, somewhere in 1978. The verse so beautifully portrays the glory of the Holy Name. Basically, it says that even if a person utters the Holy Name “unconsciously” there will be some spiritual benefit. Of course, as Mahatma prabhu points out, we shouldn’t be inattentive while chanting. At the same time, we would concur with the other prabhus in this forum, in that it is better to chant lousily than not chanting at all. Yet, a serious initiated devotee will do anything to improve his quality of japa. In that, we also concur with Mahatma prabhu’s assertion.

Yugala Kishor dasa (Alachua, FL)

āpannah samsrtim ghorām / yan-nāma vivaśo grnan
tatah sadyo vimucyeta / yad bibheti svayam bhayam

“Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Krsna, which is feared by fear personified.”

Purport

Vāsudeva, or Lord Krsna, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, is the supreme controller of everything. There is no one in creation who is not afraid of the rage of the Almighty. Great asuras like Rāvana, Hiranyakaśipu, Kamsa, and others who were very powerful living entities were all killed by the Personality of Godhead. And the almighty Vāsudeva has empowered His name with the powers of His personal Self. Everything is related to Him, and everything has its identity in Him. It is stated herein that the name of Krishna is feared even by fear personified. This indicates that the name of Krsna is nondifferent from Krsna. Therefore, the name of Krsna is as powerful as Lord Krsna Himself. There is no difference at all. Anyone, therefore, can take advantage of the holy names of Lord Śrī Krsna even in the midst of greatest dangers. The transcendental name of Krsna, even though uttered unconsciously or by force of circumstances, can help one obtain freedom from the hurdle of birth and death.

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.14

» Posted By ykd108 On Jan 11, 2007 @ 6:24 pm

Glimpse into the World of India’s Gods and Goddesses

“gods” and “goddesses”?

I thought we have only one God, Sri Krishna.

Wouldn’t it be more appropriate (theologically) to title the book “demigods” and “demigoddesses”? And exclude Sri Krishna, Sri Vishnu and Srimati Radha from it?

Moreover, the author of this book, should point to his readers that if they want to find out about the one Supreme Godhead, then they should acquire the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada?

Mixing Hindu stuff with Krishna Consciousness Movement’s theology is really dangerous.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Yugala Kishor dasa

» Posted By ykd108 On Dec 12, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

HH Narmada Swami departs this world

It is very inspiring and enthusing to read the contributions that His Holiness Narmada Swami did for ISKCON and Srila Prabhuada’s mission. His vows of sannyasa, which he held all the way and his dedication and managerial expertise to the BBT in India, are nothing but praiseworthy, to say the least.

Those of us who have to stay in this world have another true genuine role model, in the exemplary life of His Holiness. What else can we say?

We sincerely hope that we may be able to depart from this world, in the same laudable and meritorious way, to continue our service at the lotus feet of the Vaishnava acaryas.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada.
Yugala Kishor dasa

» Posted By ykd108 On Nov 17, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

Rudrani’s Passing

It is quite nice to read how Mother Rudrani departed from this world, and how she provided us an example of leading one’s life in Krishna Consciousness.

I got to know her somewhat, while I resided in Vancouver Temple. As it has already been stated she was quite limited due her health condition. The times we visited her husband and herself were very touching. She always kept a nice smile whenever she greeted us, and offer us some prasadam (no matter how little it might have been). I do recall that she always kept saying something to enhance her (and ours) Krishna Consciousness.

Those of us who have to stay in this world have another true genuine role model, in the exemplary life of Rudrani Devi.

We sincerely hope that we may be able to depart from this world, in the same laudable and meritorious way, to continue our service at the lotus feet of the Vaishnava acaryas.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada.
Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

» Posted By ykd108 On Nov 17, 2006 @ 6:20 pm

From Hinduism to Krishna Consciousness: Steven J. Rosen’s New Book Bridges the Gap

I am really glad I raised this Hindu issue. It has put to work the brains of so many devotees. I am writing an essay, “Why I am Not a Hindu.” Hopefully, I will publish it here, in this website. But to offer my final contribution to this fourm on this topic, I have the following words to say:

Srila Prabhupada wrote in the Preface to his Gita commentary:

“Our Krsna Consciousness Movement is genuine, historically authorized, natural and transcendental due to its being based on Bhagavad-gita As It Is.”

It is really striking — given this topic — that Srila Prabhupada did not make references to Hindusim in his Gita commentary (at least nothing appears in teh General Index). Even though, we all can see the historicity of Hinduism, Srila Prabhupada did not consider it a basis for establishing the Krsna Consciousness Movement. Rather, he took the authority of the Gita Itself, which really means the authority of Lord Krishna.

Prabhupada clearly and powerfully propounded the exclusivity of worshiping Lord Krishna, which is, in fact, a very monotheistic stand. This monotheistic presentation is a stark contrast to the Hindus’, who repeatedly claim (as do Western indologists) that Krishna is just another Hindu god. Prabhupada derided that idea. A few weeks ago, I was listening to a room-conversation-audio tape, he went on a tirade about the bogus idea that Krishna was or is a Hindu god.

At any rate, I appreciate the words of all contributors to this forum…
Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

» Posted By ykd108 On Oct 29, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

Certainly my intention wasn’t to be provokative. I just want to express my concern over the Hindu issue as it has manifested in ISKCON.

Nowadays, it is very common to see, in ISKCON Temples, people sporting T-shirts with all kinds of hodgepodge (to use Prabhupada’s term) pictures of Ganesh, lord Shiva, Durga, etec.. Once in a while you see Krishna, still rarer is to see Prabhupada’s picture on a T-shirt. People began to sell all kinds of paraphernalia related to the demigods, right in the temples’ properties.

Your various comments only serve to corroborate what my original intension was: No one really knows what Hinduism is all about. Is it about lord Shiva? Is it about Durga or Kali? Or perhaps Ganesha? What about Sri Krishna? Yeah, He is there, but…

None of your comments have address the issue of polytheism and panthesim present in Hinduism, which were the issues I broght up in the first place.

This issue is not going to go away; not by a long shot. It will take thoughtful people (brahmanas) to figure it out and clear the way.

Regardless of who you are preaching to (intelligentsia or the average Joe-six-pack), we should define ourselves.

Yugala Kishor dasa (Gainesville, FL)

» Posted By ykd108 On Oct 20, 2006 @ 6:03 pm

It would be interesting to know whether Steven Rosen included in his book, all the remarks that Srila Prabhupada made about Hinduism. The Krishna Consciousness Movement is not a Hindu movement; that’s clearly the message we get from Srila Prabhupada’s various statements on the subject.

What is also surprising is that our leaders (GBC and temple presidents) have made official statements — at various times — alluding a clear connection between the Sankirtana Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Hinduism. I wonder where do they that from?

Hinduism — the way it is presented by the Hindus themselves — is strikingly and unmistakably polytheistic and pantheistic, which are considered inferior forms of theologies among Western theologians. Actually, Vaishnava theology also considers such forms of theologies inferior to the exclusivity and monotheistic of bhakti.

I wonder what’s the benefit of the tendency to keep mingling Hindusim with the Krishna Consciousness Movement?

» Posted By ykd108 On Oct 12, 2006 @ 5:44 pm

About Sriman Bhakta George Harrison

Nice vido clip from the “Concert for Bangladesh” in Madison Square Garden in 1974(?). That evoked my youngster’s years! It would have been nice too had you placed the “My Sweet Lord” clip from the same concert… It has the Holy Names in it…

» Posted By ykd108 On Sep 21, 2006 @ 2:17 pm

COACHING FOR ISKCON LEADERS

Dear Mr. Kubrick,

Hare Krishna! Here is my response:

I am not advocating a corporate style of management for ISKCON, simply because most ISKCON members (it seems, including your good self) don’t have a clue of what that is, or what does it entail. Our ISKCON organization is light-years away from being managed as a regular corporation.

Following Srila Prabhupada’s basic instructions on how to run a temple ARE NOT to be superseded by, what you call, corporate style of leadership. What Prabhupada gave us stands paramount. His teachings remain the sine-qua-non of guidelines or fundamentals that we can’t disregard.

Taking help of outside in running ISKCON is not something new. Srila Prabhupada himself did it. Just look or consider what SP did when he established the BBT. He acquired machinery and equipment, purchased trucks to deliver the books, sent devotees to learn the required skills to use this equipment, and get appropriate driver licenses for drive the trucks (not so easy as we might think). In fact, there is an instance when he stated that ISKCON managers would do a better job if they learn how to run it from the Catholic Christians; they have been running their organization for over 1500 years. (Now don’t go into another spin here; I was never a Catholic.) Moreover, SP always said that we can find gold in a pile of stool. The idea is that we would take the gold and leave the stool.

If you can’t understand the leadership issues I raised surrounding Visnujana Swami, then you ought to read his biography (from Prabhupada lilamrita, etc.) In no way did I mean disrespect to them; my words were not written in that manner. I can’t figure it out why you conjured such meaning….

No. I am not trying to protect ISKCON’s status quo. Again, I can’t figure it out how you invoked such conclusion in your mind. In fact, I am just the opposite!!!

Your phrase “material business plan” may portray a sentiment of grumpiness about how you look at the world. There is nothing material about the ‘techniques of organizational planning.’ What makes it material is the purpose for which you do it. If you use these techniques for sense gratification, then it is obviously material. But if you use the “very same techniques” (including organizational leadership techniques) for the purpose of satisfying Vishnu, then it is entirely spiritual. The techniques themselves ARE NOT inherently material, bad or evil; it is we who make it material or spiritual depending upon the intended use.

Again there is no such thing as “material and spiritual expertise” as you inferred from my original statements. Just like there is no “material or spiritual money.” Money is money, what makes it material or spiritual is intended use thereof.

I have always said it (and will always say it): ISKCON leaders and managers need to be educated, on top of being experts lecturers on the science of Bhakti. Yes! Why not? Had they been basically educated, they could have avoided untold misery for which now we are all paying (child abuse, break-down of marriage institution, defalcation, embezzlement, etc..) Doing that will enable them to make their service more effective. If they are not willing to do that, then let them retire and chant the Holy Names underneath a holy tree … There’s nothing wrong with that.

I am not trying to protect senior devotees from anything. I, for one, have always said that inept managers and leaders (whether GBC, TP, gurus, or whatever) should step aside and let others (with more experience, education, and maturity) do the job. And to be frank, I have seen many of them, and still do. And for raising these issues with local ISKCON members, I have been in trouble, sometimes.

At any rate, don’t take this stuff personally. We are here “in the same boat.” We have to try our best to better ISKCON, not by leaving as some devotees have done, but by sincerely and intelligently figure it out options. We should remain faithful to ISKCON mission.

Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada.
YKD

» Posted By ykd108 On Sep 21, 2006 @ 3:18 pm

Some comments on the issue of Leadership:

We should be, at least, thankful that Akrura prabhu is trying to make a contribution for the betterment of ISKCON managers. We shouldn’t discourage with our comments.

It is obvious that ISKCON is experiencing a crisis in leadership; only people with short-sightedness wouldn’t see that. That lack of leadership has created havoc in many fronts (family, marriages, abuse of children, defalcation, embezzlement, etc.)

In regards to Kubric’s comments, I can add the following: No one can “copycat” Jayananda, Vishnajana or anybody else. In leadership you learn from their experience; that’s obvious. Yet, their experience is not everything that there is about leadership. Moreover, they were good at leading “in their own field.” There are countless other fields in which they didn’t provide examples of their leading, not because they were inept, but owing to the fact that they didn’t face the challenges we are facing today. So, leadership knowledge must be adapted to the changing conditions in which ISKCON managers find themselves.

Mr. Kubrick also makes the absolute statement that “true humility, dedication and personalism will not come as a result of your education programs.” First of all, what kind of authority do you hold that enables you make ‘absolute statements’? Although we grant you that humility, dedication and personalism are integral parts of effective leaders, and we also grant you that those qualities may arise from sincerity of purpose, we still have seen, in the real world, that the very same qualities are present in people (leaders) who do not even profess Vaishnavism at all.

I have seen many devotees mess up their devotional services (temples presidents and other managers) not so much because they weren’t sincere; but rather because they were untrained, ‘uneducated.’ In fact, in my 3 decades in ISKCON, working with GBCs, gurus, regional secretaries, TPs, I have concluded that most of them are not bad people or bad devotees; they are simply bad managers, ineffective and inefficient leaders.

Seeing this lack of leadership direction and training, I myself have written on this very important topic. Most of my articles were published in the old Chakra website.

At any rate, let’s hope that what Akrura has to offer will contribute to the betterment of ISKCON leadership.

Hare Krishna. Yugala Kishor dasa.

» Posted By ykd108 On Sep 17, 2006 @ 2:28 pm

A “TOUCHY” SUBJECT…

It was Dhira Govinda with his psychology seminars who introduced the ‘hugging business’ in Alachua, and then the world. People were paying USD $500 a pop, just to hear him emphatically how important hugging is… (helloooooo?)

I hope this is the last post about this hugging business. The several quotes, directly from Srila Prabhupada (graciously provided by Mithila prabhu in his 09/13/06 post) provides the final answer: This hugging business is for sudras. ISKCON is meant to train sudras into brahmanas. The idea is to abandon our sudraic behavior and take up the brahmincial behavior. Why is so much energy wasted in belaboring the point?

The many posts from this article by Mother Braja-sevaki reminds of a French saying: “Don’t seek to find 5 legs in a cat; for they only have 4.”

» Posted By ykd108 On Sep 21, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

III. EVIDENCE FROM THE SOCIAL AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

I was asking the same question as N.R. Dasa, but upon reading the text, I realized that for those ISKCON members who initiate divorce proceedings, disregarding the instructions of our Founder-Acarya, this empirical evidence provided by the Witherspoon Institute might be of some help. In other words, even the so-called karmis have figured it out that marriage and family breakdown doesn’t get us anywhere. They, of course, take the trouble of doing ‘social, psychological, anthropological studies’ on the issue; we don’t. It should suffice the words of the Founder-Acarya; but clearly they are being disgarded by both ISKCON leaders and rank-and-file followers. Divorces are still being accepted by both sections of ISKCON members. A sad state of affairs indeed.

» Posted By ykd108 On Aug 29, 2006 @ 5:34 pm

Grenade suspects

Well, it seems that now is the time for getting some vaishnava ksatriyas in line!!
In ISKCON, we have the tendency to endlessly talk about varansrama, without much fruition. This attack on our ISKCON Manipura Temple indicates that we, as a society, should start seriously thinking about promoting (at very least) the vows, values and training of ksatriyas. Sooner or later, we will have to.
YKD

» Posted By ykd108 On Aug 28, 2006 @ 5:30 pm

Further Considerations…

Thanks Praghosa Prabhu for you comment on my comment. But what we should pinpoint to your audience (readers) is that M. Pariksit “was indeed about to execute” Kali. He didn’t do it because Kali cleverly — knowing the codes of Raja-dharma — surrendered to the King. Moreover, the time for the arrival of Kali Yuga had come.

But at any other time, under the same circumstances, a Vedic King must execute the wrong doer; regardless of the philosophical reasoning. In a sense, this means that Dharma (in whatever stage of life one is in) supersedes any philosophical reasoning.

We may have the freedom to dive into philosophical reasoning (which I do myself and encourage others to do the same); we should bear in mind, however, that Dharma stands supreme over all aspects of human life.

» Posted By ykd108 On Aug 29, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

After having read the essay itself and the commentaries by the different contributors, I wonder whether we need to focus more on the proximity of the case. Within the realm of raja-dharma, the king had the obligation of applying capital punishment on Kali, regardless of what philosophical statements the bull was submitting. Two types of teaching are presented in this passage of the Bhagavatam. One is the raja-dharma, and the second one is the philosophical reasonings. Obviously, raja-dharma is meant for those who have the job of government representatives (by the way, they may be Vaishnavas too); they must punished wrong-doers. As far as the philosophical spin of the story; that’s for philosophers and Vaishnavas.

ykd

» Posted By ykd108 On Aug 29, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

Security cover for temples on Janmashtami

By the way, Srila Prabhupada was adamantly opposed to refer to Sri Krishna as a “Hindu” god. I understands that you posted this article from a non-ISKCON source, still for the record, readers should know what is our stand on the label “Hindu” god notion.

» Posted By ykd108 On Aug 17, 2006 @ 10:25 pm

What the Lord takes into account

We politely, but fundamentally, disagree with His Grace Praghosa Prabhu. We do not know the particular implications, or actions, of Dhanudara Swami in the child abuse debacle that ISKCON went through. But one thing is sure, sexually molesting children is unpardonable; no matter what emotional appeals you want to throw at it to forgive the perpetrators of such a heinous crime. The atonement of sexual predators of children is, at the very least, ostracism from ISKCON, besides legal prosecution. Forgiveness for such degenerates comes from the Supreme Lord, and Him alone; not from us. Let the perpetrators leave ISKCON and suffer whatever they have to suffer outside the walls of ISKCON. If our leaders ever decree of a pardon for such people, I would be the first to leave ISKCON.

» Posted By ykd108 On Jul 20, 2006 @ 7:15 pm

Dharma is protected by government in Mexico

Prabhu,
May I suggest you check your grammar before you post articles. Some words you have used in this article do not even exist in the English language (e.g., sobreseed.) Checking your grammar will ensure a better understanding of your audience of your intended message.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada.

» Posted By ykd108 On Jul 12, 2006 @ 9:26 pm

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