Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by visnujana

  1. I have heard such an explanation that anything in this world serves as bhakti-udipana (stimulus of bhava) for an uttama-adhikari. Whatever he sees, it immediately causes emotions of bhava arise in his heart and thus he perceives his ista-deva. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada would give the following example to illustrate this: When a mother sees her child's shoes, it immediately makes her remember him.
  2. No, I don't think this has anything to do with Bipin Bihari. Didn't Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura himself direct Bhimal Prasad to Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji? That's the story I have always heard. Why he did so, I don't know.
  3. I believe that 'mooda' here is a sanskrit word meaning less educated or somewhat materially less intelligent. If so, I think most of us would agree that bhakti does not depend on anything material. No material qualification can increase spiritual progress, nor there is any material disqualification that can hinder it. In either case knowledge in bhakti is acquired through the mercy of the guru, not through the analytical study. Anyone can sincerely serve guru and receive his mercy. No material qualification is necessary for this. Studying bhakti-stastra is like associating with sadhu (guru). If I have only material qualification, but I have not served my guru sincerely I won't be able to understand anything. But if someone does not even have much time for studying the stastra and yet is sincerely engaged in the service of sri guru all the mercy and understanding will come anyway. yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau tasyaite kathita hy arthah prasante mahatmanah The conclusive essence of the scriptures is revealed only to those great souls who have transcendental devotion (para-bhakti) unto Sri Bhagavan and equal devotion for Sri Gurudeva. Svetasvatara Upanishad, 6.23 But this sincerity in the service of sri guru is actually a high thing (para-bhakti) - transcendental devotion. It usually suggests that all the scriptures have been scrutinized by this person in his previous lives. The person's humble appearance in this life (his prarabdha-karma) should not confuse us. So, practically speaking the scriptures are still needed. Otherwise they would not have been written.
  4. Sonic Yogi, I am not arguing your good points. I only wanted to express my own outlook on things and I did that. If my personal opinion counts at all I also maintain an idea that there is no need... Yet, I am hoping to always have some room in my brain and heart to whatever I have not realized just yet. I like to go to Radha-kunda whenever I have a chance. But I have only heard Hari-katha from Srila Narayana Maharaja and some of his followers while there. I have no reason to have any hostility towards the Babajis there. I want to respect and love all. But I am quite satisfied with what's naturally coming.
  5. Srila Prabhupada says here "In this connection, we should be careful about the so-called siddha-praṇālī." Again he is talking about the so-called process of siddha-pranali. I am no expert in English but I think the 'so-called' structure generally indicates that there is the real thing, although this particular instance (that is being discussed) is not it although it is called so... Then Srila Prabhupada continues: "The siddha-praṇālī process is followed by.." i.e. he is talking about the same so-called manufactured process. Being careful about something does not mean fighting against it, especially when in fact "I simply don't know". That's my take on this. What's the point of fighting anyway? Every action has some motive behind it, so what is it here? Is it just to prove that I am better or my group is better? Or is it that my spiritual life really depends on whether or not I win the fight? Srila Prabhupada does not say "fight", he says "be careful". Yeah.. I am talking to myself here. I can never understand the excessive popularity of such 'controversial' topics. Perhaps someone can explain this to me. I think when (if) this will really matter to me I will simply ask an authority, someone who knows. I am not saying Srila Prabhupada does not know. I am saying there have always been fights on how to understand certain words of acariyas who have passed way. I think this is not necessary and is easily avoidable.
  6. Yet they did border to leave us tons of philosophical literature. Was it for no reason? Understanding of saguna-brahman and the general process of its attainment is actually very important for bhaktas. Otherwsie it would not have been mentioned in the very definition shloka of bhakti (anyabhilasita-sunyam gyana-karmaanavritam..) Gyana here indicates that we should give up any endevours for monistis liberation. If our hearts were pure of those, there would be nothing to give up and therefore those lines would not have been there. Now if some inclination for monistic liberation is there in my heart I need to be able to spot it. Emotions in my heart are not labeled. So, it's easy to mistake ones that are actually gyana with bhakti if I don't know exactly the characteristics of those. So, I do need to know philosophy very well, and that's why it all has been given to us by our acariyas.
  7. Very true. Moksa was their goal and they have achieved that.
  8. I agree with this. Having accumulated hips of nitya-sukriti and thus through genuine shraddha having come in the association of high-class vaisnavas a devotee begins to regularly hear from them. A genuine vaisnava-diksa has taken place around here also... Then by hearing and serving high-class devotees at some point the special mood that is constantly in the hearts of those devotees gradually enters the devotee's heart. While he still continues to listen to Hari-katha that little sentiment strengthens and gradually develops into a spontaneous attraction, the desire to have that very same mood that the sadhu relishes. Whenever, the devotee listens to some particular pastimes, the desire to be able to serve Radha-Krishna the same way spontaneously arises in his heart at that moment. Here it is important to know that bhava is not there yet. It is still far from that. So, the devotee can have no realization of his svarupa. But yet spontaneous attraction for the seva that certain Krishna's eternal associate render to Radha-Krishna will be there. This is not a material sentiment. This shows that the adhikara to begin raganuga-sadhana-bhakti is achieved. This is nicely described in Jaiva-Dharma by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in Raga-VartmCandrika by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, off course by Srila Rupa Goswami in his Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu and many other vaisnava scriptures. Then on the path of raganuga-sadhana-bhakti the devotee will listen more to the devotees who have similar mood, he will read different pastimes of Krishna, but he will prefer those that correspond more to his mood, etc. This is simply because he will develop greed to have that same thing and thus he will naturally be attracted to what inspires and nurtures this mood in him. - This is all well documented in vaisnava screptures and is taught by living vaisnava acariyas when appropriate (to qualified candidates). Siddha-pranali as a means to aid Hari-katha and other processes would seem to fit here nicely. Meaning that it could inspire and nurture the mood the devotee aspires for. By no means I am saying it is a MUST, neither I am even saying that we will need to do something like that. I am aware that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada would say that everything will be revealed by Harinam. I believe that. However, I won't claim that siddha-pranali never exists in saraswata-line either. Why would I? I simply don't know yet. I strongly believe that spiritual life in general and especially at those elevated stages is very personal. 'Harinama will reveal it' does not necessarily mean your guru won't tell you that, won't help you with that. Also the fact that Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada would say ' they concocted siddha-pranaly' might easily mean that the cheap process of 'siddha-pranali' was concocted. Once a very senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada who had been also receiving siksa from Srila Narayana Maharaja for many years asked him for siddha-pranali. Maharaja answered: "When this will be your only desire, I will give you that." .. He did not reject the idea, he said the disciple was not ready just then. Anyway, we will see, I guess... or may be that someone around here has seen it already..
  9. Good question. A living entity's inherent nature is that he always strives for happiness. Mind (which is usually considered in one group with the senses) is how we perceive reality and receive our pleasures. However, the mind is not independent. It is controlled by intelligence. For example, if I see an ice cream, in my mind I will want it, but my intelligence might say: "Hey, don't eat ice cream now, your cold will get worse." Intelligence is also not independent. It depends on the ego, which sets a range, a field of activity for intelligence and mind. So, our ability of enjoyment is limited. For example, there is also a spiritual enjoyment, but being conditioned (under the false ego) we may not see this potential - our mind and senses can not detect spiritual objects of the spiritual pleasures (God's Holy names, God's beautiful form, His sweet pastimes, etc.). There is an instrument to try to break this limitation (material conditioning) from within. We use some of our intelligence to analyze the external boundaries. This is called neti-neti (elimination of material boundaries by analyzing and negation of material qualities). This is the process of impersonal liberation and this is also generally referred to as philosophy, although sometimes mere a process of some adjustments within the material realm also passes as philosophy. The problem with this impersonal liberation is that although it is capable of destroying the false ego, it is not capable of creating the true one. Thus the real spiritual objects of the spiritual senses and mind are still unavailable... although the material ones don't bother any longer. So, it's not an ultimate solution, but this is as much as philosophy can do. In other to go beyond that we need to know and recognize yet another layer in the structure of our conscious self, which is even above the ego. That is our true self, the soul. The soul is eternally bound with the Super Soul, God. But the soul is also a person. Thus he has some freedom. The soul can choose how exactly to be bound with God. He can choose to love God, or to forget Him and feel independent. According to this choice the soul makes, he receives either true or false ego, which are basically the very fact that he is already bound in a certain way, he has chosen. So, even being under the false ago in the conditioned state, the soul can still 'change his spiritual mind', i.e. re-choose how to be bound with God. This happens deep on the level of the soul and at first hardly can be noticed outwardly on the level of mind and intelligence (material personality). The material person is still completely engaged in the chains of karma, i.e. he can be poor or rich, smart or stupid, etc. but something interesting will start happening. Even if the soul is currently in an animal's body he will start receive chances to come in contact with things and times connected to the Lord: get some remnants from a saintly person, hear some God's names etc. These all even when taken unconsciously create nitya-sukriti, spiritual pious credits. When sukriti is accumulated to a certain amount it turns into faith - natural attraction or interest for God. That is how a person starts on a the path to God which will lead him way beyond moksa (impersonal liberation) and to the ultimate destination. On the spiritual path there is also a philosophy. But that philosophy is different because it is basically some degree of the pure spiritual knowledge, whereas the impersonal philosophy is just freedom from material conceptions.
  10. Hmm.. It works fine on my side. If you can see two big words there: 'English' and 'Hindi' just click on one that you know better. (I assumed that you could have known Hindi also). Can you see that?
  11. Serving God is a great science. It might take many life times to master it. But it might be also that you have done a lot of the study in your previous lives. In either case here is a link to some excellent library of authoritative manuals (scriptures) on this science: http://www.purebhakti.com/resources/ebooks-a-magazines-mainmenu-63/cat_view/53-bhakti-books-download.html Good luck!
  12. Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaja has explained once that Guru is a principle. - This is the power given by Krishna to a particular devotee to act as a Guru. The purpose of this is that through the medium of Guru one can establish deep relationship with the transcendental realm. One can speak to guru, touch his feet, serve him, etc. - So, it is easier to have relationship with him. However he is transcendental, because he is empowered by Krishna and a lot of times this is also an elevated liberated vaisnava. Some devotees asked Sridhar Maharaja: 'It is said that if a disciple won't make it in this lifetime and will have to take birth again, his Guru will come again also to deliver him. But it is also said that a Guru is a perfect soul who will go to Krishna. How can we understand this?" He said that another devotee might come as Guru but he will be able to help in exactly the same personal way as the one in the previous life. Because Krishna is adi-guru, He gives the power. In the similar way it is definitely said in the Gaudiya-vaisnavism that vaisnavas live forever. Meaning that even departed vaisnavas can always and fully extend their help to ones that have faith in them and approach them for help. This is done also through the divine potency of Krishna, as Krishna is the adi-guru, and that's why the Gaudiyas esteblish vaisnava-samadhis everywhere. Because when a sincere and faithful vaisnava visits samadhi and prays for the vaisnava's mercy, he will receive it.
  13. There are two things: sadhya (the goal) and sadhana (the method of its attainment). In Gaudiya-vaisnavism the sadhya is Krishna-prema, and there are 3 kinds of bhakti: sadhana-bhakti, bhava-bhakti and prema-bhakti. Sadhana-bhakti can be of 2 types: vaidhi-sadhana-bhakti and raganuga-sadhana-bhakti. But I think the question here is this: How can one aspire for bhakti if this is transcendental? I mean it is understandable although not easy to aspire for moksa because moksa is negation of matter. However, if bhakti is transcendental, how one who is not liberated (has not experienced bhakti) can aspire for bhakti? That's why bhakti can be seen as something that has no actual goal. Because there is no material goal. Bhakti is completely spiritual. But a conditioned entity can only have a material goal or something that depends on it (like moksa depends on it because it is a negation of matter. Did I get the original question right? In either case I will say something on this. Let me suggest an analogy here. let's say there is a far country where I have not been. I can't possibly sincerely want to visit it because I know nothing about it. However if I start hear regularly from someone who has been there or better has lived there I might develop some attachment just by hearing. In this way I can develop a desire, I might get a goal that will be based not on sentiments but on a mature attraction in my heart. I the similar way if new man listens to a realized devotee (vaisnava, or practitioner of bhakti) he will develop sincere desire to attain bhakti, the personal goal.
  14. Very nice sentiment. All of us who have even a little attachment to Srila Prabhupada are definitely very fortunate. If we stay loyal to the Vaisnava-sanga we will definitely achieve everything in spiritual life. However, why is there a need to 'prove' that every devotee ('we') who aspire to follow Srila Prabhupada is practicing 'raganuga-bhakti'? ..and if we do need to prove that, why can't we use the definitions of raganuga-bhakti or whatever else we need to prove.. that have already been given by our acariyas and Srila Prabhupada himself? I readily agree that by serving such a pure Vaisnava as Srila Prabhupada everything can be given. However, if I can make 5 coins by working hard, it does not mean the work itself is 5 coins. Everything is scientifically defined in the scripture, no need to change anything. If raganuga-bhakti is so easily available why did Srila Prabhupada and other acariyas like Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura go such a long way trying to explain to us in great detail about so many different stages and levels of misra-bhakti and suddha-bhakti? Note: I say nothing about siddha-pranali here. This is about the particular use and interpretation of the word 'raganuga'. Raganuga-sadhana bhakti is definitely practiced in our line and is well described in our sastras. This is our main goal. However, since it has already been clearly described and there are many now-living practitioners of this, there seems to be no need to concoct anything new. If we want to practice that we just need to take help of the two main available resources. That is my understanding. Am I wrong?
  15. When I look at someone with love I will notice that person's good qualities, and if I envy some other person I will see his bad qualities. Similarly the way we perceive the world depends on our attitude towards God, the creator. Whether or not I think I believe God it does not matter - deep in my consciousness I will always have some 'attitude' towards Him. BTW that's why even atheists are not at all indifferent to God. - They really have to always be proving that God does not exist, although such an activity would not make any sense from neutral point of view. Who would care to try to prove that 'ahlljktt18856' does not exist and how could one even do that? Similarly God's creation might seem to be faulty, but this is only because of imperfect perception, because of some enmity of the soul. However, there is a process how to purify my consciousness and achieve a clear and truthful perception of the creation.
  16. What have you actually given up then? I mean what have you had and now you don't have?
  17. Hey, apollymi. You seem to be pretty involved in your studies and stuff. However, just to let you know there is gonna be a very special event in Houston pretty soon: http://www.purebhakti.com/events/upcoming-events-mainmenu-66/1030-hari-katha-festival-houston-23rd-29th-may-2009.html Didn't want to tempt you unnecessarily, but if by some good fortunate you can come, I am sure that would be a fantastic start for you.
  18. Well, let me tell you first, I am not a Hindu by birth either. Perhaps you have figured this out though. However, being a part of Hare Krishna I have been to quite a few Hindu gatherings both in India and in other countries (US, Europe). In short they are nice people, generally very hospitable and friendly. You should feel quite comfortable if you go there... and no, you don't need to know much of their culture and rites. I'd just tell someone that I am new and I could use some help if possible... I am sure they would be happy to help you. Again, they are generally not fanatical. They have seen foreign people taking interest in their religion for ages now (at least since the British colonies). So, if you do something you're not supposed to.. they will just smile and will tell you what you should have done and why, especially if you have introduced yourself briefly and asked for help. Have a good time, if you decide to go.
  19. Hi, apollymi. Welcome! Try this translation of the Gita http://www.purebhakti.com/resources/ebooks-a-magazines-mainmenu-63/doc_download/32-srimad-bhagavad-gita.html As far as the comparing Vishnu and Krishna goes (your 2nd question) They are identical in terms of tattva (knowledge) but somewhat different from the point of view of rasa (spiritual emotions or moods). Vishnu is perceived and worshiped with owe and reverence, whereas Krishna is perceived as dear most friend, son, beloved, etc. depending on once particular inherent relationship with Him. From philosophical point of view (tattva) They are the same thing - the Supreme Godhead, or the highest aspect of the Absolute Truth, etc.
  20. I'd like to ask a few questions on this if I may. Why is that the practice of raganuga-sadhana is put as antagonistic to preaching (last sentence)? Why can't we do both? Is it not what all of our acarias have been doing, meaning both preaching and practicing raganuga-sadhana-bhakti or bhava-bhakti? Could you also explain what it means here "follower of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha"? I'd also like to know what it means here "mood of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda Prabhu". Thank you.
  21. When Acariyas explain the anyabhilasita suniyam line - freedom from any desires other than the desire to please Krishna, they say that the desire to progress and utimately achieve perfection in Krishna Consciousness is a good one and should be kept by all means. So, I understand 'to deserve' as 'be one pointed', 'take shelter exclusively in bhakti'. ...Then I can desire, because this will be the only one and it will be very beneficial. I can not take shelter exclusively in bhakti unless I understand what bhakti really is (that bhakti is way better than anything in this world). Otherwise how would I ever want to give up things that I do 'understand' and value even though the do not satisfy me? I can learn what bhakti really is only from someone like Prabhupada, who possesses bhakti, because all acaryias explain that bhakti is not a material thing and can not be understood by material intelligence. So, I really need to take full shelter at the lotus feet of a pure devotee.
  22. In my opinion there are two extreme views that can be observed in this regard. First is being sentimental, what Prabhupada has described (above) as dreaming about what I would do if I get cured.. The second extreme view is becoming almost inimical to the very principle of raganuga-bhakti... almost denying the very possibility of anyone among now-living vaisnavas practicing raganuga-sadhana-bhakti, leaving alone anything above that. Lord Caitanya Himself has defined bhakti as certain practice followed for the purpose and with the goal of achieving bhava-bhakti (CC Mad 22.105). How can I know if I really aspire for something that I go out and publically try to defame on a regular basis? Those two tendencies are basically sahajiya and mayavada respectively. A true practitioner of bhakti-sadhana must sincerely know that bhava is his personal goal and in the same time he must be knowledgeable in the sastra and thus be able to know exactly about his current position on the path of bhakti, as well as about his particular duties corresponded to that position.
  23. Actually the desire to serve Bhagavan works much like the cultivation of emptiness you're talking about. Meaning it has a huge power to free the mind from all the material desires, which are none-productive. This is so because even the process of cultivating the desire for Bhagavan or Bhakti is endowed with some sweet taste. Desire for moksa also is endowed with taste, and that's what moves people who have that type of faith to practice the liberating process. The difference is in the final attainment and also in the method. The liberating process will lead one to the 'doorway' (see my previous post), whereas the practice of bhakti will allow you to find and take ultimate shelter at Bhagavan. The process of liberating is not easy, because you have to be very careful analyzing and controlling your mind. Also you have to have a lot of knowledge to discriminate between the material 'I' and the 'emptiness'. However, even small kids can follow bhakti. This is so because bhakti is integral part and function of the soul.
  24. Well, I agree with you, ken111, the soul can live without matter. But I meant mostly some essential things related to the intrinsic nature of the soul. I am sure you are aware that the teachings of bhakti say that the soul (jiva) can be happy only in connection with the Super-soul (Bhagavan). According to this teaching you can not come in contact with Bhagavan merely by stopping desires. In fact we are advised to do just the opposite - cultivate our desire to be with Bhagavan. But this kind of desires do not contaminate consciousness. Meaning they won't create the materially frustrated 'I', but they will serve to fulfill the real 'I'. That cultivation will give the 'I' all that it strives for, the ultimate happiness.
  25. Does it mean if you stop desiring (even if you can) you will have the missing something? I agree, this is a pretty advanced aspiration - moksa (liberation). However, if you think about it you are not gaining anything positive. All you are aiming at is neutralizing the negativeness of the influence of matter. This becomes obvious if you consider the assumption from which I have started your logic. - material desires is evel - they need to be stopped. I am not saying this is bad. With our material reasoning or even by denying all material experience we can not perceive the spiritual positiveness anyway. This is so simply because it belongs to a entirely different domain. We can not perceive it but it's there, and there is a spiritual method by which we can perceive it. Just as the philosophy you are introducing us here to will not be appreciated by too many, because not too many will have the adhikara, the eligibility for it; similarly to understand the transcendental positiveness it also requires certain adhikara or qualification, which basically means certain faith to start with. Becoming free from the influence of the matter should rather be considered as an act and not as a permanent status of being. When you leave a room you don't stand still in the doorway for hours, you just pass it and go out to do your business. This could be a dark cold room, but yet most of people will go elsewhere upon leaving it. In the same way, moksa, no matter how amazing and advanced it might be or seem, it is a step to perfection, although it might be very significant one.
  • Create New...