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Everything posted by kaisersose

  1. In the Advaita tradition, there is the concept of Jivanmukti or Liberation when the body is still alive. Ramana is considered by some as such a Jivanmukta. Though the soul had been liberated, the body continued to function due to some Prarabda Karma, etc. Another such example is UG Krishnamurti where he calls the process of Liberation (as it happened to him) as a calamity and some people believe he was a Jivanmukta. The bottomline is it is impossible to know if an individual is liberated or not. There are no exact rules to be used for such an identification and therefore it all comes down to personal sentiments.
  2. We all had our fun, but it is time to move on. Hopefully, the existence of these forums for a decade now helped raise enough funds to feed a lot of hungry people - people who may have gone hungry without these forums/website. I would also like to think some people had their perspectives on religion broadened due to time spent here. I will miss Ranjeet. With Ranjeet not having a forum to wax eloquence anymore, who will rid the world of Mayavadis aka the rascals? Have fun, you all. The clock is ticking and time cannot be reversed. Make best use of the time you have, and that means doing something you like - today/now. Do not wait for fun to begin in some afterlife. Twenty years from now, you will regret all the things you did not do, than the things you did do - Mark Twain Cheers
  3. More importantly, you should consider not passing off unsubstantiated opinions as hard facts. By their own admission, they are not Hindus. Thus, they automatically become another religon - like Sikhism, Jainism, etc. Cheers
  4. I do not find it astonishing at all. We see what we want to see. if your goal is to see similarities and unify the two, then you will find astonishing similarities. If you want to see diffferences, you will see enough to see that the two have no relation to each other, whatsoever. it is all a matter of perspective. The same Gita in India is interpreted completely differently by different scholars. Does this mean they all are wrong, except the one who matches the Christian scripture? As you can see, we create the differences and similarities based on our personal preferences. It is not about what the scripture says, it is about what we want to see in it. Cheers
  5. You are kidding, right? Shiva statues have been discovered from the Indus valley civilization period and the Mahabharata reports on long traditions of Pashupathas and Bhagavatas. None of this has any evidence to back it up. Matha heads have a job to perform - running and sustaining the Matha. They cannot throw up their hands and say "God will provide" for God will not as everyone should know by now. It is up to the head to ensure the endowments are healthy and patronage continues to exist - whether he relishes the task or not. If he sits back and does nothing, another Matha with a different affiliation may win over the King, in which case this Matha will have to close shop. This sets the basis for all the rivalry between Shiavas and Vaishnavas and among themselves too. One cannot be in the position of running a Matha and not be poilitical. Almost always, it just does not work that way. This proves you are kidding, after all. Shankara did not promote Shaivism in any tangible way. He was an Advaitin with a Smartha outlook that all Gods are personifications of the same Brahman. He wrote a Soundarya Lahari for Shiva, a Bhaja Govindam for Govinda and his landmark Sringeri temple is of Sharada. To take the position that Advaitins promote Shaivism reeks of a Hare Krishna misinformation campaign. Slight correction there. Nothing is superior except the Hare Krishna religion. The rest are equal when HKs say so or are inferior demi-God based religions when the HKs say so. It all depends on who is asking and prevailing circumstances. Cheers
  6. I can help you there. He means you have to agree with him or else you are going on his ignore list. But seriously, your position does not appear to comply with standard Vaishnavism, unless I am reading you wrong. How do you define Liberation? Do you see the jiva worshipping Vishnu in Vaikunta? Cheers
  7. Smaranam, With all due respect, never imagine that you know someone else's religion better than they do. That is plain arrogance and most Hare Krishnas on this forum are afflicted by this syndrome. You really do not want to be one of them. Cheers
  8. You are absolutely right. We have got to something about Mayavadis. Here you are, making hundreds of posts about how dumb they are and yet nothing has changed at all. Since posting on discussion forums is clearly not working, perhaps we should get together and beat them into submission. And then we can have a grand Hare Krisna initiation cermeony for all the subdued Mayavadins and the world will be a great place again. Let me know your thoughts on this. Cheers
  9. This is an incident from India from a few years ago. A local beef butcher was identified by an "animal lovers" group who had the butcher arrested for violating a ban and his operations were suspended. But it turned out this butcher was supplying most of his meat to the Zoo. With the butcher shut down, there was no meat to feed the zoo animals! And of course, the animal lovers had no answer to this, as they had not really thought this through. Consequently, the zoo sourced another butcher who would supply buffalo and hog meat to feed the animals in the zoo. And the animal rights group has no problem with this! It is funny that there was no ban on buffalo slaughter. It looks like cow slaughter is a big offense, but killing other animals is OK and animal lovers do not really love Buffaloes, after all which means one of the following othings, 1) They were not really animal lovers in the proper sense 2) Buffaloes and hogs are not animals 3) Zoo animals are not really animals This whole concept of cow protection with almost no regard to other animals, is highly irrational and has more to do with religious emotion than anything else. Cheers
  10. Thanks for the clarification. What drives the Lord's emotions? Would this not be similar to the Christian God who has mood swings? And what is the significance of a form (or forms) wrt a personal God? Interesting. A Supreme being with no activities can play no role in creation or sustaining the universe. Is such a concept existing in any religion? Yes, it is this inconsistency that pushed me to raise this topic. I believe the HKs (as usual) have varied opinions on this topic, with each person adding his own spin to it (as usual). Anyway, no one has come forward to answer the question thus far. Cheers
  11. That is just a matter of opinion as they think idol worshippers are disjointed from the supersoul and are wrong. However, all this aside, Prabhupada has endorsed that Allah and all other other foreign (non-Indian) Gods are none other than Krishna. Let us check the implications of such an identification. 1) Allah = Krishna & Krishna = Allah (per Prabhupada) 2) In the Arabian desert, Krishna preached Jihad to Mohamed as part of the Islam religion. In simple terms, people who did not align by Mohamed's new religion and people who worshipped idols, were to be put to the sword and that would please Krishna immensely. 3) Allah preached to Arjuna in India that people who think of him during their time of death will reach his lotus feet. 4) When the terror team crashed places into the WTC, they were shouting the name of Allah (aka Krishna), which means they were thinking of him during the time of death. 5) Plus, they also engaged in Jihad as preached by Krishna. 6) 4 and 5 together means, these terrorists reached the lotus feet of Krishna by following his instructions given out in two different countries under two different names. If one agrees with the identity of Krishna = Allah as proposed by Prabhupada, then one cannot disagree with conclusion 6, no matter how much one can try to tap dance around it. Cheers
  12. The Personal God concept comes from Semitic religions - where the Creator God goes through varied emotions of anger and love. It is not clear what they mean by an impersonal God - or even if the concept is acknowledged by them. For Vaishnavas, it is should farily clear that Krishna (as he has declared in BG 9.29) that he - unlike the Semitic God - does not go through bouts of anger to throw down lightning, rain, fire, etc. Recently, the concept of a Personal God has been applied to Hindu Gods too - though the exact relevance is not clear to me and hence the question - What does personal god mean in a Hindu context? Do we mean an anthromorphic God who looks Human/Indian with a shape and size? If not, then what? I ask because it appears most people who make such claims do not understand it themselves. They simply seem to be repeating what they heard, without thinking it through. Thanks
  13. it is my opinion that the general pulbic (including Vaishnavas) do not differentiate betwen the two. When we say we dislike corrupt politicians, we do not mean we dislike corrupt politics. We actually dislike those individuals. Ditto with other criminals like pedophiles, serial killers, etc. That is wrong. Terrorists are driven by religious ideals which means they do not consider themselves apart from God. On the contrary they consider themselves closer to God than most people. As for sympathy and education, they are sympathetic to their own people and many of them have decent education too. Finally about Bhakti, like I said earlier, they are religious to a fanatic degree, which in their world would mean they possess more Bhakti than most people on the planet. Cheers
  14. With due respect, it is not like Hari is gonna eat the food offered to him. Whatever food is offered to him will ultimately have to eaten by you or someone else. Therefore, obviously, you have to offer food that you consume and therefore (again) these restrictions are based on your diet and are not coming from Hari. I do not think anyone here takes the position that Hari will frown upon an offering of carrot halwa because carrot is a "forbidden" vegetable...or that Hari the universal God is partial to a desi diet. These are distractions that many people easily fall prey too. At some point, most of their religious activities are about following rules than actual worship. Rules vary from one Vaishnava group to another and several times there are conflicting rules adopted by people even inside the same tradition! Everyone has an opinion and no two opinions are fully alilke. Stick to what is common among all these groups and you are in a much better position. Or else, you will find yourself spending most of your time figuring out rules and struggling to adhere to them. I fail to see how a vegetarian diet accomplishes this goal. The garden slug has the supersoul present in it too, but do vegetarians care? No. And what about people? Vaishnavas hate non-Vaishnava Hindus, though technicaly speaking, these non-Vaishnavas have the Supersoul too. We hate terrorists, we hate people whose views differ from ours, etc, etc. The list is not small. Obviously diet comes nowhere close to addressing your goal of respecting the supersoul in other life forms. Worshipping Hari to the best of his ability is all that any Vaishnava can do. The rest are just details. Cheers
  15. It all depends on the user. If the GV Guru is calling someone a rascal, that is friendly, healthy, good-natured criticism. if anyone else else uses the term, it is an insult. As for myself, I am just happy that Ranjeet is back! As the number of his posts increase, a search on these forums for the word "rascal" will produce proportionally more results. Cheers
  16. What then is the basis for rejecting any path as wrong? Most religions do accept the concept of a creator God. Your argument allows only two kinds of religions - atheistic religions like Buddhism and all other theistic religions (which are all correct). Tattvavada, one of the leading Vedanta (and Vaishnava) doctrines also endorses the concept of eternal hell. Then this should also include Islam, Judaism, Shaivism, Shaktism and most other religions in the world. But most Christians, Muslims would disagree with this theory of compatibility. Most Vaishnavas would disagree with accepting Shaivism as a valid path. In summary, your position is rejected by the majority. I take the positon that the mainstream interpretation of any scripture is the correct one. An isolated interpretation only supported by a few and contradicting the mainstream version is usually not a sound interpretation and has other motives behind it - in your case, the reconciliation of two disparate religions for purely sentimental reasons. Cheers
  17. Where does this dude get off posting nonsense? Christ is known by the Bible and the Bible only. Not willing to take the Bible seriously, but Christ, is the height of stupidity. It is the usual case of selective filtering. Accept everything that matches my pet beliefs and reject everything else as false. Stop wasting time, responding to his ludicrous posts. You can all find better things to do. Cheers
  18. I think that is the entire point. The title of the thread is "Who is a Vaishnava?". Obviously, for this title to make sense, one who does not meet the criteria laid out by the OP is not a Vaishnava. As an aside, most of these criteria are about morals...and morals are more relevant to a healthy society than to religion. Non-Vaishnavas & atheists have to be moral too, unless they desire anarchy. And as morals apply to all people, regardless of their religious beliefs, I would like to keep the differentiating line clear. They do not have anything to do with Vaishnavism specifically or with any one other brand of religion. Cheers
  19. This is another way of saying all people who agree with your religious beliefs are clever and everyone else is foolish. However, the dictionary meanings of clever and foolish have nothing to do with one's religious beliefs. Unless you have alternate meanings (like theist), there is no reason to differ from the dictionary meaning. Consequently, there are dumb and smart religious people and also dumb and smart atheists. We do not know. For example, the Hare Krishnas, like the Christians have made it easy for their people. The believe they can attain liberation in one lifetime. This is opposed to the traditional view that several lifetimes of cleansing are necessary for liberation. Anyway, my point is, never taking interest in Krishna and simply trying the "remember me at the time of death" trick does not make sense. The impact of all the activities during one's lifetime override the impact of one's thoughts at the time of death - whatever these thoughts may be. It has to be that way or else, the whole concept of a devotional lifestyle filled with regulations, is pointless. Cheers
  20. Can this verse be interpreted in isolation? I have not seen anyone do that. Let us say A is a devotee who spends a lifetime in devotion to Krishna and B is a clever atheist. If we interpret BG 8.5 as complete in itself, then simply by thinking of krishna at the time of death, B will attain the same state as A and even worse, if A was not conscious during death, B will actually end up in a better position - just because of those few seconds! If this line of thinking is correct, then why should anyone bother to live a devotional life? What is the point of chanting? Tamal, for all his chanting and religious activites was killed in an accident and could not remember Krishna during his time of death. It makes a lot more sense to take the position that everything one does during his/her lifetime matters and not just the thoughts of the last few seconds of life. Or to put it more simply, do not interpret 8.5 literally. Cheers
  21. A moot point. 1) A number of people die in their sleep or are unconscious or in too much pain to be able to focus at the time of death. 2) if a lifetime of devotion can go to naught because the person was not in a position to remember Krishna at the time of death and someone else can live a non-devotional life, merely think of Krishna for a few seconds at the time of death and put himself into a vantage position, then the basic model is flawed. 3) if Krishna can influence the type of death based on the individual's devotional lifestyle, then does it matter if the individual remembers Krishna at the time of death? What difference does it make? It is not really what he did at the time of death and all about what he did when he was alive. Cheers
  22. That is a stringent set of qualifications. I can safely say there is no human on the planet (or ever was) who meets all these qualifications. We can instead keep it simple and say a Vaishnava is one who worships Vishnu - the dictionary meaning. Cheers
  23. Apparently, they were not written. They were a compilation of stories transferred from generation to generation. If you believe all the Puranas had a single author, then it should not be too hard to believe that he inserted the name of the Bhagavata in the earlier Puranas. The Gita mentions the Brahma Sutras by name and there is a sutra that is interpreted to mean the Gita. This circular logic is dealt with in a similar fashion. Badarayana the Sutrakara is declared to be Vyasa himself and therefore it is then possible that Vyasa made an adjustment in the earlier text (sutra or the Gita) to include the reference to the other. Cheers
  24. The Jnana Khanda is the Vedanta, which means the final portion of the Veda. All Vedanta schools recognize 10 Upanishads as the essence of Vedanta. You can find them easily enough. Traditionally, Vedanta as for advanced seekers and in most cases, they would become sanyasis, which implies detachment from worldly interests. Technically, this should also include detachment from Peta and promoting veganism as however loftly, they are still worldly matters. Obviously Sanyasa is not for everyone. It is unlikely that a young person can become a sanyasi and completely detach himself from the affairs of the world. He will be inclined to engage himself in religious and philantropic activites. Cheers
  25. Fruitive actions apply to most people. The Jnana portions are for the advanced soul or mumukshu, who has lost interest in material life and seeks a higher goal. Such a person should seek Sanyasa and will focus on the Jnana Khanda. This individual, through Jnana, is able to differentiate between what is heard and what is to be heard - that is differentiate between the Karma Khanda (which is no longer relevant to him) and Jnana Khanda which is the knowledge of his true self. This is is the Advaita position and this is how Shankara interprets 2.52. I do not see the dark spot you see. Cheers
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