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  1. Hi, Can someone tell me the significance and use of the 54 bead mala, other than (or including the reason) that Mother Sarasvati is pictured holding one? Thx
  2. But of course, there is a huge deficit of prophets and 'knowers' of all kinds
  3. More seriously, my experience with them is they are much less book-oriented and more concerned with meditation (i.e. SRF lessons). They seem mainly to know Autobiography of a Yogi first then The Holy Science. I don't see anything wrong with being more practice-oriented and Yogananda and Yukteswar had a lot of great views on things up until the point of kaivalya, after that it's a great snore . I also don't understand why PY wound up obese and dead at the age of 59. In their Gita, you will ultimately find the conclusion that Krishna accepts a body composed of material elements, though they do much better than most on all that "I am God" stuff.
  4. I'm not aware of a Vaisnava sampradaya wanting to reconcile advaita with anything. Only that they might propound "qualitative oneness" vs. quantitative. Come to think of it though, to assume that one has the 'qualities of God' is regarded as blasphemy in Merriam-Websters. Maybe you need to leave this world first to have it confirmed you have such qualities.
  5. What you'll get is a lot of stuff from books, which is what we are supposed to be clobbering them with.
  6. I think the beginning of success would come when we can thoroughly identify our own heart disease (lust, anger, greed propensities) and monitor its progress or improvement. One should come face to face with their own strain of weakness and tendency to fail. Just hearing about it all the time in slokas and purports is kind of like seeing it on a chalkboard. Normally after all that illustration you want to go home, finish your studies and have a drink. I think through dhyana we have a fighting chance. Too many preachers have discovered the ability to quote sastra forewards and back, only to have their hidden desires discover them. Why not let God reveal yourself to you? (Oh OK, I looked something up before I wrote this )
  7. Spatika-mala and his jaap-mantra
  8. It's like we're exploring the nether end of what was once a genuine spiritual revolution. Perhaps a better course would be to organize plain-clothes harinam-sankirtan and hand out Sunday feast cards to your own apartment. Wasn't that how it all began?
  9. Really, there was a huge amount of spontaneity in Iskcon, but it started to dwindle before Prabhupada left. You'd have to at least been there by the time of the CC publishing marathon. After that, since Prabhupada could only do so much about Tamal, things began to stink. And who was he explaining siddha-pranali to? A bunch of sannyasis who knew all about it? Of course not, they never even heard the term before and would 'fall right in line'. But to try to affect the minds of those who 'know all about it', that is a complete waste.
  10. I wish that you leave the company of jealous persons. Surround yourself with people who are more successful than you are. There's no peace in the company of snakes. "...and how can there be any happiness without peace?" - Sri Krishna
  11. This at least leads me to believe that insignificant bhog offerings like Cape Cod Kettle Cooked Potato Chips should be performed with the Sri Vishnu mantra. Thanks for the replies. Maybe I wasn't clear in some places. I meant that since complete omniscience requires omnipresence, the guru isn't there to accept every little (or big) thing. Only Vishnu has that power. From the replies I would say that the exception might be that if bhakti is developed to the point where Krishna wants to give the Guru in Goloka the news about his bhakta, the Vaisnava guru could then accept the bhog and offer it to Krishna.
  12. Positions of different Vaisnava groups vary on the level or quality of omniscience in a departed Vaisnava guru. He may be “living still in sound” but to some he just “ain’t hangin’ around”. And indeed, the confusion is almost enough to make one wonder how many elements of the Vaisnava guru-sishya tradition some might want from the Shankarites. After all, Shankara was at least around before Madhva. I don’t understand the idea of omniscience in an empowered jiva. How can one know everything without being present everywhere? And if you were running and playing with Krishna why would you want to? The Sankarites superimpose all the attributes of Iswara and Brahman on the guru. But the Vaisnava by his own admission never becomes an incarnation of God. So the sishya is required to make offerings to his Vaisnava guru first, whether here or departed, so that the guru can then offer it to Krishna. Sri Krishna is described as the ultimate enjoyer, the supreme enjoyer and the only enjoyer. But I am considering that there is a crisis of power in the ability to sacrifice enjoyment for Krishna, and perhaps on both sides. Say for example you enjoy the City of San Francisco. So you want to make a sacrifice and offer the entire city to your guru. You may not have the power to do this. You would have to go to Goloka after the entire city was transformed into cintamani and place it as an offering at the lotus feet of your guru. So in the meantime you are probably just going to end up enjoying your trip to San Francisco.
  13. Well, I grew up Catholic but I don't know much about Christ. On the playground at school we were making the sign of the cross, "in the Name of the John, Paul, George and Ringo, Amen" and that was probably the beginning of the end for me. But I can empathize with some of what you are saying. Then again.. Really, if enough priests have to be replaced people may just quit God. I have seen this in my parents. In Kali-yuga true gurus as well as true priests are difficult to find - EXTERNALLY. One has to struggle to find time to reach the internal world, in spite of the onslaught of day-to-day "reality".
  14. There's a lot of good points here but without getting bent out of shape I think that "ISKCON Guru" is first and foremost a title. The actual position is much more like that of a prison minister who is also a prisoner. They are typically not free or liberated yet, not Christ, but have attained that tentative status due to their good behavior. A recent GBC resolution requests that all aspiring initiates be directed to Srila Prabhupada as their only siksa-guru for 6 months. After which time I guess they can pick their chaplain or run to Bangalore
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