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  1. KR: Why do we need to do that? I fail to see the relevance. How do we know Prabhupada comes from an unbroken disciplic succession from where ever he claims he is? How do we know they were all genuine? Did you ever pose this question to your Gurus? Why shouldn't it be relevant ? Since you insist so much on the lineage. Can u trace your lineage back to Brahma? Well I can trace my Guru parampara back to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (and even to Vyasa deva, but I don't want to get into that discussion here), who is considered as Sri Krsna by us.
  2. KR: The only choices you have are to accept Varna by birth or reject the Varna system. Introducing new concepts of dynamic Varna, etc., are not acceptable. "The idea of chaturvarnya or 'four colors' in the Gita vindicates this view only. The Gita idea of 'four colors' is quite distinct from the idea of 'four castes' prevelent today. It is a idea which relates only to the soul's inmost nature or personality-trait. The true color of the soul needs to be discovered. That indeed is a right social order. In such a social order, the son of a low-born (sudra) may be a nobleman (brahmana); contrarywise, a brahmana's son may also be a sudra. For, 'varna' or color is not something which is transmitted hereditarily; it is something quite personal; something which is determined by the individual's own personality traits." (Madhwacharya –Life and Teachings, Sri Bannanje Sanmana Samiti, Poorna Prajna Vidyapeetha, Bangalore 1997)<o:p></o:p> Not every Brahmana can become the pontiff of a Madhva math, various qualities of the person (ranging from horoscope, his mastery over scriptures, service to Guru etc) are considered before one is appointed as a pontiff. If qualities of the person are used to identify an excellent brahmana among brahmanas, why shouldn't the qualities of a person be considered to differentiate between a brahmana and sudra ?? <o:p></o:p>
  3. KR: Evidently not, as no one is qualified to assess an individual's "real" Varna and recent examples of such attempts have created disastrous results. I wouldn´t call the results disastrous, even though it cannot be denied that some people couldn't keep up with their Sanyasa vows. There are many good things that you forget to see, thousands of people from Beef eating families are taking Hari nama, have given up meat eating, intoxication etc.The number of people who have given up their devotional life is insignificant compared to the number of people who have been brought to the culture of Hari nama. There are many examples of people born in Brahmana families also who have blooped. The Madhva mathas also are no exception. We all know what effect the hereditary caste system had on the Indian society. If you have ever visited an Indian village, you will know how badly people of the lower castes are treated even to this day. This has also resulted in people leaving Sanatan Dharma and turning to other religions like Buddhism, Christianity etc. People who don't have basic human values go by as Brahmanas, just because they were born in a Brahmana family. Accepting such people as leaders of the society is just denying common sense. ------------------------------- KR:Then the Purana agrees that Varna is determined by birth. Otherwise, this statement has no meaning. Sorry, that was my mistake, I meant Rakshasas also take birth in Brahmana families and not really that rakshasas are born as Brahmanas. And this is the verse that I was referring to. The Varaha Purana states - raksasah kalim asritya jayante brahma-yonisu utpanna brahmana-kule badhante srotriyan krsna ( In Kali Yuga Rakshasa are born in Brahmana Kulasa and create problems in hearing about Krishna). --- KR: A dubious source. There is also an Allah Upanishad & a Chaitanya Upanishad. There may be some upanishads which may be dubious, but you can't say that about the Vajra sucika as well. This upanishad is one of the 108 upanishads mentioned in Muktiko upanishad. ----------- KR:Wrong. Gautama's first question to Jabala was on his lineage. Since the boy did not know who his father was, Gautama asked him more questions to determine his lineage and accepted the boy as a disciple *only* after he was satisfied about his lineage. A: Sorry, I have to disagree with the second part of what you said. Can you tell me how was Gautama muni able to figure out his lineage when the boy or his mother did not know it themselves? It was purely based on the qualities that he observed and Srimad Madhvacharya has also said the same. KR:No. You are mixing real life with academics. If you go by the book, no one on the planet displays all the characteristics of a single Varna and none other. Hence, it is a wasted attempt to determine Varna by characteristics. The only choices you have are to accept Varna by birth or reject the Varna system. Introducing new concepts of dynamic Varna, etc., are not acceptable. If no one possesses or can develop all the characteristics of a brahmana how can anyone be eligible to attain moksha. It is hard for me to understand how a person with even some degree of untruthfulness or lustfulness can get moksha. Your understanding implies even great devotees like Kanaka dasa had to have some degree of untruthfulness (or any of the qualities of a Sudra) to a certain extent, just because he was born a Sudra. ----- KR: Isolated quotes from unknown sources do not make sustainable arguments . You can find plenty of verses from scriptures accepted by both the GVs and the Madhvas like the Padma Purana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata at gosai.com (i couldn't post the link because i am not allowed to until i make at least 15 posts, i am sure u know of it, if u don't type 'madhva gaudiya gosai' in google ) If you think they are taken out of context, then kindly explain what is the context and why they are not be understood as the GVs understand them to be. If you think the verses/sources don't exist, then any discussion is pointless. How can you deny the well known case of Vishwamitra changing his Varna from Kshatriya to Brahmana. Even If your argument is Viswamitra had to do penance for thousands of years to become a Brahmana, you cannot deny that change in Varna is possible. And also Viswamitra perfomed such severe austerities not to become just another Brahmana but to become a Brahmarshi. ----------
  4. * There are 4 varnas - brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya, shoodhra. * All 4 varnas are needed in our society for it to thrive. ---------- Though the 4 varnas are created by Sri Krsna himself, but the GVs believe, they are after all only bodily designations. 1) The Satya Yuga did not have these four varnas. It had only the Hamsa Varna. SB 11.17.10 adau krita-yuge varno nrinam hamsa iti smritah krita-krityah praja jatya tasmat krita-yugam viduh SYNONYMS adau -- in the beginning (of the millennium); krita-yuge -- in the Satya-yuga, or age of truth; varnah -- the social class; nrinam -- of human beings; hamsah -- named hamsa; iti -- thus; smritah -- well known; krita-krityah -- perfect in the execution of duties by complete surrender to the Supreme Lord; prajah -- the citizens; jatya -- automatically by birth; tasmat -- therefore; krita-yugam -- Krita-yuga, or the age in which all duties are fulfilled; viduh -- was thus known by the learned. TRANSLATION In the beginning, in Satya-yuga, there is only one social class, called hamsa, to which all human beings belong. In that age all people are unalloyed devotees of the Lord from birth, and thus learned scholars call this first age Krita-yuga, or the age in which all religious duties are perfectly fulfilled. 2) The Puranas also state that the Kali Yuga has mostly Sudras, still both the societies thrived/thriving. ================================= B) * There is no way of identifying with 100% certainity that one definitely belongs to a certain varna no matter how pious they act. ------------- I agree with you, but if it would be necessary to identify a Brahmana then wouldn't studying the qualities of the person be a better criteria for judging the person than the birth of the person ? If you say that both birth and the qualities are necessary, then I have some points which disputes that birth to be a criteria. 1. The puranas say that in Kali Yuga demons also take birth as Brahmanas. 2. In Vajrasucika Upanishad, it is clearly stated that birth is not a criteria 3. Also how can you make sure that all the ancestors in a person's lineage had been Brahmanas and have performed all the samskaras ? 4. In Chandogya Upanishad too there is the story of Satyakama who was recognised as a Brahmana inspite of a low birth.Although there was no evidence that Satyakama was born from a brahmana family, Haridrumata Gautama accepted him as a brahmana simply on the strength of his brahminical character. Srimad Madhvacharya comments on this story as follows: arjavam brahmane saksat sudro'narjava-laksanah gautamas tviti vijnaya satyakamam upanayat "A brahmana possesses the quality of simplicity, and a sudra possesses the quality of crookedness. Knowing this fact, Gautama gave upanayanam to Satyakama." ================================= C) * Maadhvas have high regards and pay homage to great souls who were born in different varnas and demonstrated their qualities through Bhakti, Jnana, and Vairagya. * Although such exalted souls and the Godhead were born into non-brahmin varnas, they never changed their varnas to that of brahmins. -- Sri Kanaka dasa was born as a Sudra (Kuruba,Shepherd) but everybody including the Madhvas recognized him as a saint. You say that he was a great saint but still a Sudra. Srimad Acharya in his commentary on Chandogya Upanishad (previously mentioned) has said that a Sudra has the qualities of Crookedness, do you think Sri Kanakadasa was crooked at the same time a saint ? In Bhagavad Gita 18.42, Sri Krsna says that 'samah, damah, tapah, saucam, ksanitih, arjavam...' 'peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity/cleanliness, tolerence, honesty' are the qualities to be found in Brahmanas. Do you think these saints born in different varnas didn't have these qualities but were still saints ? ================================= D) ** If brahminism was the highest point to be reached, Lord Krishna would have claimed himself to be a Brahmin inspite of him born into a Yadava dyansty. * Maadhvas pray to Lord Rama and Krishna who were born as non-Brahmins. -- In the opinion of Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Brahmanas are in the mode of Sattva, Kshatriyas in the mode of Rajas, Sudras in the mode of Tamas. But Sri Krsna and his pure devotees are in Suddha Sattva above all these three modes of material nature. The don't belong to any varna. Why do you forget that Sri Krsna acted like a Vysya in Vrindavan and as a Ksatriya in Mathura ? C) Regarding one more point raised in other posts about why ISKCON Gurus got into nasty situations. ---- Madhva pontiffs have always been born in Brahmin families, why then have not so nice things happened at many of the Madhva mathas, for example the Vyasaraya matha in recent times? In my opinion it is just that these devotees got slack in their sadhana or committed aparadha at the lotus feet of Hari and Vaisnavas, not that there was some defect in their initiating Gurus or parampara. Hare Krsna, Sharat Jai Guru Jai Gauranga Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
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