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  1. "But what good does it do to take new births over and over again if the soul forgets all the lessons learned from the previous lifetimes? The soul can not learn from her past mistakes because, she can not remember them. Again, reincarnation seems to be a uselessly complicated explaination. Illogical. " The way I see it you do remeber the lessons to some extent, your bought up in a family and environment that mirrors your conciousness at the time of your previous death, ie if you were a sence enjoyer you will get ta family which are the same, if you died saintly you will be born in a saintly family and thus relearn the lessons, its also the case that the subcouncious holds lessons, people are born with differing attributes, ie mozart compiled his famous composition at 5?, from a young age some kids are scared of water some arent, heights some arent. Then you've got a whole load of circumstantial evidence of past life regressions during hypnosis and a whole load of kids and adults that to this day have claimed and been tested by scientist about past life memories which point to some sort of previous existence. So considering the above reincarnation to me seems to be somewhat more reasonable than a totally unprovable unlogical concept of eternal hell and heaven.
  2. The day before I left, I asked to go into the desert to the Temple of Fire. I had gone there the last time I was in Baku, but that visit had been brief. It was an ancient Vedic temple in the outskirts of Baku, and I wanted to know more about it. The history of the place, with its natural-gas fires coming out of the earth, goes back thousands of years. The earliest written records of it date back to the followers of the ancient Zoroastrian faith, which preceded Islam. These people were mainly worshipers of the elements, and fire was their main meditation. In the fourth Century BC, they worshiped at the site. After an hour, we arrived at the temple. It is an impressive structure, built by ascetics from India many centuries ago. From the 15th to the 18th centuries, Baku was one of the most important trade centers between Azerbaijan and India. Goods were brought by traders from India and then sent by sea to Russia and Western Eu r! ! ope. Some historians say the site was frequented by Indian sages for thousands of years. These descriptions conform to Srila Prabhupada's statement that Vedic culture once flourished all over the world. I entered the sacred compound with the understanding that I was visiting an ancient Vedic holy place. The compound is surrounded by large walls, with a main temple in the center and 26 other rooms. Small fires emanate from the rock floor of each room, and ascetics used to live in the rooms, worship the fires, and perform severe austerities. The Azerbaijan government has decided to promote tourism there and recently installed dioramas of yogis performing austerities in many of the rooms. In one room, there is a diorama of a yogi lying on limestone, a severe skin irritant. In another room, a yogi is standing in heavy chains. The display board says he has vowed never to sit again. In another room, ascetics are fasting to death while meditating on the sacred flame. Of course, such austerities have nothing to do with bhakti yoga, which aims at awakening one's love for God through devotional activities, but it was fascinating to see the ancient site where sadhus attempted to become detached from this world of birth and death. As our government guide, a young woman in her late teens, took us around, I noticed that the doorways were very low. I turned to my translator. "Why are the doorways so low?" I said. "Ask the guide whether it means the practitioners were small in stature." "Oh no," the guide answered through the translator. "It was a way of making people bow in humility as they entered to worship the sacred fires that came from the earth. They were practicing to become saints." "But Srila Prabhupada was a modern-day saint," she continued. We all looked at one another in surprise. "He taught people all over the world how to love God in a simple way," she said. "She knows about Srila Prabhupada?" ! ! I asked the translator. The translator spoke with her briefly, then turned to me. "She says she has never met him," he said, "but she hopes to, some day. She knows all about his mission to America in the 1960s. She wants to know if he will ever visit Azerbaijan." My eyes welled up with tears. There, in that remote part of the world, someone was speaking about and inquiring with such faith about my spiritual master. I paused for a moment. "I'm sorry," I said. "He passed away many years ago." She looked down, visibly affected. "Such saints are very rare in this world," she said. "Yes, they are," I said, appreciating the fact more through her realization than mine. "How do you know about my spiritual master?" I asked. "I bought a book about him last year from one of your members on the street in Baku," she said through the translator, "I learned to appreciate him from that book." "All glories to book distribution," I said under my breath. It was getting late, so I paid my obeisances and left that holy place with a deeper appreciation of Vedic history, and more important, a greater appreciation for my spiritual master, inspired by the words of a young Muslim girl who understood him to be a genuine saint of our times. "The Vaisnavas are internal forms of the blissful mellows of Sri Caitanya's samkirtan movement. Because they distribute the gifts of love of God, their consciousness is always purified. They are all great souls. Indeed, Lord Krsna empowers them as equal with Himself and they rescue the people from the cycle of birth and death." [sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, Susloka-Satakam, verse 39] Excerpts from The Travelling Preachers Diary by HH Indradyuma Swami - Chapter 5 - The City of Doom & The Temple of Fire.
  3. Since the christmas marathon has started... Indradyumna Swami: Then I visited the public restroom near the festival grounds, and I complimented the old cleaning woman. "This is the cleanest public toilet I have ever seen in Poland," I said. "Thank you very much." She was struck. "I've been working here 10 years," she said, "and you're the first person to ever thank me. But I'm not surprised. You're good people. I've watched your festival from a distance for years now. Everyone leaves your program smiling." "Can you come also?" I said. She looked surprised. "You're inviting me?" she asked. "Yes," I said, "to dinner. I'll come get you at 6 p.m. and we'll have dinner together in our vegetarian restaurant." She looked down. "I'm an old woman," she said. "No one has ever asked me. You know, I ..." She stopped. Her eyes had welled up with tears. I took her hand. "I'll be back at six," I said. But ! ! at 5:30 p.m., just an hour into the festival program, our big seven-ton generator broke down. The maintenance crew told me that it appeared to have been sabotaged. "It seems someone poured water into the fuel tank," Niti-laksa das said. Not everyone appreciates our programs. We have to be always on guard against the envious. So I was 20 minutes late for picking up the old woman. I went with Gaura Hari das and Nandini dasi. She wasn't there. An old man was sitting in her chair, bent over preparing a bucket of water to clean the toilets. "She went home," he told us. "She wasn't feeling well." "I'm sorry to hear that," I said. I looked at the thin, gray-haired,poorly dressed old man, and I felt sorry for him. "Do you know the old woman?" I asked. "Oh yes," he replied, "she's my wife. We've worked together here for years. Can you imagine that?" "No," I said, "I can't." I immediately regretted my answer. I was afraid I had insulted the old ! ! man, so I tried to smooth things over. "I don't think there's anything wrong with working here," I said. "I meant to say I ..." "Don't worry," said the old man. "I know it's not the best work, and it doesn't pay well, but we get by." He paused. "And do you know how?" he asked. I was afraid I would put my foot in my mouth again, so I didn't answer. "By reading the Gita," he said slowly. Gaura Hari, Nandini, and I looked at each other in amazement. "Yes," he continued, "your Gita makes sense of everything. You can clearly understand the soul by reading the Gita. No other religion has such a concise explanation of the soul, reincarnation, and karma. If a man kills someone and then himself dies soon after, how will he be punished unless he's born again? Reincarnation explains why some people are born into misery and others into good fortune." For a moment I thought I was dreaming. Was the old cleaning man really speaking Vedic philosophy? "Take the material body," he continued. "It is only dead matter. How can it be activated unless there is the presence of the soul? That's why it's wrong to kill animals. They also have souls. God created beings so they could live, not so they could be killed." I was struck by his clear logic. "A man works all his life," he continued, "and he gets a pension to live out his remaining days, but the cow gives milk all her life, and then people kill her. It's wrong. And the whole world is suffering the reaction in the form of wars. Therefore God sends messengers at different times to enlighten us to these truths, but people just don't listen. What can be done?" Gaura Hari turned to me. "Sometimes I think you exaggerate in your diaries," he said, "but I'll never think that again." "You know," I whispered to him, "that's the same thing Dharmatma prabhu said after we survived a serious car accident near Jagannath Puri." I turned t! ! o the old man. "But there is an answer," I said. "We can have festivals like these to help people understand." "Yes," he said, "you're right. Go on with your festivals. Let people hear the truth." I had to return to the festival to give my stage lecture. "One more thing," I said. "Can you and your wife be my guests for dinner tomorrow evening at the last night of the festival?" He looked surprised. "Please," I continued. "We'd be honored." "All right," he said, "thank you." He stood up and picked up the bucket. "I didn't know what real religion was until I read the Gita," he said softly, half to himself, as he disappeared into the toilets. Srila Prabhupada's words came to my mind: "Therefore we stress so much in the book distribution. Somehow or other, if the book goes in one hand, he will be benefited ... If he reads one sloka, his life will be successful...Therefore we are stressing so much, 'Please distribute books, distribute bo o! ! ks, distribute books.' " [Lecture, January 5, 1974, Los Angeles] Excerpts from a Travelling Oreachers Dairy - Volume 5 - A Lesson from an Old Cleaning Man.
  4. Complacency Excerpt from a lecture by H.H. Radhanath Swami Question: Maharaj, you mentioned in the lecture about how we take things, which we have been doing for several years, for granted. You gave the example of television. The same thing happens to us even in spiritual life because some things we have been doing for years together. (It's like) You just switch on the 'television' in the morning, and start chanting and get on with it. It becomes very mechanical. We tend to take it for granted after some time. So how do we avoid this? Radhanath Maharaj: It is very important that we keep our intelligence tuned in to the good fortune that we have received and never take it for granted. That is why it is important to associate with people who truly understand the value of the gift that we have received and hearing from them. When we read Srila Prabhupada's books, when we come to the classes of the devotees, when we listen to tapes, we should actually have this intent, not just to hear as an entertainment, but to understand that I desperately need to hear, to keep my consciousness aware of the good fortune I am receiving as well as the dangers of maya. One of the greatest of all maya's arsenals to overcome us is the danger of complacency. Krishna tells us in the Gita, "We must give up egoism and lethargy - two terrible enemies." Lethargy can be both on the gross and subtle platform. On the gross platform, we are just lazy, we just want to sleep. We don't want to do work. We rather just not exert our senses, because it is difficult. This is a physical type of lethargy. But, the more subtle form of lethargy is to take the unlimited value of the fortune of Krishna Consciousness as something ordinary. Or as they say, "You take it for granted." When we are new devotees, we are struck with wonder at our great fortune to be able to hear Srimad Bhagavatam. 'It is answering all my questions! The holy name is giving me relief from material existence. It is giving me a taste for Krishna', is our initial reaction. When we first come to the temple and eat prasadam and see the Deities, we can feel how it is liberating our soul. And the fact is that it is liberating our soul. But as we become familiar, we we take it to be ordinary. As we take it to be ordinary, we are not really accessing the benefits. So we must maintain great enthusiasm, and gratitude towards all the various subtleties of devotional service. It is very important. Because, if we become complacent in our devotional activities, then it is just a matter of time till maya again attracts us to perform her activities. We have to have determination. Therefore, when we come to class, when we read the books, we should really be trying to reconfirm the intense awareness of the great mercy we are receiving and reciprocate with that mercy. Every time we chant japa, we should really be praying and struggling to really be grateful and reciprocate with this great mercy we have received through Krishna's holy name. It is a miracle. It is a wonder. But yes, we just turn on the station, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." Then, when it is time for the next show, we (unfortunately) turn it off. We should be very conscious not to fall into that trap. Because if we do, we lose interest in that station and soon we will just start turning on other stations at that time. Maya will seduce us. So we have to struggle against this complacency. We have to pray. We have to endeavour and especially, we must very attentively hear those messages that will reconfirm our awareness of the dangers of material life, the beauty and sweetness of Krishna, the glories of devotional service and how fortunate we are that by the causeless mercy of Guru and Krishna we have received this chance.
  5. Unfortunately the government wouldnt of recognised a vedic school. Considering the secterian argument, firstly the school is tolerant of other cultures as its not based on we are the only ones that are right which is prevelent in the other 3 main religions. Srila prabhupada wanted gurukulas which to some may seem more secterian than normal schools. Unfortunately most parents are reluctent to send their children to gurukuls after whats happened it will take some time to build that faith again.
  6. Please give us your blessings. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/4334330.stm First UK Hindu school in London The school will have at least 240 children The UK's first state-funded Hindu school will be opened in London, the government has announced. The Department for Education and Skills said it would give £9.8m to Harrow Council in north-west London, for the single faith school. The borough, which has the highest percentage of Hindus in the UK, hopes the school will be open by 2010. The I-Foundation, a Hindu charity that has campaigned for the school, said it was "delighted". A spokesman for the council said it would begin the consultation process soon but that the location of the school was commercially sensitive. Hindu population She said in its first year there would be just one year group. More year groups would be added later until the school had its full complement of eight. "We are doing this to minimise the effect on other schools in the area," the council spokeswoman said. "If we opened the school with all eight years, other schools, especially primary schools, may suffer gaps in their places because of parents taking them out to go to the Hindu school." About 20% of the population of the borough of Harrow is Hindu. Our intent is to ensure that the school is fully integrated and working in synergy with the local community and schools I-Foundation's Nitesh Gor When all eight years are filled the school will have at least 240 pupils. Nitesh Gor, spokesman for the I-Foundation, said: "Our intent is to ensure that the school is fully integrated and working in synergy with the local community and schools. "To this end, over the coming months we will be working closely with Harrow Council to begin a rigorous programme of community and local school consultation to enable us to make this project successful." Cllr Navin Shah, leader of Harrow Council, said: "The Hindu faith school will be yet another piece in the jigsaw of our culturally diverse and united communities."
  7. “We are Vaisnava devotees, not politicians. So these things must be stopped, plotting. Your merit stands far above theirs, you have done some tangible work to please me by spreading this Krishna Consciousness message in New Orleans, that is the test. Let them do something first, then we shall see what is their criticism. Simply criticizing and no work, that is the business of inferior men. So do not be disturbed by them, go on with your work, increasing more and more. Never mind the jackals howl. Hoping this meets you in good health. Your ever well-wisher, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami”
  8. It looks like devotees like to pick out what suits their agendas, heres one in a series of replys maharaj has given in those email discussions. "Bhakti Tirtha Swami" btswami@ifast.net Ajamila.ACBSP@pamho.net Cc: Bhakti.Vikasa.Swami@pamho.net, Malati.ACBSP@pamho.net, "Kavicandra Swami \(GBC Japan\)" Kavicandra.Swami@pamho.net, Krishna_Kirti@hotmail.com, Isvara.GGS@pamho.net, bkgoswami@compuserve.com, India.Open@pamho.net, Prabhupada.Disciples@pamho.net, Ripuha@pamho.net, Dadhibhaksa@pamho.net Encouraging celibacy Fri, 22 Aug 2003 19:07:11 +0200 Dear Ajamila das, Please accept my humble obeisances, All glories to Srila Prabhupada! I am always glad to hear from you for you are very dedicated in your services. There is a difference between open discussion and endorsement. Perhaps a problem also here is my use of the term gay man or third gender. I earlier said: "We should not lump all gays into the same category." I used gay in a rather broad sense. I didn't say homosexuals. I was thinking more of eunuchs and many who have a physical and chromosome issue, man as well as woman. For instance, there are people who are born with both genitals male and female. There are also those who are assigned one gender at birth by the doctors, and later as they mature find their body physically or biologically responding to different gender. These and other complicated cases are more numerous than most people are aware of, ask any gynecologist. I know of about ten cases. Never have I advocated illicit sex or deviant behavior. But yes, I do advocate trying to understand our as well as others particular body disease so we can rise above them. I am sorry some who have their agenda are trying to use me (I see this coming from two different opposite camps), put words into my mouth, etc. Whatever is perceived, my conclusions were honoring celibacy and following the 4 regs and compassionately encouraging everyone to rise above any various challenges so we can be first class in Srila Prabhupada's service. Some discussions can open up flood gates, but avoiding certain issues can increase underlying conflicts or cover over problems that are already existing. I hope these recent exchanges will help any of those who are in the (homosexual) communities who are trying to push on the movement anything that goes against dharma or sanatana dharma to stop. And I pray those recent exchanges on these important days will encourage more devotees to better understand various Vaisnavas suffering difficulties and struggles so we can all be more able to protect each other from maya in her gross and subtle forms. I pray all of us will do our part in protecting Srila Prabhupada's house by avoiding making offences towards each other and being more cautious in how we come to our conclusions. I will surely personally try to be more precise and clear in the future. Below are some references some of you asked for: 1. SB 10.1.69 - purport, a discussion on man woman or (in between): (To distinguish persons that are bereft of these transcendental pleasures, Pariksit Maharaja has used the words (virajyeta puman). The word puman refers to any person, whether man, woman, or in-between) 2. Tape #67-002 San Francisco 04/05/67 Special attendent on Lord Caitanya's birth SP: (Srila Prabhupada) Jagannatha Misra is father. He was. whatever money and cloth and gold and silver. they were coming. he was also distributing to poor man, some dancers. In India there is a system. what do you call the eunuchs? Those who are neither male or female? What do you call them? What is their name? HD: (Hayagriva dasa) A combination of both? SP: Yes. HD: Male and female? Hermaphrodite. SP: Eunuchs? What is the eunuch? HD: Eunuch. A eunuch is a . SP: Tell me that. HD: Impotent. someone who's been castrated. SP: Oh. That is called a eunuch. HD: Eunuch. SP: Rather, by nature, neither man nor woman. HD: Oh. This is also called asexual. That is to say, no sex. SP: No sex? HD: Hermaphrodite means they have the physical characteristics of both man and woman. SP: Oh? At the same time? HD: At the same time. SP: I do not know exactly, but such people, they have their own society, and their means of livelihood is, that whenever there is some good occasion.marriage or childbirth, like that, so, they go there and pray to God that this child may be very long-living. In this way they make some prayer and get some. HD: These people. Now, I don't understand. SP: .Yes. Saci devi is the mother of Lord Caitanya. She is sitting with the child. And everyone is greeting and visiting and everyone is saying, "Oh! Look how nice a child He is!" HD: And these "asexual" people? SP: They are dancing. HD: They are dancing. SP: Yes. They are chanting Hare Krsna. Like that. So. Hare Krsna dancing is going there and visitors are coming and presenting very nice things. Yes. 3. SB 10.62.25-26 Srila Visvanath Chakravati has defined the word bhatah as (female guards), whereas Jiva Goswami defines them (eunuchs and others). Grammatically the word can function both ways. As there are professional singers, dancers and reciters of prayers in the heavenly planets, so in India still are professional dancers, blessers and singers, all of whom assembled together during householder ceremonies, especially marriages and birth ceremonies. These professional men earn their livelihood by taking charity on such occasions from the home of the Hindus. Eunuchs also take advantage of such ceremonies to receive charity. That is their means of livelihood. Such men never become servants or engage themselves in agriculture or business occupation; they simply take charity from neighborhood friends to maintain themselves peacefully. The bhatah are a class of brahmana who goes trough such ceremonies to offer blessings by composing poems with references to the Vedic scriptures. 4. (a) Here are two inserts from my own Spiritual Warrior II book pg 15: (.Society itself encourages a wide variety of self-indulgent boundaries violations, so that today's culture is replete with signs of serious imbalance: pornography, promiscuity, abortion, incest, homosexuality and sexually transmitted disease.) (b) (Another manifestation of misdirect sexuality in modern society is the growing number of homosexuals and bisexuals) (SW II pg 18) Krishna's dharma and Isvara's submission are very clear. I hope you had a wonderful festival period. I think it is so wonderful there are devotees like Bhakti Vikasa Swami to keep in check devotees like myself who with good intention may appear by some to be too inclusive and sentimental and I think it is good to have devotees like myself who can help check devotees like Bhakti Vikasa who may appear to some to be a fundamentalist and too harsh. What a wonderful society His Devine Grace Srila Prabhupada has given us! So not to be sentimental (smile) let me address another issue. Srila Prabhupada's first book was "Easy journey to other planets". He tried to capture people by using this contemporary theme. I have one very unusual book: Spiritual Warrior I, which was a series of lectures to professionals who are metaphysics. I made a few wild statements. I have several disclaimers in the book however, clarifying that the real goal is not these passages of secondary knowledge but primary knowledge which brings one to full surrender to the Supreme. I have even included in the new edition at the beginning that the author is purposely using the language of the psychics to attract them to bhakti and not to influence the devotees to embrace secondary knowledge. In rare cases some of our acaryas like Bhaktivinoda have done this, so it is not unique. The beauty of the book really is how it shows how these professionals become devotees now serving in ISKCON, following all four principles and giving up their past gurus, impersonalism, etc. All of my books target different audiences and are selling up to 1/4 million very soon. This book was discussed in Mayapura and the settlement is with Kalakantha, so there is no problem here when things are understood in the proper prospective. Srila Prabhupada often quotes Canakya Pandit, but he is only a secondary source used to enhance a primary consideration, he even quoted the Aquarian gospel which is offensive to Krishna. If this book is too disturbing with all these clarifications, then maybe it is best to withdraw it. For some will say I do not have the spiritual potency to do such things as Bhaktivinoda, as he used the language of Bauls, sahajiyas to convert them or as Srila Prabhupada. The same ones will say you must do more as our acharyas have done. So, what to do? Many know when Srila Prabhupada was on the planet this was my kind of service i.e. sneak in like a needle and came out like a plow - spiritual espionage. So I still find ways to do this from time to time, sometimes even as an African king or etc. Now I am praying every day very hard to Srila Prabhupada to help me to assist more in minimizing the suffering of devotees and to reach so many more pious karmis. I am sometimes creative and radical, so please watch me closely. Read my other books, if anyone feels my behavior is getting too radical, please tell me. I not only want constant feedback but I celebrate it! How blessed I was to have several of you thinking of me during these auspicious days. I see it as a wonderful omen. Let us keep checking in on each other as a family seeing how to protect Srila Prabhupad's house. After all, all we have is each other. I look forward to this being my best year in devotional service. I hope you are feeling the same. Srila Prabhupada ki jay! Yours in Srila Prabhupada's service, with love, Bhakti-Tirtha Swami
  9. "But Bhakti Tirtha Swami's preaching is exactly the opposite - it is couched in mundane information regarding weird personality cults, UFOs, alien beings and other rubbish that primarily appeals to members of the Western new-age, counter-culture. " His books attracted people to full fledged devotional service he many times said it was a bridge preaching tool. Bhaktivinod takhur also wrote things which are completely not vaishnava not even gaudiya vaishnava such as the avataras representing evolution and the rasas representing mundane evolution of societies, as well as giving sholorly dates on when the vedas were written and whom (other than vyas) Although he knew the truth he used it to get the british to accept vaishnavism as a first step. All this is completely against what you interpret as vaishnavism. As for dressing up funky, bhaktisidhnata maharaj explained by his example we can use anything in the service for krishna by coming to radahkund in a suited in a car, showing the fault finding babajis that anything can be used in service, the dress of sanyas is supposed to be used in service but krishna conciousness is above even the material designation of sanayas. As for all the other things you mentioned I dont know his level of relisation or is sastric knowledge but as someone who did service that prabhupada was extremely happy with and bring so many conditioned souls to krishhna he definately is a an athentic vaishnava as krishna says one that preaches my glories is dear to me. My personal opinion is that many devotees who spend their time being the critics of vaishnavas and so called protectors of (thier version of) truth need to go out and preach like they were ordered to and hopefully fill the void of pure devotees that they percieve. Spending ones life analysing ISKCON and vaishnavas wont change your own hearts nor the 6 billion people on this planets hearts. If prabhupada spent his time talking about every big and little thing his god brothers did wrong and even starting a movement against them in the name of helping the diciples of these gurus by speaking the truth and trying to help his gurus mission then im afraid most of us wouldnt of known krishna. Instead he did what his guru had ordered and thats to preach mahaprabhu's mission. Small minds live in their small worlds, there is a bigger world out there. I've seen devotees like tribhuvanatha prabhu in action, they have little concern for who is relised who is pretending, they go on harinams alone if they have to, they do festivals and continue with the mission as ordered always blissed out (unfortuantely we tend to surrender as new bhaktas fully blissed out but lose it very quickly so we focus on socio-political problems like institutional politics, gayism, femnism in kc, animal rights, ecology etc), if people see someone doing something great others natuarally follow, if you dont like them following that person then you do something better, as krishna says what great men do common men follow. Thats what prabhupada did, and many sincere devotees today are doing.
  10. A few months ago I went through all his diary entries online, some of them will bring tears to your eyes, very exiting and inspirational. http://www.traveling-preacher.com/index.htm
  11. I like the idea of whatever it takes, sounds like chanakya pandits style to me a bramhin with kstryia motives, very diplomatic and shrwed. I guess the best kstriyas are bramhins who carry out kstriya duties no? Prabhupada knew the 4 varnas and could seemingly act on any of those platforms as shown by his example. He acted in a diplomatic way with when it came to politicas adn when he's temples were in danger making alliances for example with shiva sena, he new how businesses ran and gave loads of guidance to his phd diciples, and he trained devotees in how to be brahmins worshipping dieties and the general culture.
  12. Theres a few here http://www.krishna.com/main.php?id=183 The jewish kabbalah guys have some good stuiff thats similar to us (apart from the mayavad)we borrowed some material from them when producing the as-it-is cd. http://www.kabbalah.com/kabbalah/courses/course_signup.html
  13. "A jiva is first situated on the line of demarcation between the material world and the spiritual world. There those jivas who do not forget their relation with Krsna derive the power of consciousness and are drawn into the spiritual world" How do they forget something they never had?????
  14. Diary of a Traveling Preacher Volume 6 - Chapter 17 "The Last Festival" Poland 11/08/05 - 25/08/05 By the time I returned to Poland after my short visit to Ukraine, the devotees had broken down Krsna's Village of Peace at Woodstock and returned to our summer base on the Baltic coast. They greeted me with a small reception, and I spoke about our plans for the next two weeks. This would be the final leg of our festival tour. The devotees had been holding festivals almost every day since May, and they were tired, but when I mentioned that the season was drawing to a close, many of them had tears in their eyes. For all of us here, the festivals are our life and soul. Though we had experienced many obstacles in the past months, endured many austerities, and bore witness to the sufferings of many people, the pleasure of giving Krsna consciousness to others far outweighed any inconvenience we had undergone. As in every other year, hundreds of thousands of people had attended our festivals. I thought about the magnitude of what we had done, and I did not know how to repay the devotees. Then I remembered the dream about Srila Prabhupada I had had in Ukraine, and I shared it with the devotees. They listened spellbound. "What we accomplished this year was a team effort," I said. "Therefore the embrace that Srila Prabhupada gave me in the dream is meant to be shared with all of you." Though rainstorms were predicted, the weather remained perfect throughout the next two weeks, so we lengthened the hours of Harinama, causing the attendance at the festivals to increase. Each summer we hold our final event in the town of Pobierowo. As we were setting up the grounds there, the mayor came by on her bicycle and spoke with Jayatam dasa. "When people heard that your last festival would be here," she said, "many extended their vacation an extra three days. Our office has been flooded with inquiries about the program. You can expect a very big crowd." I heard about her prediction, and I decided to make it come true, so I took the Harinam party out to the beach early that day. Even in the morning it was so crowded that our group of 110 devotees had difficulty maneuvering through the people lying on the sand. At one point I noticed a man following us, and after some time I went and spoke with him. "Are you enjoying the chanting?" I asked him. "Very much," he said. "I've been hearing about your festival for years, but my wife and I could never get enough money together to come up to the coast to see it, but last week I convinced 18 of my neighbors to pool their resources with ours so we could all come." He motioned with his head toward some people sitting in the sand nearby. I looked over at them, and they smiled and waved. "I was so excited I couldn't wait for the festival this afternoon," he continued, "so I decided to join you people singing here on the beach. Many of the townspeople say it's as good as the festival itself." An hour later, I noticed another man following us. And I wasn't the only one. A number of young people on the beach were pointing at him excitedly. I took the liberty of approaching him, and he introduced himself. "I'm the bass player in a famous rock band in Poland," he said. "When your group passed by on the beach, I was impressed with the man singing and playing the accordion. He's one of the best musicians I've ever heard. What's his name?" "Sri Prahlada das," I replied. I could not hold back a smile. "But he's not for hire," I added. As we moved along, people kept stopping us, asking if they could take a photo with us. Posing for photos with people was a daily affair for us on the beaches, and as they snapped away, we smiled and waved, happy that our colorful procession would be remembered back home after vacation was over. A little further down the beach I was startled by an unexpected sight. A seal, lying in the sand, jumped up and lumbered into the water. I had never seen a seal in the Baltic Sea before in all the years we had been doing Harinam there. "The locals say he's been here all summer," said a devotee. "They think he must have wandered in from the North Sea." I thought that was the end of it and continued the Harinam party, keeping close to the shore, but then I noticed the seal swimming alongside us. I thought he would pull away after a few moments, so I called out to the devotees, "Look at that!" The devotees laughed and raised their eyebrows, and the seal kept swimming beside us in the water. Every once in a while he would let out a loud bark. Soon the crowds noticed this and people started following us. As we kept chanting and dancing down the beach, the seal continued to swim along, perking its head up every few meters to look at us. The crowd following us became larger and larger. When we reached the end of the beach we turned around to go back, and sure enough, the seal turned and followed us. Finally, a young woman entered the water and started swimming, and the seal turned and followed her, a few meters behind. That was the last we saw of him. "It's like you mentioned the other day, Guru Maharaja," said a devotee. "The beach is no place for brahmacaris." On the way back to the festival site a devotee stopped in a camera store to have her film developed. A few minutes later she came running up to me. "Maharaja," she said, "the store owner was really happy to meet me. He even shook my hand. He said that practically every roll of film he's developed in the last few days has pictures of us with people standing next to our kirtan party on the beach." I entered our festival grounds with mixed feelings. I had no doubt it would be a big festival, as the mayor had said, but it would be the last of the year. The hours were passing, and soon the tumultuous roar of the holy names would come to an end. As I approached the stage, two young girls, about nine years old, came running up to me. "Do you remember me?" said one, almost out of breath. "Well, no," I said. "I can't say that do. I'm so sorry." "I was at the festival last year," she said, "and the year before, and the year before that. I live in this town, and I wait all summer for the festival to come. This is my friend, Agnieska. It's her first time." Agnieska smiled. "I was supposed to go to Italy today with my grandparents on vacation," she said, "but I told my Mom I'd rather stay back and come to the festival." "Really?" I said. "You stayed back for the festival instead of going to Italy?" "Yep," she replied, "and I'm really glad I did 'cause I heard there's going to be a wedding today." "Yes," I said, "there will be a wedding." "Can we be in the wedding?" the girls said in unison. "Please! Please!" Their enthusiasm made me smile. "Sure," I said, "as a matter of fact, we were just looking for two little girls to escort the bride through the crowd onto the stage and to bring the rings out when the couple exchange their vows. So you'll have to run over to the fashion booth and get dressed in saris real quick." In half a moment they were there. A short while later, people started pouring into the festival. Before we even started, the tents were filled with the curious, while the restaurant was filled with the hungry, and the seats in front of the stage with those eager for entertainment. It was just like all the other festivals of the summer ... except that it would be the last. I tried to forget that the end of the season was near and kept walking toward the stage to tell the devotees to start the opening bhajan. The hundreds of seats in front of the stage were already full, and there was still 20 minutes to show time. As I got closer, Nandini dasi came up to me. "Srila Gurudeva," she said, "something wonderful just happened." "What was that?" I said. "As I was driving to the festival an hour ago," she said, " a desperate-looking young man ran up to the window of the car and begged me to stop. 'My girlfriend is about to commit suicide,' he said. 'Please take me to her.' "I asked him where she was, and he said, 'The train station.' "I said I would take him and we drove off. I was not in devotee dress because I had been doing legal work in some offices. As we drove along he told me how grateful he was. "In order to take his mind off the stressful situation, I asked him what his interests in life were. 'The Festival of India,' he said. 'I visit their website regularly. What these people do is simply incredible. I came to meet them personally, but my girlfriend just had an argument with her mother and wants to do something really stupid.' "I tried to change the subject again, and I asked him if he was a student. 'Yes,' he said, 'I'm studying philosophy at the university in Krakow. But it's all very boring compared to the philosophy I read on the Festival of India website. The Hare Krishnas understand the bigger picture of life: karma, reincarnation, the material world, and the spiritual world. And they have a really pure lifestyle.' "I was amazed. Then he told me, 'Actually, I'd like to become a volunteer and help them spread their message.' He paused and studied me curiously for a moment. Then he turned his head to look in the back seat and saw the samosas I was bringing to the restaurant. He looked at me with his eyes opened wide. 'Are you a member of the festival group?' he said. "I smiled and told him I was. "'Wow!' he said. 'This is incredible! I got to meet one of you personally. Now I can see that you really do care for people. After I deal with my girlfriend, I'll come straight back to the festival. Can you help me become a volunteer?' "I told him I could, and with that he jumped out of the car, just as we came up to the train station. I'm waiting for him to come back to show him how he can become a volunteer." After speaking with Nandini, I continued towards the stage. As I walked along, I noticed we had the biggest crowd of the summer. But rather than make me happy, it only gave me more pain as I thought about the end of the season. Soon the stage program started. An hour later when Tribuvanesvara dasa, our master of ceremonies, announced the wedding, the shops and restaurant quickly emptied and people hurried forward to watch. I started toward the stage. "They won't understand if I look sad," I thought, so I forced myself to smile. Then I walked onto the stage with my translator and welcomed the huge crowd. "We're honored that so many of you have come to participate in this traditional Indian wedding," I said, my voice bellowing out over the sound system. "We're pleased to share this very colorful and joyful occasion with all of you. "Our bride and groom, Kunja-kishori dasi and Dayal Nitai dasa, are from St. Petersburg, Russia. They're part of our international group of devotees who have been putting on this festival for 16 years on the Baltic coast." I suddenly felt overcome with emotion and had to stop. I took a few deep breaths and continued. "It has been Kunja-kishori's and Dayal Nitai's dream for several years to be married at our festival. I'm sure they will appreciate that so many of you have come to encourage them." I paused for a moment. "But I must mention one thing," I said. The crowd became silent as the tone of my voice changed. "The bride is blind," I said slowly. "She won't be able to see anything that takes place on the stage today." Many people looked startled. "But she told me that she's never felt her blindness a handicap," I said. "She perceives the world fully through hearing. If anything, she told me, her blindness is a mixed blessing, as it has brought her closer to God. "I told her how many of you have come to her wedding today, and she is thrilled. My request is that you help her enjoy this auspicious occasion in a way she can understand: by loudly applauding the special moments of her wedding." Many people nodded their heads. Then we began. First Dayal Nitai walked to the stage from the back of the festival through the crowd, accompanied by his friends, all chanting Hare Krishna and playing musical instruments. The crowd looked pleased as he walked up onto the stage. But they were really waiting for Kunja-kishori. Soon she appeared, walking slowly on the same path with her girlfriends and the two little girls in their new saris. The entire audience stood up and gave her a round of thunderous applause. She came onto the stage and circumambulated her husband seven times with the help of a friend. Then she stood before the crowd to another round of loud applause. "Bravo! Bravo!" yelled a man. When Dayal Nitai lifted Kunja-kishori's veil, revealing her lovely face, the crowd burst into applause again and continued for a long time. When the couple exchanged garlands, the crowd applauded even louder. When, on behalf of her father, I gave her away to the groom, the crowd applauded yet again and roared with approval. And so it went at every stage of the wedding. I couldn't remember ever having participated in a public presentation of Krsna consciousness where the crowd participated so eagerly. At the end of the wedding, Dayal Nitai helped Kunja-kishori down the stairs and off the stage, where they were met by hundreds of people, all applauding. As I stood on the stage watching it all happen, I remembered Srila Prabhupada's words: "India will conquer the world by this Krsna culture. Rest assured." [Pandal lecture, Mumbai March 31, 1971] Then once again I remembered that the festival season was coming to a close, and my joy at seeing so many people appreciating Krsna consciousness faded into sadness. I went behind the stage curtain and sat alone for a few minutes, trying to regain my composure. After I came down from the stage, I met Nandini and Jayatam. I could see by the looks on their faces that they were feeling the same emotions as I. Just at that moment, a well-dressed older couple approached us. "That was a beautiful wedding," the man said, "as is everything else you are presenting here." "Thank you," I said. "One of your members told me you've been doing this festival for 16 years," he continued." Is that true?" "Well we started out simple," I said, "but yes, this is the 16th year." He looked at me for a moment and then put his hand out. As I shook it he said, "May your festivals go on until the end of time and one day more!" I was so touched I couldn't reply. As he and his wife left I turned to Jayatam and Nandini. "That's the only reward we want for our service," I said. "Whatever difficulties we've undergone this summer, that one handshake makes it all worthwhile." The next couple of hours went quickly. Before I began the final kirtan on stage I opened my heart to the thousand people standing in front of me. "Ladies and gentleman" I began, "this is a very emotional moment for all of us here at the Festival of India. This next performance, the singing of Hare Krishna, will be the last of the season. "We have enjoyed sharing with you and others, this wonderful spiritual culture of India. It has much to offer the world. We live in troubled times, but this Krsna consciousness movement is teaching the best way to live in this world, while preparing us to return home, to the spiritual kingdom." The crowd was listening to every word. I didn't have to convince them of much. The festival itself had already done that. "We look forward to seeing you again at another one of our festivals," I continued. "God willing, we'll be back again next year. The following kirtan is dedicated to all of you. Without your enthusiastic participation this festival wouldn't be the great event that it is." When I stopped they applauded, just as they had so done many times throughout the program. "They're appreciating Krsna consciousness," I thought, "by the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu." I paused for a few seconds before beginning the last kirtan. As I looked out at the sea of people, I prayed to the Lord that I might envision that moment when I leave my body. It was everything I had worked for in life. Then fighting back tears, I began the final kirtan. I took shelter of the holy names knowing that deep feelings of separation would soon overcome the other devotees and me when the program finished. What would life be without the festivals, which bring joy to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people? saiveyam bhuvi dhanya gauda nagari velapi saivam so'yam sri purusottamo madhupates tany eva namani tu no kutrapi niriksyate hari premotsavas tadrso ha caitanya krpa nidhana tava kim viksye punar vaibhavan "The fortunate town of Navadvipa remains. The seashore remains. The city of Jagannatha Puri remains. The holy names of Lord Krsna remain. But alas, alas! Nowhere do I see the same kind of festival of pure love for Lord Hari that I saw before. O Lord Caitanya, O ocean of mercy, will I ever see Your transcendental glory again?" [srila Prabodhananda Saraswati, Sri Caitanya Candramrta, text 140]
  15. I know a few devotees who have created flash presenations and films, we have also created a cd that does a flash tutorial of the philosophy, the CD is called AS - IT -IS produced by pandava sena as well as other stuff on it. Heres one i found on the net http://www.krishna.comentertainment/soul.swf Alot of this stuff you can easily give to non devotee friends as its passive viewing
  16. Great article I had a look for more stories about her, seems like she attained quite a high rasa, Brief Notes: Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya, an 8th Century Islamic Saint from Iraq By Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D. ____________________ [Citations and data are from Margaret Smith, The Way of the Mystics: The Early Christian Mystics and the Rise of the Sufis, NY: Oxford University Press, 1978. See the Islamic Bookstore for sample pages. I strongly recommend her book]. One of the most famous Islamic mystics was a woman: Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya (c.717-801). This 8th century saint was an early Sufi who had a profound influence on later Sufis, who in turn deeply influenced the European mystical love and troubadour traditions. Rabi'a was a woman of Basra, a seaport in southern Iraq. She was born around 717 and died in 801 (185-186). Her biographer, the great medieval poet Attar, tells us that she was "on fire with love and longing" and that men accepted her "as a second spotless Mary" (186). She was, he continues, “an unquestioned authority to her contemporaries" (218). As Cambridge professor Margaret Smith explains, Rabi'a began her ascetic life in a small desert cell near Basra, where she lost herself in prayer and went straight to God for teaching. As far as is known, she never studied under any master or spiritual director. She was one of the first of the Sufis to teach that Love alone was the guide on the mystic path (222). A later Sufi taught that there were two classes of "true believers": one class sought a master as an intermediary between them and God -- unless they could see the footsteps of the Prophet on the path before them, they would not accept the path as valid. The second class “...did not look before them for the footprint of any of God's creatures, for they had removed all thought of what He had created from their hearts, and concerned themselves solely with God. (218) Rabi'a was of this second kind. She felt no reverence even for the House of God in Mecca: "It is the Lord of the house Whom I need; what have I to do with the house?" (219) One lovely spring morning a friend asked her to come outside to see the works of God. She replied, "Come you inside that you may behold their Maker. Contemplation of the Maker has turned me aside from what He has made" (219). During an illness, a friend asked this woman if she desired anything. "...[H]ow can you ask me such a question as 'What do I desire?' I swear by the glory of God that for twelve years I have desired fresh dates, and you know that in Basra dates are plentiful, and I have not yet tasted them. I am a servant (of God), and what has a servant to do with desire?" (162) When a male friend once suggested she should pray for relief from a debilitating illness, she said, "O Sufyan, do you not know Who it is that wills this suffering for me? Is it not God Who wills it? When you know this, why do you bid me ask for what is contrary to His will? It is not well to oppose one's Beloved." (221) She was an ascetic. It was her custom to pray all night, sleep briefly just before dawn, and then rise again just as dawn "tinged the sky with gold" (187). She lived in celibacy and poverty, having renounced the world. A friend visited her in old age and found that all she owned were a reed mat, screen, a pottery jug, and a bed of felt which doubled as her prayer-rug (186), for where she prayed all night, she also slept briefly in the pre-dawn chill. Once her friends offered to get her a servant; she replied, "I should be ashamed to ask for the things of this world from Him to Whom the world belongs, and how should I ask for them from those to whom it does not belong?" (186-7) A wealthy merchant once wanted to give her a purse of gold. She refused it, saying that God, who sustains even those who dishonor Him, would surely sustain her, "whose soul is overflowing with love" for Him. And she added an ethical concern as well: "...How should I take the wealth of someone of whom I do not know whether he acquired it lawfully or not?" (187) She taught that repentance was a gift from God because no one could repent unless God had already accepted him and given him this gift of repentance. She taught that sinners must fear the punishment they deserved for their sins, but she also offered such sinners far more hope of Paradise than most other ascetics did. For herself, she held to a higher ideal, worshipping God neither from fear of Hell nor from hope of Paradise, for she saw such self-interest as unworthy of God's servants; emotions like fear and hope were like veils -- i.e., hindrances to the vision of God Himself. The story is told that once a number of Sufis saw her hurrying on her way with water in one hand and a burning torch in the other. When they asked her to explain, she said: "I am going to light a fire in Paradise and to pour water on to Hell, so that both veils may vanish altogether from before the pilgrims and their purpose may be sure..." (187-188) She was once asked where she came from. "From that other world," she said. "And where are you going?" she was asked. "To that other world," she replied (219). She taught that the spirit originated with God in "that other world" and had to return to Him in the end. Yet if the soul were sufficiently purified, even on earth, it could look upon God unveiled in all His glory and unite with him in love. In this quest, logic and reason were powerless. Instead, she speaks of the "eye" of her heart which alone could apprehend Him and His mysteries (220). Above all, she was a lover, a bhakti, like one of Krishna’s Goptis in the Hindu tradition. Her hours of prayer were not so much devoted to intercession as to communion with her Beloved. Through this communion, she could discover His will for her. Many of her prayers have come down to us: "I have made Thee the Companion of my heart, But my body is available for those who seek its company, And my body is friendly towards its guests, But the Beloved of my heart is the Guest of my soul." [224] Another: "O my Joy and my Desire, my Life and my Friend. If Thou art satisfied with me, then, O Desire of my heart, my happiness is attained." (222) At night, as Smith, writes, "alone upon her roof under the eastern sky, she used to pray": "O my Lord, the stars are shining and the eyes of men are closed, and kings have shut their doors, and every lover is alone with his beloved, and here I am alone with Thee." (222) She was asked once if she hated Satan. "My love to God has so possessed me that no place remains for loving or hating any save Him." (222) To such lovers, she taught, God unveiled himself in all his beauty and re-vealed the Beatific Vision (223). For this vision, she willingly gave up all lesser joys. "O my Lord," she prayed, "if I worship Thee from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me thence, but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, then withhold not from me Thine Eternal Beauty." (224) Rabi'a was in her early to mid eighties when she died, having followed the mystic Way to the end. By then, she was continually united with her Beloved. As she told her Sufi friends, "My Beloved is always with me" (224).
  17. I've been looking for that for a while, when i read it I also thought about what prabhupada said, that its not so important how we fell. I guess the "clues" will become clearer to us the more we realise we are not the body. Thanks.
  18. Theres a section in jaiva dharma were it talks about how people take the words of self reliezed souls and see them through the sunglasses of each one material conditioning. Thus understanding very differently from what actual reality is and from another conditioned being. (also there are spitual differences but no need to go there for now) Thus a warning to be careful when talking about elevated topics, we dont even know or relise what a spirit soul is yet alone incomplete spirit souls etc, i thought isopanshad talks about complete everything? Its like scientist with big big theiories but having hardly any relisation of it. Maybe we like to ignore these parts so we can present our selves as scholors. I think bhaktivinod thakur explains how we can percieve correctly any one know the reference?
  19. The vedic city has been mentioned in letter 76-01-23 to Sri Chaunhuri prabhupada talks about plans "for erecting a magnificent international city based on this vedic culture. For this purpose we want a considerable tract of land" And mentions mayapur city development in the following letter 76-06-05 Mr.Hunter As regards to the asta sakhi question I found no mention of prabhupada being against it. May be you know a quote where he said no. I found this Regarding Yamuna's questions, if possible, you can have all 8 Gopis of 42" height, but it may be cumbersome. There is one Asta Sakhi Temple there in Vrindaban, you may see how this is arranged there. Krishna may be black, Balarama of white, and the pose of the back of the BTG is very nice. You cannot get Lord Caitanya with all five of His Associates? Formal seated pose of me can be there, Visakha has taken photos for that in Jayapur, but one thing is it possible to be made correctly? If not, it is no good. Hoping this will meet you both in good health. Your ever well-wisher, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami The reservation of having asta sakhi in vrindavan was because it may be cumbersome. Sorry Ive not heard of the rest im a bit out of the controversy scene at the moment. Anayway people that changed the name of the manor spoke to prabhupada before they did it and prabhupada accepted it as it was out of affection, they still left the movement whats the point. I think most devotees left the movement praphupada says be surprised at who stays. some people will say it was becuase they offended a math, some people may say because they disobeyed guru, some people will say because they did extra than what prabhupada asked. And some people who changed stuff and disobeyed guru are still in the movement what does that prove? trying to use devotees leaving the movement as an argument for something is very weak. Ajmilla fell down and so have many others for many different reasons, please dont use the generlised falldowns to promote ones own theories. Time to go home from work, Hari Hari prabhu
  20. prabhupada often says that the guru himself wants nothinbg but the diciples want to give him. (I will get these quotes when im less busy at work) Actually the pure devotee wants no glorification but the diciples/devotees in their own way try. An example - It was prabhupadas will that the london temple Bhaktivedanta manor be called new gokul dhama, but the diciples wanted to name it after prabhupada and prabhupada allowed it as it was out of affection.
  21. Unfortunately/fortunately, Srila prabhupada says many things ie.dont jump over the guru's head understand through the current guru tattva described by the previous acaryas, he also says dont go to others becuase if one word is different there will be confusion, there are also so-called contridictions among previous acaryas. Some people think they know prabhupada's mind more than others, some people think its black and white, others think its grey, others will vote on it, others will quote endlessly from previous acaryas and sastra where they confirm with ones own theory, others will only follow and reconcile what prabhupada says first and then reconcile the previous acaryas teachings using prabhupadas first, others will think say anything that is contridictory is time place circumstance, others will quote references where acaryas have been contridictory and this reconciled by the srila prabhudas statement saying differences of opinion and relisation can occur, others will say this doesnt apply and that doesnt apply, others will say you will only know when you develop love of god as all knowledge is relised, others will say we have to use our intelligence and understand first, etc etc etc. I pray for love of god and on that day I have no idea what I'l know or will want to know
  22. I've heard this refered to the previous kaliyuga when he came to stop a war between earth and higher planets (I think I read it in vedic cosmology by sadaputa prabhu a few years ago).
  23. Thanks for that prabhu, its great to get these answers that are analytical its easy to be swayed by the sentiment
  24. If iskcon set aside enough agricultural land then I dont see the problem. Natural eco systems much more precious and sensitive than these are being destroyed for sence gratification everywhere, this way we have a large attractive temple with a whole load of land preserved for sustainable living, and most importantly following the spirtual masters direction.
  25. AND WHAT A VERY BIG "IF" THAT IS By Kailasa Candra das Yasmin vijnate sarvam evam vijnatam bhavati. Anyone who is a devotee of the Lord knows about the Lord to some extent, and devotional service to the Lord makes him able to know everything by the grace of the Lord. ALTHOUGH A DEVOTEE MAY APPARENTLY EXPRESS HIMSELF TO BE IGNORANT, he is full of knowledge in every intricate matter."(Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 3: Chapter Seven, Text 8) "People who are ignorant of their own history will have others write it for them."??George Orwell Authorized quotations and logic seldom constitute the chopping technique. However, to infer that someone else's beliefs "WILL CREATE A DARK SHROUD OF IGNORANCE OVER THE ENTIRE WORLD" is hypocritical in the context of a gentle presentation. We're not opposed to the chopping technique per se, but we're appalled when it's disguised as something else. How can criticizing Prabhupada for his naming of deities ever help us in understanding the Absolute Truth? His naming of deities is absolute and perfect. Anyone who criticizes him for doing that--no matter how such criticism is cloaked--will only disseminate doubts and questions about his level of realization, choking off his mercy. ". . . the name Radha-Partha-sarathi is rasabhasa because Srimati Radhika never leaves Vrndavan." "Krsna's another name is Partha-sarathi. Partha. Arjuna's name is Partha. Partha means, 'The son of Partha'. Kunti's another name is Prtha. Kunti's fathers name was Prthu, so Kunti's name was Prtha. Therefore Arjuna's name was Partha. And because Krsna served as the chariot driver of Arjuna, His another name is Partha-sarathi. Prabhupada's Lectures Srimad-Bhagavatam 1974 Acyutananda: The Deities’ name is Radha-Parthasarathi. Prabhupada: Hm? Acyutananda: The name of the Delhi Deities is Radha-Parthasarathi. So how do we understand? Because Partha means Arjuna. So Radha, how does Radha get there? Prabhupada: When Krsna is Parthasarathi, Radha is out of Him? Does it mean? Morning Walk Madras, January 9, 1976 The purport is self-evident. Similarly, to endlessly try proving that Prabhupada did not teach the jiva's originally having been in the spiritual world with Krsna (before entering the material illusion) is nothing but mental speculation. Philosophical speculation about his presentation is trying to understand how Prabhupada was absolutely correct in this area. Mental speculation about this topic, on the other hand, only quickens the disintegration of his Krsna Consciousness movement. It fans the fire now burning within the house he built to shelter the whole devotional world. Such "gentle" articles, with all their "respectful" points, are centrifugal in nature. "Regarding your second question, have the conditioned souls ever seen Krsna? Were they with the Lord before being conditioned by the desire to lord it over material nature? Yes, the conditioned souls are parts and parcels of the Lord and thus they were with Krsna before being conditioned. Just as the child must have seen his father because the father places the child in the womb of the mother, similarly each soul has seen Krsna or the Supreme Father. But at that time the conditioned souls are resting in the condition called susupti which is exactly deep sleep without dream, or anesthetized state, therefore they do not remember being with Krsna when they wake up in the material world and become engaged in material affairs." (Letter to: Jagadisa : 70-04-25 Los Angeles) emphases added Now our friends claim that we originally came from Maha-visnu, from the state of susupti. If that is so--and what a very big "if" that is--then there are ramifications. This quotation appears to buttress their theory, but its value is restricted as far as other quotes on this topical discussion are concerned. A misinterpretation of this quotation is akin to doubting Prabhupada when he clearly states that souls have climbed up into the brahmajyoti and then (in some cases, many times) fallen back down into material affairs--but, before that even, they were with Krsna in His lila or pastimes. So, in this April, 1970 quote, they have not even reached the brahmajyoti when the dissolution of the universe takes place. As such, they merge into Maha-visnu and enter into the susupti state. This is well known as the situation for conditioned souls between universal manifestations. They are allowed to see their Supreme Father while in this condition. Do they see Maha-visnu? Well, since they're in His body and will issue forth from Him--and He will be their father when they are re-injected into the material manifestation--it's not an illogical explanation. In the context of the quote, it makes perfect sense. However, these souls in susupti are conditioned previous to their entering into Maha-visnu during the stage of universal annihilation. Thus, their re-emergence into material affairs is not exactly the same as their previous entrance into the state of illusory coverings. They'll get a modified destiny, because their vasanas will have been modified during the previous sojourn. When they get covered over again, they do not remember their previous situation with Maha-visnu. As they take one body after another, they do not remember even their previous lifetime. Similarly, before having emerged from susupti within Krsna (Maha-visnu), before that even, they were originally with Krsna in His lila in the spiritual world. They don't remember that either, of course. But some of them now decry this Truth in the name of perpetuating a so-called orthodox teaching (less than a century old) proclaimed to be in the line of spiritual succession to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and Srila Bhaktivinode. It's incomprehensible that someone, while clinging to this impersonal origination interpretation, could chant the Holy Name in the line of Srila Prabhupada and think that he or she is pleasing Prabhupada. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says that, even if the souls reach Vaikuntha after having been covered by material existence, they can re-enter the material world again. They generally don't, but they can. Free will is part of their intrinsic and eternal character. Whatever exchange may be present while seeing Maha-visnu during susupti is not the original relationship the jiva has with God. It is not the same as the Lord's lila in the spiritual world with His eternal servant. We don't remember that relationship. Conditioned souls don't remember how they interfaced with Maha-visnu during the universal dissolution, either. We misused our minute independence in the spiritual world. Immediately we were put into a state of forgetfulness. All the conditioned souls were in this position. They were all purely situated at one time. Some of them exercised the wrong prerogative. Then, no longer wishing to serve Him, they immediately are ripped out of the spiritual world (praksepatmika-sakti) and, just as quickly, completely covered over (avaranatmika-sakti). There is no maya in the spiritual world, because the tatastha-sakti, as soon as it wishes not to serve, is transported to another world--immediately. This does not interfere in the pastimes of the Supreme Lord nor does it mark the entrance of maya into the spiritual kingdom. "In further reference to your question about the form of the spirit soul of the conditioned living entity, there is a spiritual form always, but it develops fully only when the living entity goes back to Vaikuntha. This form develops according to the desire of the living entity. Until this perfectional stage is reached, the form is lying dormant like the form of a tree is lying dormant in the seed." (Srila Prabhupada's letter to Rupanaga in 1969) emphases added Often, Prabhupada says that the living entity falls from the spiritual world. Then again, in a few places, he says that no one falls from the spiritual world. This, of course, is an apparent contradiction. There can be no actual contradiction, however. Those who advocate the hard-line "no-fall" position take an extreme interpretation, namely that all of Prabhupada's references to the jiva's having fallen are gauna-vritti. Prabhupada says it specifically in so many places, but it's all supposed to be interpreted indirectly and not literally accepted. Disregarding this wrong-headed use of gauna-vritti, a synthesis of the two apparently contradictory positions is far more appropriate: "Some of these souls have fallen into the material atmosphere, whereas others, called nitya-mukta, are everlastingly liberated. The nitya-muktas are never conditioned. These souls that have fallen into this material world in order to gratify their senses are called nitya-baddha, eternally conditioned. By "eternal," we mean that no one can estimate the amount of time the conditioned soul has to spend within the material world." Dialectical Spiritualism, critique of Plotinus, emphases added In both of the last quotations, the conditioned soul is considered nitya-baddha, eternally conditioned. Technically, however, this means he has been conditioned for so long that it's just like being eternally conditioned. So, in that context, this "eternally" conditioned soul "only" develops his rasa when he goes back to Godhead. However, the quote from Dialectic Spiritualism clearly says that the conditioned souls have fallen from the same place where non-fallen nitya-muktas eternally reside. Utilizing some buddhi-yoga is required here. The sentence of the 1969 letter uses the verb "develops." This is so, in the context of his immeasurably long conditioning. Actually, he'll develop his rasa with Krsna during the Lord's descent for pastimes in another universe. That should not be taken as a distraction. Originally, we enjoyed our relationship with the Lord in full bliss and knowledge. To use an analogy, an accomplished athlete is stricken by a severe physical ailment. He goes into the hospital for a month, but he recovers. Upon leaving the hospital, he is weak. He can't do what he used to be able to do on the field. However, by persistent practice, he builds his strength and stamina. At a certain point, he's just as skilled an athlete as before the hospitalization. He developed once again what was originally there and what he had originally enjoyed. In other words, the term "fallen" is used, but it must be understood properly. Similarly, the term "eternally conditioned" is used, but it also must be understood properly. Genuine spiritual synthesis of these terms is required, not a stubborn insistence upon an unauthorized extreme position. Unnecessarily taking shelter of the gauna-vritti loophole is indicative of a rear-guard action, designed to protect the vested interests of false egos. Srila Prabhupada: ". . . (M)an is made in the image of God; therefore, man is originally perfect . . . but if he falls into a diseased condition, it is not his imperfection. It is something external that has attacked a healthy man. According to his original nature, man is healthy." Syamasundara dasa: "For Aristotle, the goal of action is to realize our potential and attain the greatest happiness or pleasure. Since God created man for self-realization, it is realization that will bring him satisfaction." Srila Prabhupada: This means that in the beginning God created man imperfect. . . (W)hy should he be imperfect? That would indicate that God is unjust. Why should God create something that has to come to the perfectional point by realization?"?Dialectic Spiritualism, critique of Aristotle The state of susupti, both in definition and application, is one of the three prominent states of conditioned existence. Returning to this state is automatically scheduled for all conditioned souls, with or without their having attained a guru during universal manifestation. Susupti is the least turbulent and, in that sense only, the highest of those three primary states; nevertheless it is an imperfect state. Otherwise, why is it called the state of unconsciousness, the anesthetized state? We are all originally Krsna conscious entities. Are we all originally unconscious and anesthetized? If susupti were our original "consciousness", why not just wait for it to come around again on its own accord? Why struggle to become free from Maya's kingdom? Every conditioned soul is destined to enter this state--where we see Lord Visnu with our so-called original consciousness--for an immeasurably long duration. The Supreme Personality of Godhead did not create the jiva in such an imperfect consciousness. If He did, that would have been unjust. It would have meant that we were created imperfect in order to realize a perfection we never originally enjoyed. Prabhupada explicitly rejects this view. We also would not even slightly be responsible for this "original" susupti, a condition that inevitably leads to entanglement and suffering during material manifestation. If the Supreme Lord originally established such a situation, where is the chance for liberation? Tiny jiva power can never overcome the Supreme Power. All acts could only serve to ultimately uncover the original state of susupti. The only counter-argument to this would have a stunning ramification: God would then have created something that is inherently impefect, thrown into the world of suffering in order to have bestowed upon it a perfectional point that jiva never constitutionally possessed. Krsna left a material body so that the atheists would have something upon which to base their faithlessness. Similarly, Prabhupada, here and there, has presented a couple of quotes capable of being twisted just enough to argue that he believes in the so-called "no-fall" theory. Of course, to claim that he says this, you have to disregard and rationalize his tens (if not hundreds) of quotes presenting the opposite siddhanta. His Divine Grace is so kind. Prabhupada's movement is being severely attacked from both within and without. Some devotees think that it may soon be ruined, even within our lifetimes. Nevertheless, if Prabhupada's presentation of Krsna conscious is to survive--and what a very big "if" that is--then this erroneous origination matrix should be resisted, exposed, and eventually overcome. It may be both subtle and attractive (like mayavada), but it's a complete nonsense and has no connection to Prabhupada's teachings. Susupti is not our original state of consciousness. The preachers of the impersonal origination theory--a disciplic succession that is not at all connected to the genuine teachings of the former pure ISKCON movement--misuse a word in the 1969 quotation ("only") to establish their point. They are neither representatives of ISKCON nor Srila Prabhupada when they do so. As far as being members of ISKCON or the family thing is concerned, dredging up that sentiment again and again is over time losing its power of influence. This unauthorized philosophy misunderstands the fall of the jiva and misunderstands the concept of the jiva's being eternally conditioned. When someone or some group contradicts Prabhupada, we reject what they say--and we do not believe that they have a pure connection with either the parampara or with the Supreme Lord while propagating those conflicting teachings. There can only be one opinion. That opinion is Prabhupada's. We're not interested in anyone else's opinion. Every other opinion works at cross-purposes to the plan of Providence and further cracks a divided house that cannot stand. The conclusion is that the jiva, although he does fall from the spiritual world, does not completely fall from it. Just as the jiva is eternally conditioned (because the duration of time is so immeasurable), he is also not forever conditioned. When this perspective is assimilated, the apparent contradiction of both of these terms is very easily removed. The living entity lives out material dreams of his or her karmic choice in body after body after body. But, when the jiva soul, in human form, sincerely, seriously, and intensely decides to perform bhakti-yoga and awaken, he or she will discover within a specific, personal, ever-liberated (non-fallen) eternal relationship with the Lord. If the living entity actually fell completely from the spiritual world, that relationship would have been extinguished. Such is not the case. It is almost totally covered over, but it is not actually extinguished. It can be revived. If the living entity was an eternally conditioned soul, then there could never be any hope for liberation and the promises of devotional service would be a colossal hoax. From this perspective, the spiritual master can and does say that the conclusion is that the living entity never actually falls from the spiritual world. Paramahamsa: So we can come to the spiritual world and return? Prabhupada: Yes. Paramahamsa: Fall down? Prabhupada: Yes. As soon as we try, "Oh, this material world is very nice,Yes," Krsna says, "yes, you go." Just like nobody is interested in Krsna consciousness. Do you think everyone is interested? So. They want to enjoy this material world. Otherwise what is the meaning of free will? Every living entity has got a little free will. And Krsna is so kind, He gives him opportunity, "All right, you enjoy like this." Just like some of our students, Krsna conscious, sometimes go away, again come back. It is free will, not stereotyped. Just like one goes to the prisonhouse, not that government welcomes, "Come on. We have got prisonhouse. Come here, come here." He goes out of his free will; again comes out, again goes. Like that. (Morning Walk At Cheviot Hills Golf Course--May 13, 1973, Los Angeles) emphases added Bhaktijana: Has my soul ever been liberated? Prabhupada: That you know. I do not know. Bhaktijana: If I was once liberated... Prabhupada: You are liberated. You are liberated. Simply just a cloud has covered you. Drive away the cloud. There is no question that you were ever. You are ever-liberated. That, the sky is always spiritual, but it is sometimes overcrowded with cloud, this maya. This is called maya. Actually, you are not conditioned. You are thinking. Just like in the dream you are thinking that tiger is eating you. You were never eaten by tiger. There is no tiger. So we have to get out of this dream. (Lecture on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 7.108--San Francisco, February 18, 1967) emphases added It is the jivas who are the attendants in His Sports. They become attached to matter, having deviated from their own essential nature as the result of their desire for enjoyment. But when again the soul . . . gains true wisdom of the transcendental region of God . . . he begins to get back his pure essential nature . . . - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Sri Caitanya's Teachings, p. 323.
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