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Audarya lila

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  1. Dear Maran 11, Just a quick reply – no more time today. BTW, I have a different take than transient on you. Questioning is good and no one should be expected to simply agree to what scripture says without questioning and reasoning it out. Audarya lila: Therefore to judge that a bacterium has no purpose other than to harm humans is myopic at best. (Besides e-coli has done much good for humans as well - it is not only responsible for dysentery - it is the bacterium of choice for all types of genetic manipulations and cloning. It is a real pioneer in the field of molecular biology.) My question/comment: I quoted the e-coli bacterium just as an example. There are many other bacteria that are harmful or live in places where they never come in contact with humans (for instance, deep in the ground). It is difficult for one to accept the fact that every living entity (including those that we can't see) has been created with a purpose. Audarya lila’s comment: the purpose of all life is to love and serve God; it is only due to ignorance that most don’t realize this. As far as the material creation goes – it is a chance for those of us who are defiant and are trying to be God instead of serving God to come to our senses and become truly free. Audarya lila: The same question can be asked in so many different forms such as - why are some people born in poverty and others with a silver spoon in their mouths? Or why are some born in pious religious families and others in families of thieves and rogues? The simple answer is that life is eternal and didn't begin with the beginning of whatever particular body is being inhabited by any particular spirit soul. Enjoyment and suffering are a result of our karma. My question/comment: There are two reasons why I find it difficult to accept the truth in the last statement. Firstly, when a person commits a hideous crime, say rape and murder, and escapes from the law, probably, due to lack of evidence, he is free as any other man. Due to his bad karma he may be re-born as something less in his next life, say a nematode or plankton. But, is there any explanation why God should punish him in his next life and not the present? Isn't it better to punish him in his present life so that he realizes his wrong doings? Can he remember his misdeeds if he is, say reborn as a toad or a peacock? The second reason is, there are infants born with birth defects and die a few hours after birth. This could be again due to bad karma. But then, they die at such a young age that they don't realize their defects and come to terms with the reality. Why doesn’t God wait for the person to grow up and realize their defects, instead of 'withdrawing' their souls at such an early stage? Could the law of karma, in reality, be just a human imagination? Audarya lila’s comment: No, Karma is not created in the minds of humans. It is in the category of revealed truth – see Bhagavad-Gita and what Krsna has to say. Your basic complaint is that punishment should only be given to a living entity such that they understand why they are suffering. Even in our temporal lives this is not the case so why should you try to place this constraint upon the Lord? The most obvious example is in the case of children who cannot understand the logic behind constraints and punishments meted out by their parents yet are benefited by such in the long run. In terms of correction, there are negative impetuses such as punishments or threats of such as well as positive impetuses that bring joy and a desire to experience such again. As far as the Vedic revelation goes it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam that the living entity on the womb can remember all that has happened in their past 100 births and that they pray ardently to the Lord and exclaim that they will repent and live a progressive life of service. The birth process erases all memory of this and we start ‘fresh’ so to speak. All living entities have been wandering in the material world since time immemorial (it can’t be traced out) and have unlimited baggage in terms of karma they are carrying with them. The Vedas call the tendencies, likes dislikes etc. samskaras because these have been developed over countless lifetimes. It is something like rubbing a rock with a rope in the same spot over and over again. At first the rope will leave no mark, but over time it will eventually create a groove. In the same way we have developed certain tendencies over countless lifetimes of action and reaction. We are prone to make certain life choices based on these samskaras. You have a human life and a great opportunity to progress in terms of developing real love of God and you should take full advantage of that opportunity. Audarya lila: What we are all looking for is something that makes sense to us and for that, of course, we must rely on our experience and our intellect. We are meant to do so. But you should realize the limitations of such endeavors from the very beginning, otherwise it will only lead to frustration and atheism. Spiritual practices and spiritual experiences are not unreasonable but they are beyond the ability of reason and logic to understand completely. You are seeking after the unlimited with limited tools, that should be clearly understood. You are conscious and it is with conscious experience that spiritual life will become a reality for any practitioner. My question/comment: I understand that our experience and intellect are limited, and also that in seeking God, we are seeking the unlimited with limited tools. With limited tools, isn't it very difficult to understand things that are beyond the ability of reason and logic? Is the effort and time devoted worth understanding something beyond our ability to understand? Isn't it better to focus our life and effort on things that we can understand? There are far too many fascinating things on this planet to study and understand, such as the history of the world, people and places, animal and plant kingdom, solar system and space research and prehistoric life forms. Isn't it more worthwhile studying about our own home, earth, instead of what happens outside once we leave? Accepting the secret teachings, in my view, is just like leaving a small child in the only toy or candy store in town and to tell him to think about his father and where he is going after his visit to the store. If I were the child I will run around the store to see and learn as much as possible. Won't you? Audarya lila’s comment: You misunderstood my point. Please read it again. I said that logic and reason are insufficient and will never lead to conclusive knowing – I did not say that it is beyond our capability to understand. We use language and symbols to communicate but it is lacking in terms of conveying that which is beyond words – words can give us a clue and point us in the right direction but they cannot give us realized knowledge. In the Bhagavad-Gita Krsna tells his student and friend Arjuna to try to learn the truth by approaching a genuine spiritual master and inquire submissively from him/her and render service unto him/her. Why? Krsna says that the genuine spiritual master can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth. In other words he/she has genuine spiritual experience not just book learning or a keen intellect. Because the spiritual master has life, spiritual life, he/she can give it to others. How is it given? Krsna says by submissive inquiry which means genuine inquiry not meant to challenge or show that the student has some actual experience, but genuine inquiry like ‘I have no real experience, please help me’. This is called honesty and humility and this is necessary for genuine growth in spirituality. The spiritual master will instruct a sincere student in the ways and means of obtaining experiential knowledge for him/herself. It is not that the absolute truth can be conveyed in terms of words and logic, but that the means of coming to conclusive truth and of knowing that which is unknown and unknowable can be conveyed. There is a means of knowing. Krsna told Arjuna that he can be known not by logic, reason, study of scripture, austerities, penance, charity etc. He told him that the only means of knowing him is by devotion – love. Give and you will get. To get fully one will have to give fully. Complete knowledge and conclusive truth only comes through completely giving of the self without expectation (as we agreed before) of return. Your own home is in your heart, it is not external to you. Home is in loving connection with the center of all existence, Sri Krsna, Reality the beautiful. There can be no pursuit that compares to pursuit of that which brings lasting and eternal happiness. There are unlimited things with which to occupy our minds and hearts but they will never bring true happiness unless we understand the central origin of all – Krsna. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  2. Dear Sha, I see no reason to be so caustic with Ram. Maybe if you spent some time with the Jehovah's witnesses you wouldn't simply label them as religious zealots. They have something that they feel is worthy of sharing with others. I have had many good conversations with door to door preachers and have always found the exchange to be rewarding. Lord Chaitanya has given the instruction to his followers that they should tell people about Krsna wherever they go and with whomever they find themselves. What kind of bhaktas would we be if we didn't follow this instruction and instead led miserly lifes? Dear Ram, I am sure that you will find residents here in the U.S. to be very kind and courteous (for the most part), but they lack the cultural background for the most part to appreciate mantra meditation. With so much in the news and in periodicals regarding health, nutrition and yoga you may find that some people will welcome your help. Don't be discouraged by what ever efforts you make. Even if one person takes the Holy Name without offense they will have received a gift beyond comprehension. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  3. Dear Maran 11, Here is a quick reply to some of the questions you have posed. I hope they are helpful. Page 5: 'If the Supreme Personality of Godhead is served, all other parts and parcels will be automatically satisfied' My questions: Why does the Supreme Personality of Godhead need to be served when He is omnipotent and therefore capable of fulfilling all needs? Normally, one serves others who are in need and helpless. Answer: This question can be answered in many ways. You are correct that God is omnipotent and is not in need. The general idea of service is to give. We may perceive the needs of individuals based on material circumstances but that is a very limited conception at best. Irregardless of that consideration, we serve others because it brings some satisfaction to ourselves - we feel more complete by helping others. The analogy givin in the quote you are questioning is that God is the source of everything and everyone and that by serving Him all others are automatically served. It is really a question of where to repose our serving tendency, which by the way, is inherent in our very nature. Whom shall we serve such that the most benefit for everyone is realized? The answer is God. Just like placing the water on the root of the tree nourishes the entire tree, similarly by engaging in loving service to God all others are served and benefited. Page 5: 'In the Bhagavad-gita, which is accepted by all authorities in transcendental science as the basis of all Vedic knowledge, we understand that not only human beings but all living entities are parts and parcels of God' My question: The term 'all living entities' encompasses too many living creatures that include micro-organisms, viruses, tapeworms, nematodes, cyclops, corals etc. Are they all parts and parces of God? I find it difficult to accept this fact because some of the living entities do not seem to serve any purpose but merely harm humans, e.g. the e-coli bacterium. Answer: Living entities are spiritual and the body they inhabit is analogous to the clothes we wear which cover what we think of as 'ourselves'. What animates the world is consciousness - spirit. All forms of life have this consciousness in common. Where there is no spirit there is no life. In other words all forms of life are but vehicles within which the soul experiences the world and all are parts and parcels of God. You must remember that your perception of things is limited to your experience and hence your vision and understanding cannot be perfect. Therefore to judge that a bacterium has no purpose other than to harm humans is myopic at best. (besides e-coli has done much good for humans as well - it is not only responsible for disentery - it is the bacterium of choice for all types of genetic manipulations and cloning. It is a real pioneer in the field of molecular biology. Page 6: 'We must always remember that this particular form of human life is attained after an evolution of many millions of years in the cycle of transmigration of the spirit soul.' My question: Does the term 'evolution' has the same meaning as the term used in science books, that is, life forms changed over long periods of time by natural selection? Has there been any serious study done to verify that the soul actually transmigrates from one body to another? Any references to such study? Answer: No. This term 'evolutio' has to do with evolution through the species not of the species - it refers to transmigration of the soul. Since the soul is beyond material means of measurement there cannot be any empirical evidence to support transmigration. We follow a descending process of knowledge. For support of the idea of transmigration please refer to Krsna's words in Bhagavad-gita in the second chapter. Therein he explains the very nature of being, the difference between matter and spirit, transmigration and many other things. Page 6: 'There are swine, dogs, camels, asses, and so on, whose economic necessities are just as important as ours, but the economic questions of these animals and others are solved under primitive conditions, whereas the human being is given all the facilities for leading a comfortable life by the laws of nature.' My question: The laws of nature also brought sufferings to many, such as earthquakes, draught, floods, hurricane. How can we say that human being is given all facilities for leading a comfortable life by the laws of nature? There are many people suffering due to the laws of nature, even now due to flood in parts of Russia, Germany and China. Answer: The statement you are taking exception to is not meant to be absolute. It is the general case that human life affords one more facility for comfortable living. Natural disasters affect all living beings not just humans. Page 6: 'Why is a man given a better chance to live than swine or other animals?' My question: When we compare the starving children in Somalia and the dog lying on a couch after a sumptuous meal in an Englishman's house, it is difficult to accept the fact that life of humans is always better than animals. Some humans even do no have the freedom that the birds have. Other creatures, like the rattlesnake has the ability to sense variation of the earths's magnetic field and move to a safer location before an earthquake occurs. Humans don't have this ability. Any comments? Comment: Human life, in general, affords one the ability to think and reason - but more importantly to love. One can always find exceptions – the statements you are finding problems with should be view as generalizations and not absolutes. In fact one can find so many examples of how animals have capabilities that are much greater than man’s – but, again, the real value of the human form is that it affords the soul a chance to worship God. End of Page 6: 'The Bhagavad-gita very vividly describes how a spirit soul, by the laws of nature, takes his birth and gets a suitable body and sense organs for enjoying matter in the material world.' My question: I have personally seen on TV one siamese twin born with her brain outside the skull and the other baby having a stumped arm. One of them died a few days later. How can one explain this and why the sense organs are sometimes not normal? I have seen even a large colony of tiny ants and bees having perfect body parts whereas one or two human baby is born deformed. These facts are real and hard to deny. Answer: Genetic abnormalities are a fact of life. We could fill pages and pages of text with descriptions of various types of disease states based on genetics. We have a very good understanding of what these genetic disorders are and how they occur. It would be foolish to deny the obvious. You are asking the question – why? This is not an easy question and the answer will never be able to fully satisfy us because it is beyond our comprehension. Nonetheless, Krsna has explained in the Bhagavad Gita that we get a body based on our karma. The same question can be asked in so many different forms such as – why are some people born in poverty and others with a silver spoon in their mouths? Or why are some born in pious religious families and others in families of thieves and rogues? The simple answer is that life is eternal and didn’t begin with the beginning of whatever particular body is being inhabited by any particular spirit soul. Enjoyment and suffering are a result of our karma. Page 8: 'Neither the scientists nor speculative philosophers have yet arrived at any conclusion concerning the cosmic situation. All they have done is posit different theories about it. Some of them say that the material world is real, others say that it is a dream, and yet others say that it is ever existing. In this way different views are held by mundane scholars, but the fact is that no mundane scientist or speculative philosopher has ever discovered the beginning of the cosmos or its limitations. No one can say when it began or how it floats in space. They theoretically propose some laws, like the law of gravitation, but actually they cannot put this law to practical use.' My question: Understanding of the law of gravitation helped scientist to put satellites in orbits, hence allowing us to communicate and predict weather. Understanding the laws of thermodynamics has enabled engineers design power plants, refrigerations and air-conditioners. There are many other examples where scientists and engineers have put the laws of nature into practice. Isn't the last sentence above a sweeping statement undermining the works of scientists and engineers over centuries? Answer: The thrust of the quote you are taking exception to is that science cannot solve the real problems of life – ie, death. We all have to die. Science is useful for manipulating matter and no one can deny that many wonderful things as well as disastrous things have come from scientific inquiry. The reality is though that the soul, and God are beyond the purview of the mind and senses and hence a different type of inquiry is necessary to gain access to knowledge of them. Page 18: 'Real advancement means knowing God. If we are lacking knowledge of God, we are not actually advanced. Many rascals deny the existence of God because if there is no God they can continue their sinful activities' My question: Some people deny existence of God because fossil records of pre-historic life forms mislead people to believe that evolution has occurred, that is, life forms change on its own by natural selection and that each creature on this planet came into existence on their own without being created with a purpose. These fossil records provide evidence of many past transitional life forms. They are real and hard to deny their existence. There are also many natural phenomena such as plaques, earthquakes, flood, hurricane, snowstorms etc. that occur so often that people questions the existence of a divine power. Why would God want to confuse people? (I am surprised that His Divine Grace used the word 'rascals') Answer: Rascals is appropriate in the sense that leading thinkers with big brains and degrees mounted on their walls are misleading people and saying there is no God, or God is dead. The question of natural disasters is the same as why one is born deformed or diseased or underprivledged etc. The jist of it is that people think that a just and loving God would not create such a world with suffering and a lack of justice. Again, we are myopic at best. We do not have all the information and with that small amount of information we jump to faulty conclusions. We are eternal and we have been wandering in this material world since time immemorial. We are making decisions in this life that will determine future lives and we are suffering and enjoying the results of past activities. Page 18: 'It may be very nice for them to think that there is no God, but God will not die simply because we deny Him. God is there, and His administration is there. By His orders the sun is rising, the moon is rising, the water flows, and the ocean abides by the tide. Thus everything functions under His order.' (pg. 18) My question: The last sentences says that everthing functions under His order. Does this mean that earthquakes and other natural disasters are the order of God? It is difficult to understand why God would order such distasters that kill thousands of innocent people and even destroy places of worship. Why would God do this to innocent people, including children and helpless animals? (I sincerely hope someone will answer this as I regard the speaker of this sentence as a highly respected and learned individual and this part of the writing conveys a very important message to everyone) Answer: Same question as posed above two times. In reality we are not these bodies and none of us are innocent. The world comes into being and is dissolved. Living beings are born and die. The whole material phenomena is really a chance for conditioned souls like us to get out of the material pool and re-instated in our natural eternal position as servants of God in the spiritual kingdom. We identify ourselves with these bodies, but we are not these bodies. We are spirit souls. It is like a dream. When someone is asleep and dreaming you wake him up by shouting ‘wake up’. The wake up call for us comes in the form of the Lord’s Holy Name and in the form of the Vedic literatures. 'Mike Robinson: Yes, I think I've got that now. If we could go on from there--you said that how you lived made a difference in your life after death, that there are natural laws that determine your next life. How does the process of transmigration work? Srila Prabhupada: The process is very subtle. The spirit soul is invisible to our material eyes. It is atomic in size. After the destruction of the gross body, which is made up of the senses, blood, bone, fat, and so forth, the subtle body of mind, intelligence, and ego goes on working. So at the time of death this subtle body carries the small spirit soul to another gross body. The process is just like air carrying a fragrance. Nobody can see where this rose fragrance is coming from, but we know that it is being carried by the air. You cannot see how, but it is being done. Similarly, the process of transmigration of the soul is very subtle. According to the condition of the mind at the time of death, the minute spirit soul enters into the womb of a particular mother through the semen of a father and then the soul develops a particular type of body given by the mother. It may be a human being, it may be a cat, a dog, or anything.'pg. 22 My question: The underlined portion says that the soul enters through the semen of the father. What I think His Divine Grace meant is that the soul enters the sperm of the father that later fertilizes the egg. But the semen contains millions of sperms that are already alive (up to 500 million in each ejaculation). Since the sperms are already alive, where did each sperm get the soul from? What about the egg, does it have a soul too since it is also alive? (I am sorry for asking such difficult questions, but I need the answers in order to build up my faith in the teachings of His Divine Grace). Answer: Just as God is unlimited, so too are his expansions. There are unlimited numbers of souls. The soul is eternal. Anything that is living has a soul – remember life means consciousness which is spiritual – not material. 'Mike Robinson: Are you saying that we were something else before this life? Srila Prabhupada: Yes.' Pg 22 My question: If we were somethings else less human in our previous life, say a dog, how can the soul transmigrate from dog to human when dogs don't pray or serve God the way humans do? Could this mean that only a human can take the body of another human in his next life? And that humans who reject God will be born as something less human or a less fortunate human but not an animal? Since anything less than human does not pray or serve God it's soul can only be re-born as something lower, say from dog to lizard, and a lizard's soul can enter into the body of something even lower, say a flatworm. In other words, once a soul enters a non-human body it can only go one way, that is further down the animal kingdom. But then, lower down, the number of offsprings produced is much higher that further up. For instance, a dog produces up to 8 puppies whereas a cod produces millions of offspring. Where do all the other souls come from? The numbers don't tie up. Has anyone done any detailed study on this topic? Answer: Actually this was answered somewhat earlier in the question about evolution. Souls move through the species progressively until they reach a human form. Animals do not sin. They do not have the same facility of reason that the human does. A human can go up or down depending on how they choose to live their life. The more one knows, the more responsible one is for one’s actions. For instance, a small child may steal something. They are told that this is not proper and why it is not proper and from then on are expected to obey. The first offense is easily forgiven due to lack of knowledge. Once one knows, if they still act improperly, then the reaction is more severe. As far as trying to capture everything in your brain goes – I must tell you that it is a futile attempt. What can you know with your limited mind and senses? The real path to knowledge is through love and devotion. One name for God is Adhoksaja, which means inconceivable. It is impossible to gain a proper conception of God and bring him under control with our mind and senses. He can only be known through selfless acts of devotion. But as far as trying to count souls and reconcile the numbers – how will you do it? There are unlimited universes with unlimited planets and millions of life forms. What we are all looking for is something that makes sense to us and for that, of course, we must rely on our experience and our intellect. We are meant to do so. But you should realize the limitations of such endeavors from the very beginning, otherwise it will only lead to frustration and atheism. Spiritual practices and spiritual experiences are not unreasonable but they are beyond the ability of reason and logic to understand completely. You are seeking after the unlimited with limited tools, that should be clearly understood. You are conscious and it is with conscious experience that spiritual life will become a reality for any practicioner. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  4. This was the first time in almost 20 years that I attended the Rathayatra in S.F. It is such a wonderful setting for the festival. I attended a three day festival leading up to Rathayatra up at Audarya ashrama. The idea behind the festival was to bring devotees together to hear and chant about the significance of Rathayatra and to gather enthusiasm for the coming event. Tripurari Swami invited many devotees to attend the festival. Over 80 devotees attended the festival at the ashrama. Many senior vaishnava's attended, including: Bhakti Balabha Tirtha Maharaja, Jayadvaita Swami, Radhanatha Swami, Malati devi dasi, Kalki dasa, Agnideva dasa, Uttamasloka dasa and many others as well. There was so much wonderful Krsna katha that I could fill this thread recounting the various lectures. Each speaker helped bring the devotees newer and newer appreciation of what we are involved in and helped to develop an intense desire in each of us to serve the Lord. Of particular note (to me) was a talk given by Tripurari Maharaja wherein he spoke about Rathayatra on three levels: Krsna lila (kuruksetra), Chaitanya lila, and Srila Prabhupada's lila. In brief, he recounted the meeting of the residents of Vrndavana with Krsna at Kuruksetra and the mood of the gopis and Radharani in particular of wanting to meet with Krsna in Vrndavana. The mood is depicted wonderfully in various paintings wherein you see the gopis pulling on the ropes of the ratha cart, pulling Krsna back to Vrndavana. In Maharaja's lecture he focused his attention with regard to Chaitanya lila on the eternal kirtan in Srivasa angam and the desire of the devotees to see the Lord give up his Sanyasa and come back to Navadvipa. With regard to Prabhpada's lila, Maharaja spoke about his early childhood pastimes with Rathayatra and his intense desire from his youth to go to Puri during Rathayatra. He also spoke about Malati devi dasi's finding a small Jagannatha deity in an Indian store in S.F. in 1967 and presenting him to Srila Prabhupada and asking him if this figure had anything to do with what he was talking about. Srila Prabhupada did a full dandavat to Jagannatha and began to offer very wondrful prayers. He asked Malati if there were two more of these figures to which she replied, "there are two barrels full of them". Srila Prabhupada explained that he meant two others that were similar but slightly different figures. Malati went back and obtained the figure of Baladeva and Subadra the next day. Srila Prabhupada asked one of his disciples (sorry I forgot his name - any of you who remember can add it in another post if you feel inclined) to carve larger deities. According to Malati the first Rathayatra held in S.F. was in October of 1967. At the Rathayatra festival I spent most of my time in front of Lord Jagannatha's chariot. Agnideva led the kirtan for most of the procession. The Lord looked so beautiful up on the chariot and all the devotees were anxiously pulling him - madly trying to bring him down off his throne and take him back to Vrndavana. The kirtan was simply ecstatic. I stayed with the kirtan party throughout the procession up to the alter as they brought the Lord's down from the chariot to their altar in the park and then onto the stage and back to the altar for the arotik. After the arotik I wandered around the festival site and met with various devotees I hadn't seen for years, took prasadam and simply reveled in the blessings of the day - a day to be with Krsna and his devotees and a day when Krsna comes out to give his blessing to one and all regardless of qualification, affilitation, ideology, sex, color, species etc.
  5. Dear Pita, Best to simply copy the contents of the file and then paste them into your posts. This always works for me, whether it is from a different internet site, a word file or whatever. Sometimes you will have to go through the text and add spaces and what not because all the proper formating isn't always carried over. Looking forward to your continued story. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  6. No, certainly not. At least I have never seen any sastric evidence to support such a notion. Are you aware of such service? I was reading a little bit this morning from Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Maharaja's book, "The Art of Sadhana". In one place he makes a very clear statement that the mind has no independent existence. There is no cognition without the consciousness, which is spiritual. He elaborates on the issue at hand by stating that it is the atman that gives 'apparent' life to matter. Perception is a function of the soul. Without the presence of the soul there is not thinking, feeling, willing. I know that someone could say that the state of deep sleep in which we continue to exist but during which we are not aware in terms of our normal understanding which is linked to the mind and senses (the body) could indicate that the soul is active in another sphere but that, that 'life' goes on independent and undetected by one illusioned by identification with matter. I think that this type of conjecture would certainly be far fetched and not in keeping with the direct message of Bhagavad-Gita. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa [This message has been edited by Audarya lila (edited 06-11-2002).]
  7. Well .... Krsna says that for one who is born death is certain and for one who dies birth is certain. He also tells Arjuna that both he and Arjuna have taken many births and that he remembers all of them while Arjuna does not..... Ram, you seem to be presenting a concept that the soul is off in some perfect sphere and is never in bondage while in actuality it is only the mind and false ego that are bound. I don't find this assertion to be convincing or in accordance with the teaching of Krsna in Bhagavad-Gita. Of course there is always the possibility that I simply misunderstand your presentation. My understanding, based on my readings and reflections on Bhagavad-Gita, is that the soul, jiva-shakti, is conscious. The mind and intelligence are material and only animated based on the soul's identification with them. Spirit is conscious, whereas matter is not. So saying that atma is not the leg, head, mind etc. is correct - but you are conscious of these material objects because you are spirit. The mind and intelligence have no ability to function independent of the soul. Ahankara implies that real ego exists. Identification is a function of the soul. When Krsna speaks of bondage through various types of action do you take it that Krsna is adressing matter and not the spirit soul who is Arjuna? This conversation, dialog, debate - whatever you want to call it - you percieve it with your mind and intelligence, but who is the perciever? The mind and intelligence are material - it is consciousness, spirit, which perceives. I hope you do not take offense to my comments. But these are my honest impressions and reflections on what has been presented in this thread. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa [This message has been edited by Audarya lila (edited 06-06-2002).]
  8. I hope you won't consider me an intruder to your discussion here, but I have read through this thread and I am inclined to be involved at least peripherially. I was a little surprised, Ram, by your comments that you feel that 'we all' (whoever that is - I assume you and Raga as I know that Janava Nitai certainly doesn't hold that same sentiment) have given up the 'so-called' shelter of Srila Prabhupada and have gone on to higher authorities and that therefore his interpretations are not germane to the discussion at hand. I know what authorities Raga has gone on to, but I am certainly most curious as to who the authorities are that you consider to be 'higher'. Be that as it may, you should know that Srila Prabhupada did not give simply his own interpretations of Bhagavad-gita, but relied heavily on previous Gaudiya acharyas, particularly Baladeva Vidyabushana. Here is the translation and commentary of my spiritual master, Swami B.V. Tripurari, of the verse in question: All actions are performed by the gunas. One who misidentifies with the body in false ego imagines "I am the doer." *note: ahankara-vimudha is translated as: bewildered by egotism, and atma as: self Commentary "In this verse Krsna describes the bewilderment of the ignorant, who identify themselves with the body and mind. In ignorance, people think themselves to be independent in their action, seeing themselves as the agents of action. If they are enlightened, they can understand the nature of action: when it arises and how it can be harnessed to bring about emancipation. The functions of the body are the movements of material nature, whereas the soul is the nondoer. Without this understanding, ignorant people do not realize that they are embodied souls and that their physical actions and thoughts are not really their own - not the movement of their self, but movement under the influence of material nature, overseen by God. While this verse stresses the difference between spirit and matter, the former being a witness to the action of the latter, the Gita's message is not entirely dualistic, and thus this verse understood in the context of the entire Gita cannot be equated with Sankya philosophy, which maintains complete dualism of matter and spirit. Baladeva Vidyabhusana points out that the individual soul is a factor in action, although only one among others. He cites Bhagavad-gita 18.14 where Krsna says as much himself. Material nature acts only as a result of contact with spirit, both God and the individual soul. Thus the soul is not without its influence over actions of the body. The limited sense in which the soul also acts is brought out in the following verse wherein we learn rather than becoming attached to the senses and sense objects, one can do otherwise." Personally, I have thought about Ram's idea with regard to this verse and I don't feel that it accurately represents what Krsna is saying here. Matter is anitmated by consciouisness and it is this consciousness which is covered by the ego. This is the theme throughout the Gita - that there are two energies at work here - matter which is inferior and experienced and spirit which is conscious and thus the experiencer. The material energy is described as being constituted of eight principal ingredients in B.G. verse 7.4 and in 7.5 Krsna explains that there is a higher energy of his which consists of souls by which the universe is sustained. Here is the translation and commentary to this verse from the Bhagavad-Gita, it's feeling and philosophy. I include this verse and commentary because it relates to the overall discussion: However, other than this, O mighty-armed one, you should know that I have another, superior nature consisting of souls, by which this universe is sustained. Commentary "Material nature is inferior to consciousness. It is that which is experienced, as opposed to that which experiences. Matter is insentient, while consciousness is life itself. The jiva-shakti consisting of individual souls is God's intermediate power. It is similar in nature to God and dissimilar to matter. It is at the same time dissimilar to God in that it is prone to being deluded by the influence of material nature. How can the jiva-shakti be deluded by material nature if it is superior to matter? Such is the power of illusion. Even while souls, units of consciousness, sustain the material world by their presence, due to their association with matter they think their existence is dependent on material conditions. Krsna has described his intermediate power here as jiva-bhuta. In using the singular, he refers to the entire class of individual souls. The source of both the indiviual souls and matter is Krsna himself, as he affirms in the next verse." I think this sheds some light on the questions being posed by Raga and lends some support to the interpretation of the word vimudhatma which he gave as well. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  9. Dear BVI, I have never hidden my identity or my affiliations from anyone who has asked me. I am a disciple of Sripad B.V. Tripurari Swami. I was not defending or denigrating anyone. What I said was, 'don't condemn in a blanket fashion'. There are plenty of Iskcon 'gurus' and disciples who have specifically missed the proper ideal as well. If someone cites the examples of the drug smuggling, pedophilia, child abuse, gun slinging of Iskcon 'acharyas' etc. and uses it to condemn all those who have taken shelter of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami I hardly think that any reasonable person would find it either realistic or appropriate. I don't believe in heresay or in blatant slander or grand standing and when I see it I will call it out. To me, this type of behavior doesn't bring dignity to our lineage, but rather it gives people more reason to avoid it. My Guru Maharaja has written a nice little book exploring the reasons for Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's rejection of the traditional practices of Raganuga Bhakti and preaching the way he did. You may find it interesting and helpful in clarifying some fine theisitc points. The book is titled 'Sri Guru Parampara' and can be purchased on line here: http://www.swami.org/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=A&Category_Code=B You have been asked repeatedly who your Guru is and you have repeatedly avoided the question as if it is some big secret. I will ask it again, who is your Guru? BTW, I agree with your specific statements regarding the offensiveness of reinitiating disciples and asking people to reject their Gurus. I am aware of some specific problems such as this and would certainly avoid associating with those who are blasphemous of my revered guides. I would not, however, go out of my way to make blanket condemnations or even specific condemnations - but rather I would simply avoid said persons. My policy is ALWAYS to give people the benefit of the doubt and I don't listen to rumor or heresay. I find out for myself first hand. If I find that someone isn't good association I avoid them, period. There are some who are making a campaign against Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and who continue to propagate heresay and rumor to caste doubt on his legitimacy as the heir to the divine lineage of Bhaktivinoda Thakur. I also oppose such behavior, but I choose to do so in a different manner than you have. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  10. Dear BVI, Are you actually ever going to answer any direct question or are you simply going to go on with the charade? Offender this, offender that - blah, blah, blah.... If you have anything SPECIFIC to say, say it - otherwise remain silent on the matter because from the unbiased observer point of view it is you who is simply smearing your filthy ideas everywhere without any substance to back up such claims. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta had some legitimate concerns about Gaudiya Vaishnavism and how it could be spread worldwide and he made adjustments accordingly. He also spoke out strongly against imitationists - but that critique was never meant to be a blanket condemnation. Just like Srila Prabhupada criticized some of his god brothers for specific reasons at specific times, but this was certainly never meant to be a blanket condemnation to be taken up by his neophyte disciples. Try to catch the substance. It becomes ugly when someone confuses the form for the substance. Raga has been very polite and has simply asked you for SPECIFICS. Stop with the grand standing already. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  11. Dear Prema108, I know that Valaya is interested in this topic because he has copied much of it onto the isthagosthi forum members board. Beyond that I don't personally think that BVI sounds much like Valaya nor would I categorize Valaya as a member of the gopi bhava club. Valaya has shared his personal experiences on this forum and in that sense may have some similarity to BVI, but beyond that I wouldn't draw any comparison. Having said that, I will also say that I have been wrong before and I am quite sure will be again. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  12. Dear BVI, This appears to be more the standard. When Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was asked if he had seen Krsna he answered that the question was wrong. If he says yes, what will the gentleman do with the answer - how will it help him? Same if he says no. In fact, in the line of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta this is the standard. Devotees may or may not have personal experiences as you have written about, but the standard is that they are personal and not for public consumption. Furthermore, it was also the standard of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta that external shows of devotion or claims of revelation were not well thought of. As you said in one post, work now - samadhi later. The standard is very clear - proper conduct and performance of sadhana. We know that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Srila Prabhupada - all were great acharyas - presumably with great spiritual insight and actual experience in lila seva. Yet, their writings are curiously devoid of any hint of such, with the obvious exception of Bhaktivinoda Thakur. I agree with the idea that a devotee's past should not be considered, but certainly their present is very important. That is why one is advised to observe the spiritual master, or aspiring disciple (depending on who is doing the observing) for at least a year prior to committing oneself. So an obvious question for anyone who presents themselves as a Guru or an authority on spiritual life is who are you? Where do you live? Whom do you associate with? What are your daily habits? And so many other things come to mind as well. Krsna has given a very good description of what to expect the life and mental make-up of his pure devotee to be. Without knowing anything about you other than you claim to have had some personal experiences and that you have at least a rudimentary grasp of Gaudiya siddhanta, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously? Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  13. click on Nityananda Mahajana to access the article once you go to the URL above. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  14. Dear Shiva, When I speak I do so based on my own realizations and the authority of scripture. When I speak about that which is beyond my experience I don't speculate, rather I am careful to present those topics which are beyond my level of experience as they have been presented by those whom I accept as proper authorities on the subjects under discussion. You are certainly not an uttama adhikara as is evident from you misconceptions and presentation, which is at odds with our Acharyas. There are many gradations of realization. The topmost devotees see Krsna personally and serve him in his lila in their siddha deha and here in this world in their sadhaka deha. That statement is based on scripture, not my personal experience. But, since I am a sadhaka and I am practicing bhakti yoga under the guidance of a bona-fide spiritual master, I take the scripture as my authority for that which is beyond my present experience. Here is the URL for a very nice article written by Bhaktivinoda Thakur and orignally published in Sajjan Tosani. You will find that it covers many of the points that I mentioned previously as well as in this post. http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/guardians_fs.html You will have to copy the enitre URL if it wraps in order to access the page. Of the sixty four angas of bhakti that Rupa Goswami delineates in the Bhakti rasamrita sindhu, the first four have to to with accepting proper guidance. Without starting at the beginning no one can hope to progress any furhter. That is the proper course to take if anyone genuinely wants to serve Krsna. Otherwise, it is simply talk. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  15. Dear Shiva, I am sorry you took offense to my post. I take it you feel that my pointing out to you that your presentation is against the teachings of our Acharyas in some makes you feel justified in calling me mr. high and mighty. The fact is, I am a lowly worm at best - but that does not mean I will not present the proper siddhanta as I have understood it. I am following Sri Guru and GAuranga. My spritual master is Sripad Tripurari Swami and I follow his instructions to the best of my ability. I am flawed, no doubt, but I am serving Sri Guru and GAuranga according to explicit instructions from my Guru Maharaja. You are right that Bhakti is both the means and the end. You totally misunderstand what I have said and twist it into some sort of pleasure seeking concept. Where have I ever said anything of the type? You misunderstand Gaudiya Siddhanta and I have pointed that out. I don't consider myself high and mighty for having done so. The fact that I have some theorhetical understanding of the proper siddhanta says nothing about my standing as a sadhaka. I know you have been asked by several devotees who it is that you have as a guide and you have chosen not to reveal that, or you do not have a guide. You speak of serving Sri Guru and Gauranga, but that is not an abstract idea. Service to Sri Guru is personal and he/she will give you direct service suitable for your proper advancement and will also help develop your understanding of proper Gaudiya siddhanta. I see nothing in your posts that indicates that you have proper guidance. You seem to doubt the very concept that there are different rasas and that each of us have an eternal svarupa. Where did you get the concept that this idea is based on sense gratification or pratistha? This is not the teaching of any bona fide Acharya. From the very beginning a bona-fide Acharya will inform his/her sisya about the spiritual world and give him/her a proper conceptualization of that world. This is elementary and foundational to Gaudiya siddhanta. Please read Bhakti rasamrita sindhu. There you will find detailed information that will remove your doubts and clear your misconceptions. The basis of all spritual relations is dasya. You will always remain as a servant. Anyway, this is really off the topic somewhat, but not completely. Without proper guidance, which is what this thread was intended to address, no one will be able to progress beyond the mind and false ego. I say it again, and if you choose, you can certainly take offense to it - you need good guidance. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  16. Dear Shiva, I don't know why you insist on speaking out about that which you are clearly uninformed about. It is clear that you need guidance. The discussion was centered on the identity of Sri Guru. You were provided sastric evidence that is accepted by all branches of Gaudiya vaishnavas regarding the identity of Sri Guru as the dearmost of Krsna and that Sri Guru is indeed not just a concept of Krsna empowering a devotee to represent him and that we ignore that person and only see Krsna there. No, it is not like that, and you have been given some proof from the sastra - not something whimsical or developed through speculation. These are the conclusions of our Acharyas. You are misunderstanding the point because you are thinking that you can gain access to these truths through your mind and senses, which are mundane. The tattva is really fairly simple. You have an eternal identity and you are meant to discover what that is. Not just in a philosophical way - that I am a servant of the servant of the servant - which is certainly true - but you have an eternal spiritual identity complete with a name and form etc. The top most Mahabhagavata devotees of the lord, as was mentioned in a previous post, are directly involved with the Lord in their siddha deha and are doing lila seva. They are also, simultaneously available to us neophytes to help us to advance and gradually disolve our material ego and uncover our actually identity. That is Krsna's mercy. If you doubt the authenticity of this then you doubt Jiva Goswami who has expressed this very truth in his writings. The Guadiya Matha position and that which is followed by it's various off-shoots which include ISKCON, is that this svarurpa will be revealed naturally to the sadhaka when he/she matures in devotion. The conception of our particular lineage (I include myself here because my Guru Maharaja is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada and Sridhara Maharaja), is that what is discussed by Bhaktivinoda Thakur in his Jaiva Dharma as well as in Harinama Cintamani is for advanced sadhaka's. This type of information is not meant, according to our lineage, for general consumption - but only for those who have the adhikara for it. In this we differ from other lineages, but we certainly do not deny the tattva or call it imaginary or fanciful. Your material conception is most inappropriate. It is not about fanning the ego. It is about uncovering the real ego. Overall I have to say that what you have presented is ill informed at best. Not only do you need to acquaint yourself with the writings of our Acharyas, but it is quite obvious that you need good guidance. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  17. Just thought I'd add this as it was in a previous Sanga question and answer and relates to some of the questions posed. Q. How can you call yourself followers of Sanatana Goswami? All colors of garment but white are forbidden for Gaudiya Vaisnavas, 'rakta vastra vaisnavera podite na yuyay' (Caitanya Caritamrta Antya 13,61). In Sri Dhyanacandra Gosvami's Paddhati the Guru is described as wearing white cloth (svetambaram gaura-rucim sanatanam). And saffron dhotis do not exist at all, only saffron bahirvasas for Vedic eka-dandi (mayavadi) sannyasis. A parampara that starts with white cloth and then suddenly switches to saffron cloth and 'brahmana-initiation' is hardly an uninterrupted siksa-parampara! How do you explain this? A. Saffron cloth is not red cloth. It is for tridandi sannyasis, of which there are a number of examples in our sampradaya. The context of Sanatana prabbhu's statement you cited from Antya lila 13.61, reveals that he is not condemning a particular color of cloth, but rather the cloth of a mayavadi sannyasi. Sanantana Goswami was wearing this red cloth on his head for the purpose of evoking loving sentiments from Jagadananda Pandita. Panditji thought it was Mahaprabhu's, and he was very pleased to see Sanatana Goswami wearing it. When Jagadananda found out from Sanatana Prabhu that it was a mayavadi's cloth, he became angry and expressed his angry love to the satisfaction of Sanatana Goswami, who then said "This red cloth is not fit for a Vasianva to wear." He was not condemning red cloth per se. The other citations you mention refer to red cloth and not saffron. Some of them refer to the royal colors red and blue and not the dress of a sannyasi. All of these are citations from the Vaisnava smriti, which is open to adjustemt in accordance with time and circumstances. Indeed, much of Hari bhakti vilasa is not followed by many Gaudiya sects today.The Gaudiya Saraswata sampradaya is not the exception. Indeed, the closest adherents to the form of Hari bhakti vilasa, the Radha Ramana Goswamis, have been know to wear saffron cloth themselves. Visvambhara Goswami and Purusottama Goswami are examples. I have seen them both in saffron. You are making much of the color of one's cloth. Would you also condemn the Tinkrori baba, a previous Mahanta at Radha kunda, for wearing burlap and not white? The spirit of the injunctions regarding white cloth is one of distinguishing the sampradaya from Advaitins. If there are other ways to do this as well, they may be adopted following in the spirit of the injunctions. This is the idea of Tridandi sannyasa and the corresponding saffron cloth within daiva varnasrama as conceived of by Bhaktivinoda Thakura and implemented by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. Evidence for Vaisnava tridandi sannyasa is considerable. Sanatana Goswami himself offers this in his commentary on Brihatbhagavatamrta 2.7.14, in which he cites and explains SB 3.5.39. He explains the word yati in the Bhagavata verse to be a description of selfless devotees who take sannyasa. Outwardly in dress they are sannyasis, while in actuality they are bhaktas. Our unbroken diksa parampara involves imparting the guru, gaura, and krsna mantras along with corresponding gayatris. We also give the brahma gayatri with the conception of vraja bhakti. For this you can read the brahma gayatri tika of Om Visnupada Bhakti Raksaka Sridharadeva Goswami published in his Gita commentary. We also accept maha mantra diksa. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura received the maha mantra from Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and mantra gayatri diksa from Gaura kisora dasa babaji. Some people have tried to prove that Saraswati Thakura was not initiated by Gaura kisora dasa babaji, but even they admit that their evidence is inconclusive. Evidence of the Thakura's spirituality, however, would be difficult to deny. He followed the vows of Haridasa Thakura at Vraja-pattana for almost nine years before beginning his preaching campaign, and his campaign involved fulfilling the prophecy of Mahaprabhu. He was an innovator, and this involved his stress on a siksa guru or Bhagavata guru parampara along with the diksa guru parampara. The idea of the Bhagavata guru parampara is that greater emphasis is given to those whose influence is greater in the lineage, regardless if they be one's siksa guru rather than diska guru. Thus Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura emphasized the influence of Jagannatha dasa babaji in the life of Bhaktivinoda and drew his line accordingly. As with the color of cloth, here we are speaking of substance over form." I hope this helps to better understand some of these complex issues. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa For those who don't know - Sanga is a nonsectarian online community that shares an interest in the esoteric teachings of the Gaudiya Vedanta lineage and the writings of Swami B.V. Tripurari.
  18. Well Shiva, we will have to agree to disagree on your last post. You appear to be misinformed with regard Gaudiya siddhanta. I never mentioned sense gratification or some type of 'reward' or future 'position'. These are strictly your concoctions. You say that the idea that our goal is to enter into the divine lila is a sahajiya conception that wasn't supported by Srila Prabhupada - but you are quite misinformed if that is your conclusion. Please read the poem that Srila Prabhupada composed aboard the Jaladuta on his voyage to America. He does not talk to an imaginary Krsna or call his spiritual master the dearmost of Krsna because he is engaged in fantasy. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta revealed his eternal spiritual identity to his sisyas and Srila Prabhupada is one of his dearmost servants. Do you think he was unaware of his Guru's spiritual identity or of that of Srila Bhaktivinoda's? Do you think that he was unaware of his own spiritual identity? Do you think that this was just some fantasy or mental concoction? Yes, his identity is dasa dasanudasa - but it is also specific in relation to Krsna - not simply general. We are meant to develop an inner life as sadhakas - not fantasy, but actual feeling and reality in relation to our ista devata. Here is a nice section from an article written by my Guru Maharaja that covers some of these points: "Although Krsna says that the dearest to me is he who preaches the message of Bhagavad-gita to the devotees, it should be understood that a genuine preacher is also a practitioner and thus his preaching is effective because it is backed by realization. In the immortal words of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, “He who preaches has life.” Effective preaching is under the jurisdiction of Krsna’s svarupa sakti. Sri Kaviraja Goswami says krsna-sakti vina nahe tara pravartana, without krsna sakti one cannot effect the hearts of others. Real preaching requires this background. He who is dear to Krsna is one whom he has embraced with is svarupa sakti. This is the investment of Krsna in the jiva by which he becomes a mature devotee. Krsna manifests his svarupa sakti in his devotee’s heart and makes him dear to him by giving him a place in his lila seva. Rupa Goswami explains suddha-sattva-visesatma prema-suryamsu-samya-bhak rucibhis citta-masrnya-krd asau bhava ucyate. This verse describes the dawning of bhava bhakti, the fruit of sadhana. Sri Rupa explains that at that time the devotee experiences the samvit and hladhini sakti of Krsna, suddha-sattva-visesatma. His heart is softened and a particular taste manifests in his heart, rucibhis citta-masrnya-kad asau bhava. Then he can do bhava seva, lila seva. There is no seva more dear to Krsna than lila seva because it represents mature realization and actual love of God. While one who preaches is the dearest to the Lord in this world, the result of having endeared oneself to Krsna in this way is that the Lord takes him to the spiritual world. He activates his svarupa and such a devotee serves him then in both his sadhaka deha as a preacher and in his sidha deha in Krsna’s lila." You seem to doubt these concepts but they are foundational to Gaudiya siddhanta and are fully supported by the writings of our acharyas. Guara-lila and Krsna lila are both eternal, no doubt and they are eternally intertwined. As Gaudiyas, our understanding is that we worhip Gauranga who grants us entrance into Krsna lila. What gift do you think it is that Gauranga is giving out freely to even the most unqualified? If you think that it is all a fantasy then why are you involved? Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  19. Dear Shiva, Apparently you did not read my post very thoroughly. I was quoting Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakur and his Guruv astakam prayers. Yes, it is correct to understand that Krsna comes to the honest soul in the form of Sri Guru. But our vision of who Sri Guru is will evolve as we evolve in our devotional service. Ultimately we will see Sri Guru in his/her relationship with Krsna. We will see Sri Guru as the dearmost servant either as a gopa or gopi assisting the divine couple in their dance of love. We are not impersonalists. Sri Guru is a person - a devotee. Sri Guru has his/her eternal place in the service of the divine couple and makes arrangements for the same for us in due course. Sri Guru is more than God not just because it is through Sri Guru that we come into contact with God, but more importantly, because Sri Guru is the dearmost servant of God and when he recommends us we will have sure and certain entrance into the divine realm. Our philosophy is achintya beda abeda tattva - inconceivable and simultaneous oneness and difference. You are acknowledging the oneness side but forgeting the difference. It is the difference that allows us entrance into divine service - lila seva. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  20. Dear Raga, Yes, you certainly hear the voice of Sripad B.V. Tripurari Swami in what I wrote. I am his disciple, as you know, and I try to represent him to the best of my abiility and understanding. What I wrote above is from one of his writings - although edited to make it suitable for the topic under discussion. Your posts both on this thread and on various threads in different forums have been very nice. I really appreciate your balanced approach. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  21. Just a quick note on this subject. We sing the guruv astakam prayers every morning. The seventh stanza starts our with the idea that the Guru is directly of the quality of Hari - saksad-daritvena. In order to represent God one must be of the same quality as God, above the three modes of nature - nirguna. Thus the Guru must be spiritually situated. When Srila Prabhupada first explained the significance of being initiated he said that the disciple must consider the Guru to be as good as God, saksad-daritvena. But if we look a little further down in the verse we see that Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur says - kintu prabhor ya priya eva tasya. "However, Sri Guru is also very dear to Hari." Thus he is directly Krsna, yet dear to him at the same time. So we can ascertain from the above that the intial understanding is that Guru is as good as God, or that he is directly Krsna. But in time, with realization, the disciple will see his Guru as more than God. What could be more than God? As Krsna, God bows down to his devotees. He is conquered by their love. Thus to see Sri Guru as the dearmost devotee of Krsna implies higher realization on the part of the disciple than to see him as saksad-daritvena. I think this is in keeping with what Raga prabhu has written above and consistent with the Gaudiya theology on subject. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  22. I believe the correct answer to the question is that he is. It has been pointed out that our new and dear Theist is none other than our former Maitreya.
  23. I find that the above statement is not consistent with your name. If you are a servant, that means you accept some authority. In general, it can certainly be said that spiritual knowledge and awareness can only be had through what is called a descending process. Our minds and our limited sensual capabilities are inadequate for the exploration of a substance which is much subtler. That is why all spiritualists regardless of secular affiliation rely on scripture not only as a source of inspiration but also as the ultimate authority. Having said that, I would like to suggest that the words of Bhaktivinoda that were posted at the beginning of this thread need to be thought of in terms of their context and content. The context within which these words were spoken should be given some consideration. The Thakur was given a 'western' education and he has said that he was sceptical and embarassed about the contents of the Bhagavatam. Most of his intellectual contemporaries were also prone to discount the Bhagavata. Because there was an intellectual bias against the Bhagavata and it's philosophy at the time the Thakur had to carefully word his lecture so that he could attract the intellectuals of his time to the possiblity that there was something to be gained by an unbiased study even if previous thinkers may have concluded otherwise. On the content side of things one could certainly conclude that since God is unlimited and that all that can be said about him is certainly not written to date. As I said above, spiritual understanding is revealed knowledge so it only stands to reason that if we ever get beyond the words and formalities presented to us and actually begin to have a divine life things will be revealed to us and we will add to the previously recorded wisdom. These are just some thoughts to add to the mix. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  24. I think much is lost in semantic arguments. The jist of what was said, in my opinion, is that one who is serious will certainly beg for Krsna to come to him/her in the form of Sri Guru and that person should, at the time this pray is answered, take formal and substantial inititation. I don't think anyone was suggesting that one go out and pick a devotee for status sake and take initiation in order to belong to a club. The sastra is clear on the matter and that has been presented conclusively in this thread. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was asked why everyone doesn't get a spiritual master. He answered very simply and directly that for one who is sincere it is sure that he will get. Disciple means dicipline and service. We approach Krsna through serving his servants. That is the very heart of Gaudiya theology. Another very instructive thing that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati said in this regard is that one should pray with all his/her heart for a proper guide and that if one continues to find that there is none they should go on praying for mercy. At some point one will have to conclude that the problem is with oneself and not with any lack of bona fide vaishnavas who are worthy of taking shelter of. Krsna is unlimited, so if after a long period we still find that we think no one is qualified, the conclusion is that the deficiency is in ourselves not in Krsna or his devotees. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
  25. Dear Paul, It is incorrect to think that one must be in the liberated state to take initiation. That line of thinking is similar to one who feels that someone must be healthy to visit a doctor. The strength to follow the regimine given by the Guru comes from Guru. You are certainly right to think that you must be qualified yourself, but you are incorrect to think that you can achieve liberation without taking shelter of Sri Guru. My nephew once told me that he feels disdain for so many Christians because they are hypocrits. I asked him why he felt that way. He said that they are speaking about surrender and perfection and the ideal life but their lives are not a perfect model of such a life. I told him that while I agree to a certain extent that he would be hard pressed to find a serious and sincere Christian who felt he/she was perfect and sinless. They acknowledge their sinfulness and their need for divine mercy and therefore they go to church and strive for a divine life. They aknowledge their need and they are trying to do something about it by their adherence and sumission - full of faults though it may be. In that sense they are much better than the idle fault finder. Sridhara Maharaja has said, following the lead of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, that a person should be judged not on the basis of who they are at present, but rather on the basis of their ideal - for it is that which they will eventually become. (Oh supreme comma Guru - please forgive my offenses to your sage advice in this paragraph) The four regulative principles that Srila Prabhupada asked his disciples to adhere to are the basis of basic human life. He recognized that he was accepting disciples that were accustomed to living very sinful lives on the level of polished animals. If you can find a sadhu that inspires you and that can help you then you may begin to think about how you can serve him/her and you will naturally inquire about all the intricacies of spiritual life. The natural progression is that the Guru captures the disciples heart with siksha and then the disciple submits and asks for diksha. Until you find someone who you feel this way about you should simply chant and pray to Krsna that someday he will be present before you in the form of Sri Guru. Regarding Jagat's comment - I think you can understand that you will naturally disappoint those you love from time to time. Take your wife for instance. I would guess that she, at times, has been less than pleased with you. Does that make you an unworthy husband? I think not. It means that you are fualty and imperfect like most people and that you have to keep trying and hoping against all hope that you will be able some day to live up the standards that you perceive to be ideal. I am sure that if you tallied up all the qualities that would make for the ideal husband you would find yourself lacking in many areas - I know I do. Still by force of your love you are married. When a sadhu captures your heart you will want to be connected to him/her in a substantial and formal way. That connection does not mean you will not stumble or fall along the way, but your genuine love will keep you going and his/her mercy will elevate you in time. Your servant, Audarya lila dasa
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