Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

  1. An implicit part of respecting the Supreme Lord is respecting His empowered servants. They may be "little nature spirit gods" to you, but they can certainly ruin your day if they chose. And the Lord does not like it when His devotees are disrespected...
  2. "Futile" is in the eye of the beholder. Certain individuals believe that anyone who disagrees with them is needlessly argumentative, while certain others have a tendency to argue and argue ad nauseum even when they have little substance to their argument. To me, two people disagreeing politely is quite illuminating since it gives me a chance to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of their individual positions. When someone resorts to ad hominem attacks, fatwas, papal bull (or their modern-day, internet equivalents) to silence an opponent, it tells me rather quickly that his is a philosophical position that I should not bother making my own. Your idea that discussing hierarchy/supremacy of different deities is not important says more about your own views than of the legitimacy of the question. After all, a person who genuinely wants to know what is the best path to liberation is not going to accept an answer steeped in moral relativism (i.e. "this path is ok, that path is ok, whatever you like is ok..."). There is no getting around the fact that throughout the Puranas we have questions pertaining to what is the highest good for man, and the answer often comes in the form of directing one to a specific deity. Are all of those Puranas to be swept off the table because of their politically incorrect position of elevating one deity over another? Or could it be, perhaps, that it is our attachment to political correctness that handicaps our search after truth? It is kind of pointless, don't you think, to want to seek after truth but then provide so many conditions first (i.e. don't tell me one path is better than another, don't tell me one deity is superior to another, etc). If we do not know truth, should we not acknowledge that point humbly and take help from sources of right knowledge, instead of filtering said sources through our own preconceived biases? Hindus will never be philosophically united because Hinduism has never been philosphically united. Throughout Hindu history there have always been Vaishnavas, Shaivites, Shaktas, Vedantins, Non-Vedantins, etc. We do not need to dismiss our philosphical differences for the sake of political unity. Political unity and philosophical unity have nothing to do with each other.
  3. "Personal God" - meaning that it is in the Lord's inherent nature to have personality, display emotions, have activity, interactions with devotees, etc. "Impersonal God" - meaning an abstract idea of something being supreme without reference to eternal personality, attributes, activities, etc. However, this terminology is not hard and fast. Some Vaishnavas believe that Brahman is "personal" but is at the same time beyond all forms, qualities, etc. Sri Vaishnavas in particular seem to take this view, although they are quick to say that the Lord's forms are still eternal and divine. Some might argue that "personal" and "impersonal" refer to "approachability" rather than "personality." Thus, for example, the Judeo-Christian "God" is wrathful and demands unquestioning submission. Some have argued that this is an "impersonal" diety not in the sense of lacking personality but rather in the sense of demanding unquestioning submission that precludes genuine devotion. I guess it depends on who is doing the talking. As far as Hare Krishnas are concerned, I believe they use the first set of definitions.
  4. Just FYI, Swami Vivekananda whose quote appears in your sig file, was a meat-eater.
  5. Eating carrots is not equivalent to eating meat. Neither is eating garlic and onion equivalent to eating meat, as you have stated earlier. However, orthodox Hindus (including Vaishnavas) do not eat garlic and onion because of their rajasic qualities.
  6. I was making the point that the VSN contains names like Rudra which can refer to other devatas in some contexts. Which in turn means that there are some standard prayers which even Vaishnavas chant in temples that invoke anya-devata names but which in fact are not. I assumed by "Rudram" you were referring to prayers with the name "Rudra" in them. If you were referring to a specific prayer like Sri Rudram Chamakam then that is a different story. I do agree with the general point that orthodox Vaishnavas usually avoid even the appearance of anya-devata worship for propriety's sake.
  7. It is also stated in in the Skanda Purana. It also follows from Gita 15.15 and numerous other statements which presumably you would accept. You are obviously not familiar with the Vedanta-sutra, because this approach to interpretation is the very foundation of Vaishnava Vedanta and even your own Baladeva Vidyabhushana follows it. The principle is very simple and logical - whenever a seemingly dependent entity is invoked and described by attributes that are solely those of Brahman alone, then that reference should be interpreted to be Brahman and not the dependent entity one might superficially consider it to mean. THis is the only logical approach to scripture, assuming you truly consider it to be "scripture," as opposed to an inconsistent hodgepodge of contradictory ideas authored by different sages over time. Thus, when "Indra" is invoked and his supremacy is discussed, then "Indra" in this context means Vishnu. Same with "Rudra,Shiva," etc. Saying that other deities are glorified as supreme even when they are not is saying in effect that the Vedas teach falsehoods. This in turn undercuts your entire siddhanta, because even the texts that you do emphasize (Gita, Bhagavatam) base their authority on the Vedas. Not only this, but your own Jiva Gosvami accepts the authority of the Vedas and bases his discussion of pramanas on the unquestioned authority of the Vedas. So there is no way around it - you have to interpret the Vedas to draw out a consistent siddhanta. This is false. The Vishnu-sahasranama stotra is popularly chanted by Vaishnavas and it contains names that are normally attributed to other devatas. It is probably true, however, that Vaishnavas do not customarily invoke anya-devata-namas when worshipping Vishnu. The reasons why should be obvious. If we lived in an ideal world then no one would have any misunderstanding when the Lord is referred to as "Indra,Rudra,Shiva," etc. But we don't live in that ideal world, and the reality is that other people will misunderstand such an approach as indicating that all these deities are the same.
  8. Several points: 1) I am not aware of an online version of a translation of Madhva's commentary. Anyone with even a modicum of intelligence should have no problem finding the book in a decent library. Sadly, Tattvavadi siddhanta will not appeal to those whose only means of learning is to google, copy, cut, and paste. 2) Your have demonstrated very little grasp of logic, making any criticism made by you of someone else's straightforward logic rather humorous to read. 3) That activities are the basis of existence is not in question or even relevant. That you are bringing it up suggests that you do not understand what is being discussed. At this point, one might wonder if it wouldn't be smarter for you to try and understand the gist of the conversation before presuming to argue. 4) There is no need for unwarranted digressions, unless of course you are trying to throw us off from the fact that you do not know what you are talking about.
  9. Krishna says in BG 15.15 that He is the subject matter of the Vedas. Based on this, there is every reason to disagree with your reading of "trai-guNya-viShayA veda." Surely you agree that the Gita should be interpreted in a consistent fashion. Or maybe we should reinterpret Gita 15.15? The position of the Hare Krishnas in this regard seems more consistent with that of secular academic indologists than with the position of the "Brahma-Madhva" sampradaya.
  10. Is it man's nature to be a carnivore? Now that is truly an unsubstantiated allegation. It is not a biologically sound position to take.
  11. Smaranam, I'm sorry, but the above logic seems basically intended to justify Prabhupada's milk use, which in turn raises the question about standards and morality. It is illogical to compare milk drinkers with murders, just as it would be illogical if Prabhupada to allowed his disciples to eat meat just to grow his movement, and then preached vegetarianism. Theist has a lot to answer for, since as usually he proposes totally absurd ideas which ultimately bite him in the back. His own guru (shiksha, not diksha, since he was never initiated) supports cow torture, according to Theist. Neither you nor anyone else should have to shoulder the burden of rationalizing Theist's bizarre ideas.
  12. Men of small knowledge think that there is nothing more to attainment of material comforts via sacrifice because they do not understand the higher, esoteric sense of the Vedas, which is that Lord Vishnu is the actual master of all sacrifices. See also BG 3.15 in this regard. Also, the phrase "which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth" which is central to your "Vedas are materialistic" thesis is not actually found in those verses as quoted above. And your interpretation would remain inconsistent with the verses quoted earlier from chapters 15, 17, etc which describe the Vishnu-centric viewpoint of the Vedas. Those who treat bhakti as a ladder that can be kicked away once one has achieved liberation are basically mayavadis. Do you agree or disagree? If you agree, then you can surely see how the same logic applies to the Vedas and attainment of Sri Krishna. You cannot, on one hand, argue that bhakti continues after liberation, and then on the other hand treat the Vedas as merely a disposable means to an end. This is shastra-ninda. The Vedas are the basis of bhakti to Lord Vishnu. That is the sense of numerous Gita verses and it also happens to be the view of Sri Madhva. The idea that Vedas are actually promoting acquisition of various opulences is a misunderstanding according to Sri Krishna as well as Sri Madhva. Your analogy is flawed on the count of its irrelevance and dissimilarity to the subject matter. A better analogy would be a doctoral thesis that attempts to prove a point. Whatever is said in the thesis leads to the main idea which the doctoral candidate is trying to prove. Taking something out of context and arguing that it is not relevant to the thesis is both unwarranted and disingenuous. Similarly, extracting specific mantras or information about specific sacrifices out of the global context of the Vedas, and then arguing that they really promote acquisition of material goods, is despicable. The above is what Sri Krishna says. The following... ... is not what Sri Krishna says. What difference does it make whether you "accept" the translation or not, given that you do not have sufficient understanding of the language to make an objective decision about the translation's fidelity? You can look up Sri Madhva's view in his Bhagavad-Gita commentary on chapters 2 verses 45-53. An English translation by BNK Sharma is widely available which also has the original Sanskrit of his commentary wherein he explicit disagrees with the idea that the Vedas promote fruitive activity.
  13. AM, you specifically claimed that he was chanting Hare Krishna although the text does not say that. I am merely requesting that you be truthful in your representation of the scripture. I am sorry if advocating for true and accurate representation of scripture offends you in any way. In response to my statement that the Gita verse says nothing about becoming "indifferent to the Vedas" you wrote: But the purport is not the Gita and my original objection stands.
  14. Namaskar. Again your response is somewhat verbose and full of digressions. I will respond to just those parts that are relevant here. If you truly believe, as most Hare Krishnas do, that the Lord is non-different from His glories, then you must accept the conclusion that the above statement by you is incorrect and unpalatable. If Vedas glorify the Lord, then there is no question of distinguishing the Vedas from the Lord. If you claim that Vedas glorify goals other than Vishnu, then you are falling into the trap of the veda-vAda-rataH. And similarly, actually conclusion of Vedas and misunderstood conclusion of Vedas are two different things. Right View: The goal of Vedas is knowing Sri Vishnu Wrong View: Vedas are mainly concerned with the three modes of material nature/fruitive activity. These two views are inconsistent and incompatible. Then perhaps you did not read the first posting of this thread. It is entitled, "Becoming indifferent to the vedas." Certainly that is sastra-ninda. If one posted an article on "becoming indifferent to the Bhagavatam" would you accept such a conclusion as valid? This is classic, mayavadi, utilitarian logic. Just as the mayavadis argue that bhakti is merely a means to an end (liberation) and can be dispensed with once the goal of liberation is attained, so too you argue that one can become "indifferent" to the Vedas once one has attained Sri Krishna. If you disagree with the former, then you cannot possibly disagree with the latter. That would be a double standard. This is self-contradictory. And this is like saying that the glorification of the Lord and the Lord Himself are not the same. Gaudiya Vaishnavas believe that the Bhagavata Purana is the Lord Himself. That this is so is written in Jiva Gosvami's Tattva-Sandarbha. Do you accept it? Because by your logic, I can also say that there is material in the Bhagavata that does not directly concern the Lord, such as descriptions of varnashrama dharma, dynasties of great kings, etc and thus (based on your logic) conclude that the essence of the Bhagavatam is different from the contents of the Bhagavatam. Do you accept it? Why or why not? And therefore, the subject matter of the Vedas is *not* the three modes of material nature or fruitive activity. Rather it is Vishnu only which is the subject, and people only misunderstand the Vedas to be concerned with something else. This also happens to be the view of Sri Madhvacharya who writes this in his Gita commentary. Sri Madhva does not accept the idea of "karma-kanda" or "fruitive activity" as the main gist of the Vedas. And why should he? Since that position is not supported by the Bhagavad-gita at all.
  15. In the spirit of analyzing things, the current model is associated with a high rate of documented marital dysfunction. If there is still a concern over broken families, bitter divorce proceedings, and general social dysfunctionality, then it seems only reasonable to look into other paradigms of marriage above and beyond the current "meet, have sex, and get married if its good for you" approach. On the other hand, if no one really cares anymore about the integrity of the family unit and the ephemeral nature of modern, romantic liasons, then it goes without saying that you will have nothing but contempt for other ways of doing things.
  • Create New...