Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  1. It depends of what school of thought you choose to follow. Visisthadvaita, advaita, dvaita or Buddhistic which differs from Shankaracarya's advaita though many believes that they are identical. I would say that the ultimate goal of jiva is accepting Krishna's will. I think that Ramakrishna said that God gives the impulse, desire, to the souls immersed in non-dual Brahman state if he wants them to come down to earth and serve Him in humanity. This clearly indicates that someone put them in this state and can bring them down from it. But that doesn't mean that Krishna enjoys taking away hard earned fruit of someone's sadhana be it personal or impersonal (remember Jaya and Vijaya). I believe He needs them to accomoplish some mission and help humanity to better understand teachings of Sanathana Dharma. Then again, if you study Upanishads you will find different concept of Brahman. I would be inclined to believe that this is the genuine one, which differs from that of modern advaitins. Personally, I think we shouldn't dwell too much on ultimate goals using our limited minds as many advaita students do. Better try our best to serve Krishna, lead pure and disciplined lives and leave rest to His will. If you try too hard to grasp the ultimate Truth with all aspects your head may fall off, as Yajnavalkya said to his wife Gargi in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:)
  2. Sai Baba claims to be poorna avatar. Krishna Himself. Sai Baba's devotees are generally not very well versed in scriptures. There are many of them in country where I live and they are total ignorants whern it comes to vedic knowledge. Most of them are good simple folk, doing lot of social work seva etc. but Sai Baba exploits their ignorance. I talked to one of his devotees and mentioned Ramakrishna. She said "Oh Ramakrishna, he was such a great person." I thought she actually studied life of Ramakrishna but after asking a few qiuestions she admitted that she only saw his picture and he looked "so sweet". Enough said. Now, I know that vaishnavas like to believe that their religion holds complete truth while others follow half truths.It's quite easy to follow basic impulse when it comes to feeling superior. I will not argue about that. You may be right but I sincerely doubt. I do not agree with some interpretations and translations of Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita coming from Gaudiya lineage but such argumentations with ISKCON bhaktas always proved fruitless. Anyway, I do agree with greatest part and believe that they are much better than those of pure advaitins. Especcialy American Vedanta centers (which are are actually Vivekananda's) , they are loosley based on Sri Ramakrishna's teachings and often misinterpret them from pure advaita standpoint. You can see much clearer when you are not part of some spiritual organisation. When you enter, I believe after few years you stop questioning motives and accept interpretations of their leaders. Perhaps it is modern age sindrom beacuse people are often so egotistic before accpeting guru, their egos become such a burden. They are only looking for someone to hand him this burden ASAP and then guru steps in and relief is instantaneous. They do not spend years in studying , observing and questioning. I get impression from reading vedic scriptures that sadhakas of ancient times were very humble but at the same time very demanding. If they encountered a doubt about teaching, guru or even God they would ask about it without hesitation. Today we are so embarassed to even utter a doubt as soon as we enter some spiritual organisation. I've seen this sindrom at work especcialy with Sai Baba devotees. But I encountered this same mentality in ISKCON and Ramakrishna centers. Ramakrishna's devotees advocating practices strictly forbidden by Ramakrishna , long time ISKCON members knowing nothing about Sri Chaitanya life, not even reading Caritamrita or Bhagavatam and what to say about GALVA. Today I speak with eager vaishnava preaching brahmacarya and extolling Srila Prabhupada and tommorow he is "gay" member of GALVA speaking of Srila Prabhupada views as "conservative" and "victorian" as if his his guru was small child not knowing about situation in a "real world". Fanatical followers easily turn to other extreme. Genuine gurus would profit most from inquiring, intelligent and critical devotees who are eager to follow strict discipline and renounce but at the same time watch guru's steps carefully , not allowing him to slip. But how many gurus would apprecciate such a devotee? They're too busy being "perfect".
  3. I absoultely agree. We should never follow guru just beacause he is famous among worldy- minded. But if he was respected and beloved by serious sadhakas who spent many years living beside him and found him to be genuine God-lover, then we should at least restrain from insulting. Peeople are known to follow blindly gurus just becasue they belonged to certain sampradaya, ignoring obvious misinterpretation of scriptures. It doesn't mean they weren't sincere bhaktas and good gurus, they both made some mistakes in judgement as we are all sometimes prone to do. Our motives are not always pure, be it bhakta or guru but how many will admit that they were wrong before their disciples. I believe that gurus sometimes act humble when they decide to, not when it is needed. Although, it is better to make mistakes while loving god and trying to become better bhakta then live "perfect" lives pretending to love God. I am aware of the fact that Sri Ramakrishna will never be accepted by vaishnavas as ideal of pure bhakti. He doesn't need to be anyway. I would say that the greatest and purest ideal of bhakti was demonstrated by Sri Chaitanya. But you should not call him "mayavadi" who just wanted to "become God" or to merge with God. It is not an insult, it's just incorect. But to hear vaishnavas call him pedophile and mentaly ill person prone to hallucinations makes me sick. This bad habit among some vaisnhavas should be stopped by your authorities wherever and whenever it occurs.
  4. So, if God wants you to realize impersonal aspect your bhakti becomes impure? Bhakta will not desire to become one with the God. Only ignorant nad materialistic person will enter spiritual life to become God. It is perverted ideal and I doubt that this is idea of imperonalism found in Upanishads. That was not Ranmakrishna's ideal. He was given yogic experience of Nirvikalpa Samadhi and that's all. And thank God he was given that experience and explained it properly. This was just one of many experiences. He said that God gives to his bhaktas whatever he wants them to experience, even if they do not want to enjoy impersonal sometimes it is given to them just to understand this aspect. He ven prayed "Please don't make me unconscious with impersonal knowledge." It just came to him. How can we know why? Only God knows what was His plan with Ramakrishna but if we use our intelligence we can come to some logical conclusions instead of illogical exclusions.
  5. I'm not too good in English but I will try my best. As vaishnavas you'd better avoid basing opinion on Kripal's work. He is follower of left-handed sexuall tantra who happens to have similar opinons on Sri Chaitanya's and Sri Ramakrishna's bhakti paths, centered around repressed sexuality. Read works of genuine spiritualists. They know what to criticize if they really had to criticize some great devotee. This person is obesssed with sexuality and cannot comprehend ideal of brahmacarya. He sees mystical experiences through the prism of sexuality. It is common problem with materialistic people trying to grasp lives of great souls. They are terified with lack of sexuality in spiritual practices and are not abble to comprehend that even in a lives of ordinary devotees those feelings can easily be sublimated through steady discipline and bhakti. And I mean easily. Disciplined satvic life is all that we need tu turn the tiger of sexuality into mere moskito. It is impossible for us to know for certain if Ramakrishna was being of divine origin and pure bhakta but after reading Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna and many books written by his contemporaries and closest disciples I cannot but admit that he was rare soul, true bhakta and possibly partial incarnation of Sri Vishnu. Now, we don't have to accept his divinity but there is absolutely no reason to insult and discredit such a great devotee on the basis of word written by ignorants such as Kripal. They may have been right about many bogus gurus like Sai Baba, Muktananda etc.but it's not like they were hard to hit. There are many bogus gurus but after you try to discredit few it can vecome an obsession. Finding faults with every guru, every spiritual organisation. At the end it becomes some perverted sort of religion. Gurus are not perfect, some made mistakes but were sincere devotees and their good deeds outweighted those few bad. Everyone makes mistakes except Krishna Himself. Prabhupada made mistakes, Ramakrishna made mistakes too. He didn't even proclaimed himself to be a guru. He hated being called "master" He took care of people that came to him because he loved them. He didn't say "I will be your master, now come and bow before me." He was very humble. He had impersonal realization but didn't care much for it. Some of his disciples were following advaita path before they came to him but he discouraged them and said that advaitic ideal is just one part of Divine reality and that there are eternal forms of God that are not illusory. He did not forcibly tried to "convert" some hard boiled advaitins but instead guided therm along choosen path and instilled in them some bhakti feelings but he did not advocate buddhistic path of annihilation. His ideal was Sri Chaitanya but he respected sincere advaita students. Vivekananda was genuine follower of advaita but he represents Ramakrishna's teachings only partially. He admitted that he never fully understood Ramakrishna beacuse his experiences were out of reach of any of his disciples. He told to one of his disciples just before he died that he knows nothing about Ramakrishna and he feels like a small child compared to him. I don't see Vaishnavas or anyone for that matters fully accepting Ramakrishna's ideal. For us it may take many lives to attain pure bhakti but he was able to experience many different states in one lifetime. I agree that Sri Chaitanya was avatar who demonstrated purest ideal of Bhakti, there is no need to learn about that from anyone else. From Ramakrishna's example we can learn about goals of different religions and approaches and how they relate to each other.They are not identical but each one possesses one part of the big picture.Some grasped bigger part but that doesn't not make the other worthless. Where the one ends the other begins. You don't have to accept his divinity but you should accept his bhakti his humility and respect them and if you doubt about them read Kathamrita from page one to page thousand and something and you will doubt no more. I am not Srila Prabhupada follower, I do not agree with some of his teachings( translations particulary) but I respect his devotion and purity and never speak lowly about him. Sometimes it is hard to resist temptation to point at someone but in case of such great departed souls whose lives were recorded and well observed (and all the hardest critics could find were few small dark spots) we should be very careful. If we feel urge to say something we should try our best to do it with respect. Sadhakas should not go around barking like a mad dogs. If we do we are no better than materialistic demons. If there are doubts about some guru ask his followers first, read his books, study his behaviour and if you find out that there are some major discrepancies warn those involved. Do it politely and people will listen. It is not easy being critical about religion. You should study a lot before even uttering a doubt. If we choose to follow way of Kripal and his likes people with respond with anger and hatred. War has been started with mere words and religion is most sensitive field. Not all are qualified to involve in such dialogue. Especcialy nowadays when you can discredit every major and minor religion, every saint and prophet by typing his name in web browser and surfing through hundreds of sites offering "different view." Sometimes we hastily accept something that suits are beliefs and could be used as "weapon" in dialogue with other religions although it is written by smallminded persons or even persons with evil intentions whose sources are questionable at best. For myself , I accepted Ramakrishna as genuine after studying his teachings for over ten years. He was one of those rare saints who admitted their mistakes, he never pretended to know the asnwers to all questions but he knew what he experienced and described those experiences in simple language and his word have sound of Truth. To the point that you may feel offended by his simplicity in uttering such profound truths as I was many years ago.
  • Create New...