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Everything posted by karthik_v

  1. Guest, Why not chant and pay attention to kshatriya dharma also? I think it is perfectly possible for one to follow the teachings of Prabhupada and other countless acaryas in spiritual matters and also approach these issues in a level-headed manner. Don't we say that dharma, artha and kama are the first steps to moksha? How about getting up in the morning chant 8 rounds and then work out at the gym before breakfast? Then another 8 rounds in the evening followed by swimming? Won't it make life more meaningful? But, unless we pay attention to kshatriya dharma and take the enemies of dharma (such as Osamas, Saddams, church preachers etc.) by the scruff of their neck, we are pretty much done. Let nobody forget that the absence of kshatriya dharma meant no security for Hari Das Thakur, Rupa ad Sanatana Goswamis.
  2. That was actually a very good post from Shvu, though none answered it. The best answer, in my opinion, is that there was never any religion called sanatana dharma. Why? Because, the notion of religion never existed in India. Religion itself is a very Semitic concept. It constrains oneself to a book, a prophet and a jealous God that sent the first two for saving the hapless one that ends up following them. Indian notions were very different. It was a pursuit of inner self. Sure the books were important, but the experience of the individual jnani and his pramana was as much valid. Dharma formed the epicentre of this pursuit. But, this dharma didn't require adherence to any book. Not even the vedas. Nor acceptance of any guru as the final authority. Everything was open to evaluation. That is why both the Hindus - who revered the vedas, and the Buddhists - who discounted its authority, both used the word dharma as their ideal. The rest of Shvu's post is unrelated to this question.
  3. Hi Jakki, Lord Krishna says that people come to Him for several reasons. Some for spiritual, some for material. It all depends on our past karma. In either case, it doesn't matter, so long as we go to Him. The first obstacle one needs to cross in spiritual pursuit is the barriers of religion. So, it is not that you are giving up Christianity and embracing Hinduism. Even though for most of us, religion is a part of our identity, spiritualism is the connection we make with our Lord, and hence independent of such identities. A nice way for you to start with would be to read Bhagavad Gita. Those were the words spoken by Lord Krishna, and very well sums up the essence of Hinduism. Prabhupada has translated and commented on it and his book is called Bhagavad Gita As it is. It is also available in free electronic format at: http://asitis.com/ It has 18 chapters and 700 verses and follows a sequence. Prabhupada gives a word by word translation of the original Sanskrit text, and also adds an English commentary to it. Once you have read this, you may choose to read many other Hindu scriptures. How one pursues spiritualism varies from one individual to another. Organizations provide you with excellent resources, but then there are always a few avoidable problems, though minor. Some try to study on their own, but for those not familiar with the traditions, this may prove difficult. Hinduism is not just about scriptures. It has been a way of life. In addition to scriptures, the realizations and lives of great saints is an integral component of Hinduism. In any case, for those who seek Him, Krishna shows the way. You haven't told whether you want to learn Hinduism so that you can practise it or if you want to study that as an academic pursuit. Most of what I have written above applies to the former. In case your pursuit is academic, please let me know, and I can provide information.
  4. I will borrow 1 bottle from Theist /images/graemlins/smile.gif
  5. I would agree with Madhav, on 2 counts, and not necessarily everything. First, Gandhi was a great man, but had his share of flaws, the worst being his appeasement of Muslims. So, Gita doesn't need his approval to sell. Second, I am afraid that one can't make an in-depth study of Islam, because the religion is very shallow. Can you dive into a pool which is just 4 feet deep? It is nothing but crude Arab nationalism, started by a pedophile. One should never forget that Islam is intolerant towards Hinduism, and expresses that in the crudest possible manner. Countless Hindus have been killed and raped, because the invading barbarians tried to live upto the "ideals" of Islam and tried to emulate their barbaric Prophet. Let us not forget that even our own Goswamis were imprisoned or made to flee by them. Every religion is NOT equal. And Islam is NOT a religion.
  6. Hi Shvu, They do it and it is not correct. Nothing wrong in using it, for it is best understood. I was just proposing some of the reasons why SP might have said that. True. I can't argue against this. I have made my position very clear on this many times, you are aware of it.
  7. I will read it. Here is my take on why SP said that HKs aren't Hindus. He has often affirmed that the correct term to use for our religion is Sanatana Dharma. The same has been said by many other saints, including the venerable Paramacarya of Kanchi mutt. There is a prime difference between Hinduism (or SD) and the Semitic religions. SD is not characterised by one book of dogma, one jealous God and a powerful church. SD is basically about following the realization of great saints, and realizing the words of Krishna or Brahman, through their experiences. It is an internalized way of life. Hence, it is not necessary for the Hindus to have a brand tag. That was one thing SP was highlighting. Thanks to 2 centuries of missionary abuse, anything Indian or Hindu has come to be tainted. So, SP was trying to present the same theology without associating it with names. Further, most western countries, and even India, discriminate against the Hindus and Hinduism. Even running a charitable trust is very difficult, if one were to identify themselves as Hindu. Since SP was primarily focussed on spreading Krishna Bhakti, he would have wanted to dissociate the movement from such tangles. We should note that even Ramakrishna mission has often declared that they are not Hindus, only to ward of the threat of their property being taken over by the government. It doesn't ean that their principles are not rooted in Hinduism (or SD). So, I think SP was being practical too, on that aspect.
  8. Madhav, I haven't read all your posts, but a few I did suggest that you are a sane person. I request you to continue posting.
  9. Very true Madhav. Yet, the details of the trial itself is still classified. Gopal Godse says that is so because, if released, it will generate sympathy for Nathuram Godse. Gandhi was a great man, of many admirable qualities, but at one stage he must have decided to live upto the title of Mahatma, and his way of doing that was through Muslim appeasement, causing untold harm to the Hindus, and India in the long run.
  10. I have no objection if one were to mention that Naturam Godse, the killer of M K Gandhi, was a Hindu. But, to suggest, as NYT has done, that he was a member of RSS in 1948 is wrong. He had quit as a member of RSS, if I remember correctly, in 1945, and acted independently. He had also been a member of Congress. If students are to be taught that the killer was a Hindu, then in all fairness, they should also be taught why he killed Gandhi. In which case, the trial of Godse should be declassified. The judge who presided that trial would say that if the public had sat on the bench, they would have acquitted Godse unanimously. Then, I would also expect that the students be taught that the Indian Christians and Muslims never participated in India's freedom struggle. The former never did. The latter did only once in 1921, that too during Khilafat agitation. Fair deal?
  11. I am surprised that an American newspaper should lend itself to such blatant politicisation. It is certain that Kai Friese didn't pen this article. It is a mere rehash, often verbatim, of the hate campaign lauched by the leftist historians of India. This articles is also full of several factual errors, a few of which I would point out. Indus valley civilization, in its mature phase, lasted between 2600 BCE and 2000 BCE. A few sites have flourished from 3200 BCE. NYT has been very careless in publishing this without even checking the basic facts. Of the 2800 sites, in India and Pakistan together, discovered so far, which belong to the IVC, over 2000 are located in India. This includes all important port sites like Lothal. The oldest agricultural site in the world, which is again from IVC, is also located in Kalibangan, India. Discoveries and digging in the past 4 decades have shown that a bulk of these sites, 70% of the total of IVC, are located on the banks of the dried up Saraswati, and only the rest on the banks of Sindhu or Indus. So, is it wrong to call this civilization Saraswati Sindhu Civilization (SSC)? Another ill informed and ideological observation. The paleo channels of the dried up Saraswati have been traced by Indian geologists entirely following its description in Rk veda and puranas like Mahabharat. Rk veda describes this river as Naditama or the great river, and also provides many interesting geological pointers about the swallowing up and dessication of its tributaries. Mahabharat provides several such pointers, which were used by the geologists to reconstruct and tap the paleo channels. In the desert state of Rajasthan, where the Saraswati flowed till it dried up entirely in 1900 BCE, experimental projects to sink bore wells into the paleo channels to supply water have been highly successful. Do we need any more proof that Saraswati is not a mere "myth"? Now a full fledged project has been kicked off by the BJP government to tap this channel entirely, and provide water to this desert state. The discovery of Saraswati has demolished all those silly dates that the invasionists proposed all along. Now we know scientifically that Saraswati was completely dried up by 1900 BCE, so how can the Aryan authors of the Rk veda describe it as naditama, if they entered India only in 1700 BCE? What is wrong in revising such wrong notions? We don't yet know of the actual date the vedas were compiled, so why should the schools hazard a guess? Archeological discoveries of the past decade have thrown up umpteen vedic fire altars in SSC, which clearly confirms that the vedas were authored before that era. What is wrong if this truth is made known to the students? Our schools also don't teach that the Kashmiri Muslims have raped, killed or cleansed 4,00,000 Kashmiri Hindus from the Indian state of Kashmir. Nor do the schools make it known to the students that 80% of the crimes are committed by the 12% Muslims. Nor do they teach that all the bomb attacks in India after independence have been committed by Muslims, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Hindus. Would NYT prefer that we teach these too?
  12. How does Merriam Webster define Christ or Jesus? Do they call him a mythological figure later deified? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif You see bisases are rampant all around.
  13. Dear Guest, I think you should register yourself and start posting regularly. That way it is easier to exchange thoughts with you. Your observations are absolutely right. Just one information regarding what you quoted from Knapp. The word Hindu was actually used first by the Persians to designate anyone or anything east of the river "Sindhu", which translated to "Hindu" in Persian. In other words, this word is first being used by Persians to speak of what we call Indians today, around 600 B.C.E.
  14. Just got curious after seeing that "cheers".
  15. I didn't know that Christians consider it offensive when someone uses the word "Xtian". The billboards are filled with words like "X-mas tree, X-mas gift" etc.. If I were to insult Christianity, I would prefer doing so blatantly; not out of ignorance. The last thing I want is some Christian to get offended when I didn't mean offence, as on this occasion. Is it true that "Xtians" is a derogatory term?
  16. It is actually Vaishnodevi. Apparently, the name sounds Vaishnavite, but she is an incarnation of Mother Parvati, the eternal consort of Lord Shiva. This shrine is a cave temple in Jammu & Kashmir, that can be reached after a 14 km trek. Hope that helps.
  17. If none of our effort is needed and if we are delivered only by God's discretion, then why should anyone pray to Jesus? After all, without any effort on my side, he decides my destiny, doesn't he? May be you can explain on what parameters he decides one's destiny. Where did the "original sin" come from? I hope you won't resort to karma and re-incarnation. No need to re-iterate. Your handle said it all. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif Just a quick question: What happened to those people that were born before Jesus came to this world? After all they didn't know the message of Jesus; nor did they surrender to the Xtian God, because such things didn't exist then. Were they condemned to eternal hell? What about the folks in interior Africa with no idea about Xtianity? Have they bought their 1 way ticket to eternal hell? Do you think that a Xtian God who punishes people for eternity without even giving them a chance to learn is just?
  18. Well, the Supreme Brahman, as per Advaita, is without attribute. So, there is no question of it feeling contentment or discontentment, fr it has no feelings. So, the entire argument of Veda Vyasa feeling discontented, material or otherwise, makes no sense to Advaita, if he were to be also considered self realized. Hope that clarifies.
  19. Having concluded yourself that Ganesha is only a myth, what is the purpose of your question? Is this a survey? If so, would your conclusion change based on majority perception? There are 2 streams of thoughts amongst the Hindus. One stream accepts Ganesha and Vyasa deva as real personalities. The other regards them as symbolic [NOT mythological] meant to convey a higher and often abstruse reality. Neither of them disrespects such personalities, whether they consider them to be real or symbolic. Both streams are focussed on getting to the purport of the message that such personalities have given. What you need to understand is that Hinduism DOES NOT rely upon the historicity of its personae; it relies on the philosophy that emanated from those personae. That is precisely the reason we don't have calendars based on Krishna era, Vyasa era, Shiva era and Ganesha era, unlike theChristians who have an era based on Jesus or the Muslims who have one based on Mohammad. Hope that answers your question.
  20. I agree with Avinash. From the vedic times there has been record of gurus instructing with female disciples also. Yagnavalkya instructed Maitreyi, who was to be his wife also. Of course, one might argue that he was a rshi and not a sannyasi. I guess the essense is that a sannyasi doesn't involve in those acts that would entangle him materially. Obviously, Yagnavalkya had more than a material relationship with Maitreyi. I didn't understand the part of a sannyasi not meeting even his sister in privacy. Is it again a warning against associating with family relationships, as a sannyasi is required to have transcended them? If that be the case, then even meeting one's own brother father is precluded, in spirit, for a sannyasi.
  21. I don't think that you implied that being emotional is inferior. There could be some truth in the claim that women, by nature, are more emotional than men. I wouldn't know if it due to hormones, upbringing, social mores or a combination of the three. It is also my observation that women tend to be more holistic, while men are more focussed; not that either is inferior. Rather they compliment.
  22. Dear Bhaktavasya, Of course, I understood your point. Not only women, even male saints while expressing their bhakti had lamented their being born in male or even human form. For example, Thirumazhisai Azhwar, a male saint, sang that the wretched human form is so inadequate to sing the praises of Narayana. Another wonderful devotee, though not a saint, Oothukkaadu Venkata Subba Aiyar who lived over 200 years ago sang that he would rather be born as a blade of grass in Brindavan, so that Krishna walks on "him" all the time. So, the words of great saints have more meaning than what the literal words convey. When they say that a certain form, be it male or female, is inadequate for devotion, it is not a judgement they are passing on a certain birth. Rather, no matter what form they are presently in, it is inadequate to express their devotion.
  23. Thanks for the clarification. If I am correct Raghunatha Goswami was also a Karnataka Brahmin by birth, right? Also, I recall CC describing how Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis had not only taken Muslim names before renunciation, but also had to abandon everything the moment they decided to follow Caitanya Mahaprabhu [thus becoming sannyasis], as there was a certainty that the Muslim ruler would execute them. Those were very sad days for Hinduism, as even saints were killed by scores. It was amidst such persecutions that Bhakti survived.
  24. I know Hari Das Thakur was born a Muslim, but I thought Rupa and Sanatana Goswamis had only assumed Muslim names [probably practised Islam outwardly], while they worked for the Nawab, but as such weren't born Muslims. What is the real picture?
  25. Also, his acts demonstrated his firm belief in and commitment to his goal, which was spreading Krishna bhakti. What you have stated here is what many reputed and neutral scholars like A L Basham think of him. More on that to follow. One more thing. In general, the Bhakti tradition has produced several progressive acaryas. These acaryas, transformed the existing norms without rebelling against them. We can see that vaideeha traditions had been sidelined, and rightly so, and spontaneous bhakti given prominence, from the lives of Azhwars, Ramanujacarya etc., on the Vaishnava side and from the examples of Nayanmars from the Saivite side. Everyone has demonstrated a different approach in confronting orthodoxy. In the 20th century, such an approach was long overdue within the Vaishnava bhakti traditions, which Srila Prabhupada provided. I would think that one of the most revolutionary acts of Srila Prabhupada was empowering the women. During the Muslim era and after, the status of women had degraded. For example, the vaideeha traditions had come to accord little respect to women. It was in that context that Srila Prabhupada elevated them to become priests - a revolution very silently carried out, yet phenomenol in its impact.
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