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Everything posted by Nrsinghadev

  1. Hare Krishna Ramjee, On a basic level, 'Hare', as one of the three names uttered in the maha-mantra, is the vocative case of 'Hari', which is another name of Sri Krishna, meaning "He who takes away", or as the vocative the case of 'Hara', which stands for the pleasure potency or hladini-sakti of Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. That hladini-sakti is Srimati Radharani and, quoting from sruti-sastra: There are also countless meditative explanations given by the great acaryas coming in line from Supreme Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for this as well as the other Names as they appear in the maha-mantra, and as the Names of Supreme Lord are non-different from Supreme Lord, and since the Lord is infinite, so we must understand that the definitions and explanations of His Names are equally infinite, so this is but a tiny sample. In Brahmanda Purana we find the following statement for example: Should you desire to know more, I would refer you to the booklet called "Sri Hari-nama Maha-mantra," by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, which is where the above quoted sections are coming from. It gives the reader a very clear definition of the Maha-mantra and all of its aspects. You can download the PDF for free on the official website, so it should be no trouble, although paying for the book will gain you sukrti I hope this has satisfied your query. In service, Haribol!
  2. Dandavat Pranam, The disputed comment of Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana’s Govinda Bhasya – Sri Vedanta Sutra is found in adhikarana 8. Let us review sutras 37 and 38 of that chapter: In other words, had the critiquing party actually properly understood the purports of Sri Vidyahbushana’s bhasya, they would have spared themselves the embarrassment of toting the words of Baladeva Vidyabhushana and presenting them as evidence for their hopeless case, as in fact his words actually prove the proper conclusion; namely that one’s qualities determines one’s class, not ones birth. Checking the purport of sutra 37 with sutra 38 we can conclude that a true sudra is one who actually possesses the qualities of a sudra, not that a true sudra is one who is born into a family of sudras. Jabala's reply to Gautama would in those days have been considered to be quite embarrassing, yet by dint of his honest answer Gautama could determine his caste (in other words, not by his birth). When we look for reference in the scriptures what qualities a brahmana possesses we can determine who is a brahmana or not. If that wasn’t enough, Baladeva Vidyabhushana’s guru, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura did not himself write a bhasya on Vedanta as he understood that the Srimad Bhagavatam was the natural commentary to the Vedanta. That automatically means he accepted the truth of this verse: Thus, since Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakur accepted this fact, what to speak of his disciple Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana? Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur in his Jaiva Dharma(ch.6.p.131) mentions: “Pure Vaishnavas can study the Vedas no matter what caste they are born into, and it is practically observed that they do so.” Why quote this text, since it is not pramana? Presenting these words in relation to sutra 38, we can conclude that an actual Sudra is simply unable to study the Vedas as a result of his nature, whereas practical experience shows us that there are those who, though born even outside of the four varnas, what to speak of sudra level, have had and still have the capacity to study the Vedas. Therefore, even though born as mlecchas, by their inherent qualities and capacity to study the Vedas they have proven themselves to be no mlecchas. Who is an actual brahmana can simply be observed by the definition given in Shastra, it is not a definition that cannot be determined by any outside source. Often the objection is then given, “Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami had given so many unqualified people the Brahmana initiation, so that means that he couldn’t detect the qualities of a true Brahmana. Hence your statement that the qualities of a brahmana can be observed and proven by an outside source have been proven false.” To this we can say: The motivations of a pure devotee are hard to fathom, especially for non-devotees. Thus they will be unable to understand why Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami gave brahmana initiation to unqualified persons. This question was also once posed to Bhaktivedanta Swami’s gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, who answered something along the line of: “At least they will have had this purifying impression of pious life, for however long it lasted, that will be to their eternal benefit.” The pure devotee always thinks of how he can really benefit the fallen souls of this world. Building hospitals is a very good and pious act, but it does not deliver us from this samsara, whereas the pious impressions, obtained among other things by following the brahmana standard, given to us by these benevolent masters are incomparably great and to our eternal benefit. In other words, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj knew very well that he was giving brahmana initiation to some unqualified persons, yet he still gave the initiations just as his spiritual master before him had done. But Bhaktivedanta Swami also had other reasons. He had a mission to fulfill. That mission could not wait until all qualified persons had gathered at his lotus feet. He wanted to imbue the whole world with Krishna bhakti. And he succeeded. He arrived in the U.S.A with only a few rupees and in a short time he managed to successfully establish a world-wide organization, a foundation and shelter for sincere spiritual seekers world-wide, and the maha mantra resounded everywhere, as predicted by Mahaprabhu and as per the desire of his gurudeva. Such a large scale succesful operation inevitably attracts some crows who enter with their personal agendas. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj was well aware of this, as he endearingly told his intimate friend Srila Narayan Maharaj before his divine departure: "I have caught so many monkeys in my net, they are expert in quarreling among themselves like that. They are still very young and untrained. I request that you take care of them after my departure." It is undeniable that there have been some horrible scandals and guru downfalls within the organization, but in light of the earlier reasons mentioned, they are but spots on the sun. Besides, these 'guru downfalls' show that eventually those devotees who have overzealously moved ahead of themselves will automatically be positioned in their correct adikhara. There is no real loss here. (btw, I’m not an congregational member of ISKCON, so I’m no 'ISKCON apologist') It should be noted that for their own benefit, a devotee who has not attained the topmost stage should not focus on the spots of the sun. Not out of sheer negligence or naïve refusal to see wrongdoings, but in light of the following verse of the Bhagavad Gita(9.30): This instruction for us means that we should leave the criticism and reproaching to the pure devotee, the bona fide guru, as any other person is unqualified to criticize and correct another devotee, however faulty his actions may be. Should there be anything wrong or improper, the devotee should report this to his guru, not start faultfinding and criticizing the wrong-doers, as that is destructive to one’s own bhakti. The pure devotee will not incur any repercussions, due to being situated on the perfect platform, but the devotee on any other level will, that is why we should simply praise their good deeds. In my opinion, ALL ISKCON pioneers should be praised for their endeavours in helping Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami. If I start criticizing them for their shortcomings, that will be to my detriment only. Right, back to the topic at hand: Especially note how the verse says guna(quality) and not janma(birth). So it may be that one has all the qualities of a brahmana, but due to his karma he is born into a family of mlecchas. There is no contradiction in this. Haridas Thakura, who is Brahmaji, even deliberately took birth in a muslim family, so that he in all his pride would not make the same mistake again of committing an offense to the lotus feet of the Lord. So in this way, an indication is given that being born in a brahmana family can even be dangerous, as pride of caste may overtake and ruin any spiritual inclination. Another example is given by Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Haridas Thakura. Even if you don’t accept Mahaprabhu as God, and for argument’s sake look at both personalities from a mundane perspective, He, being born in a brahmana family held in the highest regard the 'yavana' muslim Haridas Thakura, and even personally carried his dead body in His arms and put the body of the 'untouchable' muslim under the sand on the beach of Puri. Even though they both knew who they really were, Mahaprabhu has shown by this pastime that it is a person's qualities that determine his caste, not his birth. The problem with most criticism against Gaudiya Vaishnavism is often found in the opposing party’s failure to recognize the divinity of Mahaprabhu as an bona fide Avatara of the Supreme Lord. This failure invitably leads to Vaishnava Aparadha and that in turn leads to a hellish mentality and spiritual death. Now Skanda Purana mentions, “kalau sudra sambhavah”: “In Kali Yuga, everyone is born a sudra.” In other words in Kali Yuga everyone is to be deemed unqualified in terms of birth. However, by dint of sadhu sanga and the chanting of holy name Maha Mantra, one can rise above one’s unfortunate position and become a qualified Vaishnava, what to speak of brahmana, which is of lower status. If one is a Vaishnava then automatically one is a brahmana, because all the qualities of a true brahmana are inherent in the true Vaishnava. This is not a 'Gaudiya concoction' as it is corroborated in S.B. 7.9.10: Another objection can be made after contemplating these verses, and notably to the verse quoted above: “If the Vaishnava is superior to the brahmana, and the brahmana initiation is actually unnecessary for chanting the maha mantra, then why do Gaudiya Vaishnavas even bother with it?” The first answer has already been given earlier; to create pious impressions on the jiva soul. The second answer is that there are two paths in bhakti yoga: Raganuga bhakti and Vaidhi bhakti. Raganuga bhakti means there is spontaneous devotion. This means the rare person who is eligible for this path does not have to undergo these brahminical samskaras, nor adhere to any specific rules and regulations. Most things he will follow automatically, out of taste. However, generally most people are not eligible for this path of bhakti, and that means they are qualified to follow vaidhi bhakti. That entails that they have to perform bhakti according to Vedic injunctions. In this way, becoming an initiated brahmana means it is a helpful and necessary tool on their path of bhakti. By becoming a twice-born brahmana, it becomes possible for the aspirant to perform deity worship, which is a very helpful means to learn how to perform service to the Supreme Lord. In this way the upanayana samskara is very helpful for the progress of the vaidhi bhakta Furthermore he can be given the pancha samskara which is confirmed to stimulate one's endeavours on the path of bhakti. The following quote is mentioned in Padma Purana and quoted from the book, “Of love and separation”, by Srila Bhakti Promod Puri Goswami Maharaj: Hare Krishna
  3. Obviously my post is flawed, which was made extra clear by introducing it with 'for the sake of fun', yet I still disagree with the points you have raised. It was not for nothing that in regards to the elephant analogy I followed up the statement by writing: "Did I mention that my realization of the word "elephant" entails pure love, retaining the right to disclose or not disclose itself to whoever it wishes, order, pure goodness and being present in everything that exists, whether visible or invisible?" Therefore it works both ways inasmuch that, as you can't prove there is an elephant in the trunk, you also can't prove there's not an elephant in the trunk, because you can't apply logic or the material senses to proof or disproof God. Well you can try, but it offers no conclusive evidence. By it's own endeavour, the limited cannot capture the unlimited, that notion is a fallacy. That idea was incorporated in the message, hence your comparison of 2+2=5 misses the mark, as nobody can prove God is there or not by the mere use of material faculties, which are flawed and limited. Use of logic is limited to material matters, and therefore do not apply to transcendental subjects. As far as the 3rd grade school drop-out remark is concerned, it doesn't necessarily have to end with the childish "I won't prove it, I just know it." Since God has the right to conceal Himself from anyone, He doesn't have to conform to the whim and demand of some obstinate disbeliever and reveal Himself to such a person who calls upon Him in a manner like one would order his dog around. Although they could, neither will those who by Guru&God's mercy know God according to their capacity generally give in to the demands of such people, as they harbour feelings of enmity towards their object of affection. Since such a person is opposed to God, he will not have acquired a lot of sukrti, and as such it may be extremely difficult for such a person to ever rise above his disposition. However, if he somehow obtains the grace or even a mere glimpse of a real devotee of the Lord, he will overcome his negative disposition eventually. When he does, if he is sincere in his approach, he will find the proof he is searching for, if he is really interested in finding out actual truth, as it is stated in the Gita that a sincere soul will never be deceived. Just as in class there is theory and practice, so the spiritual paths have a theoretical and practical side. If that person then wants proof, he is to undergo the practical side of a bona fide spiritual path to his taste and practice and surely he will find proof of the theory according to his capacity, endeavour and type of path traversed. As for your final point of contention, it may have been better to replace the words 'Believing in God' into something like 'Knowledge of God', as the underlying thought of it was that when someone has proper knowledge of God, he understands that the jiva is the cause behind his own misery. By going against the grain he creates ripples of suffering in this karmic field of activities. Since such a jiva has no intention to accord to it's inherent nature, God will not interfere with it's limited freedom of choice and so the jiva carries on, sometimes enjoying, sometimes suffering.
  4. Just turning the tables here for the sake of fun: There Is A God January 25, 2009 • I know there is a God. I'm beyond theism. Theism is believing in God. Believing in God is easy -- you can't prove He’s not there, so there's no work to do. You can't prove that there isn't an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my realization of the word "elephant" entails pure love, retaining the right to disclose or not disclose itself to whoever it wishes, order, pure goodness and being present in everything that exists, whether visible or invisible? Anyone with a love for truth may start with belief or disbelief in God and then look for evidence of God. They need to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power. Starting with oneself; consciousness, conscious thought, inspiration and motivation are but a few objective evidences of this supernatural power. Since God is smaller than the smallest, bigger than the biggest, and all-encompassing, I am seeing God everyday and everywhere. The origin of life, what came first: the chicken or the egg? The atheists I write e-mails to however, are still stuck at this searching stage. The theism part is easy. But, this "This I Believe" thing seems to be some sort of leap of faith which applies to theists and atheists alike, since both require it to structure their lives accordingly. Since belief alone is not enough to be certain, I'm glad that rather than merely believing, "I know there is a God." Having realized this, it informs every moment of my life. I'm not greedy. I have love for God and that has to be enough. I have no demands at all; my only hope is that He does not reject me. It has to be enough, since it is the most precious thing in this world and the next, and nothing else in this world compares to it. This is say because I feel it, I live it, and it maintains my life. It is unnecessary to beg God for more. Anything in this world is temporary, so any reasonable person would not chase after temporary things. I don't need heaven, wherever God wants me, I’ll be there. I understand that imperfectness is unavoidable in this world, so I won’t lament not having won a huge genetic lottery or lament not getting material joy every minute of the day. It doesn’t matter since the joy obtained from loving God is beyond anything this world has to offer. Knowing there is God or even just believing it, and knowing or believing He is in everyone is a good thing; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I wouldn't want to cause any harm to anyone in any way. I would have to try to treat not only people, but all other living beings right the first time around. In believing there’s no God, nothing would stop me from becoming solipsistic. After all, if my own deeds are checked only against some ephemeral social imperative which according to time, place and circumstance condones my actions or approves of them, why should I care for that, or anyone or anything but myself? Why do I care for myself? What is the cause of the driving force behind an atheist wanting to do good? If he finds out, he will be an atheist no more. One who truly believes in God’s existence wouldn’t act maliciously towards anyone or anything. Not out of fear of repercussions, but out of love for God. Whether you believe in God or not, you can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. With God in the center, we can all harmonize and agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. God is bigger than the biggest and smaller than the smallest, so that leaves plenty of room to keep adjusting. As such we can really communicate. In circles like that of the atheists there are people who say, "I have faith in my path, I base my faith on things I can see, hear, touch or smell. These are the only possible facts and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than the myopic, "How I became frustrated with God and remained ignorant by looking for evidence of Him in the wrong way by the wrong means, and so came to deny His existence, means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, in this way believing there is no God can stop me from being proven wrong. Believing in God does not stop me from learning something, as God is unlimited and we are never finished with Him. Progressive thought does not stop upon accepting the existence of God. Believing there is God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but is rather something which we ourselves are at the root of. We are the architects of our own fate. Worship of God means to become eligible to exit this world of suffering in the future, but anyone who likes it here, anyone who likes a life in denial of God is free to stay. Such is His mercy. Believing there is no God gives me more room to engage myself in material things such as family, beauty, sex, Jell-O, succumbing to boundless greed and gluttony with no regard to life, and all sorts of other temporary things that in the end do not amount to anything but grief and suffering and that makes that kind of life a truly wasted opportunity for anyone knowing there is a God. If I put my faith in something as fugacious as material existence, it means my faith is depending on-, and limited to that plane, and is ultimately equally perishable. It can thus be reasonably argued that the position of such a faith is not of a philosophically strong tenure. If all ends at death, and my material exertions have no lasting impact beyond the material plane, and if there is no purpose behind it all other than the short-lived purpose one creates for himself, it becomes factual that all was for nothing, since my offspring and theirs, in fact the whole of humanity and the whole of existence, will definitely and ultimately meet the same end. In light of this frustration, the atheists hope to one day find the means to keep their material bodies ever youthful. The theist understands that he is already an eternal spirit soul, so he doesn’t bother trying to keep his old coat fresh and new; from time to time he simply accepts a new one until he needs one no more.
  5. Dandavats, reading this ghastly bit of news, I cannot but see the Lord's hand in this. It seems to me that Lord Jagannath has provoked these ignorant people into causing an intolerable offense to one of His dear devotees, just like He previously stirred up the dormant demonic nature of Kamsha by speaking to him. By burning this effigy they have offended an entire community of devotees, thus by comitting this grave Vaisnava aparadha against Srila Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, a pure devotee of the Lord, this group of ignorant priests has verily signed their own death sentence, paving their own road to hell. A pure devotee of the Supreme Lord will not take offense to this, but it should be understood that it is the duty of the disciple of that pure devotee to take offense to this grave aparadha of burning an effigy of Srila Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada. This insult is basically a call to arms for any disciple of Prabhupada; actually for any Gaudiya Vaisnava. By this I don't mean we should become violent, but certainly some action has to be undertaken. The example is given nicely in the life of Jiva Goswami, who felt offended when Sri Vallabhacarya corrected some of writings of Jiva Goswami's guru Srila Rupa Goswami, and thus rebuked and defeated Sri Vallabhacarya with sound arguments. As elucidated by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj during a lecture: Did Srila Jiva Gosvami do the right thing when he defeated the arguments of Sri Vallabhacarya and defended his Gurudeva? [Devotees:] He was right. [srila Narayana Maharaja:] But what about his Gurudeva, Srila Rupa Gosvami? Was he right or wrong? [Devotees:] He was right. [srila Narayana Maharaja:] How is that? If Srila Jiva Gosvami did the right thing, then Srila Rupa Gosvami must be wrong. How can Srila Rupa Gosvami be right? [Devotee:] Because he is Guru, he has the qualification that he can correct… [srila Narayana Maharaja:] This is not a good argument. [Devotee:] Srila Rupa Gosvami is Guru. He is: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih ["One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others. ln such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." (Sri Siksastaka 3)] Srila Rupa Gosvami wants to respect everyone without desiring respect for himself. But Srila Jiva Gosvami could not tolerate that his Gurudeva was criticized. [srila Narayana Maharaja:] This is not the answer. This logic is not correct. [Devotee:] Srila Rupa Gosvami sent Jiva Gosvami away because he wanted to increase Jiva Gosvami's love by making him feel separation. [srila Narayana Maharaja:] No. The answer is that Srila Rupa Gosvami wanted to respect Sri Vallabhacarya, but his disciple, Jiva Gosvami, disrespected him. This was wrong. Srila Rupa Gosvami considered, “Sri Vallabhacarya may think, ‘Rupa Gosvami is not openly disrespecting me, but he is disrespecting me through his disciple.’" Therefore, some blame might come to Rupa Gosvami. By punishing his disciple, Jiva Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami was giving respect to Sri Vallabhacarya. Actually, Srila Rupa Gosvami was right and Srila Jiva Gosvami was also right. A disciple should not tolerate anything against his Gurudeva. Thus, both the guru and disciple were right. Srila Rupa Gosvami wanted to respect Sri Vallabhacarya, and he did.
  6. "Srimad Bhagavad Gita" by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, it features the commentary of himself as well as that of Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura. You might want to look into that edition.
  7. Interesting article, although I don't believe a soul was transplanted, but rather that the most prominent mood and thoughts of that soul's subtle body were imbibed into the cells of the body, which were then carried over to and mixed with cells of the organ's new host body, creating the identity crisis. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami has already explained that the soul stays in place during a heart transplant, it does not travel with the material heart. The soul's residing in the heart location is independent of the material heart. Plus we all know from evidence in the Gita that the soul cannot be cut, pierced, burned, etc. etc. (B.G. 2.23-24) On a more interesting note though, this more or less proves the argument of meat storing the fearful condition of the poor animals prior to them being killed.
  8. All I see is your apparent inability to grasp my arguments and give them a proper retort. Since talking to a wall would provide me with similar results, it is clear to me that it is a complete waste of time to continue on. However, given my freedom of posting here, I may choose to carry on. Should you choose to be disturbed by that I would suggest you skip such posts. I am not disturbed by your efforts, I was merely responding to your allegations, which as of yet, apply equally to your good self. So for what it's worth, your "shock&awe" campaign is not working for me. Have a good day sir.
  9. Yes I entered the thread to reply on how milk calcium is the best calcium for the human body. Then you proceed to call me an egoistic fool so I felt like explaining myself. What I actually meant by "adverse effect" was that your dronelike proselytizing of the vegan way is more serving to drive me away from veganism rather than towards it. Not that I'm now feeling bad about taking milk. I have given solid reasons for my so-called "cruel" actions, yet you prefer to avoid replying to them, and instead address part of the subject which is unimportant, but I thank you, for at least it allows me to elucidate that subject. You call milk drinkers animal abusers, but how about you stop your own "cruel" actions? Meaning; will you now go and live and a country where you don't have to pay tax, where you can grow your own crops and where you are totally independent from the outside world in any way? If you are truly as concerned about cowprotection as you make it seem on this messageboard, than you will do this. If not, your actions in this world are just as implicated as mine, because in some way you are sponsoring the meat industry, the milkcow that was killed is the piece of meat you sponsor by spending money on whatever, and your holier than thou attitude is thus like a perverted priest preaching about chastity. A quote twisted into a new meaning. When speaking of capitalism, I'm not hiding behind this mechanism which moves the modern world to cower away from supposed responsibilities, but rather I'm trying to have you see the big picture. So, why don't you take off your milkfree blinkers and understand that it takes more than just the stopping of drinking milk to stop cowcruelty. Any money you spend in this world inevitably ends up in hands you don't want them to end up in, goes to places you don't want it to go. Your money, money spent on water/gas/electricity bills, tax, vegetables, supplements for vegans,computer,internet bills. It will go to to the beef- and veal-eaters of this world, to killers of women and children in Iraq. It's a vicious circle of supply/demand. There is no difference between handing the money to the milkindustry or handing it to the person who wants to eat meat. If you want to drown in a pool of guilt about this, be my guest, but my advice would be to instead focus on developing bhakti to Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, submit yourself to a bonafide guru, and beg for their causeless mercy. I take full responsibility of my actions. At least I know I am trying to the best of my abilities. If Radha-Krishna are not satisfied with my efforts, then I will accept that, but I will know I have tried my best. This is the point I'm trying to convey (for the second time). Each devotee is trying to develop bhakti to the best of their ability, some may still drink coffee, some may still smoke, or use onion and garlic in their food. Some may hardly take prasadam, simply bhoga. But it is not our position to point the finger and lay the blame on them, our position is to promote the positive, and stimulate others, not criticize them for their lingering bad habits, let alone something which cannot not even be considered bad habit: the use of milk products! So yes, I take milk, because I know my body needs it to maintain it's optimal health. There is no question of guilt, I simply need it and I don't take ridiculous amounts. It's organic milk from cows that live together with their offspring, and even the bulls are not separated from the herd. This is the best I can do. They may choose to kill the cows for profit. Their choice, not mine. By my drinking milk I'm not asking for the cow's death, just as by your buying vegan supplements, you are not asking for them to go out and buy burgers and veal with it. Yet this is what happens. I don't like it anymore than you do, but living in this world means your implicated. So, if you truly wanna live up to your own standards of cowprotection I suppose you should about book your flight to Brazil and start a self-supplying ashram somewhere in the rainforest. Otherwise, please safe us the holier than thou attitude. Thank you.
  10. To be honest, your trying to force this vegan message down other people's throats is actually having an adverse effect on me. Each devotee is following to the best of his/her abilities so why demonize them like you do? In fact Chaitanya Mahaprabhu asks us to chant the holy names without criticizing anyone (Shikshastakam verse 3). If you want to put the blame on something, blame capitalism. Humans drinking milk is not the cause of the death of cows, it's this exploiting attitude that is doing that, and it is a great disturbance for the natural balance of things. Mlechha's are in charge and their highest goal is making economical progress. Why is the whole world so hellbent on this progress? So they can satisfy their senses more and more. Why do they want to satisfy the senses? Misidentification of the self with the body. How does this misidentification occur? Ignorance. The cause of ignorance is aversion to God, Sri Krishna. So, if we are to solve a problem of this magnitude, we have to take it at the root, or the effect will be like the cutting of leaves on a plant. They will just grow back elsewhere. So it is more important that people become Krishna conscious, than that they stop drinking milk. Be happy if a new devotee has joined the movement, rather than demonizing him by his use of milk products. Stimulate the positive approach, Krishna consciousness, not the negative approach, "don't do this, that." Now always we as aspiring devotees should aspire to leave as small a karmic footprint as possible, while not neglecting the body. The body is our temple and we should not inflict any unnecessary harm to it. So to the degree of taking care of the body we should limit our karmic footprint. Krishna will absolve all karma (B.G.18.66). B.G. 17.5-6 gives us a warning not to torture the material elements of the body, and also not to perform penance for the sake of gaining respect or out of pride(B.G.17-6. & B.G. 17.18), something which may easily follow by going vegan. The vegan diet is apparently not enough to sustain the material body, otherwise why would there be any necessity of supplements? I know for a fact my body does not function properly without the moderate intake of milk products. This puts me in the position of a US taxpayer. Therefore I am slaughthering cows as much as a US taxpayer is killing thousands of women and children in Iraq. Using your deduction, one is killing cows by handing money to anyone who is not a devotee. Even the smallest amount, if you go to a drugstore to pay for your supplements, the clerk is not a vegetarian, the money you hand to him will be used to buy beef and veal. So that would make you equally implicated in cowkilling. When I buy organic milk I am not asking the person who is keeping the cows to kill them. That they do that is their choice not mine. A king takes responsibility for the people in his land, this is confirmed by the Srimad Bhagavatam. Similarly, responsibility of maintaining the cows is in the hands of the ones who keep them. If they decide to kill, the blood is on their hands, just as if a soldier decides to kill an innocent person in Iraq, blood is on their hands, not on the hands of the taxpayer who supports the war with his money. It's great to see that you are so concerned with the noble goal of cowprotection, but don't be angry if you find that not everyone can follow in your footsteps. Let's first try to get people to accept Krishna as God, then see what can be done about cowkilling.
  11. When we pour water on the root of a tree, all it's respective limbs, leaves, flowers and fruits receive it's nourishment. Similarly, by worshipping Krishna, all other forms of worship are automatically included. That is, all of his energies and expansions are being worshiped. Separate worship is therefore entirely superfluous. Respect and obeisances are in order, but not worship, as full surrender cannot be had when worshipping many different manifestations seperately. If you want to please all gods, simply worship Krishna. To illustrate, let's look at the example of Murari Gupta, who is Hanumanji in Rama-lila. Mahaprabhu was testing His loyalty to Ramacandra, by trying to get him to worship Radha-Krishna. Murari Gupta was in a bad spot, because he could not give up his worship of his beloved Ramacandra, but he also couldn't go against the request of Mahaprabhu, therefore, in prayer he offered Rama his life. He then approached Mahaprabhu with his dilemma and was praised and awarded by Mahaprabhu, as He told Murari that this is the type of devotion the servitor must have for His Lord.
  12. Calcium good for more than strong bones USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education), June, 2005 When memories are made and learning occurs, the connections between brain cells change. Scientists know that an influx of calcium is critical to this process. A theoretical model developed by a research team from Brown University, Providence, R.I., shows that cells' ability to fine-tune this calcium flow not only sparks changes in synapses, but allows cells to maintain a working state of equilibrium. Luk Chong Yeung, a neuroscience research associate, and her colleagues have come up with a concept that hinges on calcium control. Certain receptors, which act like gates, allow calcium to rush into brain cells that receive memory-making information. Once inside these cells, calcium sets off chemical reactions that change the connections between neurons, or synapses. That malleability, known as synaptic plasticity, is believed to be the fundamental basis of memory, learning, and brain development. Yeung has demonstrated that the control of these receptors not only makes synapses stronger or weaker, but stabilizes them--without interfering with the richness of the cellular response to signals sent from neighboring cells. "The beauty of the brain is that it is plastic and robust at the same time," Yeung explains. "If the model is verified experimentally, we've solved an important piece of the puzzle of how these seemingly antagonistic properties can and, in fact, must coexist in the cell." http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1272/is_2721_133/ai_n13800711 Milk calcium is best Sufficient milk calcium in the diet promotes optimum bone mass New scientific evidence clearly points to milk as the best source of calcium in the human diet, promoting optimum bone density and building up resistance to a number of serious health problems in later life. http://www.arlafoodsingredients.com/APPL/FI/FI135/FI135D01.nsf/O/E4C976F0C34F7223C125728A003465B2
  13. Vrajanatha: Prabhu, I understand that this marginal position is situated in tatastha-svabhava, or junction, of the spiritual and material worlds. Why is it that some jivas go from there to the material world, while others go to the spiritual world? Babaji: Krsna’s qualities are also present in the jivas, but only in a minute quantity. Krsna is supremely independent, so the desire to be independent is eternally present in the jivas as well. When the jiva uses his independence correctly, he remains disposed towards Krsna, but when he misuses it, he becomes vimukha (indifferent) to Him. It is just this indifference that gives rise to the desire in the jiva’s heart to enjoy maya. Because of the desire to enjoy maya, he develops the false ego that he can enjoy material sense gratification, and then the five types of ignorance – tamas (not knowing anything about the spirit soul), moha (the illusion of the bodily concept of life), maha-moha (madness for material enjoyment), tamisra (forgetfulness of one’s constitutional position due to anger or envy) and andha-tamisra (considering death to be the ultimate end) – cover his pure, atomic nature. Our liberation or subjugation simply depends on whether we use our minute independence properly, or misuse it. Vrajanatha: Krsna is karunamaya (full of mercy), so why did He make the jiva so weak that he became entangled in maya? Babaji: It is true that Krsna is karunamaya, overflowing with mercy, however, He is also lilamaya, overflowing with desire to perform pastimes. Desiring various pastimes to be enacted in different situations, Sri Krsna made the jiva’s eligable for all conditions, from the marginal state to the highest state of mahabhava. And to facilitate the jiva’s progressing practically and steadfastly towards becoming qualified for Krsna’s service, He has also created the lower levels of material existence, beginning from the lowest inert matter up to ahankara, which are the cause of unlimited obstruction in attaining paramananda. Having fallen from their constitutional position, the jivas who are entangled in maya are indifferent to Krsna and engrossed in personal sense gratification. However, Sri Krsna is the reservoir of mercy. The more the jiva becomes fallen, the more Krsna provides him with opportunities to attain the highest spiritual perfection. He brings this about by appearing before him along with His spiritual dhama and His eternal associates. Those jivas who take advantage of this merciful opportunity and sincerely endeavor to attain the higher position gradually reach the spiritual world and attain a state similar to that of Sri Hari’s eternal associates. Vrajanatha: Why must the jivas suffer for the sake of Bhagavan’s pastimes? Babaji: The jivas possess some independence. This is actually a sign of Bhagavan’s special mercy upon them. Inert objects are very insignificant and worthless because they have no such independent desire. The jiva has attained sovereignty of the inert world only because of his independent desire. Misery and happiness are conditions of the mind. Thus what we may consider misery is happiness for one engrossed in it. Since all varieties of material sense gratification finally result in nothing but misery, a materialistic person only achieves suffering. When that suffering becomes excessive, it gives rise to a search for happiness. From that desire, discrimination arises, and from discrimination, the tendency for inquiry is born. As a result of this, one attains sat-sanga (the association of saintly people), whereupon sraddha develops. When sraddha is born, the jiva ascends to a higher stage, namely the path of bhakti. Gold is purified by heating and hammering. Being indifferent to Krsna, the jiva has become impure through engaging in mundane sense gratification. Therefore, he must be purified by being beaten with the hammers of misery on the anvil of this material world. By this process, the misery of the jivas averse to Krsna finally culminates in happiness. Suffering is therefore just a sign of Bhagavan’s mercy. That is why far sighted people see the suffering of jivas in Krsna’s pastimes as auspicious, though the near sighted can only see it as an inauspicious source of misery. Vrajanatha: The jiva’s suffering in his conditioned state is ultimately auspicious, but in the present state it is very painful. Since Krsna is omnipotent, couldn’t He think of a less troublesome path? Babaji: Krsna’s lila is extremely wonderful and of many varieties; this is also one of them. If Bhagavan is independent and almighty, and performs all kinds of pastimes, why should this be the only pastime that He neglects? No pastime can be rejected if there is to be full variety. Besides, the participants in other types of pastimes also must accept some sort of suffering. Sri Krsna is the enjoyer (purusa) and the active agent (karta). All ingredients and paraphernalia are controlled by His desire and subject to His activities.It is natural to experience some suffering when one is controlled by the desire of the agent. However, if that suffering brings pleasure in the end, it is not true suffering. How can you call it suffering? The so-called suffering that one undergoes in order to nourish and support Krsna’s pastimes is actually a source of delight. The jiva’s independent desire has caused him to abandon the pleasure of serving Krsna, and instead accept suffering in maya. This is the jiva’s fault, not Krsna’s.
  14. (S.B. 4.14.43): viniścityaivam ṛṣayo vipannasya mahīpateḥ mamanthur ūruḿ tarasā tatrāsīd bāhuko naraḥ TRANSLATION After making a decision, the saintly persons and sages churned the thighs of the dead body of King Vena with great force and according to a specific method. As a result of this churning, a dwarf-like person was born from King Vena's body. PURPORT That a person was born by the churning of the thighs of King Vena proves that the spirit soul is individual and separate from the body. The great sages and saintly persons could beget another person from the body of the dead King Vena, but it was not possible for them to bring King Vena back to life. King Vena was gone, and certainly he had taken another body. The saintly persons and sages were only concerned with the body of Vena because it was a result of the seminal succession in the family of Mahārāja Dhruva. Consequently, the ingredients by which another body could be produced were there in the body of King Vena. By a certain process, when the thighs of the dead body were churned, another body came out. Although dead, the body of King Vena was preserved by drugs, and mantras chanted by King Vena's mother. In this way the ingredients for the production of another body were there. When the body of the person named Bāhuka came out of the dead body of King Vena, it was really not very astonishing. It was simply a question of knowing how to do it. From the semen of one body, another body is produced, and the life symptoms are visible due to the soul's taking shelter of this body. One should not think that it was impossible for another body to come out of the dead body of Mahārāja Vena. This was performed by the skillful action of the sages.
  15. In my opinion one doesn't cancel out the other. In the Vedas we find that Lord Brahma, and not God personally, created all the different bodies for our souls to inhabit. He decorated this universe after getting divine inspiration from God Himself. Who knows how Brahma got to creating the different species, it might as well be through evolution. While indeed speculation, it's also not obligatory to rigidly pick either one or the other. The prabhu asking the questions is confronted with these things by some people and has no clear answer, which is why he came here, because he wants to be able to give proper answers. Personally I'm not denying evolution outright, I'm just saying that scientifical truths aren't as fixed a truth as they are generally accredited to be. Today's science is superceded by tomorrow's. By asking these questions I'm trying to point out that we shouldn't just accept everything they say at face value. Similarly I didn't accept this path of bhakti at face value, it wasn't some lame sentimental decision of a broken mind, I dug deep before accepting, and wanted and got results to verify it's validity. Of course, this is beyond proof so it has no value to anyone but me, but it means that in my worthless opinion we shouldn't accept anything on blind faith, and I believe that our dear acharya's have pointed this out many times. Personally, I don' think the theory of evolution disproves the existence of God in any way, nor does it dislodge or debunk the knowledge contained in the Vedic literature. Rather, it shows us that a force is at work creating all these changes, and such a manipulating force does not appear out of the blue. The general scientist's explanations as to the reasons for these transformations are flimsy at best: "Nature is experimenting", "There is no reason for it, nature is just tinkering", are some of the answers they give, reminding us of Krishna's words in Bhagavad Gita 16.7 through 10, where He explains the nature of the demoniac. They provide nature as the source of tinkering, but deny the existence of the force behind nature. "Somehow", "by chance", "may have/ could have", "probably", and "most likely" still provide for most of the keywords stringing the chain of theories together. So an atheist may challenge you, and basically you can never say anything that would appease them. If you give a counterargument it is a "lame excuse", and if you point out some of the many bonafide anomalous archeological findings, they are quick to label those as "crackpot inventions", and the author or discoverer handily receives a defamation and subsequently gets blackened and lobbed into the "wacko pseudo-science" section, so as to remove any credibility from that source. At this point we again are reminded of B.G. 16.7 through 10, but even more so of Lord Krishna saying in Bhagavad Gita 16.19 that: "Those who are envious and mischievous, who are the lowest among men, I perpetually cast into the ocean of material existence, into various demoniac species of life." In other words, no matter what you will say or do, the hardline atheist will never accept anything a theist says. So I would probably answer as short as possible when asked about evolution, something along the lines of "As far as I know, the theory of evolution does not interfere with the Vedic teachings". I'm no teacher by any means, but I'd say that if you are sincere in your answers and about your own level of understanding of the path you are pursuing, you can do no wrong. This works for me. If there is a question I'm not sure of how to answer, I will refrain from doing so, and admit my own level of foolishness to that person, which is very liberating and helps to deconstruct my false ego. It is said that God helps those who help themselves, isn't it? So in order to help someone you should first help yourself, and if that means you cannot help that person, don't let it end there but appoint him/her to your guru, which is actually always and in any case the best possible service you can render to any person anyway. So after a long and fruitless rant, I'm coming to the conclusion that I have nothing of value to say, thereby revealing my own foolishness. That I am still posting this, is a sign of my false ego acting up, falsely thinking it may have some value somehow. I hope that others on this messageboard may provide you with some knowledgable answers Nitesh prabhu. The only valuable thing I can say is that you should send these persons to a bonafide guru to get their answers. All glories to Sri Sri guru and Gauranga, Haribol!
  16. Prabhu, I must apogolize back to you, because my questions were not meant to offend in any way. I am not learned, but a fool. I was just questioning the authority of the established learned section of human society. I'm sorry if it came across a bit crass, reading it back, I should have written my reply a bit differently, knowing the way the mood of a post can be easily misinterpreted on the internet. There are many atheists on this board propagating their speculative ideas in their attempted crusade against the devotional path, and they often use these terms. This thread was still free from their offenses so my response was rather brisk. So therefore it is not you who should apologize, but me. My sincere apologies to you, I hope you can forgive me. As far as the two books are concerned, I do not know where you live, but there are many websites around the world selling these books. Forbidden archeology is a very voluminous book and also very expensive. Human devolution is not as big and therefore more cheap. There are other authors who question the antiquity of mankind but they work outside of the Vedic perspective. One such author is Graham Hancock, who wrote a very interesting book called "Fingerprints of the gods". Some of his findings are very interesting indeed. Other works such as "Heaven's mirror" and "Underworld", involve his findings of ruins at sea bottom, such as the site in Japan and Dvaraka in India. As expected, the ruling archeological scholars scoff at his findings and try to ridicule him at every possibility, but his thorough work, which involves the help of many experts on the different subjects involved, cannot be denied by those with an intelligence untouched by a desire for pratishta. I hope I have been of service to you prabhu, Haribol!
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