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  1. Dear friends, Although this question was directed to another, if I may, the Buddhist answer most generally is that "individuality is integral to the living being and is in EVERY way a temporary condition." Buddhist ontology in the Mahayana traditions is radically different from Vaisnava ontology. It should be pointed out, however, that the philosophies of different schools make it very difficult to categorically state any position as being THE Buddhist position. Even a question such as rebirth/reincarnation is not at all straightforward. Sutras and teachings can be found which lead one to believe that reincarnation is accepted, or that reincarnation is rejected, even within a single tradition. This tension is always present in Buddhism, and attempting to resolve it leads to some very subtle reasoning, or to enigmatic pronouncements which are difficult to interpret. My experience has been that Buddhist laypersons from east Asia tend to accept reincarnation and the permanence of the unique individual but that Buddhist teachers, when pressed about the question, will either avoid answering directly, or deny the permanence of the unique individual. Hare Krsna
  2. Dear Suchandra, I understand, but my purpose for showing this excerpt from the Lotus Sutra is that Lord Buddha is therein not regarded as an enlighened mortal but a being of indefinite lifespan. In other words, very much like a God. Also in the same chapter Lord Buddha states "All living beings are my children and I am their father" (paraphrase). I give this without judgement, but it is interesting from a Vaisnava perspective to see this aspect of Buddhism.
  3. In the Lotus Sutra, the most revered scripture of many people in east Asia, Lord Buddha states:
  4. Srila Prabhupada preached with genuine authority.
  5. Jesus taught in spoken Aramaic, but the gospels were written in Greek, and in very different styles of Greek. The process of re-translation through several languages, and the morphing connotations of evolving interpretation and usage, as well as the individual nuances of understanding of those words, renders impossible a precise understanding of the intent of the givers of ancient teachings. One should be very cautious about establishing doctrine on the basis of ancient scripture alone. This is a good reason for relying on the help of a qualified teacher.
  6. The Greek text actually reads "apo tou ponirou" and the most literal translation would be "from the clever one." A better figurative rendering would be "from the clever deceiver." Therefore I think "from the evil one" is a more accurate translation than "from evil" but both serve theological preference more than true understanding.
  7. Thank you my friend. Please forgive me if the tone of my reply seemed unkind. I do understand that Srila Prabhupada did not want the KC movement to get caught up in the matters of the religions. Where I live Hinduism is not well understood, and it may be an obstacle to the more important goal of returning to Godhead. In England, with its more concentrated Indian population and perhaps more open culture, this may not be such a problem. In either case, devotion to the Lord is the heart of the matter. Hare Krsna
  8. Srila Prabhupada taught that God is not a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian, God is God. The Krsna consciousness movement is certainly founded on a Vedic basis, as are all branches of Hindiusm, but one situated in Krsna consciousness is a Vaisnava - not a Hindu or any other religious designation.
  9. Sanskrit did not suddenly transform into Hindi, any more than Latin suddenly became Italian or Classical Greek turned into the language spoken on the streets of Athens today. Those of you who are in university, look at Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which is what - 800 years old? The language is English but scarcely recognizable to anyone today except scholars who study it.
  10. Namaste The mantra can never be useless if we invest our sincerity in it. Also, do not confuse the individual mantra given by the guru or preceptor with the hare krsna mahamantra. Srila Prabhupada taught that he himself could be considered the guru to the reader of his books and follower of his teachings. I consider him to be my guru in this way, as there is no Vaisnava guru anywhere near my location. Chanting the mantra is very effective in a number of ways. It focuses the mind on the Lord. I have used it effectively in what may be considered an unusual way: every other day I run five miles for fitness and as a sort of personal discipline. At one time I was struggling because the weather here is very tropical and thus makes training difficult. I found that the mahamantra gave me actual physical strength when I was failing. Now I do not attempt to run without it. The Lord and the blessed Swamiji can have very real power in our lives if we approach in a spirit of faith and humility. Please try with an open heart, and if you are unable then do seek a guru to guide you back to Godhead
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