Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by raga

  1. It's not that nothing happens. You do make some progress. You do not, however, have a living example of someone who truly has great love for the holy names, who is deeply nourished by the chanting, and who wishes that you would attain the same; if this were there (and if you wished it yourself), you would feel great tangible results from your chanting.
  2. This is derived from the following verse of Brihan-naradiya-purana (1.4.33), cited as Hari-bhakti-vilasa 10.279: bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-saGgena parijAyate | sat-saGgaH prApyate pumbhiH sukRtaiH pUrva-saJcitaiH || "Bhakti arises through the company of the Lord's devotees; One attains the company of devotees as one's past pious merits (sukriti) accumulate." There are different varieties of sukRti there: those arising of karma, jnana and bhakti. Only the last variety of sukriti will bring about the company of bhagavat-bhaktas. What are such devotional pious merits, then? bhaktyA saJjAtayA bhaktyA; since only devotion brings about devotion, and since only in the company of sAdhus does one truly learn the purpose of devotion, initially such deeds are what we commonly know as ajJAta-sukRti, or unknowingly accrued merits. Such merits may be attained for example by circumambulating a temple without knowing the purpose of the building, by fasting on sacred days for another purpose, by acting as the indirect cause of a sAdhu's satisfaction, and so forth.
  3. This most likely has to do with the "connecting yourself" vs. "receiving mantra" issue.
  4. Guru-tattva manifests in countless ways. When your sukriti (devotional piety) ripens, a relationship with an advanced loving devotee will eventually awaken of its own accord -- as long as you keep the possibility open.
  5. That is, if you can go directly to God... You can always try. I take all the help I can get. Gaudiya Vaisnavas follow the path of bhakti, or the path of devotional love. This love is transfered from hearts to hearts. The seed of this love awakens upon hearing of the beauty of the love of Krishna's companions, and it is infused into the heart of the sadhaka by those, who embody this love in their hearts. Therefore, we view the development of affectionate relationships with advanced loving devotees as an integral path of our practice. God doesn't exist in vacuum. Otherwise, I recall reading Jiva Gosvami saying that God gives his grace not directly, but through those whom he loves -- his devotees. "Love me, love my dog" -- I think that's how Prabhupada put it in laymen's terms. Transformations are effected by people. Very rare is the soul who has (from a past life) what it takes to get directly in touch with God straight away. Of course, when the relationship develops and gains foothold in the sadhaka's heart, it's as direct as anything.
  6. People are of course free to follow the path they wish -- this is the freedom given to everyone. I, and others following the Gaudiya path, could certainly explain the merits of guru, but the prerequisite would be that you would be willing to, at least in theory, accept that it may be a very wonderful way of looking at things. But I think it's just common sense that one would seek guidance and shelter from those who are further on along the path. "Dull", "middle-man" and all that spans from having never felt overwhelming love and a desire to help from a senior practitioner.
  7. Mantra comes from the guru's heart. That is a living mantra. It's lived in his heart for long, and he'll transmit the potency of realizing the mantra-devate to you. sākṣataṁ gurur ādāya vāri śiṣyasya dakṣiṇe | kare'rpayed vadan mantro'yaṁ samo'stv āvayor iti || HBV 2.132 svasmāj jyotirmayīṁ vidyāṁ gacchantīṁ bhāvayed guruḥ | āgatāṁ bhāvayec chiṣyo dhanyo'smīti viśeṣataḥ || HBV 2.133 "The guru shall offer water to the disciple's right hand, saying 'May this mantra be equal for the two of us.' The guru shall meditate on great, effulgent knowledge arising of himself, meditating on its entrance into the disciple, who shall think, 'I have become blessed'." All the other considerations aside, the bottom line here is, "Because such is God's will." How do we know? "Because he has made it known in the scriptures."
  8. This is an age-old thread, but worth bumping as the original never got much off the ground aside the good introductory article. Here are all the notes I have on record for the theme: http://wiki.gaudiyakutir.com/64_rounds
  9. Let's make it a proper link. http://www.uttama-bhakti.org/ Brajabhushan, I believe the 15 posts counter only starts when you register... I don't think guest accounts are tracked.
  10. He ate eggplants, for example. Of all the things you can debate that aren't on the list or mistranslated, that isn't one. I understand some people may be disturbed to see that some of their delicacies are forbidden in the sastras. I am not, however, currently very interested in a discussion on the repercussions of the list, especially if it's done with a fanatic rah-rah spirit where everyone is primarily interested in shooting me down. I just want to make the list a fair representation of what's in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa and the Puranas.
  11. Given that Bengali is a widely spoken contemporary language, unlike Sanskrit, the equivalences between Bengali/Hindi and English are much better established on themes like this in comparison to archaic Sanskrit-English dictionaries. Sanskrit being a language of India, I am confident that there are more thorough and accurate dictionaries from Sanskrit to local languages than there are to English. (I have not researched this, please feel free to prove otherwise.) I have expressed my reservations over the thoroughness and accuracy of the said dictionaries on botanical details, and you have also noted: M-W and Capeller are not, as far as I know, the outcome of meticulous peer review as one might expect of a contemporary academic publication -- both works date to the last decade of the 1800's. Why, then, is a botanical database good for nothing? You'll find carrot there under "grinjana", too. ----------------- This topic was on hing, however. Do we agree that hing is mentioned in the scriptures as forbidden, or would you want to contest that as well?
  12. I'll first quote myself from three separate posts in this thread. The presence of two Bengali translations of the word as "carrot" and the presence of the term for carrot in a botanical database suggests that some Bengali/Hindi-Sanskrit dictionaries also offer carrot as a meaning. I have, therefore, called for people with other dictionaries to please look it up. You cannot take a single "family" of dictionaries (Apte that copies M-W, and Capeller from which M-W possibly draws) as proof final, especially without reconciling the other sources. I believe I've said that both are possible translations and proven as much by referring to the FRLHT botanical database, and I've also added the option to the list in the article. What more would you want?
  13. How do you figure I didn't consult any Sanskrit dictionary if I clerly wrote, "...has been translated on the basis of Monier-Williams and Cappeller dictionaries..." along with the rest of the methodology? In assessing how to translate, I weighed the dictionary entry against the botanical database, two Bengali translations of the Hari-bhakti-vilasa verse, and traditional knowledge. It became carrot -- with a note on alternative meanings, of which turnip was there earlier, with the red-onion-garlic now added. That aside -- regardless of whether I consulted dictionaries or not, I don't see what is accomplished by attempting to ridicule others' research. Can we please just go on in a polite manner without trying to make a bizarre innuendo out of this?
  14. I explained my methodology in an early entry in this thread as follows: Some of the translations were quite hard to arrive at. The section of items from Hari-bhakti-vilasa has been translated on the basis of Monier-Williams and Cappeller dictionaries with cross-referencing several botanical databases with Latin names; in cases of multiple possible matches, the likely valid choice has been picked on the basis of (1) other restrictions of the same item under a different name, (2) traditional knowledge, and (3) the lower gunas being obviously (in my best assessment) present in it. I have now added a note of the same to the article, too. For one more time -- please do not misrepresent this, I am abundantly clear in that some of the items are not specifically mentioned in the scriptures. I have also been abudantly clear in that I welcome feedback and corrections. I have not mentioned aparadha anywhere in the course of this thread. Should it be of concern to you, my guru eats tomatos and eggplant. I have now added a footnote on tomato: Tomato, its origin in the Americas, reached India only in the 18th-19th centuries. Its bright red color, combined with its heat-generating quality, has led some to classify it as an ingredient tainted by ''rajas''. Is that good? Color is a possible indicator. Other indicators are taste, odor, growth environment and effects on the body.
  15. Of those three, Apte copies Monier-Williams, and Monier-Williams may be picking it off the earlier Capeller dictionary. A (red) garlic/onion is certainly a possible translation -- I'm not contesting that. You'll find that the (now revised) article contains the red onion as the third option and a footnote with further information. I have pointed to two independent Bengali translations of the verse that render it as "carrot". The FRLHT botanical database gives both as possible translations: 1. Allium sativum (LILIACEAE) 2. Daucus carota Var. sativa (APIACEAE) The (alphabetically) first is the Latin name for garlic, and the second for carrot. The primary Sanskrit word for carrot, as far as I know, is gArjara.
  16. You don't really need to treat the topic like this, please. When I say "suggests the possibility of", you treat it as "my scientific logic". I already noted that I am aware of the history of tomatos and that they are listed under "similar items", not as "forbidden in the scriptures", so you needn't point to that and say it's foolish. Please, let's discuss this like gentleman instead of trying to make the other look stupid and call for the public to reject his views as ridiculous. It does not serve anyone's interests. I have already said that I would appreciate if you could give specific feedback on the errors to help me improve the entry. I do not understand what you hope to accomplish with something like the above. I began replying before you had edited your post to include them. I have since then edited mine.
  17. Red is the characteristic color of rajas, I trust you'll agree on that. The presence of red, then, suggests a substantial possibility for the presence of rajas. Where is the superstition in that? You'll find an abundance of scriptural references there, too -- don't be so quick to just brush it off wholesale. Please have a look at the list again. You'll see that most items in the list are not onion/garlic variety plants, unless you consider eggplant (vRntAka), safflower (kusumbha), resin of trees (niryAsa), bottle-gourd (alAbu) and so forth as having something to do with them. Each item in the below verses is translated in the list on the page, and gRJjana has no specific contextual link to palANDu and lazuna beyond any of the others. It's as valid as your red onions unless you have some further notes on gRJjana. Your logic relies entirely in your grouping the three together. It is not, however, "garlic, onions and red onions" versa "garlic, onions and carrots" - they don't come in a series of three in such a context or sequence. It is: vRntAkaM jAlikA-zAkaM kusumbhAzmantakaM tathA | palANDuM lazunaM zuklam niryAsaM caiva varjayet ||8.158|| gRJjanaM kiMzukaM caiva kukuNDaM ca tathaiva ca | uDumbaram alAbuM ca jagdhvA patati vai dvijaH ||8.159|| "Eggplant, kadamba-leaves, safflower, bauhinia-beans, onions, garlic, sour gruel, and the resin of trees should certainly be forsaken. Carrots (or turnips, or red onions), Butea frondosa, mushrooms, as well as figs, and bottle-gourd – having eaten them, the twice-born will certainly be fallen." Aapte just copies Monier-Williams, and very possibly Sir M-W has it copied from the earlier Capeller entry. If anyone has Sanskrit-Hindi or Sanskrit-Bengali dictionaries at hand, could you please look up gRJjana to have an independent source of translation? Also, if you have other editions of Hari-bhakti-vilasa, I'd be interested in how it's translated. The recent English edition from Rasbihari Lal & Sons is entirely useless in this regard, it just lists the Sanskrit names. Please be kind and point out the other mistakes in the list. Just noting that is not very helpful in improving the entry. I'm afraid even a mere botanist won't do much good, as we're looking at ancient texts here. We would need a botanist, a historian and a Sanskritist in one person to be definitive. If you have leads, please let me know. That pending, I have taken support from existing traditions of interpretation. Yes, my guru is among the many who say this. Carrot is avoided virtually everywhere in Vraja among traditional Gaudiyas, and I pointed you to two other published translations of the word gRJjana as "carrot".
  18. Carrot is one of the more commonly avoided items throughout the Gaudiya tradition, at least in Vraja -- not only in Narayana Maharaja's group. As with tomatos, the screaming red color (particularly in the Indian variety) hints at the presence of rajas. (And the effect may also be experienced through abstention and subsequent trial by one engaged in concentrated sadhana that calls for mental clarity.) Can you refer to any particular scholar in this regard? Why is a red onion the primary meaning? I know M-W lists it as the first option, but Sir M-W wasn't a botanist -- therefore, the dictionary may not be reliable in determining the likelihood of one option over the other just on grounds of the order it lists items. There are definitely many shortcomings in it as far as flora and fauna are concerned. You can see in the FRLHT database that grinjana is also used for carrot. The relevant HBV verse is also translated as carrot in Mahanambrata Brahmacari's Bengali translation of the work and in Nandalal Pandit's Bhakta-kanthahara. A search for grinjana in the FRLHT gives garlic and carrot as the two options. Garlic is generally called lasuna and has also been mentioned separately under that name in the same bundle of verses, thus ruling it out as a possible translation. kaurme- vRntAkaM jAlikA-zAkaM kusumbhAzmantakaM tathA | palANDuM lazunaM zuklam niryAsaM caiva varjayet ||8.158|| gRJjanaM kiMzukaM caiva kukuNDaM ca tathaiva ca | uDumbaram alAbuM ca jagdhvA patati vai dvijaH ||8.159|| In the above verse, you'll find palANDu (onion), lazuna (garlic) and gRJjana listed. I would appreciate if you noted other misinterpretations you spot in the list. Some of the translations were quite hard to arrive at. The section of items from Hari-bhakti-vilasa has been translated on the basis of Monier-Williams and Cappeller dictionaries with cross-referencing several botanical databases with Latin names; in cases of multiple possible matches, the likely valid choice has been picked on the basis of (1) other restrictions of the same item under a different name, (2) traditional knowledge, and (3) the lower gunas being obviously (in my best assessment) present in it. One of the prominent sources I used was http://www.frlht.org.in/meta/ - "FRLHT's Encyclopedia of Indian Medicinal Plants". If you have other good sources, I would be interested.
  19. I'm familiar with the history of the tomato. A careful reading of the section where tomato is listed says, "The following items are either mentioned in the Vaishnava-smriti or have qualities distinct to items generally forbidden." The criteria for "similar items" is something passed on as a heritage among sadhakas. This and many other topics need to be clarified in this draft of an article. Obviously the context in the quote from Prabhupada on hing is with the possibility of belching. One may, however, wonder whether foods that smell so bad as to merit such restrictions are sattvic. There are many peculiarities in the scriptures. For example, HBV 15.117 describes the foods to be avoided during the four months of Caturmasya, and notes on the last month, kArtike cAmiSaM tyajet - "And in the month of Kartika, one should renounce meat." From this, one can deduct that meat is being eaten in some situations during the other eleven months of the year. Granted, hing is also quite commonly used among Gaudiyas. Many items that are expressly forbidden repeatedly, such as eggplant, are also being commonly used... I agree with the general assessment of forbidden vs. "avoiding beneficial". In this specific case, do you have comments on asafoetida's origin in a tree's resin? Incidentally, I was reading P.D. Sharma's "Yogasana and pranayama for health" the other day, and the section on "A Suitable Diet" (ch. 16, 145ff) notes: "Ancient books advise that the food which is excessively bitter, sour, saltish, pungent, hot or cold should not be given place in the diet. They also advise that one should avoid liquor, intoxicating things, fish, meat, eggs, asafoetida, garlic, onions and such other lustful (rajasika) food items in one's diet." Hing is also mentioned in Padma-purana: kuryAd vai dvija-zArdUla tailAbhyaMgaM ca varjayet | chattrAkaM nAlikaM hiGguM palAGDuM pUtikAdalam || 4.21.21 I need to look up the context to ensure it isn't in the context of a specific vrata -- that's a quote off my unprocessed notes.
  20. I don't know the Hindi name of the plant itself, but the seeds, commonly used in cooking, are called mauri or saumph.
  21. Asafoetida, or hing, is forbidden in several scriptures, including Hari-bhakti-vilasa. Prabhupada echoes this in his comments on SB 7.5.23-24 (quoting a list of seva-aparadhas from Varaha-purana): "After eating, one should not worship the Deity until one has digested his food, nor should one touch the Deity or engage in any Deity worship after eating safflower oil or hing. These are also offenses." Hing is not a sattvic foodstuff. It is also made from the resin of a tree and hence tainted with brahma-hatya-papa (BhP 6.9.6ff). Even common sense tells us that if something is exactly like onion, then chances are it shares the same gunas. Aside Vaisnava-scriptures, many other Hindu traditions routinely classify Hing as unfit for a sattvic diet (e.g. Swami Sivananda).
  22. Dear Pranay, Please be at ease, no harm has been done. One who recognizes his shortcomings will always come to find forgiveness. It is a path we walk onwards, each at different points, and often burdened with a great deal of bad samskaras from the past. Progress comes with the sincere recognition of one's shortcomings, devotion is only thwarted by duplicity and pretense. I am not a sannyasi in any formal sense (and every other sense is debatable as well), nor of a high order. It is good for you that events like this happen in discussions with the likes of me, saving you from the repercussions offending actual high-class devotees would bring about. A field of practice, if you will. As such, no offense taken, and a lesson learnt for future. Thank you again for your effort to contact me, I have two messages of apology conveyed through every available medium. I trust this one reply will suffice. May Krishna cure our hearts. Krishne matirastu, Madhavananda Das
  23. You just couldn't comment on the rest without knowing them.
  • Create New...