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Everything posted by aGnani11

  1. It's unfortunate that Hindus continue to disgrace the holy figures of other religions. Hinduism itself believes in the concept of Avatara. Does that mean that God takes avataras only in India? I dont think so. He sends his message throughout the world. Jesus was a holy figure. I'm not Christian, but even I see divinity in him. Never disrespect a man who only preached love for God. Isn't that just a form of bhakti? Love your ishtadeva, love your Guru, love your shastras, but never disrespect other forms of dharma. Going back to the original topic, does anyone know why India get's so little credit for its accomplishments in mathematics and science? We still do have manuscripts of Bhattāchārya and Bhaskerāchārya from the 10th and 11th centuries. Why aren't they accredited?
  2. Nowhere in the Qu'ran does it say that a man can only have one woman. In fact, Islamic practice endorses polygamy. I also heard from a Muslim scholar that the Dharma Shastras state that Brahmins are allowed to marry up to 3 wives, but I have not been able to confirm this. Can anyone confirm the various Dharma Shastras allowing Brahmins to have several wives? I'm pretty sure Bhishma Pita from the Mahabharata endorsed polygamy.
  3. This is exactly the problem. I started this thread because I really wanted to get the opinions of the Hare Krishna disciples of Swami Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada on what they think of Swaminarayan Hinduism and of Pramukh Swami. Instead, I am being forced to defend my guru against unsubstantiated accusations. I only wanted to discuss the vast amounts of similarities between ISKCON and the Swaminarayan Sampradaya. I think board should definitely require people to register before they can post. This will reduce the number of unnecessary and ridiculous threads. That way the moderators can directly address specific people instead of closing entire threads. Shānti! Jay Sri Swaminarayana, Jay Sri Narayana.
  4. Tell that to the current sadhus who were in the company of Yagnapurush. Why would they make up lies? BAPS has nothing to gain by telling lies. If you are an honest bhakta of Swaminarayan Bhagwan, you wouldn't resort to insulting anyone. Pramukh Swami is a pure sadhu. If you do not believe in him, that is totally acceptable, but please do not resort to insulting. By insulting, you are transgressing everything that Swami Sahajananda or even Sri Krishna ever taught. BAPS is doing nothing evil, bad or corrupt. Instead, it is helping thousands of poor and homeless, getting other thousands to give up addictions such as smoking, drinking, drugs, etc. Look at how so many people are being inspired to follow the tenets of Bhagavat Dharma by seeing the Akshardham Temple in New Delhi or the Shikkhar temples in Chicago and Houston, USA. I have absolute respect for the Vadtal and Amdavad gadis of Sri Swaminarayana, but I personally have accepted Pramukh Swami as my guru. Isn't that what the entire Hindu system is based on? Guru-shisya relationship? Your guru would not endorse you insulting other gurus. Final point: have faith in your ishtadev, have faith in your Guru, but please do not insult other faiths/gurus. Thank you. JAY SRI NARAYANA, JAY SRI SWAMINARAYANA.
  5. "Why do swaminarayans feel the need to distinguish between Brahman and Parabrahman?" This is a good question. The term 'Parabrahma' has it's roots in the Bhagavad Gita. Sri Krishna makes a distinction between Brahma and Parabrahma, because Brahma is actually the spiritual state every jiv/atman attains once he attains moksha. The exact sloka is as follows: Ishā Brāhmistiti pārtha ha; nainām prāpya vimukhya ti. Stitvāsyā mantakālepi; Brahma nirvāna mruchya ti. This means that it is the state of Brahma that one must aim to achieve; however, Parabrahma is the ultimate reality towards which one must offer one's own pure bhakti. Brahma (not Brahmā of the Trinity) is purely a spiritual state one attains at the time of ātyāntika moksha. The Visistadvaita system does not accept the idea of the jiv/atman merging with God and becoming one as endorsed by the Advaits. Thus there is a clear distinction between Brahma and Parabrahma. This is why the Swaminarayana philosophy is based on the system of a hierarchy of five eternal entities: 1. Jiva 2. Ishwar 3. Māyā 4. Brahma 5. Parabrahma Brahma is both the eternal abode of Parabrahma (and Parabrahma can be known by various names like Narayana, Krishna, Purushottam, Govinda, Swaminarayana, Hari, etc.) and the infinite jivas who have attained the Brahmic state. This idea actually comes from the Yoga Sutras in which Patanjali's yogic system carries the ultimate goal of the realization of the ātman and the pervasive Parabrahma that eternally resides within. Thus, we are all innately the abode of Parabrahma. This is how our guruji Pramukh Swami teaches us. I hope this clarifies some ideas. I an open to any corrections/questions/suggestions. Jay Sri Narayana, Jay Sri Swaminarayana.
  6. "Pramukh Swami has never replied to their request to sit down and have a debate." If Pramukh Swami has declined to participate in academic debates, there is actually a reason for this. It is written in his official biography that when Swami Yagnapurushdasji (Pramukh Swami's guru) left Vadtal to establish the current BAPS sampradaya in 1907 CE, the monks of the Vadtal order and several 'devotees' of the Vadtal gadi gave death threats and other harmful threats. Yagnapurushdas himself barely escaped with his life on several occasions. Yagnapurushdas himself was a learned scholar and so he wished to participate in debates to defend the Akshar-Purushottam philosophy, however, none of the sadhus or devotees of the Vadtal gadi wished to comply. Their reason for not accepting the debate challenge was because Yagnapurushdas was excommunicated by the Acharya for preaching blasphemy. Pramukh Swami thus today does not agree to sit down for official debates, because the debate has been raging for decades now. Also, I acknowledge the sadhus who reside in the Swaminarayan mandir in Bhuj are very scholarly and adhere to strict detachment. They are a great order of monks. The BAPS Swaminarayan mandir in Sarangpur is full of such as well. Sadhus with deep Vedic knowledge and advanced spiritual states. The guru, in the end, is the key. He is the one who shows you the way towards spirituality. Tasmaya sri gurave namaha.
  7. Jay Shri Krishna Jay Shri Swaminarayan Dear Bhakta, I am a fellow follower of the Swaminarayan movement and disciple of Guruji Pramukh Swami. However, I do not endorse this idea of having Swaminarayan as superior to Krishna. This idea would not be accepted by Swaminarayan (Swami Sahajananda) Himself. Swami Sahajananda was a great Vaishnav Himself, and His divine personality resembled that of Bhagwan Shri Krishna Himself. If there is one lesson to learn from Hinduism, it is that the truth and message of God is revealed to the peoples of Bharat Varsh through many pure God-realized Saints, and avatars of God Himself. We see the avatars of God through Rama, Krishna, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Swaminarayan. The divine personality of Swaminarayan is just as great as that of Shri Krishna. I believe Swaminarayan to be yet another incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, equivalent to Krishna Paramatma. Swaminarayan's life, teaching, and personality is captured by his great monk disciples Swami Muktananda, Swami Brahmananda, Swami Gopalananda, Swami Gunatitananda, and others. Swaminarayan's various leela, deep preaching of purely Vaishnav philosophy, and life accomplishments resemble in all ways to the life of Bhagwan Sri Krishna. Thus, the avatar of Swaminarayan is equivalent to the avatar of Krishna. It is only a matter of ishtadev - which form of God is most dear to your heart. If you have pure bhakti in your heart, you will attain moksha.
  8. I do not understand those of you who are talking this way of Sri Swaminarayan and of BAPS. It is one thing to deny the greatness of Swaminarayan and Pramukh Swamiji. This is completely fine with me. However, it's totally different when you resort to insulting the movement. Please ask yourself the following questions: 1. Do Swaminarayan followers and BAPS VIOLATE the Vedas in any way? 2. Is BAPS and Pramukh Swamiji immoral in any way? 3. Does the Swaminarayan sect thrive from the four endeavors of dharma, gnana, vairagya, and bhakti? 4. Did Sri Swaminarayan uphold the Vaishnava and Visistadvaita philosophy? 5. Is BAPS currently involved in widespread social service and helping the poor/disadvantaged? 6. Does BAPS and Pramukh Swamiji celebrate all major Hindu festivals such as Janamashtami, Mahashivratri, Ramnavmi, Ekadashi, and many others? You should think about these questions. BAPS under Pramukh Swamiji has experienced phenomenal growth. We celebrate Hindu festivals with great enthusiasm and happiness. We perform Vedic non-violent yagnas and rituals for all occassions. We stress Sanskrit/Gujarati/Hindi literacy for the American/British youth who are engulfed in Western culture. The Swaminarayan sect of BAPS under Pramukh Swamiji has created a new revival of Vedic and Upanishadic traditions. ISKCON is also a beautiful tradition, and do you hear Swaminarayan followers insulting ISKCON? Since we are both Vaishnava sampradayas, we should be united. We have more similarities rather than differences. Pramukh Swamiji stresses the rivival of Vedic and Bhagvat sanskruti and culture. This is why you see youths living in America and Britain still living the Indian and Hindu culture. How can you insult such a pure and pious sadhu such as Pramukh Swamiji. I hope you reconsider your opinions on him. Jay Sri Narayana.
  9. "I'd still like to know why Swaminarayans refer to their monks as saints." I agree that monks should not be referred to as saints. Not everyone is a saint. The only time when you hear monks being referred to as saints is when the person saying it simply doesn't know the difference in the meaning. It is a mistake in translation. We call them sadhus in Gujarati/Hindi, and when people try to translate the word 'sadhu' to English, they mistakenly say 'saint', which is incorrect. I agree that BAPS should stop calling them saints. I do, however, agree in calling Pramukh Swami, the most respected monk and spiritual leader of the Swaminarayan sect, as a Saint. You can collect thousands of testimonials and see that people in the tens of thousands have reconnected with Vedic traditions and with God. "If I wrote a book proclaiming I am god, would you follow? Is that all it takes to start a religion these days?" Remember, the disciples of Swaminarayan did not blindly accept anything. The sampradaya that Swaminarayan inherited was strictly Vaishnav with Sri Krishna being the central ishtadev. The monks of the sampradaya were incredibly brilliant scholars of Sanskrit. They were well-versed in the Scriptures and many of them engaged in formal debates with Advaitas and Vedantis proclaiming Brahman as the universal entity. The monks that Swaminarayan became the leader of were no ordinary sadhus. It was because of Swaminarayan's profound personality that the monks and disciples of Swaminarayan in the early 19th century accepted him as an incarnation of the Supreme Himself, very similar (in fact, exactly like) the avatar of Krishna. If you study Swaminarayan's life, he mastered ashtanga yoga within 4 months, and travelled throughout the length and breadth of India, searching for pure spirituality. Swaminarayan was actually a brilliant scholar Himself. You can confirm this by reading his spoken Vachanamritam (which is available for purchase on www.Amazon.com). Once you see what kind of personality Swaminarayan was, you can then see why his disciples viewed him in equality with Krishna Paramatma Himself. I personally do not see a difference between Krishna and Swaminarayan. I think they are both incarnations of the Supreme. Once you read into the kind of spiritual knowledge they possessed, it is not difficult to see divinity in Swaminarayan. This is also the beauty of Hinduism. The Supreme Personality of Godhead manifests on Earth more than once. He manifests in all varieties and at several different time periods. The followers of the Swaminarayan faith view Swaminarayan, because of his divine personality comparable to Krishna Himself, as yet another incarnation of the Supreme. Also, please do not resort to insulting on this board. Let us keep this discussion civil and scholarly. We are all Hindus and share more commonalities rather than differences.
  10. I will address each of your points one by one and offer reasoned answers: "Perhaps the memories of the murder of Manibhai (ex PA to Pramukh Narayanswarupdas) who fell out with BAPS are still fresh?" There's isn't a stinch of indication that BAPS has been involved with any violence, much less murder. A murder would have resulted in widespread press coverage, police presence, and Court indictments. Has there been any of these? BAPS Public Relations cannot 'pay off' the High Court. This sounds like unsubstantiated propaganda from anti-BAPS sentiments. "Maybe the young trainee saint abuse scandals at Sarangpur centre were well concealed by the millions BAPS spends on PR and media relations." You are probably referring to the scandals of the monks of the other Swaminarayana organizations. You hear about scandals from them all the time. Simply go to www.Google.com and click on 'News' and type in 'Swaminarayan'. You will find dozens of articles related to scandals that monks from the other Swaminarayan organizations are involved in. None of them are connected to BAPS. If they were, there would have been police action and press coverage. The BAPS temple in Sarangpur is a haven for spiritual advancement. If you have been there, you would agree. "Don't kid yourselves. BAPS has plenty of corrupt saints as is so obvious in Neasden Temple." Again, you're proposing claims without any substantiation. What is wrong with the monks at the Nesden temple? BAPS monks have NEVER been involved in scandals. Give some concrete examples from a reliable source, and then I will believe you. "If Pramukh Narayanswarupdas was such a mighty saint why does He insist on being worshipped everywhere?" Once again, claims without substantiation. Give me a quote, a recording, or ANYTHING that shows why you believe this. Pramukh Swamiji has NOT EVEN ONCE insisted on being worshipped. It is his disciples who honor him because he is our spiritual Guru who leads us from darkness and ignorance to light and knowledge. He has NEVER insisted on being worshipped. He also never insisted on sitting on thrones or luxurious items. Rather, it is the wish of his disciples to provide him with those things out of our love for him. Remember, Pramukh Swamiji has been the Guru of the Swaminarayan faith for well over 40 years. In the 1960s, there were no such amenities yet he continued his mission of spreading the Vaishnava philosophy and the message of Swaminarayan just as much as he is doing now at the age of 85. "Ekantik Sadhu would never EVER desire such things." This is the first time I agree with you. An Ekantik Sadhu would never desire such things. But have you ever seen DESIRE in the eyes of Pramukh Swami? Have you ever heard him demand certain things? A devotee once baked him sweets to eat when Pramukh Swami visited his house. However, he accidently put salt instead of sugar! How awful would a sweet item taste if it was made from salt instead of sugar?! But Pramukh Swami never said a word and lovingly accepted the food. Does this show that he demands high luxuries? It shows his detachment from materialistic pleasure. This was in the 1950s when food was scarce and the monks often had to beg for food (and fast when they received none). I appreciate your concern for finding a true Guru. One should always be careful before accepting someone as your Guru, and you are doing just that. However, it's very important that you properly investigate before you make claims that degrade a great sadhu and saint such as Pramukh Swami. Read his biographies, and you will see. JAY SRI NARAYANA.
  11. I don't understand how the organisation BAPS is a 'break away' from what Svaminarayana originally set up. In his Vachanamritam, he continually stresses the importance of the Ekantik Sadhu and how a true guru is the gateway to moksa. The "original" Svaminarayana organisations have plunged into mediocrity. The "sadhus" do not follow the eight-fold path of celibacy and the Acharyas have been brought to court on several legal issues. The previous Acharya was dethroned and a new Acharya established. Sadhus are being accused of rape, incest, and embezzlements. Is this what Svaminarayana originally set up? On the other hand, Pramukh Swamiji is a spotless sadhu who has uplifted many societies around India and who has preached non-violence and built beautiful mandirs across the world. He has led thousands to quit cigarette-smoking and drinking alcohol, as well as gotten several other thousands to reconnect with the Hindu heritage and study the scriptures. How can you say that this is NOT what Svaminarayana intended? Look at what BAPS has accomplished -- magnificent mandirs around the world, a beautiful Akshardhama temple in New Delhi, social service work like natural disaster relief and free hot meals for the poor. He has upheld the Vaishnav and Visistadvaita philosophy. Please explain to me why BAPS is a "break-away" from what Svaminarayana taught. Disciples and sadhus of Pramukh Swamiji are very humble and peaceful people. They practice what Svaminarayana taught by studying the Vachanamritam and the Hindu scriptures. BAPS does not get in trouble with the law and have sadhus involved in scandals.
  12. "Pramuks Swami is not the leader. The two acharyas of the Swaminarayan faith are the original leaders which lord Swaminarayan created." Dear fellow bhakta, I am not too familiar with the Swaminarayana sampradaya, so you might be right on this. I recently read a biography on Swami Sahajananda by Professor Raymond Williams, and in there he said that the Acharyas were established by Sahajananda for administrative purposes. The Acharyas were responsible for guiding the progress of the sampradaya and handling the treasury, as well as initiating sadhus into the eight-fold path for celibacy. In the Vachanamritam, however, Sahajananda talks only about the 'Ekantika Sadhu' who can lead one to moksa. The Acharyas should only be seen as the administrative heads, but never the spiritual heads. Pramukh Swamiji, as I understand it, is a true spiritual guru. One can easily see this when you take a look at the mandirs they are building, the quality of sadhus and disciples they have, and an international reputation. Unfortunately, the sadhus of the two Acharyas have plunged into controversy and trouble with the law. This, however, is never the case for the sadhus and disciples of Pramukh Swamiji. I think the world of Hinduism should be very excited at where Pramukh Swamiji is taking modern-day Hinduism.
  13. I would chant the same mantra that I chant while doing dhyana every morning: "Asato maa sadgamaya..." because it is the quintessential quest for true knowledge that all human beings seek. Universal knowledge is the only thing that matters, and till death that is all I seek and ever will. I am Hindu because I believe that truth is contained in the Vedas and Upanishads, but only with God's grace can I understand and comprehend that knowledge. Thus, the prayer "Asato maa sadgamaya" is what I would recite at the time of my death. Asato maa sadgamaya; Tamaso maa jyotir gamaya; Mrutyor maa amrutam gamaya; Om shanti, shanti, shanti hi. --Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 1st adhyaya, 3rd brahmana, 28th mantra (1:3-28)
  14. Jay Shri Narayana, This is my first post on this forum, but I have been following discussions here for several weeks. I am interested in getting some feedback from all of you. You may have heard about the Swaminarayana organization. They are also firmly rooted in the Vaishnav philosophy, because their founder, Swami Sahajananda, was a firm disciple of Krishna. However, in the Swaminarayan sampradayas central scripture the Vachanamrut, he has often declared himself as Purushottam Narayana Himself. Thus, the disciples of Swaminarayana believe him to be equivalent to Krishna Paramatma Himself. The present-day leader, Pramukh Swamiji, is a great social reformer as well as spiritual guide. He has built mandirs around the world, most recently the large Akshardhama temple in Delhi (www.akshardham.com). What do you think of this Swaminarayana sect? How do you view their leader Pramukh Swamiji? I just humbly want to know what the world of Hinduism thinks of this particularly new revolution of Swaminarayana Hinduism.
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