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Everything posted by muralidhar

  1. Please Prabhu, I also agree that the soul is "nitya-baddha" and may be considered a "a lost soul" even if the soul is liberated in the state of sayujya mukti, or brahma-nirvana. I believe souls have been reincarnating in different species of life for an inestimable period of time, almost we can say forever. But then I have heard that sometimes the souls can rise up to Brahma-nirvana and stay there for long, long ages. Indeed for longer that the lifetime of an entire brahmanda. Also, that the souls who are in that state are not bound by karma, but are fixed in some neutral position. <hr> Raga said: Two issues: 1. I am looking for references substantiating the soul's eternally possessing sat, cit and ananda. Hmmm... Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur says: tecanadhyanantah parasaktivisesatvat cidananda svarupa api parato bhinna nityasatyatvabhavat verses 12-13, Sri Tattva Sutra My knowledge of Sanskrit is pathetic, but still this is pretty clear to me. Raga said: 2. I am looking for references substantiating an idea of the soul's origin as falling from brahmajyoti. Kaviraj Goswami has repeated this statement of the Upanishads: yathagnem ksudra visphulinga vyuccarantyevam evasmadatmanam sarve pranam sarve lokam sarve devam sarvani bhutani vyuccaranti As innumerable sparks emanate from a fire, so all the jiva souls with their particular characteristics emanate from the Supreme, along with the gods, planets, and animate and inanimate beings. (Brhadnaranyaka Upanisad 2.1.20) 10. 7 tattva yena isvarera jjalita jjalana jivera svarupa yaiche sphulingera kana The Lord is like a great blazing fire, and the living entities are like small sparks of that fire. (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 7.116) Raga said: Reason 2. I am doubtful about there being an "original" fall from brahman, as sometimes proposed, since both karma and bondage are understood as beginningless in the scriptures. Otherwise falling from brahman is not the topic of concern here, though analyzing the ye 'nye 'ravindaksa verse would certainly prove to be another interesting discussion. I also don't believe in an original "fall". Rather, that a person can be involved in the cycle of karma for ages and ages and then attain nirvana, only to fall again from that position when "desire" re-awakens within them. Raga said: Reason 1. Some Gaudiya lineages state that the soul receives cit and ananda in the course of its spiritual evolution. Wouldn't that mean that cit and ananda are something external to the soul? External factors. The alternative view is that cit and ananda are quality of the Self itself, but that we are looking elsewhere and forgetting our inner identity, which is spiritual, like a bird that is tasting bitter fruit while its divine friend watches it eat. Raga said: ... both karma and bondage are understood as beginningless in the scriptures But this entire universe is not beginningless. And before this material universe existed WE EXISTED and we were not feeling any material experiences.
  2. In Bhagavatam also, there is a description how creation begins, and how everything was initiated by Narayana. From memory, I recall that the suddha-sattva energy manifests a glowing form of existence, and that this then evolved into Mahat-tattva. The gods and worlds were all manifest after that. But my point is, everything was in a state of pure consciousness and then individual egos emerge from that timeless, pure consciousness.
  3. Sorry but I can't type the quotes from Sanskrit regarding the verses of Sri Tattva Sutram. I am at my job and I cannot do this now. And tonight, well, I may not get time, but if I can then I will post it. The statement I gave earlier "Every object is endowed with two components, its intrinsic form (swarup) and its characteristic nature (pravriti). The form of the jivatma is knowledge (jnana) and its nature or inclination is love (anuraga)." -- this is indeed in the commentary I have here. Anyhow, what is the point being debated here anyhow. My Guru Maharaj has explained that the soul has developed misdirected affection (anuraga) for the things of this world, and that this is the beginning of our bondage within Maya. dva suparna sayuja sakhaya samanam vrksam parisasvajate tayoranyam pippalam svadvattaya-nasnan-nanyo'bhicakasiti The Supreme Lord is the friend of the living being, and is so kind upon him that he always accompanies the soul. In the same way that two birds occupy the same branch of a tree, the Lord sits in the heart of every living being ready to bestow auspiciousness upon the soul. In this way the Lord acts as the indwelling witnesss, even while the soul pursues the fruits of karma and experiences mundane happiness and distress. (Mundaka Upanisad 3.1.1-2, Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.6-7) samane vrkse puruso nimagnohyanisya socati muhyamana justham yada pasatayanayamisam asya mahimanameti vitasokam Although the two birds are in the same tree, the eating bird is fully engrossed with anxiety and moroseness as the enjoyer of the fruits of the tree. But if in some way or other he turns his face to his friend who is the Lord and knows His glories - at once the suffering bird becomes free from all anxieties. (Mundaka Upanisad 3.1.2, Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.7)
  4. Raga, What exactly is the issue. I am saying that souls can fall down from the state of Brahman. Didn't you also say as much? The Vaishnava Acharyas you quoted do say that this verse of gita "a-brahma-bhuvanat" refers to brahmaloka within this universe. Indeed I will admit that I was wrong and you are right to say that this verse in gita is said by authorities to refer to Brahmaloka within the shell of this universe. But since I have heard it said that a soul can fall from brahmaloka, from a neutral position, and enter this world, I myself, perhaps mistakenly, was thinking that this verse in gita was also saying souls can fall from brahmaloka. In Brhad Bhagavatamrtam we read where Gopakumara sees Sanat, Sanaka etc. Kumara merging in and out of the Brahma effulgence. According to the Veda, they are born from the mind of Brahma. That is, they emerge from the consciousness of Brahma. And souls can and do fall from that region of "brahma realization". According to the Veda, the souls are different from Prakriti and they originally emanated from within the Brahma effulgence: yathagnem ksudra visphulinga vyuccarantyevam evasmadatmanam sarve pranam sarve lokam sarve devam sarvani bhutani vyuccaranti As innumerable sparks emanate from a fire, so all the jiva souls with their particular characteristics emanate from the Supreme, along with the gods, planets, and animate and inanimate beings. (Brhadnaranyaka Upanisad 2.1.20) 10. 7 tattva yena isvarera jjalita jjalana jivera svarupa yaiche sphulingera kana The Lord is like a great blazing fire, and the living entities are like small sparks of that fire. (Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi 7.116) jivera "svarupa" haya krsnera "nityadasa" krsnera "tatastha sakti" bhedabheda-prakasa suryamsu-kirana, yena agnijjvalacaya svabhavika krsnera tinaprakara "sakti" haya It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna. He is the marginal energy of Krsna and a manifestation simultaneously one and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Krsna has three varieties of energy: cit-sakti (His internal engergy), tatastha-sakti (His marginal energy), and maya-sakti (His illusory energy). (Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya 20.108-109) gunadvalokavat The soul pervades the entire body by its qualities of intelligence, just as a fire pervades a room by its light. (Brahma-sutra 2.3.24)
  5. raga said: There's really no other point aside a request for you to present a list of clear references instead of saying it is stated there somewhere. Where in the Upanisads or in the Gita it is stated that the soul is always filled with sat, cit and ananda, or sandhini, samvit and hladini? Do you have any verses at hand which mention these words? and In the opinion of Visvanatha and Bhaktivinoda (as well as Bhaktivedanta Swami I noted), a-brahma-bhuvanat means the planet of Brahmaji, or Satyaloka, which is inside the shell of the universe, instead of the impersonal brahman realization. <hr> <hr> from Sri Tattva Sutra by Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakur 12. tecanadhyanantah parasaktivisesatvat The jiva souls are beginningless and endless as they are emanations of the Para-shakti. 13. cidananda svarupa api parato bhinna nityasatyatvabhavat The jiva is eternal consciousness and bliss. Although the intrinsic nature of the jiva is transcendental substance the jiva is quite distinct from the Supreme Reality, in as much as their existence is subject to transformation. 16. vicararagau cetana dharmau svarupa pravrtti bhavat The essential nature of the jiva is consciousness. The natural tendency of the conscious jiva is to feel love. -- in the commentary to this verse (Gaudiya Math edition of 1979), a verse of the Brahma Sutra is quoted in this connection, in which it is stated: Every object is endowed with two components, its intrinsic form (swarup) and its characteristic nature (pravriti). The form of the jivatma is knowledge (jnana) and its nature or inclination is love (anuraga). The author then quotes B.g. 2.24 to further elaborate on this point. acchedyo'yamadahyo'yam akledyo'sosya eva ca nityam sarvagatam sthanur acalo' yam sanatanam This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, immovable, and eternally the same. <hr> You did say I should not quote verses such, but these verses are quoted by the Acharyas in relation to this matter. Also there is this verse in Mundaka Upanisad 3.1.9: eso'nuratma cetasa veditavya yasmin pranam pa-adha samvisesa pranaiscittam sarvamotam prajanam yasmin visuddhe vibhavatyesa atma The soul is atomic in size and can be perceived by perfect intelligence. This atomic soul is floating in the five kinds of air [prana, apana, vyana,samana, and udana], and though situated within the heart it spreads its influence all over the body. When the soul is purified from the contamination of the five kinds of material air, its spiritual nature is exhibited. <hr> In regard to your statement "a-brahma-bhuvanat means the planet of Brahmaji" I would suggest that while some commentators have mentioned it is so, it cannot be said that this is a conclusive statement. The jiva can fall down from the state of Brahma-nirvana (sayuyja-mukti). You yourself have said: "I know this is in the Bhagavata, but which verse of the Gita do you mean here?" From my Guru Maharaj and Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur I have heard many references to this. I really can't be bothered arguing the point. Sri Tattva Sutra: 19. anartha-nivrttir muktih svapada-prapakatvat Cessation of connection with the material objects brings back the liberation of the jiva soul by revealing their normal condition.
  6. <blockquote> <hr> Would you like to present references where the soul is said to always possess the qualities of sat-cit-ananda? Direct positive statements, not statements deducted from references which do not directly discuss the topic (ie. not "the soul is unchangeable" etc.). <hr> </blockquote> I don't really understand your point here. The Upanishads and Gita explain clearly that the Self is consciousness and bliss and eternally existing. It is also clear that the Upanishads and Gita say we are involving ourselves in "external life" and forgetting the inner self, and that all our misery comes from this, but that we are still spirit, even when are forgetful of our True Inner Nature. These are very basic point of Vedanta philosophy which you certainly must have seen many times. I don't really understand how to respond to what you wrote. It is clear in the Gita that the soul situated in Brahma realization can experience death: abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino 'rjuna mam upetya tu kaunteya punar janma na vidyate B.g. 8.16 Then there is the statement from the Chandi (Markandeya Purana): pasa baddha bhavet jiva, pasa mukta sada-shiva That is, when the soul is covered over with a body he is an animal, a jiva; but when he is liberated he is "always Shiva" (sada-shiva). Let me elaborate on this. When Shiva is detached from a connection with Maya then he is always a liberated being absorbed in universal consciousness; but when he becomes active within the yoni of Mayadevi then out of the seed of universal consciousness the animal Ganapati emerges as an ego aware being. There are several verses in Sri Brahma Samhita that touch upon these issues. - Murali
  7. Wonderful celebrations of Sri Radhastami at the temple here in Sydney... but anyhow... Yes the souls in this world are nitya-baddha. And perhaps we can also say that the souls who are absorbed in the liberated state of brahma-nirvana are in a deplorable state because they are constantly meditating on the formless Brahma. Those souls in brahmaloka have no love for Bhagavan. So I guess it may be correct to say that all these souls who have no bhakti are nitya-baddha. But then again, I do have some doubts about whether we should speak of the brahma-liberated souls as being "baddha". The liberated souls are self-satisfied (atmarama) and they reside within the transcendental realm of brahma-nirvana or brahmaloka. According to the Gita and Upanishads, what to speak of the commentaries of the Goswamis, the self is sat chit ananda. The soul may become bound up with karma, but in its essence the soul is an entity of transcendenal substance. Those souls in brahmaloka who are absorbed in realization of the wondeful essence of their Self are not suffering in any way. They are satisfied and filled with feelings of joy. In Srila Sridhar Maharaj's commentary of Bhagavat gita: <blockquote> 6.26 The naturally fickle and unsteady mind should be carefully withdrawn from whatever objects it pursues, and brought back under the control of the self. 6.27 Devoid of passionate agitation, peaceful-hearted, free from the blemishes of attachment, fear, and anger, and endowed with the conception of the Absolute, such a yogi is blessed with the joy of realizing the divine nature of the soul. </blockquote> Vaishnavism has no comparable concept to the Christian's concept of "original sin". According to the gita the individual atma is divine and the Self is "spotless and pure" (to use Srila Sridhar Maharaj's words) <blockquote> 18.54 The spotlessly purehearted and self-satisfied soul who has attained to his conscious divine nature neither grieves nor craves for anything. Seeing all beings equally (in the conception of My supreme energy), he gradually achieves supreme devotion (prema-bhakti) unto Me. </blockquote> Yet the Gita also says the soul fixed in Brahma realization can fall down from the light and become embroiled in karma. Even Mahadev Shiva can become implicated in the actions/reactions of this world sometimes. When Ma Kali is killing the millions of forms of the asura Raktabija, Shiva becomes horrified at the carnage and lays down at the feet of Ma Kali. He becomes disturbed and begs Kali to stop her slaughter. Because of compassion, even Mahadev can exhibit some attachment to the living beings in the world, and this attachment may lead to further attachment and eventually to bondage in mandane existence. The example of Shiva's attachment for the demon Banasura, which led to an event where Shiva and his sons and army went to fighing against Krishna, is another example of situations where the liberated soul can become involved in "bad karma". Srila Sridhar Maharaj explained this to me one morning, when he gave me a long instruction about Shiva, the Markandeya Purana, Ma Durga and Kali. Srila Guru Maharaj also said: <blockquote> This world is sometimes pushing forth and sometimes withdrawing. In the same way that a heart expands and contracts again and again, the whole universe expands and contracts. Regrouping within the one, and again manifest as the many - the one and the many - the evolution and dissolution of the material universe takes place. As a heart expands and contracts, the whole universe is manifest and withdrawn. One ancient literature of India, the Manu Samhita, begins by describing the creation. In that book, it is written how, before the creative movement began, the tatastha potency of the Lord was in eqilibrium. Tatastha means equilibrium. Everything was in darkness, fully enveloped by ignorance. There was no possiblility of estimation; no symptoms of reality existed by which any conjecture or inference about the nature of reality would have been possible. And that state of being was unknowable: science has no capacity for investigating the nature of that stage of existence. We can only say from here that it was completely immersed in deep sleep. The analogy of deep sleep may give us some conception of that period: Material existence was at that time as if in sound sleep. In a primitive state when the individual egos are massed together as a common whole, that conglomerate false ego, the primitive sense of awarenes that "I am", develops from a state of equilibrium. It evolves, it differentiates into innumerable individual units of localised awareness. Just as an atom can be broken down into subatomic particles, electrons, protons, neutrons and so on, the conglomerate ego gradually breaks into its component individual egos: jiva souls. Their position is tatastha; marginal and undetectable. From that subtle, undetectable plane of marginal energy, consciousness first develops into the detectable plane as a whole, and then innnumerable individual spiritual units are manifest from that lump of ego, or mahat-tattva. Gradually, the other elements of creation develop within this negative plane of exploitation. </blockquote> -- Murali
  8. I am not at all intested in fighting with this ghost who wants to make a fight with me Hare Krishna! Srila Sridhar Maharaj did teach us about pure devotion to Sri Sri Radha Govinda, as anyone can see if you read any of his books. In the books you will many instructions and stories about the loving devotion that Sri Radha has for Sri Krishna.
  9. Raga said: <hr>The theory of neutral position calls for scriptural support. There is no support for it in the Gosvami's writings or in the Vedanta Bhasya of Baladeva as far as I am aware of. They consistently present the bondage of the jiva as beginningless. <hr>This issue you are debating is discussed in depth in Sri Brahma Samhita. In his commentary to Brahma Samhita, Sri Jiva Goswami says: <blockquote>In Sri Narada-pancaratra it is said:</P> "The individual soul is spiritual and conscious. It lives on the border between the spiritual and material worlds. It can leave that border, enter the material world, and become contaminated by the modes of nature. That is the situation of the soul."</P></blockquote> <hr>Below I have quoted a section below from Sri Jiva Goswami's commentary. If you read Sri Brahma Samhita in depth you will see Sri Jiva Goswami does quote scriptures to support his view that the soul has arisen from a marginal position. Sri Jiva says that again and again universes are created and the souls awaken from the hazy tatastha position which is like deep sleep. The souls have the option to make a choice to proceed to the realm of love and surrender, or to migrate to the material realm where living beings exploit each other. Or then again, they can choose to remain in their marginal state... What is the marginal state like? Well, do you remember those pictures you see of Tibetan bodhisattvas hovering in the sky and looking down upon the world. That's the marginal position. They are stuck in the darkness of the Viraja or "Causal Ocean" that is described in detail in Sanatan Goswami's book Brhad Bhagavatamrtam. Here are a few statements of Sri Jiva Goswami from Brahma Samhita: <hr> <blockquote> 18 When Visnu lying in the ocean of milk wills to create this universe, a golden lotus springs from His navel-pit. The golden lotus with its stem is the abode of Brahma representing Brahmaloka or Satyaloka.**</P> 19 Before their conglomeration the primary elements in their nascent state remained originally separate entities. Non-application of the conglomerating process is the cause of their separate existence. Divine Maha-Visnu, primal Godhead, through association with His own spiritual (cit) potency, moved Maya and by the application of the conglomerating principle created those different entities in their state of co-operation. And after that He Himself consorted with Yoganidra by way of His eternal dalliance with His spiritual (cit) potency.**</P> Commentary by Srila Jiva Gosvami</P> With the purpose of awakening the countless spirit souls, Lord Karanarnavasayi Visnu engages in the acts of creation described in the Third Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Those acts are also described in these two verses. Here the words "mayaya" means "with His own potency", and the words "parasparam tattvani yojayan" mean "He engaged them without Himself becoming active". The word "yoganidram" is used because the Lord accepted her.</P> 20 By conglomerating all those separate entities He manifested the innumerable mundane universes and Himself entered into the inmost recess of every extended conglomerate (virad-vigraha). At that time those jivas who had lain dormant during the cataclysm were awakened.**</P> Commentary by Srila Jiva Gosvami</P> This is the third verse in this passage. The word "yojayitva" means "conglomerating them". Then He was situated in sleep. That is the meaning. The word "guham" refers to His universal form. The word "pratibudhyate" means "He awakened them from the sleep that began with the destruction of the previous universe."</P> 21 The same jiva is eternal and is for eternity and without a beginning joined to the Supreme Lord by the tie of an eternal kinship. He is transcendental spiritual potency.**</P> Commentary by Srila Jiva Gosvami</P> In this verse the author describes the relationship between the individual spirit soul and the Supreme Lord. The word "nitya" here means "for all time, without either beginning or end". This means that as the sun and the sunlight have an eternal relationship, so the Supreme Lord and the individual spirit soul also have an eternal relationship. In Sri Narada-pancaratra it is said:</P> "The individual soul is spiritual and conscious. It lives on the border between the spiritual and material worlds. It can leave that border, enter the material world, and become contaminated by the modes of nature. That is the situation of the soul."</P> In the Bhagavad-gita (15.7) Lord Krsna declares;</P> "The living entities in this conditioner world are My parts and parcels and they are eternal."*</P> The individual spirit soul is an impartial judge, a witness of both the original spiritual world and the reflection that is the material world. In that sense the individual soul is called "prakrti". This use of the word "prakrti" is seen in these words spoken by Lord Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (7.5):</P> "There is a superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities."</P> The eternal relationship between the Supreme Lord and the individual spirit souls is also seen in these words of Mundaka Upanisad (3.1.1) and Svetasvatara Upanisad (4.6):</P> "The Supreme Personality of Godhead and the individual spirit soul are like two friendly birds sitting on the same tree."</P></blockquote>
  10. Dear Guest, I do feel you are right to say that it is not good to be arrogant or to be dismissive of the devotees of Swaminarayan. I have dealings with Gujerati people in my local area who are devotees of Swaminarayan. They are very good devotees and I have a lot of respect for their ideals. Yet on this thread persons have insisted that Swaminarayan is superior to Krishna, and these aggressive things they say are supposed to have originated from Swaminarayan himself and his closest followers. What Ishtadeva should a person adore? That is for the individual to decide.
  11. Srila Sridhar Maharaj and Srila Govinda Maharaj will often speak about the pastimes of Sri Sri Gandharvika Giridhari... But they tell us not to try and falsely imagine that we have attained some imaginary position within the transcendental lila of Sri Sri Radha Govinda.
  12. In the Gita and other Upanishads we read that the jiva or individual soul is Brahman. In other places in the Upanishads we read that Brahman is the highest Absolute Being, the Supreme God. Does this mean that the Upanishads are telling us that every individual soul is equal with God in every way? Is every dog in the street one and the same with God? The Vaishnava Acharyas say NO. The Vaishnava Acharyas also say that those verses in the shastra where Shiva is said to be one with Sri Vishnu are speaking of Shiva being one with the Lord in a limited sense. Sri Vishnu is immersed in the suddha-sattva atmosphere of the transcendental world called Vaikuntha or Goloka; Shiva is the consort of the Goddess Maya (Parvati, Durga, Bhavani, Uma, Ma Kali), who is the Mother and Protector of this world. Shiva is described in many places in the shastra as a guna-avatara associated with tamo-guna. Shiva is a guna-avatara of Narayana. If the faithful devotees of Swaminarayan think Shiva, Vishnu and Swaminarayan are one and the same then they are entitled to their beliefs. But this Swaminarayan faith is teaching a different message from what Sri Ramanujacharya and Sri Chaitanyadev taught...
  13. <div align="center"> Sri Sri Guru Gauranga Gandharvva Rasabihari, at the holy temple of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Seva Kunj, Vrindavana. </div> Srila B S Govinda Maharaj: Today is a very auspicious day for us because today is Radhastami day, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna and His Divine Potency, Radharani's appearance in the form for play with the Lord, that day is today. We are seeing Krishna was one with His Divine Potency, that was Krishna. Shrila Svarup Damodar Goswami said, "For the divine play of the Sweet Absolute, the Sweet Absolute divides Himself as power and powerful and that is Radha and Krishna." When it was manifested we cannot say because it is eternal and eternity is behind this. In the Chaitanya Charitamrita it is written, "It cannot be counted by our time and space theory." The Scripture said it is achintya. Achintya means inconceivable, but the Power and Powerful, They are playing in the Divine Abode. Everything is manifested by the will of Krishna. The chief administrator Sankarshan, by His will everything is happening there, and Yogamaya is arranging everything. This we can understand through the Scriptures. Krishna is the creator of all creations. That creation may be mundane or may be transcendental - everything - but by that divine form as Sankarshan He is doing this; Sankarshan with His power is doing that, this is a fact. Radharani is the Divine Potency of Lord Krishna and mainly She is giving all the happiness, love and all the affection to everyone for the service of Lord Krishna, and She Herself with all the auspicious property is following the divine desire of Krishna without telling anything (asking for anything). She is serving Krishna with all of Her associates. The manifestation of Radharani was shown in this way: You know that story in Garga-samhita and other Scriptures it is given, like a little girl She floated on the Yamuna and from there Vrishabhanu Raja took Her Divine Self as his daughter and gave Her to Kirtida Devi his wife. And Kirtida Devi was very astonished and was very happy because she had no child. She called everyone, and everyone came to Vrishabhanu Raja's house. At that time it (their house) was in Ravel and everyone celebrated Radhastami in the midday. We are remembering that, but actually it is the eternal and Divine Pastimes of Radha-Krishna; a different way manifested in front of us; but we are so fortunate that we are related with that divine wave. The transcendental world is always playful and so much play. Different types of play are going on there, and not only in one abode, different types of abodes of Krishna has, we know that. Everywhere some inspiration is manifesting today as Radhastami day. And now it is all over the world, the devotees are also celebrating. Before it was limited to Bengal and Uttar Pradesh and some other places in India but now (devotees) all over the world know the Divine Potency Hladini Shakti as Radharani and Her manifestation day. Then everyone is celebrating. This day so many devotees attended here in Shri Vrindavan Dham. I have got this year an opportunity to stay in Vrindavan Dham. This is a very good fortune for me because Vrindavan is the transcendental abode and there Lord Krishna and Radharani are doing Rasa Lila everyday in the night; it is stated so in the Scriptures, and we are remembering that. This Vrindavan place , especially next to Rupa Goswami Prabhu's Samadhi Mandir, next to Jiva Goswami, next to Krishna dasa Kaviraj Goswami, we have got a merciful glance from them and a piece of land (the new temple at Seva Kunj). It is actually two pieces of land, one from Shrila Kaviraj Goswami and the second Shrila Rupa Goswami. Anyhow we are very insignificant unqualified souls, we do not know what is what perfectly, but the Scripture has given us some divine knowledge through Guru and Vishnava. We are trying to follow that. Today is a very auspicious day because the whole service world is under control of Shrimati Radharani as well as Hladini. Yesterday was Lalita Devi's appearance day. We celebrated that also here. Celebration means remembrance of Them, Their Divine Play and honor to Them; that type of celebration. We are also here distributing so much Prasadam to the devotees in remembrance of Shrimati Radharani. I am very happy to have connection with Your Grace, and that celebration day all over the world people will enjoy with Maha-Prasadam. Jai Om Vishnupad Shrila Bhakti Rakshak Shridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, ki jai. His divine will has given that opportunity to us and we bow down to His Divine Grace. September 18, 1999 Vrindavan Dham, India
  14. Misquote of Bhagavatam and Narada Pancharatra: ............................... Varsamp, It is not just ISKCON members who will not accept the idea that Narayana and Shiva are one in every respect. Srivaishnavas and other Vaishnavas will never agree with this statement "Shiva is Hari and Hari is none other than Shiva". I myself am not a member of ISKCON, I am a disciple of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaj. But besides that I can say for certain that all our Vaishnava Acharyas have given a diffent explanation of these sorts of verses equating Vishnu with Shiva from the statements you are presenting. The Vaishnava Acharyas quote many verses in Scripture which say that there is a qualitative difference between Vishu and Shiva - one is a deity connected to tamo-guna, the other is Suddha-sattva. Your Shatanand Swami clearly doesn't agree with the teachings of the Vaishnava Acharyas who say that Vishnu is the supreme Lord and Shiva is a servant of God. Shiva manages the material energy, in association with Maya. Vishnu is sat-chit-ananda Purushottama. Also, a point was explained before as well, that Krishna has many amazing qualities that we do not see displayed even by his other self Lord Narayana, such as his sweet child nature and beauty, and his flute playing. It is because of his beauty that he is the most attractive, and even Laksmi devi desires to be the consort of Sri Krishna. Just go to any Sri Vaishnava temple and ask the devotees about Sri Andal, who is an incarnation of Laksmi Devi herself, and who appeared on Earth and married Lord Sri Venkateshawara. Sri Andal adored the Lord in his Form of Sri Krishna. Anyhow, you are entitled to your beliefs, but the Vaishnava's follow the teachings of the Vaishnava Acharyas, and after reading this statement "Shiva is Hari and Hari is none other than Shiva" I know that the followers of Swaminarayan are preaching exacly the same philosophical conclusion as Satya Sai Baba. -- Murali [This message has been edited by muralidhar (edited 07-26-2002).]
  15. Pravin said : I’m sure that we’re going to forever argue our cases as devotees of the ISKON movement will be biased towards Shree Krishna’s supremacy whilst myself and devotees of Lord Swaminarayan will equally be biased towards Lord Swaminarayan as the Supreme Lord. But this isn’t anything new as Shaivas and Vaishnavas have been at it for years and will probably continue for time immemorial!!! Lord Swaminarayan put an end to this argument by saying that Narayan and Shiva are one as proclaimed by the Vedas. The devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are Vaishnavas, and as you imply, the devotees of Swaminarayan are considering themselves different from Shaivas and Vaishnavas. Perhaps the devotees of Swaminarayan believe his faith is a less sectarian faith than Shaivas and Vaishnavas since the Vaishnavas do not accept the suggestion "Narayan and Shiva are one as proclaimed by the Vedas". According to Bhakrirasamrtasindhu, Vishnu/Krishna has greater opulence and qualities than Shiva. And Shiva has expressed his adoration for Vishnu in many scriptures. Also, he sometimes becomes overcome with his mood of tamo-guna and fights against Vishnu, as we read in Bhagavatam -- and Vishnu is victorious. Indeed, Mahadev Shiva holds water of Ganga Devi on his head, and that Ganga water is the feet-washing-water flowing from the feet of Vamana avatar of Vishnu. So, we followers of Sri Chaitanya do not accept that Vishnu is one and the same as Shiva. Indeed, the followers of Sri Ramanujacharya will also challenge this suggestion. They are heavily opposed to this idea. If the followers of Swaminarayan say "Narayan and Shiva are one as proclaimed by the Vedas" then no Vaishnavas anywhere will accept their teachings. If you believe in this idea, you are denying one of the basic tenets of Vaishnavism. One of the offences against the Holy Name of the Lord is to consider that Shiva and other gods are one and the same with Lord Purushottama - Narayana. In saying Vishnu and Shiva are the same, you are telling us that your teachings are the opposite of the message we have heard from our Vaishnava Acharyas: Sri Ramanujacacharya, Sri Vishnuswami, Sri Madvacharya, Sri Vallabhacharya, Sri Chaitanyadeva. And Bhagavatam says: krsna-varnam tvisa 'krsnam sangopangastra-parsadam yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah "In the age of Kali, persons of great piety and intelligence will worship the Lord as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He will appear in a golden form chanting Krsna's name, accompanied by His associates and entourage." Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.32) [This message has been edited by muralidhar (edited 07-25-2002).]
  16. Dear Pravin, Please don't get me wrong. If you believe in Swaminarayan then I am happy for you. I meet so many people every day who believe in NOTHING, and I have no doubt that Swaminarayan's teachings are benefitting many people. But... I personally don't believe Swaminarayan is greater than Krishna, and if he and his adherants say this then I take issue with that. I don't disbelieve in the Skand Purana, although my Guru Maharaj (Srila Sridhar Maharaj) has said that some Puranas have been interpolated and are not fully valid. Also, Sri Madvacarya made the well known statement that even the Mahabharata itself is interpolated with false things. Actually it is a fact that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's immediate successors did not write a commentary to Vedanta Sutra since they considered Srimad Bhagavata Purana to be Vyasa's own commentary of Vedanta. The Govinda Bhasya commentary of Srila Viswanatha Cakravarti was written some time later, because of some debates in Jaipur with scholars of Sri Sampradaya who said the Gaudiya Sampradaya was not an authentic sampradaya since it did not have a commentary to Vedanta Sutra. Because of the need to prove the authenticity of Gaudiya philosophy, the Deity Sri Govinda Himself composed a verse and spoke that to Srila Viswanatha Cakravarti and then that message of Sri Govinda was elaborated in that full length commentary of Vedanta - Sri Govinda Bhasya. The Gaudiya Vaishnavas all consider Srimad Bhagavata Purana to be the greatest of the Puranas, and Gaudiya philosophy is based on the understanding of Srimad Bhagavata Purana that we got from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. -- Murali
  17. You are wrong, on this point and many other. The Hare Krishna's, or devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu do consider all Vishnu forms to be One being, called by the name Purushottama or Bhagavan etc... Indeed in Chaitanya Charitamrta and other writings of our Acharyas the name Purushottama is used in reference to the Deity known as Sri Jagannatha Deva, who lives in Purushottama Kshetra at Puri. Rama, Vishnu, Krishna, they are all One God. This one God performs different lilas, but He is cerainly one God, and the manifestations of Bhagavan are all Purusha uttama - that is "Transcendental Personality of Godhead". -- Murali
  18. Sai Baba also claims to be the Supreme Being Sri Krishna. And just because some people say "Sai Baba can do miracles just like Krishna" it doesn't change the fact that Sai Baba is not preaching Vaishnavism. The same can be said of Swaminarayan You say that Swaminarayan is mentioned as an avatar in Skand Purana. If you believe in this, good luck to you. I hope you have a happy life! But I believe in Sri Krishna. Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaj has said: In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.32), where the Kali-yuga avatara is mentioned, we find evidence of the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. There it is said: krsna-varnam tvisa 'krsnam sangopangastra-parsadam yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah "In the age of Kali, persons of great piety and intelligence will worship the Lord as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He will appear in a golden form chanting Krsna's name, accompanied by His associates and entourage." After that, there are two other verses about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: dhyeyam sada paribhava-ghnam abhista-doham tirthaspadam siva-virinci-nutam saranyam bhrtydrti-ham pranata-pala bhavabdhi-potam vande maha-purusa te caranaravindam Srimad Bhagavatam (11.5.33) explains here, "That same personality who came as Ramacandra and Krsna has again appeared. He has come to direct us to the real fulfillment of life. He is drawing the sweetest nectar from above for the sake of everyone. Meditate only on Him and all your troubles will be finished. He purifies all holy places of pilgrimage and great saintly persons by His touch and by His sankirtana. He draws the highest things down from the highest plane. And even Brahma and Siva, puzzled by His noble gift, will begin to praise Him. They will eagerly aspire to take shelter under His lotus feet in surrender. The pains of all who come to serve Him will be removed, and their inner necessities will be fulfilled. And He will take care of those who take shelter of Him; they will be given protection as well as everything they may need. In this world where mortality rules, where we are continually experiencing the undesirable changes of repeated birth and death, in this area where no one wants to live, a great ship will come for us and take us within, and carry us away from this unpleasant position. Let us fall at the feet of that great personality who comes to give us the highest nectar." tyaktva sudustyaja-surepsita-rajya-laksmim dharmistha arya-vacasa yad agad aranyam maya-mrgam dayitayepsitam anvadhavad vande maha-purusa te caranaravindam "O Supreme Lord, You gave up the goddess of fortune and her great opulence, which is most difficult to abandon and is sought after even by the gods. In order to perfectly establish the principles of religion, You left for the forest to honor a brahmana's curse. To deliver the sinful souls who chase illusory pleasures, You search after them and award them Your devotional service. At the same time, You are engaged in a search for Yourself, in a search for Sri Krsna, Reality the Beautiful." This verse generally applies to Lord Ramacandra, who left His kingdom, and after going with Sitadevi to the forest to discharge the duties designed by His father, chased after the maya-mrgam - the golden deer. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, however, shows how this verse also applies to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He says that the word maya-mrgam means that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ran after the souls that are enveloped by maya or misconception. The word maya-mrgam, when applied to Ramacandra, means that He ran after Marici, who had taken the form of a golden deer. When applied in the case of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the words maya-mrgam anvadhavat mean "He chased after those souls who are in illusion in order to deliver them. He ran in pursuit of the fallen souls as a savior, to deliver them from maya or illusion." Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has also given another interpretation: he says that dayitaya ipsitam means "it is desired by the beloved," that is, the search for Krsna. In this way, He identifies two qualities in the Caitanya avatara: He relieves the fallen souls, and He searches out Krsna in the mood of His beloved (dayitayepsitam anvadhavat). Inspired by the mood of dayita, His beloved, Srimati Radharani, He ran after the souls in bondage to deliver them. Here we find the scriptural reference, the seed of this conception. He is in quest of the lost souls, absorbed in a loving search for His lost servants. [This message has been edited by muralidhar (edited 07-23-2002).]
  19. shvu, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is said to be a hidden incarnation of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Sri Vishnu is sometimes called Triyuga, meaning that he only appears in three yugas and not in Kali yuga. But this is not to say that Bhagavan cannot appear on Earth if he so desires. Indeed, is not Lord Sri Venkateshwara an incarnation and avatar of Narayana. And what of all the other Deities residing in temples and tirthas in so many places? Would you say that the Deities are only stones? Or do you think they are alive. Is Jagannatha Deva alive, or a block of dead wood? Sri Ramanujacharya regarded the Deities to be the Living God, and so do the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the followers of Sri Chaitanya. God can come and speak to us in this world, in the form of Sri Murti or as avatara, if He so desires. But again, as I said earlier, Sri Chaitanya is a hidden incarnation, and indeed he was always absorbed in the mood of a servant of Krishna, and he is showing the mood of a perfect devotee of Sri Krishna as an example for us. -- Murali [This message has been edited by muralidhar (edited 07-24-2002).]
  20. Dear varsanp, I can appreciate that you feel great love for Swaminarayana and the sadhus who you know in the Swaminarayana sampradaya. However there are some things that can be said in reply to what you said, about how every devotee will feel his Istadev is the Highest Deity. In his book Bhaktirasamrtasindhu, Sri Rupa Goswami (16th century) explains that Krishna is the supreme attractor, and that his four super-excellent qualities that no other avatar has manifest make him the most wonderful manifestation of the Deity. The four super qualities of Sri Krishna are these: 1) Sri Krishna performs wonderful pastimes filled with joy, such as his pastimes with his mother Yashoda, who saw the entire universe in his mouth but was unattracted to that majestic vision and had a strong desire to get free of that vision and see her loverly child again! 2) Krishna is a wonderful flute player. Even the cows and birds are stunned to hear the song of his flute. And in Brahma samhita it says that the flute song is the source sound of the mystic syllable om; that is, from a distance the sound seems to be om, but when a devotee dives into the sound very deeply they can see that the music of Krishna's love is the source of the great vibration of harmony, which is the source of the wisdom of Omkara. 3) Krishna is surrounded by amazing associates - his devotees such as the residents of Vrindaban. 4) Krishna is exquisitely beautiful. Not only can he manifest a form of unlimited size, as seen by Arjuna and described in the gita, but also Krishna has a charming form that is attractive to everyone. So... I don't know a great deal about Swaminarayana. But even if he is possessing all the opulence of Narayana himelf, there is still something amazingly appealing about the personality of God who is called Govinda, the friend of the cows and the cowherds. After all, when that witch Putana came to poison and kill Krishna by putting her poisonous breast nipples in his mouth, baby Krishna killed her evil nature and gave her a new life in the next world. He made that lady into one of his nursemaids in her next life. Where will we ever find anyone as merciful as Sri Krishna?
  21. Dear devotees, thank you for the information about the Swaminarayan sect, especially the link to the page http://www.swaminarayan.ws/issues.htm where the members of this mission discuss their understanding of Sri Krishna and Swaminarayan. I have many dealings with Swaminarayan devotees here in Sydney, as many Gujerati devotees come to our programs at Sri Mandir and worship Sri Sri Radha Krishna with us. In fact they have a Swaminarayan temple newly built about 3 km from the temple we are preaching from. I didn't know the exact nature of their understanding regarding Bhagavan Sri Krishna until now; my main feeling was that we simply join together with these devotees of Swaminarayan when they come to our programs. Actually many persons from the Vallabhacharya sampradaya also come along, and in general these Gujerati people are very pious Vaishnavas. But since Swaminarayan himself has expressed these things that his followers are preaching about Lord Krishna which we read about on that page http://www.swaminarayan.ws/issues.htm then we can know for certain that Swaminarayan was not preaching genuine Vaishnavism; rather he is indeed someone with a misconception of Krishna, like Sai Baba who also imagines that he is Krishna.... Just as JNDas has said. Some Sri Vaishnavas from Tirupati told me that Swaminarayan was somehow affiliated with the Sri Sampradaya, and that is what I used to think. But now I think my innocent Sri Vaishnavas friends are wrong. Clearly, the Swaminarayan sect is not a proper Vaishnava sect, like the Sri Sampradaya. Muralidhar das
  22. Yes Prabhu, I can appreciate what you say. But if you take a look at the website of that Sripad B. S. Goswami Maharaj you will see what he is doing now, and I think that it is better that he is travelling and preaching instead of simply washing the pots in some temple or sweeping the floor. Take a look at http://www.sudhirgoswami.com/ Murali
  23. Sri Sri Guru Gaurangau Jayatah! Hare Krishna! Some info about the Soquel - Santa Cruz community of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math... As JNDas Prabhu said, it is the temple of Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj. The community is not small - perhaps 200 devotees attend regularly. There are a large number of devotees who received Harinama and Gayatri diksa from Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and who have been involved in Krishna Consciousness for perhaps 30 years (in this lifetime -- God only knows what we were all doing before that!) There are many, many devotees there in Soquerl who have been members of the community of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math for 20 years. These devotees spent some years in the holy association of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Mahraj prior to his disappearance. The newer devotees who came after Srila Sridhar Mahraj passed away are mostly disciples of Srila Govinda Maharaj. The leading devotees in our Soquel centre are mostly initiated disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Two devotees who are based in Soquel are Sripad B. S. Goswami Maharaj, and Sripad Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj (who used to be known by the name of Panca Dravida Swami). Panca Dravida Swami was selected by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to be ISKCON GBC in South America, in the old times when Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was still present. In the early 1980's when the GBC was heavily attacking Srila Sridhar Maharaj and making resolutions ordering devotees not to associate with Srila Sridhar Maharaj, Panca Dravida Swami came to take shelter of Srila Sridhar Maharaj. Panca Dravida Swami told Srila Sridhar Maharaj, "I have fallen down from sannyas, due to my keeping bad association with the GBC, so will you please give me sannyas again." At that time, he was given Srila Sridhar Maharaj's connection and the name "Bhakti Pavan Janardan Maharaj". Another devotee you will often see in Soquel is Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Maharaj, who was the editor of most of the books of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, such as "Search For Sri Krishna" and "Loving Search For the Lost Servants". Bhakti Sudhir Goswami is now working full time to preach on behalf of Srila Govinda Maharaj in Russia and other places. He left our Mission for several years, and he even gave up his sannyas for some years. But when he came back to visit Srila Govinda Maharaj, he became very inspired to do some service for Srila Govinda Maharaj again, and so Srila Govinda Maharaj gave him sannyas again and sent him out to travel and preach all around the world. Bhakti Sudhir Goswami is going to Russia again in a few days, together with several of the other sannyasis of our Math from America and other places. They are making preparations for the coming visit of Srila Govinda Maharaj to Russia. Anyhow, in regard to a questions made earlier about the behavior of devotees in our mission in regard to "dating and divorce, etc.." .. well... what can I say... These things are not sanctioned, but Srila Govinda Maharaj will not ban or exclude devotees from entering our temples if they do these things. And if the devotees are addicted to drugs, they are not banned either. Drug addicts need to be treated with kindness and given encouragement and service; banning is not going to help them. In fact, Srila Sridhar Maharaj did disconnect and excommunicate one disciple in London in the 1980's because he had an affair with the wife of another disciple. That was the standard in our temple in the 1980's. But Srila Govinda Maharaj is much more tolerant. I know that the misbehavior of some disciples causes him heartache, but he is a compassionate person and he doesn't like to hurt other people's feelings, so he usually doesn't chastise devotees. Muralidhar das
  24. Dandabat Prabhu, Information about the Californian temples of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math is available here on this page: http://scsmath.org/memories/0206/020612santacruz.html The main temples of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math around the world are all listed on this page: http://www.mandala.com.au/temples.htm Also, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj, the Acharya of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, is just about to set out on a new World Tour. This will be his 19th World Tour. Plans for the new tour are for visits to London, St Petersburg and Moscow. But a continuation of the tour to California and Hawaii is not impossible. Last year Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj was hospitalised after having two strokes, but he is now feeling a little stronger and he is eager to travel and meet the devotees in foreign lands. See this page for more information: http://www.scsmath.com/new.html your servant, Muralidhar das [This message has been edited by muralidhar (edited 06-20-2002).]
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