Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by sanatan

  1. Prabhus, This has been a good thread, I've had some realizations. We've all received initiation into the Names and the lineage of Caitanya Mahaprabhu in our own way, "official" or not; as initiates, we are now bearers and messengers of the Names and a great spiritual tradition, individually and collectively. I've never considered myself a "real" devotee, perhaps I should consider seriously the idea that I am a real devotee and have a place in the Gaudiya-sampradaya, with the attendant responsibilities.
  2. Yep...that hits it. So does that. Theist, good advice. I have everything I need here at home, and my devotee friends and online association are great. I'm just not attracted to the traditional ISKCON guru-disciple thing anymore. I know there are people here who don't think much of him, but Tamal Krishna Maharaja served in that capacity in my life for many years, and now he's passed on, and I miss him. Suiting up, grabbing a guru, and getting formally initiated seems empty now.
  3. Alex's compilation is a very good and informative summary...many thanks for posting it, Alex. If no formal diksha is required, per Alex's summation I've surely been "initiated" already, but my life is no testament to that. What I'm hearing here and what I've always heard preached and am still hearing preached from ISKCON-affiliated sources and gurus are different stories. The ISKCON version, the way I clearly understand it it, is that formal diksha from a living guru is absolutely essential. But there are highly respectable, brahminical devotees here who present convincing evidence to the contrary. I'm just more confused now.
  4. Definitely. My Christian upbringing gave me an innate sense of the spiritual and transcendental. The doctrinal aspects, sectarianism, and evangelical obnoxiousness are what I couldn't and still can't handle. But then, we see those of atheistic or non-religious upbringings becoming Christians and Vaisnavas. I guess it all comes down to causeless mercy.
  5. Regarding Christians in general, a bitter reality, confirmed for myself by my own upbringing on the more-liberal end of conservative Christianity, and adult experience with evangelical Christians. Other faiths are regarded as mere ciphers, totally meaningless and basis-less, simply heathen conversion targets. Islamics, I've had little or no personal association with, but the picture I can see from info available confirms what you are saying. These days, I just keep my mouth shut around Christians...trying to discuss with them is a useless expenditure of hot gases. Souls like HerServant are very rare. Great link and info on the Christian monastery in India, HS...I can see ending it up in a place like that.
  6. Yes, SP was speaking very broadly to a western audience and wanting to appeal to Christians. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> I don't think he intended to make an obviously-contradictory statement by claiming both the Bible and the scriptures in the Vedic tradition are absolute literal truth. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> He said the injunctions within both are truth. Webster’s defines “injunction” as an Order or Admonition.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> As to which injunctions in the Bible, this leaves plenty of open territory for debate. Regarding "Forbidden Books" of the Bible, there are so many sources out there claiming to know the truth on them, I don't know where to start to look.
  7. Thanks, prabhu...very kind words. Most of my ongoing friendships are with devotees, largely "inactive status" types, but devotees nonetheless...they haven't forgotten Krsna. The conversation always gets around to some aspect of spiritual life pretty quickly. I'm feeling old, tired, and complacent in material life. Can't focus on doing sadhana, and this is the period of life when I should be doing so, and also have the time. Online association is nice...lots of good souls and huge amounts of wisdom and bhakti here! Or the theme from the original "Rocky".
  8. Yeh, it's direct reciprocation of interest, and must be experienced repeatedly for a strong faith to develop. But...often the spirit is willing and the flesh is weak; even worse, the spirit can be unwilling and the flesh weak...
  9. I think the name was changed to TKG Academy after T.K. Goswami's passing...not sure.
  10. Yes, and is very successful.
  11. Great thread; outstanding commentary by mahak. I've long gotten over any lingering regrets that I didn't shave up and move in, ca. 1971, as well as any that I didn't jump in with both feet in the mid-1980's. Got singed a little tiny bit but never burned the second time around. The Kingdom of God is truly within us.
  12. Yeh, call me gramps. Figured you and I were about the same age. Not much time left when I think about it. I'd say we're close to the same page here also; when I say I've found a way to intellectually accomodate spirituality and science, it means I basically throw up my hands as well, while standing firm in the conviction that science doesn't of its own nature lead to Godlessness and Damnation. In my own heart, totally subjectively, I can't even imagine how any person cannot believe in the existence of a Supreme Controller, Supreme Intelligence, The Force, or whatever you want to call transcendental reality...it seems to me that advanced scientific knowledge can only lead one to that conclusion. But, flip that coin over and you have a perfect picture of the atheistic POV. BTW, I also consider the concept of Intelligent Design to be the most reasonable broadbased educational approach to presenting a spiritual counterpoint to straight primordial-soup evolutionism. But the polarized fanatics won't come together, ever.
  13. Reasonable thinking! Insulting people's intelligence will get nowhere, and I do believe that many thinking folks lean to at least an agnostic stance because of the apparent absurdities presented by religious tradition, scripture, and the attitude of the practitioners of these. Or, if these thinking people have a deepfelt inclination to the spiritual, they gravitate toward Buddhism or New-Ageism and their generally more liberal-minded ways. Allright, we live on the material earth-planet, with a vast universe beyond. Somehow, human beings are mentally and physically equipped to measure and evaluate, with a measureable degree of dependable and reasonable accuracy, data that was and is gathered throught the senses and devices that assist the senses. This is science. But theistic religious traditions, including our own, don't even give credit for this...science is blanket-condemned as Satanic or Demoniac, take your pick, and religious fundamentalists use the products of science and engineering to advance their causes, while simultaneously proclaiming the evils of these products. I've found my own way to intellectually accomodate both science and spirituality, but maybe that's why I'm a near-58-year-old nowhere man, instead of an uttama-bhakta: lack of complete childlike faith.
  14. theist...I googled Frank Wesley. Yes, very beautiful work reflecting Indian heritage and Christian faith. I would like to have an original! With that name, when you said Indian, I was thinking...native American?
  15. IMO, a matter of the concentrated evil wrought by purely atheistic (communist) or atheistic/psuedo-religious (nazi) ruling regimes over a relatively short period of time...less than 100 years...as opposed to the evils wrought by institutionalized, despiritualized religions over say 1,900 years, for a convenient benchmark. How to put it into numbers, I have no idea, but I'd say the two systems have wrought equal death, devastation and suffering over the last 2,000 yrs. Atheism didn't get an upper hand until the 20th century, but caught up real quick. Logically, no reason, except as like-minded others can help us achieve our own goals (then kill them). The best guess I can make is that atheists or those unguided by a spiritual code who demonstrate very high personal qualities are people born with a governing percentage of the mode of goodness. But then such persons tend to not to object to widespread evils such as animal slaughter and near-unrestricted abortion, actually going to the extent of calling abortion a basic "human right". Maybe not such a good guess. That would be interesting to see.
  16. Thanks, I will check out Frank Wesley. I'd also like to know the name of and see more of the work of the artist who did the post #24 painting. It's a wonderful synthesis of the traditional Indian and Western approaches, and very skillfully conceived and executed.
  17. As spoken by Jesus Christ, obvious same intent, shorter version: Luke 10:8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. Good thread, theist. I'll be looking to get a copy of Uddhava-gita. The painting in post #24 is now on my desktop...very beautiful and well-done.
  18. daas k daas, cbrahma, gHari: Your words are pure nectar. Thank you. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:" /><o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Self pity…a thoroughly unworthy emotion. And, on unfortunate occasions, I neglect to count my many blessings, and fall into it. <o:p></o:p> Please forgive me for that. But I do feel old and very tired of the struggle. My life now is clean, aware, and pleasant…maybe that’s what I need to be satisfied with, accepting the happiness and distress as they come, and die when it’s my time. <o:p></o:p> This is a good board. I joined here because of all the Vaisnava/ISKCON/Hare Krsna/Spiritual boards I’ve visited out here on the net, this one has the most mature, intelligent, and interesting membership and association, and virtually none of the chronic whining and offensive dialogue found on many of the others. I’m definitely not dropping away.
  19. Reading these verses elicited considerable thought on my part, and some realizations: I am a hardcore materialist with a dilettante's interest in spiritual subjects. This board is for sincere and advanced Vaisnavas, and I really don't belong posting here. Maybe drop in from time to time and read, but not raise my foolish voice. So, with those thoughts in mind, I take leave, offering all of you respectful obeisances, asking all for forgivenesss for any offenses I have committed, and wishing all of you the best in your spiritual and material lives.
  20. The last time I went on a long steady period of chanting, I would regularly see circular shapes in a beautiful purple shade when my eyes were closed...very cool. I think in the early days someone reported a similar experience to Srila Prabhupada and he said "just keep chanting and it will go away". He was cautioning against getting attached to such phenomena. Mind you, tackleberry, I'm not trying to make a joke of or down play your experience...it was a blessing and I'd be thrilled to have one like it.
  21. No Srila Prabhupada ca. 1965...no Hare Krsna, period. Simple.
  22. Thanks for putting a name on this. I consider it a debatable point. I don't think shastrically-expert and self-realized necessarily go hand in hand. Making a guess...there are/were self-realized souls that are/were relatively unlettered in shastra. Completely, totally unlettered, I have a hard time imagining. Regarding "omnipotence", I was thinking...I never heard omnipotence mentioned in the days of Srila Prabhupada/early ISKCON. As I told theist, the fact that all the Zonal Acharyas were omnipotent was revealed to me during my reconnection with ISKCON in '85.
  23. I've also heard, maybe discussed here, that omniscient in the spiritual sense doesn't necessarily mean that a perfected individual has complete knowledge of of every material fact...by dint of being nitya-siddha or sadhana-siddha, he is spiritually omniscient, a perfect knower of how to love Krsna. That verse and purport are what I was trying to remember....shows you how well I know my basic scripture. For a long time I didn't even know there were distinct and different Vaisnava groups. A few posts back Sarva gattah posted a list of Srila Prabhupada's comments on the matter of liberation; however, these are personal quotes or purports and not direct scripture. Yes, knowing the scriptural origin of the idea of eventual liberation for all would be good for ourselves as well as for discussions with Christians, etc. Unfortunately, the little I know seems to point in the opposite direction. I've also been curious as to the existence of scholarly criticism or debate from the time of Madhvacarya that deals with his theories...at what exact point in history did his ideas cease to be part of the Vaisnava canon, at least the one we are following? How many Vaisnava sects still adhere to these? One thing for certain, there's no centralized succession of "popes" to clear these things up. I had started doing some online research on this and had a folder on my aol page with bookmarked sites...then the aol program got corrupted, I lost the links, and I'm now using internet explorer. Maybe time to reinstall aol and get the links back.
  24. And I am happy as well to be on the same page with your good self. The omniscience thing was a somewhat perplexing problem for me. When I returned to ISKCON 22+ yrs ago, I was told that Srila Prabhupada as well as all of the then-presiding ZA's were infallible in every respect, knowing the movement of even "every blade of grass". OK...not long after, in looking at a photo of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta, I noticed he was wearing a wristwatch. Hmm...shouldn't a saktavesaya-avatara who has surpassed all siddhis be able to give you the time of day, on-demand, for any location in the universe? What does he need a watch for??!! In retrospect, that photo was my cue to coming to an understanding of what you have expressed You're on firm ground. As we know, Srila Prabhupada said the same thing as an instruction; I can't pull the quote(s) out of the air offhand. My experience as well...I outright avoid spiritual topics or change the subject when associating with any of the many Christians I know in "real life". It's only online that I've encountered traditional Christians with firm faith yet an open attitude, and they are few and far between. This story illustrates some points...the satisfactions that even small "preaching successes" bring, how irrationality alienates the thoughtful type of individual early-on, and our common position of having found the big-picture answer but still wanting to sort out the details. The Christian version of this philosophical position makes absolutely no sense. I find Madhvacarya's version fascinating and a worthy subject for discussion and debate because he is such an important figure in Vaisnava disciplic succession and theological lineage...but that doesn't mean I accept it.
  25. The Christians succeeded in making a hard-nut agnostic out of me from early childhood, that's for darn sure. By and large, both Christianity and Islam are religions whose members propogate doctrines of fear, delusion, and ignorance. There are individual exceptions, of course. Agree. He was a scholar and theologian with a very difficult logical and philosophical problem to resolve. If he was mistaken, it doesn't detract from his devotional character anymore than the fact that some of Srila Prabhupada's Indian cultural norms just plain didn't work in the west detracts from his. The same can be said for Christians and Islamists who exhibit a high degree of spiritual character despite their ingrained doctrinal beliefs.
  • Create New...