Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts 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.


    So, the answer to the question "does initiation make the Maha-mantra work", the answer according to the evidence in shastra is YES.


    But, as shown in the example of Mahaprabhu.... Hearing the Maha-mantra from someone connected to the Vaishnava sampradaya is actually initiation according to the example of Mahaprabhu, even if it is not all official and formal.


    Yep...that hits it.




    ...Because we are all different we will have different appreciations and attraction to Krsna in this form or that one. But when we analyse the situation we see that nobody is independent of the efforts of the past jiva-tattva level saints and gurus by whose grace we all have heard the Holy Name read the Holy Word know what is Divine service beyond mere philanthrophic welfare work. No one is outside or above the need to bow down before the acaryas present and past.


    So does that.




    Spend some more time hearing meditating and praying over those quotes from Srila Prabhupada free from all the static of this side or that side and it will all come clear... I am sure of this.


    This whole "living guru" stuff is offensive to me. The obvious implication is that there is such a thing as a dead guru. Now there is an omymoron if there ever has been one.


    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.


    Thanks for the nice post and compilitions of quotes Alex. We hear the word initiation and diksa used in various ways with the maha mantra getting ixed up with some gayatri mantra. My mind has been so much more peaceful since I decided that only one defintion of diksa would have any relevance for me and that is the one given by Jiva Gosvami and often quoted by Srila Prabhupada.


    Hare Krsna


    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.


    Agreed, but without it you'll never have made it to come to study the great literatures of Vaishnavism. Although the cultural background of many Vaishnavas of this age is more or less animal platform - if there would have been also no religious training in Christianity nobody would have made it to come to Vaishnavism. Of course present Vaishnavas would never admit this or can't even estimate what was the actual impact of Christianity upon their lives. Getting out of hand ingratitude is surely a quality of this age with what we have learn to live.




    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.



    In short, as far as a Christian or a Muslim is concerned, you are an atheist. This is not something he or she makes up, it comes straight from the Bible, much as you dislike to hear that. Your attempts to reinterpret other religions to suit your Hare Krishna beliefs are of no value to anyone but to yourself. The link between the two exist only in your mind and exists only because you want it to exist.




    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.

    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.

    He said the injunctions within both are truth. Webster’s defines “injunction” as an Order or Admonition.

    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.


    His interest in you is there because He knows your potential to love. He sees you as you CAN be, not as you are now. He knows you are an ugly duckling who will grow up to be a beautiful swan - paramahamsa.


    Dont worry about the weakness of the flesh - you are not this flesh - it is the unwilling spirit that is the real problem. That is why we MUST associate with devotees. That is our only hope. Devotees inspire us to develop spiritual interests. Forward, always forward... despite all fall downs, obstacles, and bruises... crawl, walk, or run - but always forward. NEVER ever give up... :)


    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!



    Cue up the "Chariots of Fire" theme!!


    Gaura Hari!!!


    Or the theme from the original "Rocky".


    It is not the ritual that pleases Him, but your interest in Him. The ritual is actually for us - to help us focus on Him. The ritual, the focus, the concentration - all that gradually purifies and strenghtens our consciousnes and allows us to taste the spiritual side of life. As the taste for the spiritual side develops, the taste for material things diminishes. Gradually we are becoming disentangled from the thorny bush of material existence, at the same tim developing strong taste for true spirituality... and then one day we become free to leave this world and join Krsna in His realm.


    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... :crazy:

  9. 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.


    We are probably on the same page here too sanatan although you are an old man to me (i am only 55 ;) ).


    But is it a lack of childlike faith? The way I accomodate the two is just to throw up my hands and say "I don't know the details and I don't care but isn't the Lord amazing and wonderful in how He manages His creation." I am trying for the child's approach.


    Yeh, call me gramps. Figured you and I were about the same age. Not much time left when I think about it.:eek3:


    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.


    The main reason atheistic teachings successfully spread in science and society in general is that for the most part theists present a very naive and simplistic approach to science and world in general. Some of the most absurd things I have ever heard in my life come from the Bible-thumpers and their creationists.


    Even in our own preaching we present a very negative, biased and reductionistic view of science. Everybody sees that. The ratio of dogma, pure faith and sentiment in our movement far outweighs any real scientific approach to spirituality, even as we make a claim of presenting the "science of God". What to speak of other traditions? No wonder intelligent people look for alternatives. Still, very few people are real atheists nowadays.


    It is kind of like the claims that GM gurus are "stealing" people from Iskcon. There is no stealing - people just vote with their feet. :P



    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.


    Religion and "faith" have certainly been abused by unscrupulous people, but it seems very clear to me that atheistic materialism leads to much more harmful (to the self and to others) behavior than any religious justifications ever could.


    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.



    If there is no karma, no soul, and no God, then why should we not act for our own perceived self-interest without regards for anybody else?


    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.



    Actually, I saw an interview with Isaac Asimov (famous atheist) where he very beautifully explained an atheistic motivation for morality, but I cannot recall it at this moment.


    That would be interesting to see.


    I can't wait myself. Google images brings up a lot of nice pictures. So much wonderful Krsna conscious art out there. Suchandra imports a lot to here and Rocana at Sampradaya Sun always has the best.


    I think you would love the works of Frank Wesley. He was an Indian Christian who painted Christ in an Indian style which gives a much more spiritual sense to the form of Christ. Google for woman at the well.


    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.


    SB 11.7.45 - Saintly persons become powerful by execution of austerities. Their consciousness is unshakable because they do not try to enjoy anything within the material world. Such naturally liberated sages accept foodstuffs that are offered to them by destiny, and if by chance they happen to eat contaminated food, they are not affected, just like fire, which burns up contaminated substances that are offered to it.




    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.

  15. daas k daas, cbrahma, gHari: Your words are pure nectar. Thank you.

    Self pity…a thoroughly unworthy emotion. And, on unfortunate occasions, I neglect to count my many blessings, and fall into it.

    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.

    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.


    Next time try this (it must come from the heart):


    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.

  17. 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.


    It's called "shastra-caksus".

    the self-realized souls see through the eyes of shastra.

    As such they know past, present and future according to what the shastra reveals.


    Otherwise, the omnipotence theory that some people have been touting is just a typical neophyte miconception that gets out of control and becomes siddhanta by repetition and self-deception.


    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.


    Prabhupada explains omniscient in terms of the devotee as being one who knows everything by dint of knowing Krsna who is Himself everything. Not that we become God in the sense of being all-knowing. Apparently some prominent Vaisnava teachers teach a different version.


    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.



    Here is one.



    Just try to learn the truth....


    That verse and purport are what I was trying to remember....shows you how well I know my basic scripture. :o




    I agree. Until a few weeks back when you mentioned it in one of your posts I had no idea such an idea was held by any vaisnava's. I am really very ignorant on what differences there are between different Vaisnava groups.


    But I have to admit I am not familar where it is discussed that all souls eventually become liberated either. It would be good to get some explicit scripture rather than relying on our own extrapolations.


    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.


    sanatan, I am happy to be on the same page with you.


    And I am happy as well to be on the same page with your good self.



    I don't look on these great souls as answer machines that must ever answer to every single question. They are not omniscient, they are more than that, they are pure devotees of the Lord. Both Madvacarya and Srila Prabhupada have...


    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



    Even though we are ants I believe it a God given mandate not to be a blind believer...


    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.



    This is one reason I void christianity even though I am a reborn Christian. I cannot tolerate the usual answer they give...


    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.



    I am willing to believe that the actual nature of love between the jiva and Krsna surpasses all intellectualism but not questions on basic theology such as this one.


    A case in point from last week. I encountered a small group of young students who were also communists out selling their commie papers. We had a real nice chat. I introduced myself as a theistic communist. One guy...


    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.



    From this platform of equal vision then would it be possible for the Lord to just forget a whole section of His children and let them rot away eternally in their false sense of happiness and not make every effort to save them? It is unthinkable and it is incombent on those that profess such a doctrine to explain how that works in depth.


    We await their attempt.


    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.


    My opinion is this stupid idea spread by the so-called Christians and Islamists and others only succeeds in spreading fear and ultimately creating atheists.


    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.




    I believe it to be a fairytale that such a great devotee as Madvacarya can never be mistaken. Maybe he was just wrong on this one. The idea that these world teachers are just passing out fairytales needs to be backup by some logic and not just stated.


    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...