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Posts posted by sanatan


    Lord Caitanya said there was no need for Krsna to make him suffer to save everyone and that because off his desire they would be saved. My objection is to the notion that Christ did not also have such a desire. I don't accept that Vasudeva Datta was the only soul to have such a desire which means everyone else is tinged with selfishness or weak compassion.


    Anyway it is not the main point.


    It is always Krsna who is the savior ultimately. "By the grace of Krsna one gets guru, by the grace of guru one gets Krsna." Such an eloquent statement. The devotee is not acting outside the direction of the Supreme Lord.


    Now I clearly understand what you were saying.



    I can't accept the idea of Madhvacarya's that there is a disctinct class of souls that can be content living apart from loving Krsna. To me that stands the definiton of what is a soul on it's head.


    In accepting the idea that the myriad desires of every lost soul are actually the covered desire to reconnect with and love Krsna, I also have to reject Madhvacarya's ideas.


    However, in a purely objective sense Madhvacarya's ideas are a rational theory for the existence of absolute evil and the destination of souls, much more so than the Christian version.


    The statement that the eternally-demoniac souls are content is my own assumption...in such a scenario, they would have to be.


    This brings up another speculative question, perhaps you have an opinion or an answer from scripture:


    Where do the rank and file entities that man the hellish regions and administer punishment to those condemned to a term there stand in terms of self-realization...are they in illusion or are they spiritually-aware devotees?


    It seems logical to me that they are in illusion, since a self-realized soul doesn't wish to inflict suffering on anyone, and a self-realized soul in the most advanced stages will not even differentiate between saint and sinner.

  2. Actually, theist, I was just getting around to a reply.



    I have never been able to accept this premise. It totally negates the free will of living being. Do you mean to say that if some in the universe did not want to be liberated they would be forced to accept it anyway?


    That's why I proposed that for argument's sake JC's offer was on an equal level as V Datta's. If all have free will, one would have to be first desirous of liberation to accept either offer.



    The way I see it is that the simply due to the fact the the soul is part of Krsna it will never be able to find satisfaction in matter and as Queen Kunti taught when the soul comes to the point of material exhaustion it can turn to the Lord with real real feeling. Not before this.


    A basic tenet of Vaisnava theology...we can't be happy outside of a reciprical relationship with Krsna; if I say I'm happy with my current material situation it is with the stomach-churning knowledge that it's all a house of cards.



    Bhaktisisddhanta's point that Vasudeva Datta is millions of time more advanced than Jesus Christ because he only saved those that believed in him makes no sense to me because it presupposes that Jesus was unwilling to save everyone when the fact is the devotee saves only those that Krsna brings to him.


    Vasudeva Datta expressed the desire to save all, but then what happened? I've heard the story only up to that point.


    ..the fact is the devotee saves only who Krsna brings before him... Lost me there.




    This would be a good point to come to clarity on because I don't see uniformity in the Vaisnava position at all.


    I don't see uniformity either; or rather see several important and unresolved philosophical points, starting with Madhvacarya's.


    Regarding Jesus Christ, I'll still go with SP's statements that he was a saktavesaya-avatara.


    That comes from Vasudeva Datta expressing His willingness to suffer eternally in place of all fallen souls in the universe I believe. I have heard it also many times but I don't believe that is what is actually said there. There may be another source for it.


    Vasudeva Datta...I remembered, had it written down!


    So what would be the difference between Vasudeva Datta and Jesus Christ, assuming for argument's sake that JC did perform an act of universal karma-negation in being crucified?


    None that I can see.



    Eternal hell for some souls? I cannot even entertain the thought.


    In considering Madhvacarya's position, I'm not thinking of the demoniac being in eternal hell in the sense of a suffering or punishing hell...rather as in an eternal situation which they are bound to and are content in. Extreme evil is necessary in a dualistic world. It's a nasty job, and someone's got to do it.


    I can't entertain the standard Christian concept of automatic eternal hell for nonbelievers, either.


    And how could "they" be happy that way when every "they" is a part and parcel of Krsna? There is no happiness without love for the Supreme Lord.


    I have to reject Madhvacarya on this one if indeed this is his position.


    To put it simply, I'm willing to consider any position that makes sense. That attitude is what successively transitioned me from my Christian upbringing to impersonalist yogic philosophy to Srila Prabhupada's presentation of Dvaita-vedanta, where I've rested my case for many years.


    I can entertain Madhvacarya's position because I've spent a lifetime hearing and reading contemporaneous news, in personal observation, in hearing the accounts of others, and in reading historic accounts. This collective experience has has led me to a hypothetical conclusion that there is indeed a class of human-level or greater living entity that is irredeemably demoniac, and whose sustained and eternal happiness comes from personal power and infliction of pain and distress on others.


    Regarding happiness...it's relative. I'm very happy with my present material situation. The problem is that I know it's all going to be over in 25 years max, possibly much, much sooner. I also know, from personal experience, that spiritual happiness is indeed incalculably superior to the greatest material happiness, but IMO it's not the only happiness.


    If I do "luck out" and live into my 80's, a good number of those coming years could be spent in the worst kind of material misery. I've previously seen and am presently seeing this in the slow, agonizing declines of elderly kinfolk.

  5. A mind game:

    In the context of this discussion, the term eternal or the state of eternity can relate to:

    A. Non-relativistic consciousness or a conceptual reference to such a state.

    B. An inconceivably long relativistic period which had a beginning at some point, as in "we've been in the material world for such a long time that it might as well be eternal".

    C. A relativistic period which will have a beginning at some point, and will be perceived as continually-passing yet unending time, as in after the Christian Last Judgment.

    So, if in the nitya-siddha or liberated state time does not exist, the term eternal and the state of eternity can't logically exist there either, because the perception necessary to formulate such a term or concept can’t exist in a non-relativistic reality.

    The terms "eternally conditioned" or “eternally liberated” can only have meaning within the nitya-baddha or conditioned and time-perceiving state.

    Most of Webster’s definitions for eternal and eternity characterize these within the framework of time; one definition equates eternal with timeless, but nothing there succinctly relates these to consciousness.


    Advancement to me is simply remebering Krsna is a favorable way more and more and developing a willingness to love Him.

    Good answer. Now. I’ll have to come up with an answer to my own question.


    I now that feeling of blown oppurtunities well. But nothing is lost really. Although I think it helpful that we have some regrets over not being more eager to serve. As long as we don't remain in that mindset to the point of issing new oppurtunities when they come. Every moment is really a new oppurtunity to develop Krsna consciousness.

    And I need to keep that good advice at the forefront.


    For myself I have always felt like like a toddler trying to swim inthe deep end of the pool. I am really ill suited for any sort of yoga process as I hate discipline. I am not by nature religious or even moral or pious. Somehow I have a shadow attraction for Krsna consciousness and studying Srila Prabhupada books (superfically) has ruined my material life. I feel like I am in a dead zone most of the time. Too puffed up to go forward and love Krsna and too aware of what it means to get more materially entangled. I would be a perfect candidate for impersonalism if Srila Prabhupada hadn't shown the absurdity of that path also.

    Are we brother clones, by any chance?

    I am very disciplined when it comes to attaining material objectives and maintaining them; I’ve not yet succeeded in applying this to the spiritual.


    What keeps me going sanatan is the knowledge that I am eternal and one day, in one distant birth I will awken to the reality of my true nature and this present dark confusing state will be far behind me.

    I’m not much of a quoter, and I know you know them already, but these are my favorites in that regard:


    BG<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com><st1:time Minute=2:20</st1:time> For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.


    BG 6:20-23 The stage of perfection is called trance, or samadhi, when one's mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This is characterized by one's ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.


    Yeah me too.

    That gives me confirmation…someone else has had thoughts similar to mine regarding advancement on a subtle level.


    Sounds like the movement was going on within you all the while.

    Yes, I suppose it has been.


    Some nice memories can be kept and indulged in I guess but not too excess. It kinda points to not much happening in the present. Krsna consciousness is ever increasing bliss from what I have heard so we need to get plugged in and keep our consciousness updated to the present.

    Krsna is with us here and now.

    I made too much of the memories thing; people like to share commonalities in experience. At times I’m a bit envious of those that joined in the early 70’s…occasionally feel like an outsider for my age, but that’s really in my own head and nowhere else.

    Krsna is indeed here now, and the age of the body is illusory…other than it’s going to die a lot sooner than when it was 21 years old!


    Yes it is. I used to get envious at watching newcomers soon leave me in their dust. And then it occureed to me that better I learn to appreciate the nature of that dust and wish them a hearty Godspeed as the zoom back to Krsna. Afterall why should I not want my brother and sister souls to make rapid advancement? Should bring me joy.

    I used to have the same unpleasant emotions often but very rarely do now…at this age I have my own perspective, confidence, and patience, as well as what must be an improved spiritual bank account balance. I like to see others succeed both spiritually and materially.


    Neither is your 32 years a big thing or my 37 years. We are starting a process of purification and realization that generally stretches out over many many lifetimes.


    I was doing street sankirtana in 1970. And like I have said before that much time and so little advancement to show for it is an ever increasing embarassment for me.


    All this "Old time" devotee stuff just makes me gag. It is just some sentimental nonsense thing.


    Someone with a strong background in bhakti-yoga (from prior births) or someone with no previous experience but simply gets the special mercy of Krsna can make more advancement in a couple years then both of us combined.


    Reflecting on your thoughts...what is "advancement"?


    I have also often felt that for someone who was so attracted to the Hare Krishna movement at an early age, had great association, and did some objectively-creditable service way back, I blew my opportunities.


    But maybe you're right; in the early stages, perhaps a life or two or three, it's a gradual paradigm shift that slowly permeates the entire subtle being...at least I feel like that's what's happened to me over 35+ years.


    The choices I made in early-to-mid adult life reflected a stronger interest in material life and money; the spiritual was always in the background. But, approaching 60, I see how much even that has shaped my present life for the better. Now, I don't regret failing to join the movement at 21. I probably would have quit anyway.


    Yeh, the oldtimer thing is kind of like a highschool reunion. Good and bad memories, and we can get very caught up in the age and condition of the body.


    Regarding very fast advancement: I've seen it firsthand and heard of it as well. Awesome to behold.


    There will be more learned and high-class Indian Gaudiyas coming to the forefront as ISKCON continues to lose it's monopoly on in the western world.


    Indian gurus will always do better than western devotees.

    People just like Indian gurus when they get into Eastern religion.


    Mahaprabhu especially wanted Vaishnavas from India to preach all over the world.

    I would never have accepted a western guru if I hadn't got in during the time when I could get an official initiation in ISKCON as a disciple of Srila Prabhupada.

    I don't expect to make it back to Godhead in this lifetime, but if I could be born in a nice Vaishnava family in India and become a decent devotee I would feel this life to be quite a success.


    I don't think that's necessarily true about western Vaisnavas...the western zonal acharyas of the immediate post-Srila Prabhupada period attracted many, many new followers.


    These particular individuals had it all to blow, and they blew it, but new disciples are coming continually to others actively preaching.


    Recently two well-known American-born ISKCON gurus were here. I had no motivation to drive 10 minutes to hear either of them speak.


    Absolutely no animosity or ill-feeling involved on my part, just not interested.


    However, when Bhakti Caru Swami visits, I always make at least a couple of classes. IMO, he exemplifies what you referred to...a "learned and high-class Indian Gaudiya".

  9. This question is the reason I brought up the example of Srila Madhvacarya awhile back.


    To my knowledge there's no baseline, absolute reason for the existence of evil expressed in the body of Vedic literature that is comparable to what is given in the Bible, with its tales of Lucifer's fall from heaven and the Fall of Man.


    Madhvacarya's concept of an eternally-existing tripartite division of souls has appeared to scholars, and appears to me as well, to be an attempt to logically/philosophically reconcile this lack in the Vedic tradition.


    There's speculation that his ideas borrowed on what he heard from Christian missionaries.


    My limited brain can't wrap itself around the idea that a living entity of originally-pure consciousness can descend to the depths of the terrifyingly-demoniac personalities that are commonly seen in relatively recent (past 2,000 years) history, and in the present era, and then make a real, Back-to-Godhead spiritual turnaround at some point.




    Really, I need higher quality input than that.


    Last post sounded like the gibbon in the photo was talking to me.


    I am sure I will get more answers. :deal:


    At least you got a credible answer in words...all I can do is ???


    What, in 25 words or less, are you asking/trying to say?




    Ideals such as stated get lost in day-to-day life with those closest.


    I was out with my wife yesterday, doing the usual saturday kinds of things and going all the places she wanted. I've gotten much better in recent years about being patient with her throughout, but yesterday descended into unwarranted crankiness and made the last part of the outing kind of miserable for her.


    One of our stops was the temple gift shop, where I bought a book and she looked for some project beads.


    Upon arriving home, she asked me what book I had bought. It was Vaisnava Compassion by Satsvarupa Maharaja.


    She somewhat disgustedly told me she had never seen anyone so expert as me at "talking out of both sides of his mouth". I had to agree.


    Everything ended up fine; we had a good laugh about it later, but there was a serious lesson there also.

  12. Preaching and Vaisnava relationships, as practiced by myself:


    One-on-one unfoldment of conversation; sharing thoughts, history, scripture, and realizations with the receptive and mutually-respectful, whatever their spiritual training and background. Friendships often develop from these relationships.


    Respect for anyone who is on a progressive spiritual path, and following sincerely...Mayavadi yogi, Christian,...whatever.


    Outright avoidance of the inimical, offensive, and outright demoniac. Been there, done that, it doesn't work, period.


    Patient and appreciative tolerance of the very young and very enthusiastic, who, though sincere, may lack somewhat in social graces or not be discriminating in their choice of audience. Friendships develop here as well.


    A polite and quick exit from conversations with the downtalkers and serial quoters, usually around my age and senior in terms of external qualifications.


    Contributions of money and service to worthy Vaisnava outreach programs and projects.


    I have to fight my material conditioning and ingrown attitudes every day, but am becoming more successful in seeing people just as people...hopefully a beginning step towards seeing Krishna everywhere.


    The book of Yogananda entitled Autobiography of a Yogi was my first introduction to Eastern philosophy, yoga etc.

    It completely changed my life.

    I feel I owe a debt to Yogananda because his book brought me in to the world of Indian philosophy and mysticism.

    I also studied Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Satchidananda Swami, Swami Vishnudevananda, Theos Bernard, Kahlil Gibran, Edgar Cayce etc. after that before I actually got a chance to read a book of Srila Prabhupada which took me away from all that other stuff.


    So, I have fond feelings for Yogananda.

    His book changed my life and led me to Indian philosophy.


    I only have respect and regard for him.


    So, I was a "New Age" guy back in the mid-seventies.

    I came to KC through the yoga ladder.

    I wasn't a bum on the street who joined because I liked the food and needed a place to sleep.



    I first read AOY in 1969. It was my first real introduction to eastern philosophy and yoga, and a life changing experience for me as well.


    When I saw my first ISKCON kirtan party, later in 1969, what I had learned about Indian spiritual culture through reading AOY facilitated my understanding that the devotees were followers of an Indian guru, and the names Krishna and Rama were familiar because they were discussed in the book.


    I also hold Yogananda in very high esteem, and keep a vintage copy of AOY in my spiritual bookcase. He was a truly saintly person. Yogananda and Ram Dass pointed my way to Srila Prabhupada's path.


    Any comments I made about SRF's problems were made in the same spirit of sadness that I feel for ISKCON.


    My first protracted contact with ISKCON was in 1971, and as I've related here before, very bad health and psychological repercussions from yogic practices taught by a certain Yogi Bhajan kept me on the fringe, but nonetheless something that never really went back to sleep was awakened by the early ISKCON association.




    (I didn't know that Yogananda ever had a really dynamic grass-roots movement like ISKCON was - used to be)


    Yogananda founded his organization in the 1920's. It was historic by the time Srila Prabhupada came here, and had grown slowly, with the average member older and more conservative at the time of "joining" when compared to ISKCON's membership base. SRF never had the publicly-visible and explosive growth that ISKCON experienced.


    But, from what I've read in recent years, they've had some of the same problems: dictatorial and abusive power consolidation at the top, with resulting personality cultism, deviant splinter groups, sex and financial scandals, abuse of rank-and-file members-householder and monastic, arbitrary revisions to the founder's original writings, and a top-down coverup attitude. A lawsuit which claimed that Yogananda was the father of an illegitimate child and that this child (now an elderly man) was entitled to a large portion of SRF's assets was recently decided in favor of SRF, after DNA testing showed the claim to be false.


    I know this doesn't prove anything...maybe just suggests that large spiritual institutions tend to go corrupt.


    ... I think if Srila Prabhupada would have banned any other guru than himself in ISKCON and kept the GBC as a managing authority that at least ISKCON could have maintained some stability instead of going through the melt-down that occured after his departure.


    There really is no viable alternative to the leadership of a single acharya in an organization. Once you get more than ONE leader the whole thing breaks down....


    Paramahansa Yogananda did state flatly that he was to be the last acharya for SRF, and that organization is as big a mess as ISKCON.


    ISCKON done for? Probably not, as a minority, Hinduized organization.


    Gaudiya Vaisnavism and the principles thereof? Irrevocably here in the USA to stay, unless the fundie Christians take over, establish a theocracy, and go on a mass murder rampage.


    Devotees have traditionally eschewed voting; they shouldn't.


    Whoopee.... he made twelve disciples.


    The Jesus cult wasn't spread around the world by Jesus.

    The Jesus cult spread around the world on the strength of Roman and British empires.


    Jesus didn't accomplish much himself.

    He managed to scrounge up a dozen misfits to follow him around until he got caught and nailed on a cross.


    Any ISKCON guru has more followers than Jesus managed to make himself.





    At the times of the Roman Empire, the civilization of Europe, and the British expansion, the social conditions and rudimentary technology that Srila Prabhupada had available 40+ years ago did not exist: cheap printing and a high literacy rate, telephone, radio, photography and motion pictures, TV, jet airplane travel, automobiles and supporting infrastructure, democratic societies in which to preach freely using these advantages.


    The teachings of Caitanya Mahaprabhu were limited to India and already significantly compromised there before the current disciplic lineage... Bhaktivinoda, Bhaktisiddhanta, Bhaktivedanta, et al...and the technological era appeared simultaneously, roughly 100-125 years ago, and these acaryas made the conscious decision to buck hidebound tradition and freely use 20th century technologies to preach India-wide and then worldwide. They revived a once-dynamic spiritual movement that was already drying up in the country of its origin.


    We can be assured that a vast and accurate record of Srila Prabhupada's every original word and action...written, spoken, and in visual form...will exist in perpetuity, long after we're all worm food.


    I think we can assume that if the real Jesus Christ was fast-forwarded to New York City, 1965, the results would be much the same.


    I thought some of you may like to know.. I converted to Krishna Consciousness about 2 years ago.. I live far away from the closest ISKCON Group.. After a little of searching I got hooked up with a Devotee who is close enough for me to Visit.. We might even start a group here in my area.. I pray that this new friendship will fruitify into something good for Krishna..



    Awesome! Krishna's arrangement, as they say.


    Prayers work. Years ago I prayed for a close devotee friend, and now my best friend is a devotee.

  18. I never joined the movement in the traditional shave up-and-move-in sense, though 36 years ago I had the best association available in ISKCON and an open opportunity to do so.


    Jesus and my Christian upbringing had nothing to do with not joining. Christianity was meaningless to me at 21. My health had been damaged by the yogic practices taught by a bogus guru, and I was afraid to jump into the Hare Krishna movement. Consequently I drifted away, and after a period of severe illness returned to college. I completed my degree, entered a profession, married, and reconnected with ISKCON in the mid-1980's, after a long period of non-affiliation with religion of any kind.


    In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't join as a young man. All round, things have turned out very well. I am deeply saddened when I hear the stories of those who got a raw deal in ISKCON.


    In regard to Jesus Christ now...and I might say paradoxically, in view of some of the previous posts in this thread...what I've assimilated through ISKCON has given me the faith that he was a real person and a genuine spiritual personality of tremendous importance. That's more than all the Christian training of my "previous life" and adult encounters with Christians ever did.


    I'll happily take Srila Prabhupada's statements about Jesus at face value.


    Of course I believe God is active in 'things'. I also believe that if his activity covers everything, then the spectre of the problem of evil rears its head. (The favorite argument of atheists.) So individual freedom must be admitted. I will defend my rights. Stand up for myself and the innocent, not brush it off as 'karma', which is so nebulous and complicated a web as to tell us absolutely nothing. I derive no peace or tranquility from it. The world is a dangerous. The idea is to become liberated, to transcend karma, not meditate on how everything that happens is supposed to.



    Yes...really, I mean really bad shit happens in this world. And, like it or not, the theistic Vedic model provides the most rational answers for those seeking answers to why it happens.


    Why would the extant facts of karma and reincarnation prevent anyone from standing up for themselves and/or the innocent? To act or not to act is a personal choice...we all have free will. I could stand by and watch a criminal rape my wife, or I could pull out a pistol and kill him...I've already thought that one through.


    Sometimes we do have to act aggressively, even violently, to defend what is right and our responsibility to protect.

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