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Everything posted by sanatan

  1. You're just pitting one tradition of scriptural literalism against the other, and falling back upon what can be used as a fear-based injuction to stop the discussion in its tracks...very similar to a fundie Christian telling someone that no one comes to the father but by Jesus, and anyone who doesn't accept this is going to hell. Honest questioning does not equal denunciation...we can respect and venerate scripture and hold it as extra-ordinary in spite of our doubts. I do. It may be hard for some people to come to grips with, but this is the 21st century, not the 13th, and several centuries of empirical science unobstructed by religious authority has added a new dimension to the common thought process of mankind. We can either choose to honestly acknowledge scientific findings and observations or outright deny them because they challenge a strictly literal interpretation of scripture. Remember, science still can't do what scripture does...open the doors to the spiritual platform.
  2. Regarding Christianity, IMO that is true for many westerners, and I'll cruise along with it...I still consider myself a Christian to certain degree, and happy to be so. So the Bible doesn't record Jesus Christ directly teaching transcendental practices or reading from the Vedic scriptures? That doesn't mean he wasn't a transcendental personality...there are plenty of clues even in this admittedly watered-down scripture. I've never had any intuitive attraction or pull at all toward Buddhism, though it's much more similar in some aspects to Hinduism/Vaisnavism, which fascinated me from the start. Conclusion: We're each where our past lives led us.
  3. Your feelings about the whole subject are similar to mine...in fact, if I were as articulate, I could have written your post. Where I am, it's a jungle of fundamentalist Christians. I haven't yet decided whether it's the false ego loving a fight or that I sincerely don't want to see what I perceive as truth trashed without being able to raise some strong counter-arguments. In either case, the more arguable points that I can have under my belt, the better. For both Christianity and Vaisnavism, scripture and religious traditions make certain fixed claims, independent scholarship is a dynamic field and findings often dispute, deny, or modify these. It's good to have a working knowledge of both. Tattvadasa: excellent post regarding the Borrowing Theory!!
  4. I'm in my right mind, and I believe that SP respected JC. There are as many fundie Vaisnavas coming out of the woodwork here as there are fundie Christians on their boards.
  5. That's right...good post. There is probably a bit more in the way of extra-religious evidence for Jesus, but it is not significant enough to "prove" his existence. The whole thing is unfathomably gross, agreed, and any argument about Jesus's alleged vegetarianism or non-vegetarianism should begin with the facts you've cited firmly in mind. He lived 2000 years ago, in a very poor area of the known world, where the people were mostly Jewish peasants who subsisted in an agrarian economy. They ate a diet of grains and vegetables, with fish and poultry when available and affordable. The meat of higher animals was rarely taken by commoners because of its scarcity, cost, and Jewish dietary customs. The point: The environment of Jesus wasn't McDonald's-land, with cows, pigs, and chickens killed by the millions in slaughterhouses and processed in disgusting factories to be mass-marketed as a customary 3x/day food item. There's precious little if anything in the Bible to indicate that Jesus was a pure vegetarian, or taught his followers to be...much in the same way that the Bible lacks any more than cryptic references to reincarnation. You can't pick up a Bible and make a good case for either. I accept that Jesus was a pure representative of God and taught his audience according to time, place, and circumstance. Taking at face value Vaisnava claims that strict vegetarianism and deity worship were/are indeed requirements for the attainment of a higher spiritual life, we can see that Jesus didn't push unready followers into them. Srila Prabhupada understood the realities of the ancient world and the lives of its people. His strong preaching against meat eating was concerned with the slaughterhouse mentality of the twentieth century, and intended to benefit people who had infinitely more freedom in lifestyle choices than the ancients.
  6. Not true...at least from the Christian Trinitarian POV. God the Father...the Supreme personal Godhead. This could be called very vague personalism, as there is no clear indication of his appearance in the Bible, other than the statement in Genesis that he created man in his own image. The bearded patriarch is an artistic tradition, an attempt to put a face on God the Father, nothing more. God the Son...Jesus Christ. Many Christians worship him as God. Perhaps the Gospel of John, Chapter 1, and particularly verse 14, are the most scripturally-influential in this regard. As well, the vast number of sources that provide the everyday familiarity of the human Jesus contribute to an ongoing and highly personal Christian veneration for him equal to that held for Krishna in the Hindu/Vaisnava traditions. God the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit...obviously the impersonal, all-pervading aspect of the Trinity. The same as the Brahman aspect of Krishna.
  7. I hope not...it's a great idea. Theist...your posts 7 and 8 are awesome.
  8. What, then, is the reason for the existence of mleccha-sastras (principally, the Bible and the Quran), if there is no hope for meat-eaters? Being a vegetarian actually doesn't mean squat...Srila Prabhupada pointed out that monkeys are vegetarians.
  9. Flawed logic. Kirtanananda as Jesus freak doesn't = mess in NV. And do you intend to be the drawer of this said line? Advice...if you don't like the way some folk synthesize and apply ideas, ignore them. So? That's what he meant; in saying this he also affirmed that it was also bonafide and appropriate for many people. I guess you can also become gay by talking to a homosexual...it's catching, you know. There are many so-called advanced transcendentalists who could use a refresher course in these...we're all cavemen, dude, with very few exceptions. If you don't understand and thoroughly apply these "caveman" principles first, how can you hope to aspire to the greater ones?
  10. I had a good yearlong sadhana period going until June '06, then fell off the wagon with the excuse that my mind was too unsteady...true, mind was/is unsteady, but I had some "philosophical issues" to come to terms with also...like for you, my Christian background is important. Issues now put to rest. New Year's resolution...pick it up again. One thing for certain, and I'm talking to myself here....Lord Caitanya won't pay attention to one who isn't putting out any effort.
  11. This is the Biblical verse I've most often heard used to diss reincarnation. As-phrased, it is open to either a one-life or many-lives interpretation. As far as I know the subject isn't directly addressed at any other place in the Bible, and I consider the often-quoted Biblical "references" to reincarnation to be cryptic at best.
  12. You can explore the fact that in regard to Hinduism or sanatana-dharma, advaita or absolute non-dualism is only one aspect of philosophical thought and spiritual practice. The theistic or dvaitin philosophies that were developed the post-Vedic period by Sri Ramanuja and Sri Madhvacharya and carried forward to the present day, most notably by Caitanya Mahaprabhu and successors, should provide plenty of material for discussion with a Christian, especially if he can understand the concept of the independent jiva and the free-will aspect that is so central to Vaisnava philosophy.
  13. It's like a devotee with leprosy doesn't necessarily get cured in a physical sense...the consciousness is cured, but the devotee, being completely surrendered to Krishna, accepts Krishna's will in the matter of health...a completely God-conscious person with a horrible disease or disability is an inspiration to others of sufficient understanding.
  14. For some it was the fashionable thing or thing-of-moment to do, for others was and is the real thing to do...I'm not defending the negative realities of the so-called "eastern invasion", but you're blanket generalizing. Use some discrimination. Yeah, I agree...there are varying degrees of control that can be pulled off...In the case of Christian-based exploitation it does have to take a more subtle form. But the result is the same...people surrender, either consciously or subconsciously, to a charismatic leader and do what he/she tells them. You know as well as I do that the most spectacular cases of mass suicide in the last 30 years have been those in Christian cults. Televangelists milking poor and desperate people, often elderly, for the last few bucks they can cough up ranks up there with the worst forms of exploitiation...the marks are "surrendering" their livelihood so some dick can live a millionaire's lifestyle.
  15. I disagree with your claim that orientalism has come and gone in the west...eastern philosophy and related influences are firmly entrenched in western culture now, as is western culture in the east...whether these facts are "good", "bad", or just neutral has to be an individual call or a matter of taste. I would hopefully guess that the part of orientalism that is becoming very questionable is blind following of guru-figures. Without fingerpointing any particular person or organization, we can certainly observe that a trail of havoc and tragedy remains behind. No real need to mention the televangelists and various other Christian hucksters...old news, but I do mention them because you can apply the same standards of discernment to them as to the phony gurus...my point is the baby-bathwater one. I'm not tossing Jesus Christ or Krishna or the great scriptures that they inspired because some of their followers misbehaved in the past and continue to do so. I'm my own spiritual man, capable of independent and critical thought; you are as well.
  16. In a material sense, your glass is indeed more than half-full, prabhu. A paid-for house and acreage...not many folks have that. Be creative...fix up the house yourself. It's amazing how much in the way of new or perfectly useable building materials people just throw away...not hard to find stuff cheap or free if you look.
  17. That's a very nice personal story! I like this site better than the other Hare Krishna and Vaisnava message boards I've been on; the tone here is positive and intelligent and it's well moderated ...offensive, negative, and meaninglessly critical stuff gets deleted promptly and selectively, without disturbing posts that have some critical content of value.
  18. My home temple is one of the major ISKCON centers in the USA, and in over 20 yrs no one has ever pressured me about getting initiated or following a particular guru, even though one of the biggest ZA's was headquartered there. It's always been the policy here that a person can look at getting initiated after completing a probationary period of one year of 16 rounds and 4 regs strictly. If you come around and attend programs and chant, a few devotees may ask if you're interested in getting initiated, but no one looks down on those who aren't...lots of longterm fringies like me around.
  19. I heard from a reliable source that Tamal Krishna Maharaja stated specifically in his written will and related instructions that no murtis of himself were to be offered for public sale or displayed in public after his passing. Even though his death was sudden, he had survived a very serious operation for prostate cancer a couple of years before and had written his will and other final wishes at that time.
  20. There's a difference in honestly recognizing the faults and shortcomings in others as part of moving through everyday life, and consciously and purposely faultfinding as a separate and elective activity. The former is necessary for protection of oneself as an organism. The latter is what contributes to difficulty with others in "regular" relationships and social interaction, as well being the cause of vaisnava-aparadha, sadhu-ninda, and the resulting spiritual difficulties.
  21. Good observation. Having lived through that time, IMO the 1960's were truly the window of opportunity for evangelical Gaudiya Vaisnavism in America and Europe...SP's timing was right on.
  22. A family member who lived what could be called a non-exemplary life died suddenly one morning, at a tragically young age, of a heart attack brought on by long-term alcoholism and hard drug use. His girl friend was with him when he passed, and told us that he had the most horrible expression on his face as he died...beyond imagination...she said she would carry the memory till the day she died. The person who passed away was cruel, sarcastic, and exploititave of others as a way of life. Those are the circumstances...what they signify is up to individual opinion.
  23. And thank you, Vijay Prabhu, for your insights and wonderfully humble manner...it's exemplary. If there's anyone who fits the description of "karmi", it's me! How about just "people who aren't Vaisnavas"? SP's life was a life of instruction and he used certain traditional phrases and words in his speech...the difference is the way he used it and the spirit he used it in. I see its continued use as an unconscious and poor form of imitation of Srila Prabhupada. IMO, it's now taken on a pejorative tone in everyday devotee-speak, and does nothing but subtly reinforce the us-and-them mentality...we're all spirit souls, remember? Please accept my sincere best wishes for better fortune for yourself and your family, Guruvani Prabhu. And, both of you...please accept my sincere apologies if I've offended with my outspokenness on this. I have to continually battle with my own conditioning ...occasionally karmi, ni**er, or other derogatory term or curse word will pop out of my mouth or into the mind...I just have to be aware of it, acknowledge that it happened, and give the result to Krishna.
  24. Very good analysis. However, example # 2 needs some qualification. 2. We should be always seperate avoiding non vaishanva association because If you are associating with a karmi that gives the attitude of what they have and all the material desires. Ex. Lotus flower. Very good if you are a renuciant in a loincloth with begging bowl, not so good if you are living in the "real" world, with a job, family, etc. We can choose the quality of our non-Vaisnava association...there are plenty of good folks who aren't devotees. I'm really tired of the term karmi...it's very sectarian and condescending in it's implications. It needs to be expunged from Vaisnava speech, the sooner the better, much as n***er is no longer in everyday use among higher-class people in America. Money and material possessions aren't the problem, it's our attitude toward them. Sometimes they come of their own accord, as does the lack of them.
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