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Vikram Ramsundar

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  1. Speak for yourself and yourself only. The roots of ISKCON are deeply entrenched in an entity which has come to be known as Hinduism, whatever the origin of the word may be. And as I and others have stressed repeatedly above, your pet term Sanatana-dharma is way, way more recent even. Regarding the Matha, you're quite ill-placed to put forward any argument on its behalf, having spent half your existence abusing and running it down. When even Vrindavana dasa Thakura, the manifest Vedavyasa of Gaura-lila, employed "Hindu" in his description of Indian metaphysical thought, who in the world is Vigraha or for that matter Sarva-gattah to say otherwise? It is revoltingly asinine. Furthermore, the orthodox Gaudiya Parivaras have no qualms referring to themselves as Hindu. In the end, this discussion in a practical way is tantamount to a couple of deranged Jehovah's Witness converts deriding traditional Christians for adhering to mainstream beliefs and utilising mainstream nomenclature.
  2. I thank you for your wishes, and apologise if you found my remarks distasteful. Being the hothead that I am, I sometimes fly off the handle when I ought to actually evince more equanimity. I am situated on no platform from which to order you of course. And please accept my own best wishes for your spiritual pursuit, whether that be Catholicism, Vaishnavism or a blend of the two. Point taken, and an excellent piece of advice. Haribol!
  3. One more sensible and educated piece from you, Kulapavanaji. Indeed. Those who ignore this fact should first do their homework, then pretend to be in a position to teach others. Sanatana-dharma as an appellation dates to the nineteenth century, and is many centuries younger than Hinduism. Neither of these terms are found in the classical Sanskrit literature. As for the other branches of Hindusim such as Saivism and Advaita Vedanta, which some here have the guts to refer to as hodge-podge or mishmash of beliefs, they date, like Vaishnavism, to remote antiquity, and are as "Vedic" as one can get.
  4. Well, I could ask you the same question. This forum is about Hinduism, with an acknowledged predominantly Vaishnava leaning. There is no purpose, at the end of the day, for talks on Christ or Christianity to take place here. But I won't do so, being open-minded and democratic enough to let others indulge in what pleases them. Whatever I am, I do not need your permission or approval in order to post here or anywhere else. Just keep your suggestions to yourself - I have little time for them.
  5. I wasn't speaking for you. Reread my post. I emphasised the fact that I do not care one way or the other for those who want to be Krishna devotees whilst remaining embedded in what they were before getting acquainted to Gaudiya Vaishnavism. I was simply putting forward an opinion. I have better things to do than waste my time on Jesus. He is a non-issue as far as I am concerned. Sorry. I think that that charge applies to you more than to me. Prabhupada unambiguously let on many a time what he really thought of the Semitic/Abrahamic faiths. He never put Christ's teachings on a par with the Vedic canon. It is pure demagoguery to insist that he did. Anyways, I won't squander my scarce resources arguing about this. You wanna have the final say, please be my guest.
  6. Going through the posts on this specific thread has been somewhat bizarre for me, and that is not in the least surprising, given that I am an interloper looking in a place where I simply don't belong here. Unlike most/all participants in this debate, I was born Hindu, and therefore carry around no hang-ups from any prior background or faith. Personally, I have no feelings, either of a positive or negative nature, about Christ. He may or may not be a divine messenger. It just doesn't impact on my personal quest for knowledge and truth. I still term myself an agnostic, for all my "academic" knowledge of generic Hindu and Gaudiya Vaishnava history and tradition. That I am irresistibly drawn to the Vedic/Puranic deities and Chaitanya Vaishnavism in particular is indubitable, however. Sure, I respect those who feel the necessity to include Jesus in their world views, even whilst surrendering their very beings at the feet of their gurus. At the same time, I certainly sympathise with those who see no good sense in clinging on to vestigial ropes or straws left over from another life literally. As for Theist's words in relation to what Prabhupada stated on Jesus Christ, I think that everybody is aware of the fact that preaching doesn't have to be totally, factually siddhantic at all times. There are many, many instances in which Bhaktivedanta Swami uttered things to which he himself quite clearly did not assign much importance, but that he felt were in order perhaps to encourage his mostly Western audience in their devotional practices. The reason behind and purpose of this generosity seems more than obvious, in light of his astoundingly successful career as a preceptor in Europe, America and Australia.
  7. I was harbouring the conception of a Piscean Christ, i.e. thought he was actually born around March. Did you mean to say three months BEFORE his birthday?
  8. That's your genuinely humble self speaking, Kulapavanaji. I wish for the same grace and mercy which Sri Guru has so copiously showered upon you.
  9. Indeed, Malatiji, I found the existence of this maha-purusha sufficiently extraordinary and mystically compelling to warrant posting a thread on his memorial website here. It is a really divine realm one enters into, exploring Madrasi Baba's person and absorbing his sublime instructions. I was of the opinion that too few people had heard about him outside of traditional Gaudiya circles, hence this post. 108 Shri Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaja Ki Jaya!
  10. Kulapavana and Beggar Prabhus, My prostrate obeisances to both of you! It is gratifying indeed to have senior as well as emotionally and intellectually mature devotees like yourselves on these forums. I especially appreciate the non-sectarian and inclusivist spin that you two try as far as possible to give to your messages. As the eager-to-learn "youthful" 34-year-old that I am, I honestly experience immense intellectual pleasure perusing your comments. Your servant, VR
  11. Come on, Mahaksadasaji I cannot believe that you keep going on about this nonsense so unabashedly. Bring me one reptilian Prison Warden or purvey definitive evidence of some illuminati from whichever part of the globe of your choosing and I'll shut up for good. And please do not recount to me that the Nagas had a hand in Benazir Bhutto's assassination.
  12. I can see your point but whether one insists upon gradations of devotional rapture or resorts to exclusivist claims in customary Abrahamic fashion, there is a similitude in terms of attachment to one's selected path, and this is primarily a question of psychology. The gist of my postulate revolves around this idea.
  13. Haribol Bhaktisiddhartha Prabhu, The problem is that every religious group in the world makes this very same claim. Some of the staunchest Vaishnavas in the world are those of the Sri sampradaya. They would never concur with this assertion of Gaudiya superiority. Orthodox Sankarites would also swear that Advaita Vedanta is the perfection of Indian spirituality. Similarly, most Muslim people are emphatic that Islam only is the true religion. To me, this is indicative of the fact that human beings are conditioned by their karmic inheritance to more easily fit into a particular frame of mind and belief system. You and I are bound by the laws of nature to to Bengali Vaishnavism, and this principle applies to each individual. Ultimately, truth claims are fundamentally subjective, and as you said, there is really no time to fight over things like this.
  14. Well, that is to be expected, since Ganguli published his work between 1883 and 1896. Definitely, if you want the best available English version of the epic, go for this particular translation. Nothing else quite compares to it. But it'll take you a heck of a time to cruise through 5,000 odd pages. Still, it'd be worth the labour, in my opinion.
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