Archive for the 'Philosophy' Category

Q&A: Krishna means dark
21 October 2008

October 21 2008

This one is from Anuj, who bought a set of my books from me in Atlanta this summer at the Panihati festival.

Panihati festival Atlanta

He’s experiencing a common phenomena that attacks a lot of new devotees:

“For the past few weeks,†I have tried to remain fixed in my service to Sri Sri Radha Krsna, but impersonalist thoughts seem to be polluting my mind. I have debated quite extensively with Mayavadi’s online in various religious forums and this has had a negative effect on my spiritual life. My mind seems to be more inclined in accepting Impersonalistic convictions although†I am only really satisfied in serving Krsna.

“I keep reminding my self that the great Acharyas including Ramanuja,

Ramanujacarya

Madhva,

Madhvacarya

Lord Chaitanya

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

and Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada

all preached against Mayavadism yet the fact that so many people in India and elsewhere are immersed in such impersonalism seems to persuade me that there must be some truth in their philosophy. I really dislike the way in which Mayavadi’s state that the Absolute Truth referred to in the Bhagavad Gita is not actually Krsna in his personal form but rather the Impersonal Absolute within Krsna. I really do want to want to remain fixed in my service to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu but Impersonalism seems to be the stumbling block on my path.”

“Since you were such an intimate servant of Srila Prabhupada,†I wanted to ask you how Prabhupada would interact with such impersonalists and the way in which we can best preach to the Mayavadis. Although†I have been advised to stay away from impersonalists,†I always feel that it is my duty to preach to them. I don’t understand why†I get such inclinations but is there any way in which†I can remain convinced that Krsna’s personal form is his highest feature?”

Answer:

†As you say, impersonalism is a pollution of the mind. It brings no satisfaction to the soul and that’s why all the big mayavadi’s ultimately come down again to the material platform and indulge in altruistic or humanitarian acts. Although they claim the material realm is mithya, illusion, they are very fond of remaining in that illusion.

†The natural function of the soul is to love. That means three things-the lover, the beloved and the exhange between them.

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August 31 2008 – Q&As – Mad at the scientists
31 August 2008

Science was one of Srila Prabhupada’s favorite topics. I can hardly recall a single day without His Divine Grace making some comment†about the cheating of material scientists and their headlong rush into ignorance.

mad scientists

From Chanakya Pandit das, Russia:

April 12 2008 Q1:Almost every day I see in Prabhupada’s books not simply a critics, but a machine gun burst directed at the so-called “scientists”.

Answer:

Yes, Srila Prabhupada held the material scientists responsible for misleading the whole world by propagating false theories of evolution etc. as ‘truth.’ He wasn’t against science per se, he was against the atheistic use of it to attack religion and spirituality.

Q2:

I would like to understand where from Shrila Prabhupada received this information about people engaged in science. I get an impression that this information came from his disciples, and they in their turn received it from mass media and had no direct contact with the sources of information. Is that a correct statement? Can you please confirm or disagree?

Ans:

He got a lot of his information from his scientist disciples like Svarupa Damodar, Sadaputa, Madhava etc. These men were all holding Ph.D degrees in biology, maths etc. so they knew very well from the inside what the theories were and how they were being used.

Q3:

Is the basis of critics of science the fact that they have sex, eat meat, drink wine and gamble? Why is there so little critics of businessmen, enterpreneurs and shudras – they are as well engaged in the same activities, if not more (drugs, prostitutes, casinos, murders of competitors etc.).

Ans:

The scientists especially mislead the world in education about matter being supreme. Sudras, vaisyas etc. are simply using the world but the so-called scientists are taking the position of brahmanas, setting themselves up as the most knowledgable persons, when their habits are of low class persons and do not reflect the culture of real thinkers and purified, realized men. Therefore Srila Prabhupada singled them out above others. Otherwise, Srila Prabhupada was also very critical of the fallen condition of society in general.

I can give many quotes, but here’s one I particularly like because it sums up the role the scientists play in arresting the natural evelvation of the soul:

[TD 3] July 3, 1976 – Washington, D.C. – conversation with BI scientists:

Then he described how the soul qualifies itself for a particular type of body by its association with the modes of nature. If it comes to the human form it then has the chance, by association with goodness, to become a brahmana, and then a Vaisnava. “When you become Vaisnava, tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti, you are hankering after Visnu. Then your life is success. And to keep them dull-brained, that is the greatest disservice. They have got the capacity to become a brahmana, and they are keeping him just like a dull-brained mountain and tree. That we want to stop this. It is suicidal, suicidal to the human society.
“The modern civilization, most harmful civilization. Denying the facility. One has got the capacity to become a brahmana, and they are denying the facility, to keep him to remain like hogs and dogs. Vedic civilization forbids: nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke/ kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye. If you have created a civilization like the hogs who are working day and night hard to find out some stool, and as soon as he eats some stool, his sex power is agitated, and he doesn’t care whether mother, sister or daughter. That is hog’s life, hog civilization, work day and night, and have sex. And next life become a dull-headed tree, a dull-headed stone, mountain, or dull-headed elephant. Who knows the laws of creation? How one becomes elephant? How one becomes hog? How one becomes a demigod? Do the scientists know it? Then? Where is the knowledge? The knowledge is, ‘Wait for million years, then you’ll see life.’ Just see.”



August 6 – 12 2008 Prostejou, Czech Rep. summer festival
6 August 2008

August 6

It took about 3 hrs. easy drive to get to Prostejou and the small summer camp they hire every year in the midst of a pine forest. Kadamba Kanan Swami arrived just after me, and Danavir Maharaja in the evening. Mahadhutyi prabhu, now an itinerant monk after serving many years†as TP of Soho St. temple, is also attending.

About 250 devotees have gathered from Czech and Slovakia. They have been putting this festival on for 8-9 years now. Association is the most important feature of spiritual life and Europe has a proliferation of these small festivals during the summer. Its a chance for the devotees to get together and celebrate, and hear from senior devotees and just perform congregational chanting of the holy names.

August 7-9

We have a pretty easy schedule. I am speaking from 10-12 noon and we settled on the topic of Health. About a hundred attend the seminars, so itís a nice group.

Kadamba Kanan Swami left on the 8th afternoon and was replaced by Lokanath Maharaja and Bhakti Vaibhava Swami. I was surprised to see Lokanatha M. with a few days growth on his face and head. His hair is pure white and he reminded me a bit of Santa Claus on his day off. He grinned and explained that B. Vaibhava M. is making a new movie called Lost Village. Its about the loss of natural living and local village life in the midst of our ecologically challenged planet. Lokanatha M. has already done some filming with his family members in his village in Maharasthra.

I was surprised when B. Vaibhava M. asked me to shoot a short segment also. The reason? He arrived just as I was giving Srimad Bhagavatam class yesterday morning. I mentioned how I heard that in America, a couple of weeks after the 9/11 attacks, the govt. made an appeal to everyone to go out and start shopping. Apparently everyone was so depressed in the aftermath that noone was buying anything. The whole economy was threatened so the govt. prescribed shopping therapy to relieve everyone of their depression and save their economy.

Are we happy? Are we really, really happy?

shop till you drop1† …†

shopping†…

shopper†…

shop drop

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