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Gaudiya Discussions Archive » PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY
Discussions on the doctrines of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Please place practical questions under the Miscellaneous forum and set this aside for the more theoretical side of it.

Vesh/bhek -



betal_nut - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 06:40:48 +0530
Regarding taking "vesh" or "bhek" as it is known in the Gaudiya tradition, how is it given to women?
Madhava - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 06:54:30 +0530
Put on a white cloth and be happy.
betal_nut - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 07:09:10 +0530
Madhav, it's a serious inquiry.
You're making a joke out of it.
You will live to regret that.

Now, is there any serious person out there who knows anything about women taking bhek?
Afterall, women taking sannyas is a hot topic in other circles.
Any history?
Mina - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 07:37:48 +0530
I'm all for it. Perhaps you should be the first one to take bekh and then give it to other women, Betel Ma. When do you think you will be ready for such a big step?
betal_nut - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 07:40:08 +0530
I'm not up for it now, Mina. I have too many food obsessions.

Anyway, is there any history of it?

When one gets bhek do they receive any more mantras?
Advaitadas - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 11:01:02 +0530
As far as I know the bhekh for women is modelled on the type of sannyasa taken by the prostitute converted by Thakur Haridas. It is described she abandoned her fancy garments and ornaments, shaved her head and put on a single piece of white cloth. The same is done by the Bengali widows nowadays. Rarely it is taken by young women. Mostly they are elderly widows from Bengal that are abandoned by their families as being inauspicious, and even more than with the men it is a means of survival - subidha bhog - rather than anything idealistic. Having said that, many of them are also great devotees capable of performing magnificent bhajan and tapas.
Madhava - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 15:01:24 +0530
QUOTE(betal_nut @ Apr 13 2004, 01:39 AM)
Madhav, it's a serious inquiry.
You're making a joke out of it.
You will live to regret that.

I will live to regret that? Now, that's an attitude.

It is a very serious answer. Basically putting on a white cloth is all there is to it. The "be happy" part of it describes the sad reality of the ladies in white cloths these days. Many of them seem to have much to do with begging and little to do with bhajan.

Even for men, taking bhekh was originally not a matter of any rituals, though some ceremony has been later on instituted to symbolize the cut of relations to the tyagi's past.

What's that, tanno bheko pracodayat?
Advaitadas - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 15:05:42 +0530
QUOTE
What's that, tanno bheko pracodayat?


biggrin.gif A school-friend of mine has/had bhekh. He told me this. laugh.gif Bhekh means 'frog' in Sanskrit. cool.gif "May that frog enthuse us."
Madhava - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 15:12:53 +0530
According to M-W, bheka also means "a timid man". laugh.gif
nabadip - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 15:23:31 +0530
QUOTE
t is a very serious answer. Basically putting on a white cloth is all there is to it. The "be happy" part of it describes the sad reality of the ladies in white cloths these days. Many of them seem to have much to do with begging and little to do with bhajan.


Do you refer here to the widows' ashrams in Vrindavana too? They "have to" chant for some time... I wonder about their institution, and what they create in devotional terms.
Madhava - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 15:32:09 +0530
Oh yes, that. They have to chant a certain amount of time if they want to eat. Might be a good idea for the male tyagis, too.
Advaitadas - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 15:36:10 +0530
In the 1980s widows had to chant for 8 hours to get 1 (!) Rupee, 3 rotis and a cup of daal. That 1 Rupee is now maybe 5 Rs, counting inflation. That is why many prefer to beg from pilgrims at the Parikrama Rasta or do cooking and cleaning work.
nabadip - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 15:39:08 +0530
Spending one's last years in the Holy Dham and dying there, does shastra actually ascribe a benefit to that? Getting old and sick in the Dham, if one has not lived there before, one becomes a burden rather than a servant. Any of you desire to die there?
Advaitadas - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 15:50:56 +0530
The Bhakti Ratnakara quotes a verse from the Puranas which promises residence in Hariloka to anyone, even a fly, who dies in Vraja. Unfortunately I cannot find the verse just now. In his Svaniyam dashakam, verse 9, Raghunath Das Gosvami vows he will die at Radhakund - marisye tu presthe sarasi. And in Vilapa Kusumanjali, verse 97, he vows - atraiva mama samvasa ihaiva mama samsthiti - "Here I will live and here I will stay" (obviously to die). Personally I surely want to die there, even if I cannot spend my life there.
nabadip - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 18:10:31 +0530
QUOTE
Personally I surely want to die there, even if I cannot spend my life there.


Since we are talking about it, would you accept medicine to improve your last months if you were very old and sick, or would that depend on your realization? And: Are baba's accepting medicine that could be curative of an ailment, at all?
Advaitadas - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 18:27:19 +0530
QUOTE
would you accept medicine to improve your last months if you were very old and sick?


Definitely. shariram adyam khalu dharma sadhanam (Kumar Sambhava) "The body is the first priority in spiritual practise." I dont want to die in coma, but in full consciousness and I dont want to spend the end of my life sick like a dog, but in good health.

QUOTE
And: Are baba's accepting medicine that could be curative of an ailment, at all?


Absolutely. There is a free dispensary of medicine at Radhakund. Mahaprabhu said to Sanatan Gosvami deha tyage krishna na paiya paiya bhajane "You cannot get Krishna by giving up your body but by bhajan." (CC Antya 4)
nabadip - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 19:57:55 +0530
Makes me happy to know this.
Advaitadas - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 20:41:09 +0530
QUOTE(nabadip @ Apr 13 2004, 10:09 AM)
Spending one's last years in the Holy Dham and dying there, does shastra actually ascribe a benefit to that? Getting old and sick in the Dham, if one has not lived there before, one becomes a burden rather than a servant. Any of you desire to die there?

Anyway, here is the verse-

idam vrindavanam ramyam mama dhamaiva kevalam
atra ye pashava pakshi mrigah kita naramarah
ye vasanti mamadhishNe mrita yanti mamalayam


(Brihad Gautamiya Tantra)

"O Narada! This Vrindavana is most charming and is My only abode. Any animal, bird, deer, tree, insect, human and demigod who resides here will attain My abode when they die...."
Madhava - Tue, 13 Apr 2004 22:53:34 +0530
QUOTE(nabadip @ Apr 13 2004, 12:40 PM)
Since we are talking about it, would you accept medicine to improve your last months if you were very old and sick, or would that depend on your realization? And: Are baba's accepting medicine that could be curative of an ailment, at all?

There is a story of one mahatma, I forget his name, who was once faced with a situation in which someone professed to solely take refuge in harinama in faith that harinama will take care of everything, not caring for medication and so forth. The baba advised him that he would better not bother Krishna with such matters, and let the doctors do their work.

In other words, we should not intentionally cause concern for Krishna over matters we could take care of ourselves.
Anand - Wed, 14 Apr 2004 04:21:57 +0530
QUOTE
I dont want to spend the end of my life sick like a dog


This must be an Indian thing. In America dogs are as good as gods.
betal_nut - Wed, 14 Apr 2004 19:33:09 +0530
In light of the qoute about anyone who dies in braj will attain Hari's abode..........
Is this meant as an encouragement?
Which particular abode is it that is being mentioned here?
Does that mean they would not have to go through the various levels of bhakti up till bhav and prem?
betal_nut - Sun, 18 Apr 2004 03:01:27 +0530
Can anyone answer my question?
Anand - Sun, 18 Apr 2004 20:01:50 +0530
good luck.
Madhava - Sun, 18 Apr 2004 20:18:59 +0530
When dealing with various verses such as the one at hand, it is hard to objectively assess whether they are meant to be taken as precisely factual statemetns or rather as praise arising out of our fondness of the object of praise.

Suffice it to say that for the one, who shares the mood of lavish praise and fondness for Vrindavan expressed in the verse, its import is certainly realized.

We are always so accustomed to hard facts, but unfortunately the dynamics of reality in the ultimate has much more to it than hard facts. We live in a flexible, subjective reality, particularly in situations where encounters with the transcedent are involved.
RasaMrita - Mon, 19 Apr 2004 00:09:51 +0530
Now I understand the reasons of, doing nonsense in the west while getting ready to die in the east. It Makes me happy to know this.
Advaitadas - Mon, 19 Apr 2004 00:21:51 +0530
Only problem is, do you know when you will die, where and how? wink.gif
RasaMrita - Mon, 19 Apr 2004 00:36:56 +0530
Only problem is, do you know when you will die, where and how?


Ok. I give up.

However, I wonder how many of my friends figure that one out.
betal_nut - Mon, 19 Apr 2004 05:23:01 +0530
What is "nonsense"?
RasaMrita - Mon, 19 Apr 2004 05:57:32 +0530
Something astonishing!
Gaurasundara - Mon, 19 Apr 2004 14:53:09 +0530
Main Entry: 1non∑sense
Pronunciation: 'nšn-"sen(t)s, 'nšn(t)-s&n(t)s
Function: noun
1 a : words or language having no meaning or conveying no intelligible ideas b (1) : language, conduct, or an idea that is absurd or contrary to good sense (2) : an instance of absurd action
2 a : things of no importance or value : TRIFLES b : affected or impudent conduct
3 : genetic information consisting of one or more codons that do not code for any amino acid and usually cause termination of the molecular chain in protein synthesis -- compare ANTISENSE, MISSENSE
betal_nut - Mon, 19 Apr 2004 20:26:57 +0530
Number 3 seems to be what Rasamrita is referring to.
Anand - Mon, 19 Apr 2004 20:50:13 +0530
It is in reference to 1, 1a, 2, 2a, and 2b, of course. Something that makes all sense to some will mean absolute nonsense to others.
Madhava - Mon, 19 Apr 2004 20:54:30 +0530
QUOTE(Rasamrita)
Now I understand the reasons of modifying genetic information consisting of one or more codons that do not code for any amino acid and usually cause termination of the molecular chain in protein synthesis in the West while getting ready to die in the East. It makes me happy to know this.

I tend to agree with this assessment. Such wisdom brings joy to me, too.
RasaMrita - Tue, 20 Apr 2004 04:10:11 +0530
QUOTE(betal_nut @ Apr 19 2004, 02:56 PM)
Number 3 seems to be what Rasamrita is referring to.

Ok, why betal-nut is condon me? biggrin.gif
I am not guilty of that nonsense! It was not an aftermath. Just a nut case. wink.gif wub.gif

Such wisdom brings joy to me, too.