Google
Web         Gaudiya Discussions
Gaudiya Discussions Archive » COMMUNITY, MODERATION AND FEEDBACK
Growth of the online community, standards of moderation, feedback on both the content and the technicalities of the site, related announcements.

Nitai's statement on sane Vaishnavism - Sane and insane communities



nitai - Mon, 04 Apr 2005 22:20:41 +0530

[Moved from the Advaita thread]

* * * * * * * * * *


Well, to bad if I appear haughty. Those of you who know me know otherwise. I certainly don't feel welcome in the forum, however. I find the leaders of it to be a bunch of combative, overly sensitive, self-enamored, arrogant, hair-splitters who think they know more than they really do. Most have not even bothered to learn the languages in question or they are self-taught, which means they only half know the languages involved. This is therefore not a pleasant company to hang out with.

Yes, I based my point about Brahman being Krsna's external energy on something Eva said, both in the quote cited and in a personal communication. I assumed it came up in that nastiness that closed down the forum for a while. If not, I apologize.

There is a competent translation of the Bb by Gopiparanadhana. It is expensive and I certainly don't have the time to type it in for this forum. Perhaps someone else does.

Yes, I said replaced because it is really the rasa that the gopis have, not Krsna. One may argue on the basis of that Upanisad quote "raso vai sah" that since they have the rasa they also have Krsna. That may be true theologically, but it is not true from a rasa standpoint. They are feeling profoundly his absense. Without that the rasa of viraha is unworkable.

Now, if I have trampled on anyone's ego, I am sorry, but kindly get over it.

I wasn't going to do this, but considering the current state of things I think it appropriate. I am planning a Sanskrit intensive here in K-ville. Two months of intense study for beginners who want to get a good foundation in Sanskrit. Check out the Caitanya Sanskrit Tol page for more information. It won't be cheap, but I have gradually discovered that unless people pay for things they do not value them. Give someone the Kohinoor Diamond for free and he will keep it in a drawer with his socks. So here is a chance to learn something. We will read the Samksepa Harinamavyakarana and probably a part of the Gita with Visvanatha's commentary, five hours a day, six days a week. If we get enough studnets, I may be able to coax Satya Narayana to come to teach, otherwise you will be stuck with me. How is that for coming down from one's Ivory tower, Madhava?

Best,

ys

nitai
Madhava - Mon, 04 Apr 2005 22:37:36 +0530
QUOTE(nitai @ Apr 4 2005, 05:50 PM)
Well, to bad if I appear haughty.† Those of you who know me know otherwise.† I certainly don't feel welcome in the forum, however.† I find the leaders of it to be a bunch of combative, overly sensitive, self-enamored, arrogant, hair-splitters who think they know more than they really do.† Most have not even bothered to learn the languages in question or they are self-taught, which means they only half know the languages involved.† This is therefore not a pleasant company to hang out with.

If you might have a magic formula for becoming as learned as you are overnight, I am certain it would sell like hot cakes. In the meantime, please bear with those of us who may not have yet had the time to educate themselves as thoroughly. They may also have heard and realized something worthwhile on the way from the mouths of Guru and Vaishnavas, even without knowing the fine nuances of grammar.


QUOTE
How is that for coming down from one's Ivory tower, Madhava?

That's certainly a gracious beginning there. However it might help in getting the message across if the intellectual giants didn't come down those ivory towers while riding on high horses. smile.gif
dasanudas - Mon, 04 Apr 2005 22:49:46 +0530
I would request Nitai Ji not to leave this forum. As we are not qualified, not educated we need you to show us the path. We have to take this forum as a kind of mixture between learned and neophytes. The responsiblities for the new comers would be to listen and clear the doubts and that of the learned to help us out by their wisedom.

So Nitai Das ji please find some timeout of your busy schedule to come this forum regularly and help us in grabbing the fruits of rasa.

Naam, Sadhu Sanga, Sastra , Sri Bigraha and Sri Guru Dev all are required together.

dandavats
Dasanudas
Madhava - Mon, 04 Apr 2005 23:10:56 +0530
QUOTE(dasanudas @ Apr 4 2005, 06:19 PM)
I would request Nitai Ji not to leave this forum. As we are not qualified, not educated we need you to show us the path. We have to take this forum as a kind of mixture between learned and neophytes. The responsiblities for the new comers would be to listen and clear the doubts and that of the learned to help us out by their wisedom.

The forum is certainly a mixture of people from all walks of (devotional) life. Most people have something worthwhile to contribute regardless of their erudition in the realm of languages and the vastness of studies.

However this is a devotional community in which affection should prevail. Those with less knowledge and devotion should behave respectfully towards those with more knowledge and devotion, rather than challenge them at every opportunity. Those with more knowledge and devotion should treat their juniors with loving affection, not talk down to them and treat them as vastly inferior at every opportunity.

As much as we are here to learn of the content of scriptures, we are here to learn of the application, not the least in the manner in which we behave and in which Vaishnavas are to ideally behave.

I readily acknowledge the vast shortcomings in my knowledge of Sanskrit, Bengali and the vast writings of our acharyas. That notwithstanding, practically speaking I do have more knowledge of them than a good many devotee posting here, and therefore have taken up the service of addressing some of the questions submitted here. Whether my endeavors have been satisfactory or not, that I do not know.

I would be immensely pleased if a devoted soul of great scholarly capacity showed up and took the time to answer varieties of questions, and indeed to often painstakingly spell out the answers. Perhaps then I would get some of that precious chanting done, too. In the absence of people with such resources, much of the time anyway, what can I do. It would perhaps be better to shut up and not share of the little we have. To lock ourselves in our closets with a ton of books, coming out after ten years when we have them all understood and memorized.

However I don't think I've been saying anything patently absurd, have I?
TarunGovindadas - Tue, 05 Apr 2005 00:06:46 +0530
QUOTE
I would be immensely pleased if a devoted soul of great scholarly capacity showed up and took the time to answer varieties of questions, and indeed to often painstakingly spell out the answers. Perhaps then I would get some of that precious chanting done, too. In the absence of people with such resources, much of the time anyway, what can I do. It would perhaps be better to shut up and not share of the little we have. Lock ourselves in our closets with a ton of books, coming out after ten years when we have them all memorized.


With all due respect to Nitai das, I learned a lot more from you, Madhava, by being guest here in this forum. I was rather taken aback when I read Nitaiīs mega-aggressive stuff against ISKCON/GM.
What use is there of people with great wisdom who want to spank others because of being more ignorant (although that "spanking-thing was based on a misunderstanding of Nitai das biggrin.gif )

His manners shown towards us and especially towards you do not smell like "trinad api sunicena...". You answered his "ivory challenge" in a wonderful way.

No need to lock yourself in, to hide with books,...
you not long ago had the constant association of a very great Vaishnava for more than 5 months and I know that you and Yugal asked millions of questions about all kind of subject matters and I would die for a millionth bit of that information and I know well that you will share with us much more than you already did.

Keep up your wonderful work, what need is there to become a big big scholar?

Jay Sri Radhe!
TarunGovindadas - Tue, 05 Apr 2005 00:52:49 +0530
Radhe Radhe!

QUOTE
TarunGovinda Das, of course, doesn't need to read this passage since it didn't come from Madhava and besides he is busy right now kissing someone's ___ at the moment.


Why do you need to say such things?
Your reaction shows me clearly that I will never kiss yours.
tongue.gif
I read a lot of things not coming from Madhava...
No need to talk like that.

If I disturbed you in a way I am sorry.
Madhava - Tue, 05 Apr 2005 01:18:57 +0530
QUOTE
TarunGovinda Das, of course, doesn't need to read this passage since it didn't come from Madhava and besides he is busy right now kissing someone's ___ at the moment.

Nitai, it is rather odd that you should resort to writing stuff like after thirty years of bhajan. The mud has to fly whenever there is the slightest disagreement. Why does it always have to be like this?
TarunGovindadas - Tue, 05 Apr 2005 01:56:32 +0530
QUOTE
No need to lock yourself in, to hide with books,...
you not long ago had the constant association of a very great Vaishnava for more than 5 months and I know that you and Yugal asked millions of questions about all kind of subject matters and I would die for a millionth bit of that information and I know well that you will share with us much more than you already did.


Far from kissing things not to be mentioned,
this is my humble admiration and I would offer it to whoever did such a wonderful seva.

Honestly, I too find it amazing that such a learned gentleman who taught on so many universities uses this way out of a discussion...

But we are free to choose who we kiss and where we kiss them, right?
biggrin.gif
nitai - Tue, 05 Apr 2005 20:17:29 +0530
Greettings all,

My this topic has grown! Some of you have too little to do during the day. How does one keep up with it all and hope to make a contribution? Well, to be truthful, I can't. I know some good things have been said and some dubious things and some things based on misunderstanding. It is impossible for me to sort them out and try to comment on them. I do have things to do today. I did hear Madhava lamented the fact that after 30 years of bhajan I can still laugh at the ridiculous. Actually, it is thirty-five years and yes when I see something ridiculous I laugh at it. I hope I never lose that ability. In fact, I pray to Radha that I never lose that ability, especially when that ridiculous thing is me. I found TarunGovinda flagrant butt-bussing ridiculous and so I laughed out loud. I guess the rest of you didn't. That staeted my thinking. How much else do I find ridiculous that you don't? That is when something very important dawned on me. For years I have imagined myself working for the good of a community of thinking Vaisnavas, Vaisnavas outside the pale of evil IGM. I thought that you were that community, but now it is clear to me that you are not. I am not sure where that community is. Perhaps it is not in existence yet. Perhaps there never will be such a community. Why are you not that community? Most of what you believe and hold dear I now find ridiculous. I am looking for a sane Vaisnava community, not an insane one. Let me give you some examples of what I no longer believe to be true.

I no longer believe that the Bhagavata was written 5000 years ago and by Vyasa. I think it was written by a brilliant man or group of men around the time of Sankara (700 CE). Someone commented that Sankara did not write a commentary on the Bhagavata. I think that is because it had not been written yet, or had just been written. It would not surprise me to find out that one of Sankara's disciples or contemporaries in the same Advaita community wrote. Sankara's views and the Bhagavata's views are really very close. Our acaryas, bless their hearts, have really had to do some hermeneutic dancing, to down play the Advaitic elements in the text.

I no longer believe that Krsna actually spoke the words in the Bhagavad-gita. I think it was written by a brahmana trying to stem the growing tide of renunciant, anti-caste groups like Buddhism and Jainism. It must have been frightening to see the cream of one's Hindu crop giving up their varnas (I don't think asramas had been invented yet) and heading off to be Buddhist monks. Does that mean it is all nonsense? Of course not. It is a brilliant text and who is to say that Krsna did not inspire it in some way.

I no longer believe in the yuga series of ages. I certainly don't believe that things are getting worse. Instead I think things are getting better. I believe in evolution. I think we really did evolve from apes and that the universe is 15 billion years old. I believe that the puranic view of the layout of the universe is shear nonsense. Masses of land encircled by oceans of milk and so forth. How ridiculous. I don't believe even the writer of the Bhgavata believed that. Then why did he write it? That is a question that has vexed me for a long time. The best I can say is that he felt he had to write something and that was as good as anything since it was no where near his chief purpose for writing the text. His purpose in writing the text was to present a profound and beautiful vision of deity, one that surpassed all that had been presented before and one that would inspire countless generations of brilliant visionaries of the future. He definitely succeeded.

This and much more besides is what I call sane Vaisnavism. The whole landscape has to be re-examined and re-imagined. Nothing looks the same from this perspective. One has to look back at the great teachers, Sanatana, Rupa, and Jiva, and put them in the context of this perspective. I wonder where they would stand if they were alive today. They were I think thoughtful and brilliant men who did the best they could with what they had available to them. Where would they stay today? Would they be trembling in anger at the temerity of this obnoxious little Italian to questions the great beliefs of their tradition? Or, would they be with me? I like to thing that Sanatana at least would be with me, still devout in his love of Krsna, but willing to rethink his beloved Caitanya's life and teachings. I don't know.

I will withdraw from you now. This is clearly not my place. I will repair to my little Kutir, primitve and silly as it is, try to construct a sane Vaisnavism. Perhaps a community will emerge, perhaps not. It matters not. It is for my own sanity that I must do it. Some among you will undoubtedly say "Look at Nutai. They say he was cursed by Bhaktivedanta when he showed him his backside. Now he has lost his faith." My response, especially to Bhaktivedanta if that is possible, is "thank you! I feel like I was about to get on a bus that was soon to drive off a cliff and someone pushed me out of line. Thank you"

Bye all! Bon chance. Come visit me at the kutir if you dare. And be careful about buying any books I produce. They may be full of uncomfortable questions.

Best wishes,

ys

nitai
TarunGovindadas - Tue, 05 Apr 2005 20:25:56 +0530
QUOTE
I am looking for a sane Vaisnava community, not an insane one.


Thank you, Nitai.

I rather am a buttkissing fool than to share your views. Who are you to dismiss the things you mentioned? It is your right to believe whatever you want, but I am more than shocked about the way you present your Un-beliefs.

All is ridiculous, and you found the truth, huh? Good luck.

All the best
Tarunji Buttkisser
braja - Tue, 05 Apr 2005 23:06:58 +0530
FWIW, I don't think your "sane Vaisnavism" is really all that radical or different from what many of us consciously or unconsciously believe. However I don't see those issues as being the catalyst for your announcement and to present them as such is melodramatic at best.

Obviously you have weathered many storms in your devotional career but it stuns me that you don't seem to have the slightest idea as to how your behavior and attitudes appear to others. Each time you have been confronted on this, you storm off or perform some kind of rash act, like taking down your site.

When others are the object of someone's admiration, you call it butt-kissing, but when people who admire you have posted in the same manner, none of us did that. (Well, there I go using the "us" word, which is really not representative but is one of the techniques you have used to label a bunch of individuals in a manner that taints each one due to the apparent faults of any of those individuals.)

I am sorry but painting yourself as a truth-seeking victim makes for a good story, but doesn't represent the facts. You, and anyone, are welcome to discuss issues of GV and modernity....much to the annoyance of some other GD members, including, strangely, some of those who have openly voiced strong appreciation for your viewpoints.

And to the casual readers at GD: there are issues that have gone on behind the scenes between Nitai and the moderators. Possibly irreconcilable at this point but personally I had to interject here as I disagree with how this board and its members were portrayed.
Madhava - Tue, 05 Apr 2005 23:44:32 +0530
Those issues, and many others along the same lines, are among those that many of us have had to face, each finding our own ways of relating (or choosing not to relate) to them. They are by no means novelties.

However I would like to voice an objection against the idea that "sane", defined as "possessing logical coherence" and so forth, is the yard-stick on which the quality of Vaishnava-sanga is measured. Though it is not said in the original post of this thread in so many words, it certainly seems to be the undercurrent there.

Vaishnava-sanga, as I would have it, is of people who are firmly engaged in endeavors of bhajana, their hearts softened by the chanting of the Name and the subsequent inner experiences of loving transformation; the company of those who are steeped in remembrance of the ever-unfolding sports of Radha and Krishna.

It is not at all uncommon to meet very sincere sadhakas who have awfully odd ideas on a given topic. That does not decrease the merit of having their company, as it certainly does not diminish their value in the eyes of Radha and Krishna. They, as it happens, are not interested in just how far one may have investigated, deciphered, reconciled and conquered over so many conclusions about so many different matters.

Is it not, then, sincerity that counts? And if so, is it not a sign of sincerity to get to the bottom of all these issues and delve on them until the last shady corner is cleared? That certainly is sincerity of sorts. However, factual sincerity in terms of bhakti is honesty in assessing which of one's endeavors are pleasing to Radha and Krishna. Such sincerity may persuade people of lesser intellectual might to circumvent such issues in favor of focusing on the essentials of bhajana.

As for people of greater intellectual might, it is certainly their prerogative and their privilege to seek solutions to the problems that the tradition faces in face of modernity. However, I feel the solution should be something more satisfactory than a statement about the backwardness of the acharyas in certain matters.
Madhava - Tue, 05 Apr 2005 23:56:41 +0530
Some more relevant posts have been moved into this thread.
TarunGovindadas - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 00:06:01 +0530
QUOTE
However, I feel the solution should be something more satisfactory than a statement about the backwardness of the acharyas in certain matters.


Dear Madhavaji, you are much too nice here.
Nitai really stepped over the line by pounding his aggressive "nonsense,ridiculous,insane"-drum.

I was quite shocked when I read his comments on our acaryas, on the Bhagavatam, on the Gita,...

Such expressions could have come from my foolish passionate mind, but not from someone after 35 years of bhajan.

In which position is he that he can freely judge and condemn and ridicule more or less the main pillars of Gaudiya Vaishnavism?
I mean by ridiculing the Bhagavatam, you also somehow shoot against Caitanya Mahaprabhu, since He said that the Bhagavatam is the crest-jewel of all literature.

Also to condemn the acaryas in such a strong way means putting oneself above them.
Madhava - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 00:12:57 +0530
Let's not be too hasty to judge people in public, please. (You may want to edit that post.)

Each individual will have to be introspective and determine their own eligibility in the realm of where they can interpret or overrule the shastras and the acharyas.

The proverb about the bushes in the neighborhood without trees is very befitting. The less time you spend in the company of sadhus who are deeply steeped in bhajan, leading exemplary lives of devotion, the greater you become. And sane, you become damn sane.
Rasaraja dasa - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 00:41:57 +0530
Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

I must admit that I find the whole "sane Vaisnavism" model that Nitai has put out there to be questionable at best if not outright dangerous. Where does one draw the line between where faith ends and truth begins? What is the defining point between mere words and what is an integral ingredient to the very sum and substance of our theology? Most importantly who or what is guiding one in making such distinctions? For those not claiming to be aspiring Vaisnavas this will seem laughable. Yet for those that are aspiring Vaisnavas it is not in our court to decide what we accept and what is mere fodder.

I felt similarly uncomfortable with some aspects that Jagat spoke of months and months back pertaining to what is essence and what is poetic and how we decide between the two. Regardless I think it is important that we discuss such subjects with caution especially in how we word our issues with Sastra as we cannot separate the attitude in which we approach and articulate these issues from the protection of ones devotional creeper.

I cannot claim to have absolute faith in everything thing I have encountered in the Bhagavatam but I am also aware that I am in no position to decide what is mere words and what is critical to the very sum and substance of Gaudiya theology. If something doesn't make sense then I ask a question and keep working through the issue until I have an answer I can understand. Sadhu, Sastra and Guru should be the outlets we seek in such circumstances verse our own will or intelligence. If that makes me insane then so be it. I feel safe in taking shelter of the directions and presentation of my Gurudeva and the Sadhus. I also have the mindset that I don't need to figure out every answer rather embrace the gift of Sri Gauranga and Rupa Goswami as the goal of my life while accepting that I may never develop complete faith in every aspect of our theology.

I would be very interested to hear from Nitai what role his Guru and parampara have played in his ability to decide what is indeed critical and what is not and if they would fit his "sane Vaisnava" model.

If someone wants to assert that they have more insight than their Guru (this isn't to say that Nitai has stated such) or the Acaryas and can pick out what is indeed critical and what is simply a part of the scenery then great for them but I don't think it is a very stable bridge to cross. I hope you have your swimming trunks on...

Radhe Radhe!

Aspiring to serve the Vaisnavas,
Rasaraja dasa
DharmaChakra - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 01:02:25 +0530
QUOTE(Bhagavad Gita 7.08-7.09)
O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.
I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics.

Nitai-ji is the wince in ripping off a bandage biggrin.gif

Rasaraja das-ji has summarized quite well something I have pondered for quite some time. How to distinguish what is a 'core theological concept', and what is secondary to the concept being communicated. It may sounds like an easy thing to distinguish, but I'm not so convinced.

Would it be so traumatic to our faith if Darwin was right? Am I even so worried about the truthfulness or falsity of these issues? Is a person's bhajan disrupted if they originally came from Brahma's glance, or from apes? Is sastra such a house of cards that if one point is not 100% accurate, the whole thing tumbles down?
Advaitadas - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 01:09:49 +0530
Tarun and Rasaraja - your objections to Nitai were literally the same ones I had to Jagat last June. As a result Nitai gets roasted and Jagat got elevated to be the Presiding Godhead of Gaudiyadiscussions.com. A whole personality cult was built around him ("the trees in Vraja are whispering the name 'Jagat'.......") I dont get it. Is this only due to charisma? blink.gif
braja - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 01:11:11 +0530
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ Apr 5 2005, 03:32 PM)
Is sastra such a house of cards that if one point is not 100% accurate, the whole thing tumbles down?


"Cards"? Do you gamble!? wink.gif

Here's something interesting I read from some conversations between Haridas Sastri and his disciples:

QUOTE
Q: Is there any sense that some of the stories of the Bhagavatam are not literally, historically true, for example this story where Krsna jumps of the mountain which is 8 yojanas high, for there is no mountain which is 8 yojanas high, or Aristasuraís hump was touching the clouds. Is there any sense that sometimes there is poetic license that is taken like when Ugrasena gave crores and crores of servants more than the whole population of India today in charity. Are some of these incidents not to be taken literally?

A: There is no sense in the story, there is no use of taking the literal meaning and you cannot prove anything historically from these stories.
But the stories are just like the carriers to teach something. The author has an intention which he wants to convey to his audience, and for that he uses a means. What is his purpose?
There are six ways to understand that purpose of a sastra: 1) To analyse the introduction of the book, 2) the concluding statement, 3) what is repeated, 4) what has been established with logic, 5) what is the most extraordinary thing and 6) what is the fruit which has been stated in it. These six items have to be analysed to understand what is the sastra which he has written and what he wants to convey with it. Otherwise one will just misunderstand it, trying to take the literal meaning.
There are three ways the instructions are given in sastra: 1) One is like the vedas, which speak like the king, codana, that They just speak like that, they donít even explain why it should be done. 2) The other is the puranic style, where they speak like a friend. 3) And the third is the sahityic style (implied meaning). And sahitya means that you make up things in it, there may be exaggerations, there may be different ways of saying it.
So bhagavata uses all three styles in it. Itís a literature, you probably know about aestetics, all this XXX kavita... XXX, these books explain it. So bhagavatam uses these techniques, and therefore the literal meaning has no sense in it.

Q: If that is the case, is there anything which is historically literal or accurate at all?

A: Yes, something. Thatís what Iím saying because it has all three things, some are there and some are just exaggeration.
The first thing you should understand that bhagavatam is not trying to tell you anything about history. If you try to prove any historical fact from it, then it is not the right book. Itís purpose is to establish Krsna as svayam bhagavan. And thatís what he (Vyasa) said right in the beginning: Ąsatyam param dhimahi.ď And that satyam is a name of Krsna. And he wants to explain what bhagavan means. Bhagavan means one who is complete in sat-aisvarya, XXX quote XXX sometimes he has to show his aisvarya, his knowledge, his beauty etc., all these things have to be established. And to establish that he may use the sahityic style. That doesnít mean that Krsna himself doesnít exist, but how he (Vyasa) is establishing that fact, that may not be a literal explanation.
So that has to be studied.
The main thing to be understood is that the purpose of Bhagavatam is to establish Krsna as svayam bhagavan and ultimately to establish uttama-bhakti or braja-bhakti. That is the real purpose of the author behind it. The other things are all secondary, there may be some historical things or they may not be.

Q: If we undermine or deconstruct the historicity of the events in the Bhagavata purana, then what validity does that give to the so-called lila in Goloka Vrindavan?

A: Itís not that they donít exist at all. Itís not that this mountain doesnít exist at all, which is mentioned there. But if youíre going to measure it, you will not going to find it 8 yojanas high. Itís not that Govardhana is not there at all and everything is just concocted, Govardhana is there but the way it is described it may not be that way.

Q: So then it is up to the individual to decide which parts of it are real and which parts are not?

A: No, itís not up to the individual, thatís what you have to study from parampara. You have to actually know the style of sastra to understand it.
Why are you giving just these examples? If you take like this right from the beginning everything can be doubted. Just take in the very beginning the instance of Sukadeva Gosvami, itís said that he was 16 years in the womb of his mother. Who is going to believe that he was 16 years in the womb? And then right after birth he started running away. How can somebody right after birth walk? And then also why he has to run only towards the forest? Because if he was brahman realized what was the need for him to run anywhere? Itís said that he was not distinguishing between men and women, but he knew the difference between home and forest? And how is it that he didnít study one word, but when he heard the Bhagavatam verses he could understand them, and then he came back and studied?
The same is with Govardhana, because it says that Krsna lifted Govardhana. Now you try to imagine how he lifted it? Because to lift it, you have to go under it, and to go under it you have to lift it. So which happened first? And how did he keep it, after lifting it? And how is it, then when he lifted it, it didnít fall down, not even the stones, have they been glued together or what? Especially when the rain was coming from the top. And there was so much rain coming, but there was no mud. How is that?
Ultimately the thing is that there is a style of sastra, which explains things. And that style has to be learned. This vedic literatures are not the way western people try to analyse and study them. But there is a whole system you have to understand first, and then you will know what these things imply basically.

Q: Letís say one learns that style, at what point does one identify something as being part of the sahitya style and at what point does one identify something as being something which actually took place historically. Isnít that a personal decision?

A: If you know the shelley in which you have to study, then this doubt will not come. Because then you understand what is the shelley, which is being used, means the style or the process or the mechanics of explaining things or conveying his point. These things poets use all the time. You have to study that and have an experience of it.
Itís basically a language just as you have computer language. So you have to study the language, then you know what the terms may mean. If somebody just knows english, in english they may also have terms like that, e.g. , what does it mean ? Or there is a >mother board> ...
In Bhagavatam 10th canto there is a description or mention about the gopis, but in the whole book there is no mention about their birth or how they grew up or even their names. Not even one name of any gopi or their parents or husbands is mentioned. This is the sahityic style, because the author is not interested in giving their names or this or that. That you can figure out from some other place. But his thing is that he wanted to show the bhava, that is the prominent thing.
Rasa-lila is supposed to be the explanation of the gayatri-mantra. But now you try to figure out what rasa-lila has to do with gayatri? But this is the sahityic way of giving the meaning. But unless you know the shelley you will not understand it. But everybody can relish Bhagavatam in their own manner, historically there are some historical things in it, poetically you can see that it is a nice poetry, or those people who are interested in stories there are phantastic stories there. But what the author wants to speak, that he has explained in the very beginning. For him other things are secondary.
Like Krsna has chastised the Kaliya snake, all these descriptions cannot be explained historically. What about the cows? Itís said they had unlimited calves. Where did they exist? You have a few cows and such a big problem. And Nanda Maharaja had 9 lakh cows and also Vrsabhanu, everybody seemed to have 9 lakh cows, and they were always 9 lakhs, they never grew. This is all sahityic style, the number 9 signifies something.

Q: What are the principle sahityic sastras, which discuss these poetic conventions, one would read to become familiar with this genre.

A: There are many. If you want to see in our Gaudiya-sampradaya then we have Alankarakaustubha by Kavikarnapura, Kavyakaustubha by Baladeva Vidyabhusana Swami and Bhakti-rasamrta-sese by Jiva Gosvami. There are many books in our own sampradaya, Maharaja has printed and commented some of them.
And if you want to see from the material side, then you have Sahitya-darpun, Kavyaprakash, Dhahunyaloka, there are so many of them.
Rasaraja dasa - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 01:20:57 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Apr 5 2005, 11:39 AM)
Tarun and Rasaraja - your objections to Nitai were literally the same ones I had to Jagat last June. As a result Nitai gets roasted and Jagat got elevated to be the Presiding Godhead of Gaudiyadiscussions.com.† A whole personality cult was built around him ("the trees in Vraja are whispering the name 'Jagat'.......") I dont get it. Is this only due to charisma?† blink.gif

Dear Advaita dasa,

Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

Radhe Radhe!

I think if you read my post I also stated that I didn't agree with Jagat's points either. I don't voice an opinion on GD at every turn. When I do it is done sometimes via PM and sometimes via post.

With the thread you are specifically reffering to I just found the whole thing out of control from the start so I communicated my thoughts in private, via PM. I found myself more comfortable with your viewpoint although I found the way you articulated your feelings for Jagat and how you approached where Jagat was coming from to be a bit much for my taste. As this was the second time a senior practitioner has voiced a similar opinion I decided to state my feelings and I didn't limit it to Nitai as I mentioned both circumstances.

At the time of Jagat's posts I did mention that I thought the way Jagat was articulating his point was a bit much for my taste which is much the same with Nitai.

In both cases I don't share the same opinion or approach. I also don't totally disagree with their points either; I simply think it is an issue one needs to resolve through ones Guru and/or Sadhus who can give such faith. I think it needs to be done very delicately and that the way in which we approach and articulate such issues is very imprtant for our own spiritual progress. Even with all of that siad there will be things in which we may very well never develop complete faith in. Regardless we need to be careful of how we approach and discuss such topics.

Many times I encounter posts I don't agree and I only chime in if I feel it important. I also tend to do it via PM first and post second. Hope that sheds some light on the why, what and when.

Rasaraja dasa

PS. I deeply respect Jagat for his wisdom but more importantly for his tact in dealing with others. We cannot expect to always agree but if we discuss with a respectful attitude and keeping in mind that we are all striving for Sri Radhika's service then there should be no need to be hostile towards one another. As I have stated many times before it isn't always what you say but how you say it. So don't mistake respect or affection for agreement in all circumstances.
Madhava - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 01:29:50 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Apr 5 2005, 08:39 PM)
Tarun and Rasaraja - your objections to Nitai were literally the same ones I had to Jagat last June. As a result Nitai gets roasted and Jagat got elevated to be the Presiding Godhead of Gaudiyadiscussions.com.† A whole personality cult was built around him ("the trees in Vraja are whispering the name 'Jagat'.......") I dont get it. Is this only due to charisma?† blink.gif

There's probably one key factor in effect there. One of the is being polite and respectful to others. That's why we are sometimes talking about the need to be polite. There's a lot of power in that.

kruddhaH paruSayA vAcA zreyaso'py avamAnyate [MBh Vp 30.4] -- "The good instructions of an angry man are treated with contempt."

I suppose you can count that as an aspect of charisma, yes. Gentle behavior, being one of the numerous fruits of sacred life, is attractive, and from sources that are attractive people are more inclined to accept insights.

As for the trees, I think people were just happy to see him go to Vraja after all these years. I have no doubt our good audience would share the same enthusiasm if another beloved participant came upon a significant event in their spiritual passage.
Madhava - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 01:38:16 +0530
QUOTE(braja @ Apr 5 2005, 08:41 PM)
Here's something interesting I read from some conversations between Haridas Sastri and his disciples:

To me, it looks more like Satya Narayan Ji and the disciples.


QUOTE
If somebody just knows english, in english they may also have terms like that, e.g. , what does it mean ? Or there is a ...

First of all, if a 80-year old sadhu starts talking to me about aborted processes and motherboards... laugh.gif I'm impressed!


QUOTE
There are many books in our own sampradaya, Maharaja has printed and commented some of them.

Here, evidently, the person answering is someone else but [Shastri] Maharaja.
evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 03:25:05 +0530
The tree comment, if I recall correctly, was something Dhyana said. She was referring to how she believed it is a big shame that Jagat is not here to read what is going on in the forum, since in her view, Jagat would understand what I am saying and be better able to address it as compared to the awful way some others here are addressing it. In this way she was lamenting, Oh where is Jagat when we need him! In -her- view Jagat would also be thrilled at the points I am bringing up. But that is just her view. And though Jagat is back, he is not really bothering with this matter.
braja - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 04:36:18 +0530
It's official, folks! The gullible crowd have been immortalized in verse:

QUOTE
Though the old kutir is now gone,
a new one comes before too long.
Far better than the one before;
many gifts of wisdom it will store.
Jewels from deep beneath the sea
will be here kept for all to see.
† "What sea is that?" you may ask me.
† I reply,† "The sea of bhakti."
But if you seek the Vaisnavism of insanity
filled with self-aggrandizement and vanity,
Gaudiya Discussions is what you want.
There you will find a gullible crowd
able to swallow vast nonsense; of that they're proud.
Or, visit ISKCON or Gaudiya Math.
They really think they know what's what.
It doesn't matter they're both the same;
They live in a medieval fantasy game.
They're a fanatic bunch who shun reason.
Thinking's considered a form of treason.
Here we'll apply all critical skill
to try to separate phoney from real.
History is for us a good friend
and so is science and textual criticism.
With these sources of light will we
throw back darkness and see what we can see.
But for now, if your brain still ticks,
and hasn't been dismantled by those fanatic hicks,
go visit
my little book storewink.gif
and buy a book; it will not bore.
Tapati - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 05:34:03 +0530
QUOTE(evakurvan @ Apr 5 2005, 01:55 PM)
The tree comment, if I recall correctly, was something Dhyana said. She was referring to how she believed it is a big shame that Jagat is not here to read what is going on in the forum, since in her view, Jagat would understand what I am saying and be better able to address it as compared to the awful way some others here are addressing it. In this way she was lamenting, Oh where is Jagat when we need him!† In -her- view Jagat would also be thrilled at the points I am bringing up. But that is just her view. And though Jagat is back, he is not really bothering with this matter.




I think Jagat has made it clear that his priority right now has to be elsewhere, such as recovering financially from not earning money during his trip, spending time with family, etc.

I do hope that people will stop interpreting his absence as any lack of desire on his part to participate, as this probably just makes him feel worse about not having the time to respond just now.

If people are wanting his feedback for certain topics, perhaps those topics should wait until he is able to find time to be online again. Right now he may check in and look from time to time but he can't let himself get sidetracked by posting and getting drawn into threads. We all know how time consuming that can be.

Tapati - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 05:37:44 +0530
QUOTE
As for the trees, I think people were just happy to see him go to Vraja after all these years. I have no doubt our good audience would share the same enthusiasm if another beloved participant came upon a significant event in their spiritual passage.


I for one will be just as excited when Advitiya gets to go. It is always exciting to see someone achieve their spiritual heart's desire. I would hope everyone would cheer me on if I got to see Glastonbury and Stonehenge, prime pagan sites.
Jagat - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 06:27:47 +0530
Not charisma, Advaita, perhaps nothing more than politeness. On the whole, I feel that good behavior counts for a great deal. I know that the raw siddhanta-walas don't agree with me, but I would rather share a difference of opinion with a mature gentleman than have the approbation of a fanatic.

I agree with much of what Nitai says, but I do wish he would be kinder to those who don't understand him. After all, adhikara cannot be given to people by bonking them over the head with a hammer. Even Nitai himself passed through the kanistha adhikari stage at one time...

As a matter of fact, I believe that we all go through a kind of kanishtha adhikari stage every time we get some brilliant new realization, though the cases get milder and milder as we progress. We start thinking how stupid everyone else is and how brilliant we are. The only major problem with being too liberal is that religious fanatics are capable of causing a lot of problems and are often quite beyond rational argument. Take the example of the recent murder in Holland. In such cases, it looks as though agnosticism is distinctly superior.

Please forgive me, evakurvan and Dhyana, for not "being there when you need me." I am afraid it will still be some time before that happens. In the meantime, I hope you will allow me to pray for everyone to find love and peace in achintya-bhedabheda-tattva.

Your servant,

Jagat
Jagat - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 06:47:18 +0530
P.S. By the above I did not mean to imply anything about any member of this discussion group. I have not followed this discussion, nor have I read any of its offerings carefully other than the poem by Nitai.

The seductive power of the forum has been acting on me for the past couple of hours and I am afraid that I really will have to return to my self-imposed abstention for a little while longer.

Things are looking slightly up, so my thanks to all of you who still manage to think of me with favor in your hearts.

Jagat
adiyen - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 06:58:10 +0530
I can't make much sense of what you are trying to say above, Jagat. The sentences do not seem to follow on one to the other.

The suggestion that we 'all go through a kanistha stage when we get some new realisation' is nice and salutary.

But civil agnosticism and liberalism, enforcing excessive politically correct politeness and 'tolerance', leading to moral relativism and official despondency, - these were all the direct causes of the recent murder in Holland. The failure to call a spade a spade, to confront evil since it first emerged in the 1980's with the fatwa against Rushdie.

For these reasons I don't mind what Nitai says. I'm sorry for those who were personally offended, though I think it is all meant in a friendly spirit and that Nitai has a lot more respect for the tradition ultimately than the 'polite' reformers.

If you're going to be a reformer, might as well go all the way, might as well state it up front in plain language. At least Nitai is doing it in his own country and culture, his own cultural 'territory' so to speak.
adiyen - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 07:13:24 +0530
Evakurvan, I have had time now to read much of your stuff (and I must acknowledge publicly that I am one of your sources, some of the things were raised by me on these forums in previous years as older readers will recall).

You know I support your quest, but on reading I think you may be overstating your case, that we must just acknowledge simple differences. For example Nagarjuna was the main exponent of Sunyata, and I agree that he did not mean just 'voidism', but in his writings he did attack Sri Krishna and Shiva specifically. So we cannot follow both.

Also, Traditional Gaudiyas must acknowledge doctrinal centrality of Sri Krishnadas Kaviraj-ji, who taught opposition to 'Mayavadis' etc.

I sense that Nitaiji rejects Kaviraj-ji. That is his right, and he will join Gaudiyas of a vast array of positions and opinions over aspects of the beliefs, all worthy of some respect. But here we must be faithful to the Kaviraj.
evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 07:16:14 +0530
It is true about politeness, but I would like to offer another side.

I enjoy this straighforwrdness. Others may see it as Unvaisnava or as a sign that your 30 years of bhajan have failed you, but I see it to the contrary. Many times I have made allusion to the fact that these pretenses of diplomacy and positivist assumptions of "dispassionate objective examination" are presumptuous. I wish that people would speak more from their heart instead of trying to play the omniscient Narrator or the posterchild of politesse. There was a chat on eating meat, and a person disagreed with me, but the way she did it it was so refreshing, none of this chat where you try to cover yourself on all sides, but a spontaneous reaction, a true opinion. I was not offended whatsoever. There is nothing wrong with having opinions and strong ones and using strong vivid language. What is arrogant is acting like an omniscient bank-teller of sorts. It is not very human or personal. Going around talking like a poised diplomat all of the time. Of course it is a way to ensure everyone thinks you are so Wise.

Of course from an Ultimate perspective, there is no need to take a stand on anything strongly, because from the vantage point of Ultimacy, there are so many endless caveats to every stand one can possibly take. Still what a despondent way to go about things. Having opinions is what being human is about. We all have our preferred angles, no matter how much we want to pretend that our thinking transcends either/or categories, it never does. So why continue to pretend that it does. Why not speak vividly, in the way of Nitai and Advaita Das, instead of shrouding ourselves in contrived language that attemps to be everything to everyone.

It is politeness that is sometimes inversed pride
and humility that is sometimes inversed arrogance.

Tapati - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 07:30:25 +0530
I think it is possible to express strong opinions politely. I happen to prefer that. I think there is an abundance of frankness and incivility in modern life. I do prefer honest disagreement, however, to white lying.

evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 07:47:32 +0530
I agree we cannot follow both and I am not saying that these paths do not have differences, they are not the same paths. I do not think that I am overstating since I do not recall saying that we can follow both, I personally would not even want to do that. They are not the same. Nagarjuna may have attacked sri Krsna and Siva for his own purposes to prove a point within a context, just like sri Caintaya attacks Sankarites and Buddhists. Sometimes we will attack things within a framework, attacking the way that certain Buddhists or certain Sivaites are practising their tradition at the time that they are practising it. This for the sake of illustration via contrast and other reasons. Sunyata is not a belief of being atheist and attacking deities like Krsna. I can say more about this one day if the Sunyata thread is re-opened. Adiyen I know you generally support my points, but I by no means think that you know and agree with every word I say. When I said that there are Gaudiyas who understand what I am saying about Brahman all the way, this was not about you.
adiyen - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 07:52:48 +0530
" I wish that people would speak more from their heart instead of trying to play the omniscient Narrator or the posterchild of politesse."


What a great sentence, EK! Yes! Yes!

One thing. Tarunji mentioned, very humbly and sincerely, an inner struggle with impersonalism.

This is a nice sentiment, but I suspect that Gaudiyas would not know what you are talking about!

First, Gaudiya Achara is a matter of doing - there is no Gaudiya critique of mentality or attitude as far as I am aware, beyond the Gita's teaching of non-atachment. That's it. Beware of kam, krodha, lobha, all caused at the root by attachment. Bas. Don't start rooting out 'lack of surrender' or 'impersonalism' and so on. Just chant! Nam will do the rest!

And this leads me to a general caution. I have seen many westerners come to Gaudiyaism over the years, and then go, and I think one big problem is over-rationalisation.

Rationalisation was discussed by Max Weber. It is a Protestant thing. The need to make every aspect of one's life conform with one's beliefs. This also leafs to commodification, but that's another story.

An example of over-rationalisation is watching the time, so as 'not to waste a second of the Lord's time'. Friends, you will surely burn out this way! Take it from an old Catholic. Things wil be rectified in time. Be patient. Don't over-analyse your self. Leave your (non-Krishna) thoughts and feelings as they are and just be happy in the Lord and Sri Guru. Guruji will see all and give needful correction, in good time.
adiyen - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 08:03:09 +0530
That's all fine by me, RK biggrin.gif

Especially 'within a framework'.

See GD is a framework. So within this framework we may 'attack the Mayavadis', to establish a general point see?

Certainly in the early 20th Century Advaitism was presented as 'good' Hinduism in the west, and bhakti as 'supersitition'. There was a need for a corrective, to show the far greater complexity of Hindu beliefs than monovocal Advaita enthusiasts were allowing (though they actually do deserve credit for broadmindedness).

This crude 'Bhakti is a lower stage on the path beyond...'
TarunGovindadas - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 11:16:31 +0530
Still I am shocked about the fact in not believing in our main sastras...

blink.gif blink.gif

I think exactly like Advaita das , buttkisser that I am.
smile.gif

evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 14:55:51 +0530
I think like Advaita Das too. Better to not look at this in the binary mode of orthodox vs. progressive and all of the assumptions about a person that each label tends to impose.
adiyen - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 15:47:50 +0530
Who is 'not believing in our main shastras' ?

All devotees, all Hindus, emphasise some scripture over others, and some parts of those scriptures over other parts. It is a matter of individual preference and common tradition.

Nitaiji prefers Sanatana Gosvami over others. That is unusual, but the Gauranagaris also exclude some and elevate others. Surely to be deeply drawn to Sanatan is admirable.

For now though, 'orthodox' would mean accepting the traditional view (which, Tarunji, never included the words 'personal' or 'impersonal' but does include the belief, detailed by Kaviraj-ji, that Mahaprabhu opposed Mayavadis).

'Orthodox' may not be entirely consistent to the eyes of over-rationalising observers. For example many old orthodox Gaudiyas may not regard Sri Ramakrishna as a Mayavadi, and may have great reverence for 'Paramahansaji' or even Swami Vivekananda. Note this well.

I also think like Advaitadasji. Happily so! cool.gif
evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:05:01 +0530
The CC is not some historical document it is the word of God. Even if some people realize that the understanding of Advaitans and Buddhists presented therein is incomplete and wrong, it is not okay to utter this. It is not even okay to utter that the understanding is incomplete only because it is performed as a lila, a skillful upaya or even within a framework. Though intellectually people may realize this, it is not okay to utter it. Uttering is evocation and invocation it has some kind of effect. What counts is love, and who cares about what is intellectually true. From the point of view of love, no, not even one word in CC is incomplete in any way whatsoever.
adiyen - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:09:27 +0530
EK, now you are being western eclectic. The 'word of God'? In all Hinduism there is no, repeat no, Bible.

Scriptures are sorted and weighted, according to different preferences, including ethnic. CC has a special place, but it is not Bible as such. There is no comparison.

Maybe in some circles it is not OK to say such things. But I think there are circles of orthodox Gaudiyas where some form of what you say would be acceptable, not any formal group but just a general dicussion. I've heard such views amongst Bengalis. They tend to be very well informed about various philosophies and enjoy lively discussion.

On the other hand, in a group of Bengalis, even Gaudiyas, it is much more 'not OK' to say, 'Ramakrishna is a...' whatever some critics like to say.

There are complex loyalties involved, multi-polar, not at all binary.
evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:17:02 +0530
What does ek refer to, does this refer to the person on this board or some kind of foreign expression. What I am saying here comes from my self, as does 99.9 percent of what I say. When I quote other people I indicate: this is from an anonymous conversation, or I indicate their name, or I say: this is some information I obtained.
adiyen - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:18:39 +0530
Umm. Eva Kurvan.

Shorthand. Nickname. Not acceptable?
evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:28:56 +0530
Oh yes I do not know why I did not realize that, you said ek before too, and I kept thinking what is ek?! Is it Swiss? Haha. I am responding this way because in another thread it was mentionned twice that I should have indicated that what I said came from Nitai, meanwhile I did indicate it. So now I am afraid that people will be guessing how much of what I am saying is me, and how much of it are quotes from other people.
adiyen - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:30:55 +0530
Sorry it is a habit of mine to abbreviate like that.

I am saying, discuss with Bengali Gaudiyas comparison with Sunyata ot Advaita, even Marxism. Generally they will be happy to consider your points.

But be aware that criticism of a text in Bengali tongue, or a Bengali important figure, by an outsider, may arouse some hurt, unrelated to religious belief but coming from pride in one's culture. This is far more of a concern than doctrinal niceties.

Advitiya and dasanudasajis, am I not correct?
TarunGovindadas - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:39:18 +0530
Respected Vaishnavas,

honestly I am not only shocked but also very confused, because for me it is very hard to understand how someone initiated into a Gaudiya-Vaishnava-tradition can come to the following realizations after more than 30 years of doing bhajan:

- most of the Srimad Bhagavatam is "nonsense", not written by Srila Vyasadeva, full of Advaitavada
- the Bhagavad-gita is not spoken by Sri Krishna
- the acaryas, particularly the 6 Gosvamis, had to somehow do a fixing job on re-arranging the shastras and some of them utterly failed to do so (except maybe Sanatana Goswami)
- Darwinian evolution is for real, although even Darwinists admit that there are big big holes in this theory
- the realization that everything gets better in this world (not like predicted in the SB)
- the realization that all who dont share these beliefs are insane
- the realization that not many people are on the level of these realizations, including the 6 Gosvamis (and of them only Sanatana Gosvami might be)


I understand that one always has to be critical in a healthy way and that one always has to sincerely explore into the nature of things, but to just smash so many pillars of Gaudiya-belief into pieces is not really a balanced approach.

Just because our tiny minds cannot understand certain things, cannot fully believe certain things, I find it a little bit strange to declare these things as "nonsense" or "ridiculous"...

So, if the Bhagavatam, the Gita and the works of our acaryas are no more to be taken seriously or as real, what use is there then as Gaudiya Vaishnava to read any scripture?
No need anymore to quote SB, CC, BRS, BB and all the classics.
"I think", "I believe", "My theory is",....
Right, what a fruitful field and ground for a discussion.
To me this is useless and someone with that kind of thinking should not take part in a discussion on a board called "Gaudiya discussions".

Ok, I humbly ask, not offend or to challenge or to attack, just to know, who else beside Nitai das and Jagat share the same opinions on the realizations I summarized before and how did you come to such an understanding that for example most of the Bhagavatam is "fake"?
Just utterly curious I am... blink.gif

adiyen - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:41:54 +0530
There you go, Tarunji.

Over-rationalising.

;-)

Confession: I am also an egghead. I said some similar things as on the list you gave on this forum in the past years.

In fact when I first came on the Internet 7 years ago I was a crusader to prove such things. Nitai had an old letter of mine on his website in which I complained that his critique didn't go far enough! Jagat may remember me saying similar things to him back then, but I have an inner consistency:-

I studied contemporary philosophy and unlike my fellow eggheads became convinced of the primary importance of *Tradition* over everything else. So I accept what others believe, even if I am myself agnostic, because it *makes the world work* and in this case leads us to great beauty (my version of faith).

Kierkegaarde : 'It is absurd to believe, which is why I must, against all reason and even common sense...' (paraphrase).
evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:41:58 +0530
Advitiya is actually a Vedanta scholar in Montreal who has some of the teachers I had. She is able to understand why I am saying what I am saying, and has said as much in the bheda abheda thread.
TarunGovindadas - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:44:15 +0530
QUOTE
There you go, Tarunji.

Over-rationalising.


What do you mean by "over-rationalising"?
Jagat - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 17:08:07 +0530
Perhaps I was careless, Adiyen. I believe I was saying the same as you. "The problem with being too liberal..." In comparison to fanaticism, however, agnosticism is better.
TarunGovindadas - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 17:15:21 +0530
I agree that fanatic belief is also not the right way.
evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 18:32:20 +0530
Adiyen what a fitting and great Kierkegaarde quote.
Advaitadas - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 19:02:28 +0530
QUOTE
In comparison to fanaticism, however, agnosticism is better.


There is no need to choose between two evils like that. The heart and the head can be in balance, without becoming a complete infidel, which is the unfortunate fate of many an egghead....... sad.gif
dasanudas - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 19:30:52 +0530
QUOTE(adiyen @ Apr 6 2005, 06:00 AM)
Sorry it is a habit of mine to abbreviate like that.

I am saying, discuss with Bengali Gaudiyas comparison with Sunyata ot Advaita, even Marxism. Generally they will be happy to consider your points.

But be aware that criticism of a text in Bengali tongue, or a Bengali important figure, by an outsider, may arouse some hurt, unrelated to religious belief but coming from pride in one's culture. This is far more of a concern than doctrinal niceties.

Advitiya and dasanudasajis, am I not correct?




I can not tell about Advitiya but I do not believe so. For me who follows Gaudiya Vaishnavism is not an outsider. Logical dialogue is very much accepted but that needs intellectual honesty. One first should take the pain to learn the language , read the original source , realize the points stated by many Mahatma/Sadhu/Critique and then should come to dialogue and conclusion.

Here I can not see that is happening while people are criticizing Krishna Das Kaviraz for CC. In the same account why you are leaving Brindavan das thakur, kavi karnapur and murary gupta......? because you know all are in the same tone while describing mahaprabhuís activity against Mayavada?


Then why bashing only Krishna Das Kaviraj? Why not the followers of entire Gaudiya Vaisnav Samaj who has accepted CC as the main philosophical scripture for last couple of centuries?

And then why we should follow that theology? Is it not an intellectual hypocrisy?
Why we are wasting our time here?


I can see Tarun Ji's point ( posted in http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/index.ph...pic=3259&st=30) ... very clear.... no matter how insane that is ....

Disclaimer: I am not saying everything stated in Srimad Bhagavatam to be taken as literally correct. I would rather go by Braja's post http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/index.ph...opic=3259&st=15 about the conversations between Haridas Sastri and his disciples.

Pranam
Dasanudas
evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 19:40:45 +0530
For the record, it is possible to say certain things about Advaita and Buddhism that to hypersensitive others might appear like you refuse to believe in the CC of Kaviraj, while still believing in the CC of Kaviraj.
jijaji - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 20:25:16 +0530
QUOTE(evakurvan @ Apr 6 2005, 04:05 PM)
The CC is not some historical document it is the word of God. Even if some people realize that the understanding of Advaitans and Buddhists presented therein is incomplete and wrong, it is not okay to utter this. It is not even okay to utter that the understanding is incomplete only because it is performed as a lila, a skillful upaya or even within a framework. Though intellectually people may realize this, it is not okay to utter it. Uttering is evocation and invocation it has some kind of effect. What counts is love, and who cares about what is intellectually true. From the point of view of love, no, not even one word in CC is incomplete in any way whatsoever.



I don't think you understand CC as much as you seem to imply here, do you even know what Krishna das's motivation was to write it?
And how did you form your opinion that CC is Apaurusheya, you imply it is Sruti...?

jijaji
evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 20:43:07 +0530
Reply to post above and posts below.

QUOTE
These statements certainly imply you have some 'understanding' sorry...and please answer for yourself, dont go find someone who can give you the answer to post.


You do not seem to understand the feeling behind that post. Your reply strikes me as some kind of bizarre test.

It would be nice if people felt free to say things without others replying: "Wow you sure must think you have CC all figured out, dont you!?"

I don't appreciate your second comment.
jijaji - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 20:53:11 +0530
QUOTE
The CC is not some historical document it is the word of God

From the point of view of love, no, not even one word in CC is incomplete in any way whatsoever


These statements certainly imply you have some 'understanding' sorry...and please answer for yourself, dont go find someone who can give you the answer to post.
dasanudas - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 20:54:31 +0530
QUOTE(jijaji @ Apr 6 2005, 10:19 AM)
QUOTE
The CC is not some historical document it is the word of God

QUOTE
From the point of view of love, no, not even one word in CC is incomplete in any way whatsoever.


These statements certainly imply you have some 'understanding' sorry...



Oh God sad.gif ohmy.gif
jijaji - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 20:59:02 +0530
QUOTE(evakurvan @ Apr 6 2005, 08:43 PM)
I will explain what I meant by those statements later.
It would be nice if people felt free to say things without others replying: "Wow you sure must think you have CC all figured out, dont you!?"



I didnt say that at all...

But you imply you do have an ''understanding' (those were my words) when you make such sweeping statements...like 'The word of God' etc..

rolleyes.gif
jijaji - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 21:18:02 +0530
QUOTE
You do not seem to understand the feeling behind that post. Your reply strikes me as some kind of bizarre test.

I'm quite sure many here feel the same way with your constant challenges on advaita etc - on practically every single thread..
wink.gif

QUOTE
I don't appreciate your second comment.

you'll get over it...

cool.gif
braja - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 21:52:30 +0530
QUOTE(jijaji @ Apr 6 2005, 11:48 AM)
QUOTE
You do not seem to understand the feeling behind that post. Your reply strikes me as some kind of bizarre test.

I'm quite sure many here feel the same way with your constant challenges on advaita etc - on practically every single thread..
wink.gif

QUOTE
I don't appreciate your second comment.

you'll get over it...

cool.gif



Moderator talk: jijaji, unless you have been corresponding with Evakurvan privately and this is all in jest, I would like to ask that you please drop the sarcasm. It is uncalled for and unproductive.
jijaji - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 22:37:12 +0530
Excuse me...

Boy Nitai was right about a lot of things here it seems, I wont go into such a detailed complaint as he but I do hope you enjoy your double standards here.

my last post,

please delete my account with my postings
Madhava - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 22:51:29 +0530
OK. smile.gif
evakurvan - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 23:08:35 +0530
That was bizarre. Is jijaji bangli.

I am sorry bangli we agree on misconceptions of advaita in gaudiya thought but that does not mean I have to share your interest of looking at sastra as a historical document, and then basing how I feel about the religion on whether or not I find historical innacuracies.

On another note: I guess if I use the word MISCONCEPTION instead of CARICATURE people are prone to accept that more. Even though it is the same word. And why continue to manipulate oneself into the strainer of constant tact.
Madhava - Wed, 06 Apr 2005 23:26:59 +0530
Yes, Jijaji was the same as Bangli. He requested the nick to be changed.
Tamal Baran das - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 00:05:18 +0530
I read all of this postings in this thread, and i am happy to read my Gurudeva's books and worship my Sri Giridhari Lalji.

It is nice to be an intellectual, but intellectual and academic is also a gentleman.

Nitai das was the person which told me about to whom to write and who is who at Sri Radhakunda,he has opened my eyes, and those eyes were further opened by Advaita Das from this Forum, and i started walking with Madhava and Radhapada Das fully.
Sakhi Priya my dear Guru sister ,Madhusudan das (who was initiated by my Baba since 1991, and Govindapada Das also initiated in mid 90es by my Baba, and both from London) gave me further love for my Baba.
I really don't have absolutely no comments on all those people except that i sincerely respect them from my heart.
Therefore in my heart there is no place for confusion.
Please don't mistake my words for sentimentalism.
Gaurasundara - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 07:02:56 +0530
QUOTE(evakurvan @ Apr 6 2005, 06:38 PM)
And why continue to manipulate oneself into the strainer of constant tact.

Because a lot of people tend to be proud of their beliefs and/or traditions and to receive critical questions about it, even if well-meant, has the potential to offend them if not asked properly and in a spirit of humble enquiry.

Example: I frequently enter different forums to ask questions about the traditions that they represent. I am fully aware that I do not know their traditions fully - which is why I am asking questions! wink.gif - and so I represent that in the way I phrase my question. It is highly important to phrase questions or points properly, especially when there is always a certain likelihood that you don't know what you are talking about. If you phrase the question or point wrongly, then your lack of knowledge about the subject will be obvious and there is a good chance that your question will not be answered properly or be taken seriously.
evakurvan - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 07:06:17 +0530
If this is supposed to be some kind of critique about my posts, I do not think it applies.
No need to use that obviously iconoclastically-intended post in that way.
TarunGovindadas - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 11:08:53 +0530
QUOTE
I can see Tarun Ji's point ( posted in http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/index.ph...pic=3259&st=30) ... very clear.... no matter how insane that is ....


blink.gif

What you mean by insane?
Why is my post insane?

Can you please clarify?
Madhava - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 16:03:25 +0530
QUOTE(TarunGovindadas @ Apr 7 2005, 06:38 AM)
What you mean by insane?
Why is my post insane?

Can you please clarify?

I believe he says that with a pinch of sarcasm aimed at the original disagreement of Nitai and agrees with your points.

Let's not be too sensitive. smile.gif
TarunGovindadas - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 17:48:40 +0530
QUOTE
I believe he says that with a pinch of sarcasm aimed at the original disagreement of Nitai and agrees with your points.

Let's not be too sensitive. smile.gif


Thanks.
biggrin.gif
dasanudas - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 18:43:23 +0530
QUOTE(TarunGovindadas @ Apr 7 2005, 12:38 AM)
QUOTE
I can see Tarun Ji's point ( posted in http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/index.ph...pic=3259&st=30) ... very clear.... no matter how insane that is ....


What you mean by insane?
Why is my post insane?

Can you please clarify?

No you misunderstood me... I saw the justifications of your arguments and that is why I tried to support your view....

hope you will understand.
TarunGovindadas - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 19:03:35 +0530
Me too ego-centric.

Yeah, I got it now,
thank you very much.

Joy Radhe!
biggrin.gif
DharmaChakra - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 21:56:18 +0530
QUOTE(TarunGovindadas @ Apr 6 2005, 07:09 AM)
Respected Vaishnavas,

honestly I am not only shocked but also very confused, because for me it is very hard to understand how someone initiated into a Gaudiya-Vaishnava-tradition can come to the following realizations after more than 30 years of doing bhajan:

Complete Post Here

Ok, I humbly ask, not offend or to challenge or to attack, just to know, who else beside Nitai das and Jagat share the same opinions on the realizations I summarized before and how did you come to such an understanding that for example most of the Bhagavatam is "fake"?
Just utterly curious I am... blink.gif


Its funny. As modern human beings we live a life in paradox. I think we need to seperate the 'traditional' from the 'historic', and try to understand how each factors into our world views.

I personally found Braja's quoted conversation earlier in this thread to be a bit of fresh air in the fundamentalism that has plauged GV here in the west. Its a fact for us, we just take things too seriously. I'm a little disappointed this thread has not commented more on that (lengthy) quote. If you agree with it or not, at least it brings up the possibility that there are other reasons things are written as they are in our scriptures.

Our western society has been completely transformed by the 'Rational Revolution'. Its taken for granted that we now receive at least some kind of science education in our public schooling now. Does anyone question the existence of DNA and genes? Which Bhagavatam verse describes them?

This scientific world view, the one we use to understand how planes fly, how doctors treat us, does run headlong into some of the issues Tarun-ji has brought up. How can we come to some kind of equilibrium? In fact, we bifurcate the two, existing one foot in the modern world, one in the traditional. Nitai-ji has presented an important question.. can we believe in both systems, especially where they so obviously collide? Nitai-ji has simply chosen to reject those parts of the scripture he finds untenable (note: he has not provided reasoning as for why he has rejected these things). Braja has provided another 'out', in having us evaluate why the author has presented something in this particular way.

Which is better? Should we even try to be apologists, try to harmonize the scripture with the world? Who am I to say? biggrin.gif
Madhava - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 22:05:36 +0530
How about a new topic for that, from a clean start?
Gaurasundara - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 22:16:09 +0530
Haven't we already discussed these things before, Madhavaji? Like your Big Bang topic for instance?
DharmaChakra - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 22:27:52 +0530
QUOTE(Gaurasundara @ Apr 7 2005, 12:46 PM)
Haven't we already discussed these things before, Madhavaji? Like your Big Bang topic for instance?


And I rather liked that topic (here for those interested). I'm not sure the topic has been beaten to death, but I would agree that I have repeated myself in light of the Big Bang thread.

I do think its something to discuss. Do you disagree? Are we 'done with it'?
Gaurasundara - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 22:32:04 +0530
Oh I suppose not, my dear Dharmacakraji. I was just thinking about the amount of times we have discussed the conflict with Western-Eastern thinking but those topics have usually dealt with a specific issue. I think Madhavaji's suggestion related to a new topic where we discuss the polemics (?) of East-West conflict and thinking itself. Have I got it right?
DharmaChakra - Thu, 07 Apr 2005 22:40:24 +0530
QUOTE(Gaurasundara @ Apr 7 2005, 01:02 PM)
Oh I suppose not, my dear Dharmacakraji. I was just thinking about the amount of times we have discussed the conflict with Western-Eastern thinking but those topics have usually dealt with a specific issue. I think Madhavaji's suggestion related to a new topic where we discuss the polemics (?) of East-West conflict and thinking itself. Have I got it right?


Yes.. I agree. One does get a little world weary discussing ad nauseum if Darwin was right or wrong... I hope in the two threads (the Big Bang & the one I just posted on Normalizing Worldviews) I step a little outside of this typical bashing of dogma on both sides...
jijaji - Fri, 08 Apr 2005 00:13:46 +0530
thank you Madhava .

regards,

jijaji
dasanudas - Fri, 08 Apr 2005 00:16:51 +0530
QUOTE(jijaji @ Apr 7 2005, 01:43 PM)
My apologies to evakurvan and everyone else for any offense on my part yesterday and I thank Madhava for his allowing me to come back.

regards,

jijaji



We are glad that you came back smile.gif
Gaurasundara - Fri, 08 Apr 2005 03:45:20 +0530
QUOTE(TarunGovindadas @ Apr 6 2005, 12:09 PM)
-† most of the Srimad Bhagavatam is "nonsense", not written by Srila Vyasadeva, full of Advaitavada

Some parts of the Tenth Canto (the gopIs' discussions with KRSNa) have been taken to lend support to Advaita-vAda of sorts. Friedhelm Hardy in his famous work Viraha Bhakti: The Early History of Krsna Devotion in South India discusses this briefly.

QUOTE
-† the realization that everything gets better in this world (not like predicted in the SB)

Actually Nitai was right about this one. This time around, things are going to get better. smile.gif
jijaji - Fri, 08 Apr 2005 05:18:47 +0530
cant say I'll be here to much, but want to be able to pop in from time to time..

regards,

jijaji
Mina - Fri, 08 Apr 2005 08:51:59 +0530
Been following along as time allows. Haven't had time to comment though. There are some valid points raised on both sides of this debate. Mysticism defies the rational within us. At the same time, running off half-cocked and jumping into proverbial milk oceans while abandoning all of one's critical faculties hardly smacks of level headedness. As far as evolution is concerned, just because some Darwinians may have their critiques of the old man himself does not mean they are throwing out the whole theory in favor of creationism. I personally do not think that any of the sacred texts from the various traditions including Hinduism, Caitanyaism, Buddhism, Judeo-Christianity and aboriginal religions are necessarily in contradiction with evolution. It is just that at the time they were penned, people had not had to confront the evidence from the fossil record - because archaeologists and paleontologists had not yet dug it up and pieced it together.

Consider this all protaganists herein: What was it that got you going on this path, if it was not some profound experience during kirton, japa and puja? How do you reconcile that with the rest of the fabric of your reality? If that is starting to unravel and your mind begins to recoil on account of the threat it poses to all that you have held to be truth prior to that event, then you have reached the first milestone.
Srijiva - Fri, 08 Apr 2005 09:53:10 +0530
QUOTE(TarunGovindadas @ Apr 6 2005, 04:09 AM)
Respected Vaishnavas,

honestly I am not only shocked but also very confused, because for me it is very hard to understand how someone initiated into a Gaudiya-Vaishnava-tradition can come to the following realizations after more than 30 years of doing bhajan:

-† most of the Srimad Bhagavatam is "nonsense", not written by Srila Vyasadeva, full of Advaitavada
-† the Bhagavad-gita is not spoken by Sri Krishna
-† the acaryas, particularly the 6 Gosvamis, had to somehow do a fixing job on re-arranging the shastras and some of them utterly failed to do so (except maybe Sanatana Goswami)
-† Darwinian evolution is for real, although even Darwinists admit that there are big big holes in this theory
-† the realization that everything gets better in this world (not like predicted in the SB)
-† the realization that all who dont share these beliefs are insane
-† the realization that not many people are on the level of these realizations, including the 6 Gosvamis (and of them only Sanatana Gosvami might be)


...

Just because our tiny minds cannot understand certain things, cannot fully believe certain things, I find it a little bit† strange to declare these things as "nonsense" or "ridiculous"...

...

Ok, I humbly ask, not offend or to challenge or to attack, just to know, who else beside Nitai das and Jagat share the same opinions on the realizations I summarized before and how did you come to such an understanding that for example most of the Bhagavatam is "fake"?
Just utterly curious I am... blink.gif




I personally am very excited to hear explanations and accounts given by Srimad Bhagavatam...& to me it all feels right. It all seems to fit too well into place. It is all so incredibly cool and makes this "world" and "universe" and Krsna all the more interesting to learn about, as well as hanker for. I also find it hard to believe that works such as Bhagavad Gita or Mahabharata and Srimad Bhagavatam could have been concocted by some ordinary person. It strikes me as stuff that could only come from Divine revelation.

I am one who finds comfort in believing in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, and in Peter Pan. My bhakti-happy thought is Lord Brahma sitting atop that precious Lotus Flower growing out of Vishnu's Navel. biggrin.gif When I read about the source of Ganges...I just think, "How neat is that?" Now I wouldn't go and try and argue these views with anohter...but I would tend to share them with someone as interested as I.

Lately I have been learning of the "Intelligent Design" theory vs. Darwinism...and it just seems to support the Vedas all the more...or the Vedas support ID...

I am not yet familiar enough with Sanatana Goswami's writings, so I am not sure what that one was about wink.gif
dasanudas - Fri, 08 Apr 2005 19:42:12 +0530
"Bhagabat para giya bhagabat sthane"

Can anybody relate this instruction of Mahaprabu with this topic? I think the answer lies here.

Why Scripture is "GURUMUKHI" ?

Only bhakta and his das can guess... smile.gif

Yours
Dasanudas
Mina - Sat, 09 Apr 2005 03:36:45 +0530
Much about life, the universe and everything is paradoxical. Trying to figure it all out is literally reaching for the stars. We can only grasp what our mental ability enables us to.
Tapati - Sat, 09 Apr 2005 05:52:08 +0530
Members of religions world wide are trying to reconcile their faith and scriptures with the contradictory facts of science.

One way to look at this disparity is to understand the role of our subconscious mind, what some pagans call younger mind. It is a part of us that reacts and conceptualizes in symbols, and yet it is also central to the powerful part of our psyche that enables us to connect with the Divine (or, for pagans, do successful rituals). Sooner or later I believe all spiritual writers and thinkers begin to intuit that this part of us needs potent images and symbols to better enable it to make that Divine connection. Images invoke its power, in effect.

The vivid stories and images of Bhagavatam or the Bible give that part of us something to hook into, invest in, awake the power of.

If our scriptures were so dry as to read like computer manuals, would any of us sustain our practices? Probably not. But they could have been made that boring and matter of fact. Who would read them? Even now, as contemporary scripture is being created, it is recognized that no one will want to read dry text, now or in the far future.

So they speak to us in parable, in story, in myth, with beautiful and powerful symbols and pictures to captivate us on all levels. By all means let us not throw away these stories and images!

Nor should they create a disbelief in modern knowledge that we need to access for our mundane life.

Each has its place.

The notion that all scriptural stories are not literally true does not need to disrupt faith. Faith comes in where the process actually works for you, you can see it in your day to day life as you find joy in your bhajan and feel greater and greater connection to Krishna. If this is working for you, why agonize over who spoke Bhagavad Gita and when? It helps your process to see Krishna in this great scripture, so by all means hold on to that. Just don't blind yourself to why it is important to do so, or swallow anything literally just because someone says so. The proof is in the process and the results.

Bright blessings on your path of devotion--

Tapati
Lalitadas - Sun, 10 Apr 2005 00:31:29 +0530
Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Bhakta Brnda!

This thread is very difficult for me to understand, but I hope my contribution will be pleasing to all Vaisnavas who read it.

Knowing my helpless condition, the only sane thing to do is to become completely dependent on the mercy and compassion of all of Sri Krishna's devotees. Whatever thoughts may enter my mind and whatever words issue forth from my mouth, if they do not elicit the mercy and compassion of Sri Guru, Sri Bhakta and Sri Krishna, they will only drive the six poisoned daggers of my enemies deeper into my heart.

That is why I always try to speak nicely to the Bhaktas. That is why I do not claim to know anything about anything. In truth I always think badly of everyone and I think that my knowledge is unsurpassed, but unless I show a willingness to be changed by the loving touchstone of the Vaisnavas' mercy, I will continue on the path of destruction forever.

Krishna is in the heart of all beings, but His devotees ARE HIS HEART. Let me always remember this! If cause a devotee grief, I am directly giving pain to Krishna's heart. But even more important this; if I cause pain to Sri Krishna's heart, I am directly giving grief to His Bhakta's. Why do I even continue to breathe knowing how ungrateful I have been to these unlimitedly compassionate souls?

If I have offended anyone, I beg your forgiveness again and again. I love you all and I love you all. You are all my only hope, each and every one of you. I beg all Bhaktas to please forgive my breach of silence. For me to speak amongst such company is great show of false pride. It is by all of you that I am sustained.

If it pleases you to beat me with a stick, I will find the best stick possible!

Jaya Sri Guru, Jaya Sri Krishna, Jaya Sri Sri Gaura Bhakta Brnda!
Kulapavana - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 18:45:51 +0530
reflecting on Nitai's early post about lack of faith in the most basic concepts of our tradition:

how does one arrive at such a state of mind after some 30 years of reasonable (?) effort to understand our tradition?

eternity is such a long time - 30 years seems almost irrelevant. yet, one would expect some benefit of devotional service to have manifested in the practicioner. was there real faith in him earlier? was it lost due to offenses? a moment of madness due to the fire of material existence? ohmy.gif

I'm certainly not trying to judge him in any way, it is none of my business, but I can't help but feel profound sadness when reading such posts...
Advaitadas - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 19:58:34 +0530
It is due to applying the wrong instrument. The intellect is a material instrument with which (alone) one cannot gauge transcendence. bhumir apo'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca ahankara (B. Gita 7.4) "My eight external mundane elements are earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and ego...." Intelligence, however, becomes sacred when it is applied with devotion:

tesam satata yuktanam bhajatam priti purvakam dadami buddhi yogam tam yena mam upayanti te (B. Gita 10.10) "I give the divine intelligence (buddhi yoga) to attain Me to one who worships me constantly with love...."
Rasaraja dasa - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 20:35:53 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Apr 12 2005, 06:28 AM)
It is due to applying the wrong instrument. The intellect is a material instrument with which (alone) one cannot gauge transcendence. bhumir apo'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca ahankara (B. Gita 7.4) "My eight external mundane elements are earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and ego...." Intelligence, however, becomes sacred when it is applied with devotion:

tesam satata yuktanam bhajatam priti purvakam dadami buddhi yogam tam yena mam upayanti te (B. Gita 10.10) "I give the divine intelligence (buddhi yoga) to attain Me to one who worships me constantly with love...."

Radhe Radhe!

What I wonder is for those who bring their intellectual capabilities to the forefront when approaching sastra where does it end? Does one then demand to intellectualize each aspect of Gaudiya theology and demand proof and validation before simply denoting something as being without merit or truth? If so then what happens, intellectually, when confronting Krsnaís lila? Can one intellectually conceive of a young boy lifting Govardhan Hill with his pinky? Wouldnít that same type of intelligence cast aside most, if not all, of Krsnaís lila? Or is there something more realistic about the Putana, Trnavarta, Kaliya or Kesi lilas? So my challenge is where does an individual decide where faith is applicable and where it ends and then where ďrealityĒ begins and ends? If one approaches lila with intellect then there is bound to be issues. One cannot simply deem the areas they are uncomfortable with as areas approachable with intellect at the forefront while approaching areas they are comfortable with by employing faith above intellect. This isnít a buffet where one can decide what is meaningful and what is distasteful. This is a dish we either accept in itís entirety or it is something we donít accept.

I have met some devotees over the years that find themselves more drawn to Srila Jiva Goswamiís work because it is considered to be more based on philosophy and intellectual tenants. However you cannot simply put his work out of the context of the greater Gaudiya tradition and context. No matter how you twist and turn it Gaudiya theology demands aspects well beyond intellectual capabilities and even, in some respects, overrides intellectual capabilities.

This isnít to say that being an intellect is contrary to devotion. However it can only act as the guiding source up to a point. That is why Sadhu, Sastra and Guru are at the basis of our theology. Virtually everything divine is beyond our intellect. So as Advaita has pointed out intelligence becomes sacred when it is applied with devotion and ultimate faith in Sadhu, Sastra and Guru.

Radhe Radhe!

Rasaraja dasa
Advaitadas - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 20:44:58 +0530
Well as we have seen in the - for me very disturbing - recent revelations on this board of Satya Narayan Das's view of Krishna Lila - this is exactly what is happening when one applies one's intellect to the Inconceivable. I can imagine that some in SN's audience might start thinking: 'What is he (SN) doing then here in Vrindavan, if all this is either untrue, exaggarated or explained in some rational way? What am I doing here actually?'
Considering Jiva Gosvami's more intellectual books - in his Tattva Sandarbha and Sarva Samvadini and throughout his commentaries on the Bhagavata Tenth Canto Jiva Gosvami has always followed the line of the Krsna-stories and has implicitly said the stories are literally the way they are described. This is what I call buddhi yoga or divine intellect! smile.gif
Rasaraja dasa - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 20:52:00 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Apr 12 2005, 07:14 AM)
Considering Jiva Gosvami's more intellectual books - in his Tattva Sandarbha and Sarva Samvadini and throughout his commentaries on the Bhagavata Tenth Canto Jiva Gosvami has always followed the line of the Krsna-stories and has implicitly said the stories are literally the way they are described. This is what I call buddhi yoga or divine intellect!† smile.gif

Radhe Radhe!

I agree. What I should have elaborated on is that even in those circumstances the individual brings certain aspects of Jiva Goswami's works out of the context of the greater Gaudiya tradition while having to push to the back areas in which Jiva Goswami ties everything together such as you mentioned.

Radhe Radhe!

Rasaraja dasa
Kulapavana - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 22:25:34 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Apr 12 2005, 10:28 AM)
It is due to applying the wrong instrument. The intellect is a material instrument with which (alone) one cannot gauge transcendence.


if one sincerely engages even his intellect alone in devotional service, he should eventually get the higher taste and deeper understanding.
Advaitadas - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 22:31:17 +0530
QUOTE
if one sincerely engages even his intellect alone in devotional service, he should eventually get the higher taste and deeper understanding.


Yes, so it is said in B. Gita - mayyarpita mano buddhih - "Offer your mind and intellect to Me." However, reversely we can judge a tree by its fruits. If an intellectual devotee comes out with intellectual speculations about Krishna Lila or scriptural statements, that contradict the commentaries of the Acaryas, then what can we say about that person's devotion? crying.gif
Kulapavana - Tue, 12 Apr 2005 23:02:20 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Apr 12 2005, 01:01 PM)
However, reversely we can judge a tree by its fruits. If an intellectual devotee comes out with intellectual speculations about Krishna Lila or scriptural statements, that contradict the commentaries of the Acaryas, then what can we say about that person's devotion?† crying.gif



since I have been growing fruit trees for many years, I know there are many reasons why they sometimes bear rotten, buggy fruit... laugh.gif

as to engaging the intellect - if there is no sincerity in the search for knowledge, such intellectual pursuit can be seen as a desire for fame, profit and distinction. pride destroys intellect, because it makes you blind.
TarunGovindadas - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 00:33:57 +0530
QUOTE
Well as we have seen in the - for me very disturbing - recent revelations on this board of Satya Narayan Das's view of Krishna Lila - this is exactly what is happening when one applies one's intellect to the Inconceivable. I can imagine that some in SN's audience might start thinking: 'What is he (SN) doing then here in Vrindavan, if all this is either untrue, exaggarated or explained in some rational way? What am I doing here actually?'


APPLAUSE!
Well-spoken, my friend!

And finally, why founding a "Caitanya foundation" when most of what Mahaprabhu believes isnt the "real thing".

Very strange indeed....
Madhava - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 00:51:08 +0530
QUOTE(TarunGovindadas @ Apr 12 2005, 08:03 PM)
And finally, why founding a "Caitanya foundation" when most of what Mahaprabhu believes isnt the "real thing".

Well it isn't just your any Chaitanya Foundation. It's the Chaitanya *E* Foundation. It's primary objective is: "protecting the earth's fragile, natural environment by cultivating and promoting ecologically sound principles and insights expressed in or implied by some of the world's great spiritual traditions." flowers.gif
Advaitadas - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 01:00:36 +0530
QUOTE
It's the Chaitanya *E* Foundation.


* E * Stands for 'egghead'? laugh.gif
Madhava - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 01:10:20 +0530
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Apr 12 2005, 08:30 PM)
* E *† Stands for 'egghead'?† laugh.gif

No, I believe they give "Ecological" as the meaning. The officers are all occupied with various projects concerning ecological research and so forth.

If you have a vice president who's got a cap as cool & ecological as what you see on their website and whose "...recent work has been on the influence of worldviews and meditative practices on ecological understanding and practice..." how can something good possibly not come out of it?

Let's give them an * E * for effort! smile.gif
DharmaChakra - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 01:13:38 +0530
QUOTE(Rasaraja dasa @ Apr 12 2005, 11:05 AM)
Radhe Radhe!

What I wonder is for those who bring their intellectual capabilities to the forefront when approaching sastra where does it end? Does one then demand to intellectualize each aspect of Gaudiya theology and demand proof and validation before simply denoting something as being without merit or truth? If so then what happens, intellectually, when confronting Krsnaís lila? Can one intellectually conceive of a young boy lifting Govardhan Hill with his pinky? Wouldnít that same type of intelligence cast aside most, if not all, of Krsnaís lila? Or is there something more realistic about the Putana, Trnavarta, Kaliya or Kesi lilas? So my challenge is where does an individual decide where faith is applicable and where it ends and then where ďrealityĒ begins and ends? If one approaches lila with intellect then there is bound to be issues. One cannot simply deem the areas they are uncomfortable with as areas approachable with intellect at the forefront while approaching areas they are comfortable with by employing faith above intellect. This isnít a buffet where one can decide what is meaningful and what is distasteful. This is a dish we either accept in itís entirety or it is something we donít accept.
Radhe Radhe!

Rasaraja dasa


Well said. One of the points I initially brought up in this thread was that your average western devotee lives in a paradox. The conflict of the historic with the traditional.

It is only in the last 150 years or so that critical thought has been brought to bear on history. Peeking through the last 200 years or so of western philosophy will reveal quite a bit of discussion on the topic of history. That a critical/scientific analysis of history has had an impact is a given. That said, the western person (and I say this only because I am unfamiliar with education standards in the 'east') has been steeped culturally in a world that gives a scientific interpretation to history. We ask questions like 'Was Jesus a real person?'

I think its rather natural that a western educated devotee would bring these kinds of questions to GV. Again, they have been the backdrop of our entire education. We may just be disappointed with the answers. tongue.gif Nitai-ji's statements seem to err completely on the side of history, with little to no nod to the traditional. Under scientific scrutiny, Nitai-ji has probably come to the best conclusions he can for his own faith.

I don't wonder if the western conflicts between science and faith play a part in the rather virulent reactions that Nitai-ji's comments have generated?
braja - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 01:34:26 +0530
Ha. And there I was thinking that I was not alone in my selective agnosticism. Personally, there are enough fantastications around that I am quite comfortable for someone to be a Vaisnava and not accept the literal truth of everything. They are external to bhakti and oftentimes irrelevant. As easily as someone can challenge that there is a slippery slope when not accepting everything literally, the same challenge is there for the person who sees it all as fact. But both are really in the same realm, deal with the nature of faith and the intelligence and as such aren't the essence, IMO. They are different languages of being.

Anyways, back to work for me.



DharmaChakra - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 02:00:50 +0530
QUOTE(braja @ Apr 12 2005, 04:04 PM)
Ha. And there I was thinking that I was not alone in my selective agnosticism. Personally, there are enough fantastications around that I am quite comfortable for someone to be a Vaisnava and not accept the literal truth of everything. They are external to bhakti and oftentimes irrelevant. As easily as someone can challenge that there is a slippery slope when not accepting everything literally, the same challenge is there for the person who sees it all as fact. But both are really in the same realm, deal with the nature of faith and the intelligence and as such aren't the essence, IMO. They are different languages of being.

Anyways, back to work for me.


Too funny.. I was just walking down the stairs with my youngest daughter. I was thinking about this thread, and she was just laughing at nothing in particular. I realized that most of this is just speculation, and that Krsna is just ducking back behind the trees, laughing. Mahaprabhu is also gigiling while tossing prasadam to a stray dog...
Rasaraja dasa - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 03:06:14 +0530
Radhe Radhe!

I don't see Braja or DC's points to be a challenge in that our conditioning makes absolute acceptance of anything virtually impossible. One may shake their head yes to everything they hear but how deeply they are convinced is yet another thing. To me there is a difference between lacking faith and announcing that to have faith speaks to someones spiritual qualifications or sanity.

On a personal note I cannot claim to read the Bhagavatam and grasp it all as absolute truth. However, I do have faith in Sadhu, Sastra and Guru and simply take a nod from them. If they comment specifically on one of these aspects then I take heed to it. If they donít then I donít get worked up over it. As much as some things I read seem fantastic I still realize that for non practitioners the fact that we believe a young boy held up a hill with his pinkie, for any amount of time, seems fantastic. Yet it is upon faith that I accept such.

With areas that I cannot get over the point at hand I ask questions of the Vaisnavas and try to wrap my head around their answers. I proceed to develop my understanding via questions and answers as well as invest any shortfall in the very faith I have in those that I hear from.

My points are not meant to address the possibility that some things described are literal or not literal. I don't know and probably never will, on an absolute level, what is and what isnít. However what I do know is that I have no qualification either materially or spiritually to declare what is poetic and what is actual so I will take my nod from Sadhu, Sastra and Guru. If the Acaryas comment specifically on one of these aspects then I take heed to it and if they donít then I donít get worked up over it. For the non practitioner it all seems fantastic. What I do know is that I want to serve Sri Yugala Kishora and that my Gurudeva is giving me such access ... to me that is fantastic! If that is possible then clearly anything is possible.

As far as how this all relates to bhakti... to dismiss anything from Sastra and especially dismiss the Vaisnavas who follow Sastrais dangerous. Not to have complete faith is very different then pronouncing the sanity or insanity of others and of Sastra. We accept Sastra as divine and worship it. It isnít a buffet where one can decide what is meaningful and what is distasteful and then throw that out.

Finally regarding Satya Narayans pointsÖ I donít know much of where he is coming from but I found his points to be a bit hard to swallow. Without knowing more about him and what he follows I will just leave it at that.

Radhe Radhe!

Rasaraja dasa
DharmaChakra - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 04:53:48 +0530
QUOTE
(Rasaraja dasa @ Apr 12 2005, 05:36 PM)
As far as how this all relates to bhakti... to dismiss anything from Sastra and especially dismiss the Vaisnavas who follow Sastrais dangerous. Not to have complete faith is very different then pronouncing the sanity or insanity of others and of Sastra. We accept Sastra as divine and worship it. It isnít a buffet where one can decide what is meaningful and what is distasteful and then throw that out.

Finally regarding Satya Narayans pointsÖ I donít know much of where he is coming from but I found his points to be a bit hard to swallow. Without knowing more about him and what he follows I will just leave it at that.

Radhe Radhe!

Rasaraja dasa

Its interesting how you read Nitai-ji's statements. I took his declaration of 'Sane' GV to be in his typically bombastic style. Over-the-top is being generous when describing his writing style smile.gif But then again, he did close down his site after your critique of it tongue.gif

I found Satya Narayan's points more in the spirit of there being more depths in Sastra than the literal surface. As for its application to specific points in lila, I guess I just did not come away that concerned. I didn't see a complete rejection of all lila as fabrication.
QUOTE
Q: So then it is up to the individual to decide which parts of it are real and which parts are not?

A: No, itís not up to the individual, thatís what you have to study from parampara. You have to actually know the style of sastra to understand it.
I suppose I took away from this that the devotee gains from Guru what is what in sastra.
braja - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 05:07:08 +0530
BTW, I asked Satya Narayana Baba about the historicity of the Bhagavatam and he gave a very traditional answer. I also asked the same of Shyamadas, the well-known Western Pusthi-margi, and he did also. It would be an interesting exercise to compile responses from across the board.


Rasaraja dasa - Wed, 13 Apr 2005 09:12:11 +0530
QUOTE(DharmaChakra @ Apr 12 2005, 03:23 PM)
Its interesting how you read Nitai-ji's statements. I took his declaration of 'Sane' GV to be in his typically bombastic style. Over-the-top is being generous when describing his writing style smile.gif But then again, he did close down his site after your critique of it tongue.† tongue.gif

Radhe Radhe!

Oh, I am obviously no expert on Nitai nor do I think my critique of his site meant much to him... probably just the timings lined up. Regardless I don't want my posts to be seen as a critique of Nitai rather my initial reaction to his posts and a critique of the perceived attitude and approach I read. From the little I know of Nitai I am sure much of the wording was meant in jest and to simply get a reaction but that doesn't make it any less alarming, in my humble opinion.

As far as what I wrote of Satya Narayana Baba: I have heard many good things about him that is why I was captious in how I read the excerpt as many time transcribed conversations lose context or take on the context of the reader more than that of the speaker.

Radhe Radhe!

Rasaraja dasa
jijaji - Thu, 14 Apr 2005 17:00:24 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Apr 12 2005, 10:40 PM)
QUOTE(Advaitadas @ Apr 12 2005, 08:30 PM)
* E *† Stands for 'egghead'?† laugh.gif

No, I believe they give "Ecological" as the meaning. The officers are all occupied with various projects concerning ecological research and so forth.

If you have a vice president who's got a cap as cool & ecological as what you see on their website and whose "...recent work has been on the influence of worldviews and meditative practices on ecological understanding and practice..." how can something good possibly not come out of it?

Let's give them an * E * for effort! smile.gif



I honestly felt this was very passive aggressive behaviour as well, and have bit my tongue here ever since you posted this.
To take a members 'Photo' from their bio and post it in the public area and then everyone 'Tar & Feather' him was a bit much. Even if he did come on and speak strong words that upset you, you could have restricted his posting or banned him even.

smile.gif
Madhava - Thu, 14 Apr 2005 17:06:43 +0530
The photo is from their "officers" page, it is a completely public photo that was posted in jest since the topic of * E * foundation came up. The photo was posted after the tarring and feathering, however I believe I did not contribute much to that. We have the user posted image button you can use to report objectionable posts. The reported post goes to all moderators, they can then rebuke me for my bad posts and remove if necessary. smile.gif

You may not be very much aware of the history of Chaitanya E Foundation vis-a-vis Chaitanya Foundation we started working on, to which Nitai et al were invited to participate, and with whom we shared our visions. Soon enough we found Chaitanya E Foundation, and no, of course no-one will confuse the two. Nobody even bothered to inform us of their starting to working on another foundation, and all along they were onboard reading our roadmap for our foundation and so forth.
TarunGovindadas - Thu, 14 Apr 2005 17:17:39 +0530
I remember something about them (Nitai das and one other senior devotee) giving diksha in the line of their parampara.
Is this still valid /true?

blink.gif
jijaji - Thu, 14 Apr 2005 18:49:56 +0530
QUOTE(TarunGovindadas @ Apr 14 2005, 02:47 PM)
I remember something about them (Nitai das and one other senior devotee) giving diksha in the line of their parampara.
Is this still valid /true?

blink.gif



I remember seeing that too, I think the person who was going to be the diksha-guru even added 'Thakur' on the end of his name when that was announced on their website.

I do believe the 'Thakur' withdrew from the whole thing, but who knows , maybe he's offering it in some chat room somewhere. laugh.gif

BtW, I was never part of that circle.

tongue.gif
jijaji - Thu, 14 Apr 2005 20:01:12 +0530
QUOTE
dasanudas;
I think the topic is moving towards very distasteful direction.


Hello !

Suddenly it's distasteful after all that 'Tar & Feathering' ?

blink.gif
Rasaraja dasa - Thu, 14 Apr 2005 20:04:20 +0530
Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

I can see where the insert of Nitai's picture coupled with the passion in which some have reacted to his statements would be a questionable combination. I don't think anything was meant negatively by Madhavas post but I can see how it can be perceived as such. It would be dishonest for me to not admit to that same thought, at least in a subtle sense, as in my next post I again made the point that my posts weren't meant to address specifically Nitai but the points that he brought up that are shared by some that I have encountered. I did that because coupled with everything I wanted to ensure that no one mistook my comments to be about Nitai as they werenít meant to be. I was simply addressing the points he made which I disagreed with.

Regardless of ones opinion for or against what Nitai said it is important that we address the issue at hand and leave anything regarding the person who brught up the issue outside of the conversation. It may seem artificial to disconnect the person from the issue but by doing so you tend to avoid putting anyone in a overly defensive or vulnerable position.

We will now split this thread to discuss the Qualities of Sri Guru as it has little to do with Nitai's statements and the thread at hand:

http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/index.ph...indpost&p=36821

Radhe Radhe!

Aspiring to serve the Vaisnavas,
Rasaraja dasa
Madhava - Thu, 14 Apr 2005 20:25:28 +0530
Revised as "If you have a vice president who's got a cap as cool & ecological as what you see on their website..." smile.gif
jijaji - Thu, 14 Apr 2005 22:02:29 +0530
QUOTE(Rasaraja dasa @ Apr 14 2005, 05:34 PM)
Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

I can see where the insert of Nitai's picture coupled with the passion in which some have reacted to his statements would be a questionable combination. I don't think anything was meant negatively by Madhavas post but I can see how it can be perceived as such. It would be dishonest for me to not admit to that same thought, at least in a subtle sense, as in my next post I again made the point that my posts weren't meant to address specifically Nitai but the points that he brought up that are shared by some that I have encountered. I did that because coupled with everything I wanted to ensure that no one mistook my comments to be about Nitai as they werenít meant to be. I was simply addressing the points he made which I disagreed with.

Regardless of ones opinion for or against what Nitai said it is important that we address the issue at hand and leave anything regarding the person who brught up the issue outside of the conversation. It may seem artificial to disconnect the person from the issue but by doing so you tend to avoid putting anyone in a overly defensive or vulnerable position.

We will now split this thread to discuss the Qualities of Sri Guru as it has little to do with Nitai's statements and the thread at hand:

http://www.gaudiyadiscussions.com/index.ph...indpost&p=36821

Radhe Radhe!

Aspiring to serve the Vaisnavas,
Rasaraja dasa




I appreciate your honesty here Rasaraja ..

smile.gif