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His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada - Raganuga Bhaktas?



Govindaram - Mon, 08 Sep 2003 20:31:22 +0530
Hare Krishna

I have been coming to this forum, and reading others post with pleasure, learning new things...

But I am wondering about Ragunaga Bhaktas opinion of Srila Prabhupada, I just need to know, what you think about him, as a bona-fide spiritual master etc, I want to hear from Bhaktas on this forum please.

I seem to be confuced about the opinions of people on this forum....Thanks and Haribol! smile.gif
Gaurasundara - Mon, 08 Sep 2003 23:51:15 +0530
Uh-oh!

biggrin.gif
Madhava - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 00:27:06 +0530
QUOTE(Govindaram @ Sep 8 2003, 03:01 PM)
But I am wondering about Raganuga Bhaktas opinion of Srila Prabhupada, I just need to know, what you think about him, as a bona-fide spiritual master etc, I want to hear from Bhaktas on this forum please.

While we all greatly respect the tremendous work he did in furthering the cause of Sri Caitanya in this world, there are some marked differences between the teachings coming down through the line of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and the teachings of other, more traditional mahatmas in the tradition. Many of us who once were members of ISKCON and Gaudiya Matha have left the two movements in search of more depth for our spiritual life, and feel that we are closer to the original precepts of the Six Gosvamis of Vrindavan when we stick to the tradition.

The concept of a bona-fide spiritual master is somewhat ambiguous. Many of the more esoteric characteristics of a sad-guru are only verified in the realm of the aspirant's faith. Hence it logically follows that the ultimate decision of who is a sad-guru is left up to each individual. As far as the objectively verifiable characteristics are concerned, there are some troubling anomalies in the disciplic lineage of ISKCON and Gaudiya Math, as well as in their philosophy of the same. This has been examined in some of the earlier threads in the forums.

In essence, we respect Prabhupada and the followers of the Gaudiya Math in general as members of Sri Caitanya's tradition, albeit with some unorthodox conclusions.
Govindaram - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 00:57:04 +0530
Hare Krishna

QUOTE
While we all greatly respect the tremendous work he did in furthering the cause of Sri Caitanya in this world, there are some marked differences between the teachings coming down through the line of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and the teachings of other, more traditional mahatmas in the tradition.



Yes, Srila Prabhupada taught complete fools to chant Hare-Krishna and go Back To Godhead. smile.gif
Radhapada - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 08:39:53 +0530
QUOTE
Yes, Srila Prabhupada taught complete fools to chant Hare-Krishna and go Back To Godhead. 


I don't believe a foolish person takes to chanting the maha mantra of Sri Krsna's names. Foolish people may give up chanting after having taken to its practice and heard the teachings regarding it.

I believe the concept of 'going back to Godhead' needs some re-examining. Without prema bhakti, one does not achieve the lotus feet of the Lord in the eternal dhama. Ajamil was delivered from going to hell by the Yamadhutas, but did not enter the spiritual kingdom of Lord Narayana then and there. He went to do bhajan in Haridwara and afterwards achieved the lotus feet of the Lord.

I owe gratitude to ISKCON and its devotees for teaching me some bhakti concepts. Honestly speaking though and ironicly, I would not have arrived at their front door if it wasn't for some non-devotees who influenced me to chant Hare Krsna, read the Bhagavad Gita, become vegetarian.

I first read about the Hare Krsna maha mantra in a yoga book that had nothing to do with ISKCON.

The one who introduced me to chanting on beads was a girl whom I never met before and never to meet again. I met her in an art school in Manhatten in 1977 before I began visiting the 55 street temple in New York. I saw she was painting a picture of a yogi meditating. In that period of my life I was practicing yoga and asked her if she practices yoga. She then gave me beads in the middle of the classroom and taught me to chant. I never saw here again. It was a mystery.
Madhava - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 08:49:09 +0530
QUOTE(Radhapada @ Sep 9 2003, 03:09 AM)
I don't believe a foolish person takes to chanting the maha mantra of Sri Krsna's names. Foolish people may give up chanting after having taken to its practice and heard the teachings regarding it.

yajJaiH saGkIrtana-prAyair yajanti hi sumedhasaH
Govindaram - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 22:31:15 +0530
Hare Krishna

QUOTE
yajJaiH saGkIrtana-prAyair yajanti hi sumedhasaH



What does this verce mean? unsure.gif

Radhapadaji I feel personally the more knowledge a person gains the more fuel for his ego, from the teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu I have understood so much, esp the chanting of Hare-Krishna and it importance, and how important it is to be humble...Haribol! smile.gif
Radhapada - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 23:27:18 +0530
QUOTE
yajJaiH saGkIrtana-prAyair yajanti hi sumedhasaH


The verse is from the 11th book of the Srimad Bhagavata. One of the nine Yogendras states that in the age of Kali, intellegent persons will worship the Lord through the sacrificial congregational chanting of the Lord's holy name.

QUOTE
Radhapadaji I feel personally the more knowledge a person gains the more fuel for his ego, from the teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu I have understood so much, esp the chanting of Hare-Krishna and it importance, and how important it is to be humble


It could very well be, but not in all cases. I remember when I was in ISKCON we were discouraged from learning too much scripture on the basis of the same premise you have made. We were threatened, "Don't try to know more than your guru and jump over his head, and thus ruin your spiritual lives." I have a different view though. Spiritual knowledge destroys ignorance and helps us understand the relationship between God, the living entities, the material world, the process for attaining him, ect.

Many people think that by practicing a traditional form of martial arts that the person will become violent and dangerous. It could very well be. But mostly it has been observed that such people who really devout themselves to it learns discipline and respect for others. Afterall, there is always someone who can whip our butts, if not the instructor, or someone more advance and at it longer. This makes one humble.

In the assembly of Vaisnavas, there is always someone who knows more than oneself. This makes one humble. The problem lies when someone claims to be a sole acarya of an institution and claims that everyone else is a rascal and not serious about his duties. This isolates him from the association of other Vaisnavas and thus no one can check him.
Radhapada - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 23:29:54 +0530
QUOTE
But I am wondering about Ragunaga Bhaktas opinion of Srila Prabhupada, I just need to know, what you think about him, as a bona-fide spiritual master etc, I want to hear from Bhaktas on this forum please


I have question for you Govindaram: who introduced Bhaktivedanta Swami to chanting Hare Krsna?
Govindaram - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 00:49:10 +0530
Hare Krishna

QUOTE
I have question for you Govindaram: who introduced Bhaktivedanta Swami to chanting Hare Krsna?


Thats a easy question, his father.

Being born into a family of vaisnava's.
Mina - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 02:00:58 +0530
I like your comment about martial arts Radhapada, being a practitioner of Tai Chi myself for 25 years. It is considered to be moving meditation, and the self-defense applications of the movements are just one by-product of the discipline.

I know of four people that have had the title Prabhupada, and I met two of them:
Sri Rupa Goswami Prabhupada (way before my time)
Bhaktisddhanta Sarasvati (before my time)
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
A member of the Advaita-vamsa that used to live in Vrindavan

I have great respect for them all, but I hold Rupa Goswami in particular in great reverance. Nitai has pointed out in topical discussions over on Yahoo groups that we really need someone of that literary caliber today, because it would further our cause immensely. Sri Rupa's poetry was sublime and ambrosial, but that should not be surprising since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally delegated the task of writing on our theology to him.
Madhava - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 02:21:57 +0530
QUOTE(Govindaram @ Sep 9 2003, 05:01 PM)
Radhapadaji I feel personally the more knowledge a person gains the more fuel for his ego, from the teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu I have understood so much, esp the chanting of Hare-Krishna and it importance, and how important it is to be humble...Haribol! smile.gif

Hmm... the six Gosvamis must have had big egos then, particularly Jiva, having written all those books! I wonder if they wrote all those books just to help us inflate our egos.

This world is filled with individuals who each possess distinct abilities, including a distinct degree to which they can assimilate philosophical knowledge. Some with a lesser capacity prefer to chant Hare Krishna (and be happy) with little concern for the philosophical depth offered by the tradition. Some with a greater capacity are naturally inclined to carefully study the teachings of the acaryas. In devotion they are equal, but we have to face the fact that the one who studies siddhanta more knows siddhanta better, and consequently is more in a position to preserve the heritage of the tradition.
Radhapada - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 04:22:22 +0530
QUOTE
Hare Krishna

QUOTE 
I have question for you Govindaram: who introduced Bhaktivedanta Swami to chanting Hare Krsna? 


Thats a easy question, his father.

Being born into a family of vaisnava's.


Precisely right.

Yes, as you probably remember from reading his biography his first impressions (in this life) of Gaudiya Vaisnavism was from his immediate family surroundings. He commented and was recorded in the biography his hearing the bell of his father performing arotik. His father would invite sadhus over and he would request them to bless his son so that he would become a devotee of Sri Radha.

It strikes me that although there was this strong influence of Gaudiya Vaisnavism in his childhood, the Gaudiya Math and ISKCON dismisses the fact that there was a Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition present before the rise of the Gaudiya Math. From whom did Gaur Mohan De ask blessings for his son to become a devotee of Sri Radha, sahajiyas? Gour Mohan De would invite sahajiyas to his home?

From whom did Gour Mohan De recieve mantras and Deities to engage in Deity seva? Certainly it wasn't from the Gaudiya Math because they didn't exit during that time of Bhaktivedanta Swamis early life. In fact, when later on Bhaktivedanta Swami brought Gaudiya Math devotees to his home, the elderly Gour Mohan De hid in his room thinking the orange clad devotees to be Mayavdis. If you recall, Bhaktivedanta Swami received initiation rites from 'a family Guru' when he was about 12 or so. Not much is discussed about that in regards to how he carried on with worship, chanting, ect. or who was the 'family Guru' and what line he belonged to.
Madhava - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 04:38:59 +0530
QUOTE
As for the ritual initiation he had received at age twelve from a family priest, Abhay had never taken it very seriously. It had been a religious formality. But a guru was not a mere officiating ritualistic priest; so Abhay had rejected the idea that he already had a guru. He had never received instructions from him in bhakti, and his family guru had not linked him, through disciplic succession, with Krishna.

- Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita, Chapter 4: "How Shall I Serve you?"

It strikes me that Swamiji's father, whom Swamiji himself credits as a pure devotee in his dedication of Krishna-book, would have had a bogus guru initiate his son.
Govindaram - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 04:51:00 +0530
Hare Krishna

QUOTE
would have had a bogus guru initiate his son.


His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada eternal spiritual master is Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, so the above does not surprise me, Sri Radha-Krishna plan.
Radhapada - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 06:16:44 +0530
QUOTE
As for the ritual initiation he had received at age twelve from a family priest, Abhay had never taken it very seriously. It had been a religious formality. But a guru was not a mere officiating ritualistic priest; so Abhay had rejected the idea that he already had a guru. He had never received instructions from him in bhakti, and his family guru had not linked him, through disciplic succession, with Krishna.

- Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita, Chapter 4: "How Shall I Serve you?"


I've been wondering for the last few years what disciplic succession might that have been that Swamiji found in Bhaktisiddhanta?

What's the meaning of His Divine Grace? I never understood the meaning of that.
Govindaram - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 06:29:22 +0530
Hare Krishna

I know where all this is going..

I cannot and will not tolerate blasphemy against a pure soul His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada,

So I am leaving this forum.

Thankyou.

Hare-Krishna
Gaurasundara - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 07:31:08 +0530
QUOTE(Radhapada @ Sep 9 2003, 10:52 PM)
In fact, when later on Bhaktivedanta Swami brought Gaudiya Math devotees to his home, the elderly Gour Mohan De hid in his room thinking the orange clad devotees to be Mayavdis.

Where did you hear that?
Radhapada - Thu, 11 Sep 2003 05:23:40 +0530
I don't have the biography anymore that was written my Satsvarupa Das Goswami, 'A Life Time in Preparation'. But I do remember reading that incident.
Radhapada - Thu, 11 Sep 2003 05:40:30 +0530
QUOTE
Radhapadaji I feel personally the more knowledge a person gains the more fuel for his ego, from the teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu I have understood so much, esp the chanting of Hare-Krishna and it importance, and how important it is to be humble


It could very well be a person's situation that he/she doesn't have facility for learning. Or, that the person doesn't have innate tendencies for study. That's okay. The main thing is to have enough knowledge about the basics of bhajan.

Then are those however, who are averse to learning. They avoid sat sanga where discussions of Krsna of various angles and levels are taking place. They rather not know too much in order to stay within their comfort zone of being content with whatever they have previously assimilated, right or wrong. For them, it provides fuel for their ego that there is nothing more to gain from discussions. A really humble person will be ready to have his/her previous notions either confirmed or even shattered with evidence. They are prepared to make changes and adjustments for the advancement of devotion.
Jagat - Thu, 11 Sep 2003 06:41:53 +0530
I have found that the more knowledge I get, the more humble I become. Not that I am very humble, but I realize that knowing facts is superficial. Knowledge is not wisdom. Next, however much you know, it is only an infinitesmal fragment of what is to be known. So what is there to be proud of? Even the dumbest, most uneducated person knows so many things that I don't...

Even the things I know, I don't know. I read stuff I wrote a year or two ago, and it is as if I were reading something by someone else. Whatever I know, I am constantly forgetting. Knowledge is fleeting. We identify with these trivial facts that pass through our brains, but as soon as we start to age, they trickle away.

Knowledge is as fleeting as wealth and health. Vidya dadati vinayam. This is the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
tinysoul - Thu, 11 Sep 2003 17:32:05 +0530
Dear souls!

its incredible.

iīm possibly doomed!
i just got the whole mp3 -stuff of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami.
my goodness!

and you know what... iīm very happy about it. SMILE!
diksha-parampara or not.
me- no care!

i feel very thankful to Srila Prabhupada and i guess so should feel some people here on this board.

i donīt understand your comments, dear Radhapada das.
whenever there is an opportunity to destroy some faith... you just hit at it.
no offense, but why ?

after all, i heard from people that you performed several times the Janmastami-festival- bhajan-kirtan-seva in Switzerland (Zurich-Temple, ISKCON). strange for me to do so.

please, donīt be upset. iīm just curious why you are so heavy.

the more i now read in this forum the worse i feel after.

i wanted to leave , but tried again for some inspiration.
better forget it.

too many shots at the heart...
yeah, call me emotional...but thats spiritual life.
from the heart.

like the comments of Jagat.
he seems to be WISE.
thanks for your input.

anyway, to me Srila Prabhupada is like someone who saved my stupid life.
who gave me the Holy Name, Prasadam, Bhajans, ... the whole NICE program.

and after all, dear Radhapada das, didnīt he apologize on his deathbed for all he seemingly did wrong?
is this not a crucial time, leaving?
i guess he should be forgiven if you insist on him being guilty of something...

last and i guess least:
no matter how heavy people here try to destroy my ( and others) faith in Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja - you wonīt succeed.
no way.

stay cool
love to your hearts
wink.gif wink.gif wink.gif

emo- Tiny Soul
Guess1 - Thu, 11 Sep 2003 18:29:30 +0530
Seeing RadhaPadha comments, I immediately and expontaneous said with a smile:
QUOTE
Here is an egg fighting with stones!
Guess2 - Thu, 11 Sep 2003 19:05:39 +0530
QUOTE
and after all, dear Radhapada das, didnīt he apologize on his deathbed for all he seemingly did wrong?
is this not a crucial time, leaving?


Perhaps it would have been more effective had he ordered his editors to take the offensive purports out of his book. Now it is too late, millions of people are reading them, will read them and there will be no end to this distribution. I dont think many people around the globe and in the holy places are aware of the private apologies he made in his room to a handful of people.
Guest3 - Thu, 11 Sep 2003 21:34:14 +0530
I am just a guest here, but let me tell you something,

For the sake of pure devotional services, "ofenses" against sahajiyas. Is OK. No regret. He never accused the pure devotees such as Sridhar Maharaj, Keshava Mahajara, Madhava Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj of anything. Just as his father only accused those corrupted in the path of pure devotional service. Now, the dog of kali, would bite the hand feeds him.
The slanders of a pure devotee in this forum is such out of proportion than even a display of humility cannot be understood. They can do the talk, but never the walk of a pure devotee. In another words, talk is cheap.
Guess2 - Thu, 11 Sep 2003 22:11:18 +0530
QUOTE
He never accused the pure devotees such as Sridhar Maharaj, Keshava Mahajara, Madhava Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj of anything.


Hmm.... perhaps you should run a search on the Vedabase Folio. Type in 'My Godbrothers' or 'Gaudiya Matha' and see. Check other sites like Istagosthi on Swamiji's quotes on his beloved Godbrothers biggrin.gif
Madhava - Fri, 12 Sep 2003 00:29:40 +0530
QUOTE
last and i guess least:
no matter how heavy people here try to destroy my ( and others) faith in Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja - you wonīt succeed.

I don't think all that many are concerned in destroying anyone's faith. However, someone who desires to cling to a particular view of the world will feel threatened when faced with contradicting evidence. Attributing a bad quality to that which contradicts our comfort to justify neglecting it is a natural defense mechanism, albeit misleading.
Guess3 - Fri, 12 Sep 2003 00:42:42 +0530
The answer to your proposition of checking Srila Prabhupada words is:
QUOTE
Irrevelant


It is a typical proposition or assumption of a kanistha adhikari, incapable of understanding the spiritual identity a pure devotee and therefore locking of compassion toward the fallen souls. The pure devotee never approves of any activity that is opposed to pure devotional service such as nedas, baulas kartabhajas and rasika sekharas. They are reformers not critics. Look at the changes of the Gaudiya Math. Another reformer is Narayana Maharaja, look at the changes taken effect in ISKCON. I must add, slowly.

The more the impurities ( arising from time and place) are removed, the more the beauty of spiritual science shines brightly before us. What kind impurities do you try to removed? Srila Bhaktissidhanta and Prabhupada are not belong to our diksha line.

Smartas! I say. By the wheel of time, there will be no place for you hide. The waves of preaching activities of sudha bhaktas will overcome you.
I am sitting here wondering, if Pandit Ananta Das Babaji speaks with the same offensive language. Honestly, do you record every word that he speaks? Why aren’t they published? Last time this website was upgraded was last January 2003, nine months ago. If all of you get involved in the teachings of your own guru probably you would not find time to be criticizing pure devotees. Check Purebhakti website and igvp website and take examples from it. They are regularly upgraded. I said it before talk is cheap
Madhava - Fri, 12 Sep 2003 00:54:06 +0530
QUOTE(Guess2 @ Sep 11 2003, 04:41 PM)
QUOTE

He never accused the pure devotees such as Sridhar Maharaj, Keshava Mahajara, Madhava Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaj of anything.


Hmm.... perhaps you should run a search on the Vedabase Folio. Type in 'My Godbrothers' or 'Gaudiya Matha' and see. Check other sites like Istagosthi on Swamiji's quotes on his beloved Godbrothers biggrin.gif

BR Sridhar Maharaj gets quite a bashing in some of his letters. BP Kesava Maharaj also wasn't among the cooperative ones, leaving Bhaktivedanta Swami disappointed. Tripurari Maharaj of GVS doesn't appear very favorably in his correspondence. BV Tirtha Maharaj is also featured as a rather mundane character in Bhaktivedanta Swami's writings. Oh yes, and Bon Maharaj... he really gets his share of bashing, and a big share it is.

"Godbrothers, they are envious that... What he has written? Bon Maharaja. Just see what kind of men they are. They are not even ordinary human being. They are envious of me, and what to speak of make a judgment by estimation? They’re envious. Enviousness is immediately disqualification of Vaisnava, immediate. He is not a human being."

(Room Conversation with Reporter of The Star -- October 16, 1975, Johannesburg)

"I tried first Kesava Maharaja, then Bon Maharaja and then Tirtha Maharaja but I have failed to get any cooperation from either of them till now and therefore when I was just arranging to go back to India to try for myself it is a great omen to receive your encouraging letter under reply."

(Mangalaniloy Brahmacari -- New York 16 May, 1966)

"But Sridhara Maharaja is responsible for disobeying this order of Guru Maharaja, and he and others who are already dead unnecessarily thought that there must be one acarya.
...
So Sridhara Maharaja and his two associate gentlemen unauthorizedly selected one acarya and later it proved a failure. The result is now everyone is claiming to be acarya even though they may be kanistha adhikari with no ability to preach. In some of the camps the acarya is being changed three times a year.
...
Actually amongst my Godbrothers no one is qualified to become acarya. So it is better not to mix with my Godbrothers very intimately because instead of inspiring our students and disciples they may sometimes pollute them. This attempt was made previously by them, especially Madhava Maharaja and Tirtha Maharaja and Bon Maharaja but somehow or other I saved the situation."

(Letter to: Rupanuga -- Tirupati 28 April, 1974)

"Bhakti Vilas Tirtha is very much antagonistic to our society and he has no clear conception of devotional service. He is contaminated."

(Letter to: Sukadeva -- New Delhi 14 November, 1973)

Who's who of Gaudiya Math:

BD Madhava Maharaja - The guru of BB Tirtha Maharaj who is currently preaching in the West.

BV Tirtha Maharaj (aka Kunja Babu) - The right hand man of Bhaktisiddhanta and the first acarya of the Sri Caitanya Math, one of the two original factions of Gaudiya Math. Widely respected by BK Shraman Maharaj and others.

BV Bon Maharaj - Acarya of the Gaudiya Mission, also widely respected among the Gaudiya Math.

There are plenty of quotes available on the internet, ISKCON folks have done their homework well. Just type in "prabhupada godbrothers" at Google.Com and you'll get loads of quotes.

Anyhow, I hope this doesn't turn into one of those tiresome discussions where people try to argue that Bhaktivedanta Swami never meant any of that, but he actually meant something completely else, and so forth.
Madhava - Fri, 12 Sep 2003 00:59:47 +0530
QUOTE(Guess3 @ Sep 11 2003, 07:12 PM)
I am sitting here wondering, if Pandit Ananta Das Babaji speaks with the same offensive language. Honestly, do you record every word that he speaks?  Why aren’t they published?  Last time this website was upgraded was last January 2003, nine months ago.  If all of you get involved in the teachings of your own guru probably you would not find time to be criticizing pure devotees.  Check Purebhakti website and igvp website and take examples from it. They are regularly upgraded. I said it before talk is cheap

I am quite busy with what's going on at www.krishnacaitanya.com -- we have two more books to be published in January. Baba speaks in Bengali, and up to date we have nobody who'd be inclined to type in his Bengali talks and post them in. We have much work to do with his books before we can spare time for all of that. Baba is not fond of having himself made into another Western preacher superstar; he desires to have his books published, and that's what we are trying to do.

I have a couple of new lectures I will upload over the weekend. If someone has the time to record more tapes and convert them into mp3, please send the files to me and I'll add them to the site. I am singlehandedly maintaining this website in addition to a dozen or so others sites, and I don't unfortunately make my living with this, which limits the time I can spend on the sites per day. Send in some content and I'll upload it all night long.
Madhava - Fri, 12 Sep 2003 01:37:04 +0530
Concluding words on the topic from Jagadananda.



[img]html/avatars/Granthakara.gif[/img]Jagat
Group: Moderators
Posts: 290
Joined: 31-January 02


Dear Tinysoul,

Many people who were inspired by Srila Prabhupada to take up devotional service left Iskcon. They had many reasons for doing so. According to their particular attitude toward spiritual life, they sought out association in various places. Inasmuch as they still have faith in the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna or even Hinduism itself, they are indebted to Srila Prabhupada. Even if they have come to find some things in Srila Prabhupada's teachings incorrect, dishonest or distasteful, they are obliged by transcendental etiquette to recognize their debt. If they do not do so, they are--to whatever degree they refuse to see this truth--blocked in their spiritual development.

On the other hand, recognition of this debt does not mean that they are not to see the inaccuracies or distasteful elements in Bhaktivedanta Swami's teachings. This is something of a quandary, as it is quite normal to feel cheated when one has been trained up to think of the guru in terms of perfection and then suddenly finds that there are such things. This can be quite traumatic, I believe. Thus some devotees become imbalanced, resentful and angry. This seems to me to be natural human psychology and crying out "aparadha" is not particularly helpful--for either party.

I personally like the quote from Dale Carnegie: "be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise." Srila Prabhupada accomplished so much and continues, despite all the mistakes and failures, to inspire thousands of people to faith in Mahaprabhu, so that there are pockets of devotees in nearly every corner of the world. Many of those who followed him during his lifetime have never given up their allegiance to him, and at great sacrifice and cost to themselves have continued to preach the Holy Name.

Many have taken up the scholarly study of religion to deepen their understanding of their own tradition in order to be able to make it more meaningful for the community to whom they are preaching.

Many have learned Sanskrit and Bengali and try to translate the books that gave rise to this tradition. Many have undertaken studies in other fields, like psychology and the social science, in order to understand the ways in which Iskcon went wrong in the abuse issue and to correct those errors so they never happen again.

In short, there are many things that Iskcon is trying to do properly. And for this we admire and appreciate the devotees and wish them all success.

However, most of the people who are here have been led in their search away from the Gaudiya Math tradition, including Iskcon, and believe that despite the common roots in Mahaprabhu's teaching, there are fundamental differences that go beyond personality differences. Ultimately, this can be reduced to the question of attitudes to Raganuga bhakti.

The bitterness between Vaishnava groups is heartbreaking. Hopefully, we will find the maturity to appreciate the positive in everything that everyone does.

Jagat


Madhava - Fri, 12 Sep 2003 01:46:00 +0530
This topic is closed.