Many participants onboard share a history as members of ISKCON or Gaudiya Matha, and therefore may need to discuss related issues. Please do not use this section as a battleground, there are other forums for that purpose.
Hurt feelings, Caitanya Caritamrita, GM etc. - Yet another Gaudiya Math etc. thread
Ananda - Mon, 08 Sep 2003 22:09:43 +0530
Can I say something? I think this forum ought to consider how people feel. Your reasoning on all the issues is fine but unless I have been squarely off for all these years, this process we are following is ultimately about feeling, not reasoning, although reason has to be there also. So, I think if you are open to the public maybe you should be a little careful about how your words will affect people emotionally. I suggest a policy that when a challenger from the other camp(s) approaches, you give him room and space for some "emotional" reaction to the things learned here. After all, you would be surprised how many are actually resorting to looking up this site for help but are actually not quite ready yet to hear things such as that one could be "stuck" with Srila Prabhupada's Caitanya Caritamrta, and so forth. You may have gotten way ahead of this by now, but some people feel hurt and offended still by the casual tone of wording an opinion in that fashion. It's life. we all need help. And thank you for yours.
So, what is a sahajiya according to Ananta das babaji?
Guest - Mon, 08 Sep 2003 22:39:40 +0530
I think it is more those who have taken shelter of a babaji or a gosvami-Guru who should feel hurt and therefore consider oneself to be 'stuck' with Swamiji's rendering of Caitanya Caritamrita. Who is the victim around here? Swamiji's purports are literally packed with collective, blanket-slander of caste gosvamis, babajis and all other raganuga practitioners, not to speak of his obsession with his dreaded Godbrothers. Most of these purports are not only bulging with vaishnava aparadha and brahmin aparadha, they also have nothing to do with the verses they are supposed to comment on. Furthermore, phrases like "The Supreme Personality of Godhead increases the desires of my tongue" are not exactly in context or good taste either, huh? A person who seeks to know Caitanya Caritamrita As It Is, is advised, therefore, to learn Bengali, which is very sweet and really not difficult, to get both the proper meaning and the proper taste from Sri Caitanya Caritamrita. Or, alternatively, it would be welcomed if someone would make an edition with either no purports at all or some more friendly and relevant ones.
Radhapada - Mon, 08 Sep 2003 22:51:37 +0530
I may add that not only in purports of Caitanya Caritamrta of Bhaktivedanta Swami is there blasphemy of contempory Vaisnavas, but there is even condescending and insulting remarks to Mahaprabhu's parisads. An example is where he refers to Chandrasekhara and Tapan Misra (the father of Raghunath Bhatta Goswami) as kanistha adhikaris, devotees on the lowest level of spiritual advancement. He says there that one who is able to preach is more advanced. How insulting!
Gaurasundara - Mon, 08 Sep 2003 23:39:39 +0530
OK, now it seems that the bitterness from the other thread is affecting this new one too. I notice that Ananda has made a very good point. Persons from the GM/ISKCON side may stumble onto this site, mistake it for a Narayana Maharaja site (well, NM does preach raganuga-bhakti after all!) and when they find out it is nothing to do with the Sarasvata parampara, they might ask tough questions.
Well anyway, I think Ananda is right in his request for a little "emotional room," can we not do that as Vaishnavas? After all, it is a fact that GM/ISKCON followers will learn things from this group that are totally new for them. Moreover, it will completely contradict what they have previously learned. As long as they (and everyone else) asks their questions respectfully, I suppose the least anyone can do is either answer respectfully or refer them to a thread where the subject has been discussed before, if it was.
Now unnecessarily we are seeing criticism of Srila Prabhupada's edition of CC. I must admit that this whole argument is perceived as being against the tone of this group. When I first came here, I was extremely pleased to read beautiful translations, interesting and thoughtful mature discussion about Gaudiya theology and history, and other things. I also had questions but I decided to ask Madhava in private instead of disturbing the peace in here, because I have seen what fighting and arguing have done to other forums and I did not want to disturb the peace here. This forum is generally very very peaceful and that is why I like it; now this argument is in danger of disturbing the mood of this group.
Perhaps we can stop fighting and now discuss what sahajiya-vada is, exactly?
P.S. Ananda asks a good question; what is a sahajiya according to Ananta das Babaji? Perhaps that can start off the discussion.
Ananda - Mon, 08 Sep 2003 23:52:25 +0530
How can these be your answers? You are charging people who are not even present anymore to defend themselves! Just as those you charge, you have no mercy!
I have come to inquire from your experience; I didn't expect to be chewed up and spat by your unfinished businessess. If you want to delete me what can I do, but I have never in this forum offended anyone dear to you. I asked for some opportunity to ponder all I am encountering here but you choose to drive the knife deeper in the wound. I don't think the babajis are teaching you these things... Furthermore, it is a fact that a great number of simple, inocent people don't even know who exactly are caste goswamis and babajis; this are stereotypes in people's understanding and most of Srila Prabhupada's teachings went over everyone's head anyway. What is this all about? Are you saying that babajis and caste goswamis were to spread Lord Caitanya's movement the way it was intended by the Lord, but because of Srila Bhaktisidhanta Sarasvati and his followers everything has been ruined?
Madhava - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 01:15:33 +0530
I understand that there may be concern over how someone feels. However, we must consider that the audience of a public forum such as the one at hand consists of individuals from various walks of life, with possibly very different perspectives to the tradition. Therefore, we try to keep the discussions within the parameters of a common denominator, logic and reason.
Should anyone feel very emotionally shaken by the discussions here, I would personally recommend that person to privately correspond with person(s) of choice about any given subject matter. Otherwise, if there is nevertheless a compelling urge to contribute in public while overcome with emotions, I suggest writing the text, saving it and reading it over again after a couple of hours, and then posting it in. It will ensure that the poster won't say anything he'd possibly regret later on, and it will also ensure that the quality of exchanges in the forums will stay high.
Ananda - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 02:43:29 +0530
Could I have your email address?
Madhava - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 03:01:03 +0530
There's a button on the bottom of all my posts (as it is for everyone else). Just click on that.
Mina - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 06:37:55 +0530
Well, I apologize for hurting anyone's feelings, as that was not my intention. Perhaps my wording was unduly harsh, but I think I have a valid point about the paucity of English language resources when it comes to many texts that followers of the RUpanugA tradition are interested in studying. I can also sympathize with those struggling to understand the tradition, which is why I began the other topic on schisms, which had to be split into several threads due to volatile debates that sprang from it and steered way off topic.
There is a lot of ground to cover when it comes to the more esoteric aspects of Caitanyaism as it is practiced today. As we can see, much of it took over five centuries to evolve and mature. The downside is that there have been some dark pages in that rich and storied history. Yes, we are all aware of various scandals that have plagued our community (and when I say community I mean it in an all-include sense for all bhakti traditions. If that means that it includes GM/ISKCON as well as sahajiyas and Bauls along with the mainstream, then that is the universe of discourse, take it or leave it). What is the point of dwelling on them? At some point we have to move on and put the past behind us. Otherwise, we will just stagnate and the community will just break apart and eventually there will be nothing left of it.
If we are to have unity in our diversity, then people are going to have to lick their wounds and just figure out some way to coexist peacefully. If that means there has to be some compromise, then we have to figure out where we can cut our opponents some slack and where we just have to draw the line in order to keep our principles intact. Is any of this going to be easy? Probably not, and nobody ever said that it would be. Maybe, as someone here has suggested, the hand of Mahaprabhu is behind all of this and we are merely being tested to see how we can deal with our differences without falling into destructive hatred. After all, what business do we have hating any living entity, let alone someone who is trying to follow the path of bhakti with the highest of ideals in mind? I do not claim to be above emotional vulnerabilities. I know that I can get unduly upset over some of the debates that go on, and I just force myself to step back and take a deep breath and find my center. I know that may sound kind of flaky and 'new agey', but it does work. Overall, I rejoice more in the sanga than I find myself feeling bitterness, even towards those who I find it virtually impossible to converse with on controversial issues.
Elevated souls like Jagat have shown us by their own example how we can take the high road and behave in a civil manner at all times. He even had his arm broken in several places by an angry Muslim mob that stormed the temple in Mayapur, yet I never detected any grudge that he ever bore towards his attackers.
I just wish I had more time to devote to participating in these online chats. Luckily, Madhavananda mercifully makes time for it, although I get the impression that his schedule is even more hectic than mine. I guess my only real excuse is that I am twice his age. I think that the people that like to abuse him should stop and take a second look, because he is about as tolerant a person as they are going to find anywhere.
Some day perhaps we can all meet in the flesh and strike up a raucous and thunderous kirton that will shake the earth and sky. I look forward to that day.
May Radharani give Her blessings to you all. I think She is about to kick me swiftly for going around hurting the feelings of Vaishnavas, and I certainly deserve it.
Radhapada - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 07:58:45 +0530
Perhaps there should be some supervision by the administrators on the new 'inquiries' that are made and take action when it appears to be loaded questions that will eventually ignite into an endless debate of a more emotional nature than a philosophical one. Phrases like 'stirring a hornets nest' should send alarm bells ringing. In one of Jayadeva's songs in Gita Govinda, Hiranyakasipu is described as a hornet killed by the hands of Sri Nrismhadeva. Is that a nice way to start a spiritual inquiry, describing the devotees in the forum to a hornet's nest?
Ananda - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 09:00:05 +0530
By "Hornet's nest" I meant your anymosity against the other camp. The sentiment that you must protect your feelings against attacks from the oponent - that was my concern. And I did approach the forum with a degree of challange that I though might (as it did) stir those feelings and turn you into a fierce defender of your convictions. I was concerned about how you feel, and I attempted to warn you about my approach by using the metaphor "hornet's nest". The fact that such analogy is in the pastime of Hiranyakashipu is just coincidence.
In any case, forgive me.
Radhapada - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 17:28:42 +0530
By "Hornet's nest" I meant your anymosity against the other camp. The sentiment that you must protect your feelings against attacks from the oponent - that was my concern. And I did approach the forum with a degree of challange that I though might (as it did) stir those feelings and turn you into a fierce defender of your convictions.
Therefore, it is true that you were not trying to approach a topic with a desire for analysis and sincere in-depth study, but rather, had an agenda to create a hostile situation without leaving room for philosophical reasoning and historical reference on your part.
However, the ball was in your court when you were given freedom to present your case. You dropped the ball and scored no points when you decided to go into emotional rage, instead of presentating arguments based on sastra and history to support whatever you wanted to propose. Who's emotional feelings got stirred the most?
Ananda - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 21:27:59 +0530
Analysis and study yes, but "agenda to create a hostile situation", absolutely no! I though you might be disturbed by my approach and so I was concerned about that, not deliverately seeking that. And you just have to take my word on it. Room for historical reference? Even if I had room enough to fit the Sequoia National Park in I wouldn't have any historical reference; I don't know the history, this is all new to me, remember?
Philosophical reasoning? I though I was being pretty philosophical. Well, somewhat...
I didn't "decide" to go into emotional rage, it happened beyond my decision. The ball is in your court to prove me wrong when I say that whatever happens (even, as you charge, history of Gaudyia vaisnavism being misrepresented) happens by the will of God. The sastra say that when it comes to His dear devotees, God will be directly involved. So some individuals have misrepresented the position of those you hold dear. If, as you believe, these (or this) dear ones are really directly involved with God, then I want to understand why is it that the whole misrepresentation happened in the first place. I was probing into your opinion on that. I don't know you personally. I only have some idea of what your heart must be like by what your cause is; I do not consciously approach you to fight. But I know now that you don't like to hear what is in my mind. I think as far as being emotionally stirred, we might be just even.
Radhapada - Tue, 09 Sep 2003 22:52:53 +0530
Analysis and study yes, but "agenda to create a hostile situation", absolutely no! I though you might be disturbed by my approach and so I was concerned about that, not deliverately seeking that. And you just have to take my word on it.
I take back that false accusation. I'll take your word for it. Please accept my humble appoliges.
I didn't "decide" to go into emotional rage, it happened beyond my decision.
We're all human Ananda. Nobody holds it against you. We can't shuv our emotions under a rug and pretend it doesn't exist.
The sastra say that when it comes to His dear devotees, God will be directly involved.
We have to define what's a dear associate. The gopis of Vrndavan, the cowherd boys, Yasoda Ma, Nanda Baba, the cows that Sri Krsna milks, the parrots that sing chatter about the glories of Radha and Krsna for Them, Govardhana Hill, these are dear associates, . Then there are the other bhaktas who are dear to Lord Hari mentioned in the Bhagavata: the Pandavas, Yadavas, and Uddhava. Then there is Prahlad Maharaja who the Lord appeared out of pillar to save His devotee.
Are these who you refer as dear associates?
I want to understand why is it that the whole misrepresentation happened in the first place.
This is a serious questions which is best discussed in private. Feel free to email me.