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

Confused about the Gaudiya tradition -

betal_nut - Mon, 02 Feb 2004 04:48:19 +0530
Dear Friends
I have to admit I've become a little bit confused now that I've applied my intellect to the Gaudiya Sampradaya. Im reading and hearing contradictory things from all sides and it's hard to determine exactly what is what. Moreover, having come to the understanding that shastras get interpolated all the time I'm wondering if any of it at all is true.
It seems to be better in one sense just to choose one path and one guru and stick to that as if with blinders on than to compare and contrast so much that one gets sidetracked or totally off track all together. Now I'm beginning to understand why people become "cultists". On the other hand, just remaining in a closed little philosophical world it seems one would never develop an open mind and heart to those who are not tredding the same path.
What do you think?
Is it a good idea for all the various branches of the Gaudiya tree to try to resolve and dissolve their differences or is it better "to each her own"?

Moreover, how can I put my faith in anyone of the paths since whichever one I choose there will be views and valid information to the contrary?
Madhava - Mon, 02 Feb 2004 05:00:30 +0530
I suppose we just have to learn to let go of the idea that there is a single path which is the only way, the sole absolute path. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

Nandai - Mon, 02 Feb 2004 07:51:15 +0530
Dear betal_nut,

Confusing! Are you kidding! Extremely confusing, may I add. If is there a bigger superlative, please add it on. They happen to agree with nothing. Impossible to be completlely objective. It is our duty to sort out the crap with the real thing. I guess it is called hamsa. Since I am not one, like you I've become a little bit confused. Your feelings are the same as mine. Still, you will do it in different way that I would do. Individuality of the soul. Therefore, never will be an unified path.
Hari Saran - Mon, 02 Feb 2004 10:56:51 +0530

There is nothing to be confused...
Life takes each one of us to a very unique experience...
Just beware of your self-esteem, hold on tight to your good soul,
And let nature works freely...

May the verses below that were spoken by King Satyavrata, make us to understand that doesn’t matter “what”, He (Sri Krishna) is the Supreme Master from Whom we shall take full shelter.

SB 8.24.48: One who wants to be free of material entanglement should take to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and give up the contamination of ignorance, involving pious and impious activities. Thus one regains his original identity, just as a block of gold or silver sheds all dirt and becomes purified when treated with fire. May that inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead become our spiritual master, for He is the original spiritual master of all other spiritual masters.

SB 8.24.49: Neither all the demigods, nor the so-called gurus nor all other people, either independently or together, can offer mercy that equals even one ten-thousandth of Yours. Therefore I wish to take shelter of Your lotus feet.

SB 8.24.50: As a blind man, being unable to see, accepts another blind man as his leader, people who do not know the goal of life accept someone as a guru who is a rascal and a fool. But we are interested in self-realization. Therefore we accept You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as our spiritual master, for You are able to see in all directions and are omniscient like the sun.

But just two verses before he also says:

SB 8.24.46: The King said: By the grace of the Lord, those who have lost their self-knowledge since time immemorial, and who because of this ignorance are involved in a material, conditional life full of miseries, obtain the chance to meet the Lord's devotee. I accept that Supreme Personality of Godhead as the supreme spiritual master.

Source: Matsya, the Lord's Fish Incarnation

Sacinandan - Mon, 02 Feb 2004 22:42:18 +0530
O, Betal Nut

Just hear my "two cents worth".
Sort everything out on our own? No way!
Find a sadhu in who you can place your faith and surrender there.

tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet
samit panih srotriyam brahma nistham

My feelings: A real sadhu would not be closed minded, but could steer one away from serious apasiddhanta and other nasties.

Every camp is a little or a lot different- just a matter of personal ruci and sukrti where you ultimately lay your own head.

Leo - Mon, 02 Feb 2004 23:08:09 +0530
Oh, There are about 6 billion people in the world, there are actually that many religions.. It is true! No two people will ever believe the same exact thing, in the same exact way. It is not desired that they would. Our individuality necessitates this. and 6 billion different religions should not be seen as confusing, actually beautiful. Actually, if you are believing exactly the same in the same way and someone else, then my opinion is that you have made your mind a prison.
Nandai - Tue, 03 Feb 2004 03:31:39 +0530
Dear Betal_nut,

Jaya Radhe,

You’re extremely intelligent, I have no qualifications to tell you how to discern between contradictories points of the Shastras. At the same time, without possessing this attribute it would be impossible for an intelligent person as yourself to increment your faith in the path devotional service. Srila Prabhupada called this Viruddhata samanvaya – coinciding two opposing elements.- I want to reaffirm to you that this path of devotional service is the highest perfection of life, and it is sought after in all the Vedic literatures. However, if love and affection is not within our heart it would be impossible for us to understand or approach that path by intelligence alone. This is a very exciting time, tomorrow is the appearance day of Lord Nityananda, we should pray to him, holding his lotus feet to please gives us that foundation so love and affection can come into my heart, and I would dance in ecstasy. Give me that mercy at which guru tattva will be manifested in my heart. This foundation is the sandhini sakti. This energy is a receptacle to receive the mercy of Lord Caitanya. The only qualification is the mercy of Lord Nityananda, because, without the mercy of lord Nityananda; we would be unable to meet Lord Caitanya, and without Lord Caitanya we cannot meet Radha and Krishna. Guru tattva is the outreaching of that merciful energy or our last chance to enter the necterean ocean of love pushing away the dead zone of material life. Sadhusanga and a spiritual master with our same mood will create a deep understanding of the confidential truths of the scriptures. Although even when faith has arisen, it is impossible without the association of saintly persons to discuss the transcendental topics of the Supreme Lord. This I have learned in my search. I cannot answer directly your question, this is this and this is not. I only can show you the process, without your eagerness love and affection cannot be cultivated.

with love,

Pagal Baba - Thu, 05 Feb 2004 04:25:38 +0530
A belated happy Groundhog Day to everyone! No, I do not have any groundhog disciples, if that was what you were thinking!
betal_nut - Thu, 05 Feb 2004 04:39:05 +0530
Pagal Baba ---
Are you for real?
Who the Hill (Govardhan) are you?
Is that avatar an actual picture of you?
Wow! A god amongst men if I ever saw one!
jijaji - Thu, 05 Feb 2004 21:43:39 +0530
Pagal Baba - Sat, 07 Feb 2004 12:22:37 +0530
So, are you back from India now Bangli?
jijaji - Sat, 07 Feb 2004 23:28:29 +0530
QUOTE(Pagal Baba @ Feb 7 2004, 06:52 AM)
So, are you back from India now Bangli?

Yes Pagalji...

I am back..I miss Radha Kunda however and plan to make it back within the next year!