Srila Prabhupada and Gaudiya sampradaya

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adikurma
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Srila Prabhupada and Gaudiya sampradaya

Post by adikurma »

Hi Hari,
I have been listenening to your broadcast over few months now. very enlivenening. Shows the depth of your knowledge and realization. Do not misunderstand me. Here are my questions. I grew up in a gaudiya vaishnava family in Calcutta and hence the questions keep coming to my mind.

Where do you see yourself in the gaudiya sampradaya lineage? Do you consider yourself as a vaishnava? If yes, do you fall under any particular sampradaya? What is your understanding of Srila Prabhupada and his mission ( do not consider ISKCON now, since i, we and all know how watered down they are and self motivated) ? What is your message to some of your students who still wants to follow the vaishnava tradition?
For example : myself. I never got into anything but Vaishnavism. runs in our family for generation and my faith and belief is very strong in Vaishnavism.

I always wanted to ask but never got an opportunity. But through this open forum, it is lot easier.

Thank you,

Your ever servant,

Adi-Kurma
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Post by Hari »

I have been listenening to your broadcast over few months now. very enlivenening. Shows the depth of your knowledge and realization. Do not misunderstand me. Here are my questions. I grew up in a gaudiya vaishnava family in Calcutta and hence the questions keep coming to my mind.
Thank you very much for your appreciation. It encourages me. And lucky you for having been born into such a family and getting the opportunity you did! Perhaps this is why you are such a clear headed person who did not get involved with the usual diversions of youth. But your questions are very direct and hard to avoid. I usually like to avoid confrontations. However, out of respect for you, and out of a greater desire to not allow you to be involved with a person you might not want to be involved with were you to be clear about what he thinks and feels, I shall take a risk and answer you honestly.
Where do you see yourself in the gaudiya sampradaya lineage? Do you consider yourself as a vaishnava? If yes, do you fall under any particular sampradaya?
I do not see myself in the lineage at present although I did previously. I do not consider myself a vaisnava, neither falling under any particular sampradaya although I did previously. Having said that, I do consider myself a devotee of Their Lordships, Sri Sri Radhe Syama, Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, Lord Nrsinghadeva, Lord Siva, Goddess Parvati, and their talented and powerful family, and I am ready to serve Them all at any moment. If you were to ask for my philosophical leaning, and thus place me within some ‘school’ of thought (although the founder of the school might shudder at the thought ':lol:') I am comfortable with the integrative philosophy of Sri Ramanuja and try to apply the principles of the marvelously integrative ideal of purified oneness in everything I say. But then again, I would not label myself as a Sri Vaisnava since I do not purport to follow something but am endeavoring to uncover the depths of my own existence in the context of the present.
What is your understanding of Srila Prabhupada and his mission ( do not consider ISKCON now, since i, we and all know how watered down they are and self motivated) ?
I love Prabhupada as my spiritual father who took care of me in my youth and nothing can change that, neither do I feel anything should, regardless of how others react to that statement. His mood, his idealism, his personal spiritual energy resonated well with me and I suppose if I can stop being upset (a feeling which is gradually numbing over time), might comfortably resonate with me in the future too. I honestly say I am not a follower. There are many who pledge allegiance, yet do not follow all the (hundreds of) different instructions he gave (some of which when not followed literally were enough to seemingly place one in a disadvantageous position spiritually) but will insist they are his dedicated follower. I do not follow all the things he said and I do not even worry about following. I do what I know to be right for me in my heart and make each decision based on what I think is right without attempting to see if it fits within his idea of what I should do or be. Therefore I do not say I am a follower. I cannot say that I was not influenced by him or that I am not influenced by him now in some way, but I do not identify or create myself in relation to him. I also do not identify myself by rebelling from him, criticizing him or what he has done, or by taking turkey shots at the movement he created. I have removed negative references to him on this site and I must admit it bothered me more than I imagined it would when someone wrote some nasty things about him. You see, love works in strange ways. I insist on my freedom to love and express myself according to what I feel is best for me and how I choose to express what I feel is best to those around me.

It is amazing how some will become furious when they hear such an explanation for they cannot deal with me unless I pledge allegiance. Since their personal relationships all revolve around the guru and God, any direct reference between people without that "absolute" reference point is immediately shunned as maya and rejected. I do not feel like that and do not see any use for others to think that way (including those who think themselves followers) unless they need some excuse to avoid taking personal responsibility for feeling and for manifesting feelings towards others in a personal, face to face and heart to heart way.

I do not accept the value structures which manifested within ISKCON and which transformed that originally wonderful ideal that attracted me in the first place. There are many reasons for this and some are directly related to the way in which the original structure was created, the expectations held towards the members, the values which created the social relationships between men and women, and thus the most important persons of all, the children. I do not agree with the statements on educating children, how people should relate to each other, the attempt to create a cohesive social situation while restricting the basis of society,the family, and other significant ideas that relate to one’s own self-worth and conception. But I do not dwell on this and only bring it up when I see a person could be benefited by seeing their lives in another way.

I do accept that he did what he thought best at the time he did it. I do accept that he did what he thought best very well and with great sacrifice and energy. I do not say there were negative motivations involved but there were significant misunderstandings of what was best for everyone concerned.

I don’t want to get further involved in such a detailed discussion for there is no use. Each person who had contact with him, or with those who contacted him, has a different and personally unique set of reasons for being attracted, following or even for rejecting it all. I try to maintain at all times a clear and neutral vision of what happened and why without judging, condemning or attempting to resolve the problems that manifested and continue to manifest in the product of Prabhupada’s endeavors, ISKCON. I cannot say I always did that in the recent past, especially in 1998, but such are the mysteries of life.

I don’t see a value in being forced to refer our understanding of the present to the past and to a set of limited statements, frozen in time and not specifically relevant to the questions that confront us now. One should have complete and unencumbered freedom to do what is right according to our understanding of the present so that we take full and complete responsibility for what we are doing now without avoiding it by quoting, "Prabhupada said." I know this is hard to accept, but this is how I feel.

We who live in the present are a sum total of all our experiences throughout time and therefore naturally we will reference, as we see fit, those principles, concepts, and experiences we have had in the past and utilize them within our intellectual struggle to do what is right. We utilize our memory as a resource to resolving confusion in the present.
What is your message to some of your students who still wants to follow the vaishnava tradition?
For example : myself. I never got into anything but Vaishnavism. runs in our family for generation and my faith and belief is very strong in Vaishnavism.
I do not have any students, per se. I am simply offering my assistance to whoever wants it without requiring overtly or covertly that anyone be my ‘student.’ In fact, I do not want you or anyone to be my student but to take everything I say with a grain of salt and to examine it carefully with your own heart, mind and intelligence to see if it resonates harmoniously with you. If it does, take from it what you want as you want and when you want. I am not attached to being right, I do not guarantee the correctness of anything I say, and I do not want you to manifest your future according to what I think. Although I will always try to express myself in the most responsible and proper manner I can, the whole point of my message is that you are the captain of your destiny while I attempt to be of service by giving you the tools which I feel will help you steer your ship to its harbor. You decide.

To answer your question: If you feel good about your tradition (as I am sure you do) then why would you take anything I say as an indication you should change that? Why should anyone? Those who feel good about being Vaisnavas, who find that this ideal gives them structure or direction or helps them in some way, should not use anything I say as a reason to change how they think or feel in an attempt to conform to my words. You cannot live another’s life; you can only live your own. Didn’t Krsna say something similar in the Bhagavad-gita: To perish in the performance of another’s duty is dangerous? Perhaps the essence of that statement was, "Live your own life, for to live the life of another is nothing but an active illusion that can destroy your endeavors and bring grief." Or perhaps not.
I always wanted to ask but never got an opportunity. But through this open forum, it is lot easier.
Hmmmph, easier for you! :o
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prabhupada

Post by GPandit »

A really beautiful answer to a complex question. I think it is valuable to separate Srila Prabhupada from the institution he created. It's nice to remember the connection with him, and to reconnect at times. I still wonder at times, "would Prabhupada appreciate how I'm living my life now?" I believe he would. I also believe (and Hari has alluded to this, I think) that Prabhupada, Krsna, etc., are not exclusive property of ISKCON.

I find this kind of discussion incredibly therapeutic.

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Re: prabhupada

Post by Nanda »

GPandit wrote:... I also believe (and Hari has alluded to this, I think) that Prabhupada, Krsna, etc., are not exclusive property of ISKCON.
I find this kind of discussion incredibly therapeutic. Garuda Pandit
As you said, GPandit - thanks God they are not "exclusive property of ISKCON". And, you have a right, this kind of discussion is really "incredibly therapeutic". It is so good to know that there is a place, as such a web site, where you always can go to find very good explanations about so important questions.
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harsi
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Love is within us

Post by harsi »

Hari wrote:

"I don’t see a value in being forced to refer our understanding of the present to the past and to a set of limited statements, frozen in time and not specifically relevant to the questions that confront us now. One should have complete and unencumbered freedom to do what is right according to our understanding of the present so that we take full and complete responsibility for what we are doing now without avoiding it by quoting, "Prabhupada said." I know this is hard to accept, but this is how I feel."

I personally have developed somehow the same kind of feeling.
I would even go so far to say on the contrary what one may have heard or read from Prabhupada, providet that I understood him well and in the right context, regarding the issue of Love that there is no real love within this world and the only mean to develop and experience real love is by developing our Love of God, that acording to my experience the only love which one can feel is within ourself.

In our culture and civilization we learn to say " I love you". A better way to express this feeling is in my opinion to say "I love the feeling situated deep within my being, within my heart, which is activated by your presence". Thus the only love which one can feel is within oneself.

When you can feel that love within you, you can impart that love also to others, or you can let also others be part of that reservoir of love within you. Your spouse, your children, your familiy, your friends etc, or why not Your Lordships.

So often we here that the only love is Love of Godhead, but how this love should manifest within our own being by negating the love for ourself and to others remains a great mystery fo me.

I would say, that first and foremost you have to come in contact with the reservoir of love within yourself, feel and experience that love within your own being, love and accept yourself as you are, and when that well of love within you becomes deep enough you are able to give that love also to others, even to God and let them be part of that love within yourself.

I would say that the moore love we accumulate and develop in us the moore we atract also other people who have also that love in their being.
Having love for us in ourself we have come back to the state of love .

We are that love which we need and which we can give also to others.

Dear Hari, this is a great and interesting issue, I would like to read also what are your realizations in this regard.
Open up your mind and heart to new experiences of consciousness.
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Post by Hari »

You have stated it very nicely Harsiji. There is no need for me to comment on your post further than that! Thank you for sharing these nice realizations with us.
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Post by harsi »

Thank you dear Hari for your nice reply.

Srila Prabhupada writes: "Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught "O Lord; whether You trample me under Your feet or embrace me or leave me brokenhearted by not being present before me, that does not matter. You are completelly free to do anything, for You are my worshipable Lord unconditionally". That is Love. We should think ". God may do whatever He likes, yet I will still love Him". I don´t want anything in exchange.
That is the sort of love Krsna wants. "

Now on the other hand, is it not also so, that we don´t have to become pleasant for the Supreme in some way or other in order that we may gain His love? Is it not rather so, that we may do what we do or change our understanding of things because we want it so, and not in order that we may gain the favour of the Supreme Lord and His love?
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Post by Hari »

I can agree with that statement. However, I hope you did not offer that as the complete and final understanding of reciprocating love. After all, doing things for the one you love and offering deep and sincere expressions of that love is natural.

I only hope that Adi-kurmaji did not drop out of the forum and so on because of my answer. If so, I am sorry, although I am not sure how I could have answered otherwise.
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Post by harsi »

Hari wrote:I can agree with that statement. However, I hope you did not offer that as the complete and final understanding of reciprocating love. After all, doing things for the one you love and offering deep and sincere expressions of that love is natural.
My question in this regard, was more if God is most pleased, when we offer him our love unconditionally could it not be also so, that he may offer us His love not also in this unconditioned way. Do we have to earn us His love in some way or other, since he is most pleased in Himself and does not need our endeaver to do or to make something happen in this world in order for Him to be happy or pleased with Himself.

What is your opinion in this regard, taking into consideration this matter with the knowledge we might have gotten during our time of the so called active "devotional service," whatever this means to you or could mean in general, taking it from the point of view or understanding of the Supreme Lord. I hope you can follow what I am trying to say by this, otherwise you may give me a sugestion how I should express myself in a better way.
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the source

Post by Yajuh »

Govindam adi purusam tam aham bajami

As I think back of how I expirienced my life with ISKCON Politiks and Standars, it always comes to my mind that many never been intrested in God realy. They liked the food, they liked the power of talk and noting, they liked to pretend, but they didn`t developed Love for Govinda.

Pretending I saw in ISKCON and in other Churches, too. The pretending was almost the same.
People who better shut up and be quiet stand up and walk around puffy and important.

To blame someone is not a wise way, because they simply got no "žhigher taste", but they like to be known as a great person, because there is enjoyment to be famous (at least they think in this way). I feel sorry for them, but on the other hand they make me angry, because the way of talk they choose is not honest and without empathie. This is always the path of how religion becomes poisened and confusing. -Through nukleheads.javascript:emoticon(':twisted:')

The base of everything is Krsna. The Guru of everybody is Krsna-Balarama. The Owner of everything is God himself. We are just taking part in his games and all the glory belongs to him.Even Bhaktivedanta Swami was just a part. The Domino Effekt is always in Govindas hands- or in this times in Chaitanyas. HE only put things in progress! Prabhupada was a Planer for building a house, but to built it, he needs workers and helpers and people with Ideas. Alone was not possible for him to built this house. All this individuals put there own handwriting inside this building by there work.ISKCON is made by many people. Swami ji just tried to inspire man to put things in action.

If Prabhupada was right or wrong is not a good question, because the message behind was Krsna. How to serve God is in fact a personal path. An Institution makes only sense to protect and support the personal way of a devotee. How a devotee finds emotions and love for Govinda is his own personal secret and mystik. To blame Prabhupada for his opinions is not right- YOU yourself should know it right yourself- means you find out! Your life is ment to think your own thoughts, to do your own steps and to take your own risks and to find your own loving feelings for the Supreme and your brothers and sisters,too. We are here to understand was is real "žLOVE"! - We don`t know yet...

In Bhagavad Gita Krsna clearly says that someone can start to find "žLOVE" with rules, if he don`t feel spontanious "žemotions", if he cant follow rules he trys to offer his work and so on... How to find "žLove" doesen`t matter. You are free to try diffrent steps. The result is important!!!

What is a very simple truth in BG, but not understood by most of the hardliners in all religous processes, is that there MUST be a real "žhigher taste" FIRST, before someone is honestly able to leave the material desires behind. You can only fall down when you are realy UP. To make mistakes is a process of learning. What is SIN and what is not, is not a simple question!? Even wise man are confused to explain the right thing.You can do actions out of weakness, out of ignorance, out of trying something, out of force, out of.........God is not interested in sins, he is intrested in the heart of a person. Sin doesen`t mean anything to HIM. If we follow rules or not, is not important to HIM, but your HEART (honestly without pretending). The only thing what counts!!!!

The source of everything is God. Any person in this world is just a player in Gods game.
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Re: Srila Prabhupada and Gaudiya sampradaya

Post by trikaldas »

respected YAJUH prabhu!
JAI GOVINDA JAI GOPALA!
"eko bahunam yo vidhadati kaman"
thanks for your comment!
i am trikaldas from vienna,we may not know each other,
yes,different persons have different motivations and vibrations......of heart.....and mind......which,when pure, cross and connect with the soul and supersoul!
yogis and bhaktas at different maturity!
every time,place and circumstances and generation has its own contribuition and place in the WHOLE LILA!thats "the MYSTERY OF LIFE" as the christians say!
krsnananda to you!
ys trikaldas
trikaldas
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Re: Srila Prabhupada and Gaudiya sampradaya

Post by trikaldas »

dear respected HARIJI!
your qoute:I have removed negative references to him (HDG SP) on this site and I must admit it bothered me more than I imagined it would when someone wrote some nasty things about him. You see, love works in strange ways.
i am very happy that you are sharing with us this your very personal private emotion about your guruji!each generation can have their grudges etc with theire elders......
at the end all will be fine and consolidated,no hurt feelings and hoovering over transitary processes!all will be healed and forgiven in UNIVERSAL MELTING LOVE!
i am very,very greatful to you for all you have patiently passed on to us,engaged us,served us, shared and thought us and sacrificed out of love for your guruji and all!
may i be of any humble service to your person or program,
ys
trikaldas
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