General

Advaita Vedanta

I am very angry and confused about this debate. i am also very tired of this stuff and wish for a final authoritative conclusion on this fight.

I am going to be very frank with you and that is the dvaita and the bahkti yoga side are looking more and more like wish fulfillment and indulgence. This hurts me deeply because i want the truth to be that Lord krishna has a personal form and i want to dance happily in Goloka one day! however wanting and desires are less important than the truth.

look at this from ramana mahrishi( one of the most respected self realized beings)

http://prashantaboutindia.blogspot.com/2010/04/ramana-maharshi-about-dva...

"He said: “This is clear Advaita, but these Vaishnavites would give it some interpretation to make it accord with their feeling of duality.They hold that they must exist and God must exist, but how is that possible? It seems that they must all remain for ever doing service in Vaikunta, but how many of them are to do service and where would there be room for all these Vaishnavites?”

Bhagavan said this laughing, and then, after a pause, he added, “On the other hand, Advaita does not mean that a man must always sit in samadhi and never engage in action. Many things are necessary to keep up the life of the body, and action can never be avoided. Nor is bhakti ruled out in Advaita.

Shankara is rightly regarded as the foremost exponent of Advaita, and yet look at the number of shrines he visited (action), and the devotional songs he wrote.”

and read this from vijay kumar who has also realized self through jnana yoga not bhakti
http://www.godrealized.com/advaitavedanta.html

"The prime reason why Shri Madhvacharya the advocate of Dvaita failed to gain enlightenment within his lifetime! Similar was the fate of Ramanuja the proponent of Vishisthadvaita. It is the path of Advaita Vedanta that shall gain one enlightenment and finally salvation within this life. Those who dispute this fact may proceed on the path of spiritual enlightenment... in their journey ahead they shall themselves realize their folly.

It is only the teachings of Vedanta... the sacred Bhagavad Gita... the non duality of Brahman Almighty God that paves way for reaching stage of enlightenment and finally salvation within this life. The truth cannot be belied for the simple fact that indulgence in Dvaita or Vishisthadvaita form of Vedanta lead nowhere. Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed all gained enlightenment and finally salvation in their lifetime"

and here are more
http://www.godrealized.com/essays/Who-is-Krishna.html

"Simply worshiping Krishna, simply worshiping Lord Krishna either as a child prodigy or one who administers the sayings of Bhagavad-Gita does not yield anything! The gist of Bhagavad-Gita... the sayings of Lord Krishna can only be fathomed by traveling the path of jnana yoga... the path of absolute wisdom!"

and this
"http://www.vijaykumar.com/Communicating-with-God/God-has-Always-been-Formless.html"

Ramakrishna has also realized it through jnana yoga and both these masters authority can't be dismissed so easily. Also vijay has stated that in the last 150 years other than these two no one else has realized self. he says eventually those in bhati will switch over to jnana and realize their error.

they say that bhakti is easy and the mind is not always capable of jnana in the intital stages but the truth will eventually dawn?

jnana back up their philosophy with mastres who have realized. in bhakti we only see talk and more talk about scriptures.

I am not sure about the whole brhamajyoti stuff as these souls all said god almighty is defined as the cluster of all purified souls in the cosmos. so where is this brahamjyoti?

They also say that path of religion and rituals is simply to assist humans in material world but pure spirituality must be traveled through janna and celibacy. they say that myths can never be taken literally and there was no such person as lord shive ever on this earth?

i ma very irriated by all this. yet i can't deny when one side actually seems more true and is backing it up. i am a person who hates multiple interpretations.

i want a authority for god sakes! i just wish lord Krishna would descend and end this confusion once for all! I can't just believe refernces because they have all refrenced gita, purnas, vedas etc. they al say direct interpertation is incorrect and that you must read between the lines?

what? why did Lord Krishna not just come down and clarify this!!!!!

*exasperated*

re: advaita vedanta

in starting a response, i figured it would be best to respond right alongside your text.

[quote]I am very angry and confused about this debate. i am also very tired of this stuff and wish for a final authoritative conclusion on this fight.I am going to be very frank with you and that is the dvaita and the bahkti yoga side are looking more and more like wish fulfillment and indulgence. This hurts me deeply because i want the truth to be that Lord krishna has a personal form and i want to dance happily in Goloka one day! however wanting and desires are less important than the truth.look at this from ramana mahrishi( one of the most respected self realized beings)http://prashantaboutindia.blogspot.com/2010/04/ramana-maharshi-about-dva..."He said: “This is clear Advaita, but these Vaishnavites would give it some interpretation to make it accord with their feeling of duality.They hold that they must exist and God must exist, but how is that possible? It seems that they must all remain for ever doing service in Vaikunta, but how many of them are to do service and where would there be room for all these Vaishnavites?[end of quote]

----> in reading, from this link, i would first have to reject any yoga system other than that of Bhakti-yoga. this man asks "what do we need to do for God?" clearly this fool has no idea what Bhakti-yoga consists of. i don't do service for the Lord because he needs me to; i am the one needing it!

the rest of the article is a complete waste of time...

"how many devotees will be able to fit in Vaikunta?" Lord Sri KRSNA will probably be able to fit more than He put here on this earth to suffer through this man's existence. he's an idiot.

[beginning of quote] "Bhagavan said this laughing, and then, after a pause, he added, “On the other hand, Advaita does not mean that a man must always sit in samadhi and never engage in action. Many things are necessary to keep up the life of the body, and action can never be avoided. Nor is bhakti ruled out in Advaita.Shankara is rightly regarded as the foremost exponent of Advaita, and yet look at the number of shrines he visited (action), and the devotional songs he wrote.”and read this from vijay kumar who has also realized self through jnana yoga not bhaktihttp://www.godrealized.com/advaitavedanta.html"The prime reason why Shri Madhvacharya the advocate of Dvaita failed to gain enlightenment within his lifetime! Similar was the fate of Ramanuja the proponent of Vishisthadvaita. It is the path of Advaita Vedanta that shall gain one enlightenment and finally salvation within this life.[end of quote]

----> in reading this article, i've found nothing but speculation and supposition at every turn!

"In a nutshell, if a mound of grain is God Almighty then every individual grain is an independent soul atman."

not everything is absolutely wrong about what he's saying, but he's mixing and matching where Lord Sri KRSNA has already explained. think of a glass of water. say for example you pour out a drop into one glass, and another drop into another, and on and on. turning back to the glass, you see the exact same amount you started with. this is the unlimited potency of Lord Sri KRSNA.

[beginning of quote] Those who dispute this fact may proceed on the path of spiritual enlightenment... in their journey ahead they shall themselves realize their folly.It is only the teachings of Vedanta... the sacred Bhagavad Gita... the non duality of Brahman Almighty God that paves way for reaching stage of enlightenment and finally salvation within this life. The truth cannot be belied for the simple fact that indulgence in Dvaita or Vishisthadvaita form of Vedanta lead nowhere. Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed all gained enlightenment and finally salvation in their lifetime"and here are morehttp://www.godrealized.com/essays/Who-is-Krishna.html"Simply worshiping Krishna, simply worshiping Lord Krishna either as a child prodigy or one who administers the sayings of Bhagavad-Gita does not yield anything! The gist of Bhagavad-Gita... the sayings of Lord Krishna can only be fathomed by traveling the path of jnana yoga... the path of absolute wisdom!"and this"http://www.vijaykumar.com/Communicating-with-God/God-has-Always-been-Formless.html"Ramakrishna has also realized it through jnana yoga and both these masters authority can't be dismissed so easily. Also vijay has stated that in the last 150 years other than these two no one else has realized self. he says eventually those in bhati will switch over to jnana and realize their error.they say that bhakti is easy and the mind is not always capable of jnana in the intital stages but the truth will eventually dawn?jnana back up their philosophy with mastres who have realized. in bhakti we only see talk and more talk about scriptures.[end of quote]

----> i'm not interested in the path of jnana-yoga, because i already know Lord Sri KRSNA to be the perfected and supreme forms of all knowledge.

[beginning of quote] I am not sure about the whole brhamajyoti stuff as these souls all said god almighty is defined as the cluster of all purified souls in the cosmos. so where is this brahamjyoti?They also say that path of religion and rituals is simply to assist humans in material world but pure spirituality must be traveled through janna and celibacy. they say that myths can never be taken literally and there was no such person as lord shive ever on this earth?i ma very irriated by all this. yet i can't deny when one side actually seems more true and is backing it up. i am a person who hates multiple interpretations.i want a authority for god sakes! i just wish lord Krishna would descend and end this confusion once for all! I can't just believe refernces because they have all refrenced gita, purnas, vedas etc. they al say direct interpertation is incorrect and that you must read between the lines?what? why did Lord Krishna not just come down and clarify this!!!!!*exasperated*[end of quote]

----> Lord Sri KRSNA did come to us though!

read this. http://vedabase.com/en/tlc/25 read it over, again and again, until you understand it. if you don't understand something, look it up, or ask a pure devotee.

the brahmajyoti is the glowing personal effulgence of the Lord. like the sunbeams of the sun. here's more: http://vedabase.com/en/sb/3/25/19

there are five kinds of liberation, according to scripture http://vedabase.com/en/cc/madhya/6/266

merging into the brahman effulgence of Lord Sri KRSNA is but only one kind of liberation.

read this too!!! http://vedabase.com/en/sb/11/14

Hare KRSNA

from Iskcon gainesville to New Vrindaban --- on foot, singing the glories of Lord

How many of you are interested in following me from Gainesville Florida singing the glories of Lord Krishna and walking our way to New Vrindaban.
I'd plan on organizing this in a year and a half. Towards summer of 2015.
Any possibility that some devotees would come along?
We'd have a hard time, the walk would probably take us some weeks to months. I see max 10 km daily. Walking with our musical instruments. We'd have to bring a tent or something like that. or just camp out under the stars and move forward singing hare krishna.

this is kali yuga, i cant think of something more liberating than this experience!
who would follow?
which devotee is with me in this plan?

Did Lord Krishna take the form of Bhagavata Purana?

Jai Sri Krishna,

Please accept my greetings.

I have a question regarding the greatness of Srimad Bhagavatam. I heard from one of my friend who said "Before Krishna was about to depart the world, Uddhava requested Krishna to stay back as he knew with Kaliyuga's arrival and Krishna's departure, world would become as bad as hell. Then Krishna consoled Uddhava stating He would stay with the people as Bhagavata Purana. Hence if one reads, listens, discourses Bhagavatam, then s/he is enjoying the presence of Lord Himself. Saying so, He got dissolved into Bhagavatam."

Now I want to know is the above info true? If yes, is there any scriptural reference for the same?

Regards,
Ratnadeep.

Why the contradictions b/w Bhagavata Gita and Bhagavatam?

I was comparing chapter 10 of Bhagavata Gita and Canto 11 chapter 16 of Bhagavatam. The two states similar opulences. However I found a few contradictions as well. Consider the below:

BG 10.29 states- "In weapons, I am Vajra"
BG 10.31 states- "Among the wielders of weapons, I am Rama"
SB 11.16.20 states- "In weaons, I am bow. Among the wielders of weapons, I am Siva"

So you can find there are contradictions between the two. Why are the contradictions there given both the spoken by the same person, i.e. Lord Krishna?

Jai Sri Krishna.
Ratnadeep.

Wood/Paper

Dear devotees,

Recently this has beenon my mind quite a lot. Hopefully some of you have some feedback.

Srila Prabhupada is very strong on keeping trees alive. Unfortunately most of the paper production is straightly from the cutting of masses of trees. Though a small percentage is also produced from receycled paper (which doesnt go on continuously, because after a few times receycling, the paper quality becomes under standard so then they need new wood pulp), and as well other materials like stone, but still the vast majority of paper production is from wood.

What are your (practical) thoughts on this? How can we stay aloof from this sinful act, and not silently approve with it, by using paper, which has been so much interwoven in western culture.
Of course same applies for anything else from wood.

Thank you
Surabhi

Jews do not belive in Sin and Hell

Hare Krishna to all the devotees.
Please accept my Dandavat Pranam.

I was talking to a Jew, and he said Jews do not believe in Sin and Hell.
I would like to get some knowledge about Jews and how to preach them Krishna Consciousness philosophy.

if anyone can help me in this regard it will be a great service to Srila Prabhupada as we are trying to preach to a person so that he can become KC.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,
Your Servant
Krishna T

A few beginner questions, and a long-winded introduction

I have had a passing interest in Krishna for around seven years. I have had some brief stays in temples, a couple 2-week stays and a 1-week, all at different temples. I learned much in those first months and stuck to the principles, chanted and read daily for over a year. I came from a rural area so I practiced alone, mostly doing my Japa and studying the Bhagavad-Gita. I had little contact with devotees other than those visits. I slowly fell back into a material life, although from time to time I would pick up Japa again, reread a smaller book like Sri Isopanisad, or simply wear kanthi-mala as a memory. I eventually broke the four principles and although I had Krishna in my heart, I ignored it continued self-pleasure. I traveled a lot and kept searching for a source of happiness. I drank some and did much of what is normal for someone in the early 20s, but it always seemed like I was forcing myself into a societal standard that I didn't actually morally agree with. I am simply not interested in the hobbies and lifestyles of most people my age. I dismissed my interest in Krishna Consciousness as a psychological pacifier at a tumultuous point in my life, convinced myself of atheism, that my interest in Krishna was a longing and attachment to the idea if God rather than something I truly believed. I was only 18 when I first visited a temple, and I am now 25. Anyways, I have finally have finally given into my heart. I moved around a year ago and have spent the time still blinded by maya, but there happens to be a temple nearby. I am finally able to have the association I lacked in the beginning of my spiritual exploration. So, I made contact with a brahmacari at the temple through the internet, and went to visit around evening arati. We spoke for awhile ,and I will be visiting again in a couple of days to do some service. I have been following the principles again for awhile before visiting. I feel a lot of guilt for having quitting my journey towards Krishna. During dashan I was almost terrified to step into the temple room. I was so nervous to even be in the presence of other devotees and to speak to a brahmacari. I stumbled over the few words I spoke that evening to other devotees, and my lackadaisical memory of proper etiquette had me feeling low. I am so worried about offending our Lords devotees. I am not worthy of even making eye contact with these people. Perhaps I am being too hard on myself, but maybe in time, with devotional service I will at home again. So, despite my faltering interest over many years, I am still a beginner.

This discussion is in part to introduce myself, to clear my mind, and to ask a few simple questions.

When I first began visiting temples, I was taught to pay obeisances upon entering the temple, knees and hands on the ground. Then, pay obeisances to Prabhupada, keeping him to my left. The deities would be last during darshan times, kept to my left but respected by fully prostrating on the ground, body outstretched with hands above head. I should then stand, pray, and then offer obeisances to any other deities present (usually a representation of Srimati Radharani). I noticed at this local temple, some devotees entered the temple room and immediately bowed before the altar rather than upon entering or at Prabhupadas feet. I now feel awkward and perhaps I have been doing something offensive. How should a devotee properly pay their respects when entering the temple room?

I am also a little perplexed on how to speak about gurus. Is it proper to address a guru by their name alone when speaking to another devotee, or is there a formality? For instance, His Holiness Hridayananda Goswami... how should I properly address him in conversation with another person? Is name alone proper, or should he be addressed by a title? Are there titles only disciples should use?

With pronunciation, I realize that typically the final "A" in most Sanskrit words is not pronounced. So that Ramayana is a three syllable word although by western phonetics it would be four. However, the final A is pronounced in Bhagavad-Gita, so what are the rules on when this vowel at the end of a word spelled in English should be silent, and when it's actually meant to be pronounced?

I am not at this time considering initiation. I am a neophyte with a long road ahead. But, the first guru I met has always had a certain attraction. I have had the honor of meeting four ISKCON gurus in my temple visits, but this particular guru has always came back into my mind. If I do advance in Krishna Consciousness, I feel he would be the guru I want to learn from. Simply being in a room with him was mystical and humbling to me. I have not had the chance to meet him again since the first temple I ever visited seven years ago. But, the local temple near me is his "home" and I am ecstatic about being able to eventually hear him speak again. So, I am wondering if it's appropriate to make contact with the guru down the road, or if I should simply keep my head into my devotional services and hope that perhaps I am noticed when the time is right for further instruction or steps into Krishna Consciousness? I am not looking for initiation at this time, but I desperately want guidance and I can think of no greater man on this planet to seek advice from. Would it be offensive if I attempted to email him despite being very new, and having fallen from the path years ago? I feel that I'm not worthy of speaking to devotees, much less a spiritual leader.

My final question (for now), is what is my next step? I have only had one visit to the local temple. I am very antisocial and the Sunday feasts are intimidating especially since I am new here. I spoke with the brahmacari about this. I will be doing some simple service this weekend, and I am so very pleased that my offer to assist was heard. It will be exciting to serve the temple. I will have the opportunity to talk more with devotees and perhaps figure out to take the next step. But, while I have your ear, what do you wonderful devotees suggest for someone like me? I want to serve the temple and learn as much as possible. I feel so strange not knowing anybody and being so clueless on etiquette, songs, mantras, etc. I spent a lot of time chanting the Maha Mantra and reading scriptures, but that does not prepare me for association with devotees and attending temple services. As I said earlier, I am worried about offending or seeming strange.

Thank you for the attention, I'm humbly your servant and awaiting any wisdom you may grace me with.

Hare Krishna

I been Reading the Books for Years but live far away from Temple

Hare Krishna.
I been reading the books for a long time at this point i live far away from any temple. and Moving is not a Option how does one Conect when living remote from temples.I recite the Mahamantra.keep a shrine but no spiritual Master or adviser. only one basically are the books i read and the Gita as it is.I do live close to a Shiva Vishnu Temple but my connection is with Iskon and the Works
of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Dashavatar - the ten incarnations of Vishnu

I recently read an interesting description of the Dashavatar called "Ten paces to Krishna" by CAK Menon. He has given a short version of the Bhagavatam focussing on some of the major events and corresponding incarnations that culminated with Krishna Avatar. It has some interesting technical explanations on some of the miracles. Please check it out. If there are other such links please do forward them so we all can share:

http://cakmenon.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/ten-paces-to-krishna/

-ullas.