Nrsimha-katha

May 13, 2014 |

English; Simhacalam, Germany

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Question: How do we understand the statements of Srila Prabhupada that defy common sense? My question is not specific to what I could eat to make my body happy, but "how do we understand statements by pure devotees that defy common sense?" One might be able to explain away sentences such as in the purport… Expand>

Question:

How do we understand the statements of Srila Prabhupada that defy common sense?
My question is not specific to what I could eat to make my body happy, but "how do we understand statements by pure devotees that defy common sense?" One might be able to explain away sentences such as in the purport of CC 2.4.169 Srila Prabhupada mentions that, "One should not eat fish or other non-vegetarian food during the month of Kartika. A non-vegetarian diet means fish and meat. Similarly, masura dhal and urad dhal are also considered non-vegetarian. These two dhals contain a great amount of protein, and food rich in protein is considered non-vegetarian," however if you have to give to an intelligent reader they defy common sense. So, then comes the question of hermeneutics. In our parampara, it is not just important to understand the scriptures, but the writings of acaryas such as Srila Prabhupada. I refuse to compromise myself saying that some parts of Srila Prabhupada's writings from which I can't extract sense from should be avoided.

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Question: I am going through Srila Prabhupada's books, letters etc. and trying to properly understand His Divine Grace's attitude to 'welfare' activities, especially, hospitals, schools and feeding the poor. I came across a quote below and I would like to understand it properly as I thought of it as a potential quote for misinterpretation for presenting the idea that Srila Prabhupada… Expand>

Question:

I am going through Srila Prabhupada's books, letters etc. and trying to properly understand His Divine Grace's attitude to 'welfare' activities, especially, hospitals, schools and feeding the poor. I came across a quote below and I would like to understand it properly as I thought of it as a potential quote for misinterpretation for presenting the idea that Srila Prabhupada wanted welfare activities;

"We may approach our government leaders with our simple formula and show to them by the practical result that we are accomplishing the reform work that they are trying to do by spending millions of dollars but not very successfully. We, on the other hand, are rescuing the most fallen members of society among the young people and giving them new life of spiritual or highly desirable qualities, such as honesty, cleanliness, truthfulness, morality, like that. Now you approach the government leaders and convince them in this way, and that will be the greatest achievement. They have got so much money for spending for human welfare activities, and practically we are demonstrating that they have given us foodstuffs in India and we are distributing them daily to not less than 500 men, and if they would give us more we could also increase more and more. Your government has got inclination to assist the unfortunate people of the world, and that is very nice idea, now they should understand also that we are very much anxious and capable to assist them in their great and noble endeavour by rendering our services amongst the unfortunate citizens. If they give us financial help in this matter of human welfare activities, we are prepared to save or rescue their entire population from the clutches of ruin and degradation of all sorts. As I think you have tried once before and you have met some important political leaders in your Washington, D.C., so I am requesting you especially should take up this task very seriously of convincing your nation's leaders to give us all cooperation, and we shall in turn volunteer our all services to help them. By our mutual combination I am certain that we can improve the entire humanity to the point of spiritual understanding and thus automatically eliminate the basis for wars, poverty, disease, inequality, insufficient supplies of foodstuffs, and so many other problems that plague our so-called civilized societies."

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Rupanuga  –  Los Angeles 1 July, 1970

My question is that I am trying to understand what Srila Prabhupada is trying to say here and my understanding is that he is trying to get the American, Indian and European governments to donate food stuffs and facilities so that they (ISKCON) can engage in their preaching activities en-mass  by holding massive sankirtan and preaching programs and then distributing huge quantities of Prasadam. I thought this opinion of the above supported by the following statements:

"We, on the other hand, are rescuing the most fallen members of society among the young people and giving them new life of spiritual or highly desirable qualities, such as honesty, cleanliness, truthfulness, morality, like that"

"If they give us financial help in this matter of human welfare activities, we are prepared to save or rescue their entire population from the clutches of ruin and degradation of all sorts"

"By our mutual combination I am certain that we can improve the entire humanity to the point of spiritual understanding and thus automatically eliminate the basis for wars, poverty, disease, inequality, insufficient supplies of foodstuffs, and so many other problems that plague our so-called civilized societies." [This would only be possible if everyone became Krishna conscious, so this statement probably supports the fact that Srila Prabhupada is asking for help and facilities for preaching Krishna consciousness and not for just distributing prasadam without any preaching]

1) Is my opinion correct about what I think Srila Prabhupada is trying to say in the above letter?

2) There is a statement above; "..and practically we are demonstrating that they have given us foodstuffs in India and we are distributing them daily to not less than 500 men, and if they would give us more we could also increase more and more." … This can be taken to mean that Srila Prabhupada wanted prasadam distribution. How are we to understand it? Or is it that Srila Prabhupada just wanted Prasadam distribution in some places eg. Mayapur. Or perhaps prasadam is being distributed but in the temples only as Srila Prabhupada wanted?

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Question: 1) Few devotees would like to prepare for second initiation. How shall I prepare them? Do you have some special requirements? I am aware of those standards presented on BVKS.COM. We do not have any brahminical tests in our yatra. 2) Common practice in CZ is to use flowers for several days as a decoration… Expand>

Question:

  1. Few devotees would like to prepare for second initiation. How shall I prepare them? Do you have some special requirements? I am aware of those standards presented on BVKS.COM. We do not have any brahminical tests in our yatra.

  2. Common practice in CZ is to use flowers for several days as a decoration of the altar (if they still look fresh). Is that ok? I do not feel completely comfortable with it.

  3. While taking prasadam in a house of one grhastha – they were not used to close the altar of Gaura Nitai deities while honoring prasadam. They told us that there is no harm of eating in front of Gaura-Nitai, because they like to see devotees honoring prasadam. This they have supposedly heard from Salem devotees. I have never heard this. Could you please comment?

  4. If a devotee abandons his wife because he fell in love with another married woman and he starts to live with her – to which extend he shall be accepted by other devotees and community of vaisnavas? Is there any way to rectify this act? Can he lead a kirtan in the temple and so on?

  5. Is there any authorized standard of purity for cooking in the kitchen regarding our clothing. In our yatra it is usually set up as a standard to have only completely clean clothing. One is not supposed to cook in the clothes in which he ate or passed water. I didn´t see these standards so strict in India. I personally follow that – but I am not sure what to set up here as a standard. Especially when we are worshiping Guru Gauranga altar in the preaching centre.

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Presently I am working in a company and my qualification is Diploma. Now whenever I chant my rounds, in the early morning, my mind speaks to me to study further (material studying-degree) rather than chanting, so that in future it will help my career. Now i am of age 33 and married & I have twin children (of age 6yrs, both boys-Pramod & Pradyumna). Because of this I cannot concentrate on chanting. Please advise which is best for me – either to chant & work for personal care (or) to focus on further material studies and work. Please note my working schedule is hectic and I cannot do all the three things (i.e. to chant 16 rounds, work & study) and working is compulsory as I don’t have any other source of income.

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English;