Now Work Harder and Sacrifice More

June 1, 2014 |

English; Houston, Texas, USA

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Central Principle for the Establishment of Varnasrama Dharma

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Question: Is there a central principle for the establishment of Varnasrama Dharma? Different scholarly devotees have given different perspectives on the subject: (i) There must be segregation of sexes and they should only interact in a ritualistic manner to produce children, who would presumably be high class Brahmanas, being products of controlled sex and Vaisnava rituals, (ii) The seminal lineages of Brahmanas must be restored through training in scriptures and rituals and by their high birth, learning and expertise, these Brahmanas would establish their hegemony in Hindu society… Expand>

Question:

Is there a central principle for the establishment of Varnasrama Dharma? Different scholarly devotees have given different perspectives on the subject: (i) There must be segregation of sexes and they should only interact in a ritualistic manner to produce children, who would presumably be high class Brahmanas, being products of controlled sex and Vaisnava rituals, (ii) The seminal lineages of Brahmanas must be restored through training in scriptures and rituals and by their high birth, learning and expertise, these Brahmanas would establish their hegemony in Hindu society, (iii) The main problem is anxiety for economic security, so scholarly devotees should be provided with sufficient resources to maintain family, conduct research and open teaching facilities, without the need to gather followers or donations, (iv) Devotees should isolate themselves from mainstream society and develop their own institutions, following strict rules of personal and communal conduct, people all over the world will be attracted to such an ideal way of life. Can any of these principles, viz. sexual segregation, seminal lineage, economic security or isolated community be the central principle for the establishment of Varnasrama Dharma?

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About Ekadasi

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Question: How can one have pure Ekadasi? Also why parana time on next day is important?… Expand>

Question:

How can one have pure Ekadasi? Also why parana time on next day is important?

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:

I’m not sure what this question means. I presume that by pure ekādaśī is meant śuddha ekādaśī.

Śuddha ekādaśī is a term that is seen in our Vaiṣṇava calendar. Śuddha means pure. 
Here pure means that it’s not mixed with the proceeding tithi or lunar, solar day. The proceeding day is called daśamī, and is not mixed with the following tithi ekādaśī. And therefore it is suitable for fasting. 

If ekādaśī is mixed, in other words, if the time of daśamī overlaps with that of ekādaśī, or if the time of dvādaśī is overlapsed by ekādaśī, then the ekādaśī is not suitable for fasting, and then the fasting should be observed on the next day, dvādaśī.

That ekādaśī which is unmixed is called śuddha or pure. Pure in the sense that it is not mixed with other days.
Now, exactly the meaning of all this is quite complex because these days are tithis or days which are not calculated as the solar day is, by the rising of the Sun and the setting of the Sun, but by the movements of the Moon, which are much more irregular.

And then, another question connected with this is: Why is parāyaṇa on the next day important?

Actually parāyaṇa means something else. Parāyaṇa means attached to, as in Nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇa, a person who is attached to Nārāyaṇa.

Or another meaning is non stop recitation of a text from the beginning until the end, such as a Bhagavad-gītā parāyaṇa.

The actual word is pāraṇā, and this reffers to the time in which one should break the fast. That comes on dvādaśī.

Or one is to fast on Mahā-dvādaśī because the previous ekādaśī is not śuddha, then one is to break fast on trayodaśī.

The only information I could find about this is in Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, in which is stated that one should honor the dvādaśī by breaking the fast in the right time.

So, just as the ekādaśī should be honored by fasting, so dvādaśī should be honored by breaking the fast in the proper time.

Traditionally Vaiṣṇavas would stay up all night, fasting and hearing, and chanting about Viṣṇu, and would break the fast next day.

We find in Bhagavad-gītā that Kṛṣṇa recommends not too much austerity. One should have a balanced approach.

nāty-aśnatas tu yogo ’sti
na caikāntam anaśnataḥ
na cāti-svapna-śīlasya
jāgrato naiva cārjuna

There is no possibility of one’s becoming a yogī, O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough. (Bg 6.16)

yuktāhāra-vihārasya
yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya
yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā

He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system. (Bg 6.17)

So, that may be a reason why the time is given. That austerity is particularly meant for ekādaśī, and is not to be extended further. One honors Kṛṣṇa prasādam the next morning at the prescribed time.

Hare Kṛṣṇa!

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Question:

Is Srila Prabhupada tri-kala jna?

Srila Prabhupada has been described as a saktyavesa-avatara (by Srila Sridhara Maharaja). It has also been described, I believe by Srila Prabhupada himself, that he was a very pious doctor in his previous life. This devotee was thinking that all saktyavesa-avataras are descending from the spiritual world, from their previous life and that they would not have had a previous birth here. It may be argued that some of Caitanya Mahaprabhu's closest assocaiates, like Murari Gupta were Ayurvedic doctors, so this type of occupation or birth does not minimize their divinity in any way. Any comments on this?

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