Reading and Commentary

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.25.265-283 | June 9, 2014 |

English; Sandy Ridge, North Carolina, USA

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In the verse quoted by Rupa Gosvami,

sruti-smrti-puranadi-

pancaratra-vidhim vina

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Is varnasrama considered part of “sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratra-vidhim”? Speaking of myself, I really don’t fall in any asrama and of course varna is the lowest. Is any devotional service or other activities performed by me an unnecessary disturbance in society?

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Drinking Milk from Protected Cows

October 20, 2016 |

Question: I have noticed some devotees only drink milk from protected cows and I was wondering if I should do the same. I tend to… Expand>

Question:

I have noticed some devotees only drink milk from protected cows and I was wondering if should I do the same. I tend to drink a cup of milk in the evening because this is what Prabhupada said was needed to develop the brain. I am being told that the milk given by karmis is full of poison and you don't receive the benefit. Others are saying, "what can be done we have to drink milk anyways." What is the correct stance on this issue?

ANSWER BY HH BHAKTI VIKĀSA SWAMI:

Kalki dāsa – he’s given two questions. I’ll answer the second one first.

Some devotees only drink milk from protected cows, and should I do the same? I tend to drink a cup of milk in the evening because this is what Śrīla Prabhupāda said was needed to develop the brain. Specifically, the brain tissues which are helpful for spiritual understanding, Śrīla Prabhupāda said. I’m being told the milk the karmīs give…

Whoops! Indian English made it all the way to America. He’s in America and looks like the effect of Indians, India, so many Indians in ISKCON in America that Indian English is exported to the Americans also.

POISONOUS MILK
I’m being told the milk the karmīs give is full of poison and you don’t receive the benefit. Others are saying: “What can be done? We have to drink milk anyway.” What is the correct stance on this issue?
About drinking milk from Walmart… You haven’t heard of it yet. It’s coming. It’s all over America. You buy milk from cows which are raised for giving milk and for slaughter. Horribly tortured, and then when they don’t give enough milk they are slaughtered. They are tortured throughout their lives. They don’t graze in the fields. They’ve never seen a field in their life. It’s really criminal what they are doing to the cows. That milk, anyway it’s what I believe is called now a one milk which is not very digestible for humans. And yeah, it’s full of poison in various ways. The cows are injected with so many hormones and they’re fed with all chemical foods.

Śrīla Prabhupāda wanted his disciples, he would have them take this milk anyway. I’m not sure if he was informed about all poison that’s in it.

NO HUMAN SOCIETY WITHOUT COW PROTECTION
The real thing our movement should have done, we are celebrating fifty years of ISKCON, but we really didn’t get our cow protection together and Prabhupāda says there’s no human society without cow protection.
It is possible; many devotees in America get milk sent to them from the Gītā Nāgarī Farm. So it’s possible to do that. I don’t know how much is possible for Kalki Prabhu, who’s often out traveling on saṅkīrtana doing book distribution in America.

Here in India, in many places there are goshalas. How do you translate that in English? Cow protection shelters. Yeah where the cows are kept and they’re protected, they are not going to be killed. And you can get milk from them in many places in India. And even when I go to some places in the Gulf countries… There’s actually a goshala in Dubai, believe it or not. All air conditioned and everything. So I get milk there. In Kuwait you get the pata medha milk, dried milk. So that’s a facility.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
You could maybe, Kalki Prabhu, you could get from India powdered milk from protected cows, from one goshala, or it’s a go complex. Shala - you get the idea of a shed or something, but this is huge. How many do they have? Three lakhs cows? How many cows? Some huge number of cows in Rajasthan. We should all go there one time actually. One lakh twenty thousand. Have you been there? Yeah, we’ve all heard, but who’s been there? We should all go there sometime and offer obeisance to swami who’s developed that. Really! Great thing he’s done. He’s probably a Māyāvādī, but doing better than we’re doing in cow protection. So there’s a solution for you.

Another thing you could do is: encourage people, devotees, or people who’re interested to be devotees to join our farms in America and develop this cow protection programmes. Gītā Nāgarī is there. Husband and wife couple in America, they’re just in the process of joining that farm near New Orleans, which I can’t remember the name just now. New Talavan – that’s it, yeah. That’s Nitya Gaura. Do anyone know him – Nitya Gaura? He was in India years ago. He stayed for more than a year. He recently got married, so he’s moving there. And then there’s … New Vrindavan is very famous. I don’t know how much they are doing cow protection. I’m sure they are doing something. Murāri Sevaka in Tennessee. So encourage, take devotees there. Show them. Let them see. It’s possible to protect cows. There must be more. I guess in Alachua, they have some cows also. I hope so. Here and there, there are such things. Abhirāma Prabhu in New York City, he’s very serious about developing such a project. So let’s encourage devotees in the West to get behind it – cow protection.

CONCLUSION
Drink milk. Throw the vegans out. 
He asked: “What is the correct stance on this issue?” 
Well, I’m giving my understanding. I’m loath to say it’s the correct stance, because I wouldn’t say that someone’s necessarily wrong in all respects if they take milk from Walmart. Now that leads us into the next comment.

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Santa Claus Outfits for Radha-Krsna

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Question: Recently I was shocked to learn that few of ISKCON temples around the globe celebrated Christmas by dressing Sri Sri Radha Krishna deities Santa Claus styled outfits. Is it acceptable to dress the Lord in such a non-traditional style or it is just a speculation?… Expand>

Question:

Recently I was shocked to learn that few of ISKCON temples around the globe celebrated Christmas by dressing Sri Sri Radha Krishna deities Santa Claus styled outfits. Is it acceptable to dress the Lord in such a non-traditional style or it is just a speculation?

 

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami:

So, I’ve been informed that some temples in Europe in the Christmas season dress Kṛṣṇa as Santa Claus, and that one temple, ISKCON temple (we are talking about ISKCON temples here), is dressing Kṛṣṇa as Santa Claus. And one temple in India also did this. And what do I think about this? 

Unfortunate…is one word I could use. Nonsense is another.

In one letter Śrīla Prabhupāda was informed that devotees sent some Christmas cards with a picture of Krsna. Śrīla Prabhupāda wrote that we are not for Christmas greetings. In another or several times, Śrīla Prabhupāda also spoke about speculation in Deity worship… So, there may be various reasons given. In India, the reason was given that Christians come to our temple. Well, in that case you can dress Kṛṣṇa as cricket star, maybe the cricket fans would come. Or you can dress Kṛṣṇa like some famous film star, then maybe people interested in movies, they would come. 

But the whole idea…Deity worship is to dress Kṛṣṇa as Rādhā likes Him, and dress Rādhā as Kṛṣṇa likes Her, according to the directions of great ācāryas. Getting mixed up with this Western culture…as far as possible we should try to avoid that. We have our own festivals. Why adopt this Christmas, which is supposed to be a birth of Christ, although they don’t actually know when Christ was born? The main feature of Christmas in the modern world is killing lots of birds, especially turkeys in England, drinking lots of alcohol…

Especially, dressing Deities like this, all I can say is- unfortunate. My saying so won’t stop it going on. There are so many great ācāryas in our movement who are introducing things that none of our previous ācāryas was doing…So, what to say? Whether to laugh or to cry?

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