Vamana-katha

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English; Manchester, England

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Question: 1) I once saw a visiting devotee who was reading Gita Press edition of Bhagavad-gita. When I asked why he was reading that not Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita, he said that because his guru said it was good for word to word translations. And then again I saw this with an initiated Indian lady devotee. She was from Delhi but based in Dar es… Expand>

Question:

1) I once saw a visiting devotee who was reading Gita Press edition of Bhagavad-gita. When I asked why he was reading that not Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita, he said that because his guru said it was good for word to word translations. And then again I saw this with an initiated Indian lady devotee. She was from Delhi but based in Dar es salaam. When I queried her about this, she said the same thing, that the word to word meanings are good (or better? I can't remember exactly what she said).

This didn't seem right, but I wanted to ask your holiness. Are we meant to be referring to Gita Press's Bhagavad-gita at all for any reason?

2) I was in an ISKCON temple here in Africa and saw a compact, one inch size Bhagavad-gita which was from Gita Press and which has slokas in devanagari only and no commentary. I thought that this would be good for carrying around and for chanting Bhagavad-gita slokas as that would be the same anyway in all versions of Bhagavad-gita. Is it OK to just chant the slokas only from this compact Gita Press's Gita or other any other non-ISKCON Bhagavad-gita?

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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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