No Sravana without Kirtana

February 21, 2016 |

English; Hyderabad, Telangana, India

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Question: 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… Expand>

Question:

In the verse quoted by Rupa Gosvami,

sruti-smrti-puranadi-

pancaratra-vidhim vina

aikantiki harer bhaktir

utpatayaiva kalpate

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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Is there only one way to follow Srila Prabhupada?

October 20, 2016 |

Question: Is there only one way to follow Srila Prabhupada?… Expand>

Question:

Is there only one way to follow Srila Prabhupada?

ANSWER by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami: 

Sridham Shyam Prabhu wrote an article which brought my attention to, in which he states that, as he understands, there are not many ways of following Śrīla Prabhupāda but there is one way to follow.

Now...in one sense it’s true. The proper way to follow Śrīla Prabhupāda is with all sincerity aspiring for pure devotional service, and following his instructions. On the other hand there is no stereotype, and Śrīla Prabhupāda gave different instructions to different devotees.

Sometimes on the same subject. For instance within his books, and repeatedly elsewhere, Śrīla Prabhupāda said that sannyāsi should be very strict in the matter of associating with women, which anyone in India up to the present day can understand, unless they are a follower of Osho, who are not much liked by Indian public.

Up to the present day the Indian public don’t like. They don’t mind to be cheated by swamis and sannyāsis, and spiritually, but they don’t like if they mix up with women...up to the present day. This Asaram Bapu Swami was finished not because of the murder cases in his āśram, but it came out about his womanizing. He is not actually a sannyāsi, but he is a holly man (supposed to be) and his illicit mixing with women is not at all appreciated. In South India this Paramahaṁsa Nityānanda was finished when it came about his womanizing, which in the West no one cares at all, but in India...

I’m just coming to the point now...

EXAMPLES
There is one Back to Godhead magazine published in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s presence, in which Sudama Swami...On the order of Śrīla Prabhupāda he led up the Vaikuṇṭha players, a drama troupe which had dance, and which was very much appreciated by Śrīla Prabhupāda, giving the teachings of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in drama form. And in that group there were women, which Śrīla Prabhupāda allow, but did not want in India. But, in the West he allowed it. Different culture. Sudama said to Śrīla Prabhupāda:“...all these women dancing...“, and Śrīla Prabhupāda said „That is your sannyās!“.

It’s right there in Back to Godhead magazine, so, he gave different...
Also, in two days in Vṛndāvan, to one sannyāsi Śrīla Prabhupāda told: „You leave Vṛndāvan! Don’t spend more than three days at any place. Sannyāsi should always be moving.“ The next day, to another sannyāsi he said: „Stay here, manage this project and never leave!“ So, to one he said „Sannyāsi always travels“, and to the other one sannyāsi „Stay here!“.

DIFFERENT EMPHASIS IN DEVOTIONAL SERVICE
So, there may be apparent contradictions. It’s not actually a contradiction, it’s specialized instruction according to service. So, one way to follow...Yes, we should know Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions and follow them, but we should know there is variety within that also. And, we see very exalted followers of Śrīla Prabhupāda who were...they are quite different in their emphasis in devotional service.
Two of most prominent preachers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the modern world, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s disciples in the Western world, one is Vaisesika Dasa Prabhu who is a grihasta. Well, he is well known, of course. He very much promotes the distribution of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books. That’s his main focus.
Indradyumna Swami has been a sannyāsi for many years and he also promotes book distribution but within the ambit of his festive programs, which are his main preaching. Doing festivals with hāriṇams, and dances, lots of kīrtan and whole package.
So, their approach, or their life focus in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s service is very different. They are not doing exactly the same thing, but they are both undoubtedly pleasant to Śrīla Prabhupāda, and following him very much.

CONCLUSION
So, one way to follow Śrīla Prabhupāda...In one sense yes, but there may be others, there have to be, actually specializations. Different devotees have different approaches. So, what is the correct stand on this issue? 
I prefer not to take milk from „blood cows“, or sometimes devotees call it „blood milk“ because the cows are killed, but I’m not on a campaign against devotees who take that, because Śrīla Prabhupāda’s said we could take it. On the other hand, he also said we should establish our own farm communities.
So, that should be bonum.

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English; Gauragrama, Telangana, India

Query from Gaura Prabhu (ACBSP)

October 15, 2011 |

Question: It has been at least three years since I was last in India and in Mayapura, you kindly bestowed upon me some of your books as a wonderful gift. I think I was asking you if any of your books were in a PC file format, like the Ramayana but they were not so you gave me the… Expand>

Question:

It has been at least three years since I was last in India and in Mayapura, you kindly bestowed upon me some of your books as a wonderful gift. I think I was asking you if any of your books were in a PC file format, like the Ramayana but they were not so you gave me the books.

Here is my question….

What are the points that you would specifically make to a group of 14-15 year old boys, from a private school here, in Toronto, who have volunatrily chosen to take a course on Encountering World Religions?

The professor visited our temple with other adults, studying the Hare Krsna movement in a course, and  he loved being encouraged to do the "Swami step" while chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, so he is very open.

The professor is genuinely concerned that these boys will soon grow up and be unleashed into today's society and will not be fully equipped as men to deal with what's out there .

I asked him about the school, and he said it's theme this year is "moral courage". He told me the Mission of Crescent Academy" is respect, responsibility, honesty and passion.

One thing I was thinking of doing is discussing in brief about the traditional Gurukula, as brahmacari life is described in the 7th Canto, how spiritual values USED to be at the core of an Education, but how this has been lost due to rampant materialism, and this is why the world is in so much chaos today.

I thought I could ask the boys what their definitions are of the school theme and mission, and then would go into more depth. You might have a totally differnt apporach to speaking to a classroom of keen 14-15 yr old boys and I welcome this. Please share your thoughts with me, and I will share them with the students !

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Question: I have two doubts, I hope you can show some light. After Srila Prabhupada disappearance, many former ISKCON devotees moves to another branches of the Gaudiya Matha and take shelter in many senior vaisnavas disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur (actually Srila Prabhupada godbrothers: Srila Sridhara Maharaj, Srila Puri Maharaj, etc.) and many of them… Expand>

Question:

I have two doubts, I hope you can show some light.

After Srila Prabhupada disappearance, many former ISKCON devotees moves to another branches of the Gaudiya Matha and take shelter in many senior vaisnavas disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur (actually Srila Prabhupada godbrothers: Srila Sridhara Maharaj, Srila Puri Maharaj, etc.) and many of them even started with success their own missions (Tripurari Maharaj, Narasingha Maharaj, etc.). I want to ask you if it is posible to follow Srila Prabhupada and became a bonafide Prabhupadanuga outside ISKCON or if it´s just a "degree" that someone can attain only being a member of ISKCON?

On the other hand, for the last 30 years Srila Prabhupada godbrothers acknowleged Him as "Saktiavesa Avatara" or "Jagad Guru" and celebrate in their respective maths His abirbhava and tirobhava (Sri Gopinath Matha, Sri Caitanya Saraswat Matha, Sri Caitanya Gaudiya Matha, etc). Furthermore Srila Jayapataka Swami started Sarasvasta Gaudiya Vaisnava Association and Srila Paramadvaiti (aka Alanath Swami) World Vaisnava Association as well, to reunite all the branches of the "Bhaktisidhanta Parampara". So, how it is that even today it seems to be so difficult to many ISKCON leaders to accept "as bonafide as ISKCON" any other branch of the Gaudiya Matha in the light that all of them came from the same seed (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta) and in opposition they point Srila Prabhupada (or ISKCON gurus) as the only bonafide acaryas for humankind? Can you please Maharaj help me to understand this in a propper way and mood?

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