Books and Farms: Solid Programs

August 29, 2016 |

English with Český Translation; Nava Gokula Farm, Czech Republic

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Question: Can you throw some light on the philosophy of Vivekananda? I have read that he was a contemporary of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. What is his philosophy? Is it bona fide?… Expand>

Question:

Can you throw some light on the philosophy of Vivekananda? I have read that he was a contemporary of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. What is his philosophy? Is it bona fide?

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

Does that make him bona fide? Well, why Vivekānanda? There are so many - this ānanda, that ānanda; there are so many people. Why not concentrate on the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa given in Bhagavad-gītā? Is what Vivekānanda says the same as what Kṛṣṇa says? Well, Vivekānanda went to America. Śrīla Prabhupāda went to America. Vivekānanda brought back one woman from the West. Śrīla Prabhupāda made hundreds and thousands of people from the West follow all the principles of pure bhakti along the principle of Bhagavad-gītā: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. So, we can see that Śrīla Prabhupāda did what Kṛṣṇa said and Vivekānanda didn’t. So why give any importance to him? Of course, he is famous in the world, but so many people are famous. Vivekānanda sai d, whatever his philosophy might be… Of course, his guru’s philosophy was yata mata tata patha — as many paths… as many opinions, that many paths - which directly contradicts what Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. His guru was eating beef, so what kind of paramparā is that? That’s documented. In the name of proving that all paths are the same he followed Islam and ate beef for some time. So, if you want to think he is bona fide, you can follow him and go wherever he is going. But we want to go to Kṛṣṇa. People who eat meat like Vivekānanda and smoke… Of course, there are śāstric provisions for eating meat, but in general that should not be done. Those who do, they’re… That’s tāmasic, that’s in the mode of ignorance. We can’t think that there’ll be any good result from doing that; even if they are famous. There are so many famous swamis in the world today. They are almost all bogus. 

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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 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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