Reply to Dhanurdhara Swami's critique of M&M

December 28, 2016 |

English; Kutralam, Tamil Nadu, India

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Question: As a neophyte devotee, who has recently taken interest in giving my life to serving Srila Prabhupada and The Hare Krishna Movement, the common question of how to do so has arisen freqeuntly in my recent months of trying to serve Srila Prabhupada. How can I give my life to Srila Prabhupada’s mission to serve Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Looking… Expand>

Question:

As a neophyte devotee, who has recently taken interest in giving my life to serving Srila Prabhupada and The Hare Krishna Movement, the common question of how to do so has arisen freqeuntly in my recent months of trying to serve Srila Prabhupada. How can I give my life to Srila Prabhupada’s mission to serve Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?

Looking at the movement in general, in the first few 20/30 years of the movement, devotee’s were more detached to the material world and its activities and stayed more in the temple, many would not partake in the activities of daily materialistic life, such as, school, a job, having a household away from the temple, having friends away from the temple. Which are all very understandable, because for spiritual advancement, environment and association is very important. But looking at the general trend of devotee’s today, it is very rare that devotee’s become Brahmacari, or live at the temple, or spend more than just an average one or two evenings at the temple each week. Rather the general mass of Hare Krishna devotee’s today, are very inclined towards their material education, their material success as businessmen, as families part of the social environment they live in and so on.

As a neophyte, the greatest difficulty I am facing, which is now becoming quite problematic in my spiritual life, is seeing that there is actually no difference between serving Krishna directly by maybe cleaning the temple floor, or serving his devotee’s, compared to

indirectly by concentrating on being successful in their material education or business life.

More specifically, as a student who would like to give his life to serving Srila Prabhupada, being enthusiastic about serving by gaining a material education is something very difficult for me to understand. On one hand I’m reading Srila Prabhupada’s books on how the material education system in todays contemporary society is mundane as it skips the greatest question of life, that we are not these bodies and that we are the spirit soul, eternal part and parcel of Krishna. Rather material education concentrates on how we can use all the resources of the material world for our sense gratification. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains, Karma Yoga, we must not simply forget everything and practice vikarma by renouncing everything and sitting alone in a room, rather we should practice akarma by offering the fruits of our actions onto Krishna and accept Him as The Supreme Controller. My difficulty is seeing how I can do so with a material college degree. It is difficult for me to submit to professors in universities who try to invalidate Krishna as Supreme Personality of Godhead, rather they accredit atheism and such illogical theories.

The question arises in my mind, that, rather than spending time and money in college acquiring a degree I am not even sure with what I want to do, rather I can surrender my whole life in serving as a devotee in a temple where they hardly have any devotee’s to serve.

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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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Question: A.) What is meant by acala? Some say that it means that the jiva is immovable in the body. Others say that it means that the jiva never leaves the spiritual world. B.) Does the jiva actually fall down into the material world or he remains in the spiritual one? Is he mechanically moved or it is just an illusion? i.) I cannot understand how the jiva is simultaneously situated both in the material and spiritual worlds. ii.) If in the material world the jiva turns away from Krsna, what does he do in the spiritual world at the same time? iii.) What does it mean that the jiva does not fall if he really falls down?… Expand>

Question:

Regading jiva's fall into this material world. Srila Prabhupada talks a lot about the fall. One devotee discovered a transcribed lecture of Srila Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.1 delivered in Tokio on April 22nd, 1972 (https://old.prabhupadavani.org/main/Bhagavatam/325.html ) in which he says that the jiva does not fall down. The devotee suggested that the jiva remains in the spiritual world but his consciousness is placed into the material world (as in a dream when one is asleep and is dreaming about visiting different countries and performing various activities). He supports his statement by citing BG in which it is said that the jiva is immovable (acala). Thus, he says it is situated in the spiritual world. So my questions are:

A.) What is meant by acala? Some say that it means that the jiva is immovable in the body. Others say that it means that the jiva never leaves the spiritual world.

B.) Does the jiva actually fall down into the material world or he remains in the spiritual world? Is he mechanically moved or it is just an illusion?

i.) I cannot understand how the jiva is simultaneously situated both in the material and spiritual worlds.
ii.) If in the material world the jiva turns away from Krsna, what does he do in the spiritual world at the same time?
iii.) What does it mean that the jiva does not fall if he really falls down?

 

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