Pure Kirtan

April 10, 2011 |

English; Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Question: After procrastinating for several months, with the encouragement of Susan, I finally got myself out the door to visit our local Hindu Mandir, in London , Ontario. I looked at the Vaisnava calendar, and was reminded that it was the day for GIta Jayanti. I thought "How auspicious. What a wonderful opportunity to bring a box of Gitas… Expand>

Question:

After procrastinating for several months, with the encouragement of Susan, I finally got myself out the door to visit our local Hindu Mandir, in London , Ontario. I looked at the Vaisnava calendar, and was reminded that it was the day for GIta Jayanti. I thought "How auspicious. What a wonderful opportunity to bring a box of Gitas with me to share with the local Hindus. A most wonderful way to begin my associating with the local pious people!"

I thought perhaps I might be able to speak something about the glories of the Bhagavad Gita at the Mandir, so I Googled Gita Jayanti, and heard part of an inspiring class by HH Prahladanandana Swami where he explained,

"There are 7 billion verses in the Vedas, and the Bhagavad Gita is the essence of all of them, and of all of them , the middle 6 chapters of the Gita are the most important, and of all those chapters, the 9th is the most important , and of all the verses , Bg. 9.34 is the most important,… man mana bhava mad bhakto, "Engage your mind in always thinking of Me, worship Me offer your obeisances unto Me. Thus you will surely come to Me, because you are My very dear friend." It is such an important verse , that it is repeated in the 18th chapter as well."

When I arrived at the Hindu Mandir, I saw the central deities were Laxmi-Narayana, with Sita Rama Hanuman Laxman, Radha Krishna, Siva lingam, Siva Parvati Ganesh Durga deities as well. When Susan and I arrived, they were having a havan, with a South Indian pandit chanting many mantras, which we participated in. Several people thanked me for the way I chanted Sanskrit with the Pandit. After this, I met the temple president, Mr. AV Singh, and when I asked him if I could say a few words about Gita Jayanti, he told me that there is no way of confirming the actual date that the Bhagavad Gita was spoken and that there is no need to promote the Bhagavad Gita, because every Hindu knows about it. He told me that their center was "diversified", and they don't promote any one book, and that if they let me promote the Gita , then everyone would want to promote their own religious views.

I stood there listening to him with my mouth open, in a state of disbelief. I purposefully kept my mouth open so he could see how

shocked I was at his response. He asked me if I understood. I told him that I understood his point of view, but because the Bhagavad Gita is a universal , non-sectarian teaching, I had difficulty accepting his resistance toward promoting it. He told me that the temple was for people to come and worship, sing a few songs, and go home "happy". I quickly packed up the Gitas and left, not feeling very happy at all.

My gratitude to Srila Prabhupada increased for the ISKCON movement he has given us , representing the true universal message of Sanatana Dharma. I realized even more the necessity of starting our own programs so that people could learn about Lord Caitanya. Hindu Bindu hodge podge religion , with so called "diversity" minimizing the glorification of Bhagavad Gita won't get people very far.

What would have you said to Mr. Singh, regarding his arguments against saying a few words in glorification of the Bhagavad Gita?

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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>

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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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