Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Friday, September 28, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gaps in Guru Parampara

I always had some doubts on how the disciplic succession (Guru parampara) is understood properly. I have read Prabhupada saying that prominent Gurus are represented in our line and so forth. In the Bhagavad Gita, Prabhupada writes that the disciplic succession was restarted again (as it was lost earlier) after Krishna spoke the Gita to Arjuna. Like this Prabhupada talks about Parampara in different places. I still had some doubts.

Below are a compilation of four letters by Srila Prabhupada further elucidating this subject.

Regarding your third question—"Why are there apparent time-gaps in the line of disciplic succession as listed in the Bhagavad-gita? Is Arjuna an instructor Spiritual Master and not an initiator Spiritual Master and therefore not listed?'' The time gap mentioned by you is inevitable, because the disciplic succession sometimes becomes disconnected, as we find from the Bhagavad-gita. This is the influence of material energy, and to link it up again, it takes some time. That some time may appear to our calculation a big gap, but in relation with the eternal time, it is not even an instant. So this big gap or small gap of time is relative. Just like our 24 hours and Brahma's 24 hours, there is much difference. Our 24 hours is not even a fraction of his second....
- Letter to Rupanuga, March 14, 1969, Hawaii

Regarding parampara system: there is nothing to wonder for big gaps. Just like we belong to the Brahma Sampradaya, so we accept it from Krishna to Brahma, Brahma to Narada, Narada to Vyasadeva, Vyasadeva to Madhva, and between Vyasadeva and Madhva there is a big gap. But it is sometimes said that Vyasadeva is still living, and Madhva was fortunate enough to meet him directly. In a similar way, we find in the Bhagavad-gita that the Gita was taught to the sun god, some millions of years ago, but Krishna has mentioned only three names in this parampara system—namely, Vivasvan, Manu, and Ikshvaku; and so these gaps do not hamper from understanding the parampara system. We have to pick up the prominent acharya, and follow from him. There are many branches also from the parampara system, and it is not possible to record all the branches and sub-branches in the disciplic succession. We have to pick up from the authority of the acharya in whatever sampradaya we belong to. Hoping you are all three well, and please keep me informed.
- Letter to Dayananda, April 12, 1968, San Francisco

"Narada was the Spiritual Master of Vyasadeva, and Arjuna was Vyasadeva's disciple, not as initiated disciple but there was some blood relation between them. So there is connection in this way, and it is not possible to list all such relationships in the short description given in Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Another point is that disciplic succession does not mean one has to be directly a disciple of a particular person. The conclusions which we have tried to explain in our Bhagavad-gita As It Is is the same as those conclusions of Arjuna. Arjuna accepted Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we also accept the same truth under the disciplic succession of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. This is an axiomatic truth. So there is no difference of opinion of understanding Krishna between ourselves and Arjuna. Another example is that a tree has many branches, and you will find one leaf here and another leaf there. But if you take this leaf and the other leaf and you press them both, you will see that the taste is the same. The taste is the conclusion, and from the taste you can understand that both leaves are from the same tree..."
- Letter to Kirtanananda, January 25, 1969, Los Angeles

Regarding the disciplic succession coming from Arjuna, disciplic succession does not always mean that one has to be initiated officially. Disciplic succession means to accept the disciplic conclusion. Arjuna was a disciple of Krishna and Brahma was also a disciple of Krishna. Thus there is no disagreement between the conclusions of Brahma and Arjuna. Vyasadeva is in the disciplic succession of Brahma. The teachings to Arjuna was recorded by Vyasadeva verbatim. So according to the axiomatic truth, things equal to one another are equal to each other. We are not exactly directly from Vyasadeva, but our Gurudeva is a representative of Vyasadeva. Because Vyasadeva and Arjuna are of equal status, being students of Krishna, therefore we are in the disciplic succession of Arjuna. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another...
- Letter to Dinesh, October 31, 1969, Tittenhurst

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My sweet George!

This is my favorite song sung by George Harrison - My Sweet Lord. He really put his heart into this song, goes to show how much he really wanted to see the Lord. Below is a live concert of the song. Its because of this song, many became devotees of Krishna. The song is so beautiful! Please listen!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

root cause should achieve root effect

Our purpose in Krishna consciousness is to find the root cause of all causes. In fact the business of scientists' also is to find the root cause of all causes. The difference, however, is material scientists invariably always stop with mechanistic functions and laws like singularity, DNA, RNA (genetics) etc as the root cause.  Such findings propagate their existence in this material creation. Therefore, in the ultimate sense their root cause findings have no value. When devotees find the root cause as Shyamsundar Krishna, then they achieve the root effect - that is - they are liberated from this material creation of birth and death.

Hare Krishna

Monday, September 17, 2012

Of Fishes, I am the Shark

jhaṣāṇāḿ makaraś cāsmi
Of fishes I am the shark
BG 10.31

A man who survived while adrift in the Pacific for 106 days is crediting a shark for helping to save his life.

Toakai Teitoi, 41, a policeman from the Central Pacific island nation of Kiribati, had been traveling with his brother-in-law on what was supposed to be a short voyage, beginning May 27, from the Kiribati capital of Tarawa to his home island of Maiana.

But the mariners decided to fish along the way, and fell asleep during the night. When they awoke they were far at sea and adrift in their 15-foot wooden vessel. They soon ran out of fuel, and were short on water.

"We had food, but the problem was we had nothing to drink," Teitoi told Agence France-Presse news service.

Dehydration was severe. Falaile, the 52-year-old brother-in-law, died on July 4. That night, Teitoi slept next to him, "like at a funeral," before an emotional burial at sea the next morning.

Teitoi shared scant details of the ordeal after arriving in Majuro, in the Marshall Islands, on Saturday. He said he prayed the night Falaile died, and the next day a storm arrived and, over the next several days, he was able to fill two five-gallon containers with fresh water.

Days and weeks passed, however, and Teitoi, a father of six, did not know whether he'd live or die. He subsided mostly on fish and protected himself against the searing tropical sun by curling up in a small, covered portion of the bow.

It was on the afternoon of Sept. 11 that he awoke to the sound of scratching against his boat. A six-foot shark was circling the boat and, Teitoi said, bumping against its hull "He (the shark) was guiding me to a fishing boat," Teitoi said. "I looked up and there was the stern of a ship and I could see crew with binoculars looking at me." 

Toakai Teitoi credits the shark for helping to save his life.

The shark helped because the boatman prayed to the Lord. Krishna comes as the shark and saves the stranded boatman as He (Krishna) says He is shark among fishes.

Hare Krishna

How should we interpret modern scientific solutions?

How should we react to modern science and scientific solutions for mankind especially as followers of Bhagavad Gita philosophy? Srila Prabhupada once said we should make the best use of a bad bargain, referring this material world and its concomitant factors to be a bad bargain. Was he pessimistic or negative?

If we use the same scientific rationale and sober thinking, we have to admit, modern science has its grave limitations regardless of where the study is conducted. It is neither pessimistic nor negative but rather realistic. Modern science is limited not only by money, and politics but also by  the ability to collect evidence and the ability to interpret it. Because our sensual perception of this world is limited, and because we commit errors beyond our cognizance, we have to accept modern scientific conclusions with reservation.

Scientific conclusions regardless of how grand it may be is mired with unaccountable assumptions, human errors, and lack of comprehensive evidence (past, present and future). Therefore if we truly view modern research through this realistic lens, then we will be able to perceive what is wheat and what is chaff. So put it in simplistic language, modern scientific solutions for mankind is at best a bad bargain but because we are dealt with it, we make the best use of it. We should not reject modern science, but we should use it with all its limitations and cautions and be fully convinced  that knowledge from the Infallible Krishna is the best course for the problems of my life.

Therefore Krishna's instructions (infallible) should be at the forefront of our thinking for our daily needs and concerns whilst we employ scientific conclusions (fallible) to assist our needs.

Hare Krishna

Friday, September 14, 2012