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Page history last edited by Malati Manjari 15 years, 7 months ago


back to 2007SandyRidge 



A very thought provoking discourse about different philosophical conceptions with an elaborate question- and answer session about the qualification of gurus and the term "vedic women".


BG 6.20-23


In the stage of perfection called trance, or samadhi, one's mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This perfection is characterized by one's ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness, realized through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.





Points from the lectures:


  • "Nirvana" is a negative grammatical term which only explains what liberation is not. This is called "via negativa" whereby one eliminates one element after the other (neti, neti). The problem here is that if one removes everything without knowledge of the positive one ends up having nothing. It is like throwing out the baby (the self) with the bathe water. This is sunyavada, ending up with nothing because everything is removed.


  • In SB even great devotees exhibit and feel emotions, that doesn’t mean they are material. As devotees our advantage is that Srila Prabhupada gave us knowledge about the soul.


  • Real spiritual life means we out-grow something. In order to outgrow one first needs to grow.


  • Zen is a mispronunciation of the word “dhyana”


  • Miseries are there also in spiritual life, but one doesn’t get pushed out of one’s situation when they come.


  • Srila Prabhupada called bhakti yoga a spiritual science because it is a reasonable, observable system with objective principles as opposed to feeling and intuition which is the basis for most religions. The different between being religious (like going to the temple and attending Mangal Artik) and spiritual is the consciousness, how am I relating to Krsna: Do we just follow the rules and rituals and believe or are we conscious of Krsna?


  •  A first class guru is one who is inclined to teach, follows and knows the scriptures very well. All three aspects are essential.


  •  Srila Prabhupada said to become guru is not very difficult. For diksa and siksa there are no different qualifications according to sastra. According to Rupa Goswami the duty of a guru is to help people follow the acarya. In ISKCON this mean connect people with Srila Prabhupada. It’s not magical or mystical.


  •  “I don’t care whatever adhikari I am. I just want to get my job done for Srila Prabhupada. That’s what he wanted from me. He never asked me about my ecstasies.” All this obsession with what’s your adhikara has nothing to do with Srila Prabhupada. He was very practical and wants to see that we are sincerely spreading his mission. This whole mood to probe into the internal mood of Vaishnavas is bizarre.


  •  In the late 90ties (after the falldown of a “jumbo-jet”) guru-bashing was very much en vogue. “People started insulting me… I read what Srila Prabhupada said about guru.. He was my biggest fan. This was the most encouraging experience in my life. He wanted me to be a guru, he was a perfect loving father. I realized even if the whole world is against me I have all the support I need from Srila Prabhupada. It’s all in the Veda Base. He never made any distinction between this or that guru.” Srila Prabhupada said “Be a guru and do the best you can.”


  • Question regarding “vedic women”: In Mahabharata we find ksatriya women wrestle with each other, Subhadra was exepert driving a war chariot, brahmani women were teaching. They were all real people who had real relationships with the husbands (who could also convince them that they were wrong if that was the case). They were chaste but very active and according to their varnas they were very different. There is no prototype of vedic woman.


  • There is no verse in SB that says that women should cover their heads.


  •  Difference between psychological (me in the centre) and philosophical atheism


  •  SB says we get attached to any situation we are in.


  • There is an argument in the Ramanuja sampradaya and in early Christianity whether living beings need to make an effort to come close to God or whether everything is happening only by God’s mercy as the Ramanuja sampradya advocates (cat versus monkey in regards to how they carry their baby). Krsna says that you have to make an effort.