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ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Printable Version
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ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Printable Version

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ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-09-2006

Dear Sunder, Gangajal, Narayanan, Hyagriva, Carl

For once, I completely went through the length and breadth of this discussion. I am sorry to say almost everybody (may be including myself) offensively opined about issues. Inspite of this, I feel that some of the issues were not deliberated. Here, humbly, praying God, I try to put forth a few issues ofcourse as far as possible in a non offensive manner.

Before starting the same,

Hyagriva (Is that Hayagriva or Hyagriva) , I simply salute to ur logical way of addressing the issues. I found throughout u were almost dignified and straight forwarded in putting forth ur views albeit exceptionally at some places ur frustration, impatience and out of tract quotes were explicit. But I admire ur sincerity in putting forth ur views and honestly accepting the fact that u r ignorant of certain issues.

Having said this, Sunder, I equally feel that ur approach to the issue is also very sincere. Although, at some places u have crossed ur own gentle rules of debate. But both u and Hyagriva were giving ur sincere views (leaving views given out of frustration).

Carl, (or shall I address u Carl Prabhu) although u admittedly said that u do not belong to ISKCON, it seems ur knowledge about their jargons and their philosophy is quite updated. (Hyagriva u too, although I presume u to belong to orthodox traditional Srivaishnava School). Neverthless, I admire ur depth of knowledge. Pardon me, some of ur own expressions, do not within ur noble expectation of a structured dialogue.

Having, said all this, I would like to submit my perception that ISKCON overall is doing a wonderful service of “Bhagavan Namaprachara” and this aspect of ISKCON is above all other hurly burly issues of “sidhantha”, “one-up-manship” et. al. But I strongly feel the European negative influences that are taking away ISKCON from the “Pure Bakthi Based Gowdiya Sampradaya” to sort of “Neo Semitic Sampradaya” (which u would find in their hate filled propaganda quoted in the discussions below) needs to be watched. But I still strongly feel in the power of nectar - “Bhagavan Nama” - which is capable of dissolving any “Halahala Vishaa” – the rise of “Ego, disrespect, dishonesty, name calling et. al”


Hyagriva (Prabhu?) have quoted some of the golden rules of ISKCON. One would find that these are not simply golden rules of ISKCON but what are also universally accepted principles named as “Saamanya Dharma” in the traditional Vaidik sampradayas (Smartha, Srivaishnava and Madhwa)

I would like to give below some of these quotes and how we and for that matter ISKCON have deviated from these principles.

The Quotes & observations:




A)
• Humility.Our tradition establishes that this is the key to building spiritual relationships. It is also the principle quality of a Vaisnava.
The unlimited nature of Krsna. The Absolute truth is universal. No individual or organisation has a monopoly on the Lord. He reveals himself wherever, whenever, however and to whoever he pleases.
CARL
didn't want to dignify this thread with a response, but this one is too much to resist. gangajal, you have put your foot in your mouth again:

Carl Prabhu, Please please don’t accuse me of hit and run or cut and paste. I am very sorry to point out that the above quote of yours do not fit in with the tune of the above golden rule. If u did not want to dignify this thread, u should not have entered it. Having entered, rather than dignifying the thread, u r trying to bury under the carpet the professed golden rules of ISKCON by ur intemperate and irate outbursts.

One more thing, Carl Prabhu, I was finding difficult to adjust with the ISKCON people – they say that their acharyas are bonafide. Initiation into “Vaishnavism” has to be through them. I don’t understand one thing here. Do they mean all other acharyas whom they perceive malafide are to be condemned as malafide. This I feel is also against the spirit of the professed golden rule. Do you feel that the likes of Tukaram, Gnaneswar, Ekanath or the likes of Kabir, Rahim, Raskan or the likes of Bhagavannama Bodendra, Marudanallur Sadguru Swamigal, Thyagaraja Swamigal are malafide since simply they do not belong to the ISKCON declared list of bonafide Acharyas.
B)
• Honesty.Always be honest and truthful. This is the basis for trust in successful relationships.
HYAGRIVA
Yes, you are right, I am not knowledgable in Advaita vada.
I only need to know how to differentiate Advaita-vada and what is wrong with it. I am not qualified to speak about Advaita so I am sorry that I even started to talk about it. All I said was that Advaitins claim that Shiva/Vishnu have no independent and real existence and are just names for the formless Brahman.

The Vaishnavas say, 'ENOUGH of all this words. These words won't take anybody any nearer to the goal of self-realization. They are only good for arguments and more arguments. The only way is to sing the glories of Hari and seek the grace of pure devotion'




CARL:

Our friend sunder has as yet been unable to explain why, throughout the centuries, EVERY TIME there has been a great public debate on Vedanta between a Vaishnava and a mayavadi (of whatever brand), the Vaishnavas have always come out on top. Apparently all those great scholars and sages were wrong. They would have us believe that only Sri Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan got it right -- with conclusive support from white people in 18th century europe!

Honesty. I wish to painfully and hurtfully insist my friends here never refer Advaita as “Mayavad”. As a follower of “Advaita” School of thought (although I am no authority unlike Hyagriva who admittedly said he is an authority in Vaishnava tradition), I know clearly the essence of “Advaita” is Brhma Vada and not “Mayavada”. If u think that u can call names against a philosophy u don’t like, think for once that another person who do not like ur philosophy can also call it names. World at large (including ISKCON) knows that the “Sidhantha” propounded by “Adi Shankaracharya” is “Advaitha”. Yes, I am neither an authority on “Advaita” nor “Vishistadwaita” nor “Dwaita”. But for once, I can say that calling “Advaita” as “Mayavad” is sheer dishonesty, blasphemy. I don’t think whether it is Hyagriva or Carl or for that matter any present day acharya of “ISKCON” – nobody is that much knowledgeable to challenge “Adishankaracharya”. It would be like high school studying student criticizing the theory of relativity if he does not understand it.

Truly, I agree - while following your own school of thought u could not agree with whatever is said in Advaita. Rebut it. Debate it. Disagree with it. Forcefully. But in a dignified manner. Adi Shankaracharya is revered as an “Avatara” of “Lord Shiva” who is referred in “Bhagavatham” by none less than “Bhagawan” as “Vaishnavanam yatha Shambuhu”. Even the bitterest critics of “Adi Shankaracharya” like Budhists would have ever dared to call him names unlike what present day “ISKCON” people are doing.

Hyagriva see what u have said:
Yes, you are right, I am not knowledgable in Advaita vada.
I only need to know how to differentiate Advaita-vada and what is wrong with it.
Please don’t think that I am indulging in cut & paste. If u want to know what is “Advaita” u r first supposed to read “Prasthanathraya Bhashya” of “Acharyal” and his Prakarana Granthas like “Viveka Chudamani” before ever knowing what is wrong in it. First know what is “Advaita” before ever knowing what is wrong in it.
Carl Prabhu, U were much bitter about cut and paste. U have quoted from “Shankara Bhashya” that “Acharyal” refers “Lord Vishnu” whenever he come across with words like “Bhagawan” or “Ishwara”. My question is very sincere. What do u mean by saying this. By referring these quotes out of context, would u like to conclude that the “Essence of sidhantha of Acharyal is Monotheism” and not his declared principles like “Aham Brhmasmi”, “Tatvamasi”, “Ayamatma Brhma” and “Pragnanam Brhma”. This way anybody can quote out of context a few lines from Shri bhashya and state something what they perceive and say exactly the opposite of what the philosophy says.
Carl prabhu u have said that in history, Vaishnavas have defeated different “Brands” of “Mayavadis”. Never forget that “Vaishnavas” were also defeated by “Advaitins”. There are many instances. This thread is not about who has defeated whom. Hence I am not listing those defeats of “Vaishnava Philosophers”. But here I painfully point ur way of referring different perceptions of “Advaita” as “Brands” like u refer it in a commodity market. I hurtfully and humbly but with conviction say that “Advaitha” is not a commodity and different perceptions of “Advaita” are not different “brands”. This sort of language is not used in sort of “Structured Dialogue” u boast of. (Your irate way of referring “chamchas” also come under this category). Behold, whenever a philosophy debate goes on, whatever is perceived as defeated and whatever is perceived as won are the capacity of the people to debate and not the philosophy itself. The philosophy is a stream of thought which would always be there. It is a wrong ( I do not want to use the word foolish) notion to say that “Advaita” is defeated or “Vishistadwaita” is defeated.
Although I do not agree with “Ramakrishna Mission” on many issues, Carl Prabhu, they are very dignified in their dealing with those people who does not share their ideology. Although they do not boast of structured dialogue, they in fact practice the same.
When someone refers “Advaita” as “mayavad” I get equal pain like someone referring “Shri Krishna Balaram Mandir” in Brindavan as “Angrezi Mandir”.
• Personal relationships. The Vaisnava tradition rests on sincere personal relationships. We can live without the philosophy, the ritual and the institution, but we cannot live without our loving and serving relationship with Krsna and His devotees.
Carl Prabhu I am so sorry to say that the above golden rule totally gets dissolved in ur above irated quote.
C)
What I am giving below is an issue which so far has not been deliberated in the discussions and what I have referred in the top of negative European semitic influences in ISKCON. See what are the professed golden rules and how the Organisation whose main preocupation is “Bhagavannama Prachara” hurls abuses on people – to what levels they can abuse people - simply – simply because they do not agree with their perceived opponent’s ideological moorings. This sort of bashing u can find in current day unruly political movements; “Anti Brahmin” gatherings and So called “Semitic Religious gatherings”. Not certainly in Religious organizations of this holy land. This sort of hate Prachara was unheard of in the History of India even when Avaidik Budhists and Jains were confronting the Vaidik Diaspora.
1. Respect. Always remain respectful, even if you do not receive the same respect in return. Lord Caitanya has said, 'amanina manadena': one should be ready to offer all respects to others, without expecting any respect for oneself.
Tolerance.When you interact with people disrespectful or insensitive toward our tradition and culture, perhaps because they have made uninformed assumptions about us, you will have to be tolerant, explain yourself politely, and forgive their misunderstandings.
2. Allow members of other faiths to define themselves in their own language and ownculture without imposing definitions upon them, thus avoiding comparing their practice with our ideals.
3. Respect the diet, dress, rituals and etiquette of others.
4. Recognise that we all can fall short of the ideals of our respective traditions.
I give below a few quotes from what “ISKCON” says about “Smartha Sampradaya”
a) Celebrating occasions like Ekadasi:

Vaisnavas or spiritualists celebrate such occasions as
enhancers of devotion or out of the pleasure of serving Krsna and
without any desire. Smartas, on the other hand, celebrate them
for physical or mental welfare or as activities fulfilling their
moral, economic or sexual desires. So, notwithstanding apparent
similarities, the motives of Vaisnavas vs. those of smartas are
poles apart. j МTaking bath in and worshiping the Ganges

b) Vaisnavas view the Ganges as nectar from Visnu's feet, are
reminded of Visnu by her contact and take bath in her in a spirit
of service, knowing her to be a transcendental object of service.
So "even Ganga herself desires to bathe Haridasa". But the
smartas want to utilize Ganges water for cleansing themselves of
sins, filth and unholy thoughts. The Ganges, whose water even
Lord Siva takes gladly on his head as it washes the feet of his
Lord, the smartas want to use as maidservant or a sincleansing
machine.

c) Installing and worshiping Deity forms of the Lord:

The Vaisnavas do not differentiate between Krsna Himself and
His Deityform. They accept sankirtana as the prime means of
worship and by that means perform the abhisekha and other
rituals, according to Sriman Mahaprabhu's instructions. The
smartas consider the Deity as different from the Lord, as
something transient and imaginary for temporary assistance of the
aspirant, to be rejected or immersed later on. They imagine to
instil life and consciousness into the idol and employ it in
gratifying their desires. Sometimes they even use Deity worship
for enhancing some trade.

d) Establishing monasteries:

The Vaisnavas establish monasteries to provide saintly
association and propagate the sankirtana movement. They believe
that just as lighting a fire to cook food rids us of darkness and
cold as well without separate endeavor, similarly sankirtana will
relieve us of all social problems. Smartas, on the other hand,
pompously open monasteries for the sake of selfadvertisement or
for some temporal social or moral welfare. Thus freehospitals,
artifical celibacyschools, gymnasiums, etc. are often part of
their monasteries. Or they may open abbeys for hoarding property,
deceiving other people or such other material activities.

e) Deity worship:

Vaisnavas know that the nonVaisnava or monoprincipled man is
not qualified for Deity worship even if born in the best of
families. Only when he attains "bhutasuddhi" or the realization
that the constitutional position of the living entity is a
servant of Krsna from a bona fide spiritual master can he perform
purified worship. To the smartas the only qualification necessary
for Deity worship are birth in a high family, external
clenaliness and ability to chant sanskrit verses. The post of
Deity worship expands like a priest's profession. Mentally they
do not consider the Deity as God and do not try to arrange for
the Deity's comfort.
Hyagriva Prabhu,
I give below ur quote :
any traidional Vaishnavas do not feel comfortable with Iskcon Idealogy and the method in which it propogates it's idealogies.


What do you mean by 'many'?? Where did you get that statistic?

Thus we have Rajasic and Tamasic Shastras too devoted to the worship of Kali and even Ghosts. We also have the left handed Tantrik Schools and such.

Also, ALL Vaishnavites, not just ISKCONites, do not worship Lord Shiva, but accept Shiva as the Param Vaishnava, or the Best of Vaishnavites, the First of Devotees.

It should be mentioned that Shiva is a partial avatara of Hari to lord over the mode of Ignorance.
Lord Shiva is almost equal to Narayana. Lord Shiva is a Demigod who should be shown uttermost respect, but worship is meant only for the Divine Couple, Sri Sriman Narayanan.

What Indians' dont' realise is that they have long lost their own religion. They think that they still define what Hinduism is from their cultural followings, but the truth is that Indians are just clinging to a figment of what is the original Vedic Civilization. 99.99999999999% is lost.

Ramanuja Acharya warns that Vaishnavas must strictly avoid Demigod worshippers. he once said, "If you are about to die in a fire but can save yourself by taking refuge in a nearby temple where people are worshipping the Demigods, you had better die in the Fire. It would be better to die in the fire than enter that temple of demigod worshippers'.

hanti nindati vai dvesthi, vaisnavan nabhi-nandati
krudhayate yati no harsam, darsane patanani sat

1. One who kills a devotee
2. one who blasphemes devotees
3. one who is envious of devotees
4. one who fails to offer obeisances to Vaishnavs upon seeing them
5. one who becomes angry with a Vaishnava
6. One who does not become joyfull upon seeing a Vaisnava

Dear Hyagriva, U asked shri sunder for Statistical data for his opinion about perception of “Traditional Vaishnavas”. Now could u ask ur friends who consider “Lord Shiva” as something downgraded tamasa devatha who is below “Allah” and “Yehovah” as to :

1. Whether they have got any statistical details regarding how many “Smarthas” perform “Ekadashi Vratha” for fulfilling their “Sexual desires”.
2. Whether this is how their golden rule teaches them to respect others.
3. When u agree with them that “the paramavaishnava” “Lord Shiva” is lower to “Allah” and “Yehovah”, where in your statistical details the alien smarthas fit. I hope like feeling of asking a competent spokesperson of ISKCON as u have said :

“ am a traditional Sri Vaishnavite, belong to a Sri Vaishnavite Mutt of 700 year history and Parampara and have a Guru Acharyan. I follow strict Agamic and Vaishnavite lifestyle - I have read Vaishnavite as well as Shaivite Literature under Authorities. Thus I consider myself to be competent enough to talk about ISKCON.”

4. And lastly, is it not that demeaning a Smartha observing a nitya vrata, like “Ekadashi” would not fall under ur category no : 2 “Vaishnava Aparadha” . Or since the “Smarthas” do not fall under ur or ISKCON’s perceived definition of “Vaishnavism” would u say that u won’t consider this as “Vaishnava Aparadha”. Shall that mean that - leave alone lesser human beings like me- they mean to say that Ekadashi Vratha performded by great people like “Thyagaraja Swamigal”, “Marudanallur Sadguru Swamigal” and “Thyagaraja Swamigal” are for the purpose of gaining material benefits or for what they call cheaply as “sexual desires”simply because they followed smartha smapradaya. Do u agree with whatever ISKCON says on this regard?

2. What sort of statistical detail u have and on what basis that Smarthas use “Holy River Ganges” as “sin cleansing Machine” and do u agree to the fact not even a single “Vaishnava” use the holy river for cleansing of their sins.

3. Installation of a deity worshipped is done according to “Kalpa Suthras”. “Suthrakaras” has written “Kalpa Sutras” which are treated as “Bhagawad Agya”. How do I digest a person who calls himself “Vaishnava” and do “Bhagavannama Prachara” challenges the “Agya” of Bhagawan himself. Bhagawan clearly says “Shruti Smruthir mamaivagya”. “Kalpasutras” were not written by rishis for debates in website and a person who debates aspects like these falls beyond the boundary of vaidika sampradaya. Only a Christian or a Muslim can ask questions like this. I am sorry to say this . Thee are no limits and no bases to abuses hurled by ISKCON. Is this the way ISKCON implement their golden commandment :
• Allow members of other faiths to define themselves in their own language and ownculture without imposing definitions upon them, thus avoiding comparing their practice with our ideals.






4. I have to but remember “Nigamantha Maha Desikan” on “mathas” and “Matadhipathis”. While the shasthra expects a grhastha to support “Sanyasa Ashrama”, the system of “Mathas” do just the Opposite. Here “Sanyasis” support “Grhasthas”. But this is prevalent everywhere. Be it, Smartha or Vasishnava or Madhwa. Who is not into it. Although I have great respect for all Vaidika Acharyas I had to but quote “Shri Desikan”. But this is a case of pot calling a kettle black. And the selective choosing of ‘Smarthas” for this name calling is emanating from inherent sense of hatred which is not a “Sadhu Lakshana” or “Vaishnava Lakshana”.

I just remind them of their following commandment :

• Recognise that we all can fall short of the ideals of our respective traditions.
I am not raising an accusing finger. But I cant but remember, when ISKCON, in spite of declaring themselves not as Hindus, begged Hindus for coming out of disastrous accusations on their monastries. I am very sorry to point out this .

5. What do ISKCON expect from “Smarthas” to get “Bhutashuddhi”. Do they expect a “Ghanapati” belonging to a “Smartha Sampradaya” to pay his “Sashtanga Namaskaram” to a “Neo Convert European Vaishnava” to attain this “Bhutashuddhi” or my dear friend Hyagriva do u expect him to get “Pancha Samskaram” or “Mudradanam”. See my dear friend, in performance of rituals, we, Smarthas, Shrivaishnavas and Maadhwas” since generations are bound by the four smrthis, Viz., “Ashwalayana, Aapasthamba, Bodayana and Drahyayana Smruthis”. Ofcourse, Shrivaishnavas and Maadhwas follow some other scriptures as ordained by their acharyas in addition to these (not ignoring the 4 smruthis). To worship Vishnu in the way their “Acharyas” directed them they are adhering to it. We are worshipping Lord Vishnu as per procedures ordained in the smruthis and not an inch further. And never expect any such thing. Notions of I am correct u r wrong are always there. Whereas Shri Vaishnavas may say without “Samashrayanam” u may not be qualified enough to worship Bhagawan Vishnu. A Madhwa may say without mudradanam u may not be qualified to worship “Bhagawan Vishnu”. And “Bhaskaracharya” , a great Shaktha Upasaka who has written a commentary named “Sowbagya Bhaskaram” is recorded in history as defeated many “Vaishnava Acharyas” (Carl Prabhu, if I put it in your language many vaishnava philosophies) . He has written a Tika on “Baudayana’s Dharmasutras” titled Sahasrabhojana Khanda Tika in which he has prescribed “ShankaChakrayana Prayaschitta” – Purificatory rites for people who have undergone Bharana Nyasa and got Shanka and Chakra mudras inscribed on their body. Now I am nobody here to judge or pinpoint what is correct or what is wrong. I am here to remind ISKCON of their golden professed rule:

• Allow members of other faiths to define themselves in their own language and ownculture without imposing definitions upon them, thus avoiding comparing their practice with our ideals.
• Respect the diet, dress, rituals and etiquette of others.
This golden rule of “ISKCON” may be reminded to them to mind their own activities ( I don’t want to say “Business” since that is an improper word in this context) without poking their nose as to what others do. If “ISKCON” can quote 100 scriptures a more brilliant preacher can quote 150 scriptures to disprove them.


Now Hyagriva prabhu,
I wish to remind one of ur quote :
Also, ALL Vaishnavites, not just ISKCONites, do not worship Lord Shiva, but accept Shiva as the Param Vaishnava, or the Best of Vaishnavites, the First of Devotees.

It should be mentioned that Shiva is a partial avatara of Hari to lord over the mode of Ignorance.
Lord Shiva is almost equal to Narayana. Lord Shiva is a Demigod who should be shown uttermost respect, but worship is meant only for the Divine Couple, Sri Sriman Narayanan.
Ramanuja Acharya warns that Vaishnavas must strictly avoid Demigod worshippers. he once said, "If you are about to die in a fire but can save yourself by taking refuge in a nearby temple where people are worshipping the Demigods, you had better die in the Fire. It would be better to die in the fire than enter that temple of demigod worshippers'.

1. Hyagriva Prabhu, Since u r person of details can u please tell me as to wherein (Is it Shri Bhashya or any other sthothra Prabandha of Pujya Rmannujacharya) Shri Ramanuja has asked his devotees to better fall in fire rather than enter a Shiva Temple.

2. You are very well versed and competent personality u submitted and equated Krishna with “Allah” and “Yehovah”. Now could u clarify if there is a Masjid or Church near the fire, the person in difficulty instead of entering place of worship of “downgraded demigod” can enter the place of worship of “Upgraded Equal Gods”.

3. You have asked shri Sunder or rather reminded him that he is neither a “Shaiva” nor a “Vaishnava”. Now I don’t know whether Shri Sunder is a “Shaiva” or “Vaishnava” or “Shaktha”. But never never think that a “Vaishnava” or “Shaiva” would be so only if they are fit into your scheme of philosophy. ( I don’t want to say “Narrow minded philosophy” or “in your scheme of things”). We are “Shiva” , “Vaishnava” , “Saura”, “Gaanapathya”, “Shaktha” or “Skanda” in our way as guided by acharyas for generations. There were great souls in all the six streams of “Upasana Maarga” in smartha sampradaya who have been guiding lights till day. Like the parampara of Acharyas of “Shri Vaishnava” or “Maadhwa” philosophy were highly learned and exalted souls so were the “Acharyas” in the line of “Advaitha Lineage”.

4. You told Shri Sunder when he asked u about “Shrouta Pramana” u rightly told him this is not the platform to discuss it. U may agree neither the platform of your newly invented friends who equate “Allah” and “Yehovah” with “Krishna”. But then u added, to learn “Shruti” he has to join a “Vaishnava Mutt”. I ask Why? Do you think “Smartha Veda Pathasalas” are incompetent?

Now I would like to conclude with all hulla bulla with Demi god worship.

1. In Bhagavatham, the complete episode of “Sati Upakhyana” is about what happens when one perform a “Vedic Ritual” without performing obeisance as ordained in the Vedas to “Rudra”.
2. My friends, when you treat the devathas in the trinity like Lord Shiva and Brhma as demigods what would you say about “Ashta Vasu” , Ekadasa Rudra” and “Dwadasa Aditya”. They should be far lower in the hierarchy. Without going into details as to when u invoke these, deities, my friends Hyagriya, u simply tell me whether “Shri Vaishnavas” never invoke them. If they invoke, then u may please agree that ur boasting about or pinpointing about or downgrading about demigods are selective.
3. Sri Carl has quoted that “Shankaracharyal” whenever he come across words like “Bhagawan” or “Ishwara” he refers to “Lord Vishnu”. Now You go to “Dwadasa Skanda” in “Shrimad Bhagavatham”. There under “Bhagawan Uvacha” what are narrated as said were spoken by “Lord Shiva”. Then shall I say that “Vyasacharyal” refers “Lord Shiva” as “Bhagawan”.
4. Last but not least in “Dasama Skanda” of Shrimad Bhagavatham” you would find the following beautiful shloka:

“Kathyayani Mahamaye Mahayogin Yatheeswari”
“Nanda gopa sutham dehi pathim me …. ….”

Now Brindavana Gopis are treated as one of the best among Bhagawat Bakthas. I don’t know why they did not worship like

“Ksheerabdhi tanaye devi Vishnu Vaksha shala sthithe”
“Nanda gopa sutham dehi pathim me…. …. “.

But would the “ISKCON” dare to say that “gopis” indulged in “Devathanthara Puja”.

From the above quoted aspects of “ISKCON” , I think it of a “Jalaashaya” with water and “Halahala Visha”. “Swacha Jalam” consisting of their pure and noble activities of “Self less service of Bhagavan Nama Prachara” and “Halahala Visham” consisting of “disrespect, dishonesty, Namecalling, Ego, “. Neverthless I strongly believe “Bhagawan Nama” is a nectar which has the power to dissolve their evil thinkings. And the power of those “Smarthas” doing their dedicated “Upasana” as ordained by the “Smruthis” would protect them. “Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshithaha”

Radhe Krishna


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-10-2006

One thing I find difficult to understand is why everyone is obsessed with the opinion that their/our guru parampara (or a broader sect to which they/us belong) being the only correct parampara and nothing else.

The humble way I see all this is as follows (philosophically i may not be correct and you all may argue about it in a million ways, but sometime (philosophical) ignorance is bliss. It helps to see Bhagavan without the philosophical clouds. For some, without the philosophical clouds, they may not see him at all).

1) All sampradhayas talk about the Para Brahman being supreme, whichever way you call it (Narayana, Para Brahma Sakthi, Paratma, Parama Purusha, Iswara) or whatever you attribute it to (saguna, nirguna, formless, Narayana etc.) The rest of all are semantics to me.

2) Advaita if not understood properly, will appear as though it equates the saguna brahman (personal God) as immaterial in the scheme of the world. Actually it is not. I recollect reading Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati on this topic and he was one of the most great bakthas I have ever seen. Like him most of the advaita acharyas were real bakthas(let us leave the exceptions here). I read that even Sri Chaitanya mahaprabhu was inspired by bhakthi of Sri Sridhara ( an advaitist in the bakthi sampradhaya). Though they would say that jeevatman= paramatmaman, they never equated their material self to the lord (again, let us leave the ones who are exception to the list).

3) Though I was born as a so called Vaishnava Smartha, In fact i am not for tagging someone as a Vaishnava, Smartha/madhva, saktha- i can only see an bhaktha (in different states. I even consider atheist a bhatha as he thinks about God more than we all do) and the Bhagavan. I believe that Advaita may be the ultimate truth, but when we are in this materialistic world, Dvaita and Vishitadvaita may be better or more apt, unless you are great purusha.

4) After reading the Srimad Bhagavata Rasamritha, i have come to the conclusion that all the sampradhaya /philosophies are means to the goal of attaining moksha or mukthi. Till you attain that state, all sampradhayas insists on Bhakthi ( a bit more , a bit less) and i only see this commonality and not the difference. If ones get obssessed with the very sampradhaya without worrying about the goal of the sampradhaya, then the sampradhaya/philosophy loses it value. No sampradhaya is above him(I call him Krishna, some may call it Sakthi, Some Iswara) . Before Bhagavan (the absolute) , the sampradhayas (the means) are all relative.

Again this is my humble opinion.

Radhe Krishna. Sarvam Krishnarpanam

Krishna Kumar ji, you have raised some valid questions but one humble request

1) Please do not use all upper case or bolding. Generally, it is considered as shouting.I understand you are very humble in your pronunciation

2) When quoting other's post, please use a different font or color or use the quote icon to differentiate between your post and the one you quote.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-10-2006

Thank you Sridharji for your guidance. Actually, I confess that I am not quite connversant with the etiquettes of net messages. Neverthless, I would henceforth format my replies taking into account the tips you have given me.

Yes, Sridharji, I completely agree with you upon one thing. When a person is very much pre occupied with "Sampradaya" , The worship takes the back seat. A bit of salt - what you call ego - is also added with this obsession albeit unintentionally and rather unknowingly.

True to "Maduradhipather Akhilam Madhuram" every thing related to Lord Krishna is Sweet. And if you think of him, I feel only sweetness remains in your mind and the heart is filled with love of everything around you. That is his power.

Whenever I interact with another religious minded person, I try to understand the good things in him. Especially if he is a "Vaishnava" of any sampradaya for that matter, I like very much try to understand as to how they worship the Lord - in what sort of "Kainkarya" they r involved - "katha shravanam", "Katha Pravachanam","Kirthanam" ,"Nama Japam" ,"Parayanam" , "Chithra Lekanam" , (Even I have dedicated friends who enjoy writing the entire "Valmiki Ramayanam" or "Shrimad Bhagavatham"), "Bhagavatha Kainkaryam". The simple fact of even accidental meeting of "Sahurdaya Bhakthas" motivates you and it pours water and manure to your tree of "Bhakthi".

Kalidasa once said, what another person reacts to you is like prathibimba. That is he simply reacts in the same manner you have reacted to him.

If you search for "Bhakthi" in a person u interact with that is what you would get like a prathibimba. If you dont get it and you get something else , beware that what you get is not what he delivers suo motu, but rather what is your mindset.

Why I am saying this, all my earlier mentioned friends, they are devotees of the Lord. Even if they penned something which are not gentlem, may be by the time I was searching for some relgious piece in this forum, my mind may be in a rajasic mood, and I got and reacted to them, I humbly feel in the same mood. "Swadoshaparichayam" is better than "Doshaaropanam" for a devotee devoted to Lord.

If we concentrate on the sweet Krishna all else gets dissolved.

"Shrimad Bhagavathakyoyam Prathyaksha Krishna Evahi"
"Pibatha Bhagavatham rasamaalayam..........."
".............Yath Vaishnavanam Dhanam"
"Haraye nama ithyuchair muchyate sarva pathakath"
"Nama sankirthanam yasya sarva papa pranashanam
pranamo dhuka samanaha tam namami harim param"

what else I can add, the name of sweet krishna would give correct mindset so that I can better spend time in his praises rather than spend time in understanding the dry concepts of sampradaya or vedanta which are the domains of vidwans which neither i am nor wish to.

let me be blessed to be one among his devotees. or better to be one among those who serve his devotees.

Radhe Krishna


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-11-2006

Dear Krishnakumar,
Greetings!
I am very very short of time these days that restricts me to reading this forum. As soon as I get the privilege of a little time, I would love to discuss the issues you have raised.

Meanwhile, I have this to say:

We all wish and believe that Hinduism is a monolithic, united 'religion' as opposed to other belief-sets like Islam or Christianity.
It is not so. In fact, Madhava Vaishnavites believe that Sankara is a Demon opposed diabolically to truth who took birth as a Brahmana to spread mischief and confusion. This string of faith is not public since it disrupts the harmony, but its there. So, your point that no body critisised the idology of another by giving a derogatory name is wrong. Pardon me Krishnakumar, but I suspect you are blissfully ignorant of INNER teachings of many of our sampradayas. These esoteric positions of various sampradayas on others are NOT publicised. NEVER. yet they are taught within the initiated at some advanced stage. Ordinarily, 99% of Hindus do NOT belong officially to any sampradaya. They do not take initiation/diksha and formerly commit themselves to a lineage or Guru. At best they just go to some modern Gurus like Sai Baba and think of him as their Gurus. But this is totally an abherration of the orthodox scriptural system which is grounded in Gurukul system and strict GURU-Sishya relationship.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->NOW MY HUMBLE OBSERVATION IS THIS SORT OF NAME CALLING AND CONCOCTED PRESENTATION OF LIFE AND TIMES OF PEOPLE PERCEIVED AS GREAT BY A GOOD LOT OF PEOPLE IS PURELY WESTERN STYLE. THIS SORTS OF THINGS U CAN IMAGINE BETWEEN A SHIA AND SUNNI. A CATHOLIC AND PROTESTENT OR ORTHODOX CHURCH. NOT BETWEEN ADVAITI VS. VISHISHTADWAITI VS. DWAITI VS. ANY BRHMO SAMAJI VS. ANY ARYA SAMAJI OR ANY BHARATHIYA SANSKRTHIC IDEOLOGISTS. HERE WE DIFFER ONLY IN IDEOLOGICAL MOORINGS AT THE SAME TIME KEEPING SAINTS AND SCHOLARS AT A HIGHER PEDESTAL. BE IT SHANKARACHARYA, RAMANUJA, MADHWACHARYA, VALLABACHARYA, NIMBARKACHARYA, CHAITANYA MAHAPRABHU, KABIR, RAHIM, RASKAN, RAVI DAS, SENA NAYI, RAMA KRISHNA PARAMA HAMSA, VIVEKANANDA, MAHARISHI DAYANANDA.
NOBODY CRITICISED THE IDEOLOGY OF ANOTHER BY GIVING A DEROGATORY NAME TO THE OPPONENT IDEOLOGY LIKE WHAT ISCKON IS DOING NOW.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Vaishnavites were persecuted by Saivite Kings; the eradication of Jainism involved violence atleast at some point of time, this violence was indulged even by Vaishnavite Kings. Our own religious history is not so bloody as that of Islam or Chrisitianity, but it is not clean as you think it is too. We can't change History, not wish it away. Sorry, but true.

What I want to say is that we have more differences than what meets the eye.
Lets take Sri Vaishnavism for example. There is a bitter feud inside the tradition split into Then Kalai (the southern school) and the Vada kalai or Northern school, with no hopes of reconciliation. The theological differences are so so minor that an outsider won't belive it, but the two schools have DUG INTO their positions so entrenchedly that it has made the whole affair very pitiable.

Take Saiva Siddhanta of South India. Glorious History and an Ocean of Scriptures. Today, the mutts are fighting, sometimes with the participation of outsiders (aka politicians and even MUSLIMS) about the control of temples. The fight is over minute details of liturgy. I have cried many times witnessing these fights. I am sure the majority on this thread are somehow insulated from witnessing these ugly quarels. If somebody is interested, I can take you to certain shrines which have instituted a calendar system for two or more groups to take turns at Puja. Be sure to be moved beyond ordinary grief that many of you will stop thinking pakistan to be the greatest enemy.. or even Christian evangelists.

Many people might not like ISKCON or their world-view point or so on.

Many have tried their best to isolate ISKCON from the Hinduism group of religions.

This is self-defeating. If we have to accuse ISKCON of 'deviation', it would reveal the amount of ignorance we have about the differences of our own sub-religions.

We will discuss in detail, ISKCON as well as discuss why at this point of time, we need to close ranks. Today, as I see it, Christian evangelists are only biting at the periphery of our Hindu society. Only the marginalised convert. But the heart of Hinduism is at a greater trouble and danger. We just cannot afford to fight with the christians and ignore a greater and more urgent danger. Ditto with ISKCON. Taking against Iskcon is like quareling over the colour of the water can when the house is on fire.

Long ago, I was involved actively in debates and activism against christian preaching and poaching. today, i am least bothered about them. Today, I am more concerned about preserving and protecting more important stuff than the disillusioned marginal people who convert. Believe me, there is more at stake than just numbers converting to christianity.

I am only so sorry that I am pathetically short of time, that I can't even review what I have written here till now. I am not sure if my writing makes sense overall, but hope you can make it out.

By the way, yesterday, I was meeting RAJIV MALHOTRA of the RISA LILA fame. We had quite some discussions. I am looking forward to discuss them with Carl, K and HH.

Greetings everyone!

Jagan Mohan.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-11-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We all wish and believe that Hinduism is a monolithic, united 'religion' as opposed to other belief-sets like Islam or Christianity.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Every Hindu knows Hinduism is not monolithic.
This is the beauty of Hinduism.

That does not mean we are not a united religion.

Hindu political unity is of paramount importance.
Theological conformity has never been a prerequisite for this.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It is not so. In fact, Madhava Vaishnavites believe that Sankara is a Demon opposed diabolically to truth who took birth as a Brahmana to spread mischief and confusion.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The Great Acharya Sri Ananda Tirtha never made such a statement.
I have never seen Madhavas say this either.

So either back up your statements with proof or quit lying.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Today, as I see it, Christian evangelists are only biting at the periphery of our Hindu society.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

"Our Hindu" ?

That's nice. So you consider yourself part of Hinduism?


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-11-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-mitradena+Mar 11 2006, 09:09 PM-->QUOTE(mitradena @ Mar 11 2006, 09:09 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->It is not so. In fact, Madhava Vaishnavites believe that Sankara is a Demon opposed diabolically to truth who took birth as a Brahmana to spread mischief and confusion.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The Great Acharya Sri Ananda Tirtha never made such a statement.
I have never seen Madhavas say this either.

So either back up your statements with proof or quit lying.

[right][snapback]48319[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Mitradena.

I do not wish to engage in a discussion with somebody like you. You obviously have a very illusionary and idealistic picture of 'hinduism'. You had openly blasphemed Vaishnavas on this thread, a very grave sin.

So, here is the deal.

You say: <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Great Acharya Sri Ananda Tirtha never made such a statement.
I have never seen Madhavas say this either.

So either back up your statements with proof or quit lying.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I take up the challenge.

If I backup my statement you refer to, will YOU quit this thread and never have the audacity to talk about things that you have less knowledge of?


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-11-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mitradena.

I do not wish to engage in a discussion with somebody like you. You obviously have a very illusionary and idealistic picture of 'hinduism'. You had openly blasphemed Vaishnavas on this thread, a very grave sin.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Boohoooo...

I am scared now. Will the Yamadutas kick my rear end in Naraka Loka.

What a joke!

I can pull out thousands of statements from the Puranas said by the SUPREME LORD of the universe BHAGAVAN VISHNU himself to support my philosophy.

Therefore you damn blasphemer of the Vedas, you go to hell!

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If I backup my statement you refer to, will YOU quit this thread and never have the audacity to talk about things that you have less knowledge of?
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->


If you can prove I am wrong, I will admit defeat on this point.

But why should I quit this thread?


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-11-2006

Do you or do you not accept my challenge?

Since you have edited your post, I am adding the following:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If you can prove I am wrong, I will admit defeat on this point.

But why should I quit this thread?<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

You don't just admit defeat. You admit that you don't have adequete knowledge. That is not a problem. I too don't have adequte knowledge, but I refrain from talking about things I dont' understand.

You said with great surety that:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Great Acharya Sri Ananda Tirtha never made such a statement.
I have never seen Madhavas say this either.

So either back up your statements with proof or quit lying.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

You are plain wrong, ignorant and above all, are not qualified in any way to participate in this thread.

You should quit because you bring no knowledge to the discussion; You make statements that are false & malicious.

Here, we seek knowledge and discussion. You seem to have an agenda.
It was evident when you said this, among many many things:

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Don't join ISKCON.

<b>ISKCON is anti-hindu.

If you like Gaudiya Vaishnavism (like me) , then you can practice its teachings without joining ISKCON.</b>

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a very great Saint who promoted Nama Sankirtana.
Read about him here:

http://www.sivanandadlshq.org/saints/gauranga.htm

He was traditional Vaidika Brahmana who wanted to revive the Vedic traditions.

ISKCON has hijacked Chaitanya's philosophy and is trying to create a new religion.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Are you really a practitioner of Gaudiya Vaishnavism?
If so, you should have realised the first lesson that worship of devotees is worship of the Lord.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I am scared now. Will the Yamadutas kick my rear end in Naraka Loka.

What a joke!<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
If you really are a follower of Lord Chaitanya like you asserted before, you won't take it as a joke.

I can only conclude that you are a mole who doesn't belong to threads like this where scriptures are discussed.

However, if you withdraw your statements and apologise for them, you are most welcome.

There are many things that should not be discussed publically.
The treatment of Sankara by Madhwa surely belongs to this category. Although I did make that statement that Sankara is deemed a Demon in Madhava Vaishnava Tradition, I do not intend to qualify that statement with proofs - it is dangerous.

Therefore I refrain from posting scriptural matters which if read by un-initiated, can cause only turmoil.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-11-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->You don't just admit defeat. You admit that you don't have adequete knowledge. That is not a problem. I too don't have adequte knowledge, but I refrain from talking about things I dont' understand.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Of course I don't have adequate knowledge of everything in this Universe!
Only Brahma knows everything in this universe with detail.

My understanding is based on what I have learned from talking to many Vaishnavas and reading books.

Of course my sources may have been incomplete or just plain wrong!
There is no way for me to verify this. Why should I stop talking because I don't know everything?

If you think something I am saying is wrong then prove it and I will change my viewpoint.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Here, we seek knowledge and discussion. You seem to have an agenda.
It was evident when you tried to dissuade a member from joining the ISKCON.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Obviously I have an agenda. Are you denying that you don't have one?


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There are many things that should not be discussed publically.
The treatment of Sankara by Madhwa surely belongs to this category. Therefore I refrain from posting scriptural matters which if read by un-initiated, can cause only turmoil.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Fine. No problem here. I understand what you are trying to say.
I will accept on good faith you are correct and I am wrong.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-11-2006

One more thing.

There are many things you have said in your post that should not be said in a public forum.

Every sect of Hinduism has a public philosophy and a secret teaching known only to an inner circle.

We all know this.

Why are you harming the integrity of India, of Hinduism and of the Vedas by issuing certain statements in public?

I hope you can catch the subliminal message that I am hinting at?


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-11-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Are you really a practitioner of Gaudiya Vaishnavism?
If so, you should have realised the first lesson that worship of devotees is worship of the Lord.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I never said I am practitioner of Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

I just expressed my admiration for this school of philosophy. Is there anything wrong in that?

<b>I am a devotee of Bhagavan Vishnu not any human beings like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Why only Bhagavan Vishnu? I am devotee of all the Devas in all the lokas from Svarga to Brahmaloka.</b>


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-11-2006

i am a brahmo for all practical purposes (though not officially - officially i am a swaraswat brahmin).

er...maybe this should have been in the "introduce yourself" thread.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-12-2006

I received an e-mail from a venerable member who urged me to clear that statement since it seems to be a controversial one.

As much as I wish to stay away from controversies, the mail I received had a point. I therefore take a few minutes to clear some things up and elaborate.

<b> In this and other thread, I feel that the biggest grudge that many harbour against ISKCON is the fact that they critic Mayavada more than they criticise other religions like Christianity and Islam. </b>

This feeling is because most of you fail to realise the fundamentals of Vaishnavism which does not take into concern other religions, but is opposed to Impersonalism as being the greater evil. Only Pantheism is worst than Shudda Advaita since it drags the Supreme being to the level of the material world. (Vedarthsasangraha, p.14, Ramanuja Granthamala 1956 edition, where Ramajuna calls Pantheism more heinous view than Sankara's Brahmajnanavada. The sanskrit verse of Ramanuja reads - excuse the shoddy transliteration - Brahmajananavada papiyanayam bedabedapaksham)

Also, ISKCON teaches Vaishnavism aggresively all over the place and therefore, its preaching materials are quite accessible compared to those of other schools. Thus quite a very small selection of those materials are read by Hindus who have wrong notions of a grand 'Hinduism' narrative and they naturally feel bad that ISKCON should reserve its uttermost critisism for Advaita, a Hindu Tradition and not for other religions.

Most Hindus against ISKCON harbour a vision of Hinduism being a very harmonous religion. Yes, a family which can be termed Hinduism does exist, and cordial inter-sect relations with peaceful coexistence also exists. But then the underlying siddhanta are great opposing forces. In philosophical terms, they critic each other, while on social level, there is co-existence and respect. Also, only great Acharyas are given the rights to be critical of other equally great personalities. Ordinary laymen don't enjoy that privilege.

<b>Believe me: If you think ISKCON is being harsh about Advaita, you just haven't seen or heard anything yet. </b>

Carl said: <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->There was no greater denouncer of mayavada than Lord Chaitanya, and He did so in the strongest language, and so have all the acharyas in His parampara, and before Him. This aspect of Vaisnavism is not the fancy of some newly-fouded religious organization, but is integral to Vaishnavism itself. In defining and teaching Vaishnavism, they have to delineate what it includes, and what is does NOT include.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Precisely. The essence of Vaishnavism includes fierce citicism of Advaitavada. It is least concerned about Allah or Jehovah or any other God/god whatsoever because of the simple fact that <b> our Shastras do not mention them nor do our Gurus talk about them </b>

1. ISKCON or Gaudiya is much much much softer on Sankara.
2. For ISKCON respects Sankara as an Incarnation of Shiva who descends to spread Confusion among the Buddhists.
3. However, for Madhavas, Sankara is the Chief Demon of all times who is constantly in enemity with Mukya Prana, Vayu. Sankara is the enemy of Bhima/Hanuman/Madhva who are all one and the same, incarnations of Mukya Prana. Sankara is the greatest poison of the Vedic Religion. The Greatest Enemy of the science of God Realisation.

Similarly.. Sri Vaishnavism also takes a hard position on Advaita vada. While Gaudiya, Madhava, Sri, Kumara and Rudra Vaishnava Sampradayas differ in many doctrinal issues, they are united in opposing Advaitavada.

If somebody feels angry at ISKCON for being harsh with Advaita, they ought to have a lot more grudge at Vaishnavism as a whole. Actually, Historically, there have been many incidents of violence against Vaishnavas from Advaitins in response to merciless and lethal philosophical criticisms.

Many here had objected the use of 'Mayavada' term for Advaita. But they do not realise that this is from the example of our Acharyas like Madhavacharya and Ramanujacharya who used the term themselves. 'Mayavada' as a term was used by Advaitins too in many of their works. So, it should not be a problem.

Coming to Sri Sankara as Demonic in Dwaita Traditions, I take a huge risk here. I will leave these quotes here for a short period of time and then edit-delete them if necessary. I ventured to put them here to illustrate the point I made above that its not just ISKCON being critical of Advaita, but all other Vaishnava traditions too.

I quote.. but before this, I must urge the members that this material is not up for discussion for the greater good. Just read and please, I beg of you, not to try to discuss it. Thank you!

The authentic biography of Madhavacharya is the 'SriMadwavijaya' by Sri Narayana Pandita acharya, son of Thivikrama Pandita Acharya, an contemporary of Madhva. Sri Narayana Pandita acharya was himselves a youngster at the time of Madhava.

In the Book, Madhva understanding on the truth and origins of Sankara is quite clear.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Canto 1, Chapter 1, Verses 45-55
<b>Background to the incarnation of Madhva:</b>
Verse 45: Bhima sheltering at all times at the feet of the Lord had dealt severe blows to the demons (destoying them by his valorous deeds). The badly mauled demons who became powerless and lost courage ran away and dispersed. This was like clouds being dispersed by strong wind

46. To avenge their being rendered powerless at the hands of the powerful Bhima, the demons schemed to take birth again in Kali Yuga. According to their innate nature, they composed evil (misleading) works propounding that Vishnu does not possess any attribute (Nirguna).

<b>Origin of Advaita Shastra </b>
47. In Dwapara yuga, Manimantha, a demon who had been killed by Bhima at Gandhamadana mountain had developed a great hatred and spirit of competition with Bhima. He performed rigorous penences to obtain Iswara's boon that he should be endowed with great <b> disputational abilities </b>. Manimantha took birth as Sankara in a brahmin family called Kaladi. Many other main demons were also born on this earth at the same time (with the same objective)

48. The thieving cat tries to drink the curds and milk - called saannaya kept as an offering for a Havis (sacrifice). The lowly dog which takes refuse as food tries to steal purudasha (sacred food offering of a sacrifice). An ape without sense tries to steal a necklace of invaluable jewels. Similarly, the evil Sankara took away (tried to steal) the sacred Vedas and other Shastras.
Note: Stealing the Vedas and Shastras refers to their misinterpretation knowlingly against their purport, leading to their effective annihilation as a source of God knowledge.

49. Knowing that people will not show him respect uness he takes the vows of an ascetic, in a spirit of deceipt, Sankara took the vows of an ascetic. This was similiar to an untamed wild elephant wanting to stir up slush in a clear pool of water with lotuses.

50. Realising that Buddhism was not accepted by the people as it did not accept the validity of the Vedas, Sankara, who had faith in it, used a suitable subterfude to propound buddhism.

51. The wicked Sankara called the ASat of the Bauddhas as Sadasadvilakshana and Samvruthi as Maya. To justify Shunya (of the Bauddhas), he called Brahman of Vedanta as Nirvishesha or Akshanda. As he propagated the tenets of Buddhism in a different vocabulary (claiming to be a Vedanthin), he was called Pracchanna Bauddha.

[note: This conclusion was justified by Sri madhava in his works, Tatvodyota, Vishnu Tatva Nirmaya and Anuvyakhyana]

52. Brahma Suthras composed by Veda Vyasa are like the Sun illuminating the tenets of Vedanta, with their aphorisms being the Sunrays. The Vedas (consisting of Vishaya and pramana texts) are the horses drawing the chariot of this Sun. Sankara stole the Brahma Sutras (by his commentaries) and hence is called as a Great thief.

53. Though Sankara wrote his Bhashyas on Brahmasutras claiming to be their commentator, he conveyed the exact opposite of the meanings intended by Veda Vyasa. Inspite of this gross offence, Veda Vyasa being an ocean of mercy, did not destroy and incinerate Sankara instantly.

54. The inherent pure effulgence of the Gems of the Vedas (illuminating the truth about the Supreme Being) was convered by the thick mud of gross misinterpretation in Sankara's commentaries. Samkara became notorious as Sankara (defiler) amongst the good people as he propagated the doctrine of Non-difference (Abheda) between all entities in the world to the people ignorant of Vedanta.

55. Manimantha and other daithyas thus propagated the doctrines of:
The world is unreal (Sadasadvilakshana - it is neither real nor unreal but is different)
The Supreme Being is wihtout any attributes (gunas).
There is no difference bwteen the Supreme Being and the souls.
Even the good people of the world were gradually misled and started accepting that Vasudave who i sthe embodiment of infinite auspicious qualitieis like bliss is wihout such qualities. What a shame!
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
-end of Canto 1 ---

I hope members will appreciate the fact that the central aim of Sampradayas is God Realisation. Unity of Hindus or goals such as protection of Cows, Scriptures, Brahmanas and Hindu Culture are highly essential but yet they are only temporal duties under the leadership of Kshatriyas. The Principle Sampradayas and Agamas do not lend their voice to such goals, but concern only with the goal of God realisation.

Similarly, when ISKCON does not critic other religions, it does not automatically mean that it accepts them. ISKCON has faced challenges and hurdles in totally hostile environments and holds the light for the future of how Hinduism should engage others without diluting itself to the point of obscurity.

---------------------------
Mitradena, I am sorry - I had been unduly Harsh while responding to you. I appreciate your concern for Hindu Unity. It is your calling and you have all rights to consider it the noblest.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-13-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mitradena, I am sorry - I had been unduly Harsh while responding to you. I appreciate your concern for Hindu Unity. It is your calling and you have all rights to consider it the noblest.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

No need to say sorry!

It is good to argue over issues related to God. So we need more people like you.

Most people usually just watch Bollywood movies till late in the night, drink booze, hang out at nudie bars & engage in illicit sex.

Compared to that we have people like you who are genuine spiritual seekers.

Plus arguing and shouting on internet forums is good tension relief for Indians!
<!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

It is in the nature of Indians to fight one day and make up the next day!


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 03-23-2006

Dear hyagriva,
Radhe Krishna. Somehow the thread on "ISKCON" has been converted into a thread on "Advaita". There is one funny part about this conversion. Almost everybody who discussed, bashed called names of "Advaita" has acknowledged that they know least about "Advaita". But still never hesitated to (mis) interpret it or call names.
By the bye could we take up the thread back.
"ISKCON" has raised certain serious charges against "Smarta Sampradaya" which prima facie are based on hatred and devoid of any - what u call - statistical information.
My simple effort was only to convey this vacuum in the mindset of "ISKCON". Even if my efforts reach some well meaning "ISKCON" follower, it would go a long way in inter personal relationships which the organisations boasts of.
Regarding animosities among different sampradayas, I do not agree with u completely. As far as differences, I agree there were, there are and going to be differences between different sampradayas. But never and would never be - these of the type of hatred between a shia and sunni or that of a Roman Catholic and Protestent. These differences in semitic religion have been the cause of many wars and millions of people died and are dieing. The differences in Hindu sampradayas are differences out of ideology and not end up in making or unmaking of entire landscapes of human habitation.
U have quoted from Madhva Vijayam. Ofcourse, there is "Satha Dooshani" by "Nigamantha Mahadesikan". But honestly, tell me whether, a Vaishnava boy, who byhearts "Desika Prabandas" byhearts "Sata Dooshani" also. Puranas and latter works by acharyas are for literary interest.
Take a few examples from Puranas :
1. Brahma and Vishnu trying to identify head and toe of Lord Shiva
2. Sarabeswara killing Lord Narasimha
3. Lord Vishnu - vs. - Brinda in Skanda Purana
4. Shiva linga Tatva
5. Basmasura vada
These episodes - one can interpret or misinterpret to demean or degrade one or the other "Devatha". But what do anybody gain from this.
I honestly believe that present day "ISKCON" is vastly different from the one in the time of six goswamis. Still to retain "Sadhu Lakshanas" or "Vaishnava Lakshanas" are prerequisite for claiming self as "Vaishnava". Many of the activities of "ISKCON" are on the opposite direction. different from their own self professed codes and ethics. Neverthless the Nama Prachara in which they are involved in very badly needed for the society.

Radhe Krishna
Krishna Kumar


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Bharatvarsh - 04-12-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:

1. "Hazrat Muhammad, the inaugurator of the Islam religion, I accept him as an empowered servant of God because he preached God-consciousness in those parts of the world and induced them to accept the authority of God. He is accepted as the servant of God and we have all respect for him."? ( Letter, 2-4-1976)

2. So therefore, by that symptom, we accept Lord Jesus Christ as Saktyaves avatara, or Hazrat Muhammad, he's also. Because these two religious leaders of the world, they preached about the glorification of the Supreme Lord. And they sacrificed everything for preaching the glories of the Lord. Therefore... And their influence and their followers, there are... These are the symptoms by which we can understand that Jesus Christ and Hazrat Muhammad was, were Saktyaves avataras. ( CC Madhya-lila 20.367-84)

3. "Vedas means the books of transcendental knowledge. Not only the Bhagavad Gita, even the Bible or the Quran, they are also."? (lecture 29-7-68) 4. Srila Prabhupada:No, no. Christianity is Vaisnavism.

Dr. Patel: Vaisnavism? Absolutely Vaisnavism.

Srila Prabhupada:Islam is also Vaisnavism.

Dr. Patel: Mohammedanism is not Vaisnavism.

Srila Prabhupada:No, no. Caitanya Mahaprabhu had talked with the Pathanas.

He proved that "Your religion is Vaisnavism."? (February 17, 1974, Bombay) 5. "Chaitanya Mahaprabhu proved devotional service from the Quran.

So, it requires a devotee who can explain God from any Godly literature"? ( Morning Walk, June 6, 1974, Geneva)

6. "Then Islam is Vaishnava dharma in a crude form like christianty."?(room conversation, Tehran 14-3-75)

7. They accept God. They are also our brothers because they accept God. They are not atheist. Atheist don't accept God. "there is no God"? say the atheist.

http://www.vnn.org/editorials/ET0602/ET10-8910.html<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
hehe wonder what Ayatollah Khomeni would think of that.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 04-21-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Apr 12 2006, 10:37 PM-->QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Apr 12 2006, 10:37 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada:

1. "Hazrat Muhammad, the inaugurator of the Islam religion, I accept him as an empowered servant of God because he preached God-consciousness in those parts of the world and induced them to accept the authority of God. He is accepted as the servant of God and we have all respect for him."? ( Letter, 2-4-1976)

2. So therefore, by that symptom, we accept Lord Jesus Christ as Saktyaves avatara, or Hazrat Muhammad, he's also. Because these two religious leaders of the world, they preached about the glorification of the Supreme Lord. And they sacrificed everything for preaching the glories of the Lord. Therefore... And their influence and their followers, there are... These are the symptoms by which we can understand that Jesus Christ and Hazrat Muhammad was, were Saktyaves avataras. ( CC Madhya-lila 20.367-84)

3. "Vedas means the books of transcendental knowledge. Not only the Bhagavad Gita, even the Bible or the Quran, they are also."? (lecture 29-7-68) 4. Srila Prabhupada:No, no. Christianity is Vaisnavism.

Dr. Patel: Vaisnavism? Absolutely Vaisnavism.

Srila Prabhupada:Islam is also Vaisnavism.

Dr. Patel: Mohammedanism is not Vaisnavism.

Srila Prabhupada:No, no. Caitanya Mahaprabhu had talked with the Pathanas.

He proved that "Your religion is Vaisnavism."? (February 17, 1974, Bombay) 5. "Chaitanya Mahaprabhu proved devotional service from the Quran.

So, it requires a devotee who can explain God from any Godly literature"? ( Morning Walk, June 6, 1974, Geneva)

6. "Then Islam is Vaishnava dharma in a crude form like christianty."?(room conversation, Tehran 14-3-75)

7. They accept God. They are also our brothers because they accept God. They are not atheist. Atheist don't accept God. "there is no God"? say the atheist.

http://www.vnn.org/editorials/ET0602/ET10-8910.html<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
hehe wonder what Ayatollah Khomeni would think of that.
[right][snapback]49807[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

He will actually love it but would still raise a fatwa on ISKCON's head for denigrating Islam. He would love it because he knows what Islam is and would be delighted to see kafers giving it highest respect despite all the evidence. He would raise a fatwa because he knows that such actions will make Islam stronger, particularly when kafers don't pay attention to such stuff and would still respect it as highest. Asuriks are much cleaver than weaklings.

But srila prabhupada is not alone in this. Many well known masters of the sanatana dharma have commited this blunder inspite of such clear message in our sastras against mlecchas and asuriks. Most perhaves because of lack of knowledge of the demonic cult~but some did it deliberately. We should be careful of such masters.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Bharatvarsh - 04-22-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->http://www.granthamandira.org/introduction.php

This repository of texts is an effort to collect, edit, and make available important and often rare Sanskrit and Bengali texts that belong to the Caitanya Vaisnava tradition. It is for the use of any and all scholars of Sanskrit, Bengali, and the Caitanya Vaisnava tradition. It will eventually contain carefully edited and proofread editions of the whole corpus of Caitanya Vaisnava texts and many other important Sanskrit texts from other traditions and fields of study. The entire Gaudiya Grantha Mandira corpus of texts will eventually be made available on CD for a nominal fee.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Since ISKCON people claim that they belong to the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition I am putting the link here.


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Guest - 10-26-2006

Hi everybody!!
What do you think about European Hinduists?

About the SrilaPrabhupada ISKON association?

Do you think in Europe Sanatana dharma has found a place of diffusion or it has been distorced in any way by the European's?

I'm really interested in this because I'm Italian, but I like the Indian culture, the Indian religions, I'm also vegetarian and I'd like to learn something from the Indian cooking habits..
Coming back to the topic, what's the Indians opinion about it?


ISKCON: It's Role, Idealogies, And World-view. - Bharatvarsh - 10-27-2006

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->What do you think about European Hinduists?

About the SrilaPrabhupada ISKON association?

Do you think in Europe Sanatana dharma has found a place of diffusion or it has been distorced in any way by the European's?

I'm really interested in this because I'm Italian, but I like the Indian culture, the Indian religions, I'm also vegetarian and I'd like to learn something from the Indian cooking habits..
Coming back to the topic, what's the Indians opinion about it? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Haven't met any European Hindus in real life but know about a couple, one of them was a Greek girl who became a Hindu and later married a person of Indian origin in the UK.

I am not a big fan of ISKCON.

I think these days dharma has found a place in Europe but there are some distortions, for example the distortions about Yoga just being some kind of physical exercise and having nothing to do with Hinduism, these days some Christians even start coming up with ridiculous things like "Christian Yoga". But there is a long way to go in other counrties except UK and Netherlands for Hindus, for example I heard that France and Italy do not yet recognise Hinduism as a valid religion or something, these things need correction, also in US Hinduism is portrayed very derogatively compared to other religions but I am not sure what the situation is in Italy though, I do know that in UK after some efforts by Hindus these derogative textbooks were replaced by more balanced ones.

As for the Indian opinion about foreigners converting, well there are different opinions, the more Orthodox Hindus such as the Srinageri mutt Shankaracharya who refuses to initiate any converts, but most Hindu organisations do accept people who are interested, the Hindus who are also more educated for the most part have no problem with it, coming to the rural Hindus, well they will probably get shocked about a white person following Hinduism because they never see any and think that only Indians (or people of Indian descent) can be Hindus.