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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rooftop saṅga

Last night my Swiss friend Kṛṣṇacandra visited me, here's some of what we discussed:

Kṛṣṇacandra: "One should not take an oath to follow the 4 regulative principles. (Though they should be followed of course)"

Advaitadās: "Yes I agree. This vow is not demanded by any Indian Guru, though it is expected that one follows them. In Holland we say "belofte maakt schuld", a promise makes guilt. One gets chained with the hands to one's back with the sins we vowed against, almost like inviting the rules to be broken."

Kṛṣṇacandra: " Is it really better to live in the dhāma or can we also become Kṛṣṇa-conscious outside?"

Advaitadās: " You can also become Kṛṣṇa-conscious outside, but it's more difficult. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said that if you live on the bank of a river (the dhāma)  you need just throw out a bucket to get water, but if you live elsewhere (outside the dhāma)  you need to dig a deep well for water. So the sādhana needs to be more intense outside the dhama. Still, even if you live near the river you need to throw out a bucket to get water. So even in the dhāma one needs to do sādhana too. Whenever Sādhu Bābā came to Vṛndāvana he would not stay longer than 3-4 weeks, and even then he rarely went out of the family home. Maybe once to Bihārījī. When his disciples asked him " Why aren't we going anywhere?" he said "We are not tourists. The holy dhāma is right here, though your retina only perceives an ordinary house." Similarly, in modern times, we see the dhāma vanishing under so many building projects, but the real dhāma cannot be destroyed by any property developer. Not that I applaud all the building - it's a disgrace."

Kṛṣṇacandra: " You say that only an Indian should be Guru, but nowadays some Indian Gurukulas only hire female staff because all the male Indian staff will abuse the children."

Advaitadās: "My opinion on this is not black/white. I'm not saying you should take dīkṣā from any Pappu or Lalloo, but the fact remains that the failure-rate among Indian Gurus is much lower. There must be both birth and quality. There is an exodus going on to older GM Sannyāsīs and Rādhākund Bābājīs, not only for higher knowledge but also for security (against falling Americans). In India even the demons do worship. Kaṁsa and Rāvan worshipped Shiva. A friend of mine was in jail in Mathurā, and he told me that everyone there, even murderers and rapists, was doing pūjā. Compare the lifestyles of western teenagers with Indian ones. Big difference."

Kṛṣṇacandra: " What do you think of ausweihung (uninitiation)?"

Advaitadās: " Like signing divorce papers with the ex-Guru?"
Kṛṣṇacandra: "Yes."

Advaitadās: "Actually when you take (re-) initiation you surrender to the (new) Guru, it automatically cancels the old dīkṣā. My western Guru fell down after I took dīkṣā from Sādhu Bābā, I never met him again after he gave me 2nd initiation even. But if your ex-Guru is stil in good standing and you bump into him often, it may be more peaceful to settle a divorce from the personal poiint of view. There is no such a thing as un-initiation in śāstra, though."

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