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Friday, December 21, 2007

The best of both worlds

I am too Indianized to ever be a westerner again, yet I never want to be fully Indian either, because of the advantages of western thinking. Here is my synthesis:

I will not pollute the air with cigarette- or kerosine-smoke, nor with loud, silly music (as Indians do),
but I will also not eat meat or drink (as westerners do).

I will bow down to the statues of the Lord (as Indians do)
but I will reject superstitions and blind following of hearsay (as westerners do).

I will wear a dhoti in the Indian holy places (except on the bike) and during my sadhana in the west too,
but I will wear pants on the street in the west or while travelling.

I will not eat a huge meal late at night (as many Indians do)
nor will I refuse prasāda because it is 'not healthy' (too much sugar, oil or spices) as many westerners do.

I support both western cosmology (the vision of the scientists) and Indian cosmology (the vision of the seers).

I admire westerners for their honesty and practical intelligence
and I admire Indians for their forbearance and their faith.

Indians practise sadācāra but no hygiene.
Westerners practise hygiene but no sadācāra.
I will practise both.

I will not consider anyone untouchable merely by birth (as Indians do)
but by sadācāra (or lack thereof).

I will neither respect someone merely by birth (as Indians do),
nor merely by quality (as westerners do).

I will worship the cow (as Indians do),
not the dog (as westerners do).

I cannot live in a room with 6 others (as Indians do)
but I will also not celebrate Christmas (as westerners do).

I support the principle of the blind (the west) carrying the lame (India), combining western material intelligence with Indian spiritual vision.

5 comments:

  1. Advaita das, no disrespect intended, but what exactly is your point, please?

    What has got either world and your preferences to do with bhakti?

    Bhakti is completely independent of these material things, according to our Goswamis.

    Thank you.

    N.

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  2. Nitya, there are two types of sadhana - in sadhaka form and siddha form. The external factor leads to the internal one, and this blog is about the external features of life in the sadahana bhumi India. But having said all this, not all my blogs need to be 100% about the heavy, internal things, huh?

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  3. Happy New Year, Advaitadas.

    Yes, as I said, no disrespect intended, so sorry if I upset you.

    But the fact remains that external sadhana does not lead to bhakti, at least not by itself.

    Radhika's Unconditional Grace is needed, and this can not be "earned" by east/ west/north or south.
    :)

    N.

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  4. Nitya, happy 2008 to you too. Radhika's Grace is bestowed by Her alone. We, from our sides, however, must obediently follow the acaryas' prescriptions for both the sadhaka and the siddha deha. This blog is largely about cultural differences, not spiritual ones.

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  5. [lol!] :-) Excellent, Advaita. I heartily agree.
    Fortunately, living here, with most of my association here, with mostly Indians (although somewhat "westernised", and me somewhat "Indianised"), we have a sort of mixture of both. :-) Like we do some sadachar and some hygiene, for instance. ;-)

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