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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dui prabhu santāne jagat hobe prabhumoy


Obituary – Madangopal Goswami.

Today I received the sad news that Prabhupād Madangopāl Gosvāmī, the main Nityānanda Vaṁśa Goswāmī in Navadvīp in the past 40 years, passed away in Kolkata on June 4th. "He was about 67. He had been seriously ill since over 6 months. He had brain surgery and suffered severely in a semi conscious state.


I had only a single darśan of Prabhu on October 2, 2003 in his home in downtown Navadwīp – This is an edited transcript of that darśan from my Indian diary of that day:


"darçana of Madana Gopāla Gosvāmī. He tells me that (back in the 1970s) he offered Jagadānanda to do pārāyaëa at his place but after some time he complained "Why are you sitting higher than us?" Then he told him: "I am a kulina brāhmaṇa - I should not even take water from your hand, but still I let you do pārāyaëa here. You cannot give pārāyaëa any more. dainya is the life of bhakti. (Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ordered:) maryādā rakṣaṇa hoy sādhura bhūṣaṇa. ("Observing the etiquette is the ornament of a sādhu", CC Antya 4..130) We have been doing these ceremonies here for 70 years.” Jagadānanda came back a little later and offered apologies.


About the qualification for having the title Prabhu he says: “prakṛṣṭa rūpe jini avasthāna koren tini prabhu”. pra means prakṛṣṭa, super-excellent, and everyone who is situated in super-excellence is thus prabhu. Mahāprabhu said to Nityānanda Prabhu: dui prabhu santāne jagat hobe prabhumoy - “The descendants of the two Prabhus (Nityānanda and Advaita) will make the whole world full of such prabhus.” The Gauḍīya Sampradāya's goal is to become low, however, not to become prabhu. Indian tradition is such that if in a Brahmin family even a fool is born he is called pandit, like pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. So it is with us - everyone in our families is called prabhupāda. Who will save the world if you and I and everyone will do muni-dharma (mauna)? Mahāprabhu gave the example of the grave responsibility of the sannyāsī by rejecting Choṭa Haridās even when he killed himself. 


He asks me if I wear dhoti etc in the west. I tell him no, only mālā. He agrees that dhoti is too cold in the west, but I should wear tilaka. People will inquire about it and that would be a good way of preaching.”


Prabhu was a very dynamic preacher, travelling widely across north eastern India and Bangladesh. In decades of intense preaching he initiated 10s of 1000s of disciples. Prabhu is survived by his three sons Jay Gopāl, Nitya Gopāl and Prem Gopāl Goswāmī.

56 comments:

  1. He tells me that (back in the 1970s) he offered Jagadananda to do parayaëa at his place but after some time he complained "Why are you sitting higher than us?" Then he told him: "I am a kulina brahmana - I should not even take water from your hand, but still I let you do parayana here. You cannot give parayaëa any more. dainya is the life of bhakti. maryada rakshaëa hoy sadhura bhushana. We have been doing these ceremonies here for 70 years.”

    Where is the dainya in the above comments?

    This attitude is very hurtful.

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  2. 1. Do you think it was humble to say 'Why are you sitting higher than us'? Haridas Thakur voluntarily sat separately from the devotees when they took prasad. (CC Antya 4.23)
    2. Please study the context of maryada palan hoy sadhur bhusan, which is an edict by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is in CC Antya ch.4
    3. Maryada means both giving and taking repect. The father is not proud if he does not bow down to his son, and the Guru is not proud when he does not bow down to his disciple. This is called etiquette or maryada.

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  3. Fair enough, I should have added a translation of maryada palan hoy sadhur bhushan as well as a source reference, so that Goswamiji's point is more clear. I have added them now to the blog.

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  4. Both the question and replies were not very humble.

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  5. Dainya may be the life of bhakti, but brahminical culture isn't. What is the point of a kulina brahmana breaking a rule of brahminical behavior such as letting a mlecha do parayana nearby, only to withdraw the mercy in the next moment. Sounds like temper gone amok. Flared temper, a problem shared by everyone regardless of caste.

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  6. Well this statement of yours is certainly not the life of bhakti. Mahaprabhu proclaimed: maryada palan hoy sadhur bhushan - "keeping the etiquette is the ornament of the sadhu." That means the mleccha knows his/her place and the brahmin knows his/her place. The Kulin Brahmin was merciful upon the mleccha and gave him a chance, provided he behave as a Vaishnava and show dainya. He didnt, so he withdrew his mercy. Sounds totally fair to me. maryada here means all protocol, including a mleccha respecting a brahmin. Jagat himself even understood it and acknowledged it by apologizing. Perhaps you should at least follow him in that attitude. By the way, Madangopal Gosvami was very fond of Jagat ever since and after he passed away his sons insisted Jagat write an obituary. I was approached in this regard, to provide Jagat's e-mail address.

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  7. I am all for following proper behavior in society as long as it makes sense. Brahminical culture does not make sense to me. I find it discriminatory without grounds. In my opinion, it has been outdated because it does not make sense to the world either. It is contradictory, it is arrogance preaching humility.

    This does not mean that the saint in this incident himself was arrogant. Apart from his choice of following brahminical habits, Madangopal Goswami may very well stand as a great representative of the bhakti tradition.

    I don't think the act of questioning brahminical culture necessarily implies absence of daniya. Rather I believe daniya is a by-product of bhakti itself. It is self-generating, it has nothing to do with any one particular culture.

    I don't claim to know what the life of bhakti is. But I do exercise my right to reject what I feel isn't. And I don't find this exercise of mine to be an impediment to bhakti.

    If Jagadananda or anyone chooses to be diplomatic, that is their prerogative. I only answer for my own choices.

    And finally, "withdrawing the mercy" is a rather awkward concept to set in motion. Basically it doesn't exist, what to speak of it being "fair". Fair mercy sounds just as self defeating as constructed humility.

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  8. Brahminical culture does not make sense to me. I find it discriminatory without grounds.

    Yet it was created by Krishna - caturvarnyam maya srstam. Surely a devotee of Krishna should obey Krishna.

    In my opinion, it has been outdated because it does not make sense to the world either.

    The world is constantly changing opinions. That is not the concern of the Lord and His devotees. People still take birth according to guna and karma and always will.

    It is contradictory, it is arrogance preaching humility.

    As I said before, maryada is both the senior accepting respect and the junior giving respect.

    I don't think the act of questioning brahminical culture necessarily implies absence of dainya.

    Rupa and Sanatan did not question it, either in practise nor in their books.

    Rather I believe daniya is a by-product of bhakti itself.

    Sanatan Gosvami again: dainyas tu paramaM premnaH paripAkena janyate
    "dainya is the culmination of supreme prema" It is true, it can not be faked but you must start somewhere.

    I don't claim to know what the life of bhakti is. But I do exercise my right to reject what I feel isn't. And I don't find this exercise of mine to be an impediment to bhakti.

    Since Rupa and Sanatan did not challenge the maryada perhaps you should reconsider. They are our rolemodels.

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  9. Radhe Radhe

    I'm a bit lost here.

    What do you mean by dainya? Parayae - what's that about and its purpose?

    Thanks

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  10. Dainya means 'being low (dina)', so it means humility.

    parayana (pArAyaNa) is a constant recital of a scripture in the original. It is also an item of the Utsavas of Sadhu Baba, who also gave me the great privilege of participation in Sitanath's Utsava of 1984.

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  11. If anonymous is not a Gaudiya Vaishnava, I’d say to her/his comments: fair enough!

    However, judging from the poster’s knowledge of the practices in the GV tradition, I’d say he/she is a definitely a follower of GVism. Therefore, I think she/he has lost the plot.

    Gvism is full of symbolism. Offering dandavat pranams, prostrated obeisances is on the same bandwidth as the act of a non-brahmin (is there such a word -) sitting lower than the Brahmin when doing this parayana. So if anonymous claims to follow Gvism what’s the big deal?

    Whether brahminical culture is a product of human society or created by Krishna, I think, if we are in a foreign land we have to respect their customs and practices.

    Even in western society in this super modern age, we still have kings and queens like in the UK, and Denmark. And when we are in that country we are expected to show respect to these personalities as befitting their status.

    The problem with SOME westerners is that they are so arrogantly disrespectful of other people’s culture especially Asian culture.

    Radhe Radhe

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  12. The problem with SOME westerners is that they are so arrogantly disrespectful of other people’s culture especially Asian culture.

    It is because modern westerners born after WWII really have lost the clue to etiquette and protocol. It has been washed away by hippie egalitarianism and meritocracy, which has since become the norm in the west. Whether that fits into the timeless values of Vedic and Vaishnava civilization they do not wonder, unfortunately.

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  13. Please, remember the initial point of Advaita's posting - another great Vaishnava has left us. It is a sad moment for the worldwide sanga.

    I find this bickering over Advaita's journal entry distasteful... such entries are subjective anyways - why presume from a short paragraph we know how humble this mahatma was?

    Thank you Advaita for at least attempting to educate us. This is a sad moment - lately it seems that every month brings news of another sadhu passing on...

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  14. Well Dave Advaitadas took the opportunity to point out this mahatma's high hank as a brahmana. Someone immediately pointed out that brahminical behavior can be hurtful. Had Advaitadas stuck to the devotional characteristics of the mahatma, the focus would have stayed there.

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  15. 1. If you analyse 'being hurt' deeply and properly, you will discover that it actually means 'being offended', which is a sign of false ego, and no, don't pass that on to Madangopal Goswami ('he was also offended'), because unlike him you are most probably not a direct descendant of Nityananda Prabhu and thus a Kulin Brahmin.

    2. If you consider the caste-consideration of Madan Gopal Goswami to be 'non-devotional' it would be wise for you to read the entire chapter 4 of Antya lila of Caitanya Caritamrita, how Rupa Sanatan and Haridas would not enter the Jagannath Mandir, how Sanatan Goswami would rather burn his footsoles than to touch the Pujaris of Lord Jagannath, how Mahaprabhu chastised Jagadananda Pandit for teaching Sanatan Gosvami and how Mahaprabhu concluded the chapter by saying 'maryada langhana ami sahite na pari' "I cannot tolerate breach of the protocol."

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  16. Feeling hurt in one's feelings does not necessarily mean feeling offended. In most cases it actually means undergoing a feeling of being robbed of a natural opportunity to closeness to God. It is a fact that a third party can interfere with someone's progress towards the truth.

    Madangopal Goswami's caste consideration may have been devotional or may not. You are simply assuming it was. He may have made the comment and still have kept the two concepts separate.

    Caste may sometimes serve bhakti. But it may not be part of bhakti at all sometimes. Mahaprabhu also said "I am not brahmana, ksatriya or sudhra, but simply das das anudas".

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  17. Feeling hurt in one's feelings does not necessarily mean feeling offended. In most cases it actually means undergoing a feeling of being robbed of a natural opportunity to closeness to God.

    On the contrary, taking the lowest position is the gateway to Krishna's mercy - tvam akincana gocaram (SB 1.8.26)

    "I am not brahmana, ksatriya or sudhra, but simply das das anudas".

    I have been trying to make clear all this time that there is an internal maryada, where Ramananda Ray may be the Guru of Mahaprabhu, a dimension this phrase you quote here refers to, and the external maryada, to which Madan Gopal Gosvami refers, quoting Mahaprabhu's maryada palana verse. These two are not to be mixed as they are two separate dimensions.

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  18. On the contrary, taking the lowest position is the gateway to Krishna's mercy - tvam akincana gocaram (SB 1.8.26)

    The "taking the lowest position" argument is not contrary to what I stated but supportive of it. Making use of discrimination is required in knowing one's real identity. For a vaisnava taking the lowest position doesn't mean taking the lowest position in society.

    External maryada only makes sense if and when connected with the internal. Separated it is useless, as history has proven.

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  19. "The problem with SOME westerners is that they are so arrogantly disrespectful of other people’s culture especially Asian culture."

    Depends on what aspect of Asian culture you chose to respect.

    I will respect the culture of MOST Indians who are fighting against prejudice and oppression based on racism and casteism.

    That a few amongst the priveleged do not like it does not bother me.

    What about the suffering and discriminated against masses of India? What about THEIR culture?

    A minority of brahmins in West Bengal do not the entire Indian culture make!

    Mahaprabhu did things that upset the status quo of his environment and community as well.

    As foreigners we may actually have more influence to shift things for the better than the local "low" and ill-treated castes.

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  20. Jagat has now finally blogged his obituary. See for yourself.

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  21. Shriji, I have no idea who you are and whether you have ever been in India at all, let alone in a Gaudiya Vaishnava dhama, or whether you are a socialist activist or a Gaudiya Vaishnava, I really don't want to even start thinking about where to start unraveling the many layers of ignorance about spiritual life in general and Vedic/Vaishnava siddhanta in particular you are displaying here. It's like I'm reading the Marxist Tribune here or so. I am passing your comment because it simply did not fall under any category of blockable material (though it could be considered 'non-scriptural/non Vaishnava' with ease. If you had any submissive inquiries I would even consider starting to try to educate you, but I suppose you don't.

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  22. My point is, everyone is conditioned by their culture and environment, vaishnavas are no different.

    As a vaishnava I would probably love to hear Krishna Katha from this prabhu, and maybe even render vaishnava seva to him. However, that does not mean that I agree with his caste based outlook on life. My culture is different and I value the intrinsic equality of all beings.

    For centuries and even longer there has been a move to realize the full potential of all humans on this planet. Discrimination based on externals like race, caste and gender is not congruent with that.

    The whole of India is moving in the direction of this higher consciousness.

    What is the big deal about sitting on an equal level with your fellow humankind, for God's sake!?

    Nobody is intrinsically higher or lower than anyone else, but we are all conditioned by our cultures, habits, etc, etc, etc.

    Birth in an Indian brahmin family in a small town in West Bengal is not a birth I neccessarily aspire for. It has alot of issues and problems, probably no more or less than the ones I'm dealing with now, but different.

    There is ultimately no higher or lower human birth, life is what we make it, through our own attitudes, choices and consciousness.

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  23. Allright, you mean well, Sriji, but are obviously not well at home with Vedic philosophy nor with common sense and reality. There is no equality, there has never been equality either. The Vedanta Sutra already speaks of vaiSamya (inequality) and asks if this does not make God partial or biased. The Sutra replies itself saying that karma is anAdi, or: fruitive actions and their reactions are beginningless. Nor will there ever be an end to this. The Gita (13.22) says: kAraNaM guNa sango'sya sad asad yoni janmasu "Due to its contact with the modes of nature the soul takes birth in good or bad species." This is the explanation of guna karma vibhagashah (B. Gita 4.13), which is wrongly ascribed to the castes being divided according to qualities of the present birth. There has never been equality in guna either - there will always be saints and sinners, fools and geniuses, millionaires and paupers - according to guna and karma accrued in previous lives. No social revolution can change it. If a person is lucky enough to be able to reform him/herself in this life, he/she can avoid a low birth in the next, that is the only emancipation I can promise. So far this time......

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  24. "The Gita (13.22) says: kAraNaM guNa sango'sya sad asad yoni janmasu "Due to its contact with the modes of nature the soul takes birth in good or bad species."

    The human species is one, though.

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  25. No it isnt. caturvarnyam maya srstam guna karma vibhagashah - it is divided into four species (and that is only in Hindu India). Then there is kirAta hUnAndhra pulinda pukkasa abhira kanka yavana kashadaya (SB 2.4.18) so many outcaste tribes. The Puranas speak of 84 lakhs (8.400.000) species, of which 4 lakhs (400.000) are human. I have already spoken of human divisions in my previous comment, too.

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  26. Advaitadas, this "explanation" of yours is the one in need of an upgrading. You simply repeat prejudices of your own which you find support for in obsolete habits. Bhaktivinod, another Indian saint, has advised, "when they become an encumbrance to progress, chuck the holy books".

    Even if they have been worshiped a long long time ago, the concepts you promote are nevertheless highly flawed. They fail to take into consideration the fact that people evolve. Materially, NOBODY wants to submit. Naturally then differences will tend to disappear for the sake of cooperation of the species. Its only natural and therefore Godly.

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  27. Which type of "situation", (a more topic appropriate word than 'species') one is born into is not neccessarily the same one s/he remains in for whole life.

    We have choices.

    Moreover, the different types of situations are preferrable or non depending on one's point of view.

    For me, to be born into a brahmin family in a West Bengal village is not preferrable, hence I would not considered it "high".

    However, my own birth, in an educated family in a scientifically clean environment free of feces generated diseases like typhoid and others, in a culture that provides oppurtunity for progress and self improvement, is preferrable by me. I would consider it "higher" if we have to use words like that, but "preferrable" is more accurate and politically correct.

    However, I would still respect the prabhu as a vaishnava, despite his material situation/birth/culture.

    What is the sanskrit word for "species", if there is one. And does it relate to how the word species is used and defined in science?

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  28. Want to know what reality is Advaitadas, ask your daughter. She will sing it to you: oi to the world and everybody wins...

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  29. Which type of "situation", (a more topic appropriate word than 'species') one is born into is not neccessarily the same one s/he remains in for whole life.
    We have choices.


    Quite so, I never denied that. What Mahaprabhu said though, is that one respect a person by his current birth. Certainly that does not mean worshipping a high born person who has later fallen from high conduct. It is acknowledged that these things happen.

    What is the sanskrit word for "species", if there is one. And does it relate to how the word species is used and defined in science?

    The word is yoni, as in sad asad yoni janmasu BG 13.22, taking birth in good or bad species. It would take me some trouble to dig up the reference to the 400,000 species, but you can find it even in Iskcon's books somewhere. Just trust that it is there.

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  30. Advaitadas, this "explanation" of yours is the one in need of an upgrading. You simply repeat prejudices of your own which you find support for in obsolete habits.

    So far I have only quoted shastra, and not a single 'prejudice'. Indeed, according to Srila Jiva Gosvami there are just two kinds of faith, sastriya sraddha (scriptural faith) and laukika sraddha (popular faith or prejudice).

    Bhaktivinod, another Indian saint, has advised, "when they become an encumbrance to progress, chuck the holy books".

    Sorry to come back with holy books there - I hope you will still accept Bhagavad Gita at least. It says (16.23) yah sastra vidhim utsrjya vartate kama karatah ; na sa siddhim avapnoti na sukham na param gatim - "Whoever rejects shastra and acts according to his/her own whims will not attain perfection, happiness or the supreme destination."
    Furthermore, Srila Jiva Gosvami teaches in Tattva Sandarbha that apart from Shastra (shabda) there are just two, highly fallible, sources of knowledge - anumAna or speculation and pratyaksa, or fallible sense perception. That is what you are left with and it shows, too.

    Even if they have been worshiped a long long time ago, the concepts you promote are nevertheless highly flawed. They fail to take into consideration the fact that people evolve.

    In what way did people evolve?
    Is there any Darwin teachings in the shastras nowadays?

    Materially, NOBODY wants to submit. Naturally then differences will tend to disappear for the sake of cooperation of the species. Its only natural and therefore Godly.

    You may like to explain that further, I cant get heads or tails from this.

    Actually, according to my own board rules ("non-scriptural, non Vaishnava thoughts are blocked") your comments should have been banned, but perhaps at least others can see what thoughts are floating around nowadays and how far western empiric thinking is removed from shastriya sraddha.

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  31. Want to know what reality is Advaitadas, ask your daughter. She will sing it to you: oi to the world and everybody wins...

    Hmm I doubt if you are her classmate, so unless you are clairvoyant you won't be able to tell whether she is enlightened to see reality as it is or not. I for one can testify that she is not. And what is 'oi to the world'?

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  32. There was never a time in the history of this world where we were ever equal, never will be and never has been; whether we see this on the angle of karma and guna or meritocracy, plutocracy, nepotism, oligarchy, cronyism, democracy , social position or political power. The great experiments in communism/socialism failed; it’s dead.

    We will be a happy contented jiva if we resigned ourselves to this reality that we can never be equal, whatever choices we make.(I personally think, philosophy/siddhanta wise, that our choices are illusion actually)

    Shriji

    Are you one of the people who believe in the “White Man’s Burden”? (From wikipedia: of Rudyard Kipling 1899, about the US conquest of the Philippines. It’s emblematic both of Eurocentric racism and of Western aspirations to dominate the developing world. A century after its publication, the poem still rouses strong emotions, and can be analyzed from a variety of perspectives. – from Wikipedia).

    Don’t you think people can shape their own destiny without the Grand Daddy mentality of the west? Cooperation is inevitable if we are to live harmoniously in this temporary world but the grand daddy mentality or imperialism is arrogance and as history shows it’s one of the causes of war.

    Dave,

    Varna ashram and its implications,is one of the most misunderstood topics among devotees. So it's good that we are threshing this out.

    Radha-Krishna

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  33. One more thing:

    Anonymous said: In most cases it actually means undergoing a feeling of being robbed of a natural opportunity to closeness to God. It is a fact that a third party can interfere with someone's progress towards the truth.

    If you firmly believe without a shred of doubt the prema prayojan (eternal unconditional love) put forward by Gvism, then your faith should not be weakened by anything.

    As I always try to drill down in my heart and mind: The truth of love should not be judged by an abusive marriage.

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  34. And what is 'oi to the world'?

    Like I said, ask your daughter.

    Actually, according to my own board rules ("non-scriptural, non Vaishnava thoughts are blocked") your comments should have been banned, but perhaps at least others can see what thoughts are floating around nowadays and how far western empiric thinking is removed from shastriya sraddha.

    Do you really think that "others" don't know what thoughts are floating around nowadays and they have to hear it from an anonymous poster here in this board? That is, if you graciously let the comments pass? Wow, you really do live in a bubble, don't you? The thoughts that are floating around nowadays are nothing less than part of that same reality you talk about my friend. Reality is made of the will of the spirit. The jivas in this world do not wish to be destroying one another. Not ultimately. And so eventually humanity will come to an advanced system of cooperation. What do you think Lord Caitanya's movement is about? Sankirtan, the ultimate cooperation design. Ultimately shastra is a documentation of the dynamics of the will of the spirit.

    In any case, your shastriya sraddha is ok, you are doing fine, but obviously, like I said, you need some upgrading, to move on to the next stage of that sradha. Wasn't it Jagadananda who spoke of kanistha sradha? It is a harsh word to swallow I admit but then again dainya is the life of bhakti...

    Even Malati dasi is talking about cooperation these days... Look up her post there, go on...

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  35. If you firmly believe without a shred of doubt the prema prayojan (eternal unconditional love) put forward by Gvism, then your faith should not be weakened by anything.

    That is correct. But strengthening my faith might come from rejecting unnecessary concepts such as the superiority of brahmanas.

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  36. Cooperation is inevitable if we are to live harmoniously in this temporary world but the grand daddy mentality or imperialism is arrogance and as history shows it’s one of the causes of war.

    And as history has shown the caste system of India is an arrogant and exploitative system that has failed as well. Its dead. Cooperation indeed is inevitable.

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  37. Sriji's comment is blocked as obscene, silly and unscriptural. I believe I am being assaulted here by two US highschool-girls who just found me via Google and want to 'harrass the Krishnas'. Just one thing, young lady, about yoni. Here is Cappeller's glossary:

    yoni lap, womb, vulva; place of origin or abiding, home, lair, nest, etc
    family, race, caste; source, spring; seat, place i.g
    Ë adj. born among, sprung from yonitas by birth or blood.

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  38. Wasn't it Jagadananda who spoke of kanistha sradha? It is a harsh word to swallow I admit but then again dainya is the life of bhakti...

    Dont you believe that old sahajiya because he just talks out of his neck. His concepts of kanistha are totally concocted. The true concepts are given by S.B. 11.2.45-47, consciousness-wise, and BRS 1.2.17-19, faith-wise. None of these verses, nor any of their tikas describe any such concocted mundane definitions that Jagat gives.

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  39. Apparently Jagadananda was good enough company for your kulina brahmana. Good enough that his descendants are now asking for Jagadananda's article on a special magazine in honor of their father. Aren't we neglecting maryada there? And daniya, where is the daniya? I mean, externally, where is it?

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  40. Apparently Jagadananda was good enough company for your kulina brahmana.

    1. Jagadananda was in good standing back in 1979, when he associated with that family.
    2. MGG is not my kulin brahmin at all, he is a senior Vaishnava and Prabhu Santan who passed away and I just wrote a brief obituary in his honour. I have no further connection with him. If you had read my blog attentively you would have noticed I wrote that I met him only once.

    Good enough that his descendants are now asking for Jagadananda's article on a special magazine in honor of their father.

    They do not know how Jagat has changed for the worse in the last 15 years. I do.

    Aren't we neglecting maryada there? And daniya, where is the daniya? I mean, externally, where is it?

    1. It is dainya, not daniya.
    2. Your challenge is sceptical and does not show dainya.
    3. If you refer to my attitude towards Jagat, maryada is given to an elderly person, paramartha and vyavahara. vyavaharika (materially) Jagat is 6 years older than me and knows Sanskrit better than me. He also became a devotee before me. However, dainya does not mean one should not call a spade a spade.

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  41. Maryada means you honor someone in connection to what he represents. It is not simply a system of observing seniority. You talk of proper behavior towards brahmanas and yet, when one such brahmana shows his appreciation of someone you dislike, the honoring becomes iffy. That is not maryada but a hypocritical show of bows.

    You are right, real dainya means one calls a spade a spade. And so you and I, we both believe we have done just that.

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  42. Lighten up dear friend, the yoni comment was a JOKE. You know, those things that make us LAUGH?

    Anyway, Malati had assumed I subscribed to the "white man's burden", and within that assumption were two things;
    1. that I'm white
    2. that I'm male

    One of the worst places on Earth for black people descent is India. However low brahmins think white foreigners are, times that by 100 for black people, both foreign black people and the black people of India.

    Much to the dismay of many Indians, with the advances in DNA technology, many of them are genetically traced to Africa.

    Anyway, my whole point is, WITH DUE RESPECT TO THIS VAISHNAVA for his vaishnavatva, I can still disagree with this particular attitude (casteism/racism), and point it out as a matter of course without being disrespectful to the individual. It's a matter of principle, of ethics.

    Adwaita said himself;

    " caturvarnyam maya srstam guna karma vibhagashah - it is divided into four species (and that is only in Hindu India). "

    If it is part of Hindu India and I am not an Indian Hindu, then I am not obliged to conform to it.

    But as far as "maryada", my own culture also has it's own maryada and it's the maryada of political correctness and due respect to all, regardless of color, country, culture, race, gender, etc.

    That is my maryada and I will not cross it.

    I still assert that the human species is ONE, and ALL living entities are intrinscly EQUAL, though we take birth in various species - plant, animal, human and within the one human specices we differentiate ourselves according to race, language, color, culture, region, religion, class, etc.

    This is basic Bhagavad Gita 101.

    If you are asserting that various castes in India are actually "different species" of human beings, well, do you have any scientific data on that?

    Since there is nothing offensive or obscene about the above, I will appreciate if you post it for food for thought.

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  43. If you refer to my attitude towards Jagat, maryada is given to an elderly person, paramartha and vyavahara.

    Isn't it obvious? I am referring to your overall attitude. You have no respect for human beings in general. This means you don't really get maryada.

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  44. I am referring to your overall attitude. You have no respect for human beings in general. This means you don't really get maryada.

    You have some nerve, huh? You are attacking and insulting a great Vaishnava Acarya just after he departed from this world and you object against me warning mankind against a dangerous sahajiya. You didnt understand what I meant with vyavahara and paramartha at all, as a matter of fact you dont even bother to investigate either. paramartha means spiritual and vyavahara means material. Jagat has some material superiority, in age and intellect, but is otherwise a great threat to..... right, to mankind.

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  45. Anon, June 25:Wow, you really do live in a bubble, don't you? The thoughts that are floating around nowadays are nothing less than part of that same reality you talk about my friend.

    If living in a bubble means timeless and immutable shastranugata and acaryanugata principles, I'd be glad if you wouldnt come with the needle of beefeating talkshow hosts and rock n roll musicians that form your 'reality' and 'opinions' (bhrama pramada vipralipsa karanapatava), my 'friend'.

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  46. Sad Yoni, you need not be humble and respectful if you don't want to. It's no skin off my back. I have quoted Mahaprabhu on it twice, but nobody is listening. It is a general order, not for only Indians - Goswamiji himself quoted it too - maryada palan hoy sadhur bhusan. Mahaprabhu condemns the disrespectful maryada langhan ami sohite na pari, you need not obey Mahaprabhu. The consequence is yours, not mine. I have done my task. Perhaps Mahaprabhu's strongest statement on it is trinad api sunicena - lower than a blade of grass (not equal or higher to a child of Nityananda) amanina (no pride) manadena (giving all honour unto others) etc. etc. Now dont come again with MGG having to honour ignorant mlecchas that are brainwashed by beefeating bisexual talkshow hosts, because I already explained several times that maryada means giving and taking. That is, the senior accepts respect and the junior offers respect. None of this is compulsory and if you don't comply it wont rob me of a minute of sleep. Think about it.

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  47. It is not simply a system of observing seniority.

    I refer to MGG himself, mentioning Nehru in his talk. Throughout the world, except for post '68 western world, a senior person is respectable, right or wrong.

    You talk of proper behavior towards brahmanas and yet, when one such brahmana shows his appreciation of someone you dislike, the honoring becomes iffy.

    Again, I would appreciate it if you read my comments and took note of them. Jagat was far different in 1979 from what he is today. MGG was not informed of it. Without wanting to compare Jagat with Hitler, he does have in common with him that they are both born before me. Now should I start glorifying Hitler because he is born 67 years before me, regardless?

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  48. Again, I would appreciate it if you read my comments and took note of them. Jagat was far different in 1979 from what he is today. MGG was not informed of it. Without wanting to compare Jagat with Hitler, he does have in common with him that they are both born before me. Now should I start glorifying Hitler because he is born 67 years before me, regardless?

    You misunderstand. I am not saying that you are not observing maryada in relation to Jagat. That is not the issue. The issue is how brahminical culture is not only non essential to bhakti, but it is also materially immoral. I am saying vaisnavism does not permit discrimination based on bodily platform. But brahmanas do discriminate so, and so the validity of their philosophy is what is in question here.

    It so happens that a brahmana vaisnava has passed away and you brought the event to the attention of your readers, making his brahminical ties the focus of the text.

    I wasn't attacking a great vaisnava after he departed the world. On the contrary, I am happy to take your word on it that such vaisnava indeed is worth of all praise. But unlike you, I prefer to express that I find it contradicting that great souls would indeed discriminate human beings based on birth, race, etc. So I question that belief, and I highly question your presentation of such concepts. And if you insist in correcting me saying that you are simply representing something said by Mahaprabhu himself, my reply to you is that I believe you have not thought these things out with full reasoning. You merely repeat words verbatim without any intention whatsoever of making a reasonable interpretation of the context. I do not believe such verbatim quoting to be enough evidence of Mahaprabhu's own intention. In this you simply reflect a pattern of Indian social behavior poorly structured. These are concepts that have fallen out of credibility over time even in India. Its mostly pompous self serving poses when it should have been deep heart to heart exchanges.

    I think you are mistaken and other, more throughout interpretations of sacred accounts suit me better.


    I

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  49. Anon, I am not following blindly. The Bhagavata 10.86.53, 10.8.6 and 10.86.55 say it, Sanatan Gosvami in Haribhakti Vilasa says that the Guru should be a born brahmin and even Bhaktivinoda says this in Jaiva Dharma (ch.6):
    "Cudamani: “One must take birth in a brahmana-family to perform yajnas and other such activities, and even one who is born in a brähmana-family must be purified by the ceremony of investiture with the sacred thread before he is eligible to perform the duties of a brähmana. Similarly, a candäla may have become purified by the chanting of harinäma, but he is still not eligible to perform yajnas until he acquires a seminal birth in a brähmana-family. However, he can perform the limbs of bhakti which are infinitely greater than yajnas."
    Cudamani: “What kind of conclusion is that? That a person not qualified for an ordinary thing can be qualified for an exalted thing! What is the clear proof for that?
    Vaisnava däsa: "There are two types of human activity: material activities that relate to practical existence (vyavahärika); and spiritual activities that relate to the ultimate truth (päramärthika). A person may have attained spiritual qualification, but that does not necessarily qualify him for particular material activities. For example, one who is a Muslim by birth may have acquired the nature and all the qualities of a brähmana, so that he is a brähmana from the spiritual point of view, but he still remains ineligible for certain material activities, such as marrying the daughter of a brähmana.”
    Cudamani: “Why not? What is wrong with that?”
    Vaisnava däsa: “If one violates social customs, one is guilty of secular impropriety, and members of society who take pride in their social respectability do not condone such activities. That is why one should not perform them, even if he is spiritually qualified.”
    Then, and it is the 4th or 5th time I quote it, Mahaprabhu himself says that maryada palan hoy sadhur bhushan, respecting the protocol is the ornament of the saint.' The point is that this is external respect - internal respect will be given to a mleccha and yavan if he/she is a pure devotee. Nobody disputes that.

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  50. Regarding your Jaiva Dharma qoutes;
    yagyas do not have a place in raganuga bhakti, so Gaudiya Vaishnavas are not concerned with them. Every once in a while they might partake in one if it's around, but they are in no way a priority or common feature in the lives of raganuga vaishnavas.

    Two; regarding a muslim marrying a brahmin's daughter, it happens alot.

    You are qouting a book from what - almost two hundred years ago?

    Cultures change, society's norms change, maryada, protocol or what is acceptable to people, all changes. These things have certainly changed alot all around the world, including India, since the days of Jaiva Dharma.

    I for one wouldn't lose a second of sleep if a muslim married a hindu or if a black person married a white one.

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  51. Yoni, it was actually meant for the anon who bravely quoted the selfsame Bhaktivinode 'chuck the holy books' Thakur - to give an insight of the some of the Thakur's thought. Interesting huh?

    No, Jaiva Dharma is 109 years old only. The special thing about this is, and that is my point, that it is BVT who is supposed to be the great renewer and socialist (r)evolutionary, and yet even he supports the maryada.

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  52. Yoni, it was actually meant for the anon who bravely quoted the selfsame Bhaktivinode 'chuck the holy books' Thakur - to give an insight of the some of the Thakur's thought. Interesting huh?

    There is nothing contradictory there. It simply reaffirms the notion that in shifting matters, the use of common sense is recommended over self defeating action.

    Just face it Advaita, you miss a huge point which is the point of practical application of shastra.

    Bhaktivinoda was the great reformer. And even greater was Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and both lived in times past. But were they living in the world today, even at Bengal, it would be very unlikely that they would bother with all this bowing to the right, spitting to the left, spinning around three times standing on your left foot, jump in the Ganges if the shadow of a Tata truck covered you, etc. They would have upgraded their act. And so why shouldn't we?

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  53. Because it is now 2008, what, they would eat with two hands, do puja in the same clothes as they passed stool in, allow menstruating women to cook and perhaps also go and pick up hamburgers from the MacDonalds, because, well, that is just our culture? They would have insulted superiors and shown disrespect to elders?

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  54. Because it is now 2008, what, they would eat with two hands, do puja in the same clothes as they passed stool in, allow menstruating women to cook and perhaps also go and pick up hamburgers from the MacDonalds, because, well, that is just our culture? They would have insulted superiors and shown disrespect to elders?

    Well actually, except for meat eating and respecting others, this list you provide is a sample of the trifle these cultural things can be. By the way, Iskcon has been doing very well as far as deity worship, and indeed women in Iskcon have occasionally cooked for the deity and done puja while menstruating. Has anybody been struck by lightning yet because of such adjustment?

    Of course we draw the line at eating meat or disrespecting other human beings. It goes into another level. No meat eating is related to compassion, to not transgressing another soul's right to equal opportunity to live, at the least. And refraining from insulting and disrespecting, elders or otherwise, well, that is a given isn't it?

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  55. Allright ladies I think I will wind up the discussion now, because we are going astray and I see this can go on until 2019, when a new Absolute reality might have been invented by the next great reformer. By the way, just to close off this discussion on a conciliatory note, I do agree that adjustments and simplifications need to be made to the many rules in shastra, and they are being made by all Gaudiya Vaishnavas, also the Indian brahmins believe me. I thank you all very much for your participation. Jay Radhe.

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  56. Hello,
    Nice blog and articles.
    But I want to point out that the way you had quoted Mr Jawaharlal Nehru is very unplesant and uncalled for.
    You could have used it just as a name but we associate a renowned person to that name.
    Please refrain from using great person's name to explain your point.

    Tnx
    Anand
    P.S I am not a regular here. Just read one article about Bilva tree.

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