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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Various inquiries

Bhakta: I think among 64 items of bhakti, book distribution is also not mentioned but if any body does book distribution sincerely won't Kṛṣṇa take that? Kindly answer..........

Advaitadas: “Book distribution (if no money is stolen by the collector for his own purpose) is obviously a service rendered directly for the benefit of the Guru (paricarya sevā, as in sarvasvam vinivedya ca, “Everything must be offered to the Guru”, Hari Bhakti Vilāsa 2.10). No company profits from that. It can be included under viśrambhena guroḥ sevā, trustfully serving the Guru. Book distribution was of course not specifically mentioned there because in Rūpa Gosvāmī's days there were no printing presses so book distribution was not possible at the time.”

Bhakta: ‘Is there any truth in one getting the karma of someone who touches your feet?’

Advaitadas: “Look in Caitanya Caritāmṛta (Ādi 17.243-245):

eka-dina mahāprabhura nṛtya-avasāne
eka brāhmaṇī āsi’ dharilo caraṇe
caraṇera dhūli sei loy bāra bāra
dekhiyā prabhura duḥkha hoilo apāra
sei-kṣaṇe dhāyā prabhu gaṅgāte poḍilo
nityānanda-haridāsa dhari’ uṭhāilo


"One day, after His dancing, a brahmin woman came to hold Mahāprabhu's lotus-feet, taking the dust from His feet again and again. Seeing this, the Lord was endlessly distressed. At once He ran to the Ganges and jumped into it. Finally Nityānanda and Haridās pulled Him out again."

Bhakta: You told me (and śāstra says so) that one has to be humble at all cost. But when one is interacting in the world that is impossible.”

Advaitadas: How so?

Bhakta: "What if I were a policeman?"

Advaitadas: “I think that everyone can be humble including soldiers and cops; it is a question of nature, not of occupation. there are many humble cops and many proud 'saints'.

Bhakta: “But imagine if you have to catch a thief and he shoots at you, then you are forced to kill him....”

Advaitadas: Yes but that is my job then. It won't mean I can't be humble. Let me give you King Pratāpa-rudra of Orissa as an example. He was so humble towards Mahāprabhu, wasn't he? And yet he ordered many death sentences too, to criminals and opponents, and slaughtered many on the battlefield. He even ordered a death sentence on Rāmānanda Rāya's brother. Yet he swept the road in front of Lord Jagannāth and begged Mahāprabhu for his darśana. And when Mahāprabhu refused he humbly accepted that refusal.”

Bhakta: "In Mahānidhi Swāmī's edition of Ānanda Vṛndāvana Campū, in the chapter The Appearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa, page 31, it is said "The society girls visiting Nanda Mahārāja's house..." Society girls in Vraja Gokul? Wow! Can you say something about it?"

Advaitadas: The text is translated from Ānanda Vṛndāvana Champu 2.21-22. The word used by Kavi Karṇapura is actually vraja-nāgarīṇāṁ, which simply means 'the women of the town'. It does not refer to prostitutes or so, just the local cowherd women.”

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