On moving Vedic science forward

It’s nice to see legacy of HG Sadaputa Prabhu being revived, with his books appearing back in print and new articles based on his works being published on vaishnava sites. I would argue, however, that a change of direction is direly needed. There could also be a strong argument to stick with the formula endorsed by Srila Prabhupada, too, so my arguments are presented simply for consideration, and they might be based on a wrong understanding of devotees or Prabhupada’s vision, too.

The basic premise of Bhaktivedanta Institute in the 70s was that devotee scientists can win over atheistic scientists by producing top-notch research, publishing books and articles accepted by peer review journals, and by holding conferences. In a way it was a science version of converting westerners by learning to eat with knife and fork – beating them on their own turf and on their own terms. It didn’t work for spreading Krishna consciousness and, after forty years of trying, it clearly doesn’t work with science, too. There could always be another book, another article, another conference so devotees can always find some source for hope but, realistically speaking – it doesn’t work. read more

The Poison Conspiracy Antidote – Chapter 16: Time to Get Offensive!

Judge For Yourself -KGBG p.114

We have been asked to review all the hearsay,  revisions of what can be heard in whispers,  jump-to-conclusions hair studies, coincidental health timelines, 249 pages of character assassinations, insufficient medical diagnosis, questionable qualified expert opinions, allegations from false witness, translation disputes, retracted assertions, suspicions about the Bhaktivedanta Tape Ministry, voice stress analysis, disappearing testimonies, private studies, horoscopes, ominous dreams, voices speaking backwards and pages upon pages of every possible grievance that can possibly be dredged up to see which version of spaghetti-like logic sticks to the wall of public outcry.   This paper is the outcome of how I perceive all this Chicken Little hysteria and I will not be lured into the fox’s den of this most odious type of Vaishnava aparada that is being bantered around like fictional soap-opera gossip among spoiled housewives across America.

I can only imagine what type of a hailstorm I might be inviting down on my head by taking the time to compile this poison antidote.  Why would I go to all this trouble, knowing that in due course, as a result of doing so I expect to find every possible shortcoming the Sleuth-Team mud-rackers can dig up about me to broadcast over the internet in the future?   The answer to that was provided at the beginning of this paper:

“There is no doubt that these men (Tamal, etc.) still had a lot to learn about diplomacy, patience, humility and true leadership.   They were not perfected human beings… but they also most certainly were not killers! read more

Baladeva Vidyabhusana Project Update and Sanatana Gosvami’s Gopala-puja Dr. Demian Martins

I am glad to announce the discovery of an unpublished and unknown manuscript entitled “Gopala-puja.” According to the colophon, this text was composed by Srila Sanatana Gosvami. As the name suggests, it is a concise description of the method of worship of Gopala’s deity, with the mantras, mudras and so on. The manuscript was found in the middle of a single collection of Gaudiya manuscripts that include several well-known texts as well as rare and unpublished ones. At the end of the bundle, there is a note stating that these texts were transcribed between 1919 and 1920 from the original manuscripts in possession of Brindavana Chandra Panigrahi, Parlakamedi, Odisha. Several decades later, this transcribed collection ended up in the Government Oriental Manuscript Library in Chennai, amidst more than 70,000 manuscripts. For the benefit of those interested in reading it, I have uploaded a digital copy of the complete manuscript of Gopala-puja:


Recently, I’ve gone through the first research expedition in Bangladesh, which proved to be very rewarding. Although in the last century fanatic Muslims burnt large numbers of Sanskrit manuscripts in East Bengal, there are still many thousands of them left, albeit in a precarious condition. On the contrary of what one may think at first, I was cordially received in the libraries I visited and promptly given access to the manuscripts. At Dhaka University I was even offered a proposal to work in the manuscript section, which hosts a vast collection of Gaudiya texts and has thousands of unsorted manuscripts. Many of them could be the very same copies dispatched from Vrindavan by Srila Jiva Gosvami more than four centuries ago.  Besides copies of several of Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s works, I also brought copies of some rare texts. read more

Dear Friends of the Vedas!

Dear Ojai devotees & guests – Wednesday evening

Hare Krishna. It is already Gaura Purnima morning in West Bengal and throughout the Indian subcontinent. Thousands of devotees are chanting & dancing as I write this. Live kirtans and classes from Mayapur, and other primary temples can be seen in real-time at http://mayapur.tv/

We may not have thousands visit us here, but we will visit Mayapur throughout the day via their webcast – combined with bhajans and a library of recorded nectar. read more

Did Bhaktisiddhanta use a Tropical Zodiac? Scrutinizing Silly Notions

“One of the reasons for the survival of economic myths is that many professional economists consider such beliefs too superficial, or even downright silly, to bother to refute them. But superficial and even silly beliefs have sometimes been so widespread as to become the basis for laws and policies with serious and even catastrophic consequences. Leaving myths unchallenged is risky, so scrutinizing silly notions can be a very serious matter.” Thomas Sowell1

For some years now a very small but vocal group of “astrologers” have been touting the silly notion that Vedic Astrology is supposed to be based on the tropical and not the sidereal zodiac. Though it is painful and troublesome to deal with such persons we should know that the tendency to deviate from established Vedic standards of orthopraxy as given by the previous acaryas and creating confusion is a trait that actually started in Dvapara- yuga and has only gotten worse in Kali-yuga. The following section of the Vayu Purana explains the situation:

In Dvapara-yuga, rival (scriptures and sects) crop up against the scriptures which were honored formerly in the first Svayambhuva Manvantara. There are variations and alterations in the science of Ayurveda, Jyotisa and the ancillaries of the Vedas; there are doubts and variations in regard to the texts on political economy and logic. There are diversities and variations in the Smrti texts. Separate systems and schools (of theology and philosophy) are established. In Dvapara-yuga difference of opinion starts among men. The life of all living beings in Dvapara-yuga becomes arduous involving bodily strain. Livelihood is possible only by mental, verbal and physical strain. Vayu Purana58.22-25 read more

The Poison Conspiracy Antidote – Chapter 15: Playing Chicken!

Calling Sisupala’s Bluff

The so-called evidence compiled by the Goof team is sloppy, unprofessional, speculative, and pragmatically absurd.   Those who created this huge conspiracy originally came just short of admitting how it is a tactical maneuver that would get laughed out of court if they tried to take it there.

“Since the nature and circumstances of crimes of poisoning do not lend themselves to easy or smooth legal indictments or convictions, the next best effective forum to obtain justice and historical truth is in the public domain. Through the press and various other media, everyone who cares to know may be informed of the evidence, out in the open. The hope is that this will spur further participation and research into the investigation at hand, resulting in further verification and the ultimate identification and apprehension of the poisoners.” -SHPM p.241

Translation of the above: We can’t meet the standards of the legal world… so let’s start up a lot of rumors, churn up everyone’s emotions, generate hundreds of pages of dubious, incorrect, irrelevant paperwork, turn Chicken Little loose and hope we can rally together enough bring-your-favorite-noose participants to create a world-wide lynch mob.  Can I get a ki Jaya!   read more

Mission Drift ISKCON and social welfare

Mission Shift
Artwork by Nataraja Dasa

In 2001, Sripad Jayadavaita Swami gave a lecture series titled “Food for Death”, which is still available on his website at http://www.jswami.info/seminars#food and which examined how prasadam distribution seen by the public as ordinary welfare work affects ISKCON’s core values. Sripad Bhakti Vikasa Swami in his 2011 lectures titled “Some Concerns About ISKCON” and “Further Discussion on Concerns About ISKCON” addresses the same issue Jayadvaita Swami addressed but in a more generalized context that includes other welfare initiatives.[1] Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja in his lectures also addresses what he identifies as fundamental, philosophical differences that have emerged within our society.

As far as social welfare is concerned, the lectures of both Swamis make a common point: the time and resources devotees increasingly give to indirect preaching in the form of welfare work, at the expense of direct preaching, reflects ISKCON’s growing acceptance of karma-kanda as a part of its core mission and, hence, core values.

Mission drift and Vyasa’s dissatisfaction

That as grand a spiritual institution as ISKCON could itself become mundane is not a new idea. In the Bhagavad-gita at the beginning of the 4th chapter, Krishna describes the system of the guru-parampara and how, in the course of time, the succession had been broken and the knowledge of the science of yoga was lost. On some occasions, Srila Prabhupada himself said that ISKCON could be destroyed not by outsiders but by insiders. Such changes are the result of a gradual drift of the disciplic succession away from its original message and mission. read more

“I am a member of ISKCON.” Srila Prabhupada by Mahavishnu Swami

Dear followers of Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my humble obeisances! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

As I see it ISKCON is at a crucial juncture in its history. ‘Who is the head or captain of the ISKCON ship?’ Shall we choose the ISKCON Governing Body (GBC) or shall we choose our ISKCON Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, (Srila Prabhupada)? read more

Srirangam Sravana Kirtana Camp 2018 The Editors

Srirangam, the largest functional temple in the world at 156 acres is the seat of the Sri Vaisnava sampradaya and the first and most important of the Sri Vaisnava 108 Divya desams. The Deity of Ranganatha Swami and the Vimaana on the temple are Svayambhu (self-manifested) having come directly from the milk ocean where Ksirodakshayi Visnu reclines on Ananta Sesa. Sri Ramanujacarya the acarya of the Si Vaisnava sampradaya resided here for many years and his actual transcendental form is still kept embalmed in a Samadhi in the southeastern part of the temple complex.

This is also the place where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu spent the most time after Navadvipa and Jagannatha Puri. Sri Gopal Bhatta Goswami of the Six Goswamis of Vrindavana came from Srirangam; it was in his house that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu resided in during the four months of caturmasya that He stayed here. Gopal Bhatta Goswami’s descendants are still present there. read more