In The Footsteps Of The Buddha

If I were to tell you, that once, no other country, save India, revered the cow as much as Japan, I could understand your disbelief. Today, we think of Japan as a meat-eating culture. However, this image is a product of the last 150 years of American influence. The traditional Japanese culture held the cow as the most sacred animal. What follows next is the true story of among the greatest protectors of the cow – the Samurai.

When Buddhism left India for the Far East it had a profound influence on all of the countries it encountered including China, Korea and Japan. Buddhism entered Japan around the year 552 A.D. In April 675 A.D. the Japanese Emperor Tenmu banned the consumption of all meat from four legged animals including cows, horses, dogs, and monkeys, as well as domestic birds such as chickens and roosters. Each succeeding emperor would periodically reinforce this ban until by the 10th Century all meat eating had been eliminated. In mainland China and Korea the Buddhist monks adhered to the principle of ‘ahimsa’ or non-violence in their eating habits but theses strictures were not placed on the population as a whole. In Japan, however, the Emperor was very strict in guiding his subjects towards the Buddha’s teachings of non-violence. The killing of mammals was considered extremely sinful, birds moderately sinful, and fish somewhat sinful. The Japanese did eat whale, which today we know are mammals, but at the time were considered very large fish.

The Japanese also made a distinction between animals reared in the household and wild animals. To kill a wild animal such as a bird was sinful. However, to kill an animal raised from birth was considered abominable – tantamount to killing a member of the family. As such, the diet of the Japanese was mostly rice, noodles, fish, and on occasion wild fowl.[...] read more

GBC EC Uses Knowledge Filters and Loaded Dice to push FDG

In 2013 the GBC resolved that a four-man committee comprising of Badrinarayana Swami, Bhanu Swami, Bir Krishna Goswami, and Praghosa Prabhu would write a paper on the FDG issue in time for the October 2013 interim GBC meeting. No such paper came forward but instead the SAC was secretly tasked to do this. The SAC paper was presented in October 2013. But it was not well received and generally lambasted as a “hack job” of incompetents and corrupt persons with a conflict of interest, so much so that out of embarrassment its availability to the public was delayed for a year. For reasons why the SAC paper of 2013 is deeply flawed see Politically Motivated Wrongdoings of the Sastric Advisory Committee.

Because the 2013 SAC paper was obviously written with the pre-determined objective of sanctioning Female Diksha Gurus it was clearly biased and not acceptable to any fair minded lover of the truth. It was rejected by many especially the Indian Yatra. To deal with this debacle the GBC passed the following resolution in 2014 at the AGM in Mayapura. (Please note the parts I have put in bold.)[...] read more

An analysis of the paper “Some Evidence Regarding Education and Guruship for Vaishnavis”

Among scholars, the position of women in the Vedic culture is a cause for controversy and debate because of different, sometimes contradictory statements found in Vedic literature. As we know from the Mahābhārata, nāsau ṛṣir yasya matam na bhinnam—sages have their own opinions and often contradict other sages. Thus the only path to the truth is mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthaḥ—the path traversed by great authorities. That is why we would like to analyze through the teachings of Śrīla Prabhupāda and our previous ācāryas some of the different quotes and arguments presented in the paper “Some Evidence Regarding Education and Guruship for Vaishnavis,” authored by Bhaktarupa Prabhu and Madhavananda Prabhu.*  Since their paper substantially relies on the authority of lesser-known scriptures and commentators, we will examine their evidence within the broader context of the sources they quote. That is, we want to determine whether their translations of these scriptures and commentators can be legitimately inferred from the context of these same sources. Also, the wide use of exotic sources by the authors raises the question as to whether they are introducing opposing scriptures. “One should not introduce any opposing scripture” (Nectar of Devotion, Ch. 8, “Offenses to be avoided”). We will therefore also weigh the authority of these statements within our Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇava tradition. As fidelity to the conclusions of our sampradāya is essential for the propagation of the Krishna consciousness movement, this is a serious issue that must be deeply deliberated upon. That is why we decided to produce this analysis.

The authors of the paper have done otherwise wonderful service to the society of devotees. They are sincere and have given their lives for the service of Śrīla Prabhupāda. And although it is certain their intent is not malicious, it nonetheless seems that in their research they sometimes relied on someone’s incomplete research, since some of the arguments are extrapolated, misleading, taken out of context or even fallacious. Falling to their feet, we heartily apologize before them for our impudence in trying to analyze their arguments. We sincerely hope and pray to them and to all the devotees that they will not take this friendly analysis as a personal attack and will not be offended by our presentation. The reason for this analysis was our apprehension that someone in the position of authority or leadership may base their decisions on such in many ways imbalanced evidence.[...] read more