Aitihya—Tradition as Authority (part 2)

Aitihya—Tradition as Authority (part 2)

II.

    The word “aitihya” is eternal; it is found in the Veda-sruti (Taittiriya Aranyaka). The Amara-kosa (1.6.4) defines it as a “prior occurance” (pura-vrttam), explained by commentators as the instructions of tradition (iti-ha iti paramparyopadese ’vyayam). Thus, modern lexicographers tell us it derives from “iti-ha,” an indeclinable literally translating as “thus indeed,” “according to tradition,” and so on. Perhaps its best known form is, “iti-hasa” (“It occurred thus”), the name given by Srimad-Bhagavatam and other sastras for the gamut of ancient historical accounts, legends, traditions, and cultural lore. The Itihasas are generally deemed to consist of the Puranas and especially both epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Speculative historian Romila Thapar explains (1978: 256), “The Itihasa–purana tradition had three main constituents—myth, geneology, and historical narrative.” read more

Rethinking Varnasrama

Rethinking Varṇāśrama

How changing our current thinking on the utility of varṇāśrama-dharma can reconnect it with ISKCON’s overall preaching mission and solve some of ISKCON’s most troubling social problems.

by Krishna-kirti das, 9/30/2013 read more

Aitihya—Tradition as Authority (part 1)

Mukunda Datta dasa is a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada since 1976. He holds a graduate degree in South Asian Languages and Literature from the University of Washington, in Sanskrit and Braja-bhasa. He was made a charter member of the Sastric Advisory Council to the GBC (SAC). Based in Vrndavana (India) since 2003, he currently serves there as a translator for Giriraja Publications (a new division of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust).

Aitihya—Tradition as Authority (part 1)

tarko ’pratisthah srutayo vibhinna
nasav rsir yasya matam na bhinnam
dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam
mahajano yena gatah sa panthah read more

New developments – Bangalore Ritvik temple court case

The Main SLP filed by MPD on behalf of the Bangalore Society (challenging the Judgement of the Banglaore High court in favor ISKCON reg. at Mumbai) was assigned to the Bench headed by Justice Kabir. Justice Kabir retired in July 2013 and after that the SLP was not listed and no new bench was assigned.

As per general system the SLP should have been gone to the next senior Judge who sat on the Bench along with Justice kabir when this SLP was heard.

But suddenly on Tuesday(22 Oct. 2013) I was informed that the SLP is listed before a completely new Bench, headed by Justice Prasad, to be heard on 25th OCT. for final disposal. I had to rush to Delhi and start preparing our lawyers. Some were sniffing MPD hand in such assignment. read more

Rakhe Krishna Bakrid ke…

A few days back, one devotee came up to me and told me how inspired she was to put more faith in the Lord since the time she had heard me mention the phrase – Rakhe Krsna, mare khe in one of my earlier classes in Raichur. I was reflecting on the miraculous incident that occured just the day before and how when the Lord decides to protect, the fortunate living entity beats the odds and survives.

The miraculous sequence of events unfolded before our eyes on the tuesday, the day before the Bakrid. Bakrid is a painful day for the devotees of Lord Krsna as they helplessely and tearfully watch the cruel butcher of the several cows in the lanes and bylanes of area surrounding the Narasimha Giridhari temple. But this Bakrid was different as the Lord had a plan to involve us in a heroic rescue act.

As I entered the temple in the morning, Suvigraha Das, the devotee incharge of the Goshala came running towards me and told me about an incredible event. One young cow, being taken for slaughter somewhere in one of the lanes near the temple, had apparently escaped from the clutches of the slaughterers and ran for its life and came running into the Narasimha Giridhari temple complex and headed straight for the Goshala at the rear end of the temple and joined the rest of the cows there and hid herself. For those who don’t know about our Goshala, it is important to note that to reach the goshala, the cow had to cross the bridge, enter the compound and take a right, then turn left and then take a right and then a left and go straight a few hundred feet. In other words, unless someone knows where the Goshala is, it is impossible to stumble into it by chance. And the cow, as if lead by the hidden hands of the Lord, came into the temple compound by crossing the road and seemed to have headed straight into the goshala. read more

Bhagavad Gita Catursloka Tika 10.8-11

(BG 10.8)   Now, while engaged in describing the devotion of those who are the most exclusively dedicated to the Lord, He explains the factual situation of the Self, knowledge of which both generates and nourishes such devotion, in the verse beginning aham. I, Krsna, the original Personality of Godhead, am the origin of this entire universe, beginning with Brahma, Rudra and the other demigods.

This same fact can be read in the Atharva Upanisads (Gopala-tapani Up. and Narayana Up.): “It is Krsna who gave knowledge previously to Brahma and who spoke the Vedas to him,” “Then the Supreme Person Narayana desired, `Let Me beget offspring,” “From Narayana Brahma was born. From Narayana Prajapati was born. From Narayana Indra was born. From Narayana the eight Vasus were born. From Narayana the eleven Rudras were born. From Narayana the twelve Adityas were born.”–in which context Narayana is understood to mean Krsna, and “The son of Devaki is the Lord who favors the brahmanas (brahmanyo devaki-putraù).”

The Upanisads say the same also as follows: “In the beginning there was only Narayana, not Brahma or Siva or the gods of water, the moon, or this heaven or earth. Neither were there the stars or the sun. He was present all alone, and so was not content. From within His meditation arose the devotional hymn which the sages of the Chandoga Sama Veda call stoma, designated in eighteen separately named divisions.” read more

Silver Foils are not Vegetarian

The silver foils are not very expensive. They are sold by weight. Ordinarily, you can buy a packet of 160 foils for a price between Rs.100 to 200. That is, approximately one rupee per foil. Not only the sweets, now a days it is also applied on fruits. Some Ayurvedic medicines also are wrapped in silver foils.

They are made by hammering thin sheets of silver in middle of booklets made of a bull’s intestines. In other words, after slaughtering a bull, quickly his intestines are removed, and sold to the manufacturers of foils. The skins made of old intestines are of no use. Even one day old intestines cannot be used, because within a few hours they stiffen.

The foil manufacturer removes blood and stools from the intestines, and cuts them into pieces. Then he puts one piece over another, making a booklet out of it. At his home, or in the factory, he puts one silver (or gold) sheet in-between each page. Then he hammers it hard until those metal sheets turn into thin wafers. read more

Sex—the Cause of Unlimited Suffering

“Of all kinds of suffering and bondage arising from various attachments, none is greater than the suffering and bondage arising from attachment to women and intimate contact with those attached to women.” (SB 11.14.30)

Because the experience and urges of sex are so intense, and the syndrome of man/woman relationships surrounding it is so complex, it diverts the conditioned soul’s attention away from Krsna and deludes him more than any other trick of maya. Sometimes the foolish conditioned soul experiences great delight in enjoying sex; at other times he is frustrated and burns in the fire of lust. Or, when spurned by a lover, he suffers mental agony, sometimes so severe that he is driven to kill the loved one, or himself, or both.

The loss of a partner to whom one is intimately emotionally attached, by death or other means, leaves the remaining partner with a broken heart. And especially in our most abominably degraded modern society, thousands of people’s lives become shattered by having their bodies exploited, either forcefully or tactfully, by others. read more