A Follow-up to the What the MS-13 Gang and ISKCON Have in Common Post Responding to some of the reactions

As a follow-up to the posting on MS-13 and ISKCON, I received a number of interesting reactions. But before I share some of those, I would like to make a few summary points:

  • ISKCON and the MS-13 Gang’s point of commonality is that women are kept out of decision-making on the grounds they are not suited for it.
  • ISKCON’s rationale is mandated by the scriptures, which say women should not be trusted.
  • MS-13’s rationale is based on consistently bad experiences in trusting them.
  • The big point is that MS-13’s experience “bears witness” to a Vedic truth, which is the position women should hold in society.

Some have found the comparison between the two organization so odious as to be beyond the pale. One devotee wrote,

“I did read your article and of course you are entitled to your opinion. No one can argue with an opinion.” read more

The Limits of (Social) Science

The American Psyhciatric Association has produced this position statement about “Same Sex Unions” (gay / lesbian marriage):

The American Psychiatric Association supports the legal recognition of same sex unions and their associated legal rights, benefits, and responsibilities.“Action Item: Position Statement Proposed by APA Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues Position Statement on Same Sex Unions (Approved by Board of Trustees, December 2000)

If prestigious organizations like the American Psychiatric Association can be so wrong in spite of their methodologies, then why is psychiatry, psychology and other similar social sciences being more and more employed by ISKCON? In greater society social policy and law is increasingly being formulated by professionals and academics who propound these grossly wrong, immoral conclusions. America and other affluent Western countries have already experienced the vicious effects of their influence. read more

Good Behavior is as Important as Preaching ISKCON's divorce problems made worse by bad leaders

Mata Radha Devi Dasi, a senior member of ISKCON’s Vaishnavi Ministry, is also a long-time divorce lawyer. The problem in this case is not that she is a lawyer or that, as a woman, she is running her own practice. It is that she has built her career on fostering the dissolution of marriages.

This provides a powerful economic incentive for sinful activity.  More divorces = more business.  But more business means more people are encouraged in sinful activity.

Even if sometimes it so happens that some marriages should be dissolved (and the dharma-shastras also specify some conditions for this, many of them intuitively grasped), baked into her line of work is an incentive to maximize the number of divorces. In her line, a success is a divorce in which the gains for the client are maximized. The more successes she racks up, the more successful her business and the bigger her income. But as a result, society becomes more sinful. read more

Slander Advances the Left’s Agenda in ISKCON Why it works

Neema Parvini at Quillette.com explains how the Left’s use of name-calling and slandering is very effective at advancing their agenda. For the last few years, Bhakti Vikasa Maharaja on account of his book Women: Masters or Mothers? has endured slander at the hands of people who apparently hold a similar agenda.

From Parvini’s article:

Thinkers who typically oppose the left have long pointed out that they have been losing the war of words. As David Horowitz puts it in Take No Prisoners(2014): read more

Cow Culture conference 2018 – California By Basu Ghosh Prabhu

On Sunday, May 20, 2018, a conference on Cow Culture was held at the India Community Center, Milpitas, California, which is located on the Northeastern side of the area that has become known as Silicon Valley.

The conference was organized by the Om Sri Surabhi Campaign (California).  The campaign was launched by ISKCON India Minister for Daiva Varnashram, His Holiness Bhakti Raghava Swami during January 2015.  His disciple Sri Krishna Purushottam Das was inspired by Swamiji to organize this conference.

Well known Indian social activist and member of the upper house of India’s Parliament (the Rajya Sabha), former Indian Minister for Commerce, Law, Dr. Subramanian Swamy (also ex-Professor of Commerce, Harvard University) was the Keynote Speaker at the conference. read more

The Glories of Sri Purusottama Month by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Akincana Staff

Two divisions of sastra—smarta and  paramartha

The Vedic arya-sastras are divided into two sections—smarta (literature based on smrti) andparamartha (transcendental literature based onsruti). Those who are eligible (adhikari) for thesmarta section do not have any natural inclination or taste for the paramartha-sastras. The thoughts, principles, activities and life goal of every human is constituted according to his respectiveruci (inclination). Generally, smartas accept those scriptures which are in accordance with their respective ruci. Having greater adhikara forsmarta-sastra, they do not demonstrate much regard for paramarthika-sastra. Providence is the agent behind the creation of these two divisions. Therefore, undoubtedly the maintainer of the world must have a hidden purpose in having made such an arrangement.
As far as I understand, the purpose is that the jivas sequentially make progress in their level of consciousness by remaining steadfast in their respective adhikara. By deviating from one’s adhikara, one falls down. According to one’s activities, a person attains two types of adhikara—karmadhikara and bhakti-adhikhara. As long as one maintains hiskarmadhikara, he derives benefit from the path shown by the smarta section. When he enters bhakti-adhikara, by transgressing the karmadhikara, then he develops a natural ruci (inclination) for the paramarthika, or transcendental, path. Therefore, providence has made these two divisions of sastra: smarta and paramartha.

The rules and regulations of smarta sastra are committed to karma

The smarta sastra has made various types of rules and regulations in order to help one attain nistha, steadfastness, in karmadhikara. In many instances, it even demonstrates indifference towards paramartha sastra to make people attain specific nistha in such rules and regulations. In reality, although sastra is one, it manifests in two ways for the people. If the jiva gives up adhikara-nistha, he can never attain auspiciousness. For this reason, the sastras have been divided into two: smarta and paramartha.

Adhimasa (extra month), also called mala masa (impure month), is devoid of all auspicious activities

By dividing the whole year in twelve parts, the smarta-sastras have ascertained the auspicious, or religious, activities for these twelve months. All the karma, religious activities which are part of the varnasrama system when allotted to the twelve months, leave the extra month (adhimasa) devoid of any such activity. There is no religious performance in adhimasa. In order to keep lunar months and solar months in tally, one month has to be excluded every 32 months. The name of that month is adhimasa(extra month).* Smartas have discarded this extra month, considering it abominable. They gave it names such as mala masa (impure month), cora masa (thieving month), and so on.
_____________________
* It is stated in Sri Surya Siddhanta that in one mahayuga there are 1,593,336 extra months and 51,840,000 solar months. Therefore, there is one extra month after every 32 months, 16 days and 4 hours of the solar calendar. read more

Sri Chenna-Keshava Gram Ram Aprameya Das

Updates of our project in Karnataka, South India
Sri Chenna-Keshava Gram
Monthly Report-Jan 2018
Summary

Our Spiritual master, Sripada Bhakti Vikasa Swami, has blessed our community with the name of Chenna-Keshava Gram. We are located some 20 kilometers near the famous Chenna-Keshava Temple of Belur, Karnataka, India. Chenna means good or nice.

Agriculture

In December 2017, we harvested, 25 quintals of paddy from 2 acres of land. This rice is now the main staple grain of our community. In the current season, on about 1.5 acres, we will be growing: read more

Our Visit to Nandagram Village Vrindavani Mehta (Age 12)

(Assisted by Bhakta Piyush Mehta and Bhaktin Madhavi Mehta, her parents)
 
A total of 15 devotees visited Nandagrama Vedic Village last week. Nandagrama is located about ninety-one kilometers away from Baroda near the Sardar Sarovar dam in Kevadia Colony. It is a beautiful and scenic village away from the hustle and bustle of the city with its unpleasant noise and air pollution due to traffic and industrialization.

The road trip was a long and tiring drive, but now, looking back, it was well worth the time and trouble. When we arrived, a beautiful little calf came to greet us. The calf attracted our eyes and hearts, and it appeared to enjoy all the attention he received from everyone in our traveling party.

We were warmly greeted by the happy devotees of Nandagrama, and there was a pleasing Vaishnava exchange of offering obeisances and respect to each other. read more