Where is the Difficulty? Nataraja Dasa

About practice

Some may say, that:

“It is difficult to apply the laws of Manu in today’s world since the conditions that exist now are very different from those when they were formally codified.”

But it’s not really true – even if some laws we may not be able to apply, due to current law system – still there are plenty of principal laws, which we can definitely apply. In Bhagavad Gita is said, that better to imperfectly do what is your duty than perfectly what is not. The same is said in Manu Samhita itself – even if you are imperfect and conditions imperfect, better is to do what is your dharma and duties. read more

Talking Down Varnasrama – 2

While Anuttama Prabhu directly shows his aversion to varnasrama, Nityananda Prabhu, North American GBC and Dallas Temple President, is more nuanced in his approach. While he acknowledges that at some unspecified time in the future, intelligent devotees will introduce varnasrama, he makes a case to keep the status quo. He has a chart which he uses in leadership seminars for non-devotees, showing nine levels of people in general, and he classifies them into three groups. The first group from levels one to four fall under Sense objects, senses, mind and intelligence. The second group is the fifth level, consciousness. The third group are from levels six to nine, Soul, Brahman, Supersoul and Supreme Absolute Truth. He uses this chart to state his case. Key quotes by Nityananda Das, “as he said it,” are found at the end of this article.

He sort of speaks in circles, repeats without getting to a direct point about where devotees stand on this chart. But his idea is that the materialists are from levels one to four and upwards from that are devotees. His vision is to bring the consciousness of the materialists to the mode of goodness using modern techniques such as his leadership seminars to non-devotees.

I disagree with his view that because we engage in ninth level or transcendental activities, we are on the ninth level and transcendental, and therefore we do not need those traditional trappings such as that which would be found in varnasrama. So he pushes devotees right up there, not considering that most of us are still struggling with the senses and trying to control the mind. read more

Talking “Down” Varnasrama

During the 2014 North American GBC meetings, Anuttama Das and Nityananda Das shared a platform in a presentation; their topic was Varnasrama. http://www.dandavats.com/?p=12906#more-12906  They talked “down” varnasrama. Key quotes by Anuttama Das, current chair of the GBC, as he said it, are found at the end of this article.

If a politician talks down the currency or economy of his country, even in a positive way, his career is practically finished. There will be no end of criticism and pressure for him to resign.

Varnasrama is like our currency. It is our true economy in all respects – true wealth as in the land and all that which goes with it, to always be in the association of devotees, and most of all, steady spiritual advancement is guaranteed. read more

Rethinking Varnasrama

rethink1

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

How can we explain the need of Varanasrama dharma organization in human society?

Manidhara Prabhu

The need is self-evident, unfortunately not to many. Either in name of imaginary transcendental progress or in name of mayavada based declaration of oneness and “unity”, the conditioned soul likes not to look into the mirror and agree on ones acquired conditioning. And so we run into the risk to become grhasta-sannyasis and sannyasi-grhastas, homely brahmacaries of ugra-tapas grhastas, ending in entirely disturbed situations, causing pain to so many other living entities.

Even most intimate associates of the Lord place themselves while performing their lilas into exemplary varna and dharma designated positions in order to teach the conditioned souls how to live a disciplined life while aiming towards the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. And whenever, like at the beginning of Bhagava-gita, a devotee THINKS to serve in a self-designated position, the Lord rectifies him instantly.

As He declares a faulty but honest servant to be superior to a self-designated hypocrite, a devote naturally strives for a position where he doesn’t disturb His master by illusory concepts about himself and his bodily destined situation. read more

Mayapur – The Land – The Vision – 1969 to 1977 part 2

Value of the Land

Land in the dham should not be measured in terms of mundane monetary value. It is much more valuable than that. It is actually considered to be chintamani. Yet we are sometimes scolded that the land in Mayapur has so much monetary value that we cannot afford the luxury of creating simple housing, or dedicating some land to demonstrate simple living. This contention is not born out by Srila Prabhupada’s teaching however. When it comes to principles, he saw things from a completely different perspective.

In a BTG issue from 1952 Srila Prabhupada describes the birth right of each individual: read more

Mayapur – The Land – The Vision – 1969 to 1977 part 1

Acquiring the Land

In 1969/70 Srila Prabhupada attempted to purchase land in Mayapur, but there were some difficulties.

Tamal Krsna Maharaja relates one incident: “Prabhupada was searching for land in Mayapur. We had tried to go to look for land when we first came to Calcutta, but we couldn’t; the flood waters stopped us from crossing the Ganges to go. So Prabhupada said, “Maybe Lord Caitanya doesn’t want me to establish a temple in Mayapur.” read more