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Thread: Some Personal Thoughts

  1. #31
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    HDF Forum

    Namaste,

    I just wanted to briefly address the nature of this forum, as I have come to know it,

    1. It is a private forum and not a Govt. run open ended entity. So, we all have to conform to the rules set forth for a peaceful atmosphere here.

    2. There is no need to present oneself as a martyr and anticipate being banned and then post disparaging remarks, and when banned, say out aloud, See I told you so!
    Developing a perennial victim mentality is a sign of weakness.

    3. Religion is faith based and material nature is subject to scientific experiments, deductions and all kinds of hair brained ideas. So, when religion is degraded to discussions in which every other sentence starts with, 'technically', 'logically', 'actually' etc., the poster is putting oneself above all our rishis/seers/sages/acharyas and injecting his/her own hair brained interpretations into everything. Do others care about ones technical/logical/actual evaluation of everything spiritual? Are they ready for a cult in which you are the supreme authority? The answer is NO.

    4. If the HDF is not being operated to a member's taste, is it necessary to blame some members by name or the moderators for your unhappiness and then disappear? Why not show some class and just move on without putting a guilt trip on anyone. There are many other similar Hindu forums, and you could even start one of your own.

    5. Every group of people that co-exist peacefully can be labelled a 'mutual admiration society'. Just look at your family. That is your closest 'mutual admiration society', even with all their warts. So, getting all hyper about it in the forum is meaningless. Try to become the friend that you want to have and others will start to love you for that.

    6. The forum has been divided into so many sections to give voice to every segment of SD and members do express themselves in the proper forums about their sampradaye. To claim that the forum caters to only one type of following or it is dominated by one sampradaye does not hold water. There are Shiva bhaktas and Krishna bhaktas and Ram bhaktas and Ganesh bhaktas and Hanuman bhaktas and Shakti bhaktas and Smartas, who revere all deities. The only thing that is expected/requested is to go on discussing the philosophy of your sampradaye in the proper forum without attacking other traditions.

    These are all common sense observations and I hope I did not step on any of the established HDF rules.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 10 May 2015 at 09:47 AM.

  2. #32

    Re: Some Personal Thoughts

    When we are tasked with something, we can either take up ownership of the assignment and give it our all to produce the best results possible, or do it just because circumstances require it, and not care about the outcome. Similarly, when Hinduism is being discussed, different people may have different reactions (based on their sense of ownership) to the things being said about it.....
    ____________________
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    Last edited by kiranta; 29 August 2014 at 02:26 AM.

  3. #33
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    The Poison Pill

    Namaste,

    On the surface we seem to get along fine with people belonging to different sapmradayes of Hinduism. But just as you scratch the surface, some of us come out swinging in favor of 'our brand' of Hinduism. Some brands even have the effect of poison pills. A common occurrence is observing Vaishanavites considering everything else inferior, Shavites always contesting that evaluation, Advaitins propagating their philosophy as the best, Dwaitins not backing down and then there is the most potent poison pill called ISKCON, which makes lot of people go berserk and become totally irrational.

    We tend not to have tolerance for shades of Hinduism different from the one we follow, but ISKCON is one brand name which brings out the worst in virtually every non-Gaudiya-Vaishanavite. I am not an exclusive ardent supporter of ISKCON, but I accept it as one of the many paths available out there and have the same respect for it as I do for other sampradayes in the Hindu spectrum. One of the common refrains among those who dislike it is that its founder 'insulted' many established acharyas. What does that have to do with not liking the Gaudiya Vaishanava spiritual philosophy? We can ignore some of the outbursts of a single individual without rejecting the sampradaye or its most visible Brand Name. Another thing mentioned is that one should never read 'Bhagwad Gita As Is' or other ISKCON literature, because it is Krishna centered and biased. Has it occurred to other Vaishanavites that when we consider Bhagwad Gita as the Song of God and the pinnacle of Hindu wisdom, why would we not consider the form that the Lord spoke/sang this song in, as the supreme? If Krishna's teachings are the basis of our existence and his song (the Bhagwad Gita) is the sweetest to our ears, why would we choke on considering Him as 'the most' of everything? ISKCON has brought Hinduism to the doorsteps of people across the globe, it is on the forefront of Hindu revival movement and is on a tear to build new temples and train new 'sadhaks' in every big city in India, it runs go-shalas and does charitable work and much more. When a sampradaye is doing so much in support of 'your' religion, is it too much to ask of you to bite your tongue when it does want to spew out something negative about that sampradaye? Is it too much to ask of you to observe 'maun' (silence), than trashing it? Don't you expose your own pettiness when you become mean spirited in discussing ISKCON and its literature?

    When the Song of the Lord is sung in a mandir and His spoken words are given the utmost respect, the deity of that mandir becomes the most celebrated one and the highest among high; no and's, if's or but's. Gaudiya Vaishanvas have put that concept into practice and if that is not palatable to some people, then may be they should adopt something other than the Holy Bhagwad Gita as their guiding spiritual book. If you follow The Bhagwad Gita, then don't be afraid of Shri Krishanji being called the Supreme deity among Vaishnavites.

    Pranam.

    PS, Please spare me any rebuttals to this post as these are just my personal thoughts. Feel free to start another thread somewhere in this forum to trash ISKCON, if you feel the urge to do so.
    -
    Last edited by Believer; 10 May 2015 at 09:48 AM.

  4. #34
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    Re: Some Personal Thoughts

    Namaste Believer ji,

    Agreed. The Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya is beautiful and uniquely suited to modern times. It teaches that the purpose of our lives is love. It teaches that there are no social divisions among devotees and that all devotees must be permitted to enter the temple. It has had at least two female gurus in its remarkable history. It is probably the most welcoming and helpful tradition to potential adoptees. And it has several branches, including ISKCON, the Gauḍīya Maṭh of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, and International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja.

    Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was recognized as a divine incarnation in his lifetime, in accordance with the scriptures. I once came across a list of all of the scriptural passages that foretold his incarnation and his life. I was frankly blown away. It was huge.

    As some of the HDF members like to point out, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's philosophy of Acintya-bhedābheda (Inconceivable Oneness and Difference) was a harmonization of all Vaiṣṇava philosophies. This is a great gift to all Vaiṣṇavas, pointing to the underlying unity of all Vaiṣṇava traditions.

    praṇām
    śrīmate nārāyaṇāya namaḥ

  5. #35
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    BG, as seen by a member

    Namaste,

    I summarized a member's post about Bhagwad Gita thus,

    'Somehow I get the impression (from your post) that Bhagwad Gita is a secondary text (to Vedas, which are primary texts and contain eternal knowledge) and Shri Krishnaji's teachings from it were suited for a wartime scenario during the Mahabharta time frame and don't carry the eternal truths of life which are valid today.'

    I got an affirmative response about my interpretation of the said post. So, the Bhagwad Gita needs to be rewritten to make it valid for the current era. Any volunteers who would like to take a crack at it?

    In the meantime, all the Vaishanavas, please follow something else while we update the Bhagwad Gita and don't be too enamored with Krishanji either. The Acharya who updates the Bhagwad Gita for the current times will become the supreme deity for all Vaishnavas and Krishanji's murthi will be replaced in all ISKCON and other Krishna mandirs with the murthi of this still to be decided Acharya. Incredible!

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 10 May 2015 at 09:50 AM.

  6. #36
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    Re: Some Personal Thoughts

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté
    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    I got an affirmative response about my interpretation of the said post. So, the Bhagwad Gita needs to be rewritten to make it valid for the current era.
    yikes!


    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  7. #37
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    Bhagwad Gita backed discussions

    Namaste,

    There are many debates/discussions/fights/arguments in the forum, sometimes civil and other times downright mean spirited. In each case the issue at hand is inconsequential and forgotten the next day. But our ego wants to win the debate, however trivial the topic might be. So, we reach into our back pocket and pull out a verse from the Bhagwad Gita or some other scripture to justify our position and to trump the person holding the opposing point of view. Did Krishnaji stand there in the middle of the Kaurav and Pandav armies to give us Bhagwad Gita, so that some day we may pull out a verse from it in support of something silly? Really? Was that His entire purpose, so that we could discuss trivia in this forum with His backing? How childish does that sound? And yet, we do it over and over again.

    Next time you are in a discussion and have that insatiable urge to win, use your intellect and logic. Please leave the Bhagwad Gita and other scriptures out of debates on petty subjects. Krishanji did not give us this spiritual knowledge so that we may use it to support trivial matters and look smug. If you have neither the desired intellect nor the power of logic, then just fold up and withdraw from the conversation. Don't drag the sublime into the arena of mediocre. Leave your respect for the Bhagwad Gita and other scriptures intact.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 30 December 2014 at 11:00 AM.

  8. #38
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    Use of alien terms

    Namaste,

    Over the years I have seen people in India and also in this forum use certain alien descriptive words which are very offensive. This is not really a serious issue over there since people are not sensitized to the evil behavior that they connote. But when they are used in an international forum like HDF, it does create a huge problem. Let us look at some of them.

    Nazis are said to be responsible for starving, killing and cremating/burying six million Jews during the second world war. Their aim was total extermination of a religious/racial group. Nothing like that is ever thought of or has ever been done by Hindus in India. Yet a disciplinarian in India is many times said to be running a concentration camp. The analogy is so bad but no one objects as few people understand what a concentration camp really means with reference to the ones run by the Nazis. Calling somebody a Nazi or saying that he is running a concentration camp is quite offensive.

    The Islamic term usage is so ubiquitous. If someone issues a statement about something, people start saying that so and so is issuing Fatwas. Now the term fatwa is a very evil term which means a religious leader inciting his followers to commit heinous crimes up to and including murder. Nothing like that has ever existed in Hinduism. But because Indians are not sensitized to the evil it refers to, they throw that into their conversations all the time and no one minds. Again, at the international stage one has to be careful about its usage. The other day a forum member compared a subset of Hindus whom he abhors, to ISIS. How many Hindus I ask, have ever beheaded a person of another faith, or burnt them alive or killed them and used their wives and daughters as sex slaves? How could a person in his right mind ever use that acronym for a group of Hindus, no matter how far removed they are from their mother religious ideology? Again, it is about not being sensitized to the evil which that term represents. Accusing a Hindu of exhibiting Taliban and al-Qaida like behavior is another egregious act as such behavior is alien to the Hindu culture and religion. And there are probably other similar terms and acronyms which are thrown around in conversations very loosely in India. I request, no, I beg of our members to please be sensitive to the use of evil terms when something relates to the Hindus and Hinduism. There is no need to be so offensive to your Hindu family members of other sampradayes. Sensitize yourself to the pure evil that many of such alien terms represent and don't use them in your discussions about other Hindus. Familiarize your friends and relatives in India to the meaning of these words and discourage their usage. Hindus don't commit the type of evil acts that these alien terms denote. One might sound cool in using these terms in India but it is not cool to use them in the international arena. Being aware of that and refraining from using them while making posts goes a long way in keeping the forum peaceful.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 11 May 2015 at 10:19 AM.

  9. #39
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    Reading Between the Lines

    Namaste,

    Guru Nanak taught the concept of 'wund chchakkiya', which is sharing your meals with others less fortunate than you.

    The ISKCON literature, according to some, seems to have declared, "The Russians are unaware that in the Śrimad-Bhāgavatam
    the socialist philosophy is most perfectly described. The Bhāgavatam instructs that whatever wealth exists - all natural resources (agricultural,mining, etc.) - is created by the ultimate creator, and therefore every living being has a right to take part of them."

    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar declared Krishanji to be a communist for propagating the concept of sharing/giving.

    In each of these instances, what hits me in the face is the concept of 'daana' or charity or 'giving to/sharing with the less fortunate ones'. That is one of the basic tenets of Hinduism and in fact of most major religions. Because of their limited knowledge of the English language, their improper use of words/expressions and their lack of desire to consult with English speaking devotees on the correct way to express their thoughts, many Gurus/Acharyas have fallen flat on their faces and written/said what sounds offensive to Westerners. The authors are less than polished to fully express themselves. Under the circumstances, what needs to be done is to READ BETWEEN THE LINES. Instead of hanging on each word, the concept being brought out needs to be understood. In America the words 'liberal', 'socialist' and 'communist' are offensive terms and people are conditioned to take them so. Cloaking charity with those terms creates negative emotions. In India, they can say anything they want, but when they cater to the American audience, the usage of certain hot button words creates negative images. So, the adoptees can either choose to grasp the gist of the message or move on to another sampradaye that will have its own quirks; which will result in a life long mission to shop for the one perfect non-existent sampradaye. Many a times we examine everything with our limited knowledge/intelligence and everything comes up short for one reason or another. The key is to not look at things at a superficial/peripheral level but to go deeper beyond the author's words, into his head and into the real meaning of the scriptural verses. 'Communication gap adjusters' can be helpful, but they are not always around.

    Similar thing happened when Yesudas recently muttered some words. Overnight the educated ladies in India and in the forum turned into Faministas and men started talking about provocation/seduction. Instead of having a discussion to resolve the basic issues of controlling male sexuality and females not flaunting their curves; the dialog gravitated to a discussion of the sub-text of the right of females to wear jeans ( http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...estern-clothes ). What a waste of time!

    Pranam.

    PS If you are still wound up about what some guru said, watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1tiXO4HtKE and chill!

    -
    Last edited by Believer; 27 June 2015 at 10:04 PM.

  10. #40
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    Scriptural Translations

    Namaste,

    Quite often we are asked the question, 'Is there a secular, literal translation of the Bhagwad Gita (or some other scripture) available?"

    Scriptures contain spiritual knowledge and unlike mundane literature, are not subject to full comprehension by commoners. One has to have a certain level of spiritual maturity through living the faith for a number of years, should have mastered the Sanskrit language and be diligent in extracting the essence of the spiritual message in each verse before one can provide a credible translation of any scripture. Many times we see translations by Westerners which are done by people with no knowledge of the Sanskrit language, no faith in the Hindu religion and the task having been undertaken for academic reasons. Even Hindu Acharyas/Gurus also translate them with a slant dictated by their respective sampradayes. But unlike 'academicians', at least they attempt to provide the spiritual content contained in the shalokas. So, while reading/studying scriptures, it makes sense to spend time only on the translations which have been authored by Spiritual Masters/Acharyas/Gurus rather than by a freshly minted Sanskrit learner devoid of any spirituality, or somebody totally alien to the Hindu philosophy and coming up with a translation from a Western/Xitian point of view with the assistance of a student of Sanskrit.

    There is nothing like a secular/literal version of translation for any of the scriptures as every attempt will be influenced by the authors's closeness to Hinduism and his/her spiritual maturity. So, careful thought should be given to choosing a version which is genuine. An ego fueled question like give me a secular translation and I will extract the spiritual message myself is a self defeating cause and not worth the effort. So is the attempt to translate if one is merely well versed in Sanskrit but does not have proper vision.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 22 May 2016 at 02:18 PM.

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