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Thread: Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

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    Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

    Hi all,

    Thank you for reading this thread, and I apologise in advance for any mistakes I may inadvertently make - I'm new to this spiritual path and still trying to find my feet.

    In a nutshell, I have been reading the Bhagavad Gita and several books from different viewpoints (ISKCON, Yogananda, Ramakrishna) and I think I've managed to confuse myself even more than when I started

    Whilst I have gained a lot from the books of ISKCON and Yogananda there are a few points of philosophy or practice that don't really stick with me and many that do. What I have found is that the teachings of Ramakrishna resonate most strongly with me for several reasons.

    I was wondering if there is anyone on the forums associated with the Ramakrishna Mission or a similar Vedanta organisation who would be willing to answer some questions I have? I've contacted the UK centre but as I'm in Scotland it's not really possible for me to get there, and the contact they gave me to speak with seems to have dropped out of touch.

    Any help would be very much appreciate.

  2. #2

    Re: Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

    Namaste Kameron

    I was wondering if there is anyone on the forums associated with the Ramakrishna Mission or a similar Vedanta organisation who would be willing to answer some questions I have
    It would be best to just ask your question, to different degrees most people here have interest in Vedanta. Vedanta is not exclusively belonging to Ramakrishna mission. So we can deal with the subject of Vedanta as presented by different authors and groups and bring it into our own understanding for reflection and practice. Its important to understand that Vedanta starts with athato brahma jijnasa direct inquiry into Brahman or the Absolute Reality. This maybe a bit tricky as Brahman is ineffable to the mind and senses, so to jump straight to Vedanta maybe difficult, it maybe like trying to holster sky hooks in the clouds.

    Vedanta is the final part of the conscious evolution within the shad darshana or 6 systems of awakening. I am sure Ramakrishna Mission will cover all the systems and is embedded in their teachings. Its quite important to at least get the feel and understanding of the 6 systems shad darshana and how they support and work within each other for final inquiry into Brahman~Vedanta.

    In a nutshell, I have been reading the Bhagavad Gita and several books from different viewpoints (ISKCON, Yogananda, Ramakrishna) and I think I've managed to confuse myself even more than when I started

    This is quite common, especially in today's world where we have access to all the teachings from all around the world, from all traditions and timelines, so we can have a mass of information, information and Knowledge Vidya is not the same. Usually the best way to deal with this is to stick with what interests and inspires and follow those leads and increase the understanding of what resonates and leave things that are either confusing or hard to understand, certain parts where there is confusion maybe answered at a later date if it becomes important to Self Realization.

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    Re: Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

    Namaste Kameron

    One of our friends here at HDF is a devotee and follower of RamaKrishNa ParamhaMsa. He is also an avid writer and blogger and will not rest until he has explained adhyAtmic principles clearly.

    Here is his blog : https://indiaspirituality.blogspot.com/
    (Ramakrishna teachings, Advaita, shastra topics with Ramakrishna quote references)

    Ramakrishna KathAmRut (Biography) : http://www.kathamrita.org/kathamrita
    Last edited by ameyAtmA; 09 September 2018 at 08:53 AM. Reason: removed irrelevant links
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

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    Re: Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

    Namaste,

    I abhore the gross misconceptions that some of these owners of Hindu sites dish our in the name of "Indiaspirituality".

    Describing the different types of marriage, they tell you that Krishanji married Rukmini as a rakshas would marry his bride.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7. rakshasa
    In the raksasa form the groom battles with the girl's family, overcomes them and carries her away. It was in this manner that krsna Paramatman married Rukmani.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Rukmani is the principal wife and queen of the God Krishna, the king of Dwaraka. Krishna heroically carried her away at her request to prevent her unwanted marriage to evil Shishupala (described in the Bhagavata Purana).

    There is a lot of difference between fighting and overcoming a girl's parents/family and 'stealing' a bride; and saving a girl from being forced into an unsavory marriage, all at the girl's request.

    Before various links on Sanatan Dharma are provided for reading, one must vet them and make sure they don't list some nonsense that denigrates our most revered deities. I see no value in pointing people new to Sanatan Dharma to write-ups or Blogs which are baseless, demeaning and misinformed. If someone writes and propagates garbage in the name of Hinduism, he is no devotee. He is a rakshasa. Please refrain from dragging Hinduism down into the gutter.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 09 September 2018 at 12:55 AM.

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    Re: Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

    I removed the irrelevant links. Should have stuck to Ramakrishna topic.
    It is very critical to explain the context, especially in case of the selfless bhakta-vatsal (nourishing devotees with parental Love) karuNAsAgar (ocean of compassion) paramAtmA, Lord KRshNa. I shall try to notify the site - they should either remove that or explain that RukmiNi wrote a letter to KRshNa asking Him to kidnap Her, otherwise her brother would have made her marry ShishupAl.

    I think the original writer was presuming an Indian audience who know the background of RukmiNi vivAha.
    Last edited by ameyAtmA; 09 September 2018 at 11:21 AM.
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    Re: Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

    Quote Originally Posted by ameyAtmA View Post
    I think the writer was presuming an Indian audience who know the background of RukmiNi vivAha
    This is confirmed from the fact that the article was taken from a Kanchi Paramacharya website. While swamigal may have said that in context to his close disciples who knew the whole story, in desh-kaal-pAtra relevance, pasting it on the internet can bring it out of context.

    Speaking of the internet : I was maun for years and now back to maun.
    Last edited by ameyAtmA; 09 September 2018 at 09:35 AM.
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    Re: Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

    Namaste

    In the raksasa form the groom battles with the girl's family, overcomes them and carries her away. It was in this manner that krsna Paramatman married Rukmani.

    I cannot see any fault in this statement.
    There are eight value-free types of marriage and I too would say only Rakshasa Vivaha matches. Rakshasa Vivaha does not depend on the bride’s or groom’s motivation. Which type would you suggest, Believer?

    1. Brahma Vivah
    Brahma vivah is considered the best marriage. In this the boy and girl belonging to good families and the same varna get married. The boy should have completed his Brahmacharya Ashram (studenthood). There is no dowry involved and the girl enters the boy’s house with two sets of clothes and some ornaments. In this marriage, the boy’s family approaches the girl’s family. “Kanyadaan”, which is the handing of the bride by her father to the groom, is an important ritual of the Brahma Vivah.
    2. Daiva Vivah
    In this type of Hindu marriage, the girl’s family looks for a groom. If a girl has not been able to get a suitable husband for a period of time, her family look to marry her to a priest who officiates over sacrifices.
    3. Arsha Vivah
    Here the groom gives a gift (a cow and a pair of bulls) to the girl’s family. This usually takes place when the girl’s parents can not afford to meet the expense of the marriage. This is not considered an ideal marriage because there is a monetary consideration involved in this wedding.
    4. Prajapatya Vivah
    Somewhat similar to the Brahma Vivah, except in this case the girl’s family looks for a groom and the ritual of Kanyadaan is not followed. Instead of “Kanyadaan”, the bride’s father hands over protection of his daughter to the groom during the “Panigrahan” ritual. The actual wedding takes place after “Panigrahan”.
    5. Gandharva Vivah
    This is a love marriage, where the bride and groom marry of their own free will. Usually the consent of the parents is not taken or is not available because either or both parents are against the marriage.
    6. Asura Vivah
    Somewhat similar to the “Arsha Vivah” where the groom gives presents to the bride’s family in order to get their approval for the marrige. Usually the groom is not of the same stature as the bride.
    7. Rakshasa Vivah
    In this Hindu wedding, the bride is ready to marry groom, but the bride’s family is against the marriage. In such cases, if the groom’s family forcibly takes away the bride, it is a “Rakshasa Vivah”.
    8. Paishacha Vivah
    This type of marriage is not allowed. In this marriage, a girl, who is not in her senses (she may not be of sound mind or intoxicated or drugged, etc) is forcibly married off. The girl has not consented to this marriage.

    Source https://mymarriagewebsite.com/8-types-of-hindu-marriages-according-to-manusmriti

    Rakshasa Vivaah: This is essentially marriage by abduction. In cases where the girl is willing to marry the boy but her family is against the alliance, the girl may be abducted and married. It is essential that the girl be willing, because otherwise, the puranas and shastras in The Scripture treat the incident of abduction as rape with consequent cosmic vengeance and retribution. Instances of such marriages include Krishna-Rukmini and Arjuna-Subhadra, in all of which cases the girl was willing and the results were good.

    Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivaah

    Pranam

    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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    Re: Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

    Namaste,

    'While swamigal may have said that in context to his close disciples who knew the whole story, in desh-kaal-pAtra relevance, pasting it on the internet can bring it out of context.'

    With or without context, personally, such a narrative is highly offensive; no matter who utters it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Indialover View Post
    Which type would you suggest, Believer?
    With all due respect, I am not a strict traditionalist. To devise these categories is the job of learned people with some authority. If they were shortsighted and missed a category while listing different types of marriage, perhaps they can add another one. But to lump Krishanji's marriage with those of rakshas will not go down without a challenge to whoever comes out with that narrative. This is just so bizarre that everything has to be compartmentalized and the interpreters go to the extent of denigrating the deities. How could anyone even think like that and bring it to a Hindu forum as valuable valid knowledge for spiritual advancement? When the deities are equated to rakshas, why would we worship them? What is left of the Hindu religion then? Without Hinduism what is the basis of my existence? As far I am concerned, a critical discussion of the conduct of deities is off limits. They epitomize perfection and to bring them down to human level and to soil their Lila is irreligious.

    Apologies to Kameron for going off-topic.

    Pranam.

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    Re: Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

    Namaste Kameron,

    Quote Originally Posted by Kameron View Post
    I was wondering if there is anyone on the forums associated with the Ramakrishna Mission or a similar Vedanta organisation who would be willing to answer some questions I have? I've contacted the UK centre but as I'm in Scotland it's not really possible for me to get there, and the contact they gave me to speak with seems to have dropped out of touch.

    Any help would be very much appreciate.
    If you have any questions on VedAnta, I may be able answer most of your questions even though I am not from Ramkrishna school. Actually, Ramkrishna School is also Advaita VedAntic school from Adi Guru Shankaracharya's order, so I don't think there should be any problem.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Ramakrishna and some very newbie questions

    Namaste

    The eight forms of marriage are written in Manusmriti.

    Murugan married Valli according to gandharva vivaha. As I learned, this means that He is showing His iccha shakti.

    Thus we always have the problem - we tear something out of its context and we lost the ability to decipher the hidden meaning of myths.

    https://ia801301.us.archive.org/23/i...anu-Smriti.pdf Page 41

    3.20. Now listen to (the) brief (description of) the following eight marriage-rites used by the four castes (varna) which partly secure benefits and partly produce evil both in this life and after death.

    3.21. (They are) the rite of Brahman (Brahma), that of the gods (Daiva), that of the Rishis (Arsha), that of Pragapati (Pragapatya), that of the Asuras (Asura), that of the Gandharvas (Gandharva), that of the Rhashasas (Rakshasa), and that of the Pisakas (Paisaka).

    3.22. Which is lawful for each caste (varna) and which are the virtues or faults of each (rite), all this I will declare to you, as well as their good and evil results with respect to the offspring.

    3.23. One may know that the first six according to the order (followed above) are lawful for a Brahmana, the four last for a Kshatriya, and the same four, excepting the Rakshasa rite, for a Vaisya and a Sudra.

    3.24. The sages state that the first four are approved (in the case) of a Brahmana, one, the Rakshasa (rite in the case) of a Kshatriya, and the Asura (marriage in that) of a Vaisya and of a Sudra.

    3.25. But in these (Institutes of the sacred law) three of the five (last) are declared to be lawful and two unlawful; the Paisaka and the Asura (rites) must never be used.

    3.26. For Kshatriyas those before-mentioned two rites, the Gandharva and the Rakshasa, whether separate or mixed, are permitted by the sacred tradition.

    3.27. The gift of a daughter, after decking her (with costly garments) and honouring (her by presents of jewels), to a man learned in the Veda and of good conduct, whom (the father) himself invites, is called the Brahma rite.

    3.28. The gift of a daughter who has been decked with ornaments, to a priest who duly officiates at a sacrifice, during the course of its performance, they call the Daiva rite.

    3.29. When (the father) gives away his daughter according to the rule, after receiving from the bridegroom, for (the fulfilment of) the sacred law, a cow and a bull or two pairs, that is named the Arsha rite.

    3.30. The gift of a daughter (by her father) after he has addressed (the couple) with the text, ’May both of you perform together your duties,’and has shown honour (to the bridegroom), is called in the Smriti the Pragapatya rite.

    3.31. When (the bridegroom) receives a maiden, after having given as much wealth as he can afford, to the kinsmen and to the bride herself, according to his own will, that is called the Asura rite.

    3.32. The voluntary union of a maiden and her lover one must know (to be) the Gandharva rite, which springs from desire and has sexual intercourse for its purpose.

    3.33. The forcible abduction of a maiden from her home, while she cries out and weeps, after (her kinsmen) have been slain or wounded and (their houses) broken open, is called the Rakshasa rite.

    3.34. When (a man) by stealth seduces a girl who is sleeping, intoxicated, or disordered in intellect, that is the eighth, the most base and sinful rite of the Pisakas.

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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