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Thread: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

  1. #21
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    Re: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

    Namaste

    With the links I wanted to show two translations without the term Demigod, since it is NOT used in the original texts. Demigod is an ideology driven translation to downgrade other Gods and their devotees.

    I see a diffrence between philosophy and ideology. And a third term is subjective. Every human has a mindset according to which he is acting and – in this case – translating.

    A philosophy I call the darshanas. A philosophy accepts the debate, the other person’s view. An ideology is not open for the other‘s view it is driven by a hidden interest, to convice the other by devaluating his conviction. What I do not know is, what is origin Prabhupada and what did his Christian followers make of what he teached. Usually the devotees interprete and ideologize the teachings of their Guru, that’s quite human.

    By the way, did Prabhupada, according to Hindu understandig, establish a darshana? If yes, how is it called?

    God is a Christian term, an insult to high sophisticated Vedic/Hindu culture. I will never understand why Indians adopted it and like it so much, that they forget their manifold concepts (Brahman (nirguna and saguna), Deva, Ishvara, Bhagavan) for the Supreme.

    The 33 Cr Gods are 33 Cr Devas or Brahman saguna, each with additional 1000 names to show the innumerable forms/qualities of Brahman. In religion standing for a specific power. If Karttikeya or Ganesha is one’s chosen Deva He is Ishtadevata or Ishvara.

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

  2. #22
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    Re: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

    Namaste,

    Are you aware, your total explanation is from a background of faith in one school of thought or aka Darshana.

    Deva - is not English word - the closest that many Indian authors use to denote Deva is Demi-God - cos they arent GOD ( Unless you subscribe to this particular Dharshana where Oneness and thus all are One and Same - God).

    So, this term demi-god is the most approciate english version in my opinion.

    Thank you

  3. #23
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    Re: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

    Quote Originally Posted by grames View Post
    Namaste,

    Are you aware, your total explanation is from a background of faith in one school of thought or aka Darshana.

    Deva - is not English word - the closest that many Indian authors use to denote Deva is Demi-God - cos they arent GOD ( Unless you subscribe to this particular Dharshana where Oneness and thus all are One and Same - God).

    So, this term demi-god is the most approciate english version in my opinion.

    Thank you

    Namaste,

    I absolutely agree with this view. Each sampradaya views his god as the only GOD.

    The other sampradaya need not worry about how a particular sampradaya views his god, every sampradaya pays little or no attention to the god of a different sampradaya.

    (As per Jyotish, the position of 9th lord, Atmakaraka and similar factors in Navamsa decide our attraction to a specific form of deity, therefore there is no real threat to one's devotion).

    (That Srimad Ramanujacharya called Shiva a 'demigod' is from a certain lecture by Sri Velukkudi Krishnan Swami dating back to at least 10 years ago. In that lecture, Swami said Shiva is a position to be held, more like a temporary title.

    Because of the reason that Sri Vaishnava scriptures as much as I know, do not state this, I thought Ramanujacharya's stand in calling Shiva a demigod is slightly belittling of Shiva.

    I could be wrong, I am not an expert in Sri Vaishnava scriptures.

    ISKCON calling Shiva a demigod, is because to ISKCON only Krishna is GOD, just like to a Shaivite, only Shiva is GOD).

    The role of a guru is to be emphasized at this juncture, he is the only one who we can consult when facing moral dilemmas as involved when choosing one's Ishta devata and dispells the darkness and clears the doubts so that the tender sapling of devotion can grow. It is better to not ever consult the texts pertaining to other sampradayas at this stage, in my humble opinion.

    Pranam.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

    Namaste,

    I had one more thought on the subject. Perhaps some Shiva devotees feel that since ISKCON is growing worldwide, its assertion that Shiva is a demigod may be cause for some newbie foreign devotees to not embrace Shaivism.

    I am interested in how someone like Kauai Monastry's Sivaya Subramuniyaswami would respond, for this scenario, I am interested in knowing whether his Nandhinatha Sampradaya would hail Krishna or Vishnu to be equal supreme as Shiva, since many foreign devotees adhere to this marga, too.

    Thanks and regards.

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

    Namaste Viraja

    You weren't wrong at all! You were sensitive, sensing that the term Demi-God is a questionable style.

    Regarding Sivaya Subramuniyaswami: I read four of his books. Loving Ganesha and the Trilogy Dancing, Living, Merging with Shiva in 2002, did the one year master course in 2003 and was on pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu with Bodhinatha Veylanswami and 90 devotees from 16 countries in 2004. I do not remember any degrading of Vishnu/Krishna, they are not mentioned, exactly as you say: The other sampradaya need not worry about how a particular sampradaya views his god, every sampradaya pays little or no attention to the god of a different sampradaya.

    With that, everything is done, the devotee is convinced of the supremacy of his chosen God, but does not degrade.

    Pranam
    Last edited by Indialover; 25 July 2021 at 02:04 PM. Reason: add 'at'
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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    Re: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

    Namaste IndiaLover,

    Personally having listened to lectures by eminent ISKCON gurus like Bakthi Vikas Swami, and HG Amarendra Dasa, I am convinced the pool of devotees to this mission comes from active participation by its members to propagate ISKCON. Out of measures like book distribution, organizing large, frequent and grand ISKCON events like the ones HG Indradyumna Swami organizes in Poland, the other European countries and of course, out of Keerthanas and ISKCON events.

    In one of the lectures by Amarendra Dasa for instance, he describes the hard life of a new ISKCON follower who has joined the organization, to dwell in one of its temples as a monk. He is expected to wake up at 3 AM, chant 16 rounds of mahamantra, eat meagre food, do chores such as clean the shrine, even toilets, and then, last but not the least, participate in active book distribution throughout the day. This is seen by an outsider as a proselytizing measure, but I know that the true interest of ISKCON is to elevate the commoner souls of the world, and to make them spiritually aware, and to an ISKCON monk, the act of participating in book distribution is seen as a totally humbling experience.

    Nothing happens without Krishna or Shiva's grace. I think we can at least be assured those ever souls, destined for the right path, will be found by Shiva or Krishna at the right moment, without fail and that this would happen even if they originally take to a different path.

    Thanks and regards,

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  7. #27
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    Re: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

    Namaste Viraja,

    Being clear and having good understanding of the fundamentals about a particular Samprayadayam is very important to enjoy the strength of their philosophy and practice. It's like, knowing all the rules of basketball and then playing it with your ability to become an excellent player.

    In Sri Vaishnava, Lord Narayana is the only Lord - the only Bhagavan. Now, you cannot extrapolate this to include or mean any form of Advaitic thought or politically correct statements like "Everyone is God" or Everything is God ( again in advaitic way). Sri Vaishanva ways is, Three Vastu are REAL - Jiva, Jada and Bhagavan ( i am using the term Bhagavan and not Brahman just to be super clear).

    WHo is the Bhagavan - as a person or subject? It's only Narayana. The English word for God can denote or mean a lot of things but it the context of the philosophy of Sri Vaishnava, God is the literal translation of the ultimate Subject/Entity/Vasty and that only can refer to Sriman Narayana. So, with this understanding - you have to then know every other subject/jiva/jada is connected to this Bhagavan in the relationship of Sesa-Seshin - Body-body parts. So, Lord Shiva is an AMSA - ( what kind, etc is not required for this discussion) - and an AMSA can also be called by the owner of that AMSA. Its like, the hand of you can still be referred to as "This is Viraja to mean this hand belongs to Viraja". Most scriptures only refer to Lord Shiva as Brahman ( now you see why i avoided the term Brahman) to denote the owner of that AMSA. So, finding some disagreement with Lord Shiva being not called as God and referred to as an Amsa of Lord Narayana is your total misunderstanding or no understanding of Sri Vaishvavaism itself. Why? Because Sri Vaishnavism is all about "Saranagati" and to whom you must surrender? To 33Cr Devas or to that Eko Narayana? The answer is, only to the feet of the Lord, and He is called Narayana.

    If you understand and accept the philosophical model - then you see, no one feels any less when they are addressed to their hierarchical position as it is. Home minister won't be offended if you call him as Hon. Home Minister.

    Calling your Home minister as Prime Minister is an insult to the PM technically.

    This is PROPER understanding - or method to understand the philosophy properly in my humble opinion.

    Hare Krishna

  8. #28
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    Re: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

    Namaste Humbleseeker

    You made me curious about the Kolaru Pathigam. I found two translations, none contains the sentence quoted by Viraja. That both Shiva and Vishnu devotees place their God above the other is in the nature of things and is nothing bad, it all depends on the choice of words, there is no need for degrading the other God and His devotees.

    Verse 9

    pala-pala-vëda-māgum – para-nāri – pā-gan pasu-ërum-yengal – para-man sala-maga-lōdu – eruk-ku – mudi-mël-anin – dhu-yen ulamë-pugun-dha – adha-nāl malar-misai – yōnum-mālum – marai-yōdu – thëvar varu-kāla – māna – pala-vum alai-kadal – mërū-nalla – avai-nalla-nalla adi-yāra – vark-kū – migavë.

    With His ability to assume many forms, accompanied with His consort of Parvathi, He is our lord who rides on a bull, –
    He wears the erukku flower (Calotropis gigantean) on His head, and He resides within my heart and (because of this), –
    Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Vedas, and the Devas, and several things that are yet to come, They – with love – will do good and only good for the devotees (of Lord Siva).

    http://www.skandagurunatha.org/deities/siva/thirumurai/thevaram-2.085-kolaru-thiru-pathigam.pdf

    BEING assumes different archetypal forms on His own to instruct each one of the creatures in accordance with Their own cognitive maturity. Such a BEING, always with WOMAN as His Equal Half and mounted on the BULL, And having the Woman of Waters as the Ganges and wearing the Erukkam flowers has established Himself within Me. As such the devotees who are graced thus will not Fall into the Snares of Time and hence the understanding Within historicity of Brahma Thirumaal, and other deities of scriptures. The devotees enjoy being in Meru within The ocean, the Golden Hill that remains invisible to non-devotees but supremely visible to the devotees of Siva, Pure BEING. Thus, they become harmless, really harmless for the devoted.

    https://periva.proboards.com/thread/137/kolaru-pathigam-english

    Perhaps there is a confusion and Viraja meant the story of Sharabha - that can easily be used by ill-minded souls to degrade Vishnu.

    https://www.templepurohit.com/sharabha-shiva-avatar-liberated-lord-narasimha/

    One has to be very careful with all the translations.

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

  9. #29
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    Re: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

    Namaste IndiaLover,

    I have already clarified my stand.

    ISKCON is not degrading Lord Shiva. As per ISKCON, Lord Shiva is a demigod and he is represented as such.

    Degradation of anyone is only applicable when as per ISKCON, or any organization for that matter, knows someone is not something but yet tries to misrepresent his stature.

    If, as per ISKCON, Lord Shiva was equal to Krishna, but yet called him demi-god, that would be degradation.

    But not when as per ISKCON, Shiva is a demi-god as such and calls him so.

    To recap, ISKCON views Lord Shiva as someone who plays the most important role as the grantor of Vrindavana dhama for a jeeva attaining mukthi. But yet, he is subservient to Krishna, its only GOD Supreme. Hence since Shiva's role is that of a god of lesser importance, ISKCON calls him so. I do not see this as a translator's problem.

    Similarly, as per Shaivism, Krishna/Vishnu are non-existent. Hence they are conveniently omitted in their texts and books. If Krishna or Vishnu played any role of lesser importance, they would definitely be *demi-gods* as per Shaivite texts. This I am sure.

    So at this point, there is really no (need to) convincing any further. ISKCON's stand makes sense to me. So also Shaivism's non-disclosure about Krishna or Vishnu.

    Lesser gods, as per their sect, can be called only as lesser-gods. If this is viewed as degradation and one would choose to subscribe to this view, no matter the explanation given, I choose to rest my case, and call it done with.

    Thanks and regards,

    Viraja
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  10. Re: For Proper Understanding of Srila Prabhupada's Books

    Hare Krishna!

    Namaste, interesting and useful and respectful thoughts have been shared here. I was waiting for my account to be approved so did not turn up here for the last two weeks.

    To summarize all the above discussions. I agree fully that as along as one is focusing on one's diety as per one's sampradaya and does not degrade deities worshipped in other sampradaya..there is no confusion and all is fine.

    I still have the following point unclarified.

    When Lord Shiva is described as a an exalted person in Brahma Samhita (https://vedabase.io/en/library/bs/5/45/), even as per Vaishnava philosophy can we group Him under the general term of Demi-god, which seems to be more fitting for a deva/post?
    May be in English there are not many synonyms for demi-gods to make this differentiation.. ??

    (Understanding of Lord Shiva's position is much better in Gaudiya sampradaya compared to Sri Vaishnavism where it is considered as a person like any other deva.)

    Few comments and questions on earlier posts

    @Grames: I think more better analogy to use would be president and prime minister instead of home minister and Prime minister.. as in Prime minister and president the hierarchy is not very clear.

    @ Viraja

    I am interested to knw more about two important points you have made. If you wish kindly share more on these two aspects.

    1. You had indicated that "the position of 9th lord, Atmakaraka and similar factors in Navamsa decide our attraction to a specific form of deity, therefore there is no real threat to one's devotion" Can you guide some references where i can learn more about this to evaluate my own case?
    2. So based on this horoscope, even if one is in a different sampradaya , rather than the one indicated by horsocope as favorable, then one cannot attain perfection in that path?
    3."Nothing happens without Krishna or Shiva's grace. I think we can at least be assured those ever souls, destined for the right path, will be found by Shiva or Krishna at the right moment, without fail and that this would happen even if they originally take to a different path."
    So are you referring here that even those who are engaged sincerely in Devotional service to Krishna, if their path is towards Shiva , they will be picked up at some time to another path? ( I am not sure if any Acharya would accept this , but though i feel intuitively that it is possible). can you explain a bit more. Thanks.

    Regards

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