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10 years ago  ::  May 27, 2008 - 11:45AM #11
Posts: 8
Yes Jan, you are correct.

Most people do not understand what non-attachment is.  One can have lots of money, a big house, a nice car, lots of friends/family and still be non-attached.

It is all about attitude.  If one clings to 'things' then the things 'own' you. 

One can even become attached to the Gita or any other book.  One does not need books to be spiritual and non-attached.

If one always just quotes a book then they become a parrot.  Any student can do that.  Often people are really impressed if someone quotes books, any book, but that does not make them a spiritual person.


Los Angeles, CA  USA
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10 years ago  ::  May 28, 2008 - 4:39AM #12
Posts: 786

as I said, attachment to Gita, devotees and Lord is the goal of Vaishnavas. 'One does not need books to be spiritual and non-attached' if the needed knowledge is given by a sadhu or a guru. However, the sastra itself has this transformative power too.

> If one always just quotes a book then they become a parrot. Any student can do that.

If the book happens to be a sastra then it's a transmission of spiritual knowledge. If you teach a parrot to say "Chant Hare Krishna", then the parrot is better then a zillion of materialists.

> Often people are really impressed if someone quotes books, any book, but that does not make them a spiritual person.

Yes, if one quotes without realizing and following it's not powerful enough to change the listener. But it can at least direct the seeker to the source text. That's called vartma pradarsaka guru. One of them in my case was physicist Robert Oppenheimer who quoted Gita 11.12 during the explosion of the first atom bomb.

ys Jan
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10 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2008 - 4:45AM #13
Posts: 25
QUOTE=Agnes;500429]"Do you mean the ritvik argument that they weren't appointed as gurus but only as ritviks?
The traditional idea is that a disciple automatically becomes a guru when his guru leaves his body, and with his permission can become guru even during his physical presence"

"I did not know of this guru disciple tradition."

Dear Friends,

         I've just come to Beliefnet so please pardon my unrefined post.

        I remember when the Gurus began to fall.  Some of my devotee friends found themselves in a quandry, that's for sure.

        I remember when I was at the Venice Beach Ratha-yatra in the '80s and someone gave me a packet of info regarding the ' ritvik ' philosophy that was becoming popular at the time.

        I read the info... and disagreed.  The idea was that an initiated devotee of Shrila Prabhupada would initiate disciples "in the name of Prabhupada" and those initiates would become Shrila Prabhupadas direct disciples. 

         No where in the ISKCON teaching that I had encountered then, nor in the last 22 years would support this philosophical view. 

          It's too bad when a Guru falls.  Fortunately Shri Krishna is intelligent enough to see His needy devotees who had lost a practicing Guru and no doubt will not hold those disciples in personal peril.

           As long as we follow Shrila Prabhupada's teaching and listen to him and read his texts, we'll be fine.  Krishna saw these disciples get intiated, and He'll never forget it.

          However, there IS a ritvik system here on Earth!   (oh? really) ......

          I myself was raised in a basic Christian home.  After years of serving many faiths (through musical performance, my specialty), and landed in a Slovonic Eastern Orthodox Christian Church.

           When I decided that this Faith and this Church would be my Home, I was Chrismated (or Initiated) into the Church.   My priest initiated me "in the Name of Jesus Christ".  This made me a direct disciple of Jesus, " the Incarnate Word of God Descended to us ". (Slove Bozhi).

            The priest who initiated me is my good friend and I enjoy asscosiating with him and discussing our Faith together.  I listen to his advice and instruction as it applies to relevent issues in my Faith.  In Vedic terms, he is my Shiksha-Guru (instructing spiritual master).  But, I have become a direct disciple of Jesus.  (That is how this system works and is set up).  We all aspire to be the Master's best friend and follow His Example.

             ISKCON does not have this tradition.  A bhakta/ bhaktin is a direct disciple of the present initiating Guru.  Shrila Prabhupada is that disciple's Grandfather and Shiksha-Guru. 

              So, if your Guru falls; lean on your Grandfather Shrila Prabhupada, and his texts, teachings, sadana, video, recordings, etc... and you'll be just fine.
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10 years ago  ::  Sep 19, 2008 - 7:53PM #14
Posts: 379
Thank you Issabhandu for your excellent post.  Were you once a member of Iskcon?  May I ask, what attracted you to Christianity? 
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10 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2008 - 1:12AM #15
Posts: 25
[QUOTE=Agnes;772191]Thank you Issabhandu for your excellent post.  Were you once a member of Iskcon?  May I ask, what attracted you to Christianity?[/QUOTE]

Dear Agnes,

Thanks for asking.

But, if you ask an actor what he does....he gives his whole resume!

I was born in the Salvation Army.  My mother was Sgt.Major of the Youth at Headquarters.  I spent the first nine and a half years of my life In some Headquarters.  Once, when I was eight my mom dressed me up in uniform and let me ring a bell during Christmastide.  I stood outside the Navy Exchange and rang a bell for hours.  It was great fun.

When dad retired, we went to a small town.  There, I joined the First Missionary Baptist Church, of my own free-will.  (Old school baptist; Am. Bapt. Assoc--old pioneer-style).  I had had a 'saved' experience at the altar.  I took baptism a week later.  To be 'saved' is to have your sins (karma) erradicated.  Baptism is a personal statement to society about your faith, as well as the beginning of a career of service to the Christ.

When I went to University, as a musician, and performed in many various houses of worship.  As a student, I sang masses, cantatas, services, shabbats, high holy days, funerals, weddings,...etc.  I did this so often that I became familiar with all religious services and philosophies.

Once, when I was a student, I received a song for a Lutheran funeral. I did not understand the semantics and word combinations used to describe Faith.  When I asked my voice teacher about this he said "sing the words you know with feeling, and study the rest.  Always be earnest in your performances".

Having done so, I was fortunate enough to learn all of these various philosophies, rituals, customs and enlighten my spirit.  Since the age of 14 I have been preaching or singing on an altar.  I have rarely sat in a congregation in all that time.

Since college, some couple of decades, I have moved to the west coast and continued my multi-church work.  I have cantored for the Roman catholics for 18 years.
I met the Hare Krishnas in the mid 80's at the local university.  We sat on the lawn and talked religion.  I could see they had something I hadn't heard of yet, so I wen to their Temple.
The book I read filled in all the gaps that the broad and general christian teachings did not particularly cover.

As  a member of F.O.L.K. (Friends of Lord Krishna - home programs), I asked some of the older devotees (most of them Prabhupada disciples) why the congregation wasn't well organized or formal.  They told me to write down what I think was needed.  I did, and you saw the results that came later in my post on the 'HINDUISM?ISKCON? personal integrety?' on the Hare Krishna thread 9-18-08.

I have never been a formal initiate of ISKCON, but a F.O.L.K. Member; before the invention of the Sacred Order of Shri Caitanya.  I love them.  I do not count their drawbacks nor see their faults.

As for joining the this (Slovonic) Orthodox church.  Well, I was asked, late in my career, to sing at this church to see if I wanted to come and sing for that choir.  I fell in love with the Liturgy.  Christ's life, beginning to everlasting end.  Seeing that the Church was steeped in proper history and barely changed in thousands of years, I knew that I had come to the purest link to the original christians, and took initiation.

Well, all of that for starters.  -- It's been a good run so far, I'm eager to see what is to come.
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