> RUN_FOREST_RUN Wrote:
> > When you're talking about the Lord in the
> > DaWatcher, are you referring to the 4 armed
> > God who is speculated as somehow sitting in the
> > heart organ?
> Personally or as a former member of SIF?
> > Next to the spirit soul? And when you
> > refer to the scriptures as a method of
> > verification of people's "purity", what
> > scriptures are you referring to?
> Staying only within the Vaishnava scriptures - for
> example "Nectar of Instruction". I think it's
Text One: A sober person who can tolerate
> the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions
> of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and
> genitals is qualified to make disciples all over
> the world.
Text Two: One’s devotional service is
> spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the
> following six activities: (1) eating more than
> necessary or collecting more funds than required;
> (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that
> are very difficult to obtain; (3) talking
> unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4)
> practicing the scriptural rules and regulations
> only for the sake of following them and not for
> the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting
> the rules and regulations of the scriptures and
> working independently or whimsically; (5)
> associating with worldly-minded persons who are
> not interested in Krsna consciousness; and (6)
> being greedy for mundane achievements.
Thank you for your quote from the works of the goswamis to support who in your mind is qualified to make disciples all over the world.
First off, the work in question, Nectar of Instruction/Devotion and other works of the goswamis like the Tattva sandharba are hinged on the premise that the Bhagavatam is a vedic scripture. It is not. Nor are any of the Puranas or upanishads. Works like the upanishads (the real ones) deal mainly with Atman and Brhaman theories and try to explain the largely unintelligible vedas. The Puranas are through and through books of fictional parables and epics—many naively written by modern literary standards. Claiming the superiority and rationale for a religious belief system based on the flimsy rhetoric of it belonging to the "vedas", and the vedas somehow being abstractly accepted as "revelation" and a top authority is false and flawed (fraudulent). All religions claim such sources of authority. Quoting other Puranas as proof of the Puranas being part of the vedas does not make it so. It's akin to a coffee shop claiming they serve the best coffee in the world because they got written up in a local newspaper.
The verses you quote from these works of commentary on the bhagavata purana are ambiguous at best. Stating abstract ideas that someone is qualified to accept disciples all over the world if they don't eat too much and don't associate with mundane people and engage in mundane pursuits or collect more funds than required pretty disqualifies all modern guru's (one need no more than a loincloth and a handful of nuts to survive and live, if too many funds and food are such an issue). There are many people who fit the bill of controlling their tongue, belly, genitals anger and urge to speak. Should they all go on to make disciples all over the place? Let alone thousands who they will never meet or have any meaningful instructive relationship with (ritvik anyone?). It's a very impersonal teaching method for something as personal and subjective as a spiritual journey/pursuit.
The rules and regulations described in vaishnava texts are varied and broad. it starts with 4 regulative principles but quickly one realizes that there is some rule and regulation for just about everything including wiping your ass with your left hand and not touching your japa beads with your pointer finger cause its "impure". There are 10 offenses against the name of god. And even though the holy name is touted as all-powerful, it is made clear that its power is dependant on the purity of the person from whose lips you hear the holy name. In fact rules and regulations abound for how big your sikha should be, how many times your neck beads are to go aroudn your neck, how big those are, how many rounds to chant, when to fast from grains, not to eat garlic or onions or chocolate or coffee etc etc. All in a so-called attempt to keep you in a "mode of goodness". One has to circumambulate the tulsi pant 3 times, clockwise, chant various bhajans in order etc. The average sadhaka and even hardcore disciples hardly follow a fraction of these—and when they do—trust me, it's simply for the sake of following them because the guru says so and not because they know what the hell they are doing it all for. As pointed out in my previous post where I mention the astoundingly silly rationale for keeping a sikha. As a brahmin initiate, I had to recite a specific verse for each tilak marking I applied on my body, invoking a specific diety associate with that part of my body. The brahma gayatri was to be chanted by wrapping my thread 3 times around my thumb, cupping it with my other hand and counting "rounds" on my finger joints while making sure to not "jump" certain joints. And the famous "don't hop the head bead" rule when chanting on japa beads. Please shoot me now.
The fact is that all religious texts have these types of open-ended stipulations for what constitutes purity, or in this case, give one the right to initiate a bunch of mindless disciples.
The puranas and vedas are full of stories of 4-headed Lord Brahma (the head of the Sampradya) and Shiva losing themselves in bouts of anger, lust etc. What to speak of Prabhupada, his guru and schmucks like Butler. They are always mildly angry and there are many private lectures wherein they are speaking to their intimate servants about any manner of mundane topics.
And on the matter of association with mundane people and being greedy for mundane achievements. What does this even mean? Unless one is living in an ashram or does not have a job, life stipulates that we engage with the outside world and make a living in some way. This necessitates some conversation with people uninterested in krishna talk.In fact the luxury of not engaging in any way with the outside world is probably only the domain of the guru. There is no way to avoid this otherwise.
The guru maintains his lifestyle because his disciples are willing to engage with the outside world and work and make money. They frame this as "karma yoga". But in reality, the guru will not be able to maintain his lifestyle with this, so it is to his benefit ultimately that people remain engaged in the so-called lowly task of engaging in mundane endeavors to make money. The alternative is to hoodwink people into giving you money in the street on the pretext of feeding starving bengali children. And even that necessitates engaging with mundane people uninterested in krishna talk.
The fact is that no one has a right to make disciples all over the world and one's devotional service (whatever the heck that is—is it working for Wailana or Tulsi campaign these days? I forget...) is bound to be spoiled unless one locks themselves on a varnashrama farm community—and we all know how that turned out.
If I could get served my favorite meals every day, massaged, praised and worshiped because I tell people stories, I would. No, wait, I wouldn't, because that's egotistical and selfish and creates an artificial hierarchy. Accepting worship, people bowing to you, fanning you, offering you flowers and food and at your beck and call like a kind is narcissistic. No matter how "humble" you portray yourself, it's an oxymoron, a visible contradiction and perpetuates cognitive dissonance in the follower's psyche.
How many times have we seen this then applied to the general devotee community wherein devotees will address each other as Prabhu or say PAMHO AGTSP followed by some critique or chastisement?
Creating personality cults surrounding these people is basically saying that they have an elite status that can never be achieved. This negates the need for following them. If a teacher can never raise you to their level or be proud when you exceed them in theirs, it's a useless relationship. You are no longer worshipping potential and simply a form, a vessel—not it's content.
This is evident in the practice of Samadhi's and murits in Vaishnavism. In a culture that burns everyone else when they die, the form of the holy man is somehow "maintained" and preserved. This negates the very idea and foundational statement of Atman and the "you're not the body" rhetoric. Gaudy plastic murtis of bhaktivedanta are found in many ISKCON temples. For a newcomer this is usually very jarring to see: A plastic replica of an old Indian man being fanned and adorned with garlands and food offered to it. It promotes childlike sentimentalism wherein old-timer devotees get frozen in an infantile-like stage in their spiritual journey. Butler's group does the same thing. Most of Butler's centers around the world feature pictures of him from the 80s as an otherwise young, handsome guy. This perpetuates a type of naive sentimentalism based on image and personality.
Ultimately, no one is qualified to make disciples all over the world. As Oscar Wilde says, nothing worth knowing can be taught. These guru's make a career pretending that they are giving people some sublime secret. But the secret is already in you and unfolding uniquely within the authentic context of your experience and awareness. All that the best of "gurus" can do is re-orient you in the general direction you are already heading. If Butler or the Swami did that for you in your life, bravo, but chances are you have parked your ego firmly in their parking lot and not left or gone anywhere worthwhile in a very long time. It's like those teenagers who get stuck going to the mall. At first, it feels novel and new and "free". But then, eventually, it's a royal waste of time to spend all your time in such a place while life passes you by. But that is exactly what many devotees do. Sunday temple feast/gathering, yearly excursions to stinky India (suffering all manner of discomfort to claim they visited some sacred place) and mantra on repeat. Every thought of "what the fuck am I doing??!!" is immediately viewed by the average devotee as an intrusive and offensive idea, rather than the natural result of a mind stressed by sheer boredom. Instinct is a teacher in and of itself. Yet most devotees ignore instinct and unabashedly label it "false ego". Never mind they spent the better half of their life artificially imposing some transplanted cultural-religious ideas into their head. No, that's totally natural and OK. Come on. Give me a break. No wonder most devotees who bloop go from zero to 60 in a few seconds. There are literally years worth of pent-up and subdued needs, feelings, and emotions (all labeled false and maya—but boy are they so very real when you actually face them—and they're not going away until you do—no matter how much you chant). When they come out all at once, that can't be good. And as we see, in some cases it results in suicide or leaves devotees hopping from one cult to another or taking shelter in some conspiracy theories and whatever ideology that feels most akin to the hare Krishna crap they believed in for the past 20-40 years. Learned helplessness.