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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > Pre-2007 QnA Swami Gaurangapada > Dilemma

Title: Dilemma

User: MarijaDate: 2006-07-15 17:22:13

 

I have noticed ( if I am right) that some organizations, institutions, ashrams etc. in Gaudiya Vaisnavisam, are more or less of restricted type. I concluded that because I noticed that in many cases there is disagreement (if I may say intolerance) between spiritual masters who belong to different organizations.

 

††††† Devotees who find their inspiration in different sources are on that way placed in difficult position, because some spiritual masters are not agree with that. Such persons requires that practitioner must find inspiration only inside particular institution or organization, and not from outside, which is forbidden.Practitioner gets instruction that everything outside is some kind of deviation, path than leads not to genuine spirituality, but to false spirituality, and that association of any spiritual practitioner or guru from outside should be avoided. Very often used sentence is ďHis preaching is not according to Guru Parampara, and that person is not connected with Guru Parampara, He is not OKĒ. Such and similar statements creating havoc and confusion. Devotee becomes scared, (because he or she do not want to do something wrong), bewildered, he or she do not see that something is wrong in that, or disharmonic if he or she is inspired by different devotees and spiritual masters from different vaishnava organizations, specially if that association helps in spiritual life. Why it is so?

 

Why is it not possible for everybody to be in harmony, why do not devotees, spiritual masters, authorities respect each other, associate, cooperate, and leave criticism and mutual accusations. Such cases results that devotees on local level do not want to associate or contact with other devotees, just because their authorities do not agree because they belong to different institutions. When such instruction is there how devotee should act, what to do?

 

From one side he want to follow instruction and from other side he or she could not in any possible way agree with such instruction. Devotee do not want to commit offence to anyone, but such situations are very sensitive for making offences. Devotee feels great appreciation and is very thankful to all persons that helps in spiritual path, and devotee always act in humble way toward such authorities. Devotee is sick of such situations and do not want to be part of such stories anymore. He gets desire to be on distance from such devotees or authorities who have such attitude. In such situations devotee is feeling very bad from inside and can not tolerate such instructions. Is that correct behavior for aspirant devotee?

 

Thank you very much.

 

Title: Re: Dilemma

User: bhaktaron††††† Date: 2006-07-16 09:47:49

 

Nityananda, Gauranga, Hare Krishna.

Respectful obeisances to Swami Gaurangapada!and to all devotees

 

Oh, I could not agree more with you on this delicate matter. That is one more reason I am so happy to be connected here, with Naam Yoga and Gurudeva.

Never have I heard any such negativity from Gaurangapada. It is very evident that he is here to encourage, teach, and lead in our spiritual growth through chanting and attachment to the Holy Names.

 

Yes, here we do not have to be in a position where we are subjected to the exact negative discussions you mention. I am so sad to say that almost every time I attend some local temple, I hear some of what you are saying, but I go primarily to have darshan of the Deities.

 

I could elaborate, but I do not really want to contribute to this type of thing, however I did want to have input here that I have found what you say to be real.

 

Thank you.

An unworthy servant,

bhakta ron

 

Title: Re: Dilemma

User: Nitaipada_Maharaja†† Date: 2006-07-16 19:00:49

 

Nityananda!Gauranga!Hare Krishna!All glories to Shrila Prabhupada, our Beloved Parampara and all Vaishnavas.Please accept my humble obeisances and blessings.I pray that this meets you well and in the service/mercy of Shri Guru and Shri Gauranga.

 

My Dearest Marija;

 

Personally, I don't have a problem with one of my students going to another if something is being taught that they need to understand that I myself cannot fully explain to them.I don't know everything.I am not all seeing, all knowing, I have not been blessed with all knowledge.If one of my Indian students desires to understand some concept, I have no problem with them approaching an Indian Guru, as long as that Guru is in line with our Parampara and teaches along the same lines as our Math.Not everything that is taught is a deviation.

 

It is said that two things are to remain hidden, one's Guru and one's Japa.This is a situation that requires this disgression.If you are desiring to learn, the correct approach is to submit to your Guru and request to learn from another.Sastra tells us that we can only have one diksha guru, but have many siska gurus.

 

With the advent of the internet and the information that it contains of different subjects one can find the answers that one needs. I would request you to think about the decision that you are going to make.

 

I am more than willing to assist you and offer you the support in this situation in public through the forum and privately by email.I pray that Shri Nityananda Prabhuji will be merciful and lead you in the direction that you need to go, straight to the path leading to the lotus feet of Shri Gaurahari.

 

Your eternal servant;

Nitaipada Maharaja

 

Swami Gaurangapada: Nitaipada, I could understand the jist of your message but I had to edit it as I would absolutely like to avoid even any indirect or remote discussions about the practical issues with institutions, groups and other such related things etc. which would lead to further disucssions. I pray for the spiritual well-being and success of all devotees of Lords Nityananda Gauranga in all groups or institutions or alone. In regards to the practical problems etc., it depends on the adhikara of the individual devotees, and I would personally leave it to Lords Nityananda Gauranga, Shrila Prabhupada and our Guru Varga to help them. I know you feel the same and you endeavor to help devotees. Like Bhakta Ronald pointed out, our Naam Yoga Community is so sweet and wonderful because we care less about judging or discussing about anyone. That is not going to help us in our spiritual life. We are only concerned with Nitai Gaura Naam Lila and Katha which is our life and soul.

 

Title: Re: Dilemma

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-07-16 21:37:29

 

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Marija, I have already discussed this issue in detail here: "http://www.gaurangapada.org/011-most-important-ng-naam-questions/1423-022-sectarianism-spiritual-life.html"]here, here and[URL="http://www.gaurangapada.org/011-most-important-ng-naam-questions/1426-025-guru-management.html" etc. In the first stage, a devotee may not be able to identify what is proper association for him or her or may not be able to give proper respect or understand other devotees especially those who are outside one's group. It requires a certain degree of advancement to see that bhakti yoga or naam yoga is not dependant on one's position in an external institution and we cannot expect that everyone will have that. Some souls may have started bhakti in this life itself or some in their previous lives and some may have been practicing for many previous lives.

 

Only on the beginning levels of the madhyama adhikari stage can one undestand all these truths about sadhu sanga. You asked what a devotee should do. The answer is very simple..naamera anukuka karibe grahana, naamera pratikula karibe varjana..."Whatever sanga the devotee feels is favorable for naam bhajana one should accept and whatever sanga one feels is unfavorable, one need not accept." One should accept that sanga of devotees where there is "saraltaa" or affectionate and simple heart without any duplicity and the desire to advance in naam bhajana. That sanga may be very small or may be big, it does not matter, the vani of our Acharyas is there. Quality is more important than quantity. Shrila Prabhupada writes that he would prefer one disiciple like a steady moon then a thousand who are like disappearing stars.

 

The answer to your question is given in the following quotes of our Acharyas:

 

Shrila Prabhupada writes:

 

"There are many societies and associations of pure devotees, and if someone with just a little faith begins to associate with such societies, his advancement to pure devotional service is rapid." (Nectar of Devotion: Chapter Nineteen p.41)

 

Comment by Swami Gaurangapada:

 

When Shrila Prabhupada himself states that there are many societies and associations of pure devotees not just one and he himself recommends sanga with them for rapid spiritual advancement, then it is expected of his followers also to respect these societies or devotees outside thie group and thus respect these words of Shrila Prabhupada.

 

Shrila Prabhupada writes that: "Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami gives equal respect to all the preachers of the cult of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who are compared to the branches of the tree. Iskcon is one of these branches." (Chaitanya-charitamrita Adi-lila 10.7, purport)

 

Comment by Swami Gaurangapada:

 

When Shrila Prabhupada states that Iskcon is one the branches of the Gauranga tree, it means that there are many other branches also. And each branch has to respect the other branch since each of them is a part of the body of Lord Gauranga.

 

Shrila Thakura Bhaktivinoda in Krishna Samhita 8.22: Sloka and Purport are by him:

 

sampradaya-virodho 'yam davanalo vicintyate

 

“The eleventh obstacle for the Vaishnavas is sectarianism, which takes the shape of the forest fire. Due to sectarianism a person cannot accept anyone outside of his own group as a Vaishnava, and as a result he faces many obstacles in finding a guru and associating with sincere devotees. Therefore extinguishing the forest fire is most important by giving up this mentality.”

 

"Party spirit - that great enemy of the truth - will always baffle the attempt of the inquirer who tries to gather truth from the religious works of his nation and will make him believe that the Absolute Truth is nowhere except in his old religious book." (Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakur)

 

"The idea of an organized church in an intelligible form, indeed, marks the close of the living spiritual movement. the great ecclesiastical establishments are the dikes and dams to retain the current that cannot be held by any such contrivances. They, indeed, indicate a desire on the part of the masses to exploit a spiritual movement for their own purpose. They also unmistakably indicate the end of the absolute and unconventional guidance of the bonafide spiritual teacher. The people of this world understand preventive systems, they can have no idea of the unprevented positive eternal life. Neither can there be any earthly contrivance for the permanent preservation of the life eternal on this mundane plane on the popular scale." (Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, Harmonist 29.7)

 

Title: Re: Dilemma

User: Nitaipada_Maharaja†† Date: 2006-07-16 22:00:32

 

Swami Gaurangapada: Nitaipada, I could understand the jist of your message but I had to edit it as I would absolutely like to avoid even any indirect or remote discussions about the practical issues with institutions, groups and other such related things etc. which would lead to further disucssions. I pray for the spiritual well-being and success of all devotees of Lords Nityananda Gauranga in all groups or institutions or alone. In regards to the practical problems etc., it depends on the adhikara of the individual devotees, and I would personally leave it to Lords Nityananda Gauranga, Shrila Prabhupada and our Guru Varga to help them. I know you feel the same and you endeavor to help devotees. Like Bhakta Ronald pointed out, our Naam Yoga Community is so sweet and wonderful because we care less about judging or discussing about anyone. That is not going to help us in our spiritual life. We are only concerned with Nitai Gaura Naam Lila and Katha which is our life and soul.

 

Nityananda!Gauranga!Hare Krishna!All glories to Shrila Prabhupada, our beloved Parampara and all Vaishnavas.Please accept my humble obeisances and blessings.I pray that this meets you well and in the service/mercy of Shri Guru and Shri Guarnaga.

 

My Dearest Shrila Gaurangapada and Bhakta Ron;

 

Please forgive me in whatever manner I have been offensive and insensitive.I rest only upon your mercy and at your lotus feet.

 

Your eternal servant;

Nitaipada

 

Title: Re: Dilemma

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-07-16 22:10:31

 

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! No offense at all. I know you always mean to help other devotees. :smile: Just some practical considerations.

 

Title: Re: Dilemma

User: MarijaDate: 2006-07-16 22:17:45

 

Nityananda, Gauranga, Hare Krishna

I want to thank you all very, very, much for your answers. I agree completely with your words, and that spirit of Krishna, Nitai-Gaura katha on this forum is very inspiring for me. Great aspiration in my life is that my activities leads toward spiritual subjects such asĖ chanting, hearing and talking about Krishna, Nityananda, Gauranga, association with devotees, etc.

I appreciate all devotees, regardless their group, but my desire is not to be in association of devotees who have tendencies to criticize others. I do not have desire to analyze others or judge their spiritual position. That is my decision.

 

I want to thank to all forum members on their wonderful association and inspiration that you are giving me for my spiritual activities. Thank you all so much for your blessings and answers, you helped me a lot.

†††††††††††††††††††††† Your eternal debtor Marija

 

Title: Re: Dilemma

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-07-16 22:27:06

 

I appreciate all devotees, regardless their group, but my desire is not to be in association of devotees who have tendencies to criticize others. I do not have desire to analyze others or judge their spiritual position. That is my decision.

 

Good decision. :clap: A criticial and fault-finding mentality is the most destructive tool which quickly dismantles all the progress which we make in naam yoga bhajana. First that mentality comes for other devotees, then towards Guru, then we start seeing faults even in the Acharyas and then ultimately even God.