Category Archives: sastra-caksus

How Apasampradayas Arise

Reading from ‘The Apasampradayas, deviant Vaishnava sects’ by Suhotra Svami*: “The link between namaparadha and full-blown deviation from the sampradaya is indicated by Srila Jiva Goswami who warns in the Bhakti Sandarbha that there are offenders to the holy name who are acikitsya or incorrigible (jnana-lava-durvidagdhastraacikitsyaatvadupeksa). Devotees, always compassionate, try to help fallen souls with good instruction. But if someone becomes insolent and arrogant due to acquiring a little knowledge from their association, he is disqualified from the sampradaya because of three kinds of namaparadha: sadhu-ninda (blasphemy of the devotees of the Lord), guru-avajna (disregard of the spiritual master) and srutisastraninda (blasphemy of the revealed scriptures).

“Yet the incorrigible offender never conceives the fact of his offenses. He cannot understand that the mercy of the spiritual master and the association of pure devotees are indispensable to the chanting of the holy name. Because he highly values wordly knowledge and accomplishments, he looks down upon the simple devotees who have surrendered themselves to devotional service. This is sadhu-ninda. He cannot accept that the spiritual master is a transcendental teacher, not a wordly one; thus he tries to measure the person and instructions of the guru by his own mental standards. This is guru-avajna. He studies the revealed scriptures as he would ordinary literature, gleaning from it whatever seems to support his preconceived notions, heedless of the rest. This is srutisastraninda.”

“They may not be able to always follow the order of the guru, or may not understand the things in shastra, don’t bicker with the other devotees, but he is not taking this as a main platform.”

HH BVPS Maharaja: So here is then the person who is performing nama-aparadha, then if they don’t have these problems… It doesn’t mean that… They may not be able to always follow the order of the guru, or may not understand the things in shastra, don’t bicker with the other devotees, but he is not taking this as a main platform. You can see that, okay, sometimes something is wrong, or something like this.

But here is someone who then doesn’t see the importance. Their own intelligence, their own perception on it is actually the main thing. So therefore the position of the acarya, the position of the vaishnavas, the position of the scripture is not the most prominent or driving element. And because of that then they separate themselves actually from the sampradaya. Because as we see here, they read the scriptures, but just take what they like and leave the rest.

“There is a difference between that there is difficulties, but the faith is there and you continue on in the devotional process, or that difficulties are there, but you think those difficulties are actually your qualifications.”

That’s what we saw before in the 6 systems of the Vedic philosophy, is they are taking it from scriptures, based on Veda, whatever they consider as their evidence, it goes back to the Veda, it’s all real evidence. But the problem is is, they only choose which evidence supports what they want, everything else they leave. Does that make sense? Like you have an example of that you are trying to establish that you don’t need to have a spiritual master, you’ll just directly take initiation from Prabhupada. So they’ll base it on a letter, even though you can give so much evidence from the books and other things, that won’t be accepted, it has to be a letter. Does that make sense? So this is that kind of aspect where you only accept which parts you like and everything else you reject. So then that’s there.

Or the devotees, because they are simple, like that, they’ve taken shelter of the Lord, they are performing their devotional activities, but they may not have great knowledge or be necessarily that thoughtful about the process, they just have faith, they just do it, so you consider them not so developed, because here you have, you are thoughtful, because you are making up your own system. Means, to make up your own system means you have to be thoughtful, but it’s just that you are applying the thoughtfulness improperly. Others aren’t, they are just going along with the system, so you don’t consider them special. So then that’s inappropriate.

And then the spiritual master instructions, then you look at him and you judge by your own. So in the same way, what you like, what you don’t like, it’s just on your own decision, it’s not by what is the standard, therefore even if you don’t see it that way, but you want to develop seeing it that way… Do you understand?

So, there is a difference between that there is difficulties, but the faith is there and you continue on in the devotional process, or that difficulties are there, but you think those difficulties are actually your qualifications. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (1): Maharaja, namaparadha is like a misgiving?

HH BVPS Maharaja: Namaparadha? Namaparadha can be anything. Means, it can be… Means, the specific one? Oh, yes, you would say it’s misgivings. But the misgivings, you take it that the misgivings are real, have substance and that they are actually something to judge from. Means, people may do that, but it’s not that they so much necessarily notice it. You know what I am saying? Just the conditioning is there, so you just continue in your conditioning as you always have, and then you are adding Krishna consciousness, so sometimes they conflict, because you have the pure devotional service and then the material, so it makes for that mixed devotional service.

But here it’s not that… Your point is that this is the most… How you say? The misgiving, it’s there, but you don’t necessarily notice it. Here the person is taking, noticing their misgiving and then making it that that is the standard by which you judge devotional service. You know what I am saying?

So you can see is that there is very nice… You can see, ok, you can understand someone is not situated in offenseless chanting, but they are still situated in devotional service. And then it’s very obvious, those who are completely apasampradaya. The difficulty would be what’s in-between, right? But the basic point is in-between is what is connected is proper and what’s not is not. So there may be more proportion of not, or more proportion of connected. But still, it’s considered within the sampradaya, you are just not so nicely situated. Does that make sense? So anything in-between, you don’t count it that they are from the apasampradaya, you count it that they are within the sampradaya. Does that make sense?

“It’s not so often that having given up the determined practice of devotional service, that very many create their own practices. Most just go back to whatever is their previous conditioning. But you see some, having come to the mundane platform then they create their own process and are actually able to continue in it. So that’s specifically your apasampradaya.”

Prabhu (2): So the main point would be to see that it’s progressing towards the apasampradaya or towards the sampradaya?

HH BVPS Maharaja: Yes, means, what’s their determination? So in other words, if their determination is there, with discussion, just know they are convinced, ‘No, this is my, my perspective is correct,’ then there is going to be a difficulty there. Then it’s just a matter of do they just go out of devotional service, or do they actually in going out maintain a so-called practice of devotional service. Does that make sense? Yeah.

So generally you see is, means, it’s not so often that having given up the determined practice of devotional service, that very many create their own practices. Most just go back to whatever is their previous conditioning. But you see some, having come to the mundane platform then they create their own process and are actually able to continue in it. So that’s specifically your apasampradaya.

Because generally someone having dropped to the mundane platform we just say that they fell down. But now in that fallen position, no, now they make up a new, their own thing, then that’s where your apasampradaya. Because most people come to that and then they just disappear. Then after a while they figure out, ‘This is stupid,’ and then they come back to Krishna consciousness. But this is they’ll never figure out it’s stupid, because they think they have their own process.

(From His Holiness Bhaktividya Purna Svami Maharaja’s lecture on Apasampradayas, Sastra Caksus course, 1st March 2013, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur)

*The book ‘The Apasampradayas, deviant Vaishnava sects’ by Suhotra Svami is a publication of The Bhaktivedanta Academy, Mayapur

Lecture audio:

Apasampradayas #4

This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 3 and consists of 25 lectures, available on:

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/classes/apasampradayas/

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, February-April 2013

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • Incorrigible offender places great emphasis on their own mundane knowledge, techniques, achievements, but due to their offenses they separate themselves from the Sampradaya. Even though they base their activities on some quotes from scriptures, they accept only those parts that seem to support their point of view.

Continue reading Apasampradayas #4

Apasampradayas #3

This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 3 and consists of 25 lectures, available on:

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/classes/apasampradayas/

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, February-April 2013

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • The most important element is carrying out the instruction of the spiritual master. Some apasampradayas worship the spiritual master, but actually do not give any importance to the instructions.

Continue reading Apasampradayas #3

Apasampradayas #2

This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 3 and consists of 25 lectures, available on:

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/classes/apasampradayas/

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, February-April 2013

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • By Vaishnava doing everything in connection to the Lord, the good qualities of the Lord shine through everywhere.

Continue reading Apasampradayas #2

Apasampradayas #1

This course is part of Sastra-Caksus, Year 3 and consists of 25 lectures, available on:

http://seminary.bhaktivedantaacademy.com/classes/apasampradayas/

Given in Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur, February-April 2013

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • All apasampradayas have a head, a founder, they all think they are well situated.

Continue reading Apasampradayas #1

BRIHAD MANU SIKSHA #28

  • King should rise early in the morning and honor brahmanas. Kings have to learn from those brahmanas who know how to apply Vedic principles in administration. From other brahmanas he may learn about spiritual life etc.
  • One who worships more experienced men is honored even by rakshasas.
  • The duties of vaishyas and shudras depend on skills, not on character. But for brahmanas and kshatriyas their ashrama is more prominent to enable them to execute their duties.
  • King should be modest. He may show off in front of his army, but in general should be humble.
  • Ashrama, personal character, should always be developing, so the king is always learning.
  • Kings have to learn Vedanta, logic and the science of governing from brahmanas, in the academy. From people he learns various trades and professions – for that one does not have to go the academy.
  • Study and contemplation is always constant. In the Vedic time ‘thinking out of the box’ is just called contemplation.
  • Devotees have problem with the ritualistic side of the Vedic culture, but ritualistic side is actually only for those who do not understand what the culture is for.
  • Vedic education. Any Gurukula teaches the character training and the 14 books of Vedic knowledge. After that, there may be specialization in some field, and study of arts.
  • Day and night a kshatriya must strenuously exert himself to control his senses. If one is not obedient, one cannot keep the subjects obedient.
  • A man who does not control his senses is not very attractive to women, so he does not actually get any sense gratification. One who does not control senses always wants to exploit others, so women don’t want to be with such a man.
  • Kshatriyas have the most facility and thus they have to have the greatest control.
  • There are 18 kinds of vices one has to avoid, they are arising from desire for pleasure and from anger.
  • Hunting, gambling, sleeping during day, sensuousness, critical attitude, excess with women, drinking, inordinate love for dancing, singing and music, useless travel – 10 vices springing from love of pleasure.
  • Tale-bearing, violence, treachery, envy, slandering, unjust seizure of property, insulting others and assault – 8 vices springing from anger.
  • Greediness is the root of all the vices.
  • Drinking, dice, women and hunting (the 4 regulative principles) are the most harmful from those vices coming from love of pleasure.
  • Eating meat through sacrifice is not a joke, there are complicated rules and rituals involved.
  • All animals killed by Pandavas or Lord Ramacandra were liberated.
  • Eating forbidden foodstuff and taking intoxication are on the same level.
  • Bodily injury, criticizing others and seizing their property are the 3 worst of the vices born of anger.
  • Meat eating means that one’s senses are so much out of control th one dos not mind killing others. For meat-eater cultures the concept of prescribed duties therefore is so foreign.
  • Intoxication and gambling are considered worse than meat eating and illicit sex, because they completely disable the person from doing one’s prescribed duties.
  • Polish kingdom was once the biggest in Europe, but they lost everything due to drinking.
  • Vice is worse than death. 
  • Nowadays government derives huge income from taxes on sinful activities – intoxication, gambling.
  • The king should appoint 7 or 8 ministers, max 9 (on the top level), otherwise it is difficult to have uniform government. But on lower level there may be as many committees as necessary.
  • Bureaucrats are there on the lower levels, but they can never replace leadership.
  • The king should daily discuss the businesses of the kingdom with his ministers. First king should discuss some matter with each minister separately, then he should call a meeting of all of them together.
  • Generally ministers are brahmanas, but sometimes there are exceptions, like Vidura.
  • Ministers should generally be skilled in weapons, so that they may not be so easily killed.
  • The most important matters should be discussed with prime minister.
  • Brave, skillful and highborn people are employed in dealing outside the palace, the timid – within the palace.
  • The ambassador should know all the sciences.
  • There are certain gestures people make when they think certain things and skilled people can read it. In politics people have to learn to control that, so as not to disclose one’s intentions.

BRIHAD MANU SIKSHA #27

  • Only because of punishment things function on the social platform. If there is no reaction, everyone would do whatever they wanted.
  • Generally, it is talked about education, encouragement etc, but actually punishment keeps things in line. If only encouragement is required, that is used. One who can be encouraged generally has some knowledge and qualities.
  • If things are not going to improve by discussion, there is punishment.
  • Liberal society trains people to think punishment is bad, but how do they deal with people who are not liberal?
  • Actually the confusion is when punishment is necessary; sometimes it is good, sometimes – bad.
  • Nowadays artists write all kinds of destructive lyrics, but government does not forbid it, ‘they should be allowed to express,’ but in that case selling cocaine to kids is also fine.
  • Encouragement is there when there is something to work with.
  • Nowadays absurd cases come up where criminals are protected and innocent people punished. Everything is based on sentiment.
  • Justice has to be applied by qualified people.
  • This section of Manu Samhita proves the absurdity of liberals and brings out the weaknesses of conservatives.
  • There must be standards and people must follow them.
  • Punishment means there is going to be reaction that we do not want.
  • Punishment may not be necessary if people are very well trained, but then one has to invest in the training.
  • Nowadays people only discuss their rights; Vedic system means that people focus on their obligations, so everyone’s rights are fulfilled
  • Obligation means that we have to perform some activity. Right means that we just sit and do nothing, and somebody else has to do something.
  • Properly inflicted punishment makes all people happy.
  • It is much easier to manage trained people.
  • There is no punishment in the spiritual world because everybody is a servant of God and does everything properly.
  • We are under the false impression that material world can be made nice and ideal.
  • Punishment is simply there, so that people do what is proper because when they properly perform their duties, everybody benefits.
  • We want to be so liberal and deny the importance of punishment, but what if demigods like Surya, Vayu etc gave up their duties that they also perform out of fear of punishment?
  • Taxes and punishment are not a problem, it is only a matter of the qualification of the governors.
  • In the Vedic system one can choose a specific set of duties (e.g. to get married or to renounce), but once the choice is made, one has to follow that set of duties.
  • Qualities of king who can administer punishment: truthful; acts after due consideration; wise; knows value of dharma, artha and kama; endowed with great energy; munificent; grateful; dedicated to the service of aged; humble; virtuous; born in a good family; pure; active; well-read in dharma-shastras; devoid of fault-finding; large-minded; free of vices like gambling; capable of hiding one’s shortcomings (otherwise, enemy can conquer the king on the basis of his weakness); well-versed in logic, politics, economics and the three Vedas.
  • To simply see weakness – that the leader has to be able to do, but to emphasize weakness is faultfinding.
  • King’s authorities know his weaknesses, but he is not supposed to show them to others. King’s authorities are also capable of keeping secrets.
  • King who is voluptuous, deceitful and partial is destroyed by the punishment he inflicts. Indian kings have a successful rule and then retire; in other places we see them destroyed.
  • ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely’ is itself an absolute statement, and those who make it are themselves corrupt.
  • Punishment is not possible to administer by men with unimproved character – then it destroys all.
  • Chapters about king’s duties are really freaky for those who do not have knowledge and character.
  • There is no such thing as not having leadership and authority, it’s a question of their qualities. At the same time, the character of the followers is equally important to run a successful social system.
  • One who is not self-realized, or on the path of self-realization (unimproved mind) is not qualified to be a leader.
  • King is behaving without duplicity towards his friends (means, he has friends). He should act with justice in his domain, chastise enemy with vigour, and be lenient towards brahmanas.
  • Kings protects people through his actions.
  • The basic principles of running government are applied in various circumstances, but a king deals with the full government.
  • To actually be in charge is a big job – it means to practically personally get things done. One has character, one has energy, one has ability to deal constantly with various problematic situations. Even the Lord Himself personally comes to establish dharma. If one is not able to do this, one should not be a leader.
  • Actual management meetings should not be long, 10-20 minutes, because real managers want to do something practically.
  • Those who cannot deal with people should manage things.

BRIHAD MANU SIKSHA #26

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  • Dualities of love and hatred are destroyed by suppression of breath. Sin is destroyed through focus in one’s prescribed duty. Sensual attachment by restraint, and false identity by contemplation of distinction between matter and spirit and constitutional position of the soul.
  • Sin comes from improper activity.
  • We are attracted to certain situations because they offer some benefits, but when we contemplate how people move through these situations as a result to their activities, we gradually lose interest in them.

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BRIHAD MANU SIKSHA #25

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  • Vanaprastha bathes 3 times a day.
  • Vanaprastha, contrary to grihastha brahmana, may live at the roots of trees.
  • Vanaprastha may have something, or not have anything. He may increase his austerities to the point of leaving the body, or maintain the body and travel as sannyasi.

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BRIHAD MANU SIKSHA #24

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TOPIC 13 LAWS CONCERNING WOMEN
  • Nothing must be done independently by a woman.
  • Woman should never seek to separate from husband, father, son.
  • Woman should always be cheerful, expert in house management, careful in cleaning and economical in expenditure.

Continue reading BRIHAD MANU SIKSHA #24