Tag Archives: austerity

Varṇāśrama Interview with HH Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja

[The following interview about varāśrama was conducted on 30 May 2017 by Nagarī Mātājī (BVKS) for the Russian website of HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami’s disciples.]

(This Interview was transcribed and kindly supplied to our website by Sulālitā dd (BBGS), edited by Balaram Briant from Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur)

Varṇāśrama stereotypes

Nagarī Mātājī: What is the essence, or the foundation, of varāśrama? Many devotees confuse it with the caste system.

HH Bhaktividyā Pūra Mahārāja: Caste system, I see. If you listen to modern academics, if you listen to modern socially oriented people, they will try to make it into a caste system. Because the purpose is if make it look bad you don’t have to follow it. Continue reading Varṇāśrama Interview with HH Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja

Brihad Manu Siksha #9 Lecture Notes

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Full Lecture Transcription [Link not active yet] 

ACARYA

  • Acarya is one who is teaching the practical application and philosophical significance.
  • Subteacher who teaches a particular portion or aspect of the Veda is called upadhyaya (Jyotisha, music etc). Modern teachers are all upadhyayis because acarya means one who knows the connection to the Lord.
  • Guru performs family ceremonies. During sacrifices one calls for the officiating priest, who is a guru just for the duration of the sacrifice.
  • 09:20 Ritviks – officiating priests – can be utilized in certain sacrifices, but not initiation.
  • Ritviks are trying to turn our line into diksha line, which is what case goswamis do. They are our first bonafide apasampradaya.
  • Why only initiation from Prabhupada? Why not from Bhaktivinoda, why not from Lord Brahma?
  • Prabhupada authorized to initiate on his behalf, while he was still present.
  • Ramanujacarya also appointed 74 disciples to initiate on his behalf while he was still present, just to see that they can function properly.
  • Parents chose whom the children learn from, but the teacher who fills one’s ears with Vedas is even more respectable than parents.
  • One will die from the birth that one took from parents, but initiation into Vedic knowledge is eternal.
  • 18:00 A man destitute of sacred knowledge is a child, and one who teaches him the Veda becomes father.
  • Seniority among brahmanas is judged by knowledge, ksatriyas – valor, vaishyas – commodities, shudras – age.
  • Stock money is not actually real wealth.
  • Actors who came up for a short time are not considered so much of an actor by other actors.
  • Real musicians practice 10 to 12 hours a day. But to be able to do something special with one’s skill takes several lifetimes of practice.
  • 29:00 Is stock market gambling? For those who know what they are doing is just risky, educated business. For others it is gambling.
  • Owner of gambling house is not gambler; it is just a business, bad business.
  • In the casino, if you know what you are doing you are considered a cheater.
  • We are amazed by the feats of oriental martial artists, but every monkey in Vrindavana can do that. Animals can easily do things that humans do with amazing talents.
  • Unlearned brahmana is useless and is brahmana in name only.
  • Criticized person may sleep peacefully but the criticizer perishes.
  • Person who criticizes others develops the same qualities that they criticize.
  • Study of the Vedas is the highest austerity.
  • There is only the brahminical culture, there is no separate culture for kshatriyas and vaishyas.
  • Person who daily studies the Vedas obtains the benefits of thrice giving away the whole earth.
  • If devotees are looking for money – study!
  • Studying the essential scriptures of the sampradaya is equal to the study of the Veda. If devotees have no time for that, they fall to the level of shudra.
  • First birth is from mother, 2nd – upanayanam, 3rd – initiation in the Vedic sacrifices.
  • If one’s diksha guru leaves devotional service, the validity of initiation remains, but one must find siksha guru. Siksha guru may be Srila Prabhupada, but it is better to also find living siksha guru. Otherwise, why are all Prabhupada’s disciples not inspired?

Brihad Manu Siksha #1 Lecture Notes

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Full lecture transcription [link not active yet]

  • Manu Samhita is the main dharma-shastra. There are about 20 different-dharma shastras, their details apply in different ages and situations.
  • Varnashrama is rarely looked at as a complete social system.
  • We think rules don’t apply because we have lost understanding of them.
  • Perverted reflection means that we put ourself in the center.
  • By following dharma, lifestyle here is the same as in the spiritual world.
  • The purpose of the rules is enhancing an aspect of relationship, but most take it as ritual.
  • Tradition is how rules have been applied by great saintly persons – Manu smriti is about that.
  • Knowledge has to begin with how it descended from the Lord.
  • In Kali-yuga there are often times of distress, so comments of Yajnavalkya and especially Parashara are added for Kali yuga.
  • Manu Samhita has 25 topics in 12 chapters (discourses).
  • 18 titles of law.
  • Topics may extend over several chapters – once we get used to it it becomes easier to read Vedic literatures.
  • Svayambhu may refer to Krishna, Lord Brahma and Svayambhuva Manu. Manu is in charge of mankind.

CHAPTER 1 QUESTIONS OF THE SAGES

  • Sages know Varnashrama, but they want to know rules in connection with the Supreme Lord. So Manu is actually on Daivi-varnashrama.
  • Parts of Manu Samhita that don’t apply are the rules that we chant Hare Krishna and don’t care about.
  • Even apara-vidyas are to be received in parampara and their connection to Vedanta must be maintained at all times.
  • The idea of anuchana is to see all sciences and scriptures in relation to Vedanta.
  • The students of Manu Samhita must be:

1) high-minded – one is in the mode of goodness, seeing good qualities in connection to the Lord;

2) elevated – one should be practicing it;
3) interested in the practice of religious life for the purpose of God-realization.

  • There are people who are only interested in practice of religious life, or only in God-realization.
  • One must be interested in how to apply religion transcendentally – then one can appreciate Manu Samhita.
  • People only notice verses about fingers cut off  – 2 out of 2,000.
  • We are using the same translation of Manu Samhita that scholars used to discredit culture, to prove it, so no academics can complain.
  • Pradhana is material energy in an undefined state.
  • The Lord first establishes the field of activities for the living entities.
  • The mind is real, but may have an unrealistic perception of the world.
  • “The great one” = Mahat, material energy containing souls.
  • The subtle body is actually all mind, which has divisions of mind, intelligence and ego.
  • Mahabhutas are manifest from Sankarshana, senses – from Pradyumna.
  • Sankhya is explained in 25 elements, or 9, or 16.
  • Our identity is based on the senses and the mind.
  • Body, sharira is the residence of the Supreme Lord.
  • Mind comes from Aniruddha.
  • Performing activities is Vasudeva.
  • All shastras start with creation, because we have to know how everything connects to the Lord.
  • In the beginning Lord assigned name, form and activities for every living entity.
  • German girl riding on a Harley still manifests feminine nature.
  • Impure nature is a problem, pure nature is never a problem.
  • The three Vedas come from fire, wind and Sun.
  • The way we see the world is through mind. Nakshatras are important, since they influence the mind.
  • Time, Lord Brahma and Nakshatras are on the topmost level of goodness.
  • The atomic particles are eternal, though the forms are perishable and change.
  • Living entities spontaneously take to whatever activities are assigned according to their nature.
  • Creation is always the same.
  • Untruth spontaneously sticks to the tribal because it’s important for them to not accept God and the Vedas.
  • Human species accepts the Vedas and authority.
  • We only change from tribal to human due to devotional service.
  • People follow their day-to day concerns anyway, either in a scientific, or a non-scientific way.
  • By analyzing the ingredients of the table one cannot understand the purpose of the table to keep shastra on.
  • People who are successful usually use more intelligence, except for those who are very consistent in sentiment and become successful in that.
  • Psychology is part of Ayurveda.
  • Primary creation is done by the Lord. Secondary creation is what is done by Lord Brahma.
  • Virat is the lotus from which Lord Brahma is born.
  • In the primary creation there is the Lord and His internal potency. In the secondary creation there is material energy and us.
  • Translators don’t understand the Vedas, so sometimes they use obscure words.
  • It’s only through austerity that Lord Brahma creates.
  • Through austerity even the bug is elevated to heavenly planets.
  • By lack of austerity one is degraded.
  • Lord Brahma created 9 Prajapatis who created other living entities.
  • Some grandsons of Lord Brahma also became Prajapatis, so in total there are 21 Prajapatis.
  • Apsaras are female gandharvas.
  • Manes means forefathers, or pitris.
  • Kinnaras are half-humans, half-animals.
  • Living entities are born from womb, eggs, moisture and perspiration, and seeds, shoots, slips.
  • Vanaspati – trees that bear only fruit.
  • Vriksha – trees that bear both fruit and flowers.
  • Plants possess internal consciousness and experience pleasure and pain.
  • Creation starts with Lord Vishnu and ends with plants.
  • Primary creation – sarga, secondary – visarga.​

Austerity and Taste in Devotional Service

Prabhu: If the devotional service is the nature of the living entity, so that means that the devotional service must be performed in natural way and guided by taste or rasa. But opposite of that there is a part of austerity. So what’s the difference between these two things, are they opposite?

HH BVPS Maharaja: No. To do anything, it’s trouble. Continue reading Austerity and Taste in Devotional Service

MAN WOMAN INTERACTION LECTURE #15

MAN WOMAN INTERACTION LECTURE #15 Eger, Hungary, 7th Aug 2007 Part 1

HH BVPS Maharaja: Any questions?

Prabhu: It was mentioned that where our focus goes, naturally that activity gives us better results, or proper results. But sometimes devotees have this concept that if they do some service, which is not in accordance with their conditioned nature, then they will advance more effectively in Krishna consciousness. Continue reading MAN WOMAN INTERACTION LECTURE #15