Sunday, April 29, 2007

Your Promises are Your Dharma

It's funny how sometimes one makes a search for one thing and finds another... it's called serendipity, I believe, amazingly named after some dvipa (island), Srilanka, I think. A search for the Sarva-samvadini turned up an old thread on Gaudiya Repercussions where I was lambasted as follows:

The personal attacks are meant to show that particularly Jagat, who swapped two sannyasa vows for a PhD, a non-devotee wife, and cannot even name his child after Krishna (even Ajamila managed that!), really is the last one to establish a new sampradaya, as he calls the foundational acharyas 'backwards.' It's not personal. I have known Jagat for 23 years, and apart from his intellectual arrogance, his ambitions to be a Jagad-guru and his diplomacy, he's a groovy guy. Hate the apostasy, not the apostate.

It seems odd, after all this time and struggle, that I am still stuck in a time warp and have not really been able to move on from this spiritual zone of paralysis. As I wrote in my poem, I am weary of the debate.

One cannot go back and change all the broken promises that litter one's meandering way to the present, but one must ask which promises are functionally operative in the present. One's dharma is one's promises, and one can only break so many before imploding and collapsing into ruin.

It may be that the promises I am breaking now will prove to be the most ruinous of all, because they are a betrayal of what is closest to my innermost being. And yet, try as I might to break away from one word that I have given and exchange it for another, I cannot. I am held firmly in the grip of dharma, and I will only be able to exchange this one for another when the Master of this World decides to loosen his grip on me.

In the optic of prema prayojana, I have to conclude that in some cases, the less pleasing act may indeed be the necessary prerequisite to the rewards of experience. The regret is that these rewards may have to come in another lifetime.

In the meantime, I will try to acquit myself of my pile of debts and duties, recognizing that my situation is of my own making, not of God's or anyone else's.

6 comments:

visnudas said...

khoop bhalo!
I feel the echo of this in my own heart. I have broken enough promises, left enough half-finished. I will do this dharma to the death. Me or dharma is going down.
ding-ding!

visnudas said...

In reference to the criticism of you in the post:
On the other hand, to judge one's Vaishnavism by offspring is a low blow. After all, Sri MahaVisnu/SadaSiva Avatara AdvaitaCarya Santipuranatha Prabhu was only able to make Vaishnavas of three out of His six sons.
What hope does a lone jiva have?

Jagat said...

I did not want to show Advaita in a bad light. There was enough reaction to his comments in the original thread on GD. Rather, I was acquiescing to his observation.

Despite that, I personally have no doubts as to the truth of the statement that bhakti is AHAITUKI and APRATIHATA. This means that no matter how unlikely the circumstances in which a devotee finds him or herself, the movement of the soul toward Krishna goes on unabated.

bhaktir evainam nayati
bhaktir evainam darsayati
bhakti-vasah purushah
bhaktir eva bhuyasi.

advaitadas said...

To Vishnudas: I did not judge Jagat's children at all - where did you make that up from that quotation? My own child is also not a devotee, even God Himself (Advaita Acarya Prabhu included) cannot force anyone to become a devotee. But I did name my child Radha, as Parashara Muni warned Ajamila: 'You are so sinful that you will be in trouble big time after you die, so better call your child Narayan.' In this way there is hope for even the most fallen soul.

visnudas said...

My goodness, I am such a fool!!!!
Please excuse this one.
First, I had forgotten that it was you that Jagat was quoting re: criticism of him.
Second, the idea of criticism because he was unable to make his child a bhakta came wholly from my own mind as I often think about my son in this way. Will I be able to embody and present the essence of GV such that he will take it up?
I read the post and posted my foolish and erroneous reply the morning after working from 1pm till 11:30 pm and sleeping not so much.
Please forgive me and I will be more careful to read what is on the page rather than what is in my own mind.
Thank you for your correction.
Radhe Radhe!

advaitadas said...

Franz, I got your message at my own blog, I read your comment on Jagat's blog as soon as it was published but didnt see it necessary to reply. Let me just say this: about raising children I can tell you, after 18 years on the job - dont expect them to become devotees, less than 10% of devotee children become themselves devotees. Slim chance. You must give them the freedom to choose and respect their choice. Either choice will work favorably - if they dont become devotees that is a good way to detach yourself from them, if they do become devotees your attachment will be to a Vaishnava and will be spiritualised.