Saturday, February 09, 2013

Probing the pramans with Prem Prayojan Prabhu

Probing the pramans with Prem Prayojan Prabhu,
one of the brightest lights on the Gaudiya Vaishnava horizon.
 

A short time ago, I met Prema Prayojan Prabhuji in the MVT restaurant. We have met several times before, and he even honored me with an invitation to address his congregation at Ananda Dham in Vrindavan last year.

The ostensible purpose for the meeting was to discuss certain aspects of shastra. Prema Prayojan has been following a train of thought about manjari-bhava and was asking some questions about the Mañjarī-svarūpa-nirūpaṇa of Kunja Bihari Dasji, which I translated way back in 1983 and copies of which are still floating about despite the fact that it has never been officially published. Prema Prayojan thinks that Kunja Bihari Dasji, probably based on Haridas Das's translation of the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, promoted the widespread (he believes) erroneous interpretation of bhāvollāsā rati as being equivalent to mañjarī-bhāva as well as an independent sthāyi bhāva distinct from the five major rasas that are described in the BRS.

Prema Prayojan was the one who pointed out to me a mistake I made in the translation of the bhāvollāsā rati verse, and a most embarrassing one it was indeed. Anyway, one makes mistakes... and this one is nearly thirty years old.

I suspected that Prema Prayojan had other motives for the meeting and so I was admittedly a little wary. Though I did not become a self-designated "Sahajiya" specifically to invite discord, the choice of title was something of an intentional challenge to received wisdom in the Gaudiya Math line, so for better or worse I have drawn a fairly big target on my forehead as the "anti-party." Thus I was a little curious about how the subject would come up, and somewhat on the defensive.

Prem Prayojan is a good scholar and, moreover, most enthusiastically presenting Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaj's message of rasika-bhakti and service to Srimati Radharani. I have heard him speak a few times and I know his memory to be prodigious and his breadth of knowledge of the Six Goswamis' texts and Gaudiya Vaishnava siddhānta to be vast.

In his personal life, also, Prema Prayojan is an interesting phenomenon on the current world of international Gaudiya Vaishnavism. A few years ago, he took sannyas and was a prominent figure in Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaj's sangha, even being spoken of as a potential successor, though still quite young. His knowledge of Sanskrit and Hindi made him the principal translator of his guru's books and his exposition of Gaudiya rasika-kathā made him one of the favored speakers in the sangha, if not a star in his own right.

In 2005, however, when Bhaktivedanta Tirtha Maharaj was accused of sexual abuse for the first time, it was followed by the familiar regime of denial and promises of reform. At least one of Narayan Maharaj's sannyasis left the sangha at that time either as a protest or an expression of disappointment in the adoption of such failed methods of dealing with such serious and legitimate accusations.

Although this was not Aranya Maharaj's specific reason for abandoning sannyas to get married, many indulged in the customary bit of Schadenfreude at the "fall down" of the high-and-mighty, and some outside the sangha took it as salutary testimony to the injudiciousness of speaking of madhura-rasa "to the unqualified." From what I gather, there were many other reasons for his decision to do so, including circumstantial fears surrounding sangha politics and a general discomfort with the sannyas culture in the Gaudiya Math. It is this latter standpoint that is of interest to us.

Prema Prayojan's decision to become a householder has had its repercussions, of course. The fact that he decided to continue on in his preaching activity, sticking to the formula he followed as a Gaudiya Math sannyasi, has been something of a bold step. For many in the Gaudiya Math, only a sannyasi is qualified to become a guru or a preacher. Householders are meant to earn money and support the math. In an attempt to change this culture in the math, Prema Prayojan has apparently been planning to consecrate mūrtis of Bhaktivinoda Thakur along with Bhagavati Devi, the mother of both Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur and Srila Lalita Prasad Thakur.

Bhaktivinoda Thakur surrounded by his family, ca. 1895.
I personally consider his intent to rehabilitate the grihastha ashram and to reestablish the legitimacy of householders becoming religious professionals to be noble and appropriate. Though there are a handful of senior ISKCON householder devotees who also are active preachers and initiating gurus, they are comparatively limited in numbers, power and prestige. And, of course, women are for all intents and purposes non-existent in the role of guru. Despite the well-known siddhantas and history to the contrary, most factions of worldwide Gaudiya Vaishnavism these days promote a uniquely celibate leadership.

I have been in favor of householder guruship for some time, based on the institutional models that would have prevailed in the sampradaya for the two or three centuries immediately following Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. At the same time, I wonder whether Prema Prayojan is on the right track in using Bhaktivinoda Thakur's orthodox example, or whether establishing that ideal will do anything to change existing Gaudiya Math culture and the prejudices that it supports.

Although remembering the stalwart example of Bhaktivinoda Thakur may warm congregational devotees to householders as guru, it should be remembered that Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati deliberately worked to establish the Daiva Varnashram system by reorienting it around a new form of Vaishnava sannyas. The shastra, Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Saraswati Thakur himself may well proclaim that householders who are "knowledgeable about Krishna tattva" are equally qualified to lead and initiate, but in practical fact, there is little or no action in this area in any Gaudiya Math. Indeed, it is fairly certain that Saraswati Thakur wished to replace the prevailing model of household gurus in Gaudiya Vaishnavism with the leadership of celibate monks. The fact that his revered father was a householder did not trouble him, though it is clear that he was troubled by the standards of other householder gurus in the Vaishnavism of his time.

Except for the possibility that householders may be rehabilitated for such service, Bhaktivinoda Thakur's model cannot really bring about a radical change in Gaudiya Math "Daiva Varnashram" ethos. Householder life in the classical varnashram model taught by Siddhanta Saraswati, is based on the same "better-to-marry-than-to-burn" and "sex-is-bad-celibacy-good" concept. Wherever such ideas hold sway, the same kinds of misogyny, double standards, and hypocrisy tend to follow. In this day and age, such ideas are progessively being marginalized.

Bhaktivinoda Thakur fulfilled his social role in an exemplary manner, even while leading an equally exemplary devotional life of Nam bhajan, scholarship and pracāra. This is dharma in its ideal form, no doubt, and its promotion cannot be anything but positive in this age of selfishness, debauchery and materialism, but at the same time it must be remembered that the Vaishnava dharma of rāgānugā bhakti is essentially antinomian. It requires sarva-dharmān parityājya, like the gopis', whose example is held high above all others.

We are ready to accept the argument that renouncing dharma is meaningless without qualification and character formed through a solid social structure and a basic individual discipline in dharma, but in our view, renouncing lower dharmas for the higher is the very way to transcendence, and Mahaprabhu's path of devotion was not so much concerned with dharmas, except to suggest minimally that everyone should lead an honest life. In the path of bhakti, devotion trumps duty.

Besides which, this basic kind of religiosity is being preached by various organizations - why should it preoccupy those who are preaching prema-dharma? And if devotee marriages are failing, is the injunction to be a good dutiful grihastha on the model of Bhaktivinoda Thakur really going to do the trick?

The tactic of using Bhaktivinoda Thakur as the exemplary householder, whatever good there is in it internally for the Gaudiya Math, is unlikely to be appreciated by the majority of those in the Western world who, for better or worse, hold to romantic notions of sexual love. But the romantic notion holds sway in the writings of the Six Goswamis, as well.

In Bhaktivinoda Thakur, we are still talking about the classical svakīya relation, as applied in the Indian marriage model, where marriage is strictly a social and dharmic rather than individual function. There are all kinds of conjugal partnerships and I think that we can accept the legitimacy of most of them, but Rupa Goswami glorified pārakīya for good reason.

We may well decry the sinfulness of the "love marriage," when the arranged marriage is one of the few Indian social conventions that still hasn't been brought down by the onslaught of globalization, but Rupa Goswami – or at least Jiva Goswami – actively argued in its favor. We cannot mask this promotion of the pārakīya ideal by relegating it exclusively to the Disneyworld of Braj and obscure theories of rasa.

We may argue all we like that Western romanticism leads inexorably to the collapse of all sexual morality, but whenever we argue against it in favor of dharma, we are inevitably led to take a position contrary to Rupa Goswami.

Indeed, the romantic or pārakīya concept does inevitably lead to untidiness in the realm of sexual love and appears to undermine dharma and the marriage institution itself, but in the search for Sacred Love, this is not held as a negative thing. We take it on faith that Love is above Dharma, in other words, Love is the highest dharma. Love that is subservient to other dharmas is ultimately weakened and compromised. And so, in the hierarchy of love, Rupa Goswami placed romantic sexual love at the top.

In other words, in terms of internal sādhanā, as well as social organization, we have to find a way to accommodate and sacralize the drive to find love in human relations, and to make that the basis of both. I think that the Bhagavati/Bhaktivinoda Thakur yugala will fall short in this respect.

Another problem I, as an adherent to the Sahajiya way of thinking, have with the use of Bhaktivinoda Thakur as a model for the ideal couple is that it favors the patriarchal social models, which I consider to be inimical to the exalted position of Radha, the Divine Feminine. In Hinduism, the male plays the role of guru, his wife that of subordinate and disciple. Though this division of sexual roles may be considered natural, and there is plenty of glorification of women and worship of the feminine in Hinduism, it is fundamentally a patriarchal society dominated by men. And women's version of dharma, strī-dharma, is one of the most stringent.

We may consider the worship of Radha to be a corrective – despite the immense possibility for critique of that narrative coming from the feminist perspective. But we do not consider the story of the Gīta-govinda and so on to be a parable for sexual power relations, as such, but as a parable for Love. And since we consider Love to be the highest of the arts, sciences, or religions, we tend to look at such power struggles in a different way.

At any rate, Love does not like inequality. Intimate love, sexual love, least of all. Inequality is the essence of aiśvarya. So any idealized model of sexual relationships must be careful not to promote this kind of inequality between the sexes.

I am promoting the Sahajiya concept of a yugala or dual guru tattva for Yugala sadhana, as well as the concept of mutual guruship within the relationship. I feel that there will be little progress in the matter of Sacred Love until we can reach the stage of ego (especially masculine ego) abatement, so that the flow of mercy and prema can really pick up momentum.

***

I decided to address  Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Bhagavati Devi as the ideal, mainly because I think it illustrates a significant contrast in approaches to issues of sexuality as imagined by Prema Prayojan and by myself. In what I expect was the real purpose of the conversation, towards the end of our time together, Prema Prayojan finally did ask me about scriptural "proofs" (pramāṇa) for my proposals about the role of sexuality on the bhakti path.

Of course, knowing Prema Prayojan's deftness with argument, I chose to simply admit that I had none. After all, there is no discussion or approval of or specifics to any esoteric sexo-yogic practices anywhere in the Goswami writings. So why argue where there is no argument? If anything, the anti-yoga stance would preclude any tantric posturing in the sampradaya. There is no reliable evidence that the Goswamis engaged in any such practices and I make no such claims.

Prema Prayojan looked quite astonished that I took this stance. He asked again and I said that one needs to read between the lines of Rupa Goswami's work and one would eventually be led to the same conclusions that I see with what looks like sva-prakāśa clarity.

This was met with further disbelief by Prema Prayojan, and I can well understand that. The Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya has an elaborate scriptural tradition based in the Bhāgavatam and the Vedānta, neither of which favor Tantric or Sahajiya approaches to sexuality. By "reading between the lines," I mean of course, that there is a subtle transformation of perception with regards to Radha and Krishna, whereby one comes to recognize the relation and relevance of their Divine and archetypal eros (navīna-madana) to the eros of worldly experience.

Some articles containing a few of the scriptural arguments that favor this understanding might be found here: The Path of Prema, Sex and Bhakti-yoga, Part I, Sex and Bhakti-yoga, Part II.

The Bhägavatam says that the very things that are causes of bondage (the senses) can be transformed through bhakti to become the causes of liberation, to which we add "prema". Krishna in the Gita makes a point of saying that He is Himself desire or (as usually interpreted) sexual desire (käma) when it is not contrary to the principle of religion (dharmäviruddha). The principle of religion is prema; the ultimate principle of religion is the abandoning all other dharmas for the sake of the highest prema, devotion to Radha and Krishna.

Further pramāṇas lie in the understanding of mādhurya as opposed to aiśvarya. The ultimate avatar of mādhurya is here, in the body, when we see the presence of Radha and Krishna in our own romantic life. How this can be done is fairly straightforward, and no text is more helpful in this endeavor than Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi. But who will see these things other than the one who is favorably disposed to understanding in this way? Certainly not one who has been inundated throughout their devotional career with propaganda of both a philosophical, personal and political nature.

Whether he believed in it or not, Rupa Goswami could not have spoken of sexual sādhana or Yugala Bhajan directly, mainly because of the limitations of his audience. Rupa Goswami was a Sanskritizer of vernacular traditions, as I have shown to some extent in my articles on the dāna-līlā. So he kept his discussions within the framework of socially approved discourse in poetics and literature.

If you say Rupa Goswami did not practice Sahaja bhajan, I will say we may never know, but we will still know what his focus was: divine romantic love.

If you say that you will not accept my "in-between-the-lines" version, and that Rupa Goswami was a literalist who did not accept any other understanding of bhakti than the literalist version we know, I will argue that I do not think so, or from the Unconscious, that Saraswati guided his pen to make Sahajiyaism the most natural interpretation of the Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi.

Or I might say that like the Puranic Shankara who incarnated to mislead the Mayavadis, Rupa deceived the moralists and the Mayavadis and steered them away from madhura-rasa bhajana.

Or I might say that Rupa Goswami had to leave the essence of his revelation to be fully exposed at a later date, the pramāṇas yet to be forthcoming.

For the pramāṇas are the result of the direct experience of the realized souls, the siddhas. It is here that the ultimate pramāṇa is to be found. If this doctrine bears fruit and stands the test of effectiveness in producing the experience and culture of prema – even for one person (perhaps I should say two) – then no amount of scriptural texts will be able to stand against it.

16 comments:

Prem Prayojan Das said...

My dear friend Jagadananda Prabhu,

Dandavat pranama. Sri Sri Guru Gaurangau jayatah!

Sorry for the delayed response. I haven't been online for some time because I was at the Maha Kumbha Mela. Just got back and saw your article.

There are a few errors of fact. I would be happy if you could kindly address them.

1) I am surprised that you should be so cynical as to expect some kind of ambush journalism from me. I really wanted to talk to you about MSR (and also Murali Vilasa but I accidentally forgot to bring my copy that evening. We could still do that if you have half an hour to spare. I have some perspectives on MV which you might find stimulating.)

The "sahajiya" conversation was just a conversation you were already having with the whole world on internet and our discussion on that subject from my perspective was more like casual socializing with an old friend rather than a premeditated agenda point.

Essentially, your article, while flattering in some ways, portrays me as not being entirely straight-forward with you, setting up an ambush so to speak, which is a little sad since I do my best to stay far away from all such types of skullduggery.

2) One of the main themes of your article concerns the question of whether my plan to install deities of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura along with Srimati Bhagavati Devi will effectively a) reinstate the dignity of grhastha acaryas, b) redress the issues of sexuality and gender inequality in contemporary Gaudiya society.

In this regard, I feel that your tendency to read between the lines and come up will a kalpanika narrative is at work again here.

Probably because we have been out of touch for some time you have become totally out of synch with my train of thought.

Dr. Fakir Mohan has been awarded by the government of Orissa charge of the ancestral lands of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Srila BVT mentions his life at the village of Choti Mangalapura several times in his autobiography. Dr. Mohan wants to establish a memorial exhibition about the life and teachings of Srila BVT there, part of which will be vigraha of Srila BVT, Bhagavati Devi and Bimala Prasada as a boy since historically that was the stage of Srila BVT's life when he lived in that place.

When I met Dr. Mohan during Kartika, he informed me of his intentions. Without the slightest encouragement from me, some of my students were inspired and offered to pay for a very talented craftsman in Bengal to make the deities.

However, your article depicts this selfless act of service as part of a self-serving, deliberate and cunning master plan to resurrect the grhastha ashrama in the gaudiya community. I assure you that I have no such intentions, and such a thought never entered my mind until I read your article.

All the ashramas have been made by Sri Krsna himself to accommodate the various natures of the conditioned living entities. So they are all good provided one is properly situated.

Furthermore, Dr. Mohan is a lifelong brahmacari with practically zero exposure to the cultural Marxist propaganda of gender politics which has terminally infected our western academic institutions. So why not depict this loving attempt to glorify the achievements of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura for what it is, simply a loving attempt to glorify him?

Unlike you, I do not see the world of Vaishnavism a project gone awry and in need of fixing. In the words of my Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura:

Prem Prayojan Das said...

CONTINUED...

"The world stands in no need of any reformer. The world has a very competent person for guiding its minutest happenings. The person who finds that there is scope for reform of the world himself stands in need of reform. The world goes on its own perfect way. No person can deflect it but the breadth of a hair from the course chalked out for it by Providence.

"The course of the world does not require to be changed by the activity of any person. What is necessary is to change our outlook to this very world. This was done for the contemporary generation by the mercy of Sri Chaitanya. It could be known only to the recipients of His mercy.

"The scriptures declare that it is only necessary to listen with an open mind to the name of Krsna from the lips of a bona fide devotee. As soon as Krsna enters the listening ear, He clears up the vision of the listener so that he no longer has any ambition of ever acting the part
of a reformer of any other person, because he finds that nobody is left without the very highest guidance. It is therefore his own reform, by the grace of God, whose Supreme necessity and nature he is increasingly able to realize by the eternally continuing mercy of the Supreme Lord".

If you were to tune in to my wavelength for a moment, you would find a silence and peace from the endless conflict and competition of the world and the constant chatter of millions of bewildered souls possessed by the ghost of online media. My interest is in sadhu-sanga, nama-bhajana and searching for the jewels left behind by our Gosvamis. I feel that your article simply appropriates my name into your solipsistic Weltanschauung which is in all ways utterly foreign to me and misleading to others.

May I suggest you adjust the relevant paragraphs to make them concur with objective reality, or just do as you see fit on the basis of the above information.

With the warmest affection,

Your insignificant servant,

Prem Prayojan das.

Jagat said...

Dear Prema Prayojan Prabhu,

Thank you for your comments. I am exceedingly sorry that I was a bit wary of your motives. I hope that this will not contaminate our future dealings.

Of course, I had forgotten the details related to the inauguration of the Bhaktivinoda Thakur deities, etc. But whatever the case, I never considered it to be self-serving. If anything, I considered it a noble attempt to lift the status of householders in the Gaudiya Math.

Whether my analysis of the limits of such effort are justifiable is another matter.

Whether I am in the thrall of a solipsistic Weltanschauung is another matter. I happen to consider sexuality to be a particularly important factor in human behavior, and so I have deduced that the explicitly sexual nature of Radha-Krishna lila is related to this problem. The promise of the last verse of the Rasa Lila is that the disease of the heart known as kama will be erased and the highest devotion seated there as a result of hearing that particular pastime. I am interested in the mechanism of such a process. I am not a big believer in magic, or at least I believe that magic also follows the rules, like everything else.

Whether such things need to be publicized or not, whether "reforms" are needed or not is again a matter for debate. My feeling is that we act according to directives that are beyond our ken. So I hope that you will forgive me my obsession. At any rate, I am a most unworthy servant of my guru and I simply dance and sing in the way the puppeteer makes me. There are very few who pay attention to what I say and, it seems, even less who care. Radhe Shyam.

Your friend,

Jagat

Anonymous said...

Dear Jagat-ji,

Much to consider in your very thoughtful post, thank you. In the meantime, I'll just say that I appreciated the alliteration the title--very clever, and a disarming icebreaker for quite a lofty topic.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be a serious student of Hindu religion, so it's sad to see that you appear to devote your emotional energies to the Radha Krishna legend. Bhagavan Sri Krishna is a character in the great epic poem, the Gita, but the Radha-Krishna legend is Indian folklore. I remember how devoted I myself was and how I instilled the same to many early ISKCON followers (including you in Montreal). Seriously, it is time to let go. Love of God doesn't require sexualized fantasies, however elaborate and supported by mounds of writings.

Anonymous said...

pranams,

jagAT THX YR INFO ABOUT yamuna , u were the first place i heard about the issue.

qs 4 prem prayojan or anyone

why did these people leave nm sangha;

vishaka - ist disciple of nm

pundarika - indian sannyasi

krishnadas brahmacari - kirtaniyah
indian body

---
also - so why DID prem get married?

and

so why prem not on the nm website anymore? i read on internet was due to some nm incident at badger 2010

--
also

why do they care so much if married or not married? why not care if sannyasis have bank accounts/ paypal

or if they break the law (rape)

---
best wishes to both jagat and prem!

Anonymous said...

Hare Krsna! Pamho PrabhuJi. I would like to request you JagatanandaJi if you can direct meto a complete copy of MSN online. The one that I have of yours is incomplete, and another one posted by Madhva is only half, 102 pages. So if there is a complete copy I would appreciate a link to it! Another question is, is Pream Prayojana PrabhuJi still working on the eng trans. of Ujjvala Nilamani? I tried asking him, no reply yet. By the way, JagatJi, have you been to the gnosticteachings.org site? One can distill the teachings of Samael Aum Woer and apply them in ones life while remaining in KC. The teachings of no orgasm and no 'spilling of the cup' EVER in any way, is very powerful. Its something I believe in and may I say, practicing, as a bramhachari. I dont like the term celibate, but rather chastity at all times. To me, between married couple, sex once a month, if it involves the 'spilling of the cup' is pointless. I am of the opinion, that only animalistic sexuality results in the orgasm and the corresponding loss of virya. It is also my belief, that the grihasta sages of India, knew and still know, that you dont 'need' to spill the cup, in order for the wife to become pregnant. Animals cant avoid this, but humans, those who are disciplined and take shelter of the Divine Mother, can manage, or rather it IS managed, to release just 1 sperm to fecundate the womb. The complete giving up of th3 orgasm and the virya, forever is actually a tough pill to swallow for some, but its not that difficult with the guidance of Bhagavan and Bhakti Devi.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention, I also find a couple of articles of Abhaya Mudra MataJi to be quite fascinating as well. Both are on sacred sexuality, but I believe still something is missing in her conception.

Anonymous said...

Hare Krsna Jagadananda PrabhuJi. Just have a couple of more questions but dont know who to ask! You see, I came to Gaudiya Vaishnavism philosophy in 2011. In the last months of 2010 I first visited the local Iskcon temple in my city. In india. It was then that I got my copy and first look at BG as it is. Since 2011, I have been more and more interested in this amazing way of life, of what it means to be a dasanudasa aspirant following in the wake of the ragatmika vrajavasis. Its really fun and I for one find it easy to immerse in these thoughts. My problem, or one of my problems is, 3 years is nothing in terms of experience in KC. Plus, in Iskcon you cant talk about Gaudiya Math, in Srila Narayana Maharaj sanga you cant talk about Ananta Das Bababji, and so on. Its ridiculous. I have learned from all these people, and even others so-called outside sampradayas. I for one, like the thought of harmonious reconciliation as much as possible, to see that no one has 'the whole truth and nothing but the truth'. Anyway, back to my questions. 1) bhakti Sandarbha 338 annucheda. The one where it talks of 'male transformations'. This translation is so clear its amazing. Who has written this? I have kusakratha prabhus pdf of bhakti sandarbha, but its just so unclear compared to this. Is it by Satya Narayana Baba? Q 2) in the vedabase, we read that Yadubara Das Ji photographed original manuscripts of BVT from Srila Lalita Prasad ThakurJi. Do you know where these are? Have they been scanned and released? Otherwise what is the use just keeping it stored away locked up and forgotten? Q3) in my previous comment I had asked about MSN copy by Kunjabehari Das Babaji. Also do you have translated Manjari Bhava Sadhana Paddhati also attributed to Babaji? Any other works of his ? Q4? What happ3ned to the blog of Madhavananada DasJi? Vrajournal.com and his blog are non existent. I came across your posts in gaudiyadiscussions, a month ago. Since then, I heard that in 2008 he left GV to pursue Buddhism. so where is Prabhu now? Is the deletion of the blog entries a sign that he could be coming back to Sri Krishna Bhakti? Q5) atleast I can search on gaudiyadiscussions. Why did this forum close, and more importantly are there other forums that have this high caliber of discussions on them? There is this audarya forum or is it indiadivine forums, but there is no search function active. That sucks. 80000 threads, and you csnt search keywords? What a loss. Anyway....more questions later.

Anonymous said...

Hare Krishna PrabhuJi. Just wanted to ask also, are you still working on Bhagavat Sandarbha? I recently saw your 2008 blog entry and you mentioned about working on this. I was also wondering, has Srila Haridas Shastri Maharaj published all 6 hindi sandarbhas? I ask because I was made aware that a 3 volume govinda lilamrita is published by him, but the contact did not know any more names of his big publications available. Its depressing that I cant find any contact information for anyone in Vraja to give me more info. I see the adobe flash or shockwave graphic on uttama-bhakti.org, and on it I see an image of a few books but they are more like small booklets. I was wondering if MaharajJi has published hindi anuvaad of granthas like RVC or PBC (prem bhakti chandrika) or gopal champu or others like krishna bhavanamrita mahakavya and bhavana sara sangraha. Just publishing govind lilamrita and not any other texts seems strange to me. I just need to be better informed. And regarding Satyanarayan Prabhu, on his website only tattva and bhakti sandarbhas are listed. What about the remaining 4? Its just my luck that I am 2 states removed from uttar pradesh, none of my family or friends are interested in bhakti or even 'God'. Not that it makes a difference to my enthusiasm. I just am wondering, just like I discovered the forum archived a month ago and similarly your blog, what about us newcomers? I feel like I am talking to myself , wanting answers but just hearing my echo! Lol.

Anonymous said...

I just have a couple more questions for now PrabhuJi. Regarding the 'marakat' jewel. In the vedabase folio, if you search this keyword, in SB it is called as emerald. I think this is correct. However further on, marakat is also translated as blue sapphire. Here are my thoughts. Sri Syamsundar is a blue sapphire and the gopis are golden color. So in that verse from 10th canto, where it is said that it seems that in the midst of the gopis, Sri Krsna appears like a dazzling emerald, this is how. Transcendental golden yellow mixed with transcendental sapphire blue, gives transcendentally beautiful emerald green. Just like if on your palate you mix blue and yellow, you get green. So the blue saphire kanti of Sri Krsna, when covered with or embraced by the golden light from the gopis, appears then as all attractive emerald kanti.

Anonymous said...

I would really like to hear your thoughts on this discussion here:http://raganugabhakti.freeforums.net/index.cgi?board=chap5&action=display&thread=9 I think it would be of benefit to learn what your clear opinion is on this matter and I really hope you do comment!

Braja Bhushan said...

Dear Anonymous
Shri Haridas Shastri Maharaj did publish all six Sandarbhas in Hindi. For more details, drop us an email on info at uttama-bhakti dot org

Anonymous said...

"In his personal life, also, Prema Prayojan is an interesting phenomenon on the current world of international Gaudiya Vaishnavism. A few years ago, he took sannyas and was a prominent figure in Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Maharaj's sangha, even being spoken of as a potential successor"

LOL! Spoken of as a "successor" by whom?

"His knowledge of Sanskrit and Hindi"

Several times he was asked to stand up and translate something from a pravachan and he could not.

"made him the principal translator of his guru's books"

He was never the principal translator, he worked as part of a team on just a few books.


"In 2005, however, when Bhaktivedanta Tirtha Maharaj was accused of sexual abuse for the first time, it was followed by the familiar regime of denial and promises of reform."

Denial from whom? Certainly not Srila BV Narayana Maharaja. He talked about it openly and severely punished the above mentioned sannyasi.



"Prema Prayojan's decision to become a householder has had its repercussions, of course. The fact that he decided to continue on in his preaching activity, sticking to the formula he followed as a Gaudiya Math sannyasi, has been something of a bold step. For many in the Gaudiya Math, only a sannyasi is qualified to become a guru or a preacher."

This has never been taught by Srila BV Narayana Maharaja and there have always been and still are many non-sannyasi "preachers" in his sanga and its satellites.


"In an attempt to change this culture in the math"

It has never been the "culture" in Srila BV Narayana Maharaja's sanga.

"And, of course, women are for all intents and purposes non-existent in the role of guru."

Again, not in Srila BV Narayana Maharaja's current sanga.

ndas said...

surprised/cant understand why Prem Prayojan p so offended by the article.... author reports and supports what he is doing but says it wont change the gaudiya math ? didnt call him sahajiya either.. surprised. but no offence on me please

@anonymous #1

marriage is an outcaste thing in NM gaudiya math whether you are sanyasi or not.. should be in the institution of sanyas, but not others or after changing from sanyas

William Zodda said...

Jai Nitai Gaura,
Just wanted to contribute some added dimension about what Prem Prayojan wrote About the world not needing reform. What he said and Bhaktisidanta Saraswati said is certainly right. Yet there is a wild card that those who are devotees have a divine right to and it is the reason that even great saints often become reformers themselves in the own way.

It is true the world is going on according to the actions and reactions, cause and affects, acting uniformly according to the modes of nature. This can be looked upon as providence. Yet those who are devotees take the responsibility to make a difference in this world because by their prayers and endeavors a change of course, can happen for even others.

In Caitanya Caritamrita Gopinatha Pataniaka was put in great difficulty and was going to be killed by the nephew of the king. The devotees prayed to Lord Caitanya to save him. Lord Caitanya taught indirectly that they did right and providence would be changed by their prayers. Lord Caitanya said. " You should go pray to Lord Jaganatha( who he was also). He can do or undo anything".

The Christians know the power of intercession and most often use it yet in general the Vaishnavas hardly understand the power that their personal prayers and devotional service has to influence even providence.God(Jaganatha) listens to the prayers of his devotees and and will intervene with even providence.