November 28, 1998 VNN2569
Origin Of The Soul And Other Important Topics
BY SWAMI B.A. PARAMADVAITI
EDITORIAL, Nov 28 (VNN) Dear Prabhu, Dandavat Pranams
Regarding the topic origin of the soul I would clarify the following update. First of all it is important to maintain respect for all Vaisnavas and even if their is a discrepancy amongst their explanations of different topics we may choose to list the different opinions side by side as Srila Prabhupada does sometimes in his books.
Then it is a fact that from Srila Prabhupada's talks and books material can be found to back up both ideas. The fall down from Goloka and the never fall down from Goloka. Entire books have been written on those topics and I have no interest to repeat what is in them.
One reasonable explanation given to the phenomena of the contradictory statements is that while preaching we are not always following strictly the siddhanta to simplify the idea we try to convey. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur wrote somewhere that it is not good to discuss this topic too much. This excessive discussion can make a person an impersonalist.
At the same time I have some very dear friends of mine who have chosen to favor fall down commentaries of Srila Prabhupada because they received them personally. I am not willing to lose anyone's friendship or association over this topic, As a matter of fact I think we have in the past (myself included) overreacted and made our presentation to the point of minimizing the value of other people extremely. This with our western fighting mentality has caused severe rupture of relationships.
Primal cause for this was the emotional reaction by the followers of Srila Sridhar Maharaj when Iskcon authorities rejected him on the basis of this topic calling him an impersonalist. They in return tried to use this topic to prove the deviated mentality of the Iskcon authorities. This created the background for the further battle to be delivered by writers and political position papers.
It is a fact though (as quoted in the book Our family the Gaudiya Math), that in the Gaudiya Math and the other Vaisnava Sampradayas to my knowledge there is no other examples of fall down propositions. This information has to be assimilated by each individual on the basis of it's own merit.
For me, it finally is not such an important subject because if someone practices the Bhakti to Vasudeva with the proper attitude causeless knowledge and detachment from this world will automatically be manifested in his heart as the Srimad Bhagavatam confirms.(Vasudeva Bhagavati Bhakti Yoga .....)
The Siddhanta Guru Varga dignity committee of the World Vaisnava association which I am coordinating currently follows the following procedure. If any individual presents to the Committee a formal siddhanta investigation, we will request papers from the leading Acaryas regarding the topic and supply the entire study to anyone interested.
We are not interested in any conflict, but since these days rampant propaganda regarding posthumous ritvik initiation and other topics may confuse sincere searchers and they may request clarification from the World Vaisnava association, we have made this plan to help.
Last not least Vaisnavism is an always growing World Religion and philosophical topics are bound to resurface as scholars will try to define what are really the siddhantic explanations of the Vaisnava tradition and it's foremost expositors. I think it is about time for those who are concerned with fulfilling the prediction of Lord Chaitanya, to go beyond their provincial institutional concerns and to join the efforts of the World Vaisnava Association to create a joint forum to defend the real interest of our Rupanuga tradition.
Knowledge, art and culture is already transcendental to the concerns of the administrators. We have so many wonderful contributions for the world made by those great Vaisnava philosophers and artist. Shall they be confined to be used by only those institutions where such contributions surfaced?
This is not a good idea. As a matter of fact if this mentality would be influential we would not have access to the songs of Narottam das Thakur, nor the temple of Srila Jiva Goswami, nor the Chaitanya Caritamrita. Why then are we so eager today to apply Microsoft's mentality of monopoly and profit thinking to the crest jewels of Contributions? If a scientist makes a discovery it automatically becomes property of the humanity.
What do we think if some Temple restricts entry to born Hindus and do not recognize that Brahminic culture is transmitted from a bonafide Vaisnava Brahmin to his sincere students? What do we think if a Vaisnava institution wants to restrict others from publishing the pictures and teachings of their own spiritual masters? What do we think when Vaisnavas want to make court cases against each other? Is it not about time to get out from such a conflicting situation and go the real sannyasi style with a danda and a kamandula out into the world to teach the sincere what we have received from our Gurudevas?
All these topics haunt our Vaisnava Sangha currently. It must be for a good reason. It can help us to mature and to learn how to love and to share the gifts we have received from above. One Vaisnava from a different mission had a poster made of Sri Narashingha deva. When I appreciated the wonderful Artwork he turned around and gave me a gift of a poster for all of our temples and preaching centers.. We will be successful beyond expectation if we are happy if other Vaisnavas will like to also glorify our Gurus and also want to print his words and commentaries. Otherwise it becomes such a strange position as if the nectar of our Guru shall only be available to those who join our institution. Could you have imagined how happy Srila Prabhupada would have been if the Gaudiya Math would have requested to distribute his books. Would he have charged them more then to his own preachers? The Iskcon BBT only recently after pressure from all over the world has agreed to sell their books to Vaisnavas outside of Iskcon at BBT Temple prices.
This is the Yoga of love. So it shall also be noticeable in the general Vaisnavadealings that they are loving, loving and loving again. I am myself not a goodexample for that, but I humbly beg to be able to learn how to deal with venerable Vaisnavas such as all the devotees who have dedicated their life to expand the glories of the holy name of Krishna.
Your affectionate servant
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti
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