June 26, 1999 VNN4171 Comment on this story
BBT Meeting In LA
BY SWAMI B.V. TRIPURARI
USA, Jun 26 (VNN) (from Sanga email@example.com)
'The parampara is in essence about nonconformity, for when we conform to the will of the absolute we become independent. The outer appearance of the guru parampara is not its essence...Parampara is not about conformity, but rather it is about nonconformity, revolution!'
Swami B.V. Tripurari was invited by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) trustees to address their annual meeting in Los Angeles this week. After his presentation and a lengthy discussion period Wednesday morning, he departed the meeting to a round of applause and the heart felt appreciation of the assembled devotees.
About the BBT Trustee meeting Swami said, "I am not sure that most of the trustees understood the gist of my message, although Jaya Advaita Swami seemed to. In essence, I told the assembled members that in order to distribute love of Krishna one needed to love Krishna himself, and that diving deeper into the literary heritage of Guadiya Vaisnavism was essential for developing love of Krishna. Thus there should be a department for bringing these literatures into print. Let them be printed by the BBT and let them come from any qualified author. Indeed, Gaudiya Vaisnava authors should aspire that their books be printed by the BBT.
"I believe that this is what Prabhupada had in mind for his BBT, that it would be the leading publisher of Gaudiya Vaisnava literature in the world.
This will not happen without new authors. Let not the ritvik misconception enter the BBT. Indeed the BBT was set up independently of ISKCON for the specific purpose of keeping Prabhupada's message vital should the institution of ISKCON loose its vitality, its soul. As much as ISKCON is Prabhupada's body, the BBT is his soul. Material well being follows spiritual well being. If we want to help the body of ISKCON, we must revive its soul.
"I reasoned to the trustees that publishing Gaudiya literature is also essential for keeping Srila Prabhupada's books in the center of the BBT and ISKCON. My reasoning was that Srila Prabhupada drew upon the entire corpus of Guadiya literature in writing his books, and acquaintance with it reveals this, better enabling one to appreciate that which Prabhupada has written and excavate the hidden gems in his books. Without this and the association of advanced Vaisnavas, one runs the risk of subjugating the teaching to one's intelligence and the sense that one "already knows" the books, etc.
"The unhappy result of this is that one looses his or her excitement for spiritual practice. In this condition one becomes unreceptive to the ongoing challenge of spiritual life, and while going through the motions, one makes little or no advancement. In the worst case scenario, such persons offend those who come to challenge their understanding in the hopes of reminding them of the very spirit that brought them to spiritual practice in the first place."
This morning Swami Tripurari attended the Bhagavata discourse of Jaya Advaita Swami in the Los Angeles ISKCON temple. During the class, someone asked "While Prabhupada said Krishna consciousness was a science, how do we reconcile this with what you said, that progres is not a matter of following a set pattern?"
After Jaya Adviata Swami's reply, Swami Tripurari offered a comment and Jaya Advaita Swami encouraged him to speak, an excerpt of which follows.
"When we speak of the guru parampara (disciplic succession) thoughts of conformity enter our mind. However, in order to properly understand parampara we must connect the parampara with the spirit of the search for truth. This spirit is one of nonconformity. It is revolutionary. Like attracts like. Therefore, the parampara is in essence about nonconformity, for when we conform to the will of the absolute we become independent. The outer appearance of the guru parampara is not its essence.
"Srila Prabhupada told us that his formula for success was that he strictly followed the words of his Guru Maharaja. However, many of his God brothers replied "What is he talking about? He changed everything!" Similarly, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura infuriated the orthodoxy of Gaudiya Vaisnavism with his innovative institution, Gaudiya Matha. Guru by his very nature will be controversial.
"In the karma marg we must execute every aspect of the ritual precisely. If a ritual calls for mango leaves, we cannot substitute banana leaves and get the desired result. In the karma marg we aspire for a material result through religious observance. The spirit of this is not one of nonconformity because it does not concern the heart of the Absolute.
However, Gaudiya Vaisnavism is concerned only with the heart of Krishna and nothing else. At the same time it takes on an exterior in its practice that is similar to that of the karma marg. Thus great Vaisnavas are difficult to understand, 'vaisnavera kriya mudra vijneh na bhujaya'. While their outer activities may parallel those in the karma marg, their heart and ideal are diametrically opposed to the hearts of those on the karma marg.
"Thus we should be careful not to misconstrue that which we are involved in, thinking that simply doing a particular service will automatically bring the corresponding result of love of Godhead. Krishna is not bound by anything other than love. It is the inner spirit of the service that is vital to bhakti. Sadhus remind us of this by saying things that turn our heads around, like 'Parampara is not about conformity, but rather it's about nonconformity, revolution!'
"'Krishnanusilanam' is a science, but a science of love. As much as science speaks of predictability and precision, love is unpredictable. There is comfort and stability in love, but it is dynamic stability, not static stability. The science of Krishna consciousness is, to use another of Prabhupada's terms, the art of loving Krishna."
Many thanks to Svavas prabhu for hosting Swami Tripurari and his party in New Dwaraka. And many thanks to Nagapatni dasi for her gracious hospitality in Visalia.
The remainder of Swami's California tour is as follows:
Thursday, June 24th, 7:00 PM, Santa Monica
Thunderbolt Bookstore, 512 Santa Monica Blvd.
For more information, call (310) 899-9279
Friday, June 25 - Sunday, June 27, San Diego
Swami will be the guest of Sanga friends in San Diego.
For information, call (619) 725-0806
Tuesday, June 29, 7:00 PM, San Rafael
Open Secrets Bookstore, 923 C St.
San Rafael, California
For more information, call (415)
Wednesday, June 30, 6:30 PM, San Francisco
1980 Hayes St.
For more information, call Jaya Shri dd (415) 850-5372
Many thanks to the generous support of our Sanga reading congregation.
Their donations and pledges make this work possible. Those wishing to participate, please send your offerings, payable to 'Sanga', c/o Audarya Ashram, 325 River Road, Eugene, OR 97404, USA.
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