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the jiva issue: sastra pramana

This was one of the main contentions discussed in ISKCON since 90's.
Srila Prabhupada states that the jiva was originally in the association of Sri Krsna, taking part in His lila. It's difficult to conceive why would she leave the perfect situation and enter the world of suffering. Some Gaudiya Vaisnavas therefore gave an answer that the jiva was never with Lord. This view was rejected by the GBC in its resolution 79/1995.
But with the lack of clear sastra pramana (the central pramana as per CC 2.20.352 p.) there was no philosophical conclusion.

What king Parikshit did after being cursed?

There are two different accounts - in SB and Mbh (see below). (The question was brought up in https://iskcondesiretree.com/forum/topics/what-king-parikshit-did-after-...
but the answer wasn't given.)

This type of variant accounts in different sastras is usually attributed to the so-called kalpa-bheda, lila differences in various cosmic time cycles.

MBh Adi Parva, Hridayananda das Goswami edition:

Srila Suta Goswami said:
That ascetic sage of noble vows gave the message to a disciple, and, his

rape consent?

This is possibly the most favorite 'tough one', last year discussed at
https://iskcondesiretree.com/forum/topics/prabhupada-consent-to-rape

There is a survey related to this at
https://www.akincana.net/2018/07/12/pre-test-of-survey-for-sb-4-25-41-co...
and also the link to ongoing results. There, under Q4, see the answer dated 8/25/2018 9:44 PM quoting Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's commentary and Kama sutra.

'tough ones' continued

Some years ago BBT put up a section on its website called 'Tough ones' dealing with controversial topics in SP books by some of his disciples. This section was later taken down for reasons unexplained but it can be seen in archive.org:
https://web.archive.org/web/20160203214811/http://bbt.info/information/t...

I thought that it shouldn't disappear but on the contrary, be expanded. So I'll post some answers to issues in this 'tough' category. Feel free to provide some feedback.

Inmate Letter Excerpts

I was convicted and sentenced to ‘life plus 60 years in prison! I never stopped chanting the entire time I was there, I was strong in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness up until I heard them say ‘guilty’ and sentence me, then my entire mind, thoughts, actions ‘FROZE UP.’ Although I knew that the ENTIRE trial process was UNLAWFUL. I couldn’t chant, eat, or sleep for days. It took some Christian guy to remind me of the story of Job in the Bible to bring me back to reality. I accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but you know, a lot of people see me chanting etc.

THE DUALITY OF SLEEP AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO HAVING MORE OR LESS TIME

I have been a late bloomer my whole life, and yet time sometimes comes to my aid to teach me lessons that only are understood years later. A 19 ½ as a young brahmacari, we learned that “sleep was death” and was a waste of time, so if Prabhupada recommended 6 hours for those in the mood of goodness, then surely we should lessen that.

Thus, we experimented pushing the envelope back to 5½ to 5 hours etc. For a while, when I was a pujari in the old San Francisco, Valentia Street, temple, in the early 70’s, I was doing 4 hours a night, going to bed at around 11 and rising in time to wake the Deities at 3:30 a.m.

Somehow, I functioned, though I was always nodding out, since I thought taking rest during the day was “maya.” Sitting for chanting japa or class, or cleaning the Deity room floor, meant I would be in and out of sleeping, except when taking prasad. I used to chant my rounds on the roof of the building next door which we rented for storage and parking, and I am amazed I didn’t fall off, since I used to pace on the concrete border edge! Krishna protected me then and so many times in my life!

LOCKED DOWN, OR UP, OR WITHIN, IN EXILE IN VRINDAVANA BY GRACE:

The irony doesn’t escape me
that I couldn’t leave Vrindavana
even if I wanted to. I ponder my life.

So many devotees want to visit
and here I’m on an extended stay
first for 11 months and now 5 more.

I know it is special mercy for me
yet, it is the toughest love ever
though I can still smile at my plight.

I am externally “in” Vrindavana
though far from eternal lila here
and the self-forgetfulness of love.

FACING POSSIBLE DISEASE OR DEATH, WHAT IS YOUR URGENT NECESSITY THAT CALLS YOU TO ACT, AND NOT BE AFRAID?

As some of you know I have mainly been recycling older blogs and slightly modifying them to represent some of my current struggles in my treatment protocols. With this offering I am writing afresh, having to discontinue my treatment due to the lockdown here in Vrindavana, though I present similar themes to what I teach as a result of facing possible death for the last 4 ½ years as well as intense headaches and other pains for the last year. I still consider personal or horizontal growth work important for those contemplating the shortness of their life which includes getting our inner (emotional/mental) and outer (physical) house in order.

Why? The simple reason, according to my understanding from personal experience, is that the trauma, disappointment, wounds, and pain from this life and previous lives negatively impacts our practice of bhakti by taking energy away from our focus on loving devotional service and tends to cause us to make offenses to others by our reacting to them based on our past emotional pain and trauma. Progressive spiritual life, and even a successful material life, requires changing unthinking patterns of behavior that don’t serve us or anyone else.

Part of progressive endeavor comes through intense, threadbare introspection, to let us understand our negative patterns or habits of thinking and acting. There are many processes that can assist us in such work and help us be more focused and present spiritually, which is the greatest necessity. We are advised to accept whatever is favorable for our bhakti and give up what isn’t, and that can open up possibilities we might not have considered before.

Prison Program in Petersburg, Virginia— 10/16/19

By Candramauli Swami

After a weekend filled with programs I left Charlotte NC by car for Apex NC for a quick visit to the home of Karuna Sindhu and his good wife Arcana Siddhi. It was the last days of the Kartik month and so my hosts decided to invite many of the local devotees for an evening of singing the Damodarastakam prayer. Naturally in association with the devotees the gathering transformed into a full program of Kirtan and a talk. I had planned an early rest but was now speaking the entire pastime of Kṛṣṇa stealing butter.

THE BLESSINGS OR CURSE OF A LIFE--THE SEARCH FOR MEANING AND IDENTITY

[reposted from 12-24-16
and revised 7-3-18]
Who are we really—
beyond who we settle for
without thinking too deeply
as most just blindly accept
as normal, conventional identities
that we’ve learned from others
and from our educational system
so it must be true, right?

Is it really a fact that
we’re our past sad or happy history?
What about our genes, race, ethnicity,
our skin color, occupation,
economic status, religious
institution, sect, or sanga,
state or region, political party,
conservative or liberal bend,
or our nationality or home planet—
do they accurately define us?

What about our sexual proclivity,
desires, likes and dislikes,
skeletons in our closet,

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