Weak spots: Rasa of Srila Prabhupada

IMG_1493It’s said that harikatha is ever-fresh, ever-new. But considering we hear the same thing again and again, how do we keep it fresh? For me it’s by deeply considering the statements and by doing so I usually find things that don’t add up. Weak spots. This always results in questions. By questioning what I’m being told, I keep on being urged to go deeper in my understanding.

So I keep on finding weak spots in the arguments of Gurudevas sanga (and KBM). These are the ones I’ve found so far:

Bhaktivinode Thakura was the one who not only revived the Gaudiya line after Mahaprabhu, but he was also the one who introduced critical thinking into our line. I wasn’t aware of this until I started reading “Hindu encounter with modernity” and was introduced to the concept of adhunika-vada:

… the confidence to follow their ancestral religious traditions by showing how those traditions could plausibly be redefined and re-appropriated according to the culture of the modern world.

Hindu Encounter with Modernity page 136 – 137

In my last post I reference The Bhagavat, Its philosophy, Ethics and Theology”, and today I found that book in my bookcase. Now I’m in awe of my bookcase! I had no idea the book was there. This is the second time I’ve found a book in my bookcase I had no idea was there. I started reading the book, but then I had to do pranam to my bookcase. My bookcase is glorious ! ki Jaya !!

The thing is: in this controversy, I look at both sides and I can’t really fault any of them. I’m in the position where I find both being right. There is nothing wrong in being absolutely loyal to Gurudevas words, it’s commendable! The only problem I have with their position is that it’s devoid of progress. If you read closely at the public statement they don’t really even consider KBM’s statements, just utterly refute them. Furthermore, they admit that they have sought external guidance which indirectly admits that they are a bit above their head in this debate. Again, to admit this is very mature.

KBM is meeting every response and conceptions and there is so much deep siddhanta coming from them.

The problem is that even by me questioning Gurudeva’s words, I’m not a true disciple in their estimation and therefore prone to concoction. That I’m prone to concoction is true, because I’m too conditioned. But does this makes me less of a disciple and therefore lost touch with my Gurudeva? In other words, will it make me unable to advance spiritually?

I take refuge in these words from Bhaktivinode Thakura:

In fact, most readers are mere repositories of facts and statements made by other people. But this is not study. The student is to read the facts with a view to create, and not with the object of fruitless retention. Students like satellites should reflect whatever light they receive from authors and not imprison the facts and thoughts just as the Magistrates imprison the convicts in jail! Thought is progressive. The author’s thought must have progress in the reader in the shape of correction or development. He is the best critic, who can shew the further development of an old thought: but a mere denouncer is the enemy of progress and consequently of Nature.

The Bhagabat: Its philosophy, its Ethics and its theology Page 1 – 2 by Bhaktivinode Thakura

5 thoughts on “Weak spots: Rasa of Srila Prabhupada

  1. What a delightful article!
    Remaining objective, yet finding progress in maturing ones opinion, adding the one and one together in a respective manner and keeping digging for answers!
    Salute! Bravo!
    Dandavat pranams Ji!

  2. Dandvats, Very inspiring excerpt from the book! Thank you! I still can’t follow what the fuss is all about. The Rasa of a Mahatma is to be discovered by rasiks rather than discussed. Rasa vichaar can be discussed surely but where is the example of discussing assignment of Rasa to an individual to a mahatma? Everywhere in shastra, we find discovery of Rasa by qualified disciple. Personally, I would refrain from pulling words spoken by mahatmas out of context to argue an issue beyond argument! Hari Bol!

    • Dandavats!

      This debate is certainly for the more advanced devotees. Personally, I love every part of this debate and I see how it has increased my understanding so much. So I’m very happy this is brought out into the light.

      I see this debate as a way to increase our qualification. It’s amazing to me that these things weren’t openly discussed in previous times, and suddenly it’s available to everybody.

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