History in the making: The rasa of Srila Prabhupada

Syamananda Prabhu made me aware of how all of this controversy started which is a nice reminder. It made me think of the history of what happened after the disappearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja. Read the link, really! There’s so much that happened back and forth with details that this controversy seems small and simple in comparison (though there have been other incidents, but personal ones and not philosophically).

More and more I believe there is a larger agenda to this, that Krishna wanted this to happen. I have no idea why, but it seems like history and time will be the ones to decide the outcome. We are witnessing history in the making !

Oh, how I wish I could be a part of it, be in Vrindavin where the discussions goes back and forth, tempers flare and just be close to the events as they unfold. Because this is truly history in the making.

It’s not so long ago that “they”( whoever they may be), decided to close down backtobhakti.com until “harmony was restored”. What they failed to realize that harmony will not be achieved by censorship, but by working on the issues at hand. Now that the translations of Syamarani didi is being questioned; will this be what brings the sanga together?

This is what the ipbsys wanted after Gurudeva’s disappearance; that we still stay tight. But I’m wondering how possible is this? Look again at what happened after the disappearance of  Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakur where the sanga got fractured and every sannyasi pretty much built his own matha.

We have been preached to that the mentality of organization can be dangerous, that we need to attach ourselves to a guru and everything that Guru says is the pure truth coming from Krishna himself. Only a pure devotee can take us to Krishna.

Devotees are by nature very individualistic (at least that is my impression) and this is encouraged by how we are to attach ourselves to a Guru (and not organization). So is this controversy a fracture or will it bring us closer together in the end? Is it a cleanup? Does it make the parties involved more intent on their personal service?

Despite my sometimes sarcastic views, I truly find so much pleasure in this debate. It goes way beyond my qualification and understanding, and I love it !

– Your sideline commentator –

Lost in translation: The rasa of Srila Prabhupada

The latest response by Krishna Balarama Mandira (KBM) to the whole “rasa of Srila Prabhupada” controversy is to scrutinize the translations (and action/words) of Srimati Syamarani didi. The latest response is connected to the translations of Syamarani didi of Gurudeva’s words where they argue that Syamarani didi has misunderstood Gurudeva’s words and they point to sound files and minutes into the lecture where this has happened.

Dear devotees,

When you read our Srila Gurudeva’s (Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja’s) books or transcriptions of his lectures, you assume you are reading his words. Well, it is not like that at all if Srimati Syamarani didi is editing them.

Syamarini didi and team answered by giving a general overview of how the translation process works, but did not enter into the specific points given by KBM.

Another response is outrage that anybody might critize their beloved didi who has done an enormous amount of service during the years and their egos just explode into characteristics like name calling.

rasa_sudeviI can’t help but laugh. I find this hilarious. Why? maya expertThis is why.

But okey, let’s get serious again.

Is Srimati Syamarani didi defamed? Well, a bit. The statement from KBM above is defamation. But – they give constructive criticism where they point to specific statements and how they may be interpreted differently. The problem is that many have the tendency to just read the defamation and then their minds go blank, the ego explodes and they are unable to hear anything else. That one sentence there is enough for people to completely loose the ability to clear-headed thinking and really consider the opinions stated. That’s why it’s so very important to stay clear of name-calling and characteristics of the differing side, because people’s mind have a tendency to cling to what they perceive as wrong doings and then that’s all they will hear. It’s an effective diversion worthy of Maya.

Furthermore, the Syamarani side considers KBMs response to be an attack on all the translations Syamarani have done. They are putting words/intentions into KBMs statement by saying that Syamarani has a hidden agenda and deliberatly deceived by concealing the truth of Gurudeva. This is an exaggeration of KBMs statement and are putting intentions where they might not be. So suddenly this whole debate isn’t only about what rasa Srila Prabhupada is in, but for the Syamarani side about defending the authenticity of Gurudevas books. Pheww, enough to get most people sweaty and Maya is laughing all the way to the bank.

How should we consider evidence? I know there’s a vedic viewpoints on evidence and I can’t seem to find it. So instead I go for the usual way; who provides the most “scientific” answer? KBM goes into specific statements, provide sound files and minutes where the statement were uttered and provide an alternative understanding.

Syamarani didi and editors doesn’t really respond to the specific statements, but instead go into a general way of how translations work. This is important information to be sure, but doesn’t really deal with the problem itself.

So, for now KBM is giving a very good argument and may be in time Syamarani didi and team will respond.

This is a very good way of dealing with conflicts. A conflict isn’t won by one side declaring it so. It takes time to gather arguments and statements and will continue over time. Usually, both parties will not agree on the statements of the other side. One just agrees to disagree, but hopefully one might be a little bit wiser in the long run. This is a mature way of dealing with controversial issues.

Though, the way statements are running and things are taken out of context and exaggerated – well, a learning curve is still needed.