Mahadyuti Prabhu defaming women

2015-03-04_2225Apparantly Mahadyuti Prabhu in his orange robe of honor in a lecture in Norway use the first two minutes (which was all I was able to hear) begins his lecture by talking about how females should dress appropriately according to what he believe Srila Prabhupada likes. He talks about how Gopi Skirts is a new innovation where somebody thought they could make a lot of money of lazy women. What in the world makes it okey to defame women like that?

First off, let’s begin with the innovation of Gopi skirts. Srila Prabhupada broughts saris from india which is the traditional cloth for women and gopi skirts is a new innovation, which is true. But there’s a world of changes in between when Srila Prabhupada walked this earth and now. We have to make changes according to the times. A good point in this is Bhaktivinode Thakura which brought critical thinking into our Gaudiya Vaishnava line. His thought was that everything about the spiritual world is something to accept. Everything connected to this material world was available for scrutiny. This was the basis 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

Traditions are there to be redefined according to the culture of the modern world – which changes all the time.

I mean, did Srila Prabhupada make vegetarian italian food, Balinese food or did he only eat traditional indian food? Should we all just eat traditional indian food because that’s tradition? If we eat something besides traditional indian food – are we lazy to splurge on something that we deem are “not part of our spiritual tradition”?

How about music and the so many different styles of bhajana sung using rock, pop etc. Let’s defame that as well, because they certainly can’t have any spiritual potency when you use a non-traditional tune? This is just ridiculous. But for some reasonĀ  it’s okey to call women lazy for wearing something that isn’t deemed traditional.

It’s not okey to begin a lecture by talking down on how women dress.
It’s not okey to begin a lecture by calling women lazy.
It’s not okey to talk down women that way – period.

This should be common sense.

Approaching japa as a system

11021342_10152597623386433_5285402223995859019_oSince wondering what the difference between meditation and japa is (if you look past the whole potency of Gods names), I’ve come to understand that what I’m really searching for is techniques. In meditation there usually is some techniques involved – sitting posture, breathing and of course, dealing with the mind.

If you look at meyer-briggs personality types, I’m an INTJ which translates to analytical problem solvers (if you read to the end of the intj link you will see the statement that intj’s are least likely of all the types to believe in a higher spiritual power). So it only comes natural to me to approach spiritual life as a system I need to crack. Sadhana is about service, but also about developing feelings of attachment, taste and love through service. In these different levels of feelings, there is symptoms that categorize on what level you are, so there is a system to spiritual life that sings to me. Feelings doesn’t really translate itself to me – but systems on the other hand is something I can work on.

So if I approach Japa meditation as techniques (aka a system), I have found these techniques so far on my japa journey:

1. Reject any thoughts that are unfavorable for japa. For example, if you think chanting is hard, it will become hard.
2. Put any thoughts not related to Krishna on the side for the japa session. When chanting the mind start roving about, but leave those thoughts to the side and instead treat the japa session as a conversation with Krishna.
3. Record activities in a weekly diary

In a comment by Syamanada Prabhu, he mentions that we’re to hear each syllable of each mantra for the whole japa session. This can be labeled as a consequence of Japa. When I leave the thought that chanting is hard, I’ve experienced that chanting flows on its own accord and is actually dragging me along as long as I don’t interfere with it. Is that a consequence of Japa, or is it part of the labor? Or may be, it is a symptom?

So we have the job itself (japa), a few techniques, symptoms and consequences attached to Japa meditation. So I now canĀ  try to categorize japa and how it works within these categories. Also, to record activities in a weekly diary doesn’t qualify as a technique, but more as a measuring stick.

Then we have the whole namabhasa and aparadhas, which I haven’t even touched upon. I’ve only begun the work on deciphering this japa system, but I think I have understood the right way for me to approach the understanding of it.