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Absolute-Truth Forums » Vaishnava Corner

Contemporary Issues and devotees

(2 posts)
  1. Truth Seeker
    Key Master


    Contemporary Issues - Why devotees should not shy away from it?
    ISKCON in the context of Indian society
    Iskcon(India) cannot distance themselves from the majority Hindu fold. they have to take up the task of carefully supporting and defending the now distorted Hinduism and at the same time make efforts to reform it. In India government is not supportive of Hindu cause. and therefore even the preaching efforts of Iskcon are thwarted. Its a challenge here in India unlike outside India. Here we discuss on some issues in detail on why devotees should take social responsibility to educate common public without diluting on the core responsibility to preach.

    Vedic perspectives on current happenings.
    Just to address any apprehensions here. Our approach should be only to highlight issues that impact Vedic culture and analyze the underlying causes and offer spiritual alternatives and solution from the scriptures. Although our effort should not be to focused exclusively on these topics, its important to create awareness on issues that affect us as we are generally looked by the Indian public as Hindus and preaching vedic culture. Our traditional base of recruits have been Hindus all the while. We all know it easy to preach Krishna Consciousness to a Hindu than a converted Christian or Muslim. Every Hindu converted to a Christian or Muslim not only becomes agnostic to vedic culture he adopts nefrarious means to destroy it too. So it is in our self interest to work with Hindu groups for preserving the existing setup. So from all angles from the varnashrama point of view it augurs well to work to preserve what we have and then set your view on fulfilling the vision of Sriman Mahaprabhu to take chanting of the holy name in every town and village.

    Contemporary issues and scriptures
    Capturing the progress of Kali Yuga and thereby awaken innocent people from their slumber. It is important to highlight the "Symptoms of Kali Yuga" vis-a-vis the day to day happenings and thereby get people to notice the scripture and seek solution at the lotus feet of the holy name.
    In Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna without any ambiguity has spoken about the duties of Ksatriyas to protect Dharma. Especially in the first section of the second chapter. Although this is definitely inferior to pure devotional service yet as sadhakas we all agree that we would be better off in a society that is favorable to varnashrama culture.

    In Bhagavatam we can see how when the ksatriya class fails the
    brahmanas intervene to set things right to restablish dharma. Take for example from the story of King Vena how he was killed by the brahmanas for neglecting duty shows Brahmanas don't have to remain mute spectators and they have a responsibility to take up to preserving dharma if the Ksatriya class fails. And there is another instance of Sage Parasurama taking up to arms to annihilate the irreligious Ksatriya class. So it is everyone's responsibility to protect dharma although how we do it by direct action or supporting the cause could be different depending on our skills and capacities.

    In Srimad Bhagavatam Nava Yogendras advise Maharaja Nimi how a Madhyama Adhikari responds to different kind of people. And tries save the innocent people from being polluted by the demoniac natures. 11.2.46An intermediate or second-class devotee, called madhyama-adhikārī, offers his love to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is a sincere friend to all the devotees of the Lord, shows mercy to ignorant people who are innocent and disregards those who are envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

    Srila Prabhupada never shied away from social issues concerning Sanatana Dharma. Directing his comments specifically to this province of Andhra Pradesh, Srila Prabhupada said to Mr Raju chairman TTD, "You are very great devotees of Balaji. Balaji is Krsna, Bala Krsna. So I wish that the government may be conducted under the guide of Balaji, Lord Krsna. That is my request. And the codes and the orders and the rules and regulations, they're all stated in the Bhagavad-gita. ... It's a great culture. So karma, ordinary fruitive activities should be carried on for yajnarthe, for the satisfaction of Balaji, or Krsna. Not otherwise. What is gathered as contribution, it should be utilized for yajna. Because the money is given for yajna, not for other purposes. People were giving their money in good faith to Balaji. That money should not be utilized for any other purpose except yajna. First of all, you have to decide like that, then we can give you direction. First of all, you have to decide that this money, not a single farthing should be spent for any other purpose than performing yajna, then we can give you right direction. And if you have plan to utilize this money for any other purpose, that is not Krsna's mission, that is your mission. So first of all you have to decide whether you are going to execute Krsna's mission or your mission." - From "A Transcendental Diary Vol 4" by HG Hari Sauri Prabhu.
    [*]He always emphasized the need of Daivi-varnashrama dharma and creating a proper social situation for devotees to practice. How do we practice varnashrama in an hostile society?
    []Lack of properly trained Ksatriyas bound to impact everyone in many ways in future.
    []As days in Kali Yuga progresses more people will become atheistic (or followers of false religions) and they will blaspheme the Lord and his devotees. In an increasingly hostile situations emerging out as a result of progress of Kali, how vaishnavas should respond?
    []Of course unconditional complete surrender to the Lord and the holy name is the only way.
    []Still we can't be callous when Krishna's interest is at stake. At the least we should voice our protest and create awareness.[1][2][3].

    Our hope is to sensitize devotees to adopt proper social responsibility as a Madhyama Adhikari to discriminate and take stand on social issues instead of shying away.

    []What Srimad Bhagavatam says about how to react in such situations,
    []10.74.40 Anyone who fails to immediately leave the place where he hears criticism of the Supreme Lord or His faithful devotee will certainly fall down, bereft of his pious credit.
    []4.4.17 If one hears an irresponsible person blaspheme the master and controller of religion, one should block his ears and go away if unable to punish him. But if one is able to kill, then one should by force cut out the blasphemer's tongue and kill the offender, and after that one should give up his own life.

    In Mahabharata we see that if someone maintains silence when there some injustice occurring in their presence, he has to take one-quarter of the resultant Karma. It was under this clause that both Bhisma and Dronacharya were implicated as they had kept quiet when attempt was made to disrobe Draupadi in the palace of Kauravas and for this act they had to die a ghastly death in the battlefield. Dronacharya was killed in the mighty arms of Dristadyumna. But Bhisma being a devotee of the Lord didn't have to undergo such a ghastly death but had to lie on the bed of arrows his throat parched with hunger and thirst for many days after the battle.

    How Contemporary Issues affect ISKCON
    ISKCON is the one of the organisation in the forefront of spreading Vedic culture . It has its temples, preaching centers, restaurants and farm communities all over the world in 5 continents numbering about 550. There have been many attempts in the past by atheists, communists and fanatical elements of other religions to stifle its growth in various parts of the world right from its inception in 1965. And many such times the Sangh Parivar has come to its rescue. To name a few,

    1. In 1974 The ISKCON's make shift temple property in Juhu Mumbai was almost demolished by a corrupt Municipal Officer of Bombay Municipality playing into the hands of real estate tycoon Mr Nair who sold the property to ISKCON. It took Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thakeray’s intervention to save the land in the nick of the time before the sanctum sanctorum was to be touched. Srila Prabhupada engaged devotees to do a intense media campaign against action and turn the public in
    its favor.

    2. In 1984 ISKCON's prime property donated by George Harrison the Bhaktivedanta Manor was all set to be attached to the Goverment due to some complaints of public inconveniences in London. It took months of protests by VHP, Pandava Sena and other Hindu frontal organisations to secure the Land.

    3. In 2002 the WB CPM goverment refused to give permission to ISKCON World Headquarters in Mayapur to construct the Vedic planetarium on its own land. It even refused to meet ISKCON Patron and scion of the Ford family Albert Ford or Ambarish Dasa on this matter who later met the then Prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

    4. In 2005 there was a grave threat to ISKCON farm community in Kazakhstan by the Muslim goverment who wanted to usurp the legally acquired land pressured by the land sharks. They declared the ISKCON property as illegal and have already demolished the houses of some of the members
    and are threatning to take over the temple while leaving the properties of other communities untouched . It sparked protests in New Delhi and many parts of the world by Hindu frontal organisations like RSS, VHP and BJP which forced them to go slow on their intended moves. But the threat still looms large over the devotees on the Land.

    Precarious situation in India
    The vedic culture and heritage in India is under threat from Christian and Islamic religious extremist many states like the 4 North eastern states and southern states have become out of bounds for Hindu practitioners. Theye are directly persecuted or thier existence is becoming muffled and cornered by blatant social and economic discrimination. And the pseudo secular political parties who want to stay in power by hook or crook take shelter under these elements for vote to stay in power and turn a blind eye or even abet their nefarious activities to wipe out Hinduism. The Hindus have become numb to all kinds of atrocities past and present they have become apathetic to their own long term welfare.

    Other Articles of Interest
    1. http://news.iskcon.com/node/1837/2009-03-21/government_control_weakens_indias_temples
    2. Everyone have right for self defence including a devotee. Here is Narada Muni's recommendation. There was a very venomous snake which was harming everyone. Once Narada Muni happened to pass by the jungle and came across this snake. The sage preached to the snake and by the association of Narada Muni it became a devotee and accepted Harinama initiation from the Sage. The Sage instructed the Snake not to harm anyone. Eventually mischievous people took advantage of Snake's sudden change and pelted it with stones. After many days when the Sage came to see the Snake it was on the verge of death. The Snake told its story. The Sage told the Snake. I only said not to harm others that doesn't mean you should even stop hissing.
    3. ↑ We have the duty to preserve the wonderful historical temples connected to vaishnava acharyas and their teachings for the future generation.
    4. Dharmah protects those who protect it. - Mahabharata.
    5. Preserve and Perpetuate Sanatana Dharma
    6. Threat to acquire ISKCON's Land
    5. Forgotten Indian History - Stephen Knapp.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. Truth Seeker
    Key Master

    Review of Breaking India by Bhakti Vikasa Swami
    India is clearly the subject of a sustained and perniciously demeaning propaganda campaign undertaken by international academia and communication media. This campaign is so successful that most Indians, including or especially those who are superficially educated, believe and even assist the propagation of the lies that this campaign propagates, for instance that of an Aryan, anti-Dravidian invasion. Much counter propaganda is required to debunk such treacherous myths, and Breaking India will hopefully herald a new genre of well-researched volumes aimed at putting the record straight. Breaking India is one of those rare books that are simultaneously groundbreaking and potentially paradigm shifting. It sheds light on various social, political, religious, ethical, intellectual, and educational issues vital to India's future. Many persons suspect, but have little clear idea about, the frightening phenomena that Malhotra and Neelakandan have scrupulously researched and provided clear perspectives on: the ongoing demographic takeover of India by forces viciously opposed to everything that she has traditionally stood for. Fundamentalist Christians and Muslims, hostile foreign governments, and Maoists and other internal terrorist groups, are realizing their aims, the likely outcome of which is of India descending into uncontrollable sectarian strife and political dismemberment. All this is happening under the nose of and often with the deliberate or unwitting aid of Indian political, intellectual, and business leaders. I learned much from this book and recommend it to all persons benignly concerned with the destiny of India.

    Posted 5 years ago #

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