Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Questions and Answers by Jayadvaita Swami

Jadavaita Swami class on Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 2, Chapter 15, Text 15
When Brahma attained perfection he did not merge into the impersonal feature of God. Rather he saw the beautiful features of the Lord, the Supreme Person, and he came to understand his own personal nature as well. The devotees serve the Lord with affection, and the Lord reciprocates affectionately (Bg. 4.11).
A rich man if he wants to create a building, he will not move the bricks by himself. He will hire a contractor who will worry about that. Similarly, if he wants to destroy a building, he also hires a contractor. However to maintain a building, he will oversee the operation himself to make sure it is being done properly. It is similar with Lord Vishnu, who delegates creation to Brahma and destruction to Siva, and who sees to the maintenance Himself.

Q: Why is the all-knowing Lord surrounded by the Vedas to instruct him?
A: To set an example.

Q: How can we understand Goluka is more opulent than Vaikuntha?
A: Real opulence is devotion. A beautiful rural setting is also opulent. In Goluka, Krishna can do as He likes without worrying about formality. This is also opulence.

The gopis, who are the most celebrated of Krishna’s devotees, appreciate the service of Govardhan Hill and each of the other residents of Vrindavana. They do not think “We are the exalted gopis and this Govardhan is just a pile of rocks.”

Jayadvaita Swami, Canto 4, Chapter 4, “Sati Quits Her Body”

Q: Could you discuss the statement that “divorce is generally caused womanly weakness”?
A: Srila Prabhupada was commenting on the phrase in the verse ”straina-vimudha-dhih”, bewildered feminine nature. A summary of the discussion is that women tend to be more emotional than men and because of that they may not choose the best course of action and that will lead to bad result, as is the case here with Sati.

He tells a story that Socrates sent out the women after he took the hemlock poison because they would react emotionally to his dying. When Plato and some of Socrates’ male followers began to lament, Socrates said, “Do not grieve like that. That is why I sent the women out.”

Q: Why is Sati considered chaste if she disobeyed her husband’s order?
A: Because generally she obeyed her husband’s order. This was an exception.

Maharaja asked an older lady in the class for her realization. She said she agreed that women definitely need to be protected.
Although from the spiritual platform we are equal, we have to take into account the material situations. If souls with male bodies unrestrictedly associate with souls with female bodies, souls with children’s bodies will result, so we have to take into account distinctions.
Generally we have not been able to assimilate aspects of Vedic culture such as respect for seniors or respect for mothers, which almost all civilized cultures have. We should teach Vaishnava culture along with the Bhakti-sastri course.

Q: What should I do if someone starts speaking negatively about devotees?
A: Following in the footsteps of Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, you can say “all I know is that all the Vaishnavas are engaged in the Lord’s service.” Or you can change the topic of the discussion.

Bhaktivaibhava Canto 4, Atul Krishna Prabhu

Once Srila Prabhupada defined a falldown as being accidental, if the devotee comes back.

At the Ardha Kumbha-mela, Atul Krishna Prabhu told how the although the Viprasanna yajna adherents try with great endeavor to light their yajna fire by mantra, they would always give up and use a match. We understand that actually only the sankirtana yajna, congregational chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is recommended for this age, as other processes are not practical.

“The way to get out of illusory maya is to engage in the topics of Krishna. Lord Caitanya advocated a process whereby everyone may remain in his present position without change but simply hear from the proper authoritative sources about Krishna. Lord Caitanya advised everyone to spread the word of Krishna. He advised, ‘All of you become spiritual masters. Your duty is simply to talk to whomever you meet of Krishna or of the instructions given by Krishna.’ The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is operating for this purpose” (SB 4.7.44, purport).