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Hindus what is your opinion on Srila Prabhupada ?

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by FreeThinker619, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. FreeThinker619

    FreeThinker619 New Member

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    Namaste,

    i have been reading up on him and it seems that there is this stigma where some people are against him/some for him.

    what is your opinion?
     
  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    14,472
    I'm in the middle.

    On one hand, he did wonders to bring Hinduism into mainstream America. Many people would still have no idea what certain aspects of Hinduism would be about were it not for the Hare Krishna movement. Today this may have changed somewhat with a lot of Indian immigrants.

    OTOH, his organisation was wrought with troubles and controversy. So I don't think you have to take a love it or hate it stance. It's a mixed bag.
     
  3. FreeThinker619

    FreeThinker619 New Member

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    okay someone once told me that he gives this wild interpretations of the Gita. who would you suggest i look into?
     
  4. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    14,472
    Go directly to the source then.. Bhagavat Gita As it Is .... which BTW is a lie, as it IS in Sanskrit not English.
     
  5. Wannabe Yogi

    Wannabe Yogi New Member

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    I agree it is a mixed bag. Even his making "Hinduism popular" in the 1960s had a huge down side. The common man on the street might have not had an idea what Hinduism is all about. The Intelligencia did and had great respect for it. In fact the first half of the 20th century it had a huge impact on western thought. Today it has lost much of it's luster due in large part to Prabhupad.

    I think it is very clear that Prabhupad had great love and respect for Krishna. He made very clear and bright the path of Bhakti, in an authentic and genuine way. He was also a very poor judge of character he allowed things to go under his very nose that should have be red flags to even to a normal sensitive person. I personally could not except an acharya who had a large % of his leadership behaving in the ways they did. It seems he was clueless when it came to human behavior,
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    I think that's one of the pitfalls of being blissed out from bhakti, or living in an advaitic state, or whatever. It can make you pretty naive about what us commoners are up to, unless you're incredibly adept at reading auras, or understanding human nature, or you have loyal spies watching out on your behalf.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  7. Wannabe Yogi

    Wannabe Yogi New Member

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  8. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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    I wouldn't call them wild, but rather, overthought, especially 9.26 "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, flower, fruit or water, I will accept it" which is a commandment to vegetarianism; it's not imo. I also like this site The BHAGAVAD-GITA in English because of the four commentaries provided. The commentaries on 9.26 are straight to the point that it is easy for a true devotee of Sri Krishna to please him. Bhagavad-Gita: Chapter 9, Verse 26 Though I like Srila Prabhupada's English wording of some verses. They are somewhat poetic and flowing.

    Another view of the Bhagavad Gita is Ramana Maharshi's. He never read the Bhagavad Gita, but when he heard it, he took the verses at face value, not overthinking them, again using 9.26 as an example. Swami Tapasyananda's and Eknath Easwaran's, imo, are to be taken at face value and not overthought. Paramahansa Yogananda has a liberal and universalist interpretation.
     
  9. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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    Four words:
    Swami Vivekananda.
    Paramahansa Yogananda.

    ;)
     
  10. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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  11. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Persona Polytheist / Proud Ergi Staff Member Premium Member

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    I always liked Tapasyananda's translations... even if his grasp of English can falter at times.
     
  12. Thorbjorn

    Thorbjorn Vikingr vald eda matnadr!!! Staff Member Premium Member

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    Tapasyananda's wording of 2.2 cracks me up: "O Arjuna! Whence has this loathsome stupidity come upon you in this crisis?" Prabhupada translates "The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you?" The Sanskrit, which is beyond my ken, is:

    sri-bhagavan uvaca
    kutas tva kasmalam idam
    visame samupasthitam
    anarya-justam asvargyam
    akirti-karam arjuna

    I have to admit that I frequently use "Whence has this loathsome stupidity come upon you?" when I'm chewing someone out (usually my partner :D ).
     
  13. mohinishaktidevi

    mohinishaktidevi New Member

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    I just found out that the Hare Krishna Movement was pre-dated by a Babaji Swami 60 years earlier, years before WWI. This is amazing! I found this reference on another Forum. A Gaudiya Vaishnava that came to America in the early 1900’s! And he used many similar terms as Prabhupada seemed to coin, yet Prabhupada showed up 60 years later.

     
  14. mohinishaktidevi

    mohinishaktidevi New Member

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    A little more:

     
  15. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee

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    In the Canadian historical family television drama 'Road to Avonlea' there is an episode where a traveling swami comes through town. I know the books, and subsequent series had some basis in history, or at least the writers used history as a guide. So I think there was probably even more than this one and Vivekenanda, but its really hard to tell. The portrayal in 'Road to Avonlea' was essentially positive, if I recall correctly.
     
  16. Wannabe Yogi

    Wannabe Yogi New Member

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    From what I understand one of Swami Vivekananda disciples became a Vaishnava Swami in the 1890s. It was Swami Vivekananda who first brought Vaishnava Ideas to America. It is said that a good number of his first western followers preferred Vishishtadvaita to Advaita.
     
  17. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    Sanatana Dharma
    dear vinayaka ji ,

    to be fair the" bhagavad gita as it is " is in sanskrit well at least my copy is !
    it has transliteration and then translation which personaly I find very usefull , my translation is to english but I belive it has been translated into many many languages in the same format sanskrit first transliteration second followed by a literal translation then a final translation to try to put it into flowing verses .

    to me that is very helpfull .
     
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  18. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

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    dear mohinishakti devi ,

    this goes to show that much of what srila prabhupada taught is what he himself was taught , and that he was not giving personal inturpretations but he was trying to give the west the benifit of the gaudia vaisnava veiw as he was taught it .

    I am not sure what the problem is that many people have with srila prabhupada he was simply carying out his given instructions , it seems that our opinion of him is very much coloured by the later behavior of his deciples .

    unfairly I think the movement is judged by the mistakes made by some and not judged by the benifits that have been shared by many .

    the quotes you give also show the resistance that the west in this case the american people put up when faced with changing attitudes .
    that resistance to change is still prevelant in the general tendancy to criticise any leader of a large organisation that brings about any change in attitude .

    srila prabhupada was part of a tradition , part of a liniage of gurus , his devotees elevated him to a status of being the founder of a movement that movement has now gone in its own direction due to time place and circumstance . I am not entirely sure that we can hold him responcible for that time place and circumstance , and if we could read him in a unbiased way I think you will see that much of what he said was due to the situation he was seeing him self in .

    I think he desedrves reading with an open mind .
     
  19. Amrut

    Amrut Aum - Advaita

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    Religion:
    sanAtan dharma
    Namaste,

    Not to speak ill of Srila, as it has nothing to do with it, but my uncle before shifting to America had donated some amount to his foundation. After he left India, all his posts are redirected at my house.

    Once I received a letter about 'Hare Rama, Hare Krishna Rock Concert'

    Once the founder leaves, there is decline in foundation.

    The atmosphere in Juhu, Mumbai is not much conductive to meditation, though it have bhava. It's too crowded, like a popular Balaji temple.

    Again, regarding His commentary on Gita, my neighbour has a copy. It does have sanskrit verse in Devanagari script, later followed by romanized Sanskrit, with word-to-word meaning.

    But since prem bhakti needs physical body, so all tatva jnana verse are taken as 'knowledge required for devotion'.

    In verse 12:6, the word ananya is translated as not breaking i.e. continuous.

    As I understand it is
    a+anya
    a= not, anya = different
    not-different

    So ananya bhakti means not different. But a bhakta will never say, 'I am brahman', so that is understandable :)

    Again, after each chapter, there is closing verse like in chapter 6 it is

    iti-srimad bhagavad-gita-su, upanishad-su, brahma-vidyAyAm, yog-Sartre, shri krushna-arjuna, sam-vaade, Atma-sayyam-yogo-nAma, ShaSTo-adhyAya

    But Srila's commentary says something like,

    Hereby, the purport of Srila Prabhupada on bhagavad Gita, chapter 6 named DhyAna yoga ends.

    Most authors have renamed 'Atma-sayyam-yog' to either 'abhyAsa Yog' or 'dhyAna-yog' to avoid confusion, but the end verse should not be changed.

    I do not remember the exact words (weak memory), but they do not contain words like brahma-vidya and essence of upanishads

    Again, some verse from chapter 7:13 upto 7:26 talkabout nirakara svarupa but the meaning is changed to suit dvaita or visistadvaita. That is understandable and seems logical. I have a quote different translation by Swami Tadrupanand, who is an advaitin.

    All the 'Me' is translated as Krushna, supreme personality of Godhead.

    But statements are made from different standpoints. So 'I' or 'Me' can be

    1. Body
    2. Mind
    3. Jiva
    4. Ego
    5. Atma bhava (Brahma bhava
    6. Ishwara
    7. Intellect

    e.g. BG 1:1, 'I' means body and ego, I and mine-ness
    Again, when Arjuna say that I do not want to fight and kill my relatives. He is talking from sarira bhAva. When Krishna says, I know everything and you know nothing, he is talking as 'Ishwara'. When he is talking about Brahman and his un-mesfested form and maya (5:6, 9:4 – 9:10, 7:13, 8:3, 18:66), he is talking from Atma bhava.

    When he is talking about neutrality of God (5:15), it is brahman. It can also be taken as Ishwara.

    Sometimes, Both Ishrawa and Brahman can be taken from same verse, e.g. Leave everything and 'come to me' or 'go to me', here one can go to both ishwara and brahman.

    Srila Prabhupada's Gita may be good and may induce bhakti, but bhagavad Gita - As It is? don't know. None can claim it, as there are interpretations from

    karma (lokmanya tilak's Gita Rahasya'),
    bhakti (Srila Prabhupada or Jnaneshwari Gita or Swami Ramsukhdas ji's sadhaka sanjivani - both jnana and bhakti mixed) or
    Jnana (Swami Tadrupanand, Swami Chinmayanand) or
    from Yog standpoint (Bhagavad Gita in Light of Kriya Yoga by Paramhansa Hariharananda and his disciple Paramhansa Prajnanananda - praGYAnanda.

    Again, english translations sometimes sucks. If you are an Indian, better read in mother tongue then to read in english

    Many times, words are wrongly translated

    e.g.

    Mithya is translated as unreal or illusion.

    satya = truth, one which is present at all times (past present and future) and in all states (waking, dream, deep sleep) and even in turiya, e.g. brahman, atman, bhagavan

    a-satya = not-true = unreal = false. not present at any time and at any state e.g. rabbit's horn

    but many times, a-satya is translated as unreal and connected to maya and illusion.

    mithya = in-between, not true and not false.

    a. one which is not there but is experienced e.g. Sea-shel, rope as snake
    b. one which is present in one tense and one state, but not all. i.e. This world is experienced in waking but not in dream state, hence it is not Sasvata (eternal).


    baadha is translated as 'negation' and 'rejection'. Now baadha is absence or negation and not rejection. But many have translated and you will find that Advaita is negation of this world and maya.

    Aum
    Amrut
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  20. MochaRadha

    MochaRadha New Member

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    Many say he brought hinduism to America and that may be teue. but I found out about hinduism withput knowing about him and very glad I did too. he was horribly sexist and had i discovered hinduism through his works I would have never looked deeper into the faith
     
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