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Impartial or cruel?

Discussion in 'Hinduism - Philosophy and Theology DIR' started by Sirona, May 3, 2019.

  1. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    Namaste,

    I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Swami Vishwananda on selected verses of the Srimad Bhagavatam. What bugs me is Swami Vishwananda narrating the story of Ajamila, stating right in the next chapter that God (Narayana) is so “impartial” that he doesn’t care about you so you rather should turn to “the saints” instead (by which I strongly suppose he means himself) who will love you because Vishnu doesn’t.

    I had noticed a similar quality in his commentary on the Gopi Gita where he puts words in Krishna’s mouth excessively mocking the gopis for being in love with him. (I thought this was “normal” because, well, it was the Gopi Gita.) Of course, I cannot give or expect a remote diagnosis on somebody’s character but I couldn’t help wondering whether somebody who enjoys writing such things might have a certain trait of hidden cruelty behind his smiling face.


    Bhagavad Gita 9.29 says:

    I am equally disposed to all living beings; I am neither inimical nor partial to anyone. But the devotees who worship Me with love reside in Me and I reside in them.


    Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.68 says:
    The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart, and I am always in the heart of the pure devotee. My devotees do not know anything else but Me, and I do not know anyone else but them.


    Comments welcome.
     
  2. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    Does not sound like an enlightened person to me.
     
  3. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    That sounds like cross-contamination from some reconstructionist Pagan and Heathen paths... "gods of limited access", the concept that the gods are too far above us, and too busy for us insect-like beings. Rather we should turn to our ancestors (saints) for help, not the gods. I find that completely untenable. I think it's an over-compensation for the meddling and busy-body Abrahamic God who is a puppeteer.

    All this says to me is that God does not go chasing after believers or devotees, but he is ready, willing and certainly able to accept all those who go running after him. A good example of God's hands-off policy is the story of Gajendra Moksha. The tl;dr version is that Gajendra the elephant thought he could save himself. When he saw his cause was hopeless he called on Vishnu for help. Vishnu came running to Gajendra's aid and freed him. But Vishnu would not interfere unless he was called upon.
     
  4. Terese

    Terese Mangalam Pundarikakshah
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    Namaskaram :D I'm not sure if that is what Swami Vishwananda expressly said, i have not delved into his commentaries, but the idea that Sriman Narayana "does not care" is highly against Vaishnava scriptural authority. Perhaps what he was trying to say is that devotees of the Supreme are to be worshipped even greater than Narayana due to their great mercy and humbleness in achieving supreme love of Vasudeva. (This is something in accordance with scripture, though i'm afraid i cannot find a quote at the moment. I understand if you question it.) They are wholly devoted to Narayana, bound in love. As such one should seek a great devotee out than directly seek Narayana, however tempting such a thing would be.

    Gopis love for Lord Krishna criticised? How could that be? Their love for Lord Krishna is so deep and so inspiring that they gained the favour of Lord Krishna's intimate appearance, and eventually the Rasa Lila. There is nothing to criticise. There is nothing to mock. His devotees should never be mocked. That is aparadha and would offend the Lord.
     
  5. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Is it at all possible that he is speaking of Narayana as Nirguna Brahman?

    It is my (perhaps incorrect) understanding that Narayana is Nirguna Brahman until It accepts the rajas guna to become Brahma, the sattva guna to become Vishnu, and the tamas guna to become Shiva.

    If he is, indeed, referring to Narayana as Nirguna Brahman, caring is an attribute of the tamas guna and is not a quality of Nirguna Brahman.

    Then again, caring would be an attribute of Saguna Brahman, so why would one need to turn to the saints for love when one can turn to the gods and goddesses?
     
  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Consider the source.
     
  7. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    That is the problem I see in taking the words of a swami as God's own words. They are many a times, biased and egoistic, sometime knowingly so. Though I do not know, do not want to know, I do not need to know what this Swami Vishwananda said, I have a direct connection to my deities. And in my family, we are not supposed to go after Swamis/babas. The scriptures are there. If one has doubt, study them, one would find answers.

    I do not chant "Gurur Vishnu, gurur Brahma, .." and "Guru bin hoye na gnana Gopala" "O Gopala, Without a guru, one cannot get enlightened". I believe in, as my signature says, "Uttishthata, jāgrata, prāpya varānnibodhata." (Arise, wake up and attain your desired understanding) and "Be your own guru".
    That, of course, differs from common Hindu belief.
     
    #7 Aupmanyav, May 5, 2019
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  8. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    I know it's commonly accepted that one needs a guru to gain realizations and understandings that lead to liberation or enlightenment, but I'm of a similar mindset with Aup. I find so many varying ideologies and ideas among gurus that, at least for me, they muddy the waters more than help with realizations. For me, this has been more a hindrance than it has been a help.

    I think whether or not a guru or teacher helps with liberation is completely dependent on the individual. There are different learning styles, with different individuals gaining more benefit from different styles, and I think this is every bit as relevant to spiritual development as it is with mundane learning.
     
  9. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    Aupmanyav guruji, if God is there for me and is listening to me then I bow and surrender to Him my thoughts as my sadguru so that He can correct me as I get on with my life; if He is not listening to me my life is my own to determine my own dharma (duties and righteous actions) done through satya-advaita or truth accommodation. I do not believe in following swamijis and gurujis even though I have always bowed to your superior knowledge and wisdom about these matters. So I do not dwell on God being in my heart or me being in God's heart to benefit from His intelligence and wisdom. After 20 years of suffering persecution in the United Kingdom through the State activities (you can read my Blog about this) I did not get anywhere with my God submission even with my clock checking for messages from God to withstand the persecution. I have therefore attained moksha by being liberated from God too. Perhaps that is what God wanted for me. That is the state of my enlightenment. Not very dissimilar to what you have determined except that I keep my eyes open as to the existence of a God to visit me again if He determines it to be necessary for His own needs.
     
  10. atanu

    atanu Member
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    Is it possible to link the audio?
     
  11. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    The quote I am referring to is on the audio book of The Essence of Shreemad Bhagavatam by Swami Vishwananda in the chapter "The impartiality of God". AFAIK, The Essence of Shreemad Bhagavatam is not available online, but the Gopi Gita (by Bhakti Marga) is on Youtube and Spotify. I tried to find the Gopi Gita quote online. It seems to be on p. 72 on the English edition, which is not displayed on Google books. I tried. The Gopi Gita quote has Krishna saying something like: "[Gopis] Go home, you know the way back, there is no door in the forest" and "You know that I'm cruel". In the Bhagavatam quote, Vishwananda says that "Narayana lets it rain on the good and the bad alike", which I think refers to the Bible, and he has Vishnu saying: "Why should I give you love when you're not ready for it?"
     
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  12. Terese

    Terese Mangalam Pundarikakshah
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    An amazing pastime of Sri Krishna. I don't see any issue with the quotes you have provided Sirona, Narayana is impartial to all, but is greatly fond of his devotees and their beaming love. The gopis were dismayed by Lord Krishna's words, but refused to leave and stayed with him in heartfelt devotion, even when they did not know he was the Supreme Lord. This pleased Lord Krishna, which would begin the pastimes leading up to the rasa lila.
     
  13. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    Maybe I'm overly sensitive. Maybe there are expressions in speech that are lost when you merely have the written word. My main objection is against the statement that Vishnu is so "impartial" that he withholds prema with the consequence that you should turn to "the saints" instead. Followers of Vishwananda teach that he is God incarnate. This is also taught about others like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, for example, but I'd say I am generally sceptical about deifying people.
     
  14. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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  15. Terese

    Terese Mangalam Pundarikakshah
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    Lord Vishnu never withholds prema. He freely gives it to all devotees. There is no consequence of seeking his devotees. Associating with a spiritual person is the Lord's prema itself. To be near spiritual people is such a great opportunity and blessing.

    All Vaishnavas highly regard their acharyas as great persons worthy of worship. Narayana encourages us to love his devotees as much as him, if not even more. He loves his devotees more than he loves himself, and asks us to praise them greatly. All founders of Vaishnava sampradayas are regarded to be incarnations of the Supreme or his devotees. In Sri sampradaya Sri Ramanujacharya is the avatar of Ananta Shesha, who possesses a deluge of love of Narayana and greatly takes his role as his seat, whether in Vishnu loka or Sri Vaikuntham.

    I understand your skepticism, but understand that logic and mental speculation is useless if you desire to understand the Supreme Lord. Only Vedanta scriptures and devotees of Narayana can do that. Can you truly understand love through logic and reason? No, you must be in love, knowing love is not anywhere near enough. When you love, that love has been made manifest by a partner or an intimate friend. And so to understand love of God, one must not go through mental speculation, but devotion to the Supreme and devotion to his devotees. :)
     
    #15 Terese, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  16. Sirona

    Sirona Hindu Wannabe

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    May I ask you whether you personally follow a guru? If yes, how close is your relationship to that guru, and how does it affect your choices in life?
     
  17. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I have many gurus. Upanishads, Gita, Buddha, Sankara. I may differ with them at times, but still generally follow them. I am at peace with the world (as it is).
     
  18. Shantanu

    Shantanu Well-Known Member

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    I subject all gurus to appropriate scrutiny so that I am my own guru ultimately.
     
  19. Terese

    Terese Mangalam Pundarikakshah
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    Unfortunately no, my area and current situation does not allow that. however i have known some amazingly wise Vaishnavas that in their presence i grow to come closer to Vaishnava teachings and the Supreme Narayana. The association of Vaishnavas is something to be desired if one wishes to worship Narayana/Krishna/Rama. Great bhakti and inclination of seeking the truth grows when you get to commune with those who understand love of the Lord :)
     
  20. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    I'll add my 2 cents also. No, I don't have a guru. I don''t have a large enough Hindu circle for a guru to find me... it's said the guru finds the disciple.
     
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