Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Paradigm of Black or White -Sexuality Revisited Again - Sahajiyas /Vomit eaters / devotees and all other people

The Paradigm of Black or White -Sexuality Revisited Again - Sahajiyas /Vomit eaters / devotees and all other people

Copied from FB forum w/ comments thread below:
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 1:36pm

Bhagavan Prabhu, thank you for the quick and thoughtful response.
It seems that my question is as much a "pure devotee question" as it is a "sexuality question".

During my tenure in "official" ISKCON, I was under the impression that a pure devotee is, well, somehow above humanness... the word "apauruseya" means exactly that. Since (s)he is guided directly by Krishna, therefore his teachings are perfect and fit for those to whom it was uttered. When asked about his purports, Srila Prabhupada said that they are dictated by Krishna himself.

You give a different interpretation of a pure devotee, which is much more consistent with the known history. You said that Srila Prabhupada was not only a mahatma, but at the same time he was a human being too. His motivations were perfectly pure; as for his practical policies, some of them worked, and some of them ought to be reworked...

I can accept such a definition of the pure devotee, one who is driven completely by the motivation to please Krishna, but on the other hand without the complete knowledge and omnipotence of Him and influenced by his surrounding. But it is somehow disagrees with the view I was exposed to within ISKCON. Then, I don't have much knowledge about pure devotees - if I met any face to face, they were humble about it and I never got to know for sure.

And now we can return to my original point... It was Prabhupada who instituted the complete celibacy within ISKCON, but also, as far as I know he wasn't the only one in the disciplic suggestion. Indeed, when I voiced my doubts to my spiritual authorities, arguing that sexuality (including non-procreative one) can be quite possibly also the God's and Goddess' energy, they sternly warned me that this was the siddhanta of the sahajiyas.

They told me that there really exists a group in India that practices non-procreative sex to realize their Godly/Goddessly nature respectively through its released energy, and that this is a very offensive and dangerous form of mayavada. Sex is to be used only for having spiritually taught children, they emphasized, and quoted Shridara Swami's commentary on Bhagavad-Gita 10.28, which supported their position.

To my further counter arguments about Kama Sutra, and those surprising passages in the Shrimad Bhagavatam (Kardama and Devahuti, and Indra's boon to the women in exchange for accepting his sinful karma etc.), they again quoted Bhagavad-Gita, this time about "the flowery words of the Vedas", and that these were written for the common non-devotees, while for devotees aspiring to serve Krishna, the standard is complete celibacy except if you want to produce children.

So, at the end, they had our whole parampara to support the official ISKCON position, and I ended up without any sadhu-guru-shastra support as an undisciplined sex freak with mayavadi tendencies. It was quite a frightening thing to find out that not a single member of the parampara had anything encouraging for those like me who are not up to the standard yet have a desire to practice bhakti-yoga.

Finding myself to be totally unqualified - and now bereft of all chance for ever getting initiated, which is said to be a basic requirement for the devotional service of Krishna, - I was so shaken that I was contemplating on going back to full karmi life; by Krishna's grace, my good wife discouraged me from doing so.

So I still practice Krishna consciousness to the extent I can do so at home and at work, and sometimes I go to Sunday feasts and kirtans (which seems to be the few parts of ISKCON life still open to me). But I am still confused and full of doubt, because I know that my (well, our) acts are not up to the shastric standards and am not sure if I can ever become a real devotee.

You said that "sounds good, feels bad" situations are to be mindful of . Yet I am in a "sounds bad, feels good" situation..


Comments thread:

Cara Yoshizumi
Almost none of the devotees I talked to followed the rules about sexuality perfectly but usually they got married and committed "lesser sins" i.e. non-procreative sex. Hridayananda blessed a gay couple; there is a flexibility in the practice that is not in the official rules/dogmas of the one kicked out the sinners and they always strived to purify their practice...
March 17 at 5:43pm ·

Tania Pellegrini
Sin is the separation to the SOURCE of everething.With the mind we can formulate many intricate thoghts. But God is very simple God is Love, God is sincerity,God is to be onest to yourself because you know tha He is inside of you, God is union because first to be Krishna,He is the ONEIf you don't understand His impersonal nature you cannot ... See Moreunderstand His Sublime Personality!The mind will never understand God, only the heart!That meansto love everithing and everyone WITHOUT JUJING. Judgment it comes from ego and mind and comes also from the fear of the unknown!Hare Krishna dears!
March 17 at 10:54pm ·

Gaura Raya Dasa
Ty Bernard for your straight forward and honest words. The standard of the 4 regulative principles is the bottom line. Three or two is not going to cut it. We have to keep in the fight and be rightly situated in our determination and not cultivate a lesser standard. Sure one may fall , many times but still our success is in the struggle not the ... See Moreresult. The ability to follow the 4 regs is due to karma, so we have to be careful not to cultivate desires that are not favorable to our progress.
Understand where you are at and where you want to be and take appropriate actions. Practice a good sadhana, Chant 16 attentive rounds, read Srila Prabhupadas books everyday, cultivate the mode of goodness and avoid the association of non devotees, Ditch your tv! take regular advice from senior devotees who have the qualities you seek. It is possible i believe to not have to settle for a lesser standard but to have- "Good progress in Reasonable time"

March 18 at 1:49am ·

Alexis Kriel
Every single person has a different situation with permeations that are relevant only to him - his conditioning is specific, his spiritual evolution is specific, and his karma is multi-faceted with paradigms of many births in this world, many lifetimes of experiences and many choices that impact on him now.

Every religion swears the absolute truth, the final destination and the ultimate liberation. And they are also very different. Every follower of every religious process has faith that their path is the only way and that everyone else will burn in hell, merge with the brahmajyoti or continue to suffer from the miseries of repeated birth and death. Many wars are fought to establish these conclusions as absolute, people are labelled sahajiyas and mayavadi's, devils, demons, and sinners.

How does this make me feel? Disgusted, repulsed, repelled. Who will I follow? The mood of those that show the least level of judgement, the highest and most liberated form of acceptance, the least violence and the most love. How will I find my way? By following the voice within that is constantly directing and informing me. Is there anyone else I can trust completely? No. ... See More

What shall I do? I shall be honest with myself and with others, I shall take full responsibility for my actions and my decisions, and I shall believe that a state of loving consciousness is the final goal where the soul is neither male or female, old or young, black or white - it is not defined by anything material and it does not belong to any one exlusively.
March 18 at 3:11am·

Gaura Raya Dasa
The intricate nature of each individuals karma is complex no doubt but the simple formula that was laid out by Srila Prabhupada is just that, simple ,chant 16 and follow 4. All the rest is supportive if we strive to do these things our relationship with the Lord and His devotees will blossom and flourish.
It is a long way round to speculate that my situation is different so i have to find my own path. Just to find in the end the process of accepting that KC is hard work and one has to be intelligent and determined to progress. no doubt one may harbor many misconceptions but if one sticks to the process then everything will be worked out in time. We are all 100% dependent all the time we belong the Krsna. Our situation is arranged by the lord for our realization and nothing else . Cultivate how He is in your life, be conscious of Him and His relationship with all around us and act in that consciousness.
March 18 at 3:30am ·

Alexis Kriel
I agree with your statement: We are all 100% dependent all the time we belong the Krsna. Our situation is arranged by the lord for our realization and nothing else . Cultivate how He is in your life, be conscious of Him and His relationship with all around us and act in that consciousness.

And I believe that I am doing that.

Life is hard work, and the temple community of devotees is just a small microcosm of life. I believe that my real work is outside in the real world. ... See More

I had many beautiful experiences with the Lord, living within the temple but when you begin to regress in spiritual life it's time to find a new path. And I will remain free to do so.

Finding that you are in the wrong place after 10 years of committed service is something I can't afford to do again - the transitions are far too hard, too painful and take too long. I have no desire other than to know myself intimately and I will never again pretend to be anyone other than who I am.

Living in a temple separated me from my family - who I am extremely attached to ...and it was entirely wrong for me. It created great pain in my life and in the lives of my family members and I continue to have nightmares about the choices which this way of life imposed upon me.

My greatest lessons of love were taught to me by simple people who were not following the KC path of devotional service. My experiences with KC did not support your last statement: Cultivate how He is in your life, be conscious of Him and His relationship with all around us and act in that consciousness.

I believe that the Lord loves me - I see Him looking at me with love all the time.

This is my individual reality, the one that I have faith in and the place where I belong.
March 18 at 4:00am ·

Alexis Kriel
very profound words by Bhagavan: "So the idea is not to 'preach' to someone to make them merge, think or be like you because you have the 'chosen philosophy' with the chosen guru and the chosen movement with the chosen hierarchy."

Krishna Consciousness has led me to where I am now.
March 18 at 4:10am ·

Tania Pellegrini
Life is wonderfull and we have to enjoy it.Krishna is life and you want to kill Krishna and yourselves ! I pray for you heart to be happy Krishna cannot enter in a sad heart!Hari Bol
March 18 at 6:41am ·

Gaura Raya Dasa
Ty Alexis for revealing your mind, cultivating such exchanges are what brings us closer together as a community and to Krsna. I sad to hear that your time in the temple was such a trial. no doubt we can learn from all experiences. If one sees the need one must do the deed, be the change that you want to see in devotee relationships, surely Krsna will help us . He loves us so much we cannot imagine.
I have in the past like yourself given my will over to others thinking that i would be come free from the responsibilities of action. Which also has caused me deep and lasting grief. I can see that this shock has also given me a keen sense for future situations where there is and invitation to act unconsciously, in ignorance or out of fear. we must learn from our mistakes not give up on the process. Or the whole experience becomes a burden which we carry with us life after life .
Temple life is a small and special part of Lord Caitanya's plan for flooding the world with the Holy name lets pray to be a part of that flood!
Thank you again for your heart
ys gauraraya das
March 18 at 1:10pm ·

Alexis Kriel
Thanks Gaura - I have not given up on my spirituality is more alive than ever.
March 18 at 1:41pm ·

Guru Gauranga Das
Srila Prabhupada Purport to SB 1.5.22“Human intellect is developed for advancement of learning in art, science, philosophy, physics, chemistry, psychology, economics, politics, etc. By culture of such knowledge the human society can attain perfection of life.”

There are two major faulty beliefs intimated in the above letter from Bernard.

A person that takes up duties in another ashrama, their spiritual advancement or knowledge is void. This type of faulty thinking is called thinking in “Black and White” in behavioral psychology. If you use this thinking as a template to judge then, Because Bhisma who is a Mahajana, faught against Krishna and stood by with the disrobing of Draupadi, you would conclude that Bhisma is fallen and should be excluded from the Bhagavatam. One would also discriminate against such elevated persons as Pundarik Vidyanidhi, who chewed betel and paan and consider him an enjoyer when infact he is Nanda Maharaja. Or criticize Lord Nityananda for taking on 2 wives after being a renunciate! This tendency of seeing things in a polarized way - either good or bad – while ignoring the middle ground, seems to be plaguing the ISKCON mindset....

The other type of psychological problem is the faulty thinking where you “label” someone. People who filter the truth or history about someone, to distill out of it the bad only “Label” that person, disregarding the good things, and create their own illusory reality. Such people tend to label like; “My boss is a jerk”, “My sister in-law is a bitch”, “That guy is a creep”, “That devotee is fallen”, “He is a vantasi”, “He is into tantra”. With this kind of labeling you try to sum up a whole person by pointing out some perceived mistake or fault and conclude their whole existence on that.

Besides having these outright perception of reality blunders, the philosophical purity of thinking that there is only “bad sex” or “No Sex” is wrong. Firstly SP states that, “Negation of the mundane does not establish a transcendental fact”. This is stated in Iso Upanishad, SB and CC. What Srila Prabhupad is explaining is that spirituality is not connected to the mundane by negating it. So the faulty perception is like this
1) Enjoy Mundane Sex or 2)Spirituality means NO SEX.

The Vedic concept is, 1)Kama, 2)Jnana, 3)Bhakti

or think of it with the Hegel paradigm of

1)Thesis, 2)Antithesis, 3) Synthesis.

So the correct perception would be,
1) Enjoying Material Sex 2) Having No Sex 3)Spiritual Sex that is not Mundane.

The third one above represents the synthesis or Bhakti. This concept is what is understood by “I am sexlife that is not contrary to religious principles”. It is the unalloyed harmony that is found in this sex and its creative potency that Krishna refers to, not the mundane connotations to sex.

Now if you have any other interpretation of what Krishna meant by “I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles” then let’s hear it. Obviously every intelligent person understands that advancement means to have harmonious loving relationships with everyone without the need for sex. Sex can give you a glimpse of that unalloyed harmony that is possible between two. In advance stage one can be just as loving and harmonious with everyone without sexual contact. Just like the Kanistha sees only the Lord and sees others as fallen, whereas the Uttama sees everyone as advanced and himself as fallen. Similarly the kanistha can only feel harmony with his wife at the time of sex (good for sudras to understand harmony) whereas the transcendentalist feels loving harmony with all living beings and is not dependent on sex. So if we all become spiritual tree huggers of people without sex then we are approaching that level. But sexual experience gives a small token glimpse, and you can see how people are going for it, so imagine if they taste the unlimited version of complete harmony with everyone?

The conclusion here is that in order to see things correctly we have to guard against perception that is colored though our cloudy mind and then jump to conclusions. Obviously we cannot socialize people into ISKCON if we take this hard line. Rather when devotees become flexible they will see that the whole material world is “Om Purnam adah purnam idam” perfect and complete, and therefore Krishna has a Divine purpose even in sex. The question is can you see it? Krishna states, “For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost to him, nor is he ever lost to Me”
March 18 at 1:44pm ·

Veda Sastra
Guru Gauranga Das ,thanks for sharing ...beautiful quotation and very good examples .
March 18 at 2:08pm ·

Inez Canvasser (Krishna Bhamini)
Of course , this is a balanced perception. Thank you. Krsna Bhamini
March 18 at 2:30pm ·

Cara Yoshizumi
Giriraj Swami told a bunch of us neophytes that even if we can't/don't follow all the regs, to chant the names of God as much as we can--the goal is to always remember Krishna. After 13 years in association I still haven't been excommunicated or punished. I have curbed some of my worst material tendencies (and have much more to go!). Parama ... See MoreKaruna Liberman told me to do what I can sincerely rather than burning myself out and thus alienating myself from the path of self-realization; it is at a different pace for all of us. I try to use my logic/reason as well, as Hridayananda Goswami has encouraged me to do (not as an end in itself). I think that Krishna Consciousness is an amazing path with intelligent, sincere, kind people; Jesus said "by their fruits you shall know them". The fruits have not always been perfect; an honest assessment of how things can be systematically improved is essential.
March 18 at 4:49pm ·

Dhritarastra Tulasi
Srila Prabhupada told us & set the example of the highest standards of behavior. Self realization means to understand individually where we stand.... & try to improve... not judge others... as there is no benefit for anyone in that. in fact we should feel compassion for others..You are more likely to influence someone by being nice to them.
Of course we are not @ the highest standard of pure love of God, but the vedas were meant so anyone in any position could move forward..That is the beauty of Krishna's plan.. He has made arrangrments for everyone no matter how good or bad we may be acting. Look @ Hiranyakasipu.. In the end it turned out good for him.
Everyone is serving Krishna according to his realizations...But we do pray, chant & serve Krishna & his devotees hoping to advance beyond our weaknesses.. Radhe Shyam dhrits just a thought
March 26 at 7:26am ·

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