Emails to Brahmachari

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    What is the cause of the Living entities entanglement and strife in this world? Is it

    ignorance or his voluntary unwillingness to serve Supreme Lord Sri Krsna? Is it possible

    or the soul being spiritual in Nature to have material desires? A murderer kills sleeping

    beggars on the street and says that it was by the divine inspiration of Providence? Can

    he in one sense be right? Does Christianity have anything in common with Sanatana

    Dharma These issues are being dealt with in the following debate. To find out more.

    Read on

    What follows is a philosophical discussion between Akincana Krsna Dasa (Akd) andBhushan Kotnis a student practicing the Krsna Consciousness philosophy in the U.S.A.

    Kotnis challenges the Gita philosophy presented in the website

    http://cbdvashiiskcon.blogspot.com.

    Please don't confuse between the Names Baladeva Vidya Bhushan (Gaudiya Vaishnava

    Acarya) and the student Bhushan Kotnis. They are two different personalities altogether.

    Akd's replies are colored. When two colors appear in the same mail they are his quotesfrom previous mails quoted by Bhushan Kotnis.

    Hare Krsna.

    **********Akd writes to Bhushan*************Hope this mail finds you in the best of health and K.C. Long time no communication So Ithought I will send you this link. - http://cbdvashiiskcon.blogspot.com. It is of theprogram I am taking on the B.G systematically verse by verse.

    E-mails to a Brahmachary

    KalpatararuCo-operativeHousingSociety

    CommunityHall

    Sector8-B

    CBDBelapurNaviMumbai

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    Hare Krsna and all the best.Akincana Krsna Dasa

    *********** Akd's replies to Bhushan Kotnis' mail in Red***********Dear Akincana Krishna Prabhu,

    Thank you for your email, I am pleased to hear about the program you are conducting atVashi. In NYC we also have a Gita Sutras class divided into three levels conducted byRasanath Prabhu and his team. I would like to share something about how they share theGita for Americans.

    It all started when Rasanath Prabhu was in Cornell doing his MBA. He was giving Gitaclasses and one time he gave Bhagavad Gita As it Is to a female student. Some days latershe returned the Gita with a bitter mail because she couldnt digest the some of thepurports by Srila Prabhupada on women. So he started thinking how to culturallytranslate the message in this post modern era especially in USA.

    In the Gita Sutras they have formed an innovative approach. They use examples fromwestern philosophers Freud, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche etc also lot of stuff from NY Times,experiences in Business Schools, corporate world, documentaries, and movies.

    Hare Krsna. Thank Krsna that in India I don't have to read these philosophies to preach.Most of the Indians appreciate the talk if we directly speak from the Gita and theMahabharata. They in fact find it very interesting. This is one of the advantages for apreacher in India. He has the luxury to dive deep into the Vedic literatures directly andcan also get a huge audience to come and listen to you.

    The western world was shaped by these western thinkers and they communicate to the

    students how the thoughts in Bhagavad Gita were also echoed by these personalities.Rasanath Prabhu also writes articles for the Huffington Post, I found them interesting

    I checked the website. Nice design and content. Fit for the western audience. In fact ithardly looks like a Hare Krsna or any other typical religious website. Real hard work.

    Also one of the significant aspects in his classes his dissecting the human psyche, whatare our motivations, why do we do things the way we do. This is something everybodycan relate to. The last Bhagavatham class we discussed about how we have this "hero"

    nature and need for validation ingrained in all of us.

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    Here we analyze the psyche of Arjuna from the Bhagavad Gita directly from the Acaryascommentaries. The different reasons Arjuna gives for not fighting etc. It makes justexcellent preaching material.

    However the most important part of his classes is vulnerability. I.e making everythingpersonal.

    This is very important. Bhakti Caru Maharaj gives the formula to preach. About 60% love,15% Prasad, 10% kirtan, 5% philosophy, and 10% everything else in ISKCON which isresponsible to make a devotee. People are hardly philosophical these days. I mean doesit take philosophy to engage in drug alcohol and other forms of addictions. Still majoritypeople engage in it unrestrictedly. So it is the experience they are looking for. And apleasurable one.

    Sharing how has Bhakti affected me? Sharing openly the defects in myself and how I amstruggling against them. This takes a lot of courage and its very powerful. He openly

    shares his anarthas, his fall downs, his struggles and his victories and thus creates a veryopen a non judgemental atmosphere where everyone else can be open. This is verypowerful.

    Wow. That really takes courage. Like His Holiness Radhanath swami has done in his book,the journey home. Narada also tells Vyasa about his fall down from a demigod Gandarva

    named Upabarana to become a sudra in his past life. So this is a bonafide method topreach given in the Srimad Bhagavatham originally initiated by Sage Narada.

    .I read your article on chapters 3 and 4 on activity. I have some comments about thearticle. From the article it seems that if you do devotional service properly (i.e withactivity) then one will get good material results. Just like the IIT student who topped. Youalso mentioned some qualifications (University degree etc) required for being aBrahmachary and thus kind of portrayed that Brahmachary/Spirituality is not someescapism.

    In one sense I think spirituality is escapism in the sense that we want to escape from

    material anxieties, suffering etc. And materialists also want to escape from miseries, butthey look externally and find simply band aids rather than getting to the root anddestroying it once and for all. The spiritualist thinks of the permanent solution while

    materialists are less intelligent and think of stop gap measures.

    So in that particular devotee from his replay about chanting it seems he took chanting asan external solution so that chanting was just some external adjustment for him. Andprobably he took that due to the mood of passion and things in mode of passion nevergive good results. The principle of chanting is correct, but he misapplied it. But we also

    see devotees who applied that principle properly and one of the best examples of this isHG Aindra Prabhu.

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    A preacher can argue from both sides. It depends on from which reference point he isdiscussing. For eg. Arjuna wanted to quit fighting. And there is no denying the historical

    fact that Krsna engaged him in fighting. He wanted to escape, isn't it?Yes but Krsna also gave him the solution to escape the problems of fighting a war whichhe so badly wanted to avoid. He told him the process of Bhakti yoga. So this is escapism.Isn't it.

    I read an article of Sacinandana Swami (His articles are very profoundhttp://bhakticollective.com/2010/01/09/focus-on-the-essential-and-escape-the-tyranny-of-the-one-thousand-urgent-things/ ) in which he dissected the reason for our businessand attachment to activity. We are busy with 10,000 little things just to keep the fear ofdeath away.Restlessness and activity which clouds the intelligence is in the mode of passion and suchactivity is useless.

    In fact to sit in one place and be completely aware/mindful and do nothing is not possiblefor those in the mode of passion.I quote from one of his (HH SNS) articles.

    The French mathematician Blas Pascal once wrote: All mans miseries derive from notbeing able to sit quietly in a room alone.

    Lord Krsna in the B.G and Prahlad Maharaja in the Bhagavatham and S.P refute BlasPascal.B.G 3.5 - Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired

    rom the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something,

    not even for a moment.

    SP Quote: We saw a signboard in a yoga society in Los Angeles that said You becomesilent, and youll become God. And here Krsna says that you cannot become silent even

    or a moment.

    Lec BG 3.15 Los Angeles 68

    5. Prahlads prayers to Nrshimhadev (Mauna vrata or silence is meant for neophytes.S.B 7.9.46)When a child speaks a lot of rubbish. Parents tell them to shut and sit quietly. When he is

    sober. He is expected to speak and behave the right way.

    Its not that we should accept or renounce activities, because such thoughts stem fromignorance, the right approach is to have an elevated consciousness while performing anactivity. Important is an elevated consciousness and not if I do an activity or I dont or if Itop or I dont top. Activity/results of an activity may or may not be a correct index of

    persons consciousness.

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    As I quoted Gita earlier. Activity can never be stopped at any time.

    Please let me know your thoughts, I always like my conceptions to be challenged and in

    this way I can learn more.

    Hope you gained from the conversation. Keep in touch. Hare Krsna

    Thanks A Lot

    Your ServantBhushan

    ***Akd replies to Bhushan Kotnis' mail in purple. What appears in Red are his repliesfrom previous mail************From: Bhushan Kotnis Date: Thursday, July 22, 2010, 7:47 PM

    Hare KrishnaDear Akincana Krishna PrabhuThank you so much for your email and the replies. I was think