> In article <email@example.com> you wrote:
> : Furthermore, it is my
> : belief that they do not do enough to encourage their devotees to adhere
> : to dharma. I know one student-turned-instructor who has been involved with
> : the mission for 7 years and still eats meat!
> I'm not surprised. I have also found the Chinmaya mission crowd to be a
> bunch of ignorant hypocrites. Your mistake is thinking that their
> claptrap is Advaita.
So, what's the difference between Chimaya mission and Advaita? That is, what
beliefs do they hold that are inconsistent with Shankaracharya's philosophy?
> Real followers of Shankaracharya are as devoted to the shastras as anyone
> which is why our sampradaya is called Smarta. (Followers of Smrti.) I
> very much believe in a personal God. I do the panchayata puja (to Shiva,
> Vishnu, Devi, Ganesha, and Surya) every day along with the Vedic
> Sandhyavandana. We don't have any temples of our own but we acknowledge
> the authority of the Shaiva/Vaishnava/Shakta agamas in these matters. (I
> usually attend a Pushti Margi Vaishnava Mandir myself.) The only
> difference is that we believe that Bhakti can only take you so far and to
> achieve Moksha, one must cease all worldly activity (not like this silly
> karma yoga business) and take Sannyasa.
Karma yoga and Bhakti yoga have both been sanctioned by the Lord, and
Swami Prabhupad believe these two paths to be the most appropriate for
devotees living in Kali Yuga. The Vedic literature describes a number of
devotees who reached Krishna through Bhakti alone... the residents of
Vrindavan for example, were all liberated by their association with Krishna.
The Pandavas and their wife Draupadi also went to Krishna, and I don't think
any of them became sannyasins. (they did renounce their material wealth, but
they did this only when they had crowned Maharaja Parkishit, thus fulfilling
their duty to the state).
> But if God has no qualities you cannot describe him. If you cannot
> describe him, he is impersonal.
This is exactly what the impersonalists say. But Swami Prabhupad's point
is that God DOES have transcendental qualities.
> : I'm in complete agreement. Vivekananda is one of the worst kinds of
> : advaitists.
> : At least the acharyas at Chinmaya mission are vegetarians... but Vivekananda
> : was a meat eater. I think Ramakrishna justified this by saying that Vivekananda
> : attained self-realization, and could no longer be affected by sinful acts.
> : My response to this is that if he really did attain self-realization, why
> : did he even *want* to eat meat?
> You have to realize that eating meat per se isn't forbidden by our Shastras.
This is completely incorrect. In Bhagavad-Gita (verse 3.13, if I'm not
mistaken) Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: "The devotees of the Lord are saved by
eating food that has first been offered. Those who prepare food for sense
enjoyment eat only sin." This means that food should be offered to Lord Krishna
first before eating. In Srimad Bhagavatam, it is described what kinds of things
Lord Krishna will eat, and meat and eggs are not accepted by Him. Therefore
we have to take this to mean that meat-eating is forbidden, not just for
sannyasins but for everyone.
> It is a matter of regional custom. Bengalis tend to eat meat and fish.
> I agree Vegeterianism is dharmically superior though. And it is required
> for someone who calls himself a sannyasi.
If vegetarianism is "dharmically superior," then you have to acknowledge that
the Vedas declare meat-eating to be sinful and vegetarianism to be the norm.