My apologies for the late reply. I've been very busy this week.
On Tue, 18 Oct 1994, H. Krishna Susarla wrote:
> So, what's the difference between Chimaya mission and Advaita? That is, what
> beliefs do they hold that are inconsistent with Shankaracharya's philosophy?
They believe that merely by hearing "lectures" on Vedanta, they are
released from the duties commanded by the Shastras. Shankaracharya
teaches that Jnana requires _total_ renunciation from karma i.e.
Sannyasa. Until the moment one takes Sannyasa, one is completely bound
by the vidhis and nishedhas of the Shastras.
> 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.
Karma yoga as interpreted by the modern Hindus means doing your job
well. In other words, if some is an accountant and they do their job
well, this is supposed to be some kind of yoga. This is what I am
calling silly. It is just a justification for greed and is not
sanctioned by anyone. Karma yoga as taught in the Gita is that one
should perform the duties appropriate to ones caste as taught in the
Bhakti simply means fixing the heart and mind on Ishwar. It is not
seperate from karma but complementary to it. (Note there is a Karma
Kanda in the Veda and a Jnana Kanda, but no bhakti kanda.) Karma as we have
established, is enjoined in the shastras. While a conventional person
performs these actions from a sense of duty, a Bhakta performs them from
a sense of duty and love of God. Why was Bhakti recommended for the Kali
yuga? Because most people of this era are weak and they need it's
support. Those who are strong in intellect and knowledge of the shastras
have no need for it, which is why Karma yoga is mentioned seperately.
> 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).
Well if they renounced everything, they are Sannyasis aren't they? And
you'll note they took Sannyasa _after_ fulfilling their duties which
proves the Advaita view, that karma and jnana are completely distinct.
> This is exactly what the impersonalists say. But Swami Prabhupad's point
> is that God DOES have transcendental qualities.
Of course the Saguna Brahman has qualities. Even the Nirguna Brahman has
the attributes of Sat, Chit, and Ananda. But the Vaishnavas would have
us believe that God has attributes such as the Kaustubha Mani, Sudarshan
chakra etc. These are merely attributes of the, lower, saguna brahman.
> 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."
And what makes you think meat is only eaten for sense-enjoyment? Or that
vegetarian food is never eaten for enjoyment? There is a famous
stereotype among Gujaratis of the man who only goes to Vaishnava mandirs
so he can eat a good meal.
> 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.
But the Bengalis who eat meat worship Devi who doesn't have such
scruples. So there is nothing wrong with it unless you are saying there
is something wrong with worshipping Devi in which case how do you explain
Gita 17:4 Note it says Devan not Krshnan.
> 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.
Actually I should have said "mokshically" (ugh! <G>) superior. Moksha is
seperate from dharma. It is sinful for one who desires Moksha. For a
Grhastha, whether it is sinful or not depends on the traditions of his
caste and region.