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Re: superstitions

Dear Jaldhar,

Please accept my humble reply.
> In article <38houi$he9@ucunix.san.uc.edu> you wrote:
> : I think he meant to say "Bengalis who worship demigods like Kali,
> Now where did you get this concept of demigods?  There is no Sanskrt 
> equivalent in concept to demigod.  The Markandeya Purana (which was 
> written by Ved Vyas) proclaims Durga Mata to be the supreme divinity.  
> The Vayu Purana (also written by Ved Vyas) says the same about Shiva 
> bhagavan.  Are you telling me these are not authoritative shastras.

Shastras are shastras, no doubt. But some are karma-kanda. In the
Markandeya Purana we see a variety of actions that are allowed in
ritualistic ways in order to decrease material attachments of
neophytes. For example, meat and fisheating is allowed, but only under
certain circumstances (only on the night of the new moon, far away
from the village, with a sacrifical fire, and only of certain
animals, etc. etc.). Veda Vyasa wrote a wide variety of karma-kanda.
He also wrote jnan-kanda. However, he was not satisfied with what
he had written until his spiritual master Narada Muni commanded
him to complete the bhakti-kanda in Srimad Bhagavatam; you can
refer to Canto 1, Chapter 5 of Bhagavata Mahapurana for this

Why "demigod"? This was the word choice of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Gosvami. This is because they are described deities but
not the supreme. Refer to the DVAITA of Sri Madhvacharya (Anand Hudli
posted this recently) for evidence to this effect; also to various
verses in Bhagavad Gita ("avidhi purvakam" verse that Manish mentioned;
9.23, and its corollary 9.25) and other scriptures.

> : even those who pretend to be brahmanas, tend to eat meat and fish."
> The only people who pretend to be Brahmans are your Hare Krishna crowd.

Great one liner. Please explain.

> : The Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition grew up in Bengal and Orissa
> : and has nothing to do with meat and fish. The overwhelming majority
> : of Bengalis in towns like Nabadwip are devotees of Krishna and
> : Gauranga (Chaitanya). 
> Right and what's the population of Nabadwip compared to Calcutta?  
> Vegetarians are a minority in Bengal and all the provinces around it.

Please read the words of my post. I only refuted the generalization
from a previous post; did not say that most Bengalis are veg., only
that Gaudiyas are. (You impersonalists are always trying to get non-literal
interpretations of great shastras, so I'm not surprised you'd try the
same on my lowly post.)

> : And there are prominent Gaudiya Vaisnava
> : organizations outside of Bengal and Orissa too -- Gaudiya Matha
> : throughout India and ISKCON throughout the world.
> Prominent???  ISKCON is a shadow of it's former self.  Most of the
A shadow that attracts 600,000 people to its temple on Janmastami in
Bombay. A shadow that will soon have the tallest religious building
in the world (Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir). A shadow with Bhagavad
Gita translations in more languages than ever before. A shadow with the
most widely sold Bhagavad Gita translation in the world. A shadow with
the "Glory of India Project"-- a massive temple and Vedic center
funded in part by the Hinduja Foundation and endorsed by the President
of India.

Sounds positively ethereal to me.

> Hippies who joined it in the 60's have grown up and left it.  The only

true. Lots of bloopers. But some are coming back even today.
One of the goals of ISKCON worldwide for 1996 is reuniting
Prabhupada's spiritual family. They have already had reunions
in France and England. We will see if it will work in the U.S.

> thing keeping it afloat is the influx of Indian immigrants.  And these 
> traditional-minded people will have nothing to do with the more 
> ridiculous aspects of your philosophy.  This is exactly what happened at 
> the mandir I attend in Jersey City.  It was originally founded by ISKCON 
> but soon declined.  It was saved by the large number of Gujaratis who 
> were moving into the area.  Once they learned a bit more about your 
> "sublime teachings" they threw your people out.  Now the mandir follows 
> the Pushti Marg of Vallabh.

Funny, our Houston mandir was also saved by the Gujarati
community starting about 1978, and they've all accepted all the
sublime teachings of ISKCON. All the Gujarati leaders have accepted
initiation from Sri Tamal Krishna Gosvami (Srila Gurudeva), and we are
also very friendly with our local Vallabh Prithi Seva Samaj.
There are more congregational members at weekly attendance at the
Houston ISKCON temple than at any of the other temples in Houston
(Sri Meenakshi, Swaminarayan, Vallabh, Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Sai, 
etc.). And the worship is still according to Gaudiya tradition of the
most beautiful lordships Sri Sri Radha Nila-Madhava, the second tallest
deities in the ISKCON movement, and the tallest in North America.

The Gujarati community has already pledged a million to the temple's 1996
construction project and there should be no problem getting another
million or so. And yes, they know all about ISKCON's sublime

Please see http://err.ethz.ch/~kiwi/Spirit/BhaktiYoga/Welcome.html for more
(our good friend Anand Ravipati put this together)



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