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Re: superstitions

:Jaldhar, you sent me a response to my first post on this thread, but never
:replied to my response to it. May I ask why??

Probably because I was doing something of higher priority than arguing 
with you.  I have concatenated those of your posts that still remain on 
my server and I'll reply to them now.  If I've missed anything, I'm sure 
you'll remind me. <G>

:Also I haven't seen your response to Mani either where he showed that bhakti
:is infact superior to jnana and other yogas. Mani actually showed that
:Shankaracharya was a Vaisnava!!  Any particular reason for hiding?

Hmm.  I'm sorry I missed that.  Mani's post are always interesting to 
read.  Anyway, it seems that he is talking about the theory advanced by 
some scholars that Shankaracharya was a Vaishnava in his personal beliefs 
because of the quote extolling the Gita and the Visnu Sahasranama in the Bhaja
Govinda stotra and his reference to the supreme as Narayana.  Well, my answer 
to that is,  ok so what?  By that standard I could be considered a 
Vaishnava too as I use the standard Gujarati greeting "Jai Shri Krshna", 
I go to a Pushti Margi Mandir and I've preached the Bhagavata before a 
crowd of 300 people.  Smarta are not against the worship of Krshna.  We 
just reject the idea that worshipping any God is the cause of Moksha.  
Only jnana is.  Also Shankaracharya has written many other stotras 
extolling other Gods, installed Shrichakras and Shivalingas in all his 
maths and ordained the panchayata puja.  So even if his personal 
preference was for Vishnu he did not consider Him superior. 

:Sorry to tell you that Upanishads are not part of the the Vedas, rather Veda
:Vyasa wrote Upanisads because he didn't feel satisfied after writing the Vedas.

Yes they are (well, except the ones you people made up like Kalisantaran 
Upanishad.)  The Ishopanishad for example is the 40th chapter of the 
Vajasaneyi Samhita of the Shukla Yajurveda.  And Veda Vyasa _arranged_ 
the Vedas.  No one wrote them as they are apaurusheya.  This is why they 
are called Shruti ("heard")  _Every_ Astika, Vaishnava or Smarta or 
otherwise has agreed to this.  It is only since the 19th century and the 
rise of Western critical scholarship that anyone has thought otherwise.

:FYI, this was and is agreed upon even by prominent advaita teachers.

Like Vivekananda.  Certainly no Astika acharya would ever agree to this.  
This theory dates back no further than the 19th century.

: And who told you that "Mahabharata which was written by Veda Vyas as the
: essence of the Vedas"??

Veda Vyas collected the essence of the Vedas and wrote The Mahabharata and 
the Puranas for women and Shudras who have no access to the Vedas and for 
the ignorant people of the Kali yuga who were too dumb to understand them.
Read the Bhagavat Mahatmya and the beginning of the Mahabharata.

: let me tell you that
: Mahabharat is 'itihas' i.e. history. It is an account of an actual incident
: and Veda Vyasa merely helped document it. I say helped because Vyasa 
: spoke it
: and Ganesha actually did the writing, NON STOP!!! (one hundred thousand 
: verses)

We've had this discussion on this group before.  According to the 
Mimamsakas, all the various stories in the shastras are mere arthavada 
and of no importance in establishing dharma.  We are not required to 
believe the truth or falsehood of any of them.  So they are irrelevant to 
this discussion.

Now one thing I notice you've started recently is questioning the 
authority of the Mimamsa shastra. For a start, Maharshi Jaimini who we 
believe was the disciple of Veda Vyas is the author of the Purva Mimamsa 
Sutras.  And Veda Vyas himself is traditionally believed to be the author 
of the Uttara Mimamsa Sutras.  All those who came after them who claimed 
to be interpreting the shastras in the orthodox manner have used Mimamsak 
methods and terminology.

:Are you drunk or what?

LOL!  It always amuses me to see you resort to insults when your powers 
of reasoning fail you.  Tell me, did Krishna Bhagavan give you this 
siddhi of telling if people are drunk over the internet? :-)

And remember, YOU started the name calling in this thread.  ("Vivekanand 
was an idiot.")

: Since when did "marriage" and "Diwali" start to fall under the same 
: category??

Since Maharshi Jaimini.  As you seem to lack a good dictionary, I'll 
explain.  The word naimittika means occasional.  naimittika karmas are 
performed on specific occasions.  Diwali is performed at at a certain 
time, namely the last day of the year.  The Marriage ceremony is 
performed at a certain time, just before entering the Grhasthashrama.  As 
far as dharma is concerned, they belong in the same category and as they 
are not performed for material reasons, they do not cause any sin.

: H. Krishna Susarla is saying that "many of the sacrifices prescribed" 
: in the
: Vedas are for regulation. That means, (1) if _not_ performed as per the
: Vedas, they will be materialistic practices, not otherwise, and  (2) 
: Not all Vedic rituals/sacrifices are for materialistic activities.

Actually if you look at what he wrote, he was saying all Vedic sacrifices 
were materialistic.  But if your interpretation is correct, than he is 
agreeing with me.  He is also agreeing that Bengalis who eat meat as per 
their traditions and with due rites are committing no sin.

: And to enlighten you here again, the Puranas tells us that even Brahama and
: Shiva try there best to take birth as human beings on the planet earth 
: in the
: Kali Yuga, because _only_ in this age can one practice the bhakti-yoga so
: easily, 

Well good for Them if thats what They are interested in.  They don't have to.

: which is the culmination of *ALL* yogas including jnana-yoga, and
: attain prema-bhakti which even they consider to be beyond 'moksha' <sigh>

: What you have said only reflects the views of some advaita schools.

My words only reflect the views of one school.  The correct one.
: There is NO conflict in any of the Puranas.
: Please substanciate your claim BY CITING VERSE(S) FROM SOME PURANA(S) in 
:case you disagree with my statement and I will show you why you are wrong.

There is only conflict in the shastras if we take every word literally.  
See the excerpts I'm going to post soon from the Shiva Purana.

: FYI, a devotee considers it GREAT SIN to even contemplate about the idea of
: merging with the impersonal brahman which is only an inferior aspect of the
: Param-Purusham -- Bhagavan.

: As I'm talking about non-devotees what they consider and don't consider 
: is irrelevant.

|> I did not suggest that all Bhaktas were ignorant and week.  I said Bhakti
|> is neccessary for those who are ignorant and week.  For those who are not
|> it is optional.

: hmmm... Please also say that Brahma, Shiva etc. are all ignorant and week
: (since the Puranas tell that they perpetually worship the Supreme Lord but
: still desire to be born as human beings in the Kali-yuga to attain the 
: highest perfection of prema-bhakti).

Why should I say something that isn't true?  If they worship Vishnu it is 
because they want to, not because they have to.  And as I'll show in the 
excerpts from the Shiva Purana I'm going to post, Krishna worships Shiva 
in the same way. 

: I told you before and Mani even cited Shankaracharya's ref. to prove that
: bhakti yoga is superior to all yogas including jnana-yoga.

: Once more you say this without citing any ref. from a Vedic scripture and
: you will automatically qualify for the _liar_ of the year award.

I've given you your references above.  And I've explained that 
Shankaracharyas views on Bhakti are quite different than yours. 

: Well that's a very smart move trying to use the Bhagavad Gita against 
: people
: who are actually trying to follow it.  

I was following the Gita and other shastras years before I'd even heard 
of your cult.

: Let me give you some food for thought.

: 18.55   "One can understand Me (mam) as I am, as the Supreme Personality
:          of Godhead, only be devotional service (bhaktya). And when one
:          is in full consciousness of Me (tatomam) by such devotion, he
:          can enter into the kingdom of Godhead."

There is no Sanskrt word in that shloka which means any thing like 
"Supreme Personality of Godhead."

This is a better translation:

He [the Jnananishta person whom Krshna is describing to Arjuna] knows me 
well by Bhakti and by recognizing my true form he enters into me.

Two comments.  While this shloka indeed be used to support your 
position, it isn't nearly as unambiguous as your translation suggests. 
>From the context, one could say Krshna considers the Jnani to be the 
ideal Bhakta not someone who just chants "Rama Rama" all day.  Secondly, 
Krshna by saying, "enters into me" disproves the dvaita notion that the 
atma and paramatma are distinct.

: 13.13   "I shall now explain the knowledge, knowing which you will 
:         taste the
:         eternal. Brahman, the spirit, beginningless and subordinate to Me
:         (mat-param) lies beyond the cause and effect of the material 
:         world."

Another fanciful mistranslation.  Here is a better version:

I will know declare that which you [Arjuna] should know.  That, which by 
knowing, one becomes immortal.  The beginningless Parambrahma which is 
not called True [sat] or False [asat].
: Advaitans Note: Krishan _explicitly_ says "Brahman is subordinate to Me".

Harekrishnas note: Krshna (who I assume knew grammatical Sanskrt) said no 
such thing.

: You keep repeating the same *bogus* claim over and over again.

: Read    "Bhakti DOES NOT encourages one to pursue Moksha. Real Bhaktas
:          consider it GREAT SIN to even contemplate about the idea of
:          Moksha as merging with the impersonal brahman."

Then I thank Shri Krshna I'm not one of those "Real Bhaktas."

: |> > No, look back at the point I made about the word nirguna, which means
: |> > "without estimation of qualities" (having all unlimited qualities).
: |>
: |> Nirguna means nothing of the sort.  Look in any Sanskrt dictionary.

: According to the Vedic scriptures, the 'tri-lokas' (the three worlds) have
: three 'gunas', sato, rajo, and tamo.

<BG>  I think you mean sattva, rajas, and tamas.

: Since we live in this mritu-loka (earth), we do not know what is there
: beyond the three lokas. 

I'm sure you don't.  However as a follower of the Vedas, I do.

: So some concluded that that must be nirguna, i.e.
: devoid of the three gunas. Nirguna can have transcendental qualities 
: (gunas)
: and it would still be technically correct to call it devoid of qualities 
: since
: the very intent of concieving something beyond the three lokas was to think
: of something which is not polluted by the three gunas.

: As you yourself said in another place "Even the Nirguna Brahman has the
: attributes of Sat, Chit, and Ananda".

Sat, Chit, and Ananda are not polluted by the 3 gunas.  The Vaishnavas 
would have us believe that such things as the Sudarshana Chakra and the 
Kaustubha Mani are nirguna when they are quite obviously material 

: Also since you advaitans try to use your concocted logic that says 
: since the
: Brahman is infinite, it cannot have a form, 

Actually we say that it has all forms and more.  It is wrong to say it 
has _one_ true form.

:        "When we say something is infinite, we signify only that we are
:        not able to concieve the ends and bounds of the thing named."
:                       - Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) English philosopher

: Read some book on the metaphysics of Infinity and maybe your mind will come
: out of its limited thinking.

I fail to see what the views of any English philosopher have to do with 
the matter at hand.  BTW, are you aware that in "Leviathan", Hobbes 
recommends that the government should abolish all religions except a 
state cult which would exist for the sole reason of seperating fools from 
their money?  Not a good role-model for an upstanding Vaishnava I don't 

:Carrying your line of argument a little further, there is no requirement that
: _Rapers_ should offer their victim to someone before or after the 
: crime, and the same can be said about robbers, murderers, etc.

Why are you carrying my argument any further than I've carried it 
myself.  If you're going to argue both sides, theres no need for me to be 
here is there?  The question is "Are meat eaters required to offer their 
meals to Kali?"  According to Prabhupada the answer is yes.  According to 
the shastras the answer is no.  They can offer their meals to Durga or 
Shiva or someone else.  

: Your argument is as baseless as an argument can be.

We've established that it's your argument.  I agree it's baseless.

-- Jaldhar

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