[Advaita-l] In praise of ISKCON?!

balagopal ramakrishnan rbalpal at yahoo.co.in
Thu May 17 03:04:52 EDT 2018

>>>I'm convinced that if ISKCON does not indulge in advaita-bashing or Shiva-belittling,they are capable of good Wisdom!
That's true Kartik Ji. The good thing is that they are Vedantins who stopped at the final lap. So some of the later ISKCONites, and the more liberal and more educated ones might have recognised this lacunae and hence choose not to shoot on their legs by criticising 'advaiatam', Shree Shankara etc.
The majority of the masses being still in the work-in-progress state wrt the 'paramapurushARtha' aka 'advaitajnaanam', organisations like ISKCON are helping those lesser qualified from running away to more worse conditions of ISIS, Pentecost etc !
That way it is a blessing in disguise. So this 'mithya' is better of than the other more cantankerous 'mithyas' !
Balagopal    On Thursday, 17 May, 2018, 7:54:38 AM IST, S Jayanarayanan via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:  
 A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend a satsang organized by a friend at his home.
I went there with no idea who the chief speaker might be, but seeing that he was from
ISKCON, I unwillingly sat down expecting an hour or more of the "usual propaganda"
that the organization's followers routinely release online.
I could not have been more wrong, or more pleasantly surprised! The speaker touched upon
some verses of the Gita in such a way that it was truly inspirational! Everyone present
was left with admiration for his superb oration.
Example, Gita 8.15:
  mAmupetya punarjanma duHkhAlayamashAshvatam.h .
  nApnuvanti mahAtmAnaH sa.nsiddhiM paramA.n gatAH ..
The explanation given by the revered speaker was simple, yet profound. The second half
of the first line lays the foundation for all spiritual practice: it starts with the
observation that the world we live in is TRANSIENT and MISERABLE - the pleasures that
we seek eventually come to an end (i.e. are transient), leaving us with something
distasteful (i.e. misery). Even Steve Jobs, who once created the iPhone, has now been
born into a poor family where he can barely afford an iPhone :-)
The rest of the verse says that the ONLY way out of this plane of misery is by reaching
the Lord's abode. Here, the speaker recalled the verse from Adi Sankara's "Bhaja Govindam"
about "punarapi jananam punarapi maraNam" being analogous to "punarjanma" of the Gita, and
"Govindam Bhaja" being the path to "mAmupetya" of the Gita.
I'm convinced that if ISKCON does not indulge in advaita-bashing or Shiva-belittling,
they are capable of good Wisdom!
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