Overview of Upadesamrta, and the Urges of the Mind

December 17, 2017 |

English; Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

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Question: My name is Jayapatni Gopi dasi and I have been in the movement and a disciple of Jayapataka Swami most of the time since 1980. I serve here at New Talavana Farm in Mississippi. In the late 80's, I was raising four young children all born within a span of eight years. I was dealing with… Expand>

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My name is Jayapatni Gopi dasi and I have been in the movement and a disciple of Jayapataka Swami most of the time since 1980. I serve here at New Talavana Farm in Mississippi.

In the late 80's, I was raising four young children all born within a span of eight years. I was dealing with my elderly dad who was alone, and had had a bad habit of drinking for many years. He had caused drunk driving accidents, but due to Krsna's mercy had not hurt anyone except
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I made a decision when I moved to New Talavana not to give him my address, because he lived 2 1/2 hours away and I feared he would spend most of his time on the highway driving back and forth to and from his house to mine.

I now am plagued with guilt and remorse for the totally isolated life he lead for the last three years of his life. He was totally alone in a cabin in the woods in the backwoods of Mississippi. He often told me how distressed he was. We went to see him once a month and brought prasadam. If I had it to do over I would trust in Krsna to help me and attempt to have him here doing some menial service for the farm. He liked mowing.

I feared I couldn't care for my four infant children and also be cognizant enough to deal with him and my husband commuted to work and was rarely here to help us. I have had two shrada ceremonies and intend to have another one performed in October, but my thoughts are almost constantly haunted by his distress during those years. He died in 1991, and this doesn't seem to be getting any better for me. We were very close.

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I saw a murti of Ganesh on the altar next to Nrsimhadeva at a neighbours' place. There was an argument between devotees. Some say that in Srila Prabhupada's Nectar of Devotion it is said in Chapter 8, One should begin the worship of the demigod Ganapati, who drives away all impediments in the execution of devotional service. In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that Ganapati worships the lotus feet of Lord Nrsimha-deva and in that way has become auspicious for the devotees in clearing out all impediments. Therefore, all devotees should worship Ganapati. Thus my neighbours placed Ganesha next to Nrsimhadeva on the altar. Other devotees cite Srila Prabhupada letters in which he says that there's no need to worship Ganesha. So what is the proper understanding?

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You have made frequent contacts with acaryas of various Vaisnava sampradayas. I feel very inspired by your preaching in this area. Gaura Keshava Prabhu (a disciple of Prabhupada, who has a home at Sri Rangam) mentioned to me: "Before coming to the West, he (Srila Prabhupada) wrote to Visvambhara Goswami(his friend, Radha Ramana Temple Goswami and former Vrndavan mayor) that he wanted to start an organization wherein Vaisnavas from all sampradayas could cooperate to push on Krsna consciousness.Of course ultimately ISKCON was born out of this desire. We do not know exactly how inclusive or exclusive of other types of Vaisnavas and their philosophies and traditions ISKCON will eventual become."

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The goal of a Gaudiya Vaishnava is "Prema Bhakti", but out of the 5 types of mukti, for sayujya-mukti—we  use the pramana “aruhya krccrena param padam tatha, patanty adho anadrta yusmad anghrayah” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.32) to provide evidence that sayuja-mukti is not a permanent type of mukti. If this is the case, why is it considered one of the types of mukti? My understanding of “mukti” here is based on the definition from Bhagavat 2.10.6 – muktir hitva anyatha rupam svarupena vyavasthitih.

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In the purport to CC Madhya 8.294, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is quoted poiting out that the Yamuna, the kadamba trees, cows, Krishna's flute and Krishna's sticks belong to the santa-rasa. Furthermore, in CC Madhya, 19.185 it's said that santa-rati is the neutral stage between the conception of impersonalism and personalism… not much willing to render service to the Lord.

It's difficult to understand how a living entity without the desire to render loving service can be in Goloka Vrndavana. And if I remember cows in Brahma-vimohana-lila, they seemed to have motherly affection toward Krishna (expanded as their calves). How to understand that the river Yamuna and the kalpa-vrksa trees also don't have much desire to serve?

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