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 Bhakti and Karma Yoga
 Is Bhakti yoga the best yoga?
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nearoanoke

USA
525 Posts

Posted - Sep 07 2005 :  8:27:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I heard this a lot. Especially from ISCKON devotees. All yogas (raja, karma, jnana) have to finally lead to bhakti yoga before we reach god. Hence starting in bhakti yoga is the best way to reach god which is the way ISCKON follows. Thats their argument.

May be thats true but AYP or raja yoga seems more practical to me. What are your opinions on this?

Near

_______________________________

God might not always give you what you WANT, but he will always give you what you NEED

jongler

Israel
12 Posts

Posted - Sep 08 2005 :  08:23:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit jongler's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello all

Its like asking what comes first? - the chicken or the egg?
Bhakti can be the fruits of a long and daily practice or vise versa as being the motivation for.

Bhakti is surely there, but the manifestation of "it" is different from one person to the other.


Eran
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sauravu

USA
22 Posts

Posted - Sep 22 2005 :  2:07:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit sauravu's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
My two cents on this. Bhakti mean literally devotion or specfically of emotional devotion . Any perfection in either Jnana or karma or for that matter any material pursuit even cannot be attained without devotion. This devotion when offered to higher consciousness rather than material object becomes bhakti . And the end goal of all the ways is devotion to higher consciousness . Therefore the way of bhakti you will follow no matter what you do to acheive perfection .It can be Jnana or karma or yoga or in case of ISKCON it is Krishna(Highest level of consciousness).

May Krishna be with all of us

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Victor

USA
910 Posts

Posted - Sep 22 2005 :  3:30:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm afraid that I never had much respect for ISKON. I like the way that Stephen Gaskin put it "I always in my heart of hearts at the time, felt that the people who joined Hare Krishna, and frequently those who became Jesus freaks and thos kinds of moves, from the position of being a tripping hippie, did it because they scared themselves somehow, and they were going to a refuge. They were not going towards a thought out move, and they were not going towards an enlightenment; they were running away from something because they were afraid. Many of those who joined those movements, who later said, "What am I doing here?" and drifted on out of them, did that because their fear of acid had died down enough that they could resume normal life"
I am not trying to say that Bhakti is not important but I prefer Bhakti as described by yogani as the desire and devotion to practice as much more reality based than the way ISKON describes bhakti as being the single minded devotion to Krishna as the only way. They seem to have scavanged up many wounded souls who needed somewhere to turn and they capitalized on their vulnerability.
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sauravu

USA
22 Posts

Posted - Sep 22 2005 :  5:21:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit sauravu's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I think somehow Iskcon is not explaining the right message or has become anglicized too much from its roots . Iskcon is based on the philosphy of Gita and Bhagvatam of which Yoga is one of the paths . There in Krishna explains to Arjuna (personifying the will or desire to work or the siva in us ) how to act or do karma. He says whatever you do me who is doing it therefore do not be confused by the variety of experiences that you may have . You are my ansh(part) and you are me therefore make your karma as a sacrifice to me .
He sums it up "Reality is one and me whether any path you take ."
"Do your karma and do not worry about the fruit ."
Though I am not a follower of ISKCON movement but I do have some knowledge of their activities. Being a sanatani(the dharma of Hindu) I was also disillusioned with ISKCON's emphasis on one god Krishna being the true one. I went on to discuss with knowledgeable people on this topic and what I found out was.
My view they are both right and wrong
1.Right - They are quoting Krishna - Whatever actions you do is me who is doing it . Both the doer and done are me . You start with me and end with me. No matter who you worship everything comes to me . Because I am the satya(truth or ultimate reality ).So go ahead Arjuna(Confused soul like me ) and do your karma.

2.Wrong - Iskcon disciples out of ignorance of the true message are spreading the central theme. which is western version to suit the one god hypothesis as my god is good and powerful and all other gods may not be so.Whereas they should be saying we are in process of learning or worshipping the eternal truth(personified by Krishna) .
I would advice every soul to read the book Gita. Eternally great and the depth is amazing.
One more thing ISKCON both should not be opposed to the (hatha or raja)yoga practices we do as it is mentioned to do yoga to attain the nirvana (liberation)

Let truth prevail.
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Sep 22 2005 :  6:11:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by sauravu

I think somehow Iskcon is not explaining the right message or has become anglicized too much from its roots .



ISKCON is an interesting phenomenon to look at. Basically I see it as fundamentalist sectarian narrowness meets hinduism, which is strange because hinduism just doesn't generally have this narrow character. If one dragged Abrahaamic intolerance/exclusiveness (Abrahaamic=judaic, christian, islamic) and dropped it onto hinduism, it is what you would expect to get.

Interestingly, though, I don't think this fundamentalist narrowness came from an 'anglo' or Abrahaamic side at all -- it seems to have been there very strongly in its founder His Divine Grace A.C. BhaktivedantaSwami Prabhupada. Which goes to show that these impulses towards fundamentalist simplism are very human traits, and can show up anywhere.

But maybe what made it something of a phenomenon in the West is that we had the psychic receptors ready for that kind of thing. Where there is a market, there will be a supplier. Some people in the West wanted the same old fundamentalism dressed differently for a change -- you know, "I want my fundamentalism clad in a dhoti for a change" . And they got it.






Edited by - david_obsidian on Sep 23 2005 6:11:24 PM
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sauravu

USA
22 Posts

Posted - Sep 22 2005 :  7:09:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit sauravu's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
You are exactly at the point .- David . The receptors are indeed very ready conditioned for last 1700 years. Though Christian way is equally good . -- Goes to Krishna. They are one and same.

"it seems to have been there very strongly in its founder His Divine Grace A.C. BhaktivedantaSwami Prabhupada."
What prabhupada reapeated were Krishna's words "No matter what you do. The doer and done are both me . So hesitate not with your karma. No matter whom you worship you would worship me . "
Point to be noted he never said other gods are no good. He says they are all me so if you are confused come to me it is as good as worshipping your favorite god.

Now fast forward to present times America the receptors are honed for a particular message and maybe the disciples oblige.One more t

Note;Swami prabhupada is a follower of Gaudiya math and his more famous predecessor(at least in India) was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (ecstacy through dancing )somewher in 12 century AD. And he preached the same message.

I know hinduism is very complex and contradictory . But everyone has to find his or her sanatan(eternal truth ).
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nearoanoke

USA
525 Posts

Posted - Sep 23 2005 :  12:39:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Any religion or path that claims to be the ONLY path to god is wrong (in making such a claim). God is everywhere and can be reached by anybody with a sincere longing.

ISCKON is bad in the sense that it declares the Ashtanga Yoga or Meditation path to be useless. As somebody above has rightly told there is more tendency to attract and drag ppl rather than show them the right path.

AYP's teachings are amazing. Truly amazing and revolutionary for the current time. Just by reading the lessons (not even by following them) itself we learn lot of moral issues and unconsciously change from within. The way Yogani behaves is what makes us learn. The amount of compassion he has, the patience, the love and what not all the virtues of a truly realized man. He shows what a realized man will behave like in example. Unconsciously we try to imitate him and become better in the process.






God might not always give you what you WANT, but he will always give you what you NEED
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nearoanoke

USA
525 Posts

Posted - Sep 23 2005 :  01:17:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Let me give one example of true compassion.

Once I was arguing with my cousin (who is not into these yoga/god related stuff) regarding AYP and Yogani. I told him this. There are around 7,500 people in the group. Out of them atleast 500 people will be e-mailing Yogani regularly (I do it). Many ppl will ask stupid questions. But despite all this you will get a reply within a day. The reply also wont be terse, it will be a detailed reply.

How can anybody so patiently read and reply "in detail" to all those mails? Anybody who has read some books can talk about yoga and can write yoga lessons. But how can anybody be so compassionate and patient? Even a learned professor will love to answer advanced questions on the subject but if you ask him basics he wont have the patience to answer. But even for basic questions you will get a detailed reply from Yogani. How can anybody do it? Superhuman compassion isnt it?

Not just his e-mails, but even his lessons give plenty of examples of his greatness. I feel we are really lucky to be able to interact with him directly. I know Yogani doesnt like all this discussion about him. But I just want to let you all know how valuable AYP is, coming directly from the mouth of a person like Yogani. ISCKON says Bhagvad Gita came directly from mouth of krishna/God and hence it is great. I havent seen krishna/god but I have seen somebody with similar godly compassion. For me AYP, which directly came from such a person is the GITA, the Bible and everything.






God might not always give you what you WANT, but he will always give you what you NEED
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sauravu

USA
22 Posts

Posted - Sep 23 2005 :  1:03:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit sauravu's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I have the deepest regard for Yogani who I can feel is a true yogi (true enlightened masters) . From his teachings in writing I am gaining a lot of ground.

As for Gita . Reading it would give you the true sense of what it says. Another thing Krishna or Gita specifically declares one to be a yogi who achieves perfection in any endeavour taken . (Perfection == One with god)and it can be even done while doing Ashtanga yoga or meditation .And one of the lines specifically states how to meditate -- Looking inward realizing the true self.

As for ISKCON disciple who gave this message ashtanga yoga or meditation being wrong needs to be enlightened more or should be reading Gita better.

Aum Krishnay namah
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david_obsidian

USA
2602 Posts

Posted - Sep 23 2005 :  2:04:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by nearoanoke



ISCKON is bad in the sense that it declares the Ashtanga Yoga or Meditation path to be useless. As somebody above has rightly told there is more tendency to attract and drag ppl rather than show them the right path.





>>> Point to be noted he never said other gods are no good. He says they are all me so if you are confused come to me it is as good as worshipping your favorite god.

By the way, my impression is that the founder Prabhupadha varied a lot in how open he would seem. (This is pretty common in religious leaders!!) Sometimes there would seem to be no salvation for anyone at all except those who worship Krishna, then other times he would begrudgingly admit that you would get there eventually if you didn't worship Krishna, though it would take many more lives. But it was always clear that Krishna-worship was the only really good way forward.

I have an impression that after his death, his organization became a little more open and inclusive. Of that I am not sure, but it is an impression.

I remember years ago, when you would encounter them at airports, at one stage I was getting the line that worshipping Shiva wasn't acceptable. Some years later, it was clear that it was acceptable, but didn't work too well. Shiva had been promoted to an incarnation of Krishna, but he was very much a lesser one. You know, if you wanted maximum brownie-points per mala bead, you really had to go straight for the Big K.

Then I had a conversation with one person in the movement just a few years ago who no longer believed that there was any difference between worshipping Shiva and worshipping Krishna. I don't know if he is just a single case, or a representative of a general moving away from some of Prabhupadha's mistakes. I hope it was the latter. Another thing that was going on for a while in ISKCON was the promotion (by Prabhupadha) of Chaitanya as an avatar of Krishna. I think that stopped too with Prabhupadha's death.

So ISKCON has been or is mistaken in a number of ways, but I think in their own way they catered to people with special needs, so they weren't all bad. Just a mixture of light and shadow.

-David



Edited by - david_obsidian on Sep 23 2005 6:10:39 PM
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nearoanoke

USA
525 Posts

Posted - Sep 24 2005 :  8:09:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by sauravu

As for Gita . Reading it would give you the true sense of what it says. Another thing Krishna or Gita specifically declares one to be a yogi who achieves perfection in any endeavour taken .

As for ISKCON disciple who gave this message ashtanga yoga or meditation being wrong needs to be enlightened more or should be reading Gita better.




Hi Saurav,

I completely agree with you. What you said is true, krishna never told that one yoga is better than the other. It is Prabhupada who misinterpreted krishna's sayings to say that ashtanga yoga is for the less intelligent people and is not of much use.

Please see the below link, where you can see the actual difference between what Krishna told and what prabhupada explained it to be.

http://www.asitis.com/2/59.html








God might not always give you what you WANT, but he will always give you what you NEED
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Nikhileshwarananda das

1 Posts

Posted - Nov 30 2005 :  09:48:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit Nikhileshwarananda das's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi!
There definitely a big difference between the purports of Prabhupada and what the literature actually says. Henc ethe need for Prabhupada to re publish the concerned literature in teh first place.

There is also a good amount of hipocracy in ISKCON. For example, as I noticed during my visit to Moscow, they lavishly advertised the plan to make their temple there as "the first hindu Temple" in Russia. As you may know that Prabhupada stance on hinduism was that - there is no such word in Vedic literature as Hinduis (I believe nor there is any word as ISKCON either in Vedas), and all Hinduism is made up of dried out branches of old and disorted knowledge. He also said on a number pof occassions that he is not promoting Hinduism and is movement has got nothing to do with it. The Iskcon leaders are very well aware of this. But in order to win the Russian government support and the support and donations from Hindus, they said so.
Also, they claim to be the only true Vedic culture!! In fact not!
The vedic spiritual practices and sadhnas and philosophy greatly differed from what they preach! Also, they claim that all the other mantras and mantra sadhnas don not work in Kaliyuga, except their Hare-Krishna mantra. So how can they be Vedic. Prabhupada also restricted his followers to read any other literature except for the one that was translated by him with his purports and comments. Another thing, he wrote Bhagwad Gita As it is!
This is a very loud self advertisement. Because, In order to understand it as it is, one has to be a master of all spiritual disciplines. And Prabhupada knew nothing about the yogic disciplines. In his work named The Nectar of Devotion, he refers Yogis as 'Materialists' who meditate on their bodyparts like swadhisthan and manipur chakras (large, small intestines)! A Russian friend of mine read this Russian versino of this book!! It was so laughable!! How can a man naming the chakras as intestines be an authority on Yoga???
And what's even more astonishing and abusive is the fact that Prabhupada and his followers consider Lord Shiva, the lord of of Lords as a mere "demigod" !!
If we read teh Mahabharata and go to section 14 of the Anushasana parva, we see Lord Krishna telling Yudhishtara how he received initiation in Pashupat Yoga by rishi Upmanyu and did a very hard ascetic sadhna living on water the first month and then only on air for six months standing on one foot with his hands raised towards the sky to please Lord Shiva and then he was granted boons of being the most attractive in the universe and having unending fame in the entire universe. Krishna here praisesd Lord Shiva as the Supreme personality of Godhead and the beginning and end of everyting in the universe!!
ALSO, Krisna describes to Yudhishtira in front of Bhishma lyin gon teh arrow bed, that Shiva says to him that he has done Shiva's sadhnas to please him in all of his Vishnu avataras. There is a beautiful decrption in the Padma Purana of which the Shiva Gita is a prominent part, where Lord Shiva appears before Lord Ramachandra (after he performs tapasya for long) and blesses him with a discourse. Here Rama is asking Shiva as Arjuna asked Krisna. And then finally Lord sadashiva shows him his universal form where he also sees the ten avatars of Vishnu including the Krisna avatara killing kansa!

The followers of Prabhupada also say that it will be a vaishnava aparadha and an abuse to think Shiva nad Krishna at the same level or to put their idols at the same level!! What the !@#%^# How can it be a insult to Lord Krisna???? What cock and bull!
The actual vedic philosophy and sadhnas are different from what Iskcon promotes and preaches and condemns all other forms of sadhnas and worships claiming that these are a mere lower forms that people of "less intelligence" follow!!

I completely agree on teh bhakti aspect propagated by Iskcon and that Krisna is God. Krisna has always been prayed to in India, but we do not down other forms of the lord as it is done in Iskcon!! They are arrogant. I like their Krisna bhakti, but completely dislike their belitteling attitude of other branches of Vedic knowledge. They also claim to be the sanatana dharma which is wrong. The sanatan dharma is the eternal religion, the older vedic name for Hinduism. This also includes the other important branches as Yoga, Kriya yoga, Shaiv and Shaktism, tantra etc. Iskcon dismisses it completely. hiw can they claim to be Vedic!!?? OH, YES, CALLING ONESELF VEDIC CERTAINLEY HELPS GAIN MORE SUPPORT!!

A Hare Krisna friend of mine recently greeted me with usual "Hare Krisna" I replied him Hare Krisna and then said Om Namah Shivaya! And he got pissed!! He said 'Common, be serious!!" And he is a direct disciple of Prabhupada!!

This is the state of affairs. What more can I say??

HARI BOL!! JAI BHOLE NATH KI!!!


quote:
Originally posted by nearoanoke

quote:
Originally posted by sauravu

As for Gita . Reading it would give you the true sense of what it says. Another thing Krishna or Gita specifically declares one to be a yogi who achieves perfection in any endeavour taken .

As for ISKCON disciple who gave this message ashtanga yoga or meditation being wrong needs to be enlightened more or should be reading Gita better.




Hi Saurav,

I completely agree with you. What you said is true, krishna never told that one yoga is better than the other. It is Prabhupada who misinterpreted krishna's sayings to say that ashtanga yoga is for the less intelligent people and is not of much use.

Please see the below link, where you can see the actual difference between what Krishna told and what prabhupada explained it to be.

http://www.asitis.com/2/59.html








God might not always give you what you WANT, but he will always give you what you NEED

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nearoanoke

USA
525 Posts

Posted - Nov 30 2005 :  3:50:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Nikhil,

I had the same argument with an iskcon friend of mine. He insists (as any iskcon devotee does) that krishna is the only god. This is our conversation-

Me: Then what about many people from different religions who dont even know who krishna is but are very devoted?
Him: All of them will come to krishna someday
Me: I understand there can be lesser paths and better paths and ppl will come to better paths and finally to the supreme but why the name krishna?
Him: That is the truth. God has various forms but Krishna is the highest form and accepting that will give you better results
Me: Why will such a compassionate God will restrict himself to only one form and will say that he will give results only if worshipped in that form? If god is such a fool, I dont want him. And I dont believe that he is.
Him: Your acceptance or non acceptance doesnt change the truth. All people will have to come to Bhakthi Yoga (or ISKCON) some day and this meditation you are doing will finally lead you to bhakti yoga.
Me: What if I say your bhakti yoga will lead to meditation some day?
Him: I am not saying all these things without any basis. The vedas and gita confirm that krishna is the god. But what you are saying is based on common sense, which is limited to just your experience.
Me: Bible says jesus is the god, then why dont you believe that?


The argument went on like that. But basically what I believe is we have to choose what naturally attracts us to make the best progress. He is naturally attracted to bhakti yoga. I am naturally attracted to meditation. If I choose bhakti yoga just because vedas say it to be better path, then i wont be making much progress. Most ISKCON ppl just ignore this because the first thing they teach in iskcon is "you will be more nearer to krishna by converting more ppl to krishna consciousness (iskcon)"

-Near


Genes are a result of karma RATHER THAN A CAUSE OF IT - Yogani
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Jim and His Karma

2110 Posts

Posted - Nov 30 2005 :  6:20:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by sauravu
I have the deepest regard for Yogani who I can feel is a true yogi (true enlightened masters) .


I don't believe Yogani ever claimed to be an enlightened master...nor has he hinted at simply being too modest to say so. He is, however, a really terrific and creative teacher and writer, a groundbreaking integrator, and a friend to many of us by virtue of his kindness and generosity . It's more than enough to praise him for these fine and rare things, which are easily verified and which are our impetus for gathering here in the first place. We needn't deify him; it's simply not necessary.

The term "yogi", to my understanding, can be applied to anyone strongly committed to (and actually following...which is a different thing!) this path over the long haul.

As for this Krishna stuff, pffffft. Whatever. We're all working in the same direction, whether we can see it or not. They're caught in side tracks and digressions, and so are all of us. Debating and debunking are a waste of time. Better to practice...i.e. work to actually exemplify rather than analyze, probe, or prove with the mind.

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Nov 30 2005 6:25:09 PM
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