Aug 23

Princeton Bhakti Vedanta Institute Report – August 5, 2017

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Divine Appearance of Lord Balarama

excerpt –

“Like ‘acintyabhedaabhedatattva’ simultaneously one and different,” Nila
Madhava das Prabhu said. “The singular ‘I’ and the universal sense of
‘I’ represents a difference. In the universal sense of ‘I,’ we are all parts
of that universal ‘I,’ and that is true of all of us.” Sripad Puri Maharaja
said. “We are all connected with that but in the platform of mere
difference, we are not conscious of that universal truth of which we are
a part. Lord Balarama represents that difference that is also identical
with Krishna,” Sripad Puri Maharaja explained. “Balarama is Krishna
but is also different from Krishna. The temperament or sense of
difference without identity or connection with Krishna is called Ego.
From Balarama expands the Chatur Vyuha of which Sankarshan
becomes Shiva who is lord over the ignorance of the collective or
universal Ego.”

“In Aristotle’s philosophy thinking thinking itself is the absolute. We
think, we believe that we are the source of thinking but how do we
think? You do not even know how you lift your arm, right? So how do
you think? What do we do when we want to think? Doesn’t it just
happen – like digestion?” Sripad Puri Maharaja asked. Rasaraja das
responded, “We don’t make any effort to digest, it just occurs.”

To continue readng –

Jul 30

“I was reading something about karma and they said that if you have bad
karma, suffering physically, that bad karma is from your previous life and
what you do now, you will also suffer karma from this life, but in the next
life it would be better,” Zhanna said. “Every action produces a reaction
according to Newton’s third law, and that is also the law of karma. So
whatever we are doing is causing karma and whatever we are getting is
karma also. What we need to do is find out what is the root cause of karma
and how to free ourselves from that.” Sripad Puri Maharaja said.
“Basically, by serving Krishna and His devotees such actions free us from
karma and prepare the way for liberation from the karmic world of birth
and death, and entrance to the eternal world of divine love.

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Jul 23

Neurology, Phrenology, Astrology

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A person [a spiritual entity] has subjective experiences, he has a brain that has neurons whose firings can be detected by machine M. The person (experiencer) looks at a pattern P and the Machine M records a pattern Pm of neuron firings. A decoder then correlates the pattern Pm with the pattern P as identical. This is the process called brain reading.

A phrenologist correlates bumps on the head by a similar process. By correlating the characteristics of persons with certain bump patterns they can then determine the characteristics of persons simply by feeling their heads.

Astrology can do the same thing by correlating the pattern of stars and planets at birth with certain characteristics of people born under those celestial patterns. This can all be made very complex as we find in computerized astrology programs.

The Chinese beat a gong whenever the Moon dog comes to eat the Sun god during a solar eclipse. Every time they do it it works. So much for the empirical correlational/modeling/mapping method of ‘science.’ Can such a method ever explain anything or can it only ever be simply metaphor?

-To continue reading –

Jul 20

Continuation from previous post on this blog of the conversation between Joe M and Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja

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Jul 18

Beyond the Looking Glass

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(The following is from an online discussion between Joe M and Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja.)

Joe: “. . . you still insist that the source created the energy, and that the energy did not create the source. I think you have it backwards. I don’t see how you can have a source, without the energy to create it. The difference here between us is critical.”

BMP: Because you are conceiving the relation between source and energy as being relatively on the same existential level, like self and other, you are missing the third element, i.e.the transcendental absolute nature of the Source. When the Source is conceived on the absolute platform it can no longer be the result of anything but itself. It is important to understand the difference between the Absolute and relative platforms, and I think Spinoza has made a clear attempt at explaining this difference by his concept of causa sui [cause of itself]. I explained this in my first message to you, but either you seem to have a terrible memory or were not able to understand this the first time. I agree this is an extremely critical point to understand and it will change your whole perspective when you do.

When we understand the Source [I write it with a capital letter to indicate it is an Absolute and not a relative idea] it means the nothing within the relative world-frame can influence it or exert any cause on it at all. Thus the absolute world is called pure, unconditioned, eternal, self-luminous, or as the Bhagavad-gita mentions the transcendental eternal soul cannot be wet by water, burned by fire, killed by a sword, and so on.

While the Absolute cannot be influenced by the relative world, the relative world can be influenced [or more properly, created/manifested] by the Absolute or Transcendental world. We can understand this idea through the example of reflection [this is only an example]. When an object is reflected in a lake, in a mirror, or cast as a shadow, the reflection imitates the original and is caused by the original, but the reflection does not cause the original to act. On the other hand, the activity of the reflection is entirely dependent upon the activity of the original [source of the reflection].

If someone is absorbed in the reflected objects or shadows on the wall and thinks them to be the actual or original world, then this is called Maya. Such a person thinks the reflected objects or shadows have their own spontaneous free will to move as they like, but this is all an illusion. The images in the mirror don’t move, nor are those images formed by the glass and silver of the mirror if they were to be analyzed.

When the reflective material is called matter, then we can understand how the material conception of life is simply an illusion or reflection of the original world of spirit. We will get to further details of that idea in a separate post. For now, I hope this helps to give a clearer understanding of what is involved.

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