Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bhagadvad Gita-As it is or As it is NOT- Part-II


Recently I wrote a post related with my view about some of the purports by Prabhupad in his book 'Bhagavad Gita As It Is'. I particularly discussed his comments about women and mentioned lines from purport where he said that women are more prone to degradation compared to men and also quoted Chanakya's statement about women to support his views. Some readers were unhappy because of this and said that it was not Prabhupad's view but Arjun's. They also said that actually Arjun expressed his concern about women in related verses of Bhagavad Gita and Prabhupad just explained it to us in better way in his purport. So let's try to see whats really going on in those verses of Bhagavad Gita. 

The scene is from great epic Mahabharat when both the armies (Kaurav and Pandav) are ready to fight war and are assembled on battle field. Just before the war is about to start, Arjun expresses his desire to have one last look at opponent army. Krishna takes his chariot closer to Kuru army and there this conversation starts between him and Arjun. Arjun sees many of his relatives, cousins, teachers and friends standing there. He has to kill/defeat them to win the war, thought of killing his loved ones for the sake of kingdom makes him feel emotional and nervous. He is expressing these feelings to his mentor Krishna in many of these verses. Here is translation of few verses before and after the verse 1.40 (chapter 1, verse 40). I am going to reproduce two translations here for the sake of comparison.

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's translation,

(26) There saw Arjuna standing fathers and grandfathers, teachers, uncles, brothers, sons and grandsons as also companions.
(27) And also fathers-in-law and friends in both the armies. When the son of Kunti (Arjuna) saw all these kinsmen thus standing arrayed.
(28) He was overcome with great compassion and uttered this in sadness:
(29) My limbs quail, my mouth goes dry, my body shakes my hair stands on end.
(30) (The bow) Gandiva slips from my hand and my skin is burning all over. I am not able to stand steady. My mind is reeling.
(31) And I see evil omens, O Kesava (Krsna), nor do I foresee any good by slaying my own people in the fight.
(32) I do not long for victory, O Krsna, nor kingdom nor pleasures. Of what use is kingdom to us, O Krsna, or enjoyment or even life?
(33) Those for whose sake we desire kingdom, enjoyments pleasures, they stand here in battle, renouncing their lives and riches.
(34) Teachers, fathers, sons and also grandfathers; uncles fathers-in-law, grandsons and brothers-in-law and (other) kinsmen.
(35) These I would not consent to kill, though they kill me, O Madhusudana (Krsna), even for the kingdom of the three worlds how much less for the sake of the earth?
(36) What pleasure can be ours, O Krsna, after we have slain the sons of Dhrtarastra? Only sin will accrue to us if kill these malignants.
(37) So it is not right that we slay our kinsmen, the sons of Dhrtarastra. Indeed. How can we be happy? O Madhava (Krsna), if we kill our own people?
(38) Even if these whose minds are overpowered by greed, see no wrong in the destruction of the family and no crime in treachery to fiends:
(39) Why should we not have the wisdom to turn away from this sin, O Janardana (Krsana), we who see the wrong in the destruction of the family?
(40) In the ruin of a family, its ancient laws are destroyed: and when the laws perish, the whole family yields to lawless-ness.
(41) And when lawlessness prevails, O Varsneya (Krsna), the women of the family become corrupted and when women are corrupted, confusion of castes arises.
(42) And to hell does this confusion bring the family itself, as well as those who have destroyed it. For the spirits of their ancestors fall, deprived of their offerings of rice and water.
(43) By the misdeeds of those who destroy a family and create confusion of varanas, the immemorial laws of the caste and the family are destroyed.
(44) And we have heard it said, O Janardana (Krsna), that the men of the families whose laws are destroyed needs must live in hell.
(45) Alas, what a great sin have we resolved to commit in striving to slay our own people through our greed for the pleasures of the kingdom!
(46) Far better would it be for me if the sons of Dhrtarastra, with weapons in hand, should slay me in the battle, while I remain unresisting and unarmed.
(47) Having spoken thus on the (field of) battle, Ariuna sank down on the seat of his chariot, casting away his bow and arrow, his spirit overwhelmed by sorrow.   

Translation from Bhagavad Gita as it is,

When the son of Kunti, Arjuna, saw all these different grades of friends and relatives, he became overwhelmed with compassion and spoke thus.(1.27)
Arjuna said: My dear Krsna, seeing my friends and relatives present before me in such a fighting spirit, I feel the limbs of my body quivering and my mouth drying up.(1.28)
 My whole body is trembling, my hair is standing on end, my bow Gandiva is slipping from my hand, and my skin is burning.(1.29)
I am now unable to stand here any longer. I am forgetting myself, and my mind is reeling. I see only causes of misfortune, O Krsna, killer of the Kesi demon.(1.30)
I do not see how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in this battle, nor can I, my dear Krsna, desire any subsequent victory, kingdom, or happiness.(1.31)
O Govinda, of what avail to us are a kingdom, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed on this battlefield? O Madhusudana, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and other relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, why should I wish to kill them, even though they might otherwise kill me? O maintainer of all living entities, I am not prepared to fight with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth. What pleasure will we derive from killing the sons of Dhrtarastra?(1.32-35)
Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhrtarastra and our friends. What should we gain, O Krsna, husband of the goddess of fortune, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?(1.36)
O Janardana, although these men, their hearts overtaken by greed, see no fault in killing one's family or quarreling with friends, why should we, who can see the crime in destroying a family, engage in these acts of sin?(1.37-38)
With the destruction of dynasty, the eternal family tradition is vanquished, and thus the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligion.(1.39)
When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the family become polluted, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny. (1.40)
An increase of unwanted population certainly causes hellish life both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. The ancestors of such corrupt families fall down, because the performances for offering them food and water are entirely stopped.(1.41)
By the evil deeds of those who destroy the family tradition and thus give rise to unwanted children, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated. (1.42)
O Krsna, maintainer of the people, I have heard by disciplic succession that those who destroy family traditions dwell always in hell. (1.43)
Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful acts. Driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness, we are intent on killing our own kinsmen.(1.44)
Better for me if the sons of Dhrtarastra, weapons in hand, were to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield.(1.45)
Better for me if the sons of Dhrtarastra, weapons in hand, were to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield. It is the custom--according to ksatriya fighting principles--that an unarmed and unwilling foe should not be attacked. Arjuna, however, decided that even if attacked by the enemy in such an awkward position, he would not fight. He did not consider how much the other party was bent upon fighting. All these symptoms are due to soft-heartedness resulting from his being a great devotee of the Lord. Sanjaya said: Arjuna, having thus spoken on the battlefield, cast aside his bow and arrows and sat down on the chariot, his mind overwhelmed with grief.(1.46) 

Don't bother about the numbering of highlighted verse (1.41 vs 1.40) as they are slightly different in both translations (one has 47 verses in first chapter and other only 46), numbering is not important here. One can clearly see that both translations are not that different from each other. Now lets read the purport for verse 1.40,

Purport for verse 1.40 from Bhagavad Gita As it is,

Good population in human society is the basic principle for peace, prosperity and spiritual progress in life. The varashrama religion’s principles were so designed that the good population would prevail in society for the general spiritual progress of state and community. Such population depends on the chastity and faithfulness of its womanhood. As children are very prone to be misled, women are similarly very prone to degradation. Therefore, both children and women require protection by the elder members of the family. By being engaged in various religious practices, women will not be misled into adultery. According to Chanakya Pandita, women are generally not very intelligent and therefore not trustworthy. So the different family traditions of religious activities should always engage them, and thus their chastity and devotion will give birth to a good population eligible for participating in the varashrama system. On the failure of such varashrama -dharma, naturally the women become free to act and mix with men, and thus adultery is indulged in at the risk of unwanted population. Irresponsible men also provoke adultery in society, and thus unwanted children flood the human race at the risk of war and pestilence.

To get a clear picture of what's going on its necessary to read all this. Situation of Arjun and his dilemma is described here. After seeing all his close relatives, teachers and other dear ones Arjun is feeling emotional here. His love towards his relatives and his memories of time which he spent with them compels him to think whether this war is worth fighting or not. Arjun was very celebrated warrior and war was not a new thing for him, he fought many of them before coming to fight this one. 

Arjun is feeling emotional weakness and want to explain Krishna his situation. Along with his emotional dilemma he also want to tell Krishna 'effects of war on society'. He is a clever guy and want to make a very solid argument for not fighting the war. One can not walk away just like that from such a important battle of their life, there has to be a very strong reason to do that and Arjun is trying to put very strong argument here. In that respect he mentions all these bad things which war can bring to society and its people. He expresses his concern about destruction of dynasties, destruction of law which might lead to total lawlessness in families and henceforth in society. Because of prevalence of irreligion or lawlessness in family (society) women of family might become corrupted or polluted resulting in further problems. Here it seems he is mainly concerned about sexual exploitation of women in male dominated society. After any big war (like world war) where lots of lives (mostly men) are lost on the battle field, society's structure and composition might change drastically. Huge difference in male to female ratio can create lot of problems. Arjun's concerns are very legitimate. 

One might accuse Arjun for taking escapist route here, he doesn't want to fight war that's why he is giving reasons, but its not out of fear, he is not a coward. He wants to question necessity of fighting this war which might lead to heavy loss to both the sides fighting the war. He want to show how war is 'evil' and how it can prove disastrous for whole society. He is more emotional here because this particular war involves people from his own family fighting from both sides. He can see destruction of his own family and kingdom (which they want to acquire). His all concerns and questions are very serious, that's is the reason Krishna gave him such a detailed reply which we call 'Bhagavad Gita'.

Physical abuse or sexual exploitation of females by victorious army men was very common in those days (and it happens even now) and in that regard Arjun is expressing his concern. Nowhere, Arjun talks about character of women, them being more prone to degradation compared to men or women being not very intelligent and therefore not trustworthy. I feel that all these points are unnecessarily discussed in purportthey are not at all related with verse. If Prabhupad wanted to blame he should have blamed males (or men) for polluting women, forcing such a big scale war on society, but for some reason his focus is all on women. Women can not be held responsible for rape or other physical abuse forced on them. How come one can blame women for unwanted child after rape? I found these views about women expressed in purport totally biased.

We all know that women have very important role to play in any family but entire family's traditions or its chastity and faithfulness doesn't depend only on them but depends on all elders of family. Why to put entire burden on shoulders of women? If the verse doesn't talk about women's nature or compares them with men, then why purport for this verse deviates from main subject (disastrous effect of war on society) so much? Why to blame women for no fault of theirs? 

At the end of purport Prabhupad also blames 'irresponsible men' for provoking adultery in society, notice the use of term 'irresponsible' here, but when he commented about women, he was not talking about 'irresponsible women' but women in general, that's where I have objection and I think scholar like him should have been more careful before passing such a general remark against women. And I don't think even women of the era of Mahabharat were any less intelligent than men. His opinion about women can be his personal opinion and he has full right to express it but to deliver it in such way (in the name of Gita) is wrong according to me.

In preface of the book, Prabhupad writes "The Krishna consciousness movement is essential in human society, for it offers the highest perfection of life. How this is so is explained fully in the Bhagavad-gita. Unfortunately, mundane wranglers have taken advantage of Bhagavad-gita to push forward their demonic propensities and mislead people regarding right understanding of the simple principles of life." 

He claims that importance of Krishna conscious movement is explained in Gita, isn't it a direct marketing of his movement (ISKON) under the name of Gita as it is? Isn't he pushing his own agenda and advertising his organization here? This is same thing  for which he accused other authors. He has right to do it, nothing wrong in it but then at least please don't say something bad about others for doing the same thing. One can understand if he wrote this book as a manual for ISKON followers, interpretation of Gita exclusively for his movement and its members (which is what that book is). I am not against his book, against his translations or against his movement but I am surprised by his claim that he is presenting Bhagavad Gita 'As it is'. He is clearly trying to push his own philosophy and beliefs under the name of purports. I still use this book along with others to read translation of Bhagavad Gita, the book nicely presents each verse in Devanagari script, a Latin transliteration, word-for-word meanings (Sanskrit-English) and English translation of the verse, but unfortunately the major part of the book are Prabhupad's purports and be careful while reading them. It's up to readers to decide what they think about authors intentions in this book, I have expressed my opinion here. 

I just mentioned this book as an example as I am reading it currently, I am not saying that  this is the only book where author tries to push his agenda (beliefs) in the name of some ancient scripture. There must be many other scriptures which might have been used by different authors for the same purpose, I think this is just one example. Readers should be careful while reading these type of books. They should try to differentiate between the actual translation of the text and authors own opinion. It's always better to read more than one translations of any text (from other language) to get the general idea about the meaning of that text. I think this post should explain my views which I expressed in previous post about Bhagavad Gita as it is.

Thanks a lot for reading and please share your views. 

2. http://www.hknet.org.nz/seX-Vedic-view-of-women.html (for so called Vedik view of women) 
3. Why Krishna delivered Bhagavad Gita to Arjun not to someone else? 

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing) 



37 comments:

  1. http://www.bkwsu.com/whoweare/faq/historyWhere was the Brahma Kumaris founded and when?It was founded in 1936 in Hyderabad, Sindh (now part of Pak

    Where was the Brahma Kumaris founded and when?
    It was founded in 1936 in Hyderabad, Sindh (now part of Pakistan, but at that time part of colonial India) by Dada Lekhraj, who had a series of visions depicting world transformation. In 1937, he formed a managing committee of eight young women and established an informal group that grew into the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.

    THIS WAS DONE BY DADA LEKHRAJ TO PROTECT THE FEMALES WHO FLED FROM THE COUNTRY AFTER PARTITION AND THAT 'THEY' WOULD BE EASY PREY TO IMPROPER MALE URGES! later on this became a movement...

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  2. Hello Vinay,

    So you repackaged the same post using some of my replies but your failure to understand Praphupad is still evident as you presume to be greater than the Guru.
    You still haven’t found any women who have objected to his post and yet you presume you to speak for women who find no fault in his posts.

    As for other faults you are just clutching at straws.
    Its not even worth discussing since you fail to understand anythign written therein.

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    1. Namastey Anonymous (Kiran),
      Its not repackaged post and I didn't make use of your comments, wherever I felt right I agreed with your interpretation of verses in comments section of Part I of this post. I don't understand whose post you are talking which women should object? Are you talking about Prabhupad's purport regarding the verse 1.40?...then don't worry, I know women who don't even think that it deserves to be even condemned...:) And yes, I will continue to write about women or men or any topic which I attracts my attention on my blog.

      Who is Guru here and who is greater than who? I am not claiming to be greater than anyone, that's your conclusion. Prabhupad is not my guru and even if I consider him to be my Guru, I don't see anything wrong in pointing out some of his mistakes. As I said, discuss about the verse and its meaning, you already wrote enough about me.

      I think I clearly explained in my post what I think those verses mean, and how the purport for verse 1.40 goes totally in some other direction, if you have any objection to it then explain your understanding of those verses and also on what basis Prabhupad concludes women to be more prone to degradation than men. Repeating same complain again and again won't help.

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  3. Hello,

    Long time since I got time to reply. Life is busy.
    But hope these clarifies the purport and verse.
    Any other verse needs to be looked into the same way by yourself as I dont have time to explain it all.

    1]
    Arjuna is seeing the concern of women and not men in these few verses as an argument to stop war.
    It was very nice therefore of Praphupada to point out that men also are subject to degradation and not just women.
    Hari Bol.


    2]
    After this Great War the ratio of women is suddenly increased in many communities and villages since thousands upon thousands of men have been killed. An entire village could have lost majority or all of their young men.

    Both father and son in many cases will have been killed. This is where the greatest concern for the welfare of family is shown by Arjuna which Praphupada points out to us.


    3]
    Its possible as you say
    “Physical abuse or sexual exploitation of females by victorious army men was very common in those days”
    But death on both sides were very heavy and many men from both sides were lost.

    4]
    Arjuna says “Family Tradition is lost and the family becomes irreligious”
    The key word to focus is “Family”. ‘family tradition is lost’

    The degradation starts from individuals, then families and works its way into communities and possibly even into Nation. [[“…all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated. (1.42)” ]]] due to irreligious activities.

    We know he talks of “Family” in the home because in the later verses he says --“The ancestors of such corrupt families fall down, because the performances for offering them food and water are entirely stopped.(1.41)”.

    This is the tradition of performing prayers for the dead ancestors.
    So clearly the religious tradition he says will be lost ie the family becomes irreligious.





    5]
    You say
    [[[“Women can not be held responsible for rape or other physical abuse forced on them. How come one can blame women for unwanted child after rape? I found these views about women expressed in purport totally biased.”]]]

    [[[Why to put entire burden on shoulders of women? If the verse doesn't talk about women's nature or compares them with men, then why purport for this verse deviates from main subject (disastrous effect of war on society) so much? Why to blame women for no fault of theirs? ]]]

    Now a question arises. Your only focus is on the sexual exploitation of women by other men in terms of rape and physical abuse. BUT is this really what Arjuna is talking about? I’ll answer it later.


    Kiran

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    1. Thanks Kiran for your comments and all efforts you are doing to justify Prabhupad's purport. I used to think that Prabhupad's purports are painfully long, monotonous (preaching heavily Vaishnav teachings and philosophy) and boring but your so detailed responses make me think that he missed so many points...which you are mentioning in your comments, good that he missed them man... I can not imagine size of that book if he has to add all this in his book...:)
      Lets discuss one by one points you mentioned in your comments, I will try to be brief and up to the point,

      1] Arjun was talking about the society as a whole and referred to women as a part of society. It was not 'nice' of Prabhupad to point out that men 'also' was responsible but that's the fact and he cant ignore it...rather I think he should have focused more on men rather than women as it was male dominated society, so the responsibility lied more with them.

      2] Odd sex ratio is a concern of society, but if women are keepers of family traditions and law in society then don't u think more women are better...:) If this war was going to screw up society so bad then how come you call it Great War...it was also evil war like all other wars..

      3] Good to read that at least you see the possibility of "Physical abuse or sexual exploitation of females by victorious army men"...but this one of major effect of war still remains possibility ti you..may be because Prabhupad didn't discuss about it in his purport..

      4] I honestly didn't think that when Arjun said about religious traditions he was mainlly concerned about dead people and he was talking mainly about "the tradition of performing prayers for the dead ancestors"...I personally don't believe in this ritual, I don't worship people, I respect their behavior and their teachings. To me being religious doesn't mean only performing rituals and worship..may be I am different but that's how it is.

      5] Its not me who is focusing only on sexual exploitation women but the way Arjun talks about corruption of women in verse, it seems his manor concern is sexual exploitation and I don't see anything wrong in it as it (sexual exploitation) affects life, psychology of person and people around them. Sexual exploitation is a separate subject according to me, its not only effect of war, I might write about it separately sometime later.

      Delete
    2. Hello Vinay,

      My last reply on this subject.
      Your comments are in square brackets.

      1] A]
      You say [[[It was not 'nice' of Prabhupad to point out that men 'also' was responsible]]]
      It seems Praphupada cant win with your double talks. If he talks about women you don’t like. If he talks about men you don’t like.
      Clearly you are trying hard to undermine him.

      B] You said he should have focused more on men.
      No. Since Arjuna was clearly talking about women, Praphupada could not talk about men. This has to be understood. This is Gita AS IT IS and not as we like it.


      2]
      A]
      [[[Odd sex ratio is a concern of society, but if women are keepers of family traditions and law in society then don't u think more women are better...:) ]]]

      Even if I think women are more better; it is Arjuna who is clearly very worried about them. And he seems to say that that increase in widows in society is a worry indeed, for whatever other reasons (apart from the ones he describes) at his time and era.

      B]
      [[If this war was going to screw up society so bad then how come you call it Great War...it was also evil war like all other wars..]]

      [[[If this war was going to screw up society so bad ]]]
      This is the title given to this historical war.
      ‘Maha’ means Great.
      This is the story of the Maha Bharata and Maha Yudh and Maha Warriors.
      ‘Bharata’ name for India
      ‘Yudh’ means fight, war.
      Hence Great War.

      Many lives and possibly countries were involved from Sri Lanka to land that is now called Afghanistan and beyond.
      Indeed a Great War.



      3] Yes it is only a possibility and not a certainty. And no not because Praphupada did not mention it (you are having some delusions about my siding with Praphupada and not you).

      Possibility because the victorious army were the virtuous Pandavs who would not allow such evil under their rule.


      4]
      The ancestors are to be remembered and there were certain rituals to be followed in those days and even today many Hindus do the same. It as an important part of tradition in his days and the loss of it worried him immensely.
      Its not about what you like and think.

      Kiran
      3~'

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    3. Prabhupad interpreted this verse 1.40 in his own way Arjuna is not talking about women here but he is talking about effects of war on society and I clearly mentioned this in my post, if you don't want to agree and want to go with Prabhipad's views then its fine, I don't have any problem but his purport is clearly his interpretation of that verse..I wonder how you cant see this..

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    4. I side with wisdom and not specualtion.

      Delete
    5. great...but all purports in this book are Prabhupad's speculations....:)

      Delete
    6. now I wonder which side you are...:)

      Delete
  4. 6]
    Firstly in what context does Arjuna see religious and irreligious?
    He says it is the family’s observance of various religious traditions that are in danger as they become polluted and stops and hence irreligious.
    [[the eternal family tradition is vanquished]]
    [[the rest of the family becomes involved in irreligion]]

    The main concern for Arjuna is of the worship of ancestors will be stopped entirely.


    7] It has to be mentioned firstly here that Praphupadas observance and translations comes from a traditional disciplic succession where he is passing on what was taught to him from time immemorial.

    Not a lot of Vedic teachings have come down to us in such unbroken chain and untainted and pure manner.

    It is also NOT by mere chance that we have the Bhagavad Gita today. Men from all ages have studied deep and memorised and passed on this great Knowledge.
    It was NOT passed on by men who made their own interpretation and guess work.

    This we must respect.
    If this respect is lost then our Dharma is lost.



    8] Praphupada tells us about religious traditions of those days and how it was practiced when he says [[[The varnasrama religion's principles were so designed that the good population would prevail in society for the general spiritual progress of state and community. Such population depends on the chastity and faithfulness of its womanhood.]]]

    Good population will prevail where spiritual values are practiced.

    Clearly women at their times were the keepers of the family traditions and Dharma.
    I guess even today not much has changed.
    The purity of our daughters, wives and mothers is still important to us today. We don’t like it if our daughters come home young and pregnant without marriage because of some lust or love with a boy.
    We don’t appreciate women coming home drunk either.
    It also does not mean such actions of men sons husbands are acceptable as Prabphupada points out.

    Now whatever your views of what women should be allowed to do or not these days, this was not the case back in those days. Infact it was not even allowed in the days of our parents and grandparents.

    Women were the mothers of purity. A women who practices good religious Dharma through prayers, through observing fasts, and keeping the religious events alive then such family and community will not degrade.

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    1. 6] {The main concern for Arjuna is of the worship of ancestors will be stopped entirely.}
      As I said to me these verses didn't suggest me that Arjun was so concerned about worship of ancestors, to me traditions and values are much more than just worshiping anything. Understanding, analyzing values and using them in our lives is tradition and culture for me and I teach and advise my kids same thing.

      7] So you think Prabhupad just as a parrot who is repeating everything taught to him without even understanding it and whatever he wrote was not his ideas. But I received it from him so I criticized him, if you have reference for original literature where all these things are mentioned then please share them with us (I already discussed about Chanakya's views about women which Prabhupad used in his purport).
      Yes, its not mere chance that we have book like Gita with us today. Scriptures like these were preserved and passed from generation to generation by people, many things were added and deleted but still whatever we have is good enough.

      And all this was passed on to us only by people or men who made their own interpretation (or guess if you want to call) and Prabhupad is also one of them and I do thank him and respect for that.

      8] I am not only interested in religious traditions but actual teachings and values, for me they don't belong to any particular religion. I dont believe and follow varna system, I am against it. It's outdated and flawed ideology for me.

      I wonder if all rituals were designed and performed by men then how come only women are keepers of them. I think whole family is responsible for traditions and values and I said it many times before, women are no more or less responsible for this.

      Purity and safety of all citizens is important for me, not only of my family or women of my family.

      If drinking or any particular behavior is bad/wrong, its bad for all, I don't believe its more bad for women than to men for me its same.

      Whatever is allowed by law is allowed for everyone gender, race, nationality doesn't matter for me.

      {Women were the mothers of purity. A women who practices good religious Dharma through prayers, through observing fasts, and keeping the religious events alive then such family and community will not degrade.}

      'Mothers of purity' are you serious? then what can't be men 'fathers of purity'?? what r u talking man...please don't force certain values on particular gender, please spare women from responsibility of keeping religious events alive..let them decide what they want to do...

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    2. 6]
      [[to me traditions and values are much more than just worshiping anything.]]

      This verse is not about you. Please try to understand. We are discussing Arjuna.
      But I see the point you were making.

      7]
      [[So you think Prabhupad just as a parrot who is repeating everything taught to him]]
      So now you try to mock Prabhupada and myself without even understanding history of how these scriptures came to us.

      But in your mocking the Truth is there. Let me explain.

      Prabhupada follows a tradition known as ‘Parampara’ which is a succession of teachers and disciples (Guru to Shisya tradition).

      So yes Praphupada was a ‘parrot’ but in Hinduism he is respectfully called a Rishi or Guru today.

      Apart from Prapbhupada there were many other ‘parrots’ who brought to us the Vedas. These ‘parrots were called Rishis and they brought us the Vedas through Śruti meaning "What is heard" and later by method called Smriti meaning "That which is remembered".
      By hearing and repeating and passing on the same.
      Please don’t mock our history in this way as you insult the intelligence of all the ancient Rishis who have treasured the Vedas.




      As to you saying [[Prabhupad repeating without even understanding it ]].

      You say this due to lack of your own knowledge. These rishi understood very well the Sanskrit. It is the reason why you are reading it.




      [[But I received it from him so I criticized him,]]
      This is a really very childish and even silly remark.
      When you take knowledge from a teacher, then you do not mock the teacher.
      You do not bite the hands that feed you is one saying.
      You respect this Guru and owe him a debt of gratitude and thanks.
      But you who are still learning which you time and time point out to us is suddenly superior in intellect and think fit to criticize him.
      This is silly. It is childish.

      Its strange how you also write about Gurus in your other blog which I have not yet read but you fail to understand a GURU.




      [[[many things were added and deleted but still whatever we have is good enough.]]
      No nothing was added and nothing was taken away.
      We have with us the pure form of Vedas.

      Only interpretations have been differently presented differently amongst the different schools of thoughts but even they give the same message.


      [[And all this was passed on to us only by people or men who made their own interpretation (or guess if you want to call) and Prabhupad is also one of them.]]

      The original words were brought to us through many holy and noble and great rishis whom you call parrots.

      How quickly you forget the title of Praphupads book. Bhagvad Gita AS IT IS.
      You really do try so hard to bring him down, but you cannot.

      It is you who are making your own agenda and interpretations of his work and very quick to criticise him.
      How wonderful.


      An interpretation can only be changed if the meaning is changed. Since the interpretations are the same as the verse then there is no change. When I read the Sanskrit verse I can read the translation and interpretation is correct.




      [[I am not --- I dont believe -- I am against it. -- I wonder-- I think-- my family- for me]]
      So the Bhagavad Gita is only about you again and again.

      This Gita is about Arjuna and not you.

      The fact that we may take examples from his experiences is a different matter altogether.

      I don’t think you fully grasp my explanations or what Prabhupada has written.
      It seems futile to explain anything further.


      3~'

      Delete
    3. My intention behind comparing him with parrot was not to insult him. I said this because many people from ISKON defend his purports by saying that he didn't add anything on his own and every single sentence written in this book is take from Veda or some scripture...then why don't he cite the reference? Actually he does site the references whenever he uses quotes from other books, I already said that presentation style of book is very neat. I do respect all rishis and sadhus (or whatever name people call them) for their efforts and sacrifices to preserve these texts. Read the research articles published related with these books and you will find out that many things were added and deleted from these texts and there are many versions of one book, I am saying this after some research.

      Criticism is not mocking, I believe that his purports are his own interpretations that's why I criticize his views, not him, its you who think that I am against him not me.

      Gita is not about Arjuna, its about his dilemma, Yoga, dharma and many more things, its also about you and me.

      Delete
    4. ‘then why don't he cite the reference?’
      You don’t know what you write. The reference is there in front of you. The purport is explained to us less intellect in understanding.

      Besides the Guru-Shishay teachings are done verbally and not written down.
      To put it another way when a Guru for example Morari Bapu who does Katha on eg Ramayana then it is given verbally live or on TV etc. It is not written down. We listen then oneday we pass it onto our children verbally. We don’t write it down either. The story of Rama is the same and never changing but the lessons behind them are not written which only expand on the story.
      This is how they have come to us today. There is no proof because all these things have to be understood before asking such questions.


      “(or whatever name people call them)”
      What do you mean by this???
      Are you not an Indian or Hindu or don’t you understand the language? To make such comments as if you are ignorant.


      [[Criticism is not mocking,]]
      Calling our Gurus and Rishis a parrot is mocking.



      [[Gita is not about Arjuna, its about his dilemma, Yoga, dharma and many more things, its also about you and me.]]

      Look what you have written.
      First you say Gita is not about Arjuna
      Then you declare it is about his dilemma,
      This means its about him.

      The many other facts are also about him since it is he who wants to know and wants to understand and so everything is about Arjuna. We are merely listening into this conversation and we are learning also.
      The fact that me and you may also find this useful is correct but ultimately its all about Arjuna.

      Delete
    5. OK thanks for revealing that to me, I didn't know that person's personal opinion can be used as reference, self citation in same article...great way to go...

      Yes, I don't understand many languages spoken in India and I am not ashamed about that..as parents are addressed by different names in various languages teachers are also addressed by different names....

      Persons and their emotions are two different things...read some other books than Gita as it is...it might help to broaden your horizon...:)

      Gita may not be about you, but its definitely about me, whether Arjun is there or not doesn't matter to me.

      Delete
    6. here is some information about the historical research about Mahabharat. This article clearly mentions what I mean when I say that many things were added and deleted from the scriptures which we have today, many devotees don't like this type of research and totally reject it without even understanding it. I am sure you wont agree with my opinion or any other research which says something contrary to your beliefs but that doesn't change the fact...

      "Yardi’s analysis It has been known for a long time that the version of Mahabharata text as we have it today is not the original version but one to which many authors have added their own material over about a millennium. The original version named Jaya composed immediately after the great Mahabharata war (which took place a little earlier than 1000 BC according to western scholars and much earlier according to some Indian scholars) was written by the great Rishi Vyas. It mainly described the family feud and the war. This composition is now lost. But a generation later, in around 950 BC, Rishi Vaishampayana retold the events to King Janamejaya, great-grandson of Arjuna during the Snake sacrifice (Sarpayajna) performed in order to avenge the killing of his father Parikshita by Takshaka the King of snakes. This narration was known as Bharat. Additions to this version were made much later in about 450 BC by Suta and his son Sauti who were well-known Puraniks (Mythological story-tellers). Further additions were made by one Harivanshakara in the second century BC and still later by Parvasangrahakara in the first century BC. Haivanshkara also added Haivansha, a biography of Shri Krishna which is considered to be part of Mahabharata today.

      Through a statistical analyses of the Anushtup metre used in the Shlokas (stanzas) of the epic Mahabharata, Mr Yardi has been able to separate the contribution of each of the additions as follows: Original Jaya by Vyas had 8,800 shlokas; Bharat by Rishi Vaishampayana had 21,162 shlokas; Suta contributed 17284 shlokas and his son Sauti 26,728 shlokas; Harivanshakara added 9053 shlokas and Parvasangrahakara 1369 shlokas. This makes a total of 75596 Shlokas and together with Harivansha which has 6073 Shlokas the total size of the Mahabharata Epic is 81670 Shlokas. Different copies of Mahabharata give different numbers of Shlokas. Yardi has used the Critical Edition by Sukhatankar (1944) available with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute Pune.

      The analysis also shows that the Gita was added to Mahabharata by Sauti who lived around 450 BC. Gita which has been presented as a dialogue between Lord Krishna and the Pandava prince Arjuna on the battlefield is not a factual report of the dialogue but a later addition made by Sauti to the original Mahabharata. Shri Krishna was deified and considered as an avatar of Lord Vishnu some centuries after he died but before Sauti’s time thus enabling him to present Shri Krishna as the Supreme God. Gita is the synthesis of the Vedantic philosophy about the nature of God with other philosophies known in Sauti’s time namely the Yoga and Bhakti (devotion). But what is the source of the philosophies and the various paths presented by Sauti in Gita which presents the reader with revelation about the real self or Brahman, and a choice of various spiritual paths, like Yoga, Bhakti (devotion) and the most important, the path of action which recommends one to carry out one’s normal duties with detachment and without desire for fruits? "

      from: http://www.dj6qo.de/dnye/prologue.htm

      Delete
  5. 9]
    [[Arjuna says “…the women of the family become polluted, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny. “ ]]]

    How can irreligion arise in a family?
    Back in Mahabharata days a lot of these so called ‘men’ and ‘women’ were very young and mere children in comparison to todays married couples. We see how the child Krishna is considered old and mature when his Uncle Kansa asks him to fight older wrestlers and even himself!! So we see that at young age they were able to fight in wars and considered ‘adults’.

    In those days they married early and they were immature about the life and religious practice.
    Similar to many of todays children who are not fully aware of their religion and proper practice till they are 20-30 years of age.
    Mahatma Gandhi was married at age 13 to Kasturba. Even not too distant past marriage at young age was normal.


    In those days girls at age of 12 or 13 were married and clearly they needed the support of the elders to teach them the way of religious practice, cooking, welfare, money, dress, code of conduct, etc etc.
    So to find a girl loosing her husband in the war meant the wife was lost without her partner at such young age.
    She may not be fully worldly wise or culturally wise in practice of religion etc etc.
    Praphupada beautifully describes this immaturity by saying
    [[[[As children are very prone to be misled, women are similarly very prone to degradation. Therefore, both children and women require protection by the elder members of the family.]]] Hence the comparison of a wife to a child is valid.
    We know he is taking about young women and not all women because he says they[[[..require protection by the elder members of the family ]]]
    Elder being the clue.
    Elder wives are no doubt worldly wise.




    10]
    If the women (who are young) are not guided in the right direction after the death of their husband then they are prone to degradation.
    How?

    Youth is youth and they are all fired up with their own agendas, ideas, and they think they are worldly wise and easily fall in love with opposite sex (sometimes for the sake of sex and lust and out of infatuation) and if they are not guided in the right direction then we know they can easily fall foul.
    Today we worry about them falling in bad company and drinking, and smoking and drug taking and sleeping with other men and women and loosing their religious identity or ways or religious outlook. It is the same worry back in those days.

    But in those days women were needed much protection. This is a good thing and not a bad thing. Today we hold the same view because even today if our mothers or daughters had to arrive late home and alone at night then we worry for their safety.

    We worry of them like as if they were children even though our mothers re older and wiser. We worry about our daughters even more if they had to travel late at night and alone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 9] So you are talking about child marriage here? Let me tell you I am against child marriage, its worst thing one can do with child's life. If it was so common during Mahabharat's era then I am sorry to say that society was not as matured as we are today (this is the proof, if its right).

      Kansa wanted to kill or murder Krishna, if someone wants to murder person they don't think about their age or qualifications. Kansa's actions towards Krishna were in that respect, it was not related with his maturity of age.

      Yes, child marriage was practiced in India till very recent times, its illegal. Please read Gandhi's book "my experiments with truth" to know what effect his child marriage had on his life and psychology.

      {that at young age they were able to fight in wars and considered ‘adults’}
      {In those days girls at age of 12 or 13 were married and clearly they needed the support of the elders to teach them the way of religious practice, cooking, welfare, money, dress, code of conduct, etc etc.}

      how you relate these two statements? If they were considered as adults to get married, then why they need instructions on such a trivial matters, dress, code of conduct...

      So you mean kids were fighting in that war (how barbaric) and Prabhipad is talking exclusively about child widows here? He should have mentioned that, I think he was wise enough to write these things clearly. Let me know if you have reference for Prabhupad's comments about child widows, I am interested in reading it. No one from ISKON told me this yet, I will mention this angle to them and see what they have to say about this.

      NO...comparison of wife's mental/physical capabilities to child is not at all valid, as I said if he is talking about child widows then its totally different matter as they are still children not wives. There is difference between young women and children...I think you understand this.

      10] Again if its about child widows then its a totally different matter.
      Sex education is important and I advocate it. I am glad to see that you are also concerned about it and also think that Prabhupad was also in favor of sex education. I will see if ISKON has any literature or information available about sex education for adolescent and teenagers on their website or in books. Please let me know if you know any I am interested in reading it, so that I can recommend it to others.

      Yes, youth is youth and they should be like that. Young men or women have same feelings and both need guidance.

      {But in those days women were needed much protection.}

      yes, protection from whom? from men, so who needs guidance and training here, men or women? Victim needs training/ counselling or offender?

      I don't worry about my daughter just because she is female, I worry equally for my son or daughter, my concerns are not attached with their gender.

      Delete
    2. 9]
      [[[Let me tell you I am against child marriage,]]
      Again lets not make this about you.


      [[[Kansa's actions towards Krishna were in that respect, it was not related with his maturity of age.]]]
      Try to understand what I was saying about the story of Kansa. Its an example of how age was seen in those days. How boys were treated to be adults. Whether you like it or not is not up for discussion.



      [[[how you relate these two statements? If they were considered as adults to get married, then why they need instructions on such a trivial matters, dress, code of conduct..]]
      If only you spent some time trying to understand rather then trying to ‘fight’ me or seeking to see negative in my pont, then you will understand that a child is a child whether someone calls them adults or not. How hard is it to understand that a child age 12years old is not fully intellectual or worldly wise.



      As to the rest of your points---
      Praphupada is talking about what Arjuna is saying. Why don’t you understand this simple point?
      Stop trying to look at what goes on today and instead see the predicament of Arjunas time and culture of his time. Your questions are rather naïve bordering on childish and I don’t mind that but at least take time to understand instead of gung-ho into attack/defence talk all the time.
      I don’t care fi you don’t agree with my points but don’t look at my points with closed eyes.

      [[comparison of wife's mental/physical capabilities to child is not at all valid,]]
      It is valid. To a father a wife/son of age 15 or 50 is still a child to them and the elders will treat and often speak to them in such manners.


      10]]

      [[Sex education is important and I advocate it.]]
      [[I advocate it--- I am glad to see-- I will see if ISKON-- let me know-- I am interested-- I don't worry--- I worry equally for-- my concerns are not--]]]

      Its all about you again. You forget quickly what the verse is about.
      Your interests are not the subject of discussion.
      Rest are incomprehensible random comments made by you.


      (((But in those days women were needed much protection.))) I said and you replied [[[yes, protection from whom? from men, so who needs guidance and training here, men or women? Victim needs training/ counselling or offender?]]]

      OK this is a naïve comment again since you presume men are the only abusers.
      Let me tell you that mother in Laws abuse their daughters very much. Come back to reality.
      It is women like these who need counselling not men whom you blindly keep blaming.
      You are blinded by your misconception of men and women.
      You even patronise women with your thinking.
      Women have abused women and women and have caused problems for women.
      Women needs psychology and lessons in life.
      If women were so great then why are they still backwards in abusing their daughter-in-laws.



      Kiran

      Delete
    3. I already said that this blog is about me and what I think..so if you are looking for something else then you are bound to get disappointed....these all are my views and opinions, now please remember this...

      {{You are blinded by your misconception of men and women.
      You even patronise women with your thinking. Women have abused women and women and have caused problems for women. Women needs psychology and lessons in life. If women were so great then why are they still backwards in abusing their daughter-in-laws. }}

      Yes women have abused women, but I don't think Arjun is talking about this..any way we already left that path long ago (verse has very little what we are discussing in comments)...women are great and daughter-in-law abuse is not only abuse they face its one of many and mainly they face abuse from men, if you do little research you can find out this (please do it)...in Mahabharat also there is no instance where women is being abused by women...so I wonder how Prabhupad or you bring this topic suddenly as Arjun is not saying this..

      Delete
    4. [[[[I already said that this blog is about me and what I think..so if you are looking for something else then you are bound to get disappointed....these all are my views and opinions, now please remember this...]]]

      This topic in not about you but about the misunderstanding you have on a certain verse. I don’t want to know about your other life history. Stick to the points. I don’t want to know your opinions on the rights and wrongs of child marriage which you have no basis for writing it.
      But you did.



      Look at what you write I your next paragraph.
      It makes me laugh.
      I made comment that women have abused women and all of a sudden you correct me by saying
      “Yes women have abused women, but I don't think Arjun is talking about this..”
      “so I wonder how Prabhupad or you bring this topic suddenly as Arjun is not saying this..”

      So here you are telling me to stick to the point of the subject. Yet when I told you the same you start giving some explanations about this is your blog and you can do what you like.

      Delete
    5. This entire blog is about MY views....only my views...about various topics and things I believe or don't believe. I did not bring topic of child marriage, you did, so follow rules yourself if you want others to follow it...

      I didn't tell you stick to the point but was surprised how come suddenly you were trying to shift all attention towards women abusing other women and that's not what verse is trying to say...good to know that you are getting some laugh from my blog...I am glad..

      Delete
  6. 11]
    [[[On the failure of such varnasrama-dharma, naturally the women become free to act and mix with men, and thus adultery is indulged in at the risk of unwanted population.]]

    If you send your daughter to a late night party and you know her Dharama is stronger than her lust or love for boys then you have little worry.
    But if the Dharam is not strong then we worry even more.
    Only you can judge your daughters.

    Now widows if they are young can easily feel lonely and fall in love or lust.
    It results in unwanted pregnancy.
    It happens the same today.

    Again if you think all these things are fine today then it was not so in those days.

    ---As a young woman Satyavati met a wandering rishi Parashara, who fathered her son Vyasa out of wedlock. It was kept a secret from community till the time was right to tell others.

    ---We saw how young Kunti experimented by giving birth to Karna. Out of shame she had to hide Karna in a desperate way.

    --Sanatanu was infatuated with his wife Ganga and he allowed her to kill six if their children before he stopped the 8th.

    We see many such examples and even today parents do their best to avoid such circumstances.
    [[[Irresponsible men also provoke adultery in society, and thus unwanted children flood the human race at the risk of war and pestilence.]]]





    12]
    These are just examples that these things happen and can go wrong.

    Now in those days a woman without her husband was probably not allowed to re-marry again. Her own parents probably didn’t support them and her in-laws were the only guide or curse (!).

    If the girls were not looked after properly (ie through right conduct and religious practice [[By being engaged in various religious practices,…..]]) then they will of their own accord will want love and attention from other men; which is a natural thing for young person and any person (despite age).
    In the society and culture of those days, it was wrong.

    It is a taboo for widows living with their in-laws to become pregnant.
    If they perhaps were re-married then it would have been fine.
    But widows were looked upon differently in those days and hence the burden and control of unwanted pregnancy was much in the hands of women themselves. [[[women will not be misled into adultery]]].


    In those days I assume it was also wrong to marry with men from other villages as this would mean the loss of skill learnt from their own community eg fishing could not be kept alive if they married to another community eg potters.

    Yes it all this seems wrong today but we have to look into the perspective and see what Arjun is seeing.
    We cant write purports based on our own ignorance or how we would like a perfect society to be.

    Kiran

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 11] Late night parties are not place to test your dharma, there you go to enjoy, don't mix two things together. All kids don't go there for sex and lust, that's why sex education is important thing so tat they know their responsibilities and result of irresponsible sexual behavior.

      I don't judge my kids, I teach them, guide them and love them. Its up to them to decide what they want to do with their life.

      Widows are also like any other women, them falling in love is not crime. Let me tell you that now there are many ways to control pregnancy (contraceptives). Sex education is must to avoid these type of scenario, religion alone cant solve these problems. "Kamasutra' was written in those times, so that society was mature and bold enough about their sexual behavior, so I don't know what are the things which you are referring to when you say {Again if you think all these things are fine today then it was not so in those days.}

      Was Vyas part of unwanted progeny or population according to you? What is right time according to you to tell society about birth of your son?

      Karna's birth was result of Kunti's curiosity and lack of sex education not because she was women...

      Shantanu's behaviour was not because of his infatuation towards Ganga but his promise to her before their marriage, please read and then comment.

      Do you think in all these examples only women are at fault?

      12] We take so much pride in claiming Hinduism to be so progressive and liberal religion and at the same time look at the condition of women you are describing when Gita was delivered and when God himself was present in society...do you see any contrast here?

      According to me there was nothing wrong in Vyasa or Karna's birth, it was society's fault that they couldn't accept it, not their mothers.

      I already wrote about forced widowhood in my post "Who is Guilty?". I wonder why Krishna didn't advocate widow marriage if this was such a BIG problem?

      For me Gita is not only recording of facts or history of that particular period but its also considered as eternal knowledge...so how come he forget to offer viable solution to such a big problem.

      Do you mean widows looked upon or guarded upon carefully? If they want to look after them then they should have allowed to remarry them...simple.

      So according to you which is perfect society? the one which suppressed widows, allowed child marriage, kids to fight war? or the one in which we are living? You mean Mahabharat era was not a perfect society and Gita was delivered by people living in imperfect society!!

      Delete
    2. 11]
      [[Late night parties are not place to test your dharma, there you go to enjoy, don't mix two things together. All kids don't go there for sex and lust, that's why sex education is important thing so tat they know their responsibilities and result of irresponsible sexual behavior.]]]

      When you say [[[Late night parties are not place to test your dharma ]] then you are wrong. Dharama is about doing the right thing at the right time and anywhere about anythign.
      If the persons Dharma is strong ONLY then they will be OK. Dharma matters a great deal and especially in such places where temptation to drink drugs and sex is high.
      Your Dharama is tested to the fullest.
      Don’t be under false illusions that religion does not matter at parties. No one says you cant enjoy but you have to enjoy the right way and not by getting caught in bad influences.

      So going by your own example:-
      Sex is education-- therefore WITH this dharma you have learnt you should apply it parties or anywhere.
      Knowing when and with whom to have sex this is Dharma.
      If your dharma on sex education is not learnt then you may fall prey to ‘demonic natures.’


      My example was ONLY to bring home the point of my next paragraph but you have gone off the tangent again by not understanding my points and talking all about you, you and you.

      [[Widows are also like any other women, them falling in love is not crime.]]
      Its seen as a crime by society and parents and in-laws IN THEIR TIME so it is a crime. Its not about what we think today.

      [[Let me tell you that now there are many ways to control pregnancy (contraceptives).]]

      Try to stay focused on the topic discussed. Arjuna is seeing the problems and Praphipada has made the same translation in simple language. No forther topics needs to be added or taken away.
      ‘AS IT IS’ not ‘as we like It’.


      [[Do you think in all these examples only women are at fault?]]
      Yes. The women were totally at fault in all situations.



      Kiran

      Delete
    3. 12]

      [[We take so much pride in claiming Hinduism to be so progressive and liberal religion and at the same time look at the condition of women you are describing when Gita was delivered and when God himself was present in society...do you see any contrast here?]]
      This is a childish comment.
      Mahabaharat is a story of everyday life and you learn from the mistakes of others. That’s the lesson it is teachings as well as other Great lessons.
      Hinduism is something to be proud of since Im sure it has made you what you are today!

      As to God:- He does not control us but will help if us if we seek it.
      Ive already explained this to you in your first blog.



      [[[I wonder why Krishna didn't advocate widow marriage if this was such a BIG problem?]]]
      You are going off topic which is not up for discussion.
      If we go off topic then there are endless avenues and I dotn have time to discuss.

      Now as to that point on God:-
      As I already said he cant magically make everyone do what he wants otherwise we would become robots and etc etc etc the logic is simple to see.

      Besides he was the champion of women and many times he protected Drapadi, villagers, Subhadra, 16,000 women, Rukhmani etc etc etc .

      When some 16.000 women were freed by him --the society and parents and in-laws disowned them. This is how society was in those days. The girls had no choice but to kill themselves. Krishna could not give them homes or protection in palace because gossip of unmarried women were like knife in back.
      So he married them and this way he gave them respect and place of prestige. Anyone after this caught abusing or gossiping about them would have had to deal with Krishna.


      [[so how come he forget to offer viable solution to such a big problem.]]
      If you read the life of Krishna then you will understand the viable points.
      With your limited knowledge you are making nonsense comments.




      [[[So according to you which is perfect society?]]]
      There is no such thins.
      This purport is about Arjuna and not me or you so I repeat We cant write purports based on our own ignorance or how we would like a perfect society to be.

      Delete
    4. {{Yes. The women were totally at fault in all situations.}}

      What do you mean by this? I am sorry but I didn't understand this...I can see how much effect that purport already have on your thinking, you might be happy to know that there are some people who also think like you about women...I wish you guys all the best and hope you guys realize your mistakes soon.

      I am proud of Hinduism and at the same time don't justify or try to hide the mistakes made by our society in past. May be your definition of respect is different than mine, I cant help it, it's your problem if you cant take criticism, I am free to criticize anything which I feel is wrong.

      This purport is NOT abour Arjun but what Prabhupad thought about Arjun and his dialogue with Krishna...sooner you realize better for you...please don't mix verse and purport they are totally different things...

      Delete
    5. I have to laugh again. You are now teaching me what I have been trying to teach you.
      The point I have always maintained that is that PURPORT is perfect and makes good sense of what Arjuna is worried about. But you keep insisting on seeing something different.

      Delete
    6. Laughter is best medicine, more you get is better for you, good that my blog is giving you that...I know that for you all purports in this book are perfect and divine...I am not insisting and not even trying to correct you, if you read all the comments you are insisting and want me to see something different than what Prabhupad is saying...I got his as well as your point...but the problem is you are not getting my point.

      I am not here to teach anything I am just sharing my views..

      Delete
  7. 13]
    Adultery is a person that is married having sexual relations outside of that marriage. This was the worry of Arjuna.

    A widowed daughter today is still responsible of in-laws and community.
    If a widow becomes pregnant then this is devastating for her in those days.

    It results in the inlaws not wanting the child, the father not wanting the child and mother left with unwanted child.

    If the woman had a child of from her husband (who was now dead) then even this child might grow up without mother if the inlaws throw her out.

    It results in no one left from the family to continue the blood line and make sacrifice and do prayers to the ancestors (which was one of the things concerning Arjuna).
    [[[…….thus give rise to unwanted children, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated. 1:42]]]


    14]
    What we are seeing are real concerns of Arjuna and explained nicely by Praphupada in a language as it is. We may not like what we hear about the realties of war and situation back then and even in some families today but this is how it is.

    Perhaps we don’t want to blame women if these things happen (love or lust) but the fact remains it takes two people to make a baby. Abuse is different and communities should take care of them but the backwards communities of those days were not ALL educated and doing right conduct. Same today. This is why the burden on women was/is even greater and very sad.

    Today in families where child is unwanted then family life is devastated and made worse by community not accepting mother and child and family too.
    These are Arjunas concern.

    [[[By the evil deeds of those who destroy the family tradition and thus give rise to unwanted children, all kinds of community projects and family welfare activities are devastated. (1.42) ]]]

    Evil deeds by mother, evil deeds by man who lusted, evil deeds by in-laws, evil deeds by her own parents, evil deeds by community.


    Kiran
    Apologies its very long again.

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    Replies
    1. 13] Adultery is not war related phenomenon, it depends on person's character. Polygamy as well as polyandry was common in those days so having sexual relationships with more than one partner was not very uncommon even after marriage they used to fall in love and get married.

      Today widows are in much better position than compared to times which you are describing, even in India they are in much better situation.

      Why in-laws will keep child and throw the mother? Why its important to have someone to continue 'blood line'? (what does it even mean?) Did Pandu had any kid on his own? Kunti and Madri produced kids from their out of marriage relationship...whats a big deal?

      Why according to you intelligent man like Arjun was so obsessed with "to make sacrifice and do prayers to the ancestors"

      14] Explained nicely????...:) I thought people believe Mahabharat is our glorious past but it doesn't look like that from the description you offer about women's situation in that society.

      {Perhaps we don’t want to blame women if these things happen (love or lust) but the fact remains it takes two people to make a baby.}
      Let me tell you love and lust are totally different things. not perhaps but surely women are not alone to be blamed for irresponsible sexual behavior. I don't think that Mahabharat era was that backward, because such a backward community can not produce such a brilliant piece of literature. Evil deeds are evil deeds doesn't matter who does them, all doing it needs help and counselling not only particular gender or section of society.

      Thanks again for your efforts and I think I made my stand and points clear and answered your all concerns about my post.

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    2. I must also say that I agree to all your safety concerns about women, but its not their fault. Also I have very strong objection to the statement where just because of their gender they are accused to be more prone to degradation and less trustworthy. I am against stereotyping any gender or community, no matter who tries to do that I will oppose it.

      Women already suffered a lot for centuries because of society's biased view towards them, rather that justifying those periods of history we should accept the mistake, take the blame and try not to repeat them, that's the whole point of my post.

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    3. 13]]

      [[Adultery is not war related phenomenon]]
      No but you are forgetting this is what Arjuna is seeing.
      You keep loosing sight of the topic for discussion.
      No wonder you haven’t understood anything written by me or Praphupada.

      Now before you tell me that I have lost the plot also let me tell you that I have tried my best to give you examples from other sources to explain the verse and not talked about other subjects because I had lost sight of the topic.


      [[Why according to you intelligent man like Arjun was so obsessed with "to make sacrifice and do prayers to the ancestors"]]
      Youre intelligent enough to work this out your self.
      If you are not then ask me again and if I have time I will explain.


      14]
      [[I thought people believe Mahabharat is our glorious past but it doesn't look like that from the description you offer about women's situation in that society.]]

      Perhaps this is not a question but a thought but its very naïve question if it was. We cannot change how the past was. IT Was AS IT WAS. Gone.
      If you cannot understand the glorious of the past then you should not be writing blogs on such topics which you have limited knowledge or are ignorant of.


      Kiran
      3~'

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    4. Thanks Kiran, I really appreciate your efforts and patience to explain things to me. I am not against Prabhupad or his book and I made this things clear many times. I am against his comments about women. The book it self and no one from ISKON told me that the comments in purport apply only to specific era and time, rather during my discussion with people associated with ISKON they said that they do believe that women are emotionally weaker than men, not as capable as men in some aspects....
      So you see what message people are taking from the book.

      Here is the verse translation from Prabhupad's book,

      When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the family become polluted, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny. (1.40)

      Now, where Arjun is talking about women's character, their abilities or their comparison with men? Yes, concern about their safety is there, but that's related with war and its aftermath....and now read the purport...it goes totally in different direction and that's the point I am trying to make, you are free to disagree.

      According to me his purports are his own interpretation of Gita, many people agree with it and many don't (I am among them), its as simple as that. People who agree should follow his teaching and people like me who don't agree have right to criticize his views.

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    5. Hello Vinay,
      Hopefully this really is the last point from me :)


      [[I am against his comments about women.]]
      And all Ive done is try to make you see that you are wrong in your opinion.




      [[So you see what message people are taking from the book.]]
      They are clearly talking of todays time and not seeing the worry of Arjuna which I stress again what Praphupada is expanding on. Our intellect is not the same as his and he is wiser and he has translated purport correctly. His devotees and or anyone should also understand this. I don’t know what type of discussion you had with them or anyone so I cannot know if they have understood your points or questions.
      Its nice that you are doing research.

      Now they have said [[women are emotionally weaker than men, not as capable as men in some aspects....]]
      There is nothing wrong in what they say unless you have not fully given the dialogues. Women are the weak in certain aspect and they are. This is NOT a lesson but a fact of life.



      [[When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krsna, the women of the family become polluted, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrsni, comes unwanted progeny. (1.40)]]
      I have tried my best to explain it to you but you still do not see.
      The verse cannot be looked at in singularity. It has to be seen with the other verses, the state of Arjunas mind, the society at the time and the culture.



      [[people like me who don't agree have right to criticize his views.]]
      You don’t have any right to criticize something that is not incorrect because your thinking makes it so.
      I have already explained it how your thinking is wring but you do not see it because you are blinded by your passion for women.



      Kiran

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    6. As I already said in my comments that I got your (as well as Prabhupad's) point. I stopped trying to convince my friends the time they said that they totally believe in this (and all other) purport and they also think that women are not as capable as men in some aspects and now you also said the same thing...

      {{Women are the weak in certain aspect and they are. This is NOT a lesson but a fact of life.}}

      I don't believe in this but you have right to express your opinion. I don't know from where you or Prabhupad discovered this particular fact of life. If you look at great achievements made by women then I think you guys might realize that this fact of yours (or assumption) is a totally wrong and in fact its a biased view and NOT the fact of life. I am sure you guys will realize it today or tomorrow.

      Correct and incorrect is relative term in most of the cases. Mathematics is the only basic science where there are certain rules which can not be challenged, all other things are relative and change with time. Its not necessary that whatever you feel is correct I should also agree. People can have different opinions and once you put your opinion in any book or public forum (like blog) its open for criticism from anyone who can access it.

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