The Gita Comparisons posts will return next week at their regularly scheduled time. For now, enjoy this little nugget of wackiness!
I don’t read Sampradaya Sun very much. Maybe once a week, maybe less. I’ll glance at it here and there. So it was surprising when I noticed that my blog was getting a lot of hits from the Sampradaya Sun site. I didn’t post there, never have. The folks who rant at the SS seem to rant about the same things over and over and over and never get anywhere and it gets amazingly dull.
Anyway, yesterday some fellow named Janmastami dasa posted a mini-rant about me, proving once and for all that the Sampradaya Sun’s editorial policy is a very loose “anything goes” kind of policy.
Apparently, he took issue with my post questioning Srila Prabhupada’s use of “lower birth.” You can read what I wrote here.
Though possibly controversial, I thought my post was, at least, a fair question to ask. I explained my idea of “lower birth” and did take issue with Srila Prabhupada’s use of it in translating this verse. I wasn’t a jerk about it. I wasn’t offensive. I was merely questioning why he chose to do so.
And Janmastami answered (which is fine) on the Sampradaya Sun (which is sort of weird). I’m not really sure why he didn’t just comment here, since that seems the sensible thing to do. But as we’ll soon find out, “sensible” probably isn’t something he’s regularly accused of being.
He starts off with some wild ideas:
One of ISKCON’s current and more prolific bloggers is Bhakta Eric, who recently posted this alleged “spiritual knowledge”. Clearly, if the ISKCON he purports to speak for felt that he was misrepresenting the facts, they would admonish him rather than making him a contributing editor at the Planet ISKCON. If, however, the points that the powers that be want made are as volatile and politically incorrect as some now being brought up, it would behoove them to have a surrogate speak “the philosophy” vicariously for them.
First, while I am a current and prolific blogger, I’m not ISKCON’s blogger. Hell, most of my posts are about scooters and Godzilla. As far as I know, they have nothing to do with ISKCON. And why does he put “spiritual knowledge” in quotes like he’s quoting me? That’s weird. I never said that.
I’ve also never purported to speak for ISKCON. They’ve never asked me and I’m certainly not holding my breath waiting for that phone call. And while I don’t want to throw pipe bombs at ISKCON temples, you could hardly call me a company man. I’ve openly taken issue with MANY things ISKCON has done and is doing. I mean, ever read The Hing?
I’m also not an editor at Planet ISKCON. I’m actually surprised I’m still allowed to post there [thanks, btw]. I also don’t think ISKCON has the power to make people contributing editors to Planet ISKCON, though I’m not sure.
I do agree, however, that if ISKCON, unbeknownst to me, is using me as their spokesperson, they should probably find a surrogate.
His second paragraph was an incomplete sentence and a couple of quotes from my post, so I’ll not trouble you with it.
Then in his third:
We find accusations about the various errors he finds in Srila Prabhupada’s writings. One must be struck with wonder as to whom this bhakta aspires to seek initiation from. One who feels the need to issue his bhakta’s eye view of Srila Prabhupada’s mistakes, complete with his analysis and corrections, must surely find some of ISKCON’s “in good standing” gurus highly attractive.
I don’t think I was accusatory. And I never used the word “error,” but it’s cute how he tried to link me with those who say that Prabhupada’s books are filled with errors and must be changed.
And yes! One must be struck with wonder! This bhakta aspires to seek initiation from nobody. I’ve been a devotee for fifteen or so years and when Krishna sees fit to send me a guru, I will most assuredly accept. Maybe Janmastami has some suggestions? To be honest, I’ve not found anyone “highly attractive.” Sorry?
The magnitude of the deviation is obvious when some overly pampered bhakta has the audacity to criticise Srila Prabhupada’s Bhaktivedanta purports because the idiots that he has been reciting Gita with for his entire time in association with ISKCON have no real understanding or appreciation of the mass of information they almost have at their disposal. These are the times we find ourselves immersed in. Can the massive correction be far off?
I’m a little cloudy on “magnitude of the deviation.” And I’m not really sure what an “overly pampered bhakta” is. But while I don’t feel that I’m overly (or underly) pampered, I am a bhakta, and pretty happy about that. Bhakta means student, right? Actually it means “devotee,” but the connotation is on studying bhakti. And I am. But nobody feeds me peeled grapes or does my laundry for me.
I’ve also not been reciting Gita with anyone, really. I mean, sure, I do the weekly Gita comparison post and there’s some chit chat about it that I have really grown to love, but I’ve not really recited Gita with anyone since my days at New Vrndavana. Now that I think about it, that’s sort of a bummer. Hopefully when I find people to recite Gita with they’re not idiots, goodness!
I guess I am the times you find yourself immersed in. Ho-hum.
And what is this “massive correction?” He’s so cryptic!
So, that’s about it. Half the things he said meant something else and the other half didn’t mean anything at all. Sad, really.