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Essays

ISKCON’s GBC

Essays

I believe that such a historical moment is upon us again—a moment in which good and faithful ISKCON devotees, respecting Prabhupada’s GBC system, must petition the GBC to correct a critical problem with ISKCON leadership, including the GBC itself. [Continue reading] ISKCON’s GBC

Sariology

Essays

A senior disciple of Prabhupada has written a short essay to show why Krishna conscious women should wear the Indian dress known as the sari. I believe that this essay gives many false arguments and therefore I will give here a critique of her essay.  [Continue reading] Sariology

Thoughts on Deviation

Essays

Prabhupada described the path of bhakti as a razor’s edge. Certainly there is danger on all sides, and we must take extraordinary care not to deviate from Prabhupada’s pure teachings.  [Continue reading] Thoughts on Deviation

Reply to a Senior Leader

Essays

Recently a senior ISKCON leader tried to refute some basic claims of Krishna West. I feel it is my duty to respond to these points. After all, the Caitanya Caritāmṛta says, “A sincere student should not neglect the discussion of [Kṛṣṇa conscious] conclusions, considering them controversial, for such discussions strengthen the mind.  [Continue reading] Reply to a Senior Leader

The Vaiṣṇavī Guru

Essays

ISKCON should welcome any qualified devotee to serve as guru, without imposing a bodily test in terms of race, nationality, ethnicity, or gender. As Lord Caitanya personally declared:
“Whoever knows the science of Krishna is a guru.”  [Continue reading] The Vaiṣṇavī Guru

Vaisnava Moral Theology and Homosexuality

Essays

The role of sexuality in a spiritual society is clearly a moral issue that must be understood within the greater context of Vaishnava moral philosophy, as we find it in authoritative Vaishnava scriptures. [Continue reading] Vaisnava Moral Theology and Homosexuality

Heresy & the Jiva Debate

Essays

In  1995 , the leaders of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness  (ISKCON)  asked  me  to  address  a  raging  controversy  among  its members  over  the  theological  issue  of  the  origin  of  the  soul. [Continue reading] Heresy & the Jiva Debate

The Role of Guru in a Multi-Guru Society

Essays

Dr Rahul Peter Das questioned Anuttama Dasa’s statements about authority and leadership in ISKCON. Dr Das particularly refers to possible contradictions with concepts of the divine guru that underly much of Indian philosophical systems. Here Hrdayananda Dasa Goswami, himself a guru in the Vaisnava line, attempts to resolve the apparent contradiction between tradition and democracy, explaining the role of the guru in a society with a collegial governing body. [Continue reading] The Role of Guru in a Multi-Guru Society

Guru and GBC in ISKCON

Essays

On May 15, 1999, the American Family Foundation, which monitors and informs the public about “cults”, held its annual conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.
The ISKCON Communications Journal (ICJ), then published the proceedings of the panel, and one of its learned reader, the distinguished Indologist Dr. Rahul Peter Das, wrote to the ICJ editors, expressing his concern about some of Anuttama’s statements. The editors then asked me to speak to this issue.  [Continue reading] Guru and GBC in ISKCON

Why Should ISKCON Study Its Own History?

Essays

ISKCON desperately needs to develop the ability to think intelligently, critically and historically about itself. When problems arise, we need to know that these same problems have manifested many times in the past, both within Vaisnava history and in the history of other traditions. [Continue reading] Why Should ISKCON Study Its Own History?

For Whom Does Hinduism Speak?

Essays

In this essay Hrdayananda Dasa Goswami (H.J. Resnick) explains where the term ‘Hindu’ originates from. He asks for whom does the term ‘Hindu’ speak and who can speak for the ‘Hindus’. To which of the multitude of widely differing worldviews does this term apply? What are the implications of accepting ‘Hindu’ as a designation? Hrdayananda Dasa Goswami also looks at the history of the word and discovers how and where it came into common use by scholars and by the ‘Hindus’ themselves. [Continue reading] For Whom Does Hinduism Speak?

The Supremacy of Visnu/Krsna in the Mahabharata

Essays

Who is the God whom Suta addresses as Vishnu, Hrsikesa and Hari? He is
first, as mentioned above, the original person, the controller, and one who
is praised and prayed to in various ways, by many names. [Continue reading] The Supremacy of Visnu/Krsna in the Mahabharata

Translation of Bhagavatam in the Gaudiya Sampradaya

Essays

I wih to discuss the process of translating the Bhagavata-purana wwithin the Guadiya Vaishnava sampradaya. I will first briefly mention some of the internal characteristics of the Bhagavatam, the general religious history of India, its special importance for the Guadiya vaishnava tradition, and how the Vaishnavas, and especially Gaudiya Vaishavas, have approached the task of translating and transmitting sacred texts such as the Bhagavatam. [Continue reading] Translation of Bhagavatam in the Gaudiya Sampradaya

Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita

Essays

I attempt in this paper to clarify certain essential teachings of the Bhaga-vad-gîtå, primarily those focusing on a single point: the nature and status of Krishna, God, according to the Gita itself. My strong conviction is that the Gita is a lucid, self-explanatory work, and therefore the occasional practice of commentators to force on it extraneous doctrines often renders the text obscure where it is bright, esoteric where it is literal, and impersonal where it is intensely personal.  [Continue reading] Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita

State and Society in Ancient India

Essays

Hridayananda Dasa Goswami shows us in this article, by analysis of a specific piece of scholarly research by Prof. W. Rau, how academic conclusions may sometimes be based on personal bias. Such bias does not lead to objective conclusions and it defeats the methodology used to gain objectivity. [Continue reading] State and Society in Ancient India

Isolation in Krishna Consciousness

Essays

This article by Hrdayananda dasa Goswami challenges the theory of isolationism constructed by modern psychology and it serves as a response to an article by Professor Lewis Rambo in particular. He attempts to show us here that this paradigm of isolation does not serve as a very effective tool in the objective analysis of religious communities.  [Continue reading] Isolation in Krishna Consciousness

The Role of the Bhagavata in Caitanya Caritamrta

Essays

According to the Vaishnava tradition, the Bhagavatam’s unique status derives from the fact that Lord Krishna is the ultimate speaker or author. The same tradition holds that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Lord Krishna himself, and that in preaching the Srimad Bhagavatam , Caitanya Mahaprabhu is therefore explaining His own composition. [Continue reading] The Role of the Bhagavata in Caitanya Caritamrta