[KDPC] Respuesta al tema de Conferencia

1 week, 6 days ago by Asta Sakhi Devi Dasi in Calendar Development

Hare Krishna Your Holiness, please accept my respectful obeisances. 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

Thank you very much for your kind reply and sorry for not contextualizing the questions to better understanding. Now I´m going to try to do it.

The subject is in two senses.

1) We observe that the influence of cultural differences is not only in relation with the geographical origin (Mexican, American, Hindu culture, etc.) but also in the differences that come from education, generation, time, etc. So, How is it possible to achieve a conciliation and progress at the social-group level, if, although in theory we understand that CK is beyond material designations, sometimes these cultural, material designations seem to be stronger than we think in our relationships and projects as a social group?

ASA - One example would be how can Men and Women actually relate, even if they are not Pure Devotees? Of course, for many of these the answer is Varna-ashrama-dharma, no? Such an excellent system, no? So, so, much of this in the Bhagavatam: SB 1.7.15-16, 42-48... Just the first canto!

2) On the other hand, we have the concern to understand about identity and a sense of belonging from a psychological perspective.

ASA - Most of the cultural things above would be integration at a psychological level also, no?

We would like to understand How internally -on a psychological level-, the identity of a devotee is structured when it is influenced by so many mixed cultural factors?

For example, there are several authors who analyze the lack of cultural identity of "Mexicans". They explain that, actually there is no defined "Mexican culture", since it is too complex, almost impossible to define.

ASA - Yes! That is exactly what I was thinking also!

In other words, the identity problem in Mexico is existing for a long time (and probably in many other countries).

ASA - It seems universal, no? Racial purging, refugees...

Additionally, when we translate this situation into the Hare Krishna context is also an incredible mix.

ASA - That is the solution, no? Kalau dose nidhe rajan... This Age of Kali is an OCEAN of faults. The family identity is bad. The national identity is not clear, bad. The religious identity is bad... What does it mean to be a Jew, Catholic... but there is one good thing, 'mahan gunah'. just by chanting Hare Krsna, we can identify our selves with Krsna and Krsna's devotees (TlgaSP!). NOI 4-6 gives great, basic, instructions on this.

We live too conditioned by the culture where we grew up, attached to food, language, beliefs (not only religious), in a postmodern, western, capitalist, globalized system and mentality, etc ... And added to that, we aspire to follow practices from a distant tradition. Even when people ask, what are we? There are a dozen responses: "we are a movement", "a spiritual culture", "a philosophy", "a tradition", "a lifestyle".

ASA - Yes, we are All Things to All People. 😎 That is why the SB has 18,000 verses and then Lord Caitanya added the CC etc. We are one thing to Maharaja Pariksit people, another to Queens of Dvaraja people.... Hansadutta told us that Srila Prabhupada said, that every psychological circumstance you can encounter, you will encounter in SB... We are trying to get a deep dialog going with Jungian community. They are among the best in the West in psychology.

But it seems that we do not understand neither the culture in which we are inserted, nor do we know or understand the Gaudiya Vaisnava culture.

ASA - Rupa Goswami says that in the beginning there is a tendency toward impersonalism, but later we start to understand the KC culture and fit in. The ISKCON culture... as an Institution 😮 , and as a society of friends 😉 , and and and as our personal, individual, relationship with Srila Prabhupada. 🙂

How is it possible for a person to identify with a “new culture” without a deeper understanding of both?

ASA - https://vedabase.io/en/library/iso/11/ Yes, we have to understand where we are starting, but not perfectly. Just enough to understand why we want to change, and what assets we can take with us, then we can focus more on why our destination seems attractive.

How internally does a devotee assume and identify himself as a Vaisnava and how does his psychology work?

ASA - Vaisnava is devotee of Krsna. In the beginning, Karma-yoga, the identification is extenal, with rituals, but then it passes through Jnana, Dhyana and then pure Bhakti not mixed with blind following of the inferior steps. I chant my rounds (karma yoga) with understanding of the process (jnana) and concentration (dhyana, mysticism) and with real motive to change my motives (bhakti). Rupa Goswami describes this in Nectar of Devotion.

I hope I have not further complicated the topic and that it is useful to devotees. I apologize to you for perhaps so much speculation from me.

HpS - Are our answers to the topics correct? Of course it is a 45-minute presentation with 15-minutes of questions and answers, no? We will have to focus and then connect people to more classes etc.

Aspiring to serve you,

Govardhanesvari dd