Thursday, January 29, 2009

American Vedic Association Newsletter

Hari Bolo Friends of the Vedas!

Please accept my respects. All glory to the transcendental light of the Bhagavad-Gita as It Is!

On Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 7:30pm

Come join this wonderful evening that includes:

Congregational Mantra Meditation
A short study in Sanskrit
A FREE Vegetarian Feast and
A Bona-fide Sat-sanga where we will discuss:

Leadership Means: “By Example"

Politicians & mega-executives earn huge salaries, benefits, and social pert's while unendurable hardships continue to be piled on the back of the working class. Class acrimony continues to escalate to a volatile state of fierce discontent while no-one is qualified or prepared to lead by example! Make a difference by learning how at the next AVA meeting! 7:30PM / 687 West Villanova Road - 640-0405 Always Free!


Current Events:

Guest Speaker Feb3, 2009 Audaryalila Dasa

Audaryalila prabhu was scheduled to speak at our last program but his daughter was very pregnant at the time and complicated his abilty to make our meeting. He is now a grandfather to a healthy granddaughter and has rescheduled to lead the formal presentation and field the discussion questions at our next meeting. Audarylila has been practicing Krishna Consciousness for 30 years and is well studied and trained in the pinnacle of all yoga systems. “Bhakti Yoga.” He is well read, well trained and has a sober understanding of the Vedas and their conclusion which points serious transcendentalists towards the Lotus Feet of the Supreme Lord.

Leadership Means: “By Example"

Prelude to This Month’s Feature Article

Mr. President… we have a problem!

Last week we inaugurated a new president to lead the most powerful country in the face of the earth. Baraka Obama was elected to office at a moment in our history that could prove to be one of the most difficult situations in modern times. The difficulties President Obama must contend with in regards to the economy, the war on terrorism, unemployment, medical expenses and social security have never been more challenging.

President Obama made many promises during his campaign and consequently there are many who have very high hopes that he will be able to pull us out of the quagmire we have gotten ourselves into. But whatever he promised was inconsequential compared to the level of responsibility that was expected from the Vedic Kings that were the head of the Ksatraia (Warrior Administrator) class.


President of USA vrs Vedic Kings

The ksatrias were considered to be the arms of society. They provide all levels of administrative service up to the king, and they are the soldiers and the police. Their qualifications are listed in Bhagavad-gita:

sauryam tejo dhrtir daksyam yuddhe capy apalayanam

danam isvara-bhavas ca ksatram karma svabhava-jam

“ Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the ksatriyas.” - Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Chapter 18 “Conclusion The Perfection Of Renunciation’, Text 43. LINK: http://bhagavadgitaasitis.com/18/43/en


Vedic society was a monarchy. Unlike modern political leaders, the kñatriya kings were extremely powerful and would lead their men in battle instead of send young men to battle! Civilians were never involved in warfare because battles were always held on a designated battlefield that was in open spaces where there was no domestic dwellings. The rules of warfare were very specific and fighting was only between equals. The battles would end when the sun went down and it was not uncommon for combatants to meet and fraternize around a common fire pit at the end of the day!
The power of the king was not unlimited. Every king had an advisory staff of brahmanas who were well studied in the Vedas, had no personal motives and were so detached they could never be bribed with material incentives. The King was socially bound to follow the advice of these mature brahmana because of their renown wisdom. The Brhamins are considered to be the head of society and as such it was the duty of the King to set the example of following their advice so everyone could learn from it. For this reason the monarch would treat even a poor brahmana with great regard and honor that person as his superior.

The ksatria king was responsible for the well-being of his citizens. He would never think of exploiting them because he knew he would had to accept karmic reaction for his mismanagement and even the misbehavior of his constitutes!

The Vedic monarchs had to be a good administrating military leaders as well as have the character of a saintly Vaishnava devotee of Krishna. It was the responsibility of the king to see to it that everyone could progress on the path of spiritual enlightenment. Therefore he had to set the perfect example and not indulge in activities that are detrimental to this goal! Vedic ksatrias had to also enforced injunctions against meat-eating, recreational sex, gross intoxication, and reckless gambling. According to Vedic science meat-eating destroys the quality of mercy, gambling destroys honesty, intoxication destroys austerity, and sexual promiscuity destroys physical and mental cleanliness.

There are instances in Vedic history of kings who deviated from their duties of protecting the citizens and they were removed from their post by the spiritual power of the brahmanas. But such cases were rare, since kings were not democratically elected by the politically uneducated masses but were instead carefully selected by the most enlightened members of society.

No Rain? The King Did It!

Kingdoms would flourish under the rule of powerful saintly monarchs. There was justice for everyone, including those who had no money. Unemployment was unknown because society was basically agrarian. Vedic society encouraged individual ownership of land so that people could be self-sufficient without artificial dependence on machines, bank loans, complicated financial instruments and excessive consumption marketing.

The kings were also responsible to make sure that it not only would rain on a regular basis so the crops could prosper, but they were even expected to make sure it would only rain in the evening which would be the least inconvenience to his constituents who would sleep at that time. The king was so powerful that he was even held responsible if a man’s son were to die prematurely! (Children are expected to outlive their parents.)

We can hardly understand how it would be possible to hold the head of the government responsible for these types of things but the kings were expected to perfectly understand how the laws of nature worked and they were responsible for enforcing the policies necessary to ensure they did not get violated. When the laws of nature are properly respected then we learn from the Gita that everyone will prosper accordingly:

devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah
parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha

“The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you, and thus, by cooperation between men and demigods, prosperity will reign for all.” - Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Chapter 3 “Karma Yoga’, Text 11. LINK: http://bhagavadgitaasitis.com/3/11/en


So we certainly hope for the best in regards to the efforts of Baraka Obhama and his new administration. But regardless of what new policies he puts in place or how he goes about leading the American people, we can understand from the conclusion of the Vedas that our situation will not improve as long as people remain ignorant about the laws of nature and we continue to violate them.


This Issue HOT LINK: Your Ever Well Wisher #5

ACARYA: One Who Leads By Example

The Sanskrit word Acarya translates into English to mean: “One who leads by example.” This is a very important point that should not be minimized. All sorts of so called “Spiritual” leaders can attract a following if they are even a little bit charismatic, but being able to speak well doesn’t ensure anything. History is full of all sorts of powerful orators who proved to be very selfish, corrupt, or even outrageously demoniac!

One of the ways an aspiring student can test the merit of the teacher they choose to follow is to observe what their personal behavior is. If they preach some fantastic idea about how to live your life but they are not able to live that model themselves, then just how good can what they teach actually be?

Here in Ojai there was a very prominent so-called illuminated philosopher who prattled on for many years concocting his own concept of “Spiritual Awareness.” Many people would marvel over the apparent eloquence of his often hard to understand examination of life and he earned the accolades from people all over the world. However when he was in his mid 60’s he became intimately involved with the wife of one of his closest advisors and this rather embarrassing event was hard to explain for those who knew about it. After all, if one poses as a great teacher then the most important lesson they can teach is the one they demonstrate by how they live their own life. Eventually someone approached this philosophical king who stood naked in the eyes of those who knew that having an affair with the wife of his confident was not the way for an advanced soul to behave. When asked to explain his wanton behavior his response boiled down to the old adage: “Do as I say, Not As I Do!”

Bogus!

Excuse me. That is a completely bogus answer. Regardless of how well this modern philosopher could juggle words around and confuse the public, this one event exposed him to be yet just another spiritual fraud glorified by a congregation that is not very thoughtful.

The Hot link clip for this issue introduces the readers of this newsletter to a real Acarya. It is a small portion of a larger presentation but the reason why I selected this part is because it consists of several personal testimonies of successful businessmen, professors, and psychologists who each had the opportunity to independently study the lifestyle and behavior of Bhaktivedanta Swami and they all came to the same remarkable conclusion that His Divine Grace was indeed an extraordinary man who set the ideal example we can all look up to and aspire for! No Magic, No Bravado, No Flakey Platitudes, No Cheating, No Bad Habits, No Scandal, No Made up philosophy, No Pretense, No Hypocrisy… etc.

Although His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada would never tolerate anyone referring to him as anything more then just the humble servant of Lord Sri Krishna, for many of us who knew him personally, he found a place in our heart that was equivalent to the long awaited second coming of Lord Christ. Those who have not seen the entire film called “Your Ever Well Wisher” and find this short nine minute clip of that film inspiring, might want to seek out the other portion of the film and watch the whole thing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Ka-qOoDvQ



Main Article by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

"Let There Be One Ideal Person"

The following exchange was between His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and Australia's director of research for the Department of Social Welfare. It took place at the Melbourne ISKCON center on May 21, 1975.
Director: Your Grace, your society's charitable work sounds impressive to me personally, but I don't come here just as a person. I'm representing my department.
HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: No, whatever it may be ...

Director: The fact that you convince me personally or not may not be relevant. I can only say that we're dealing with very poor people. I can tell the head of my department what you're doing, and perhaps some cooperation between us can be arranged. Or I can say to the department head that the possibility of cooperation has emerged, and it may go on from there over some period of time. And I can go back to my other duties.

HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: Then your department can give us some contribution per capita for taking care of people. Then we can invite them. We can increase our ability to accommodate people. Now we are doing our best, but we have no business, no income. We are simply selling our books. So our income is limited. Still, we invite everyone, "Come." But if the government encourages us, then we can increase the program.

Director: Of course, this would be a political decision. I can only recommend ...
HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: It is above politics.

Director: From your point of view. But we in the department depend on political decisions. We're just an instrument for the public will. The minister is elected according to the public will.

HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: So since your department is one of social welfare, why not help our welfare work? Why would the members of your department bring in politics? If actually there is social-welfare work going on in our institution, why should they not support it?


Director: Yeah. Well, you're right. But in our society, a minister is elected to carry out certain policies -- not what he wants but what the people have voted for and what they are taxed to pay for.

HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: If your policy is social welfare ...

Director: Yes. To look after those who are in trouble.


HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: Well, everyone is in trouble. At the present moment, even the ministers are in trouble.


Director: Yes, everybody's in trouble. [Laughter.] But fixing everyone's trouble is not what our function is.


HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: "Physician, heal thyself." You see? The ministers say they are working for other people's welfare. But how can the ministers do that when they themselves are drunkards, woman hunters, flesh-eaters, and gamblers? That's all. The ministers themselves require to be rectified.


Director: But you or I can't help that. Our ministers have to go out and do their best to change society. But then society often tells us to act differently.
HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: No, no. Unless you positively change society, how can you achieve social welfare? If you keep society as it is, then where is the question of welfare?


Director: You may be giving a different interpretation to the expression "social welfare."


HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: Basically, one must be a first-class, ideal man. That is wanted.


Director: That's why it's so very difficult. You have the freedom to work on your own program, but we have to try to please all the people.


HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: No, no. "Our own program." Our program is not vox populi -- doing what pleases the most people, as you are doing. We simply follow the Lord's program for becoming first-class, as He gives it in the scriptures. So tell us what is our fault. Find what is our fault. Then you can disagree. But when you see everything here is nice, how will you not accept it? Unless you are biased.
Director: Of course, I'm biased -- I've been brought up differently. Just as you're biased against my life.


HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: No, we are not biased. We are not biased. We are broad-minded. Simply we say that if you want to be a first-class man, then you must not commit sinful, disturbing activities. That is our propaganda.


Director: But I, as a public servant -- I'm not here to change society.

HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: But we are also part of the public. We belong to the public. You must become our servant, also.


Director: What?


HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: We are members of the public. So you should become our servant, also, if you are a public servant. [Laughter.]


Director: A public servant is ... in our philosophy ... is a man who serves because he is elected by the people, and in this way he serves the public. And whatever the public decides, he should behave accordingly.


HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: Therefore, to begin with, we are reforming the public, so that they behave according to the Lord's directions in the scriptures.
Director: That's what I mean. When you attempt to reform the public, you cannot expect them to start behaving differently.


HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: Oh? So if you keep the public in a sinful, disturbed frame of mind, the public selects a president -- Nixon -- and then they become still more disturbed and drag him down. This is going on.


Director: Yes. But that is how society works. If someone is going to be able to change you, you must want to change. You, the member of the public, must decide to change. So, therefore, as a government minister, I just do what I'm asked to do. Otherwise, I would lose my job.


HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: No. If you actually want to do some social-welfare work, you must accept the Lord's standard formula. If you manufacture your own way, that will never be successful.


Director: I might agree with you that for society's welfare, all of us should be Krsna conscious.


HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: Not all at once, of course. Gradually. We don't expect that at once, all people ...

Director: But anyway, if that became our goal, then we would be ... then social welfare would mean something different.

HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: Now, let us look at what we are proposing here. Actually, I am not proposing -- Krsna says. First, Krsna says one must be peaceful. So how to become peaceful? And if a person's mind is always disturbed, how can he become peaceful?

Director: You're quite right.

HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: So that is the secret of success. You want to make the people peaceful, but you do not know how to make them peaceful. So, therefore, you have to adopt this process that the Lord gives.


Director: Yes, people are without peace because society is far too competitive.
HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: Anyway, we say, "You chant Hare Krsna, eat sumptuous food offered to Krsna, live comfortably, and become peaceful." It is guaranteed. If anyone, even a madman, agrees to these three principles -- chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, taking nice spiritual food, and living comfortably -- he will be peaceful.
Director: Your Divine Grace, what's your answer as to why such a small percentage of the population accept this philosophy that you're presenting?

HDG A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami: Yes, those who accept Krsna's plan may be just a tiny percentage. But for instance, there are so many millions of stars in the sky and there is just one moon. In terms of percentage, the moon is nothing. If we consider just percentage, the moon is nothing. But the moon is more important than all these nonsense stars. [Laughter.] Again, if you simply consider percentage, the moon has no percentage of the vote. But because he is the moon, he is more important than all these rascal stars. This is a nice example. What is the use of considering the stars' percentage in the presence of the moon? Let there be one moon -- that is sufficient. There is no question of percentage. And let there be one ideal person. For instance, one ideal person like Lord Jesus Christ.


”Let There Be One Ideal Person"


(BTG #35-04, 2001)

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* End This Issue Feature Article *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

This Issue Thoughtful Quote(s)

“Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. - Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Chapter 3 “Karma Yoga’, Text 11. LINK: http://bhagavadgitaasitis.com/3/21/en

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Scheduled AVA Television Shows in Ojai & Ventura


Interesting & Educational!

All of our readers are encouraged to tune in and see as many of the following well produced television shows that are now being broadcast on local Public Access Television. It is easy to see by the listings provided below that we have a large catalogue of very interesting material that includes Serious Vedic Philosophy, Reincarnation, Vegetarian Lifestyle, Dharma, Meditation, Yoga, Contemporary events, Dance, Drama, Religion and very sacred places of pilgrimage in India.

Volunteer to Get AVA Shows Broadcast in Your City?

We are anxious to expand our viewing potential to the cities of Oxnard, Camarillo, Thousand Oaks, Santa Barbara, Santa Paula and Simi Valley! However in order to do that a local resident must make the request. If you live in one of these areas, understand the importance of this work, and are willing to assist in getting these shows broadcast on your local Public Access Station, the please contact AVA and let us know. AVA will assume all administration fees related to getting the shows aired. All we ask you to do is submit the paperwork which we will help you do, and spot check that the broadcasts are actually being made when scheduled
Purchase or Borrow Shows From AVA for Educational Purposes.

All of our shows are very educational and have been loaded to Educators, Yoga Teachers, Open Minded churches, or anyone who would like to show them to public audiences free of charge. All of these shows can also be purchased directly from the producers if one would like to do that. For further information about how you can borrow or purchase any program on VHS or DVD format please contact AVA directly. Thank you!

Ventura Cable Channel 6 CAPS Scheduled Broadcasts:

Ventura Channel 6: February 1st- February 7th, 2009
Sun: 3pm-4pm / Sat: 9am to 10am / Wed: 7pm-8pm / Fri: 8pm-9pm
The Beatles Meet Bhaktivedanta Swami!

George Harrison becomes a disciple of His Divine Grace Bhaktivedanta Swami in the early 1970’s. His Divine Grace requested Him to use his musical talent to glorify Krishna. That was when he composed “My Sweet Lord,” which integrated Handles “Hallelujah Quire” seamlessly into the “Hare Krishna Mantra.” Later George produced the full album entitled “Living in the Material World” which included the illustration of Krishna and Arjuna from Bhaktivedanta’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is on the record jacket!


This dramatic recreation provides an intimate look at how the Beatles became involved in Krishna Consciousness in the early 1970's. It is an inspiring story that captures the charm of the fab-four while preserving the message of the Krishna Consciousness movement. This show is just one part of an 18 DVD Bhaktivedanta Biography Series broadcast on public television in India and available to anyone wishing to purchase it.


Ventura Channel 6: February 8th- February 14th, 2009

Sun: 3pm-4pm / Sat: 9am to 10am / Wed: 7pm-8pm / Fri: 8pm-9pm
Simulated Worlds c/o Dr. Richard Tompson. (Maitreya)


Using modern computer simulations to illustrate his points, Dr. Thompson (Sataputa Dasa), walks the viewer thru several illustrations to help us get a better understanding of what is real and what may just be an illusion in a simulated world! The program borrows from military flight simulators and shows how quickly we can adapt to any environment! Individuals' wearing high-tech cyber gloves and glasses are shown projecting themselves into a cyber word, appearing real, but was actually like a sophisticated “Matrix” like computer program! From there Dr. Tompson shows how the simulated computer world could be tightly correlated to the ancient Indian science known as “Sankya Philosophy” He concludes his presentation by pointing out how easily a person could get lost in the artificial cyber world, which is not his real state of consciousness, just like we lost our identity in the material world and forgotten our original spiritual identity.


Barata Natyam Dance.


A glimpse into one of India's most beautiful and cherished forms of entertainment.


Ojai Time Warner Channel 10 Scheduled Broadcasts:


The Cable television services for Ojai are currently under restructuring. Because of a change in the laws that govern the use of cable channels, Time Warner is attempting to cut costs and discontinue the “Pubic Access” service Ojai has enjoyed in the past. Currently the city of Ojai seems to be willing to support a proposal by the local school system to keep public access alive in Ojai, but until all the details are resolved, nothing is for sure. In this regard we would like to acknowledge School Administrator Tim Bair for offering to integrate the cable services into the local educational system as a win-win solution for aspiring students as well as the local community in an attempt to preserve broadcasts on Channel 10.


Readers Input Requested


It is unclear where the future of Cable Television for Ojai is going. In order to preserve the opportunity to broadcast AVA shows to the Ojai public I am willing to meet with whomever the appropriate people are to reopen this wonderful educational venue. If anyone can provide me with information relevant to this issue then please call me if there is something I can do to achieve this intended end result. –Thank you. (805) 640-0405 c/o mayesvara dasa


* * * * * * * * *END OF Television Schedule * * * * * * * * * *


Standing Notices:

Invitation to Everyone Who Receives This Newsletter!

The purpose of this newsletter is to seek out and invite anyone who is serious about real spiritual growth to come join us for a great evening of Krishna Katha, (Discussions about Krishna), Krishna Prasadam, (Wonderful Vegetarian Dinner first offered to Krishna with Love) and Krishna Nama-Bhajanas. (Glorification of Krishna's names and Pastimes in Sanskrit.) 1st & 3rd Tuesday of every month. Reservations are NOT required. (805) 640-0405


Invitation to Fellow Vaishnavas!

Vaishnavas who have experience speaking on the transcendental name, fame, and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna are invited to contact AVA if you would like to speak atone of our programs. The AVA congregation meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month with special events held to celebrate Janmastami and Gour Purnima. If you are in the area, or would like to visit with us for the evening, please let us know of that desire and we will schedule a date and work out the details for when you can speak.


This invitation is extended to any male of female initiated member of Lord Caitanya's Brahma-Madva Gaudia Sampraday Sankirtan tree. Our mood is that of transcendental collaboration for the glorification of Krishna sans niti-katha. Those who are interested in leading kirtan, or assisting in the preparation of the FREE Vegetarian feast are also invited to contact us so we can make the necessary arrangements to accommodate you.


Vegetarian Cooking!

We are happy to see how nicely the AVA congregational members are improving their Vegetarian culinary skills! Adopting a diet that allows other creatures to live their lives peacefully is a tradition that extends way back in both Vedic as well as Buddhist traditions. One would think that all serious transcendentalists would understand this simple principal, but unfortunately that does not appear to be true.

Educating people about the importance of a Vegetarian diet is essential for anyone who is serious about escaping the serious laws of karma delineated in the Vedas. Unfortunately there are many teachers who will compromise the importance of the Vegetarian diet in order to attract more followers and promote their own watered down ideas about what real spiritual maturity is all about.

AVA is committed to teaching the science of Self Realization the way it has been handed down and respected by the great sages for thousands of generations. That is why part of the service we offer is to teach anyone who is interested in this process how to eat properly.

Those who are raised in a carnivorous society but then want to convert to a Vegetarian diet often experience a lot of cognitive dissonance. On one hand, they are intellectually convinced that they ought to be a vegetarian, but they simply don't know how to convert their diet over to that lifestyle. Instead of postponing that on-going dilemma, why not consider learning how to cook wonderful Vegetarian foods using herbs and spices that not only taste good, but also make eating a tremendously fulfilling experience! You can do that prior to any AVA meeting where we always prepare a nice meal for all the guests who attend. Those who want to learn this tremendous skill are advised to contact us 36 hours prior to the AVA event so we can tell you what and when we will be cooking for that program. You can then join us at that time and start learning how to adopt the eating habits recommended in the Vedas for Human life, which is also the most beneficial for rapid spiritual maturity. :-)


Public Engagements?

As the AVA newsletter continues to find new audiences, some have asked about the possibility of bringing the subjects we discuss into other gatherings. If it is possible to schedule those requests we will be happy to do so as part of our service to the community. For this purpose AVA has compiled a list of contemporary subjects for which we have essays, books, charts, graphs, and in some cases, videos to augment our presentations. For more information about scheduling an engagement to learn more about the Vedic Siddhanta (conclusion) please contact us directly.

Suggest A Subject?

Many of the subjects we cover in the "AVA Newsletter" come from questions or topics that are only vaguely commented on by other sources. If you have a subject you would like us to address, please send the question in to us and we will consider it for a future AVA topic. Simple questions are also addressed during the "Bhagavad-Gita Fellowship" meetings for the benefit of all those who attend.


Vedic Authority

What makes the AVA program different from all other contemporary sources of transcendental learning? We rely on the methodical, thorough and scientific way the Vedas portray the world we live in. The Vedas are so vast, and unlike any other literature known to man, they are often criticized as confusing and esoteric. But this is because the secret of the Vedas can only be unlocked by one who has been properly trained how to "decode" them. Although that sounds like an exhausting study, it is actually quite easy if the candidate is willing to accept instruction from a good source. In fact, the path of Bhakti (Loving Devotion to the Supreme Lord in His Personal Form) is so powerful that the essences of all the Vedas become automatically realized to that soul who surrenders to the Personality of Godhead and engages in devotional service to Him.

"A person who accepts the path of devotional service is not bereft of the results derived from studying the Vedas, performing austere sacrifices, giving charity or perusing philosophical and furtive activities. Simply by performing devotional service he attains all these and at the end he reaches the supreme eternal abode." - Bhagavad-Gita Gita As It Is Chapter 8 "Attaining the Supreme" Text 28.

To grow transcendentally requires a reliable authority like the Bhagavad-Gita, (The torchlight of knowledge, Bg. 10.11) One is free to reject Vedic authority, but the consequences of doing so returns one to the words of speculation, conjecture, flawed empirical analysis, and a plethora of silly ideas about what spiritual life is from psycho-therapists, self declared gurus, charlatans, and carpetbag religionists, to name just a few.

Back Issues of AVA Newsletter

The subjects that we have already covered in 2005 are also included at the end of this newsletter. If you would like a digital copy of a past "AVA Newsletter," let us know and we will be happy to forward it to you for your further erudition.


AVA MISSION

Honor & Respect All the Magnanimous Souls

The American Vedic Association is an humble attempt to carry on with the mission of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna unambiguously states:

udarah sarva evaite jnani tv atmaiva me matam
asthitah sa hi yuktatma mam evanuttamam gatim


"All these devotees are undoubtedly magnanimous souls, but he who is situated in knowledge of Me I consider to be just like My own self. Being engaged in My transcendental service, he is sure to attain Me, the highest and most perfect goal." - Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Chapter7 “Knowledge of the Absolute’, Text 18. LINK: http://bhagavadgitaasitis.com/7/18/en

It is therefore clear that anyone who is properly trained in the science of self realization as handed down in the Gaudia Vaishnav tradition is a "Magnanimous Soul" and therefore deserves all respects. Based on this simple fact the American Vedic Association welcomes all Vaishnavas to participate in AVA events regardless of which branch on Lord Caitanya's sankirtan tree they may have studied with.

To any close observer it is evident that His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami single handedly completely revolutionized the concept of yoga, meditation, Self Realization and religion in the Western world. He did this by introducing the Vedic Siddhanta which clearly delineates the three different levels of God Realization which culminates in Bhagavan Realization.
"Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman1, Paramatma2 or Bhagavatam3. -Srimad Bhagavat Purana Canto 1, "Creation" , Chapter 2, "Divinity & Divine Service", Text 11. LINK: http://vedabase.net/sb/1/2/11/en

The symptoms of Bhagavan Realization are evident when the aspiring transcendentalist finally understands, accepts, and surrenders to Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

"And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of ME within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me, He is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion. - Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Chapter 6 “Sankya Yoga’, Text 47. LINK: http://bhagavadgitaasitis.com/6/47/en


Expose the Shortcomings of Impersonalism and Voidism

Based on the strength of the Vedas, Bhaktivedanta Swami also taught that the greatest threat to the welfare of the world, society, economy and world peace etc, was the irrational self-centered sophistry of the Non-Dual and voidists schools of transcendence. This is further confirmed by Lord Caitanya Himself:

"Sripad Sankaracaray has describe all the Vedic Literatures in terms of indirect meanings. One who hears such explanations is ruined." – Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi Lila, Chapter 7. "Lord Caitanya in Five Features" Text 109" .LINK: http://caitanyacaritamrta.com/adi/7/109/en


"Sankaracarya, who is an incarnation of Lord Siva is faultless because he is a servant carrying out the orders of the Lord. But those who follow his Mayavadi Philosophy are doomed. They will lose all their advancement in spiritual knowledge." - Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi Lila, Chapter 7. "Lord Caitanya in Five Features" Text 114" .LINK: http://caitanyacaritamrta.com/adi/7/109/en


The Non-Dual Advaita school was introduced by Sankaracarya and is also referred to as Mayavadi philosophy. The Voidist traditions are taught primarily by the followers of Lord Buddha. It is ironic that Sripad Sankaracarya is accepted as Lord Siva working under the instruction of Lord Krishna for the specific purpose of deluding those who are not willing to surrender. It is equally curious that Lord Buddha is also accepted as an incarnation of Lord Krishna. In both cases Krishna has tricking those who can not grasp his original form as the Surpreme Personalty of Godhead. By appearing in these forms he has made it possible every for the impersonaist to appreciate Him indirectly in a less personal way as one of his immediate expansions. Both of these points make for an interesting discussion but I will not elaborate on this any more here.


It is primarily because the followers of Christianity and Islam have failed so miserably to set a good example that the mass of the population is turning away from the classic "God" centered religions and are now starting to adopt these atheistic faiths. The alternative to this dire scenario requires rethinking the prudence of embracing impersonalism and voidism but as stated above, once the mind has become contaminated with the word juggling rhetoric of the faithless it is very difficult to grasp the concept of God as a Person, ie: Bhagavan Realization.


Therefore out of all the numerous and extraordinary things that His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivanta Swami Prabhupada taught in the Western World, exposing the futility of these misguided traditions was arguably his foremost mission. This is clearly evident in the Sanskrit Pranama mantra which he was honored by during his physical presence and continues to be eulogized by to this day:

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine.


“We offer our respects unto you, the student of Sarasvati Gosvami. You are kindly teaching the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for the purpose of delivering the Western World from impersonalism and voidism."

For this reason it is also the mission of the American Vedic Association to help the conditioned souls philosophically understand where and how these impersonal traditions fail to meet both the needs of the eternal soul, as well as why they can not possibly resolve the numerous social ills that plague the peace and solvency of all the worlds peoples. It is not our intention to offend any of our friends who may currently be involved with these other practices only inform them of a historical point of view they may not currently be familiar with. If anyone wishes to understand any of these points in greater detail you are encouraged to join us at one of our bi-monthly meetings where we will be happy to thoroughly answer all your questions based on the strength of Vedic Authority.


How to Contact

mayesvara dasa (md @ jagannatha.com)
aka: William Roberts* Director
American Vedic Association
687 West Villanova Road
Ojai California, 93023
(805) 640-0405 AVA @ jagannatha.com

About the Author

William Roberts is the founding director of The American Vedic Association, a legally independent but philosophically concurrent local branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. (ISKCON) He began studying Vedic philosophy in 1973 and assimilated the works of eminent Vaishnava saints while living in India for several years. He became an ordained Brahman priest under the tutelage of the world-class authority on Bhakti Yoga, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. The American Vedic Association is currently sponsoring the Free Bhagavad-Gita Fellowship Gatherings held on the First and Third Tuesday of every month. The program includes a formal section which includes congregational changing of sacred mantras, a short lesson in the pronunciation and comprehension of Sanskrit, and a philosophical discussion. The informal part of the program includes a Free Vegetarian Dinner, open questions and answers, and when appropriate, an interesting subject related transcendental Video. For more information call, (805) 640-0405, or contact william.roberts @ jagannatha.com.
"Dispel the Darkness of Ignorance With the Torchlight of Knowledge!" - Bg. 10.11

Bhagavad-Gita Gita As It Is Discussion Fellowship
Planned Gatherings & Topics
Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of EACH Month
Sanskrit, Mantra, Kirtan, Prasadam!
AVA Topic Schedule 2008
Date/Event Meeting Subject
1st Tue: Jun 01, 2008 Purity & Freedom
2nd Tue: Jun 15, 2008 Artificial Intelligence
Sunday Aug 3, 2008 Rathayatra Festival at Venice Beach
1st Tue: Aug 5, 2008 Only Rare Individuals Transcend Economic Development
2nd Tue: Aug 19, 2008 Krishna Janmastami with Brigupati Dasa
1st Tue: Sep 5, 2008 How Can There Be Peace?
2nd Tue: Sep 19, 2008 Live Naturally & Feed the People
1st Tue: Oct 7, 2008 Mundane Education?
2nd Tue: Oct 21, 2008 Spooky Karma
1st Tue: Nov 4, 2008 Rascals Elect Rascals?
2nd Tue: Nov 18, 2008 Sixth Commandment & Cow Killing
1st Tue: Dec 2, 2008 There is Only One Religion
2nd Tue: Dec 16, 2008 The Tolerance of Lord Christ
1st Tue: Jan. 6, 2008 Absolute Authority
2nd Tue: Jan 20, 2008 Be Good To Feel Good

AVA Scheduled Subjects for 2009
1st Tue. Feb. 3rd, 2009
“Leadership Means: ‘By Example’" - will be topic at the next American Vedic Association Bhagavad-Gita As It Is Fellowship discussion. Politicians & mega-executives earn huge salaries, benefits, and social pert's while unendurable hardships continue to be piled on the back of the working class. Class acrimony continues to escalate to a volatile state of fierce discontent while no-one is qualified or prepared to lead by example! Make a difference by learning how at the next AVA meeting! 7:30PM / 687 West Villanova Road - 640-0405 Always Free!
2nd Tue. Feb. 17th, 2009
“How to Respond to Crime & Conflict?” - will be topic at the next American Vedic Association Bhagavad-Gita As It Is Fellowship discussion. Ostrich yoga is comforting, feel-good religion assuages guilt and preaching "Compassion" is the faith of the day! But they all abnegate the harsh reality of gross ignorance which b

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