Just Renounced


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18 Responses to Just Renounced

  1. Syamasundara Dasa

    What a crackup. You are a genius!

  2. Syama Gopala dasa

    this one is great!!

  3. Excuse my ignorance but who is the artist behind all these humorous comics? Is it someone from here (Harmonist)? I don’t see any signature on them…

  4. Time to cowboy up!

  5. Luke Matthewson

    The author certainly has a flair for humor and I salute it. But I find the message a bit misaligned for modernity too. I understand it is also a (at least subconscious) justification of one’s chosen lifestyle and the commitment to it, but it also tries to tell the story about a complex subject matter from one angle only. It leaves everyday visitors of the Harmonist scratching their heads — is that what’s ultimately needed today?

    • Syamasundara Dasa

      If you have really caught the humorous vein of the author, you’ll see how most of his cartoons are about turning upside down aspects of everyday life, and seeing them from a Vaishnava-related point of view. The cartoon about the sign on the temple door is a clear example. The one about sannyasa can lead to many interpretations, but for sure the main one is not that sannyasa is the goal of life and the solution to everything.

    • If you are critiquing all of the “Half the Way Home” comics, I loudly proclaim my love for seeing some balance of humor represented in a tradition that is predominated by serious discussion and big brained analysis of tattva. I also salute the author who I think has a very special gift with this kind of humor.

      In case you are only commenting on this specific comic, I would say that you may be using too much of your big brain in analyzing this one. It’s just fun, lighthearted contrast-style humor and I don’t think is meant to provoke any discussion of appropriateness of sannyasa in modernity – at least that’s what I’m guessing is your complaint with the message…

  6. I do think leaving all material desires and connections behind is ideal. You don’t, Matthew? That is not a matter of modernity vs. old times etc. but is just a timeless fact in my opinion. As much as sannyasa represents total commitment and dependence on Krsna, I’m fully behind it. And I’m not saying this out of a bias or pride, I used to think like this way before I became a monastic myself.
    The outer garments of a sannyasi or the social status is not what I was referring to in my comic, but the spirit of leaving behid everything that’s unfavorable for bhakti. I think that’s very much relevant for modernity or any other time period for that matter.

    Anyways, thanks for your comment, I’m happy that my humor can create serious discussion too!

  7. Anyways, thanks for your comment, I’m happy that my humor can create serious discussion too!

    It’s Luke, thanks 🙂

    Through the history of caricature and daily strips in particular, the best accomplishments and memorable strips were those of the profound self-criticism, not just criticism of others or of the world around.

    I have commented on this because I wanted a reaction, and thus to convey an interesting proposal: why not make cartoons that challenges the worldview of the chosen life-style and philosophy?

    I’d see that as an expression of maturity and a challenge to own self. Why everything ours must be best, sacred or “perfect”? Are we afraid to make fun of something on our side of reality? If buddhists are one-hand clapping at Nirvana concert, doesn’t that reflect same on our side? We are clapping to one side of reality, namely ours.

    A picture is worth a thousand words. I just want to encourage you to continue, not to stop, for an image tells more than many people’s entire books. Thus your responsibility toward some everyday visitor of the Harmonist is even greater — a drop of self-criticism will give people more than tons of lofty philosophy.

    But is GV ready for that?

    • Syamasundara Dasa

      Funny you should say that. I remember liking these cartoons since the beginning, because, as you can see from the first three, they are imbibed with the self-irony you are talking about. To see them as self-glorifying in terms of our path, or denigrating other paths based on the sannyasa one and the buddhist one respectively seems a bit of a forced reading to me, although I can see how it’s a possible one, especially if one doesn’t know the author.

    • Luke,
      Check out the Micheal Jackson comic. I think its one of the funniest.

  8. Luke (got it right this time),

    if you go to the archives and look up comics called “chanting” and “maya” you’ll see some of what you’re talking about, I believe.

    I’m not afraid of making fun of my own tradition or the particular group within it that I’m in, but I do believe that there are certain limits that can’t be crossed. It’s a delicate balance with issues of faith and I’m sure some devotees would find my art objectionable, whereas others like you might think they are too rigid or self-righteous. I’ll be treading somewhere in between, I guess.

  9. Luke Matthewson

    Thank you. I think I was confused because I don’t quite get what’s the Harmonist’s mission statement. Is it trying to bridge or harmonize differences between devotees belonging to GV groups or between the GV world and all others?

    I presumed the latter one. But if that was so, then many cartoons and many articles found here people from outside the GV world cannot relate to. To get them properly people need to be familiar with the jargon, vision statement of GV, etc. and for that it takes some time spent in GV. Even if that requirement is met, there are significant differences between fractions inside the GV, with quite opposite opinions on many issues.

    As for an observer like me, I find it hard to understand what Harmonist tries to harmonize. For now, as I read articles, it seems there’s fault in everyone’s book, a malfunction in everyone else’s vision and method except in those of the Harmonist and its tradition. Those appear to be the best in the world.

    However, I thank you for the explanations. Whatever your mission is, I hope it will be . . . a harmonius one!

    • Syamasundara Dasa

      For now, as I read articles, it seems there’s fault in everyone’s book, a malfunction in everyone else’s vision and method except in those of the Harmonist and its tradition. Those appear to be the best in the world.

      Would you mind substantiating that with concrete examples, please?

  10. Luke,

    Your comments on the comics confuse me. First you speak of how the comics do not connect with those who are not informed about the Gaudiya tradition. Then you say why not do comics constituting self (Gaudiya) criticism. You are suggesting two different approaches.

    Nonetheless, that is what they represent. The particular comic under discussion speaks clearly of renunciation as opposed to material acquisition characterized by marriage. In my estimation, spiritual-minded people not familiar with the Gaudiya tradition could easily understand this comic and even laugh. Meanwhile, as pointed out by others, several of the comics engage in self (Gaudiya) criticism.

    I am afraid that sometimes the Harmonist is too Gaudiya for some and not enough for others. But is can’t be everything for everyone. Then again it represents a deeply Gaudiya ideology that is well integrated with the world around it, as much as any deeply spiritual tradition lends itself to integrating with the world. Other popular Gaudiya sites I am familiar with tend to be anywhere from overly insular to insular and highly offensive to even the ordinary person, and in my perception often very confused as to what Gaudiya Vaisnavism is in terms of its scriptural conclusions.

    Harmony to me means the Vrndavan conception, and this is grounded in Gaudiya siddhanta, a doctrine of love that has the capacity to harmonize all contradictions. This is Vraja, and this is Krishna. And that may be esoteric but realizable in my estimation.

    Otherwise, if you read “About Us” in the menu you will learn more about us. 🙂

  11. Haaaaaaaaa ha!!! This one is GREAT!!, in my oppinion, the funniest of all you made. I like this Nirvana (one hand clapping :)as well.

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