21st Century Enlightenment
Published on November 23rd, 2010 | by Harmonist staff6
Published on November 23rd, 2010 | by Harmonist staff6
Excerpts from classical Gaudiya texts, with and without commentaries, hosted by teachers with whom readers can interact and ask questions.
News from around the world with an emphasis on alternative press that is especially relevant to spiritual practitioners.
Philosophical articles on Gaudiya Vaisnavism that focus on the tradition's scriptural conclusions as well as its feeling for the nature of ultimate reality.
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That was very interesting; I stopped the video several times to read and digest what I was hearing. Loved the ending summation, the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that has”. Reminds me of the sankirtan movement, since the time of Lord Chaitanya until now.
Well, I know a bit about the Enlightenment now. Excellent content presented in a very user-friendly way; adding the visual element to the lecture made it far more interesting.
I like his overall drift in the direction of sattva; in particular this caught my ear:
“to have a relation to our reactions rather than being a captive to them.”
In the context of bhakti this is an essential prerequisite in a practitioner’s life. Under the influences of tamas and rajas we are captives to our reactions, either by ignoring them (tamas) or justifying them (rajas). Both influences cloud the soul and block progress toward the goal of prema. Bhakti is about being conscious of what is going on within and around us, but our conditioning (our reactions) keeps us from accessing what is really there. The speaker’s advocacy of having a relation to one’s reactions implies an awareness, arising out of detachment, that one’s reactions are different from one self. With detached awareness we can make conscious choices, and at that point our practice becomes all about the Enlightenment.
Wow!! Gaudiya Vaisnavism smashing head on into the new enlightenment. Enlightenment for everyone!! Shades of the Prema Yuga!
At least these folks are asking weather “progress” is really progress. I really feel that question hits home. It’s the right question to ask at this point after the tremendous changes of the 20th century. And yet 10 years have already passed before us in the 21st. I cannot hold out hoping that humanity will even approach enlightenment.
Given that Caitanya’s sankirtan movement can enlighten the world, is it also a given that it will?
From the perspective of the individual sadhaka it appears to me that my interest in my own enlightenment is primary and the enlightenment of the world is secondary, something which I effect through my own endeavor for Krishna’s mercy. After all I am part of “the world” and the opportunity has come to me. So to embrace that opportunity is my primary act of effecting the enlightenment of “the world”.
It seems to me that ‘enlightenment’ can be applied to every part of one’s life. Certainly we want our personal sadhana to be an enlightened path, and ultimately enlightening. We would also want our personal relationships to be enlightened, cause that has so much to do with how we progress. And that may require a different set of skills to achieve a relatively enlightened experience. But it will all require that we apply our awareness to the issue at hand, taking help wherever we can.
Enightenment can be used in a relative sense; I know I do. Anything that can bring some light into my world, I can consider enlightening. They’re all steps alnog the way, aren’t they. When I’m not deep into sadhana, and other parts of my life are taking prominence, am I not learning anything? Is it all just illusion, or is the world here for our enlightenment, however directly or indirectly.
It seemed the thrust of the film was that we are indeed evolving, and enlightenment is seeping into all areas of human endeavor. Calling it going toward a sattvic state is faint praise coming from devotees, who seem to think that suddha sattva is an everyday event. I would suggest that the world is evolving and we Gaudiyas are being caught up in the flow. It will revolutioinize the Gaudiya tradition in yet new ways. And it shall be enightening!! Whether we get to direct the flow in some small way, w’ell have to see. Maybe Mahaprabhu Himself is directing the flow, and we have but to see everything harmonized in the great flow of Prema. I dunno!
Cool video, cool suggestions! BUT, this illusion of “evolution” will only create more questions than answers – endless questions, because “things are evolving” and “where is it going to go next?” and “wow we’ve become so smart in the last 200 years” etc…..
This isn’t evolution, this is just an increase in complexity of novelty – more apparent choice for their senses, because cultures are merging due to a new communication/transport technology.
Clearly they are looking for answers, but will they actually consult the Vedas(Knowledge) with a clear non-historic perspective? NO, because they are overwhelmed by the seeming variety of the world. These people are the first people who will say :”Those Ancient Hindu Myths are so interesting” – but will they actually assimilate the information and accept that it is the true base of Universal Knowledge? No, because to them Krsna is just an ancient version of Superman or Spiderman. I’ve been in these kinds of arguments.
We are currently in an equally ancient state as the previous Kali Yuga – the difference lies purely in the graphic presentation of Maya. That part “Who we are as human beings” showing a caveman – that gives away their illusion right there. Yes, tribal people exist here in the Kalahari and accountants live in New York at the same time – both equally human, both with equal capacity for “learning” provided they are assimilated in the same culture.
If Srila Prabuphada is to be taken seriously in the fundamental information – perhaps even the moon landing episode (Hollow Planets anyone?), then it literally means that people in the true Vedic perspective actually hold the key! Otherwise we may as well become enamoured by their millions of theories and become smart ants. Their opinions are mostly “entertainment” – it’s like you get different varieties of horror movies.
The world is moving towards a “futuristic tribal” situation, unless one ideology conquers all (certainly not the purely materialistic NWO). Therefore, buy a large piece of land, make it your kingdom, build a city, museums, start your own currency, BUT, don’t be a Hitler. “Empathy” – what a buzzword – will these Atheists give up meat ? No, they cannot even fathom not having their Pork Schnitzels on a wednesday night. That doesn’t come into question, because they have no REAL knowledge.
Theres enough space on Planet Earth to do more than anything people can think of. The city life (Rajas) tends to confuse that……