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Gaudiya Vaishnava

Gaudiya Vaishnava

Postby Neters » Sat Dec 05, 2015 6:21 pm

I was just wondering if anyone within this community has spent any time studying Gaudiya Vaishnavism on any level?

My initial interest with the Hare Krsna movement came when I was an early teen, truly my first introduction to Deity worship, mudras and ritual. It has been over twenty years since I read my first translation/commentary of the Bhagavad Gita, something that has in turn lead to me reading (and collecting) a plethora of different editions.

Within the past two years I have been fortunate to have received a rather colossal library of Gaudiya Vaishnava books, ranging from the complete sets of Srimad Bhagavatam and the Chaitanya Charitamrita and the rest of the ISKCON catalog to the various degrees of splinter and offshoot groups, (Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Bhakti Narayana's crew, Gaudiya Math etc)... I have often times assumed the devil's advocate in religious and spiritual debates, representing the teachings of Krsna/Chaitanya just to defeat xtian thought and spark new ideas.

So, here's a question: Do you feel there is any occult value to such an "apex" methodology as the Hare Krsnas follow or would you consider it to be just intellectual fodder?
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Re: Gaudiya Vaishnava

Postby chowderpope » Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:47 pm

Years ago I stumbled on the Gita in a bookstore and fell in love with it. I became immersed in it and I think it has a lot to do with my interest in occultism and mysticism now. I think at that time when I was practicing the methods and reading the philosophy of the Gita I had raised my "vibration" so that I was walking with a lighter step.

I particularly love what the Gita taught about not having any preference of outcome. No matter what happens, the events of your life are your prescription, and you should experience them without preference. I have since noticed this is taught by people who practice magick as well. I think the Gita and those other Hindu texts are very much high level spiritual/mystical texts to be taken seriously.

One of the things Crowley suggested to beginners wanting to join the A A was to familiarize yourself with the Gita, and also many yoga practices were prescribed.

The Hindu religion resonates with me more than any other I've studied. I'd like to read more into it and practice more devotedly to get back on that higher vibration I was feeling years ago.
Awake from sleep! Remember you're the son of a Great King, see to whom you're enslaved!
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Re: Gaudiya Vaishnava

Postby Transcendental Witch » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:12 pm

I am a Hare Krishna who also practices magick. I came to Vaishnavism after graduate school when a Bhagavad-Gita literally jumped off a bookshelf at me - twice. Since it happened twice, I knew it wasn't an accident and I took it home and read it, and knew, "this is it, this is what I've been looking for." Before this, I was a practicing pagan, but felt like that was a temporary place for me to learn, but not to stay.

I am without a doubt a devotee of Sri Krishna, and I am very friendly with ISKCON, but I would not call myself an example of an ISKCON devotee, and I know ISKCON would not consider me an example. I have not taken initiation with a guru, and I don't know if I will. I attend temple a couple of times a year, and while I do abide by the regulative principles of vegetarianism, no drugs or alcohol, and no illicit sex, I'm not chanting the prescribed 16 rounds of japa per day. I do chant every day, but I don't count rounds. I've been told by some devotees that I'm not serious or that I'm doing this wrong, and I take no offense to that. I am on a slightly different path and so I don't present myself as an example of how to be.

I initiated myself, which was very meaningful to me. I have a direct and personal relationship with my deities, and they are the central focus of my life and the decisions I make, so I feel like I'm living my path with integrity. The Bhagavad Gita literally changed my life and opened up my awareness on all levels. I would encourage anyone who was interested to pursue the direction of this path, but not to take it personally if you don't jive with a particular temple's vibe, or with certain teachings, or if someone tries to tell you that you're wrong. Listen to devotees and respect that they're all seeking higher truth and for many of them, there is only ONE way to do it right, and they need that and they're not wrong. But if your connection is a little different, then so will be your one way.

I consider the Vaishnava methodology to be anything but intellectual fodder. If you actually follow any of it, you will see powerful results in your life. Some of these results might scare the crap out of you, but they will always work out to be to your benefit. If you can read these teachings, that's amazing. If all you can do is chant the Maha Mantra, that is no less amazing. But, it is very much like taking the red pill and realizing you've been living in The Matrix, for lack of a more fitting example, so be prepared for that ride. Then again, if you're on an occult forum, you're probably not the kind to take the blue pill anyway.
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Re: Gaudiya Vaishnava

Postby Candy Ray » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:26 pm

I used to go to the Hare Krishna temple many years ago when I was practicing eastern religions, and in those days I had some of the books.

Their translation of the Bhagavad Gita has always seemed problematic to me because they have this belief about the personal God and the impersonal God. Personal means a deity, Krishna for them and for some of the other sects another one such as Shiva. Impersonal means the void, or Brahman. The original founder Srila Prabhupada translated the Bhagavad Gita so that it favoured the personal God philosophy, and I didn't feel that was the right translation. A lot of mainstream Indian Hindus and nearly all western people who have converted to Hinduism actually favour the more 'impersonal' view found in ancient Indian systems such as Advaita Vedanta. I just felt that translations like the penguin edition were actually more accurate for the original Bhagavad Gita.

I liked the temple and I loved the god Krishna , although the austerity of the daily regime at the temple was very gruelling when I went to stay there a couple of times.

I must share this anecdote. One time when I was at the temple a monk was preaching about submission to the spiritual master, and I said that I preferred to learn from Krishna by telepathy rather than go through an intermediary like the spiritual master. The monk said " that means you are a Sahajiya. Be very careful not to turn Sahajiya, because they chant very nicely but they are evil."

I didn't know what the word meant, so I borrowed a book about Sahajiyas from the library. (This was before the internet!) It turned out they were a sect who practised left- hand tantra. Apparently one of their books said "find a dirty washerwoman and practise the following rituals with her....." The book also said that when Sri Chaitanya founded the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, a few of his disciples had done left-hand tantra in the past and tried to interest him in it. He was shocked and refused to do it. Once Nityananda gave Chaitanya a drink before a ritual, and when he found out that it was wine he ran outside and spat it out.

So that's how I found out I was a Sahajiya really. I haven't ever done tantra, but I've done a few other dodgy things over the years.
See my blog for micro-fiction, poems, a few weird articles and links to my books: https://candyrayblog.wordpress.com
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Re: Gaudiya Vaishnava

Postby Transcendental Witch » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:49 pm

Yeah, Sahajiya is basically the equivalent of "heretic" now. I've been called Sahajiya before. It sucks. Mostly because I haven't taken a guru, so I'm not considered "serious." When in truth, I take it so seriously that I'm not about to take on a guru just to cross it off my list. That's a serious commitment, as serious as getting married— you have to find the right person or it just ends badly. But again, I don't argue with those devotees. It's a difficult path and there are those guidelines to keep people going in the right direction, and to make sure knowledge is passed down with the least amount of contamination possible, and I respect that. I don't bring it up in temple discussions, and I feel no need to argue with people. Lord Chaitanya incarnated because people were twisting the teachings and it was getting out of hand, so he taught kirtan, and he chanting of the Maha Mantra as the recommended form of worship for this age. We're just not equipped to carry out temple worship or austerities the way they are actually meant to be performed, but we do what we can. Chanting, however, is possible for anyone. So I chant, and I know in my heart I'm sincere, and it doesn't get to me if people say I'm not.

I do, however, agree with Prabhupada's translation. It's coming from the vantage point of one who is living according to the teachings, and has direct experience of the personal form of Krishna. It goes way beyond the academic, because truth is personal. And it would make sense that most people would prefer a more impersonal viewpoint. But I have no interest in what "most people" are doing, because I'm watching them, and I'm not impressed. Most people are not interested in self-realization, they're interested in gaining wealth and power or getting by with what they can according to society's standards. Most people do not want to be confronted with the deep, uncomfortable questions that come about when you start thinking of God as an actual person and that you have some kind of personal relationship there that you're ignoring. Suddenly, you can't hide from your own b***s*** anymore, and nobody likes having their BS thrown in their face. Ugh. It's exhausting and hard. It's no wonder people prefer to maintain a safe distance. Can you blame them?

It's like taking the advice of someone who has read every book on magick and spells, but has only tried one and didn't really put much effort into it, so nothing came of it and they say that it doesn't work that way. Verses, taking the advice of someone who performs magick on a daily basis, has gained control of their mind, and has direct experience of the successful results of their dedication, and can say, "here are the tricky bits, here's how to deal with them." You listen to the first guy if you're writing a thesis on magick but have no intention of performing any. I'm going to listen to the second guy.

And yeah, temple life can be pretty grueling. I DID NOT like waking up at 4am (staying up until 4am is a different matter entirely). And my one vice is coffee. I would sneak out of the temple and go to Starbucks (I'm only here for the Wifi! It's herbal tea!) and drink my contraband coffee in the darkest corner. Hahaha. But the temple food!!! WORTH IT! :D
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Re: Gaudiya Vaishnava

Postby Spida » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:41 pm

@Transcendental Witch

I think I began to feel your passion about halfway through that post!

Very Nice! [thumbup]
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Re: Gaudiya Vaishnava

Postby Transcendental Witch » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:12 pm

Spida wrote:
@Transcendental Witch

I think I began to feel your passion about halfway through that post!

Very Nice! [thumbup]


Thank you. [smile]
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Re: Gaudiya Vaishnava

Postby Candy Ray » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:32 pm

I remember the view that this age is the Kali Yuga, and that chanting the maha mantra is the appropriate way to attain enlightenment for this yuga.

One time I met an entity in a dream who gave me a kind of kundalini stimulation. I believe that it was Lam, but it was the only time I've ever had any contact with him. For a while after this stimulation I could feel how you might be singing the maha mantra and a particular part of it would tip you over into enlightenment. it could be a different point in the mantra for each person or could be the same, I couldn't tell, but I could feel which point it was for me. What was was quite amazing, I could also feel the size of the gulf between that state of consciousness and my present one: quite a large gulf! There were lots of other impressions too that I can't remember, but they all gradually faded over the days, like a wave decaying.
See my blog for micro-fiction, poems, a few weird articles and links to my books: https://candyrayblog.wordpress.com
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Re: Gaudiya Vaishnava

Postby Transcendental Witch » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:02 am

That's really interesting. I'm not very familiar with Lam. But I also had a kundalini activation through a dream. It was just before I found the Bhagavad-Gita, like a couple of months before, and I had a dream where I met the three Norns by a river. One had reddish hair, one chestnut, and one golden. The one with the chestnut hair had woad blue snakes tattoed on her wrists, and she took one off - it became a live snake - and handed it to me. It looked at me a little suspiciously and curled around and turned into a silver bracelet on my wrist. Over the next few days and weeks, I felt the energy flowing up my spine. It was pretty amazing. I'd been praying to understand what my relationship was to deity, and I wanted to know who the Supreme form of the God and Goddess were. I feel like the Norns were like, "right, lets get you ready for what you're about to find out."
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Re: Gaudiya Vaishnava

Postby RedMage » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:13 am

I was actually wondering if someone could help me with this :)

Particularly, I'm fond of the Bhagavad Gita. So I wanted to take a few more steps. I am unsure about what comes next. Does that automatically entail having to learn from organizations like ISKCON? Does one have to follow Krishna and be a Hindu or part of ISKCON? I would be unsure about becoming a Hindu or ISKCON convert, depending on what is asked of me. I presently identify as a Eclectic Solitary Practitioner.

Right now my path is a follower of Hekate, and I've been incorporating the use of mala beads, into ritual. I'm sorta OCD so this has been a big curiosity to me. I would feel wrong betraying Hekate, it is not my intention. But I genuinely would like to know more about Krishna.
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