The Flow of Information

October 8th, 2010 | No Comments

You look at a strategy conceived of 100 years ago and judge it by today’s world. That is not judicious. The flow of information was nowhere near then what it is now. You have to judge a strategy in light of the times it is hatched in. Risks are there no doubt and strategies are relative. They have their goods and bads and some may be more bad than good.

Bhaktivinode Thakura was looking at the Christian West with its fall from the garden and the fallen angel in relation to presenting a doctrine that has no fall and no other,  one that in the East satisfied questions of origins and evil with the principle of anandi karma. “God must be unfair because we see inequality in the world.” “No, the inequality of the jivas is their own karmic doing.” “But in the beginning there was no karma?” “No, karma has no beginning.” I suppose he could have given this orthodox answer, but he chose to do otherwise and meet the Western mind halfway. It’s easy to look back with hindsight and make the call.

But all Bhaktivinode Thakura is saying is that the jiva chooses at some remote point outside of time. Granted, Prabhupada’s development of this idea is potentially more troublesome. But really the trouble today lies in religious fanaticism, not what Bhaktivinode Thakura or Prabhupada have said on the issue. We do not have the problems you speak of if you take away the fanaticism and give us a successor of substance who, considering what is the siddhanta on any given issue, can teach what may have been propaganda in the early attempts to transplant the tradition in a new culture. You are mixing two things together to get the problems you are concerned with: A preaching strategy on a particular issue and religious fanaticism. While there may be a place for the former, the latter should be preached against. Indeed, the strategy itself speaks of something much more nobel than religious fanaticism and mere adherence to the letter of the law.

comment by Swami B. V. Tripurari on the article “Harmonizing Contradictions.”

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