My response to Antardwip

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Post by Vishnudas on Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:40 am

How do you get Holy water? - answer at end of page

I was going to answer back to Antardwip with the following but he took himself off our discussion group by email.
(Re: Surya Siddhanta)

Antardwip said >>In addition to this, we know that Srila Prabhupada said that it is an authoritative textbook.  Personally, these two points are enough for me to establish validity.<<

We should study the exact words SP used in this regard, and also that of SBSS.

>>But we can take it further.  As mentioned by Sadaputa Prabhu, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura opened a school called Saraswata Chatuspati, to teach "Hindu astronomy nicely calculated independently of Greek and other European astronomical findings and calculations."  Considering that he translated and used Surya Siddhanta and Siddhanta Siromani for this purpose, we are safe to conclude that it is free from European contamination.  Additionally, it was his intention at the time to translate and publish the other Siddhantas and astronomical texts that were available to him.  So he must have accepted these are also authorised.<<

A good idea is to get ahold of the magazines he edited named Jyotirvid and Brihaspati (1896), and the other treatises he
published  on Hindu Astronomy if that is possible.
If he truly started his school Saraswata Chatuspati in order to present strictly traditional India
astronomy without Eurocentric persuasion then he would be including SB 5th Canto also in his courses, correct?

>>And, in his 'Submission' at the start of his Surya Siddhanta translation, he states that Surya Siddhanta is the oldest amongst the siddhantas present in ancient India and that it is universally accepted.<<

That's nice, and what else did he say about SS? Did he say all those complex calculations explained by Aryabhata and Bhaskara from the 6th Century prove a globe Earth ball floating above Bharatvarsa and that it is not the same as Bhumandala?

>>Furthermore, his Bengali translation of the text also made use of the Gudarthaprakasha commentary of Sri Ranganath. This is the version that was available to him, and is similarly available to us.  It should be noted that this commentary of Ranganath was written in 1603 AD.  As such, the commentary, and the text that is being commented upon (Surya Siddhanta) predates the contaminating influence of European colonisation that occurred after this time.<<

The Brits were already nosing their way into India in the exact year of 1600 with their East India Company, trades were going on, not just taking spices, but many things were traded between them, among them were books. Not pointing a finger at Ranganath in particular, just that the Euro influence invasion started around the exact same time. It's something to consider.

>>Considering all of the above, I have no doubt that we are safe with this text.<<

>>But there is another influence of Indologists that we should consider, and one that I believe is even more insidious and destructive.  Due to scholars claims of such things as interpolation and adulteration of texts, they have made people doubt the content of the Vedic scriptures.  <<

Just the fact that there are so many so-called siddhantas on astronomy now in India today, Euro-influenced or otherwise traditional, is a good reason for more deep research to come to the correct siddhanta. If the texts are already correct and unadulterated
then there should be no conflict with our SB 5th Canto. This is our real concern.

If Surya Siddhanta and other texts conflict with SB 5th Canto we have a choice to make. Or as your team is trying to do,
reconcile, accomodate or integrate these other texts.
There was never anything wrong in studying them as SBSST and our Prabhupada did or recommended us to do so.
Prabhupada's sole purpose for us was to study the books he recommended, as we should know, and to come to the right conclusion, siddhanta.
It was never to extol or promote Surya Siddhanta above SB in regards to the description of Bhumandala, Earth and the universe.

>>Think about this.  They have implanted the idea that so many things within the Vedic literatues were mischievously altered.  This places a seed of doubt about the authenticity of the Vedas.  The result, when confronted with something within Vedic texts that does not match our preconceptions, it is all too easy to doubt the whole topic by saying that it is possibly, or probably, interpolated.<<

There is no room for "possibly or probably" , agreed! But we are talking about facts according to historical events.
We would be naive to think there has not been any persuasion, influence or appropriation of certain astronomical scriptures in India over the last 1000 years. The history is there if you look for it.

It's a shame there have been and still are pedaphiles in our movement, that's a fact, and so there are seeds of doubt in so many minds
about ISKCON's  authenticity and authority. The intelligent souls, the ones with the right samskaras understand not to throw the baby out with the dirty bathwater, but the weaker minded ones, not grasping the essence of KC will just go away and live with their misconceptions.
So if you are worried about "seeds of doubt" about anything in Iskcon, that would be a good place to start.

Your second concern should be about people laughing at you because you slipped up on the presentation of the universe.
But you have bigger problems in Mayapur right now.
To us the evidence of alteration is blatant for the one fact that ever since modern science and the so-called "Age of Reason" entered the scene
in India most notable astronomers left traditional astronomy behind or distorted it to fit the heliocentric idea, downplayed Vedic astrology as a pseudo-science, then appropriated the ancient books of India, then continued to influence even learned sages with their powerful  eurocentric propaganda.  

>>Yet where is the evidence of such interpolation?  It is entirely lacking. Not matching a preconception, or not being what one would expect to find, is not in any way evidence of interpolation.  Yet, due to the undermining effect of the European influence, it is nonetheless being done towards texts that our two most recent acaryas readily accepted.
For our acharyas to quote from a book and discuss particular segments of it cannot be equated with endorsing it as the summum bonum text where all final conclusions about the subject should be derived from.
The evidence is right in front of us. Our acharyas readily accept Srimad Bhagavatam also, the spotless Purana, is it not? And Srila Prabhupada spent the good remainder of his years completely dedicated to having it printed and distributed. He did not do that with SS!
Look at the vast difference between descriptions of the universal design in Bhagavatam and those other texts.
There are similarities of course but the differences are obviously brightly conspicuous.

>>To me, the readiness to reject Vedic texts as spurious, without any evidence of emendation, is more dangerous an influence than any textual changes that may have actually been forced under the guidance of the colonising force.<<

Extreme statements like that are counter productive. Who is rejecting "Vedic" text? We say as Prabhupada said to B Swarup Damodar, yes, get the book and read it!
Study it and come to your conclusions. That is what Prabhupada was saying. That is what we have done.

>>I hope this helps the discussion.<<

I'm confident it will.

answer: you boil the Hell out of it!


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Post by vaiyasaki on Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:22 pm

So these points and counterpoints are valid.

We should do the research and find the authoritative SS Bengali translation of SBSST.
That's step 1.
If we can't find that book - then we cannot say anything regarding it, nor should it be used as a basis for the TOVP.
Nor can we accept SS based on the interpretation or commentary of anybody else, save and except pure devotee acharyas, especially if it contradicts the Bhagavatam.

Judging by what Antardwip says above, his team does NOT have the translation of SBSST. That's why he refers to another translation.

We should try to ascertain if Danavir Maharaja found the SBSST translation, or if he also is using another interpretation.

I would propose that only the books of SBSST should be accepted as bonafide and free from euro contamination.

However, in this connection, it should be noted that Srila Prabhupada also accepted the earth as a ball until he came to terms with translating 5th Canto.
It was during this alter time that he was inspired by paramatma to build a planetarium to demonstrate the truth of the 5th Canto explanation.
Hence any references to a ball earth by Prabhupada from earlier times should be seen in this light.
This is my understanding.



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Post by Vishnudas on Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:06 pm

Prabhupada actually saw it as "round" meaning like a lotus , and the petals are "round" like the different sections of the lotus shape.
That is quite different than a globe.
Tamala Krishna: But we don't say that. Because there's no "round." We say basically it's a lotus; it's not...

Prabhupada: No, I... It is the same example. Just a animal is bound up, so he's going this round or this round, the same thing. But you cannot go

beyond that.
Tamala Krishna: That they'll... "We accept." I'll take the view of the scientists...

Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. Yes. We don't say. Suppose you are going "round", you'll go this round or this round, but within the round.
Tamala Krishna: Okay. But the whole question we're saying is that we say, "No, you can only go one way."

Prabhupada: No, I don't say.
Tamala Krishna: But according to our...

Prabhupada: If you are going round, you can go round this way or that way.
Tamala Krishna: But there is no round.

Prabhupada: Yes, it is round. You are thinking round. You are going round... (break)
Prabhupada: Lotus is also round. Lotus, that petal is also round. Lotus petal is round. So within one lotus petal this round or that round, there is.
Satadhanya: And within their own limited sphere they can go this way or that way. But they don't know the whole shape.

Tamala Krishna: We have to draw the shape probably, because according to what we've drawn so far...

Prabhupada: That you can do, but real thing is we can remain within the limit.
Tamala Krishna: That we accept.

Prabhupada: So within the limit... Suppose the lotus petal is this way, that way, or this way...
Tamala Krishna: You're asking us to draw the details and make a planetarium very exact.

Prabhupada: Yes. You make... Lotus petal, it is round. So in one lotus petal you are conditioned. You cannot go.
Tamala Krishna: So far that hasn't been said, but that's... You can say that Bharata-var?a is a petal of the lotus. But I think if you look at the

Bhagavatam, it may... I'd have to see it, what it says. There's a statement that it may be the inner portion of the lotus. I don't know... (break) And

what we do, it has to agree with the Bhagavatam...

Prabhupada: Lotus petal... There are so many petals. You are conditioned with one petal.


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Post by vaiyasaki on Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:08 am

OK, this conversation is from the later period - after the idea to construct a planetarium based on Bhagavatam was devised. So this is a more considered opinion than earlier statements.

If we are tied to one petal, then what does that petal correspond to? Is it Jambudwip? Is it Bharat Varsha or Bharat Khanda?

Without knowing which petal we are on the key to understanding the whole evades us.


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Post by Vishnudas on Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:18 am

We live on the varsa once called Bharatvarsa . Bharat khanda is a series of countries from Turkey to Arabia to India to Indonesia in the modern Indian estimation, which is not a true representation of the Bharatvarsa we read in SB. The petal of Jambudwip named Bharat varsa, named after the Emperor of the world, Maharaj Bharat, comprises all known  continents of this Earth. "Earth" is a misnomer (a germanic word meaning simply "ground") .

So we already know which petal we live on, according VCT and according to our Srila Prabhupada. If you live in Vrindavan you are not anywhere else but Vrindavana! Smile But if you live in Italy, UK, Russia, US, Canada, South America, Africa, Arabia, Bali, Fuji etc, it's all part of Jambudwip.

SB 1. 16 TEXT 12
bhadrāśvaṁ ketumālaṁ ca
bhārataṁ cottarān kurūn
kimpuruṣādīni varṣāṇi
vijitya jagṛhe balim

bhadrāśvam—Bhadrāśva; ketumālam—Ketumāla; ca—also; bhāratam—Bhārata; ca—and; uttarān—the northern countries; kurūn—the kingdom of the Kuru dynasty; kimpuruṣa-ādīni—a country beyond the northern side of the Himalayas; varṣāṇi—parts of the earth planet; vijitya—conquering; jagṛhe—exacted; balim—strength.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit then conquered all parts of the earthly planet-Bhadrāśva, Ketumāla, Bhārata, the northern Kuru, Kimpuruṣa, etc.-and exacted tributes from their respective rulers.
Bhadrāśva: It is an island near Meru Parvata. There is a description of this island in the Mahābhārata (Bhīṣma parva 7.16-18). The description was narrated by Sañjaya to Dhṛtarāṣṭra.
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira also conquered this island, and thus the province was included within the jurisdiction of his empire. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was formerly declared to be the emperor of all lands ruled by his grandfather, but still he had to establish his supremacy while he was out of his capital to exact tribute from such states.

Ketumāla: This earth planet is divided into seven parts, and according to others it is divided into nine parts. This earth is called Jambūdvīpa and is divided into nine varṣas. Bhārata-varṣa is one of the above mentioned nine varṣas. Such varṣas are known as continents in the modern geographical context. Ketumāla is described as one of the above varṣas. It is said that in this varṣa, women are the most beautiful. This varṣa was conquered by Arjuna also. A description of this part of the world is available in the Mahābhārata (Sabhā Parva 286.32-33).
It is said that this part of the world is situated on the western side of the Meru Parvata, and the inhabitants of this province used to live up to ten thousands of years (Bhīṣma Parva 6.16.31-32). Human beings living in this part of the globe are of golden color, and the women resemble the angels of heaven. The inhabitants are free from all kinds of diseases and grief.

Bhārata-varṣa: This part of the world is also one of the nine varṣas of the Jambūdvīpa, or earthly planet. Each planet is also sometimes called a dvīpa because of its being an island in the fathomless outer space. Each planet is factually an island in the airy ocean of outer space. Jambūdvīpa is only one of such countless islands in this airy ocean of space. A description of Bhārata-varṣa is given in the Mahābhārata (Bhīṣma Parva, Chapters 9-10).

Uttarāḥ: According to Śrīdhara Svāmī these parts of the world are called Ilāvṛta-varṣa, or the mediterranean countries of Europe. The description of the Ilāvṛta-varṣa is given in the Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva 28.7-8  as follows:
nagarāṁś ca vanāṁś caiva
nadīś ca vimalodakāḥ
puruṣān deva-kalpāṁś ca
nārīś ca priya-darśanāḥ
adṛṣṭa-pūrvān subhagān
sa dadarśa dhanañjayaḥ
sadanāni ca śubhrāṇi
nārīś cāpsarasāṁ nibhāḥ

It is twice mentioned here that the women are beautiful, and some of them are equal to the apsarās, or heavenly women. Therefore the countries mentioned are round about the Mediterranean coast.

Kimpuruṣa-varṣa: It is stated to be situated beyond the northern side of Darjelling Dhavala Giri and probably may be a country like Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and China. These parts of the world were also conquered by Arjuna (Sabhā Parva 28.1-2). The Kimpuruṣas are descendants of the daughter of Dakṣa. When Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira performed a horse sacrifice, the inhabitants of these countries were also present to take part in the festival, and they paid tributes to the Emperor. This part of the world is called Kimpuruṣa-varṣa, or sometimes the Himalayan provinces (Himavatī). It is said that Śukadeva Gosvāmī was born in these Himalayan provinces, and he came to Bhārata-varṣa after crossing the Himalayan countries.
In other words, Mahārāja Parīkṣit conquered all the world, namely all the continents adjoining all the seas and oceans in all directions, namely the eastern, western, northern and southern parts of the world.

This may help in understanding the geography more but also help to increase more questions for the detailed scientific, mathematically-minded devotees! Smile (think of yojanas = ancient geography verses miles = modern geography)  

Prabhupada gave a clas on SB 1.10.1 June 16, '73 and said the following: And, because at that time, five thousand years ago, these kings or the emperors of Hastinapura were ruling all over the world... This planet was called Bharata-varsa, the whole planet. Not this now, a small tract of land. The whole world was called Bharata-varsa. Formerly it was called Ilavrta-varsa. Since the reign of Maharaja Bharata, this planet is called Bharata-varsa. So the Pandavas or the Kurus, they were the rulers of the world.


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