Jananivas prabhu serves the deities intimately
June 7, 2009

In this text from Ray of Visnu chapter 13, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati discusses the difference between Idolatry and worship of Sri Murti with an American Professor.

Reading Assignment

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur

Summary: Following last week's reading assignment, I have again selected quotes from a book put together and published under the direction of Bhakti-siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, which were gleaned from the vast writings of his divine father Srila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura. These quotes display the great calmness and patience of BVT as he weaves his way through the bias of rationalists and sectarian Christian thought. Bear in mind that his audience is a hostile group of argumentative intellectuals. His line of reasoning is still quite relevant today, especially for our preachers who face persons who will yield to well thought out and persuasive arguments presented in a reasonable tone and in a gentlemanly manner.

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur

Summary: In this essay Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur was addressing a largely European and Christian- influenced intelligencia of India during his time. Thus, he did not take for granted that there were any pre-existing components of faith in Divinity or what is Divine. Follow carefully the very gentle steps of persuasive logic which Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur takes his reader through. What genius he possessed!! The topic of mahaprasad is addressed in a question-answer format, like much of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur's writings.

Reading Assignment a) Vani Vaibhava

a) Vani Vaibhava by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur (From Chapter 14, Mahaprasada)

"What is the need for offering foodstuffs to the Lord? What is the purpose of honoring mahaprasada?"

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur

Summary: We are often drawn into conversations about spiritual life and teachings with non-devotees. Since their methodology and ours are remarkably distinct, it becomes a challenge at times how to help such persons come to a spiritual conclusion by using a material instrument of examination. We can learn an important lesson from Bhaktivinode Thakur within the message quoted below: while not "buying-in" to the instrument of argument as a suitable means of knowing the Absolute Truth, thus same instrument can be used to "enumerate the truths of this material world" in contrast with the spiritual world. By metaphor, spiritual truths can be indicated.