Gaudiya Vaisnavism: the education of human emotions.
Modem consciousness was shaped by the Cartesian distancing of subject and object, mind and matter, res cogitans and res extensa. The drive towards "objectivity" characterised not only the sciences, the typical and intended product of this mentality, but also the humanities, which preserve the remnants of an older consciousness. History became the dominant humanistic discipline, intent on finding facts about the past and fitting them together into an objective picture of what had "really" been. History became the tool for the establishment of power claims, claims that were later realized through technological warfare. In neither of these pursuits could "feelings" be used. On the contrary. Reality demanded "realism" - a reality reduced to power and production. This world-wide pursuit brought about the world in which we now live, perceived by many as moving on the brink of multiple disaster: ecological collapse, economic, educational, social breakdown.
One of the most widely observable phenomena worldwide is a "dehumanisation" of popular "culture": an increase in atrocities, a lack of sensitivity, a coarsening of inter-personal relationships, a brutalization of private and public life. The question of what it means to be human has taken on a new urgency and the debate about how to lead a truly human life has become interminable. Our societies produce from day to day more high-tech gadgets, more powerful computers, faster cars, more TV channels, more crime, more lay-offs, more suicides. How much more of all this do we need? One has the impression that the majority of people are rather permanently unhappy, dissatisfied with their lives (regardless of whether they are rich or poor), worried, fearful of the future. To explain this, are there any reasons other than those mentioned before, which are all human made?
A "consciousness" is not simply there, it is created. The "doom-and-gloom consciousness" of today too, is human-made. We can also un-make it. How? By an education of the most typically human faculties, the emotions. Emotions, far from being primitive and pre-rational reactions, are the most complex and most typically human dimensions in our life. They are in a relation of mutuality to all other human faculties: mind and thought, sensations and moods, bodily conditions. They are at the root of so-called pragmatic and rational decisions as well as the basis of senseless and destructive acts. They really are what being human is all about. Emotions not only influence thoughts, they can also be influenced by them.
That insight constitutes, in my view, the deep wisdom of Caitanya and his disciples. They not only identified the problem correctly but also offered an elaborate system of education of emotions through which a "Krsna Consciousness" is arrived at, replacing the calculating and despairing consciousness, the result of rationalism and utilitarianism. The Consciousness that is the result of this particular schooling has the features of a particular religious tradition, that of Krsnaism as it was understood in late mediaeval Bengal, for whom God is the "sum-total of blissful feelings" the akhila-rasasamrta-murti.(1) The God-consciousness based on a tradition of a jealous, wrathful God brought forth crusades, persecutions, a thirty-years war, inquisition and such phenomena, from which the Enlightenment by creating a secular conscious saved Europe.
Does Gaudiya Vaisnavism betray Krsna?
Krishna Caitanya's provocative The Betrayal of Krishna raises many fundamental issues with regard to Hinduism as a whole as well as to many of its sampradayas.(2) The larger issue - not to be taken up here - is the assumption of an original, normative Krsna religion, a "fundamental" Hinduism, from which later developments strayed. The more limited issue that will be addressed is the characterisation of Bengal Vaisnavism (Chapter XII) as one of the lamentable perversions of an originally austere religion under the influence of eroticism gone wild. He correctly points out that Bengal Vaisnava literature is enthusiastic to the point of sounding orgiastic. He mentions terms like divonmada, premonmada, preme pagal which designate states of "madness" as seen from the standpoint of the average law abiding citizen. He contrasts this state of mind with his conviction that "profound sobriety is needed for true religious experience both for a deep musing on the design of existence and for accepting imperatives for oneself in the light of that design." (449) He also complains about the "noise, literally and metaphorically" which that kind of religion creates and refers to historic instances of bans imposed on nagara kirtans by the civil authorities.
What Krishna Caitanya says is true - of a great many people, but not of all. There are, apparently, people who are extrovert, gregarious, noise-loving, also in religion. The cultural differences between a Scandinavian and an Italian would also show in their religious practices and there seems to be no less of a cultural gap between a Bengali and a Keralite. However much one might personally prefer to meditate and quietly reflect on the meaning of life, one has to realize that the majority of our contemporaries have other preferences. Should they be shut out from religion? India is supposed to have had great tolerance for differences in religion, allowing a great variety of religions to co-exist side by side. Some, like Radhakrishnan, see in that state of affairs an evolutionary notion - people who need images and noise are on a lower rung of the evolution of religious consciousness but they belong to it nevertheless. Why not allow them to outgrow their as yet imperfect expressions of religiosity?
Inversely, one could also question the validity of the standpoint that "profound sobriety" is the most suitable mood for religion to develop in. Why not exuberance, enthusiasm, intoxication? From the standpoint of the divonmada the "deep musing on the design of existence" may be a very inadequate response to the revelation of the divine perceived as life, love and bliss. We obviously have a dilemma that we cannot solve to everybody's satisfaction. Historically - also in India - ecstatic praise and festive abandon may have preceded quiet reflection and meditation as "religion": it is a more likely source of community-bonding and foundation of organised religious activity.
No doubt, Krishna Caitanya is right to point out the everpresent danger of debasing religion. However, religion can be and has been debased in more than one way. While emotions may have gone wrong many times in the context of religion, so has reason: the well-planned elimination of dissenters, the deadening formalisation of rituals and beliefs, the ice-cold logic of inquisitors, are as much violating the true spirit of religion as debauchery and abandon. In short, no case can be made against Bengal Vaisnavism on the grounds that its basis is aesthetics rather than rational metaphysics, and one would have to judge it by standards other than those of a probably unduly rationalised "original" austere Krsna religion.
While disagreeing with Krishna Caitanya on some of the evaluations of developments within the bhakti tradition, I nevertheless welcome his attitude of honest self-criticism concerning Indian culture as a whole. "We have", he says at one place, "along with some of the loftiest perceptions of mankind, some of the most misguided philosophising too in our tradition. . ." (469) I also agree with him when he says that "we are lost if we do not recognize that there is a lot of tripe in our tradition masquerading as lofty philosophy and reject it outright" (470). Not all criticism of Indian traditions rests on misunderstandings, ill-will or prejudice. The greatest figures in Indian religion and intellectual history such as Gautama Buddha and Sankaracarya severely criticised contemporary developments and did not hold back with their condemnation of what they believed to be wrong views and mistaken practices, however grandly defended. In the same spirit it will not be out of place - and should not be seen as an expression of contempt or a lack of understanding - to point out shortcomings of the present-day representatives of the Caitanya tradition. Their lack of understanding of, and hostility towards modern science and their attempt to pass off their naive readings of Hindu mythology as "scientific" is certainly something which is neither warranted nor required by the spirit of their genuine tradition. Similarly their fierce sectarianism, the parroting of anti-Advaita arguments, and the narrowness of views, are things they should try to overcome rather than cultivate. The frequent internal quarrels over trivial matters, the breakups of their communities, the jostling for titles and positions, constitute another feature which jars with the image of devotees solely interested in pleasing their Lord. Much of it is human, all-too-human, but is it not the avowed aim of religions to transcend the human, all-too-human?(3)
Krishna Caitanya emphasises the "pathological excitability" of the founder of Gaudiya Vaisnavism evidenced by his going into a trance at the sight of a peacock and imagining himself in the presence of Krsna at the sound of a flute. Founders of religions often carry features that are "abnormal" and whose imitation by a large number of followers would create the impression of mental disorder. Nobody who accepts Buddha as ideal would try to imitate his years of extreme penances that preceded his enlightenment. The average Christian would not think it necessary to literally die on a cross in order to qualify as follower of Jesus. And Muslims would not be expected to either parallel the prophetic gift of Mohammed or to imitate each of his actions in real life. Gaudiya Vaisnavas were able to found viable communities and to lead humanly fulfilling lives. Their enthusiastic love for Krsna has made them accomplish much by way of building temples, celebrating feasts and creating a rich literature that bespeaks their emotionalism but is otherwise not reprehensible.
The need to acknowledge the importance of emotions
Centuries of rationalism that have shaped the modern West have lead to an atrophy of emotions in the official representatives of our culture on the one hand and a total debasement of popular culture, on the other hand where emotions were allowed to deteriorate into animal instincts unbridled by any human disciplines. Science, which dominated the intellectual life for the past several generations, on principle eliminated everything that was not "fact" and that did not follow the logic of its own rationality. Erwin Schrodinger, a prominent representative of science himself, remarked, that "science is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us about red and blue, bitter and sweet, beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously."(4)
Obviously, if we continue considering red and blue, bitter and sweet, beautiful and ugly, good and bad, God and eternity important "real" life issues, we need approaches other than rationality and science.
Bengal Vaisnavism is one such approach that seems to have worked for fairly large groups of people who were able to realize God the Beautiful. Platonic tradition too recognizes beauty as an essential aspect of reality, on a level with truth and goodness. The only way to perceive beauty is through feelings, not through rationality. Ideally, the sense of beauty would be integrated into a perception of good and a vision of truth. In reality the balance is usually imperfect and one of these areas is more pronounced to the detriment of the others. Each age has its typical blind-spot as well. An overly rationalist age shows a deficiency in wisdom and sensibility. An overemphasis on sentiment will result in an underemphasis on practical reason and ethical consideration.
Caitanya might not have succeeded in any other age than the one he actually lived in. The Western Hare Krishna Movement probably needed exactly the circumstances which Swami Bhaktivedanta found in the New York of the early seventies to develop. Earlier attempts somewhere else to win followers did not succeed. Bengal Vaisnavism is a response to the needs of a particular time and place - other times and other places may demand other responses. But the indisputable fact is that emotions can not be suppressed forever and eliminated in the process of creating a human civilisation.
The suspicion towards emotions, as representing rationality gone somewhere wrong, is endemic in mainstream Western culture. It is shared even by its declared rebels and dissenters. Take Jean Paul Sartre, who in his Esquisse d'une theorie des emotions (Paris 1962) had this to say:
When the way in front of us becomes too steep. . . we are unable to cope with such a difficult and complicated world. . . Thus we attempt to change the world; i.e. we live as if the relation between things and their possibilities were not determined by a fixed process but by magic. But that is not mere play: we are pushed into a corner and we fully immerse ourselves into this new empowerment. Our effort is not conscious. . . Since it is impossible to obtain the objective, or because it generates an unbearable tension, consciousness grasps it differently, i.e. it transforms itself in order to transform the object. . . During an emotional state the body changes its relationship to the world on the basis of consciousness, so that the world changes its properties. If emotions are a play, they are a play in which we believe . . . . Joy is provoked by the appearance of the object of desire. Joy is a magical behaviour, which attempts through conjurement to gain instantaneous possession of the desired object. . . It is constitutive for an emotion that it ascribes something to an object, that infinitely transcends the object. There really is a "universe of feelings". . . We should speak of the "universe of feelings" in the same way as we speak of the "universe of dreams" or the world of insanity. . .(5)
Emotions not only have a reality of their own, but also a logic of their own. It would be self-contradictory to attempt to develop a rational theory of emotional culture: experience alone will be the guide to an emotional systematics. The Goswamis of the Bengal Vaisnava tradition have provided it in their works, prominently so Rupa Goswami in his Bhaktirasamrtasindhu and Jiva Goswami in his Ujjalanilamani. Both works come from "insiders" not only in the sense that they belonged to the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, but also in the sense that emotions are looked at from inside rather than "objectively". Active participation in, and identification with the emotions described characterizes this approach.
Recognizing the "secular" scale of emotions established by Indian literary and artistic tradition as reflecting "real-life emotions", the Goswamis, overpowered by their own experience of ecstatic God-love, inject into it the essence of religiosity. Humans have always identified the ultimate, be it of thought, of power, of virtue, of reality with the divine - the ultimate of experience of blissful emotion is no different. We have to trust the geniuses of emotion in their own field as much as we trust the geniuses of science or the geniuses of literature in their respective domains. Neither is interchangeable or collapsible into something else. In either sphere do we touch the irreducible human.
Are emotions antithetical to ethics?
One of the often heard criticisms levelled at Gaudiya Vaisnavism is that it is lacking an ethic and not able to provide a foundation for it. It is correct to observe that the absence of rational systematics would not allow for any kind of philosophical ethic nor would the deity as conceived by them be the source of ethical commands along either the Dharmasastra or the Biblical decalogue. However, the "sixty-four elements of worship" contain an implicit canon of virtues and vices identified with relation to seva, the central concern of this religion.(6) Thus the Bhaktirasamrtasindhu identifies ten positive precepts for followers of Gaudiya Vaisnavism, paralleled by ten prohibitions. Furthermore it mentions thirty-two offenses against worship. While largely ritualistic, they nevertheless express an "ethic" and shape the behaviour of the devotee. Like other advanced spiritual teachings it appears to presuppose basic ethic rather than inculcate it and to concentrate on the development of higher dimensions of spirituality. In their everyday lives Bengal Vaisnavas observe the same basic morality as everybody else and, if anything, show a higher sensitivity in interpersonal relationships, due probably to their intense devotional practice.
The point most often used against the Caitanyites is the exaltation of the parakiya relationship between Krsna and Radha, the divine couple. While there is admittedly some difficulty in rationalising that point in their faith, it should be understood that no teacher of that school ever suggested that devotees should imitate this "mystery" on the mundane level. Practices like that, publicised and condemned in the celebrated Maharaja case, involving Vallabha followers,(7) have been perceived as unorthodox and cannot be considered "normal". Caitanya and his followers have always insisted on the transcendent nature of Krisna lila (in a way parallel to the transcendent nature of inter-trinitarian Father-Son relationship proposed by Christian theologians).
It was the Bengal Vaisnavism that "Prabhupada" Bhaktivedanta Swami brought to New York in 1967, and not the Advaita Vedanta which Swami Vivekananda had preached in 1893, that appealed to a generation of Americans that had become sick on a diet of drugs and sex.(8) Advaita Vedanta is the ultimate truth - for those who can grasp it. The God of Caitanya appeared to the hippies and junkies in a less forbidding form, that of Kirtans and Ratha-yatras, of temple-worship and joyous noises.
Krishna Caitanya is certainly right in insisting on "accepting imperatives for oneself" in the light of insights opened through religion. But must every ethic be modelled after Kant? Did the Caitanyites not develop an elaborate set of imperatives derived from an understanding of life as worship? To focus on the erotic rhetoric and overlook the ethic of the service of God is not quite appropriate if one were to judge Bengal Vaisnavism as a whole. Compared with what is considered "socially acceptable" today in the West, the writings of the Vrindaban Goswamis and their followers are quite tame. They probably lived in a society not unlike ours which pursued singlemindedly pleasure for its own sake and which was neither able to do what traditional disciplines demanded nor willing to give up its own ways, inane and unsatisfying as these may have become. A religious revival could not go against it but had to go through it, as a hightening rather than a lessening of feeling.
The importance of Caitanya's contribution
There is a great need today for the specific contribution which Caitanya made to the culture of his day and age, namely for the education of the senses and emotions in an artistic as well as a religious sense. Caitanya brought beauty and an to religion and he directed the emotions beyond the merely material objects of enjoyment. In a culture that identified religion uniquely with renunciation, and which condemned all forms of enjoyment as entanglement in samsara Caitanya announced the message that God was Love, God was Joy, God was Life. A world in which this God was present in bodily form could not be all bad, illusion or entrapment. For him it was more important to find God in the world than to leave the world in order to find liberation. Instead of writing off the senses merely as doors to hell and to hold sense-objects responsible for all the misery of life, Caitanya saw them as doors to heaven and as instruments for spiritual development.
Everything can be exaggerated, of course, and every exaggeration perverts the meaning of an idea or practice. Also emotionalism can be exaggerated and history has shown that "love" can degenerate, and that depraved minds can read into religious mysteries a meaning that offends all sense of propriety and decency. However, that is the risk that is unavoidably present as soon as we deal with something humanly meaningful. That is the reason why we need checks and controls, both from within and from without, to make sure that an ideal stays an ideal. Indian literary theory has developed the principle of aucitya or appropriateness, which demands that a statement not only fit into the context of the specific work in which it appears but also into the overall culture, and into general human concerns. This principle has to be applied to religion too. It requires more than mechanical skills to do so and mistakes are not totally avoidable.
Can an outsider understand Gaudiya Vaisnavism?
It is extremely difficult to re-create the consciousness of another epoch and it is equally notoriously difficult to understand any culture other than the one in which one has grown up. The only way to come to at least some understanding is sympathetic study and the sharing of everyday life. This is how I approached the culture of Gaudiya Vaisnavism.(9) I accepted in 1962 an invitation from Swami Bon Maharaj, a prominent representative of the Caitanya sampradaya, to join the Vrindaban Institute of Philosophy, formerly called Vaisnava Visva-Vidyalaya, which he had founded in 1958 and which was intended to offer a pluralistic program of religious instruction at the university level. I moved into the institute's hostel together with some other staff and students and made it a point not only to academically represent my own tradition but to explore in thought and life the predominant religion of Vrindaban, a highly emotional Krsna bhakti. It did not take me long to overcome a feeling of strangeness and I soon felt at home in that place which in many ways seemed to have preserved a mediaeval flavour and ambience. Inevitably, after some time one becomes aware also of the darker sides of life that can be found everywhere. But in retrospect I would associate the enjoyable and uplifting experiences of these years with those people and those events that reflected Caitanya's exuberant and joyous, if unworldly and impractical religiosity. The negative memories are connected with the increasing prominence of precisely those qualities which Caitanya condemned: jealousy, worldly interest, political activism, power mongering, rivalry and suspicion. Pure Gaudiya Vaisnavism does not address many of the problems of an industrialized, urbanised India and some of its representatives are behaving in a very strange way indeed. If one expects religion to uplift a person's heart to God, forgetting everything else, then indeed Gaudiya Vaisnavism is a religion par excellence. It has created poetry, art and architecture, a way of life.
Gaudiya Vaisnavism can be seen as an "escape", no doubt. It arose at a time when the situation of most Hindus in India was just about hopeless and when the majority felt powerless to change anything. People in today's black ghettos of major U.S. cities may feel in a similar way. What are people in such situations doing? Getting together to draw up sanitation and infrastructure rebuilding plans? Organising work-gangs? No - they invent new forms of entertainment in order to forget their situation and to feel happy for as long as the high lasts. In today's hopeless situations people take their refuge in drugs, violence, alcohol and sex. New forms of rock-and-roll, often with quite evident roots in this violence and sex culture, emerge.
Caitanya and his associates "escaped" to God - into a religion highly charged with feeling and emotion. It had elements of basic human instincts in it - it used erotic/sexual imagery, movement and dance that lead to a frenzy, it was noisy and went public. Compared to both the traditional smarta way of life and the more meditative forms of bhakti, it was disruptive. Its success had to do with the frustrations that people felt and that could not be dealt with by more "proper" ways of behaviour. "Strong stuff" is required in such situations. Today's black ghetto-youth could hardly be impressed by calls to duty and examples of meekness as shown by mediaeval Christian saints. In contrast to the emotion-charged pop-culture of today (in which a surprisingly strong religious element can be found too) which quite often leads to acts of violence and vandalism and in general is destructive and resentful, the emotion-charged movement initiated by Caitanya lead to the creation of a new culture: a whole new town, Vrindaban, owes its (re-)construction and its continued existence to it, with all its artistic temples, images, its ras-lilas and its pilgrimages, its poetry and its music.
Gaudiya Vaisnavism arose largely in reaction to the dry "logic-chopping" of the pandits that represented the "official religion".(10) People have a heart and they want to worship rather than analyse language to find personal growth and fulfilment. The emotive/affective part of humans is more basic and hardly repressible. It is, on the whole, a truer guide to right living than mere reflection and rational analysis. It also is a more genuine bond both between humans across cultural and linguistic boundaries and between different species. It provides a more real connection with the universe as a whole than other human faculties.
Western parallels may not be wholly out of place. Plato and the whole Platonic tradition, which had such a pervasive influence on Western culture, strongly emphasized not only "eros" as moving force but placed the "good" as highest being/value, accessible more through the "heart" then the "head". The Platonists and Neo-Platonists, including the Christian ones, taught a 'way of the heart" through which humans could see the ultimate. Augustine coined the famous phrase ama et fac quod vis - love and do what you want - convinced that love would not go wrong. While the word "love" has been, and continues to be, much misused for all kinds of things, there would be few humans who could not discern the "real thing" from the wrongly labelled ones.(11)
Beauty plays a major role in Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Caitanya must have been a person who, like a true artist, was overwhelmed by a sense of beauty and who responded to beauty in a total way. A person can quite literally be obsessed by beauty and a response to beauty perceived or imagined has something elementary about it: it cannot be fully rationalized, it cannot be fully controlled and it overrides all other considerations. The slogan of "art for arts sake" means precisely that: beauty is its own justification, it does not require an intellectual or a moral reason to exist. People who pursued beauty often appear somewhat odd to those who are lacking that elementary sense: they do things or behave in ways that would be considered irrational, even immoral by the more soberminded. Caitanya and his close followers apparently belonged to this group of people. It is hard to judge them from any "ordinary" standard. They appeared crazy to some of their contemporaries, they made noise, they disturbed the peace of ordinary citizens, they used a language that offended the moral sensibilities of many - they were quite literally divyonmada, crazy about God in a way that went far beyond the normal bhakti tradition.
One of the features of the "artistic/aesthetic temperament" is that is appears to be satisfied to transpose tragic events (be they small-scale, personal, or large-scale, national and global) into emotions: songs, poems, paintings, prayers. Instead of "doing something" about these issues - organising relief, hands-on involvement, pressuring governments into action - they merely bewail them and transform them into art. Gaudiya Vaisnavas pour out the sorrows of the world in their songs. They are able to forget them and dive into the bliss of their God who is sorrowless and in whose love-play everything else is forgotten. I can imagine tensions developing within the contemporary ISKCON community, largely composed of practically minded Westerners who want to do something as well as immerse themselves into the bliss of their God. The logic of charitable activity on an organised scale and the logic of anuraga bhakti are incommensurable. The original Caitanyites withdrew from all secular involvement, became samnyasis in order to live the life of bhakti-rasa which absorbs the mind so completely that it is no longer able to function in a mundane practical way.
Religion and religious people have not created nature as it is but they try to invoke its higher spiritual potential and to counteract drives that prevent humans from realizing their true spiritual selves. Both the language and the efforts are highly ambiguous, and historically religions and religious people have entertained conflicting views as well as practices concerning their goals. Thus their evaluation of sensuality and sexuality has ranged from outright condemnation to enthusiastic acceptance. Both Apollo and Dionysus were great gods in ancient Greece and the Hindu Siva is ascetic and libertine as well. Krsna has been worshipped as teacher of wisdom and renunciation as well as lover and prankster. Women were shunned by some religions as temptresses of men and they were worshipped by others as embodiments of sacred power and life. None of these views, in isolation, encompasses the whole truth and the entire reality. There is a right way and a wrong way for doing anything, and it is of utmost importance to know the difference. The materialism, consumerism, and hedonism of many of our contemporaries is simply a fact and to contrast our age with that of a more restrained, disciplined, austere character will not do much good. Austerity in itself is not necessarily a virtue and poverty as such is not necessarily desirable. Nor is enjoyment of life a vice or being happy a sign of lacking religiosity. If everything is, as theistic religions East and West maintain, either a creation or an emanation of the Deity, everything must have a divine dimension and everything must be able to serve as instrument to reach God. This must be especially true of central human realities and experiences.
So far no system of thought and no social or political action plan has succeeded in making everybody happy and eradicating the many evils under which all societies suffer. Gaudiya Vaisnavism does not do so either. Its qualifications, furthermore, would make it unattractive for a great many people for whom emotions are evidence of weakness and for whom worship of a transcendent deity would be an exercise in futility. What Gaudiya Vaisnavism, however, does for those who adopt it, is a fairly thorough transformation of character, the shedding of many personally and socially harmful habits and the cultivation of beautiful features of soul and spirit. The tenderness with which Gaudiya Vaisnavas meet their God translates often into great friendliness towards humans and animals. The focussing of all the powers of heart and soul on the embodiment of love should make them forget the petty quarrels and jealousies that normally fill the days of people whose focus in life is their own dear self and its comforts. Caitanya's symphony of feelings performed by religious artists may, like Mozart's music, belong to a very different age that is irretrievably gone. But, like Mozart again, while inimitable and unique as far as the origin and setting goes, it still reaches human hearts and minds. It may not solve any problems but it frees people for doing so in a spirit of selflessness, freedom and joyous service.
1. Rupa Goswami in the introductory stanza to his celebrated Bhaktirasamrtasindhu uses akhila rasamrta murti as the first of the numerous epithets by which he addresses Krsna.
2. Krishna Caitanya, The Betrayal of Krishna: Vicissitudes of a Great Myth. Clarion Books: New Delhi, 1991.
3. A self-critical report is offered by Ravindra Svarupa-dasa "Cleaning House and Cleaning Hearts: Reform and Renewal in ISKCON", in ISKCON Communications Journal, Nos. 3 and 4; (January-June 1994, pp. 43-52, and July-December 1994, pp. 25-33).
4. Erwin Schrodinger, My View of the World, Cambridge University Press: London, 1964, p. 65.
5. Jean Paul Sartre, Esquisse d'une theorie des emotions. Gallimard: Paris, 1962, p. 63.
6. See K. Klostermaier, "The Bhaktirasamrtasindhubindu of Visvanatha Cakravartin" in Journal of the American Oriental Society 94/1 (January-March 1974), pp. 100 ff.
7. See D. L. Haberman, "On Trial: The Love of Sixteen Thousand Gopees," in History of Religions 33/1 (1993), pp. 44-70.
8. See Larry Shinn, "The Maturation of the Hare Krishnas in America," in ISKCON Communications Journal, No. 3 (January-June 1994), pp. 25-36.
9. See K. Klostermaier, In the Paradise of Krishna, Fortress: Philadelphia, 1971.
10. Swami Bon Maharaj quite often used in conversations the expression "dry logic chopping" to indicate his displeasure with a more detached, rational approach to religion.
11. See K. Klostermaier, "Hrdayavidya" in Journal of Ecumenical Studies 9/4 (1972), pp. 750-776.
Klaus K. Klostermaier, ER.S.C., currently University Distinguished Professor of Religion at the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Canada) has had a lifelong involvement and interest in Indian culture and religion. He received a Ph.D. from Bombay University in Ancient Indian History and Culture with a thesis on "Moksa - Mythologies and Philosophies of Salvation in the Theistic Traditions of India". His interest in Gaudia Vaisnavism was developed during a two-year sojourn in Vrindaban, U.P. as Research-Guide in the former Vaisnava Visvavidyalaya, founded by Swami Bon Maharaj. His most recent major publications in the area of Indian religions are A Survey of Hinduism, 2nd ed., State University Press of New York, 1994, A Short Introduction to Hinduism, Oneworld, Oxford, U.K., 1998, and A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Oneworld Oxford, U.K. 1998. He has contributed numerous essays and articles on many aspects of Indian religions to edited volumes and scholarly journals.
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|Author:||Klostermaier, Klaus K.|
|Publication:||Journal of Asian and African Studies|
|Date:||Feb 1, 1999|
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