Vedic Jurisprudence and Atonement

Yajnavalkya with Maitreyi and Gargi teaching Maharaja Janaka

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Executive Summary

The ISKCON India Scholars board had been requested to provide references from scriptures of the pāñcarātrika-mārga  and vaidika-mārga pertaining to prāyaścitta (atonement) for a Vaiṣṇava, as a result of an accidental falldown.

The following is the summary of our findings:

  • According to both Pañcarātra and Vaidika texts, prāyaścitta for a Vaiṣṇava is different from that prescribed for a non-vaiṣṇava.
  • In the Sat-kriyā-sāra-dīpikā, Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī states that a Vaiṣṇava should perform prāyaścitta as prescribed in the Nārada-Pañcarātra texts, especially Bhāradvāja-saṁhita verses 3-22 to 25. He forbids the other forms of prāyaścitta such as charity, austerity, yajña etc., as “smārta-kalpita-niśedhaḥ,” what to speak of judging a Vaiṣṇava based on mundane rules of āsūric society.
  • Lord Caitanya in his instructions to Sanātana Gosvāmī states that for one who has given up all activities and is engaged in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead there is no further prāyaścitta needed. Even if he is involved in some sinful activity by accident. The Lord as caitya-guru, seated in his heart, will purify him.
  • Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Śrīla Jiva Gosvāmī, and Śrīla Prabhupāda have all added that such a devotee incidentally attains the result of prāyaścitta by his continuous remembrance of the Lord.
  • As per the Vaidika-mārga, if a spiritual master is involved in accidental sinful activity such as adultery or even the killing of a brāhmaṇa, he can be purified and reinstated by his disciples, or by observing total fasting etc.,
  • The Agni Purāṇa forbids inflicting a punishment or prāyaścitta on anyone (not to mention a Vaiṣṇava) for the fault that has already been judged and atoned for.
  • There is no mention of removing a person (Vaiṣṇava) from the position of guruship, even for sins as heinous as brahmahatyā, and even a sin such as brahmahatyā does not necessarily mean that a guru is no longer bona fide, as the example of Vaiśampāyana shows.

4 Comments

  1. Vasusrestha Das

    Jaya Prabhu,
    Thank you for extensively searching me out to deliver the results of your findings
    on Vaishnave atonement, according to the Shastric injunctions.
    It pleases my heart to read what your
    board has to say.
    I sincerely hope that all the Vaishnave community is gracious in accepting your
    findings and that this matter can be laid
    to rest for once and for all.

  2. A letter Maharaja refused to sign written by someone else admitting his guilt has been circulated as a proof of guilt
    But he did not write
    He did not sign
    Therefore the case should be obvious
    Outside ISKCON rascals attacking

  3. Uttamasloka dasa

    This analysis is focused on someone who had an ‘accidental’ fall down.

    If this report was intended to be used in conjunction with Bhakti Vidya Purna, then it is not applicable because his situation is absolutely NOT a case of ‘accidental’ fall down. Not even remotely close.

    His confirmed psychopathic, sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse of Vaisnava children in the Holy Dhama over decades is the clear and obvious profile of a serial sexual predator. Some of his victims committed suicide. His activities were heinous and criminal.

    There is no prayascitta for that level of criminal Vaisnava aparadha in the Dhama. According to Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, he must beg forgiveness from each and every victim – personally – and he must receive forgiveness. If not, he is still liable for his aparadha. And since some victims are DEAD, he cannot atone for them in this lifetime.

    If there was true justice, he would have been taken to court and jailed for life, or executed in some countries, and rightly so. He was posing as a Vaisnava, ie: a Kali-cela.

    From Nanda Kumara prabhu, Srila Prabhupada’s servant during the 70s:

    “Srila Prabhupada told me (Nanda Kumara) something personally. His Divine Grace said… “There are those among us wearing dhoti, sikha, tilaka and neck beads, but they are not devotees. They are agents of Kali who are here to try to stop our movement. You (said to me, but meaning all of us, especially those with a ksatriya nature) should find out who they are and weed them out. That’s an exact quote.”

    From Bhaktivinoda Thakura:

    After the time of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, those faithful to Him kept apart from non devotees, to avoid contamination. Seeing this, the personality of Kali sent his representatives in disguise to pollute the Vaisnava sampradaya.

    Posing as Vaisnavas, they spread their wicked doctrines, and appeared so intelligent and devoted that only pure devotees could detect their real identity. Most devotees — not only the most neophyte – were enchanted by their tricks. In this way Kali’s agents expertly introduced karma, jnana, and anyabhilasa in the Vaisnava sampradaya and caused suddha-bhakti to vanish from the world.

  4. Patita-pāvana Nitāi Gaura Dāsa

    “It’s ridiculous word jugglery that completely avoids the Vaisnava aparadha aspect and criminality of his actions. Plus they’re getting technical with all the Vedic references but missing the most important aspects. That’s a clear sign of lack of adhikara. They want to look authoritative and scholarly, but they’ve exposed their ignorance about what really went on.”

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