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Friday, 19 June 2015

Questions: 1. Varnashrama Dharma and 2. Conflict Resolution

1. Is there a central principle for the establishment of Varnashrama Dharma? 

Different scholarly devotees have given different perspectives on the subject: 

(i) There must be segregation of sexes and they should only interact in a ritualistic manner to produce children, who would presumably be high class Brahmanas, being product of controlled sex and Vaishnava rituals, 

(ii) The seminal lineages of Brahmanas must be restored through training in scriptures and rituals and by their high birth, learning and expertise, these Brahmanas would establish their hegemony in Hindu society, 

(iii) The main problem is anxiety for economic security, so scholarly devotees should be provided with sufficient resources to maintain family, conduct research and open teaching facilities, without the need to gather followers or donations, 

(iv) Devotees should isolate themselves from the mainstream society and develop their own institutions, following strict rules of personal and communal conduct, people all over the world will be attracted to such an ideal way of life. 

Can any of these principles, viz. sexual segregation, seminal lineage, economic security or isolated community be the central principle for the establishment of Varnashrama Dharma?

Reply to 1 by His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Swami

The points may have been badly articulated, but the four points roughly represented the views of Krishna Kirti Prabhu, Radha Krishna Prabhu, Mayank Goel and Keshav Anand Prabhu respectively. But the names need not matter, even the adjective 'scholarly' is incidental, as the important question is finding the central principle for establishing Varnashrama Dharma.

2. There are many opinions and philosophical interpretations within the Vaishnava society. What is the Vaishnava process of resolution of these conflicts? 

Should there be 

(i) a majoritarian democratic process involving the entire Vaishnava congregation, 

(ii) literal textual authoritarianism with strict enforcement and excommunication procedures, 

(iii) hegemony of those who have attained institutional positions due to experience and merit, 

(iv) a legal and philosophical disputation process, in which all sides submit their positions and the judgement is made by a body of judges appointed through consensus, 

(v) an internal dialogue process based on argumentation and compromises that makes everyone least upset, or 

(vi) let each faction thrive and only if the harmony is disturbed, punitive action be taken against the culprit?

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