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Living with Vows - Frame of Reference

1.) There is a variety of vows of different levels of importance in Krsna Consciousness out of which the initiation vows are foremost. When we vow to dedicate some things in our life to Krsna, -that is sacrifice; but when we vow to offer whatever we do, whatever we eat, whatever we give away, and whatever austerities we perform-, as an offering to Krsna, then we are surrendering our life, that is the vow of initiation. Therefore although we will mention other vows, we will focus the discussion on the vows of initiation, because full suurender is the means for

2.) We are approaching the topic of "Living with Vows" as an inside story by active practitioners engaging in a self-observing manner. In order to get a more objective perspective of ourselves for a moment we step out of our uniform, out of our role and look at ourselves as human beings through the "outside eyes" of anthropology , sociology, psychology and history; besides our real source of knowledge the Sastra.

Frame of Reference for reviewing our life with vows

Sastra Anthropology Sociology Psychology History
Realization Culture ISKCON Motivation Inauguration
Transcendence Modern Industrialized World Institution Duty Theocratic Era
Goodness Gaudiya Vaisnava Culture Congregation Desire Renaissance

Outline of Topics relating to the above
as a basis for discussion

1.) Sastra

a. Primary & Secundary Vows
b. Unspoken Vows

i. Guru as good as God
ii. Brahmacari, vanaprastha
iii. Chastity of Women

c. Two levels: Transcendence & Mode of Goodness

2.) Anthropology

a. Culture

i. For cultivation
ii. As an expression of desire
iii. Paradoxes

1. Culture and Nature
2. The need for individual freedom & the need for social support
3. Change & tradition

b. Rites of Passage-incl. initiations

i. Van Gennep: separation, transition, incorporation
ii. Lincoln : enclosure, metamorphosis, emergence
iii. Preparation, Maintain the Status Quo/ Failure, Fullfilling the purpose

3.) Sociology

a. Institutional/Congregational Model

i. Temple devotees: spiritual leaders
ii. Congregation will be in the majority

b. Gaudiya Vaisnavas

4.) Psychology

a. Motivation

i. Humanistic Psychology, Maslow
ii. Sattva

b. Sastric Counterpart

i. Can Sastra fulfill all needs?

5.) History

a. World History: Theocratic Era > Renaissance
b. ISKCON History: Parallel
c. Gaudiya History