Editorial sans Facts
It pained me to read the BTG April ’15 editorial, frivolously portraying the image of the Supreme Goddess Ma Santoshi, whose unparalleled benevolence and grace has healed billions across the globe. Brushing her aside as a mere “fiction goddess” of a Bollywood movie is just ridiculous and unethical. At the outset, let me clarify that the most famous and exclusive Prakat Santoshi Maa temple in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, where millions of devotees visit and worship her every day, was constructed more than a decade before the release of Her movie. Besides, I and my mother have been her ardent worshippers since our very childhood. Even my mother-in-law and sisterin- law would fast and worship her as early as thirty years before her famous movie was released around 1974. A little knowledge is said to be dangerous. Thus, it is imperative that before making such categorical statements, appropriate research on the subject be conducted as a prerequisite to validate findings.
– Dr. Aparna Chattopadhyay
I was very hurt and dismayed to read your highly irresponsible and frivolous comment published in BTG April ’15. Mr. Editor, you have absolutely no right, nor are you qualified, to hurt the faith and feelings of millions of devotees of Santoshi Mata, by maligning her image (which, with all your efforts, you will never be able to do). Being an ardent devotee of Ma Santoshi for over four decades (with her divine grace), I have seen and felt her divine blessings and miracles, which you cannot not even think of. I take a strong exception for most your irresponsible comments about Ma Santoshi, and the least I expect from you is a public apology for doing so. Please never ever make such frivolous comments in future though I believe your editorial comment is too insignificant to have any effect on Ma’s devotees!
– Arun Pal
Our reply: It is certainly not our intention to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments, but if any of our readers felt hurt after reading our comments, we deeply apologize for it.
This Back to Godhead magazine was started by Srila Prabhupada to spread the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad- Bhagavatam. These two scriptures are revered throughout the Hindu community because they contain the message of pure devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna .
Lord Krishna has taught that the message of the Vedas has to be accepted through three media: guru, sadhu, and sastra. Here guru is the bona fide spiritual master, sadhu denotes contemporary and past saintly people, and sastra means the Vedic scriptures.
In our daily lives we follow traffic laws because they are given by the highest authority or the government, and we do not allow our personal emotions to have any say in that matter. We may or may not like the law, but everyone has to follow them without exceptions. Similarly, matters regarding the potencies of various powerful personalities like demigods and demigodesses are to be decided on the basis of guru, sadhu, and sastra. Spiritual life in India, for all practical purposes, wholly depends upon the verdict given by these three. Therefore, temples, customs and rituals are to be accepted or rejected on the basis of instructions of acaryas like Sankaracarya, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu etc. When none of these eminent personalities have endorsed the existence of a particular deity, and if the Vedas have no mention of such a person, the person along with the associated system of worship is merely an imaginary belief system.
The above reply was written by Syamananda Dasa, the chief editor.
While reading BTG April ’15 I was touched by Srila Prabhupada’s “Clear Conception of God.” I was impressed by Caitanya Carana Prabhu’s article “Should we hate the mind?” It completely explains the nature of mind, and the Bhagavad-gita slokas quoted from the Sixth Chapter are very inspirational. Mahatma Prabhu’s “Less is more” was very informative. My sincere thanks to Caitanya Carana Prabhu and other team members for the wonderful articles.
– Raghavendra C.S.
Missed Answers to Questions
I recently chanced upon the monthly BTG English – I had shifted to international edition a few years ago – and was impressed with its appearance. I immediately got myself subscribed. What I missed during my separation from the Indian English edition was the excellent answers by Nanda Dulal Dasa in the letters section.
– B.K. Mehta