Westerners and our traditions

The question on how to interact with Westerners or even those who are deeply influenced by post-enlightenment,Christianized ideals is an important one to deal with. How should they be accepted in sampradAyas/institutions belonging to sampradAyas?

From my brief survey of some institutions,the institutions that have heavily accepted westerners have had massive degradations that have negatively affected the sampradAyas overall. Like ISKCON and the insiduous Abrahamic strains(like suggesting that jIvas fall from vaikunTha,despite baladeva’s bhASya on the last sutra of the brahma-sutras,and too many other things that can’t be spoken about here now and the other splinter groups. Or Yogananda distorting the Kriya Yoga paramparA.

From these examples(one may also refer to the mass influx of Jatts within Sikhi or briefly the post Banda Bahadur period to note that mass influx of people who haven’t had a perparatory period isn’t really a helpful thing). On the other hand,we also have to contend that we really can’t stay shut up in cocoons in the West all the time. Still,we have to deal with its secularizing tendencies while we are there. We’re losing both our men to its secularism and our women to both secularism and marriage to other traditions,which very frequently result in a much reduced ability to pass down our traditions to our children.

This is a problem,which doesn’t seem to have any easy solution,frankly. The most successful and orthodox orgs in the West seem to have been those related with the Saiva Siddhanta Church(not that I am recommending or pushing for them,anyway). A few disciples of Swami Dayananda maybe also? Maybe one or two students of Lakshman joo? We don’t even have the fire of Sridhar Ketkar who married a Jewish wife,bringing her into the Hindu fold.

Rupa Goswami’s advice : saGga-tyAgo vidUreNa bhagavad-vimukhaira janaiH/ziSyAdy ananuvandhitvaM mahArambhAdy anudyamauH (One should keep a distance from those who are averse to the Lord, avoid accepting too many disciples(emphasis mine) and not be overly enthusiastic about initiating great projects) seems to ring truer than ever.

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