Flying our own plane
HH Kadamba Kanana Maharaja: The pressure of the Age of Kali is very strong, it’s everywhere. As soon as we step out of the gate, it’s another world, as everybody knows. Of course we bring with us in that world whatever mercy we have received and whatever we did with that mercy. The mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu come in through our life and then it’s up to us to do something with it. Some don’t do so much but still they have the mercy and they keep it. Some are not looking after the mercy so well, then the mercy may become a little bit dry but it’s still there, it’s still not gone. But those who are really taking it and making something out of it and are really trying to take advantage of it, then their spiritual life starts flourishing. It’s an individual thing. Prabhupada gave that analogy of a plane and he said that when a plane is on the ground then there are many people by the plane: one is checking the tyres, another one is putting the fuel, another one is doing some other checks…there’s a whole lot of ground staff. So the ground staff are all around the plane and some are loading things on the plane, some are taking things off the plane…whatever they are doing. So Prabhupada said that on the ground, yes it’s all this support for the plane but as soon as the plane is in the air then the pilot has to deal with the situation and whatever happens up there he has to deal with it. So Prabhupada said that in the same way, everyone is flying his own plane in spiritual life.
In other words we are all together and we can look at the community of devotees and we can think, ‘well what are the devotees doing? What is the standard that everyone is following? Well, it cannot be expected of me that I am doing more than everybody else. I’m just also a normal person. So I cannot be expected to do what others are not doing?’ You see the logic behind that? That’s how people operate in this world- everyone looks at others and they do what others do. In that way we take support from each other. We are looking at, ‘what can another person manage? Alright, then I would also try to manage that. If ten others are doing it then maybe I should also be able to do it. But if nobody is doing it then how can I do it?’ So everyone has this; we are looking at what others are doing and sort of setting standards in our life for that. But in spiritual life it is a little different because everyone is flying his own plane. In that way everyone has his own relationship with Krsna and some are going to say in this material world for another 100 000 lives and some are going to go back this life! It’s up to the individual to decide where we want to be. Sometimes they say that in this movement, 90% of the people do 10% of the work and 10% of the people do 90% of the work. We can decide who we want to be with…
So one has to think about that; we cannot just do what others are doing because we have our own responsibility to Krsna. We fly our own plane- it’s between us and Krsna. We’ve got that mercy and it’s up to us to be serious. And of course we can find many reasons in the world which make our life difficult. One can think about a 100 problems in life which make it very difficult for us to practice this Krsna consciousness. Everyone can write down 100 special difficulties- ‘why I have an extra problem in being a devotee…’- like health, relationships with other people (family relationships, marriage relationships, work relationships- where there’s a whole field of problems! So in all these areas we can list our problems- then the government problems…it doesn’t end! And all these are giving us good reasons why it’s extra difficult for us to be a devotee and everyone feels like that. Everyone feels that, ‘it’s especially difficult for me. It is easier for others but my circumstance are such that it’s especially difficult for me.’ Everyone feels that. It is funny but we always feel that we are the one who somehow or other has it more difficult for us. But that’s not a fact. Everyone has the mercy and should think, ‘what will I do with it? Let me take it and develop it.’ Like maybe you find or get some small deities of Jagannatha- that’s mercy. Little Jagannatha, how nice-round eyes and everything! Now, what are we doing with Jagannatha, that’s up to us! That’s our choice. It’s entirely our choice. We get the holy name- what are we doing with it? It’s entirely our choice! And we can see that people, in any condition of life, somehow or other are being devotees. Prabhupada said that this chanting of Hare Krsna does not depend on external circumstances, it’s not for the rich, it’s not for the educated…it’s for everyone! Anyone can do it, anywhere. One can always chant Hare Krsna.
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