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Preaching With Half Humility

Monday, 29 October 2012 / Published in Articles, Kesava Krsna Dasa / 3,051 views

By Kesava Krsna Dasa

It is an accepted fact that when we preach, and repeat what we have heard – hopefully with some Suka relish – then this is humility in action. But if this is reinforced with aggression, superiority postures, and some ‘authorised’ hate, it is no longer humility. Then what is it?

To repeat what we have heard is an act of surrender, and surrender is a sign of humility. But this is just one aspect of humility, for according to the “trnad api sunicena…” verse, there are four behavioural symptoms. If we just exhibit one, two or three of them, then our humility is not complete – it is partial.

If we put a lot of emphasis on simply repeating, but at the same time, we are less developed with – manadena – the giving of respect to all, then we are not truly humble. It is easy to be mislead by signs of humility and they can be impressive. But genuine humility is an multifaceted development.

On the plea of representing our guru, we may want to pursue a certain trend, or to counter other types of preaching done by others. That same plea can cause us to exert ourselves with shared biases that increase – amanina, and still call it ‘humble.’

When we have a superior message to give, and we have all the answers to life’s problems, this can easily put us into superiority mode, and – manadena – is curtailed. If our sense of – manadena – is minimised, we shall have difficulty in allowing people to be attracted to our Suka messages, which can become dukha – misery – instead.

Giving respect to all, is not to be confused with some mayavada “everyone and everything is divine” equality. Even though we have to avoid the envious, that is still done with respect. Mayavadis might themselves be envious of the Lord, but we can attract them with proper exhibitions of humility, just as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did when visiting the mayavadis at Varanasi.

Lord Chaitanya attracted the mayavadis by exhibiting – amanina – and – manadena. When He sat down near the foot-washing basins, a twofold attraction appeased the hearts of the mayavadis. Merely sitting there, He earned no respect for Himself – amanina – which attracted the mayavadis. He simultaneously gave respect to all the mayavadis by sitting there as well, as if He belonged to an inferior sannyasa order. This also attracted them.

This type of behaviour would look strange in the West, but we can adapt the same to appease usually highly-strung, opinionated and directionless people. People want to see and hear from someone genuine. We know how hard that is. Even a devotee having a full compliment of humility might still attract misguided suspicion by wearing a Rolex for instance, or speaking from an elevated seat. On the other hand, a successful person might be attracted to a devotee wearing a Rolex, thinking that perhaps not all devotees are fanatical and forever poor hermits.

Being respectful to all, cannot happen if we retain ignorance emotions like hate, or engage in short-term forms of ‘sankirtana.’ It does not require hate to avoid envious people. Such circumspection is earned through the enlightened mode of goodness, and all four of the humility qualities belong there, and form the basis for further progress in Krishna consciousness.

This is also saying that if we exhibit one good quality, that of repeating what our guru says, but we fall short in the other areas of humility, we are not fully in the mode of goodness, nor are we fully humble, what to speak of being transcendental, as some devotees believe. The process we are following is transcendental, but we ourselves have yet to develop transcendental qualities. To be transcendental is to be selfless, and selfless preaching is the most attractive.

Srila Prabhupada says this of mayavadis without specifically identifying them: “Anyone this humbleness and humility is taught everywhere. Without being gentle, humble, how one can be a man of knowledge? But at the present moment the humility is forgotten. Everyone is proud unnecessarily. Although he’s nothing, he’s proud. So much so that sometimes a rascal says that “I am God.” This is the modern civilization. He’s so puffed-up, so proud, that one claims to become God, what to speak of other things. No. The first thing is that one must be very humble.” (Bombay, October 3, 1973)

Trying to be selfless humble in the face of forgotten humility is not easy. Genuine humility can appear as a weakness or inferiority disorder for people in the mode of passion. An authentic and vastly deep Vaisnava culture developed and learned through humility is also not an easy sell. But there is one way of winning even the most obstinate of foreigners to Vaisnava culture, and it is something we have either forgotten ourselves, or are neglecting.

Our natural detachment can interfere with this, as well as fear of contamination. Misplaced emotions like hatred add to the blockage. Inexperience and lack of training can cause needless bad impressions of Iskcon without it.

It is the highly effective need to make friends with whomever we meet. If devotees have competitive ‘sankirtana’ quotas to meet, then people become means to that end. How many opportunities for quality time pass by this way? How many potential friends did we neutralise because people realised that we are not actually their friends, but just after their Laksmi to help bolster our scores? Are we attracting people this way?

In situations like these when people seek real and genuine friendship – and we can provide it – our competitive edge or fear takes precedent. With the spirit of friendship, diehard evangelists and complex atheists can relate to us on a human level. This friendship is for their eternal credit. Are we extending ourselves enough this way?

This friendliness forms a part of our – manadena – in preaching terms. When – manadena – is added to repeating what the guru says, more substance is added. To preach or to do ‘sankirtana’ without being friendly is not full humility. Are we able to rue all that we could have done, had we emphasised proper preaching with – manadena?

A strong emphasis on – manadena – with respectful friendship will enhance our quality of preaching. This quality will earn us far more in terms of Laksmi, resources and support, than trying to maintain by short-term immediate results types of ‘sankirtana.’

If we put this into perspective of how our devotees fare in their spiritual lives without – manadena, we will notice that preaching with partial, half or a quarter humility does not engender long-term steadiness, attachment to the holy name or chanting, establishing deep friendship with devotees, and so on. Our outward preaching reflects our inward training and development.

If we understand where we can prioritise and focus more on quality over quantity, we shall have a bright and prosperous future, in which more and more people will want to be a part of. This is not new-age pep talk. It is not positive hype, or cutting edge managerial technocracy. It is ageless proven formulae based upon all-round humility recommended by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. Perhaps we can also realise that real humility is not so shallow and cheap either.

Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa


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    Sitalatma Das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    While contemplating the nature of vaishnava humility we can consider these quotes, too:

    “We should not become subordinate (nicata) to non-devotees, but to devotees, from whom we should beg mercy and show respect. The mahajanas instructed us not to display humility before everyone. To show humility towards envious atheists like Ravana and the pretentious brahmana is not vaishnave-seva or trnad-api-sahisnuna. If we transgress this instruction we will never become qualified to chant the holy name or attain name ruci; rather, our actions will result in becoming envious of them. Rama bhakta Hanuman’s burning of lanka is real trnad-api-sahisnuna.” (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati)

    “Humility means that one should not be anxious to have the satisfaction of being honored by others. ” (Bhagavad Gita 13.8 Purport)

    From these quotes it appears that humility of devotees is very different from humility of worldly people. Simply appearing humble is not enough for vaishnavas, there must also be absence of desire to be accepted and rewarded, and occasionally they must not appear as humble and inferior at all. Desire to make friends in itself is not vaishnava humility even if it’s very useful for preaching, it’s just a tool.

    An important condition for the transmission of knowledge is that the preacher must be accepted as superior. In the example case Lord Chaitanya asserted his authority by displaying humility, true, but He aslo emitted spiritual radiance. I wonder if assembled mayavadi sannyasis would have paid Him any attention if they didn’t clearly see the light emanating from the body of Mahaprabhu.

    On another occasion, with Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, Lord Chaitanya didn’t show any respect to Sarvabhauma’s views at all, and later, with the head of local Madhva mission, He was rather abrupt and dismissive and “broke the pride of the Tattvavādīs to pieces” (CC Madhya 9.278).

    Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati often established his authority not by display of humility but by arriving in a Rolls Royce, the vehicle just about as exclusive now as it was then.

    From Dandavats article on physiognomy of Srila Prabhupada it’s clear that he didn’t project an image of someone below a blade of grass either – “Some have even compared his appearance to that of an Egyptian pharaoh.”

    Proper humility in preaching is a multifaceted concept. It’s the fidelity to guru and Krishna that counts as humility, not how it looks on the outside.

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    Kesava Krsna dasa ( User Karma: -8 ) says:

    Aprt One:

    Sitalatma Prabhu,

    I agree with many of your points. However, one standard does not fit all, or will not work everywhere. For instance, the Rolls Royce example accorded to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta did not meet with approval in 1974 when Srila Prabhupada visited Melbourne – if I am correct about the place.

    Srila Prabhupada lectured at the local university there. The rowdy students were not impressed with the combination of supposed spirituality and yukta-vairagya. On the way out from the hall some students began to kick at the luxury car he was travelling in. Srila Prabhupada remarked that henceforth he should not conduct ‘open’ programs like that.

    Earlier the same year in Paris, Srila Prabhupada met with similar objections to his wearing of gifted jewelry and his elevated seat. Traditional forms of acknowledging ‘superior’ personalities were rejected by more rowdy students at a university there. This doesn’t say much for us being “superior.”

    As mentioned in the article, what passes for humility in the east does not do so in the west. Preachers have to adapt. It should be noted that one who has genuine humility also has nistha, which is a satisfying and happy situation. Seasoned devotees with steadiness also exhibit self-assurance and confidence. People will already detect something ‘superior’ in them, if that is what you are trying to say. But be reminded, that this is brahma-nistha and tad-vijnanam. There is some genuine ‘weight’ there.

    To present a ‘superior’ front without such weight indicates that one will have to use the mode of passion. If while ‘humbly’ doing the bidding of the guru, yet exerting ‘superiority’ postures, then this is not full humility. Sri Hanuman could evince the entire weight of the creation, let alone possess brahma-nistham and tad-vijnanam. We cannot imitate.

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

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    Kesava Krsna dasa ( User Karma: -8 ) says:

    Part Two:

    This best way to exert ‘superiority’ as you say, it is to simply be ourselves, and allow the super weight and superiority of Sastra to exert itself. That way, people will naturally detect something superior. We are not the doers. Another reminder is, that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta never has to display ‘superiority’ as you claim. No. He was his transcendental self, that’s all. He exuded natural brahma-nistham and tad-vijnanam.

    If we try to be ‘superior’ in order to preach, then this imitation will rather douse our spiritual stamina and endurance, because it will fizzle out eventually, without ruci or taste. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta did not have to “establish authority” of presence. He already is. So how can we do that, without proper weight and wisdom? We’ll simply be imitating.

    Without the required weight and deep wisdom, yes, we shall try to be ‘superior.’ But that is not the objective of preaching, which is to ATTRACT and bring lost souls back to the lotus feet of Their Lordships, who are the attractors for everyone. In doing this, our need to make friends, is for Srila Prabhupada and Iskcon, and not for ourselves. It has to be done selflessly.

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

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    scooty.ram says:

    Could you please elaborate on “Srila Prabhupada lectured at the local university there. The rowdy students were not impressed with the combination of supposed spirituality and yukta-vairagya. On the way out from the hall some students began to kick at the luxury car he was travelling in. Srila Prabhupada remarked that henceforth he should not conduct ‘open’ programs like that.”
    Did Srila Prabhupada meant to say He will not speak such way and change the way/tone He spoke or He will not address a certain crowd?

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    Praghosa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Srila Prabhupada’s engagement at La Trobe University in Melbourne was like a repeat of the unpleasant incident with the radicals at La Salle Pleyel in Paris. It was, again, a large, free-admission audience of students, and again the disciples had prepared Prabhupada a standard vyasasana. Devotees held a kirtana onstage and introduced Srila Prabhupada, who began speaking very basically about the distinction between the soul and the body and about how this education is required for all people. But after no more than ten minutes, a young man in the audience stood up and began to shout profanities at Srila Prabhupada. “And how do you explain your Rolls Royce?” he added.

    The audience, which had been quiet until the interruption, now became noisy and restless. Three of Srila Prabhupada’s more aggressive disciples left the front row and went to the back, where the man was shouting. Meanwhile Srila Prabhupada stopped speaking and sat tolerantly, waiting. The shouting stopped, and he began again. “As I was explaining, in material life we have been changing from one body to another. This is not a very good condition of life. Nobody wants to die, but he is forced to die.”

    After five minutes, the abusive language again broke out. This time Srila Prabhupada’s three disciples pushed the shouters out the back door. In the fight, one of the students pulled a knife from his boot, but a devotee disarmed him.

    The atmosphere inside the auditorium was tense, and many people were talking loudly. Some got up to leave. Madhudvisa Swami, taking the microphone, pleaded with the students to remain calm and continue hearing from Srila Prabhupada. Some students in the audience seemed on the verge of violence, and the devotees feared for Prabhupada’s safety. But Prabhupada was willing to continue. He called for questions.

    Student: “I am a Christian, and I would like to know what is your opinion of Jesus Christ.”
    Srila Prabhupada: “We respect Jesus Christ as you do, because he is representative of God, son of God. We are also speaking of God, so we respect him with our greatest veneration.”
    Question: “You are a son of Jesus too?”
    Srila Prabhupada: “Yes, I am a servant of Jesus. I don’t say I am Jesus.”
    Question: “I want to know if you have the power of Jesus?”
    Srila Prabhupada: “No, I have no power of Jesus.”
    Question: “Well, I’ve got the power of Jesus! [Laughter.] Because I’m a Christian.”

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    Praghosa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Srila Prabhupada: “That’s all right. You are Christian. We are Krsnian. It is practically the same thing.” (Laughter and applause.)
    Student: “I have one other question. I believe Jesus is coming back, and not Krsna. What are you guys going to do when you see Jesus?” (Laughter)
    Srila Prabhupada: “When he is coming, welcome. We shall welcome. It is very good news that Jesus is coming.”
    Student: “Jesus had no reputation. He wore sandals and was crucified between two thieves. And your spirituality is on a Rolls Royce and a padded seat, and you’re all into money-you Krsnas, you want money.”
    Srila Prabhupada: “I don’t want money.”
    Student: “And you say violence is violence, that’s what you believe. Jesus turned the other cheek, and he expected his followers to.” (Applause.)
    Srila Prabhupada: “This Krsna consciousness movement is not a sentimental religious system. It is science and philosophy.” Prabhupada explained that understanding the science of God was transcendental to Christianity or Hinduism. The real goal was to learn to love God.
    Second student: “I have a question about Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti stresses that when you are speaking in the Western world, you should speak and present yourself as a Westerner, not as an Indian or as you would speak in India. Instead of sitting on a raised dais and dressing in the robes of a monk, Krishnamurti would say dress in Western clothes and sit on a chair. What is your opinion of this?”
    Srila Prabhupada: “Actually a God conscious person is neither a Westerner nor Easterner. So anywhere the devotee goes, as they receive him, he accepts. These devotees have arranged a raised seat, so I have accepted the raised seat. If they wanted me to sit down on the floor, I would have gladly accepted. I have no objection to this or that. But as devotees receive and give honor, that is good for them, because actually we should honor the Supreme Lord God and His representative. Nowadays it is different. Students are not learning to honor. But that is not actually the system. According to the Vedic system, the representative of God must be honored as God.”
    Another student (loudly): “Do you consider your movement the major form of enlightenment emanating from the United States today? What particular role does your movement play in the White House psychological warfare department? Will you be coming to our Fourth of July demonstration against the United States this year and take up the real political issues?”

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    Praghosa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Again many students began shouting. Madhudvisa Swami took the microphone. “I can answer if you like. Our movement is not from the United States. If you have some paranoia that everything is coming from the United States, well, that is your hang-up, not mine. [Applause.] And second of all, our spiritual master came to the United States to start this Krsna consciousness movement because he got a free ticket on the boat to go there. If you would have sent him a free ticket, he probably would have come to Australia first. So he is trying to spread love of God. He is not trying to start any kind of political movement. He is trying to spark a revolutionary consciousness. I think you are also interested in revolution. We are interested in revolution also. But we are interested in revolution which will help people to feel peace themselves, whether they are Communists or Marxists or whatever it is you like. We are trying to help people attain happiness whether they are-”
    Madhudvisa Swami’s remarks triggered the largest vocal protest yet. The commotion rose as students all over the hall began to shout. There was no possibility of a peaceful philosophical discussion.

    The devotees’ greatest concern became getting Prabhupada out of the hall unharmed. Prabhupada rose from his vyasasana and, escorted by his disciples, left by a side exit. A large crowd of students had gathered outside the door as Prabhupada emerged, but he entered his waiting car without incident. As he rode slowly through a cluster of students a girl kicked at the car with her booted foot. And as the devotees were getting into their vans students threw stones. Finally, as the devotees drove off the campus, they had to pass under an elevated walkway where some waiting students threw black paint down onto the vans.

    Riding in his car, Prabhupada was mostly silent, but he seemed disgusted. He said that in the future, he would only give lectures in classes where he was invited; no more wide-open lectures.

    >>> Ref. VedaBase => SPL 44: Let There Be a Temple

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    Sitalatma Das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So many lessons to learn from that university episode.

    It appears that next time Srila Prabhupada wanted his authority established BEFORE he started speaking so as not to waste time on petty arguments like the above.

    Without acceptance of the authority of the preacher there would be no transmission of transcendental knowledge – that’s the bottom line.

    It could be achieved by appearing friendly, humble, well-dressed, polite, dashing, intelligent, simple, sophisticated – whatever works. If something doesn’t work – change the format. Different strokes for different folks.

    If we can’t project authority on our own we can try to establish authority of our books or our tradition, this is recommended for all beginners, I believe. We can’t postpone preaching until we get fully infused with brahma-nistham and tad-vijnanam.

    Taking the clue from the article’s title – preaching with half humility is better than no preaching at all, and preaching with full humility is the best but sometimes we better keep our humility to ourselves and simply flash a Rolex to gain trust of our audience.

    Interestingly, we can develop humility only by devotional service, ie preaching, we can’t develop genuine humility by any external means and practices, it would come on its own as we make progress from whatever lowly platform we start from.

    I disagree with the notion that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati never had to assert his external superiority and simply remained his transcendental self. Of course he never lost his self and his brahma-nistham and tad-vijnanam but he also found it necessary to occasionally ride in a Rolls Royce, wear fine clothes and so on. This is indisputable.

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    Kesava Krsna dasa ( User Karma: -8 ) says:

    Thanks Praghosa Prabhu for filling in the information about Melbourne. Scooty Rama – it would be convenient to know your correct devotee name – posed a question on what or how Srila Prabhupada meant by not doing more ‘open’ programs.

    If there were devotees sitting with Srila Prabhupada after the mentioned Melbourne incident, who may have said more on the matter, then they would be the best to answer such a question. He might have raised the topic in further discussions. What is clear though, is that Srila Prabhupada said something in response.

    It indicated that he was willing to change or adapt to preaching challenges if necessary, and indeed he was flexible. He still continued to preach.

    Let us suppose that Srila Prabhupada had arrived at that university in a ramshackle banger of a car. That might have appeased those who accused him of wanting luxury and money. It would also have given others the impression that Iskcon was poor.

    Had Srila Prabhupada sat on a normal chair instead of a raised asana, that might have appeased those who banked on the outward poverty of Jesus. But then, other ruses are used to belittle ‘heathen and pagan’ ‘Hindu’ faith, as they see it.

    Point is, we cannot please everyone. Srila Prabhupada was kindly obliging the services rendered by his disciples. A rolls Royce was an attempt to please. But throughout whether he sat in a Rolls Royce or sat on a raised asana or not, Srila Prabhupada was he himself.

    Being he himself, full with brahma-nistham and tad-vijnanam, he naturally exuded ‘superiority’ by dint of his force of purity. If we want to be like him who possesses natural heaviness and superiority, without even seeking those qualities, then better if we develop those qualities through correct humility. Wasn’t Srila Prabhupada the most humble? That and his purity was the force, not any imitation that some of us might be interested in.

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

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    scooty.ram says:

    Thank you for the beautiful anecdote. It was a nice srila prabhupada smarana.

    “It indicated that he was willing to change or adapt to preaching challenges if necessary, and indeed he was flexible. He still continued to preach. ” I dont see any indication/change in the way Srila Prabhupada spoke in future.


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    pustakrishna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    When Gandhi, dressed in a mere loin cloth, entered into material circles, he also was criticized…and when Srila Prabhupad (both the former and the more recent) displayed yukta-vairagya, he also was criticized. What is criticism, anyway…and where does it spring from? If we could, with love in our hearts, perceive Krishna in everything and everywhere, if we had the quality of devotion, then what could we criticize? However, we are self-centric envious souls in this world, and thus lust and anger rule us, And, the question of indifference versus negativity was addressed by Christ in the Bible. I believe he indicated that it is better to react in some way, than to be indifferent. After all, those who came to the lecture of Srila Prabhupad in Paris or Melbourne…at least they came in the first place!
    These are all things to ponder. It is always best to feel that one is serving the Guru-Vaishnava when they are endeavouring to preach. Hence, we have nothing to prove, but only service to offer. These are things for us to ponder but we will never expect to have everyone, or even many, accept our philosophy or conclusions. Vaishnavas are very, very, very rare. We hope that we might, by Guru Gauranga’s mercy, someday, be counted amongst them. Hare Krishna. Pusta Krishna das

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    Kesava Krsna dasa ( User Karma: -8 ) says:

    Let us examine this ‘superior’ issue from another angle, that can hopefully lend clarity. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu devised tricks to try and attract people to Krishna consciousness. He assumed the role of a sannyasa.

    It is true to say that this sannyasa role was meant to enlist traditional respect for ‘superior’ asrama status and the qualified spiritualist behind that position. We all know that Sri Chaitanya was much bigger than the ‘superior’ sannyasa role He adopted for preaching purposes. We can say He adopted an external ‘superior’ social position.

    Of course, Lord Chaitanya’s danda and garments are eternally liberated devotees serving Him, but He taught us by example. Sri Chaitanya’s inner ‘superiority’ far outweighed the external sannyasa ‘superiority’ used to earn respect. ‘Superiority’ was used for preaching.

    A momentous difference lay in the Lord’s adoption of ‘superiority’ as opposed to our wanting to exert ‘superiority’ for preaching. The Lord outfitted the sannyasa order but He used it. For many of us, we do not fit the sannyasa order because it is bigger and weightier than us. It has happened that individuals did not have the inner weight to match the sannyasa order.

    This explains that even if any of us want to portray ‘superiority’ in preaching, then we had better qualify ourselves first – if that is the intention. As we have learned, a ride in a sparkling Rolls Royce on a preaching missionin the west can backfire, although the passenger, Srila Prabhupada is way bigger than an external Rolls Royce and related perks.

    To suggest that we have to become ‘superior’ without prior qualification is external only. Many devotees do not understand the real weight and substance of humility. Humility is strength, not weakness. If we do not have proper inner humility, we shall exhibit weakness propped by external ‘superiority.’ It requires an article to explain how humility is strength, and not weakness.

    These things should weigh on our conscience especially when we represent Srila Prabhupada, Iskcon and the vastly ‘superior’ path of Bhakti. What are we in comparison? How is our own ‘superiority’ going to present something so colossal? We need mercy, blessings and empowerment from ‘above,’ not our superiority. We need to change some of our ‘sankirtana’ methods.

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

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    Sitalatma Das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Maybe I’m missing something here but real humility lies in surrendering to guru and Krishna. It has absolutely nothing to do with how our body appears to other people – as friendly, intelligent, confident, humble, superior, inferior etc.

    If we think of ourselves: “I have enough strength to pull this off”, or “I have enough knowledge to take on that guy”, or “enough humility to impress everybody” then we are in illusion.

    If we think that we will not preach because we do not possess enough inner strength or intelligence than we are actually delusional. This is false humility.

    We should also always be clear about this – by taking to this preaching mission and by being accepted as messengers of guru and Krishna we become million times overqualified to project whatever kind of external superiority that is necessary

    Lord Chaitanya will supply everything we need to establish our authority – book knowledge, maturity, intelligence, friendliness, humbleness, golden Rolexes, iPhones, sannaysa sticks – those are all just trinkets meant to impress materially conditioned souls and induce them to hear His message..

    We cannot possibly compare their value with the value of acceptance of our efforts by guru and Krishna, and we cannot collect them elsewhere and then claim qualification to preach.

    Also, if we find that Lord Chaitanya supplied us with external qualities we cannot lay claim on them as our own, however great or minuscule they are, we should see them as precious tools of guru and Krishna. That would be real humility.

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    pustakrishna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Comments #12 and #13 are both brilliant in their own light. The fact is that we are not pure nor liberated souls, and we must follow the guidance of Sri Guru Vaishnava. Another instance is merely the chanting of the Holy Names. We may argue, “I cannot chant the Holy Names purely because I am not pure…therefore I will not chant the Holy Names.” No! We must follow the prescription. Sri Krishna is the Supreme Pure, and we are advised to take His Holy Names constantly. Similarly, we cannot present ourselves as complete knowers of the Vedas, as first-class scholars…but we are still pushed forward by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to present to others what we have learned or realized according to our capacity…remaining true to the Parampara. This is both an order to follow, and it is also supremely purifying for us.

    Another point…when Srila Prabhupad was presented with the idea of teaching formal approaches to book distribution, at least on one occasion (according to Praghosh – USA early respected book distributor) that each devotee has a Genius within in the form of Paramatma, guiding us along.

    Humility is a guiding principle. Surely, I am first to admit that the weighty position of sannyas should be commensurate with the dress. However, Srila Prabhupad gave many of us young men sannyas in the early days of the movement in order to preach Krishna consciousness on his behalf throughout the world. Householders and brahmacharis also did so, often without any consideration for themselves. From this we can draw some principles. If we can self-lessly serve the Vaishnava Guru, that is best, and all the good qualities (of the demigods) will follow. It is the ideal, which I know we can sometimes fall far short of. But, we must get up again, as a child learning to walk, and try again and again. We cannot abandon the fight, and all of Srila Prabhupad’s followers must be invited and encouraged to enter and re-enter the battlefield, as it were, even with wounds and scars of the kind only you can know personally.

    This article has stimulated much good discussion, amongst good-hearted bhaktas. Pusta Krishna das

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    Sitalatma Das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We are not pure and liberated souls, that is true, but there’s also a fact that anyone sincerely giving himself to the sankirtana mission becomes pure and liberated, even if for a few minutes.

    Every book distributor searches and longs for those few golden moments when material nature steps away and the mercy of guru and Lord Chaitanya shines through.

    Usually we are not pure enough to sustain this clarity for any length of time but at least we can get an idea of what real humility is, and many other things, too.

    Personally I don’t know what I am talking about here but I learned this principle from bona fide sankirtana devotees.

    Btw, I think denying this mercy when it’s flowing through you would be false humility, too. If the Lord wants us to become His tool real humility would be to accept it. Whatever He wants, we accept, we do not argue. There’s no higher principle than fulfilling Lord’s desires.

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    Kesava Krsna dasa ( User Karma: -8 ) says:

    Whichever way we choose to preach Lord Chaitanya’s message of Love of Godhead, whether with urgency and not so much quality, or whether with quality and urgency, these words taken from Lord Janvrin’s speech highlighting the need for banks to rethink their objectives, I think aptly apply to us as Iskcon as well.

    He said: “This has led to renewed interest in those who have for some time been arguing that a longer-term value-based – rather than solely profit-based – approach to business may be the shape of things to come…”

    Perhaps we in Iskcon can also adapt our preaching to ‘value-based’ mores, which pay much higher dividends over the longer term. Since we all depend on Laksmi, our usually short term methods of ‘sankirtana’ have caused immediate and reactive means of management that have no durability.

    For longer term goals, quality and patience are required more than ever. These ‘value-based’ strategies are necessary for us if we wish for a prosperous and successful Iskcon.

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

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    Sitalatma Das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Kesava Krisna Prabhu, I totally agree – it also takes real humility to accept responsibility for the long term future of ISKCON and our preaching mission and do not get swayed by miraculous bursts of transcendentality.

    Anyone who flaunts the rules in the name of Krishna is playing a very dangerous game and unless he is directly guided by guru and Lord Chaitanya it will end up rather badly.

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