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Dandavats, Skepticism, and Believing

Thursday, 28 October 2010 / Published in Articles / 3,536 views

By Kesava Krsna Dasa

I’m quite sure there are devotees who have been thinking of writing for Dandavats, but are concerned that their articles may get, “shot down” or “grilled” by our learned and discerning readership. It’s true; we have seen submissions by senior, learned and wise devotees, and no one escapes the scrutiny of our diverse opinions. Is this a good or bad thing?

If this sounds intimidating enough, then we can imagine how certain devotees feel when their own stories or realizations are subjected to extremes of opinion. When we see these extremes coming from our readership, what does this say about our society of devotees? Is this a sure sign of healthy vaisnava expression? Certainly, if we all thought alike, as some of us might expect, wouldn’t there be less to talk or write about?

For example, take Patita Pavana Prabhu. He is very senior and respectful, yet he has been on the receiving end more times than not, it seems. He has to defend the merits of astrology when applied to predicting future events and more recently, to the transmigration of Raghava to Ratnavali. The scepticism to his articles usually come from those claiming scientific or logical reasoning. Are these the balanced viewpoints that help keep our overall devotee reputation intact?

When our logicians and scientific minds do reveal scepticism they are seen as having less faith than the average layperson devotees. Is this true? The moon landing article certainly pitted the “faithful” layperson devotees against the scientifically more informed “faithless” devotees in debate. Such was the intensity evolving around the “absolute” or “relative” opinions of Srila Prabhupada on this matter.

This is another hot topic; how do we imbibe the “relative” statements of Srila Prabhupada into our own personal faith developments? We know he is a pure devotee, so do his relative opinions also come from the shelter of – daivim prakrtim – divine nature? (BG 9.13) If not, then anything Srila Prabhupada ever said about the moon landing, the 5th canto, and women’s issues and so on, will continue to surface without absolute resolve. Is this really a battle between faith and doubt?

We can also see how, a “logical” mind can categorically quote Lord Krishna’s words as a sloka, and irrefutably claim finality on a topic of discussion. We sometimes think of ourselves as absolute arbiters of truth. Everything we say or write is right. Does this type of attitude creep in to our discussions? I wonder if I am guilty of this myself sometimes. If so, there is reason again to doubt an absolute outcome for even the most unending on-going topics. I think we know what they are by now?

If there is little chance of reaching finality on any given subject, should it be left for Spiritual authorities or scholars to solve? Or would that make us readers redundant in having a say? There are subjects being discussed where either side can quote Sastra and the previous acaryas with great proficiency, and still end up with less than satisfactory endings.

But underpinning all of our comments and submissions are the emotional admissions. It is surprising how a few apparently innocuous words passing as comment, can affect moods and emotions. We sometimes observe how scientific or logical words often seem less emotional, or clinical and hard. The mentalities behind these are less inclined towards stories that pull the heart strings or that describe subjective experiences like the Ratnavali events.

When these emotional differences show, we can see why on the surface, that the clinical mood seems more distant or detached along with scepticism, and the soft-hearted readers appear more accommodating and believing, to the point of being gullible, as ascribed to by the sceptics. Is this hard and soft complex a worrying trend? Does this mean that the devotees are reluctant, disparate allies under the banner of Lord Chaitanya’s sankirtana mission?

Then there is the obligation of the editors of Dandavats to allow diversity of expression. Complaints are sometimes raised about publishing either side of the emotional scale. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t! I think most readers will agree, the balance is about right. Yet more readers might appreciate at least a modicum of dignity or decorum in our chosen words.

Learning from the last few years that this website has been running, we can see how quite widely diverse we are under the unity of Srila Prabhupada’s mission. This is a healthy sign. But I know too that this will be disputed by some quarter. It could be enough to say, that I am allowed my say, and everyone else is allowed theirs, within dignified reason of course. Since we’re all in this together, I’d like to finish off with something that Pusta Krishna Prabhu commented somewhere recently, that in spite of our diversity, we still, “love you all.”

Your servant, Kesava Krsna Dasa.


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    Kulapavana ( User Karma: -10 ) says:

    For any religious tradition to be taken seriously by people in general it must pass a lot of critical reviews – scholarly reviews, moral reviews, historical reviews, and scriptural reviews. Finally, there is also the practical review, from which there is absolutely no escape.

    We should not be afraid of such reviews but be should insist that they are performed in the most objective and professional manner.

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    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thanks to bring this subject matter up. Sometimes a good tune-up is necessary to see things in a better perspective.

    Yes we love in the end all devotees. But we gratify ourselves oftentimes into disliking theirs or regular people’s ignorance. In reference to our own selves, we don’t have or act as much as we could on the basis of knowledge. But we take pleasure in despising ignorance of others. This is the apaprent easy part of spiritual life. It is part of it. But it is not the only part of it. Vidya and avidya, right? Chasing or debating about other people’s ignorance is a good as long as it is does not remain simply a stiff camouflage of our own ignorance and lack of knowledge. It is so easy to follow “life in kali-yuga” and do like everybody else, to criticize and lament. But is this the real life devotees are meant to lead?

    Ignorance is the culprit and the preferred target of numerous devotees… with a subtle carrying effect to the point perhaps of even intolerance and almost hatred. Is this healthy? The question is asked. Personnaly, I don’t think so. When we go to extremes, we know within our heart that we have gone too far. Krishna within our heart indicates to us that we have gone too far and have become intolerant. Why? Because He is tolerant of so many things, all the time. And He does not want us to be intolerant. Who are we after all? We are actually just children. We play around with His diverse energies and we have so many false satisfactions, all based on mental concoctions actually (Bg. 2.55 mano gatan), having nothing to do with real bhakti. But we nonetheless think we are devotional. These are symptoms of still being impure. Our standards do not match with those of true elevated devotees. We are rather apprentices on the devotional path. And we allow ourselves to believe that we are advanced while we are not that much. When Sanatana Goswami met Lord Caitanya, he said to Lord Caitanya that people in general think he is a learned man, but actually he admitted that he is not because he does not know who he is and so many practical things about his own suffering, etc. In such a sober mood, he was quite eligible to receive the full mercy of Lord Caitanya Who instructed him afterwards. This humble, sober mood is most welcome and suitable considering our own condition. And if we are to write on, it should transpire.


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    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Let us not forget that we are still subject to conditionings and that some of these conditionings have nothing to do with Krishna consciousness. For example: in North America and Europe, the concept of freedom of expression is oftentimes put on the forefront by the media. But these media have their own low standards and business-business or political purposes to achieve. When they want to tarnish anyone, they take the means and do it without hesitation. Whether it is morally correct or not.

    But in devotional circles, freedom of expression is welcome but with proper control. It should be devoid of all kaitaba spirit , or cheating religiosity. It is subjected to vaishnava etiquette. It is meant to be put in the forefront by any decently established devotees in Krishna consciousness. Why? Because Krishna very much likes vaishnava etiquette. He likes it so much that most of the time, He abides by it when He comes. He shows us by His own example. Otherwise humanity without vaisnava etiquette is not on the level of spirit proper. So where does that leave us standing? We are no better than Krishna, and our position is to follow proper vaisnava etiquette. We are duty-bound to follow it, but under false idea of freedom of expression, lack of mind or sense control, ignorance, etc. we don’t really care until we have to learn the hard way that our writings and sayings are after all not very pleasurable, interesting or funny for that matter… and as a matter of fact do generate all kinds of “opposition and turmoil”. All of a sudden the “joyfully performed process of bhakti-yoga” as described in Bhagavad-gita (9.2) seems to disappear from our sight. Instead of being nectaraen, it turns out sour.

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    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And then we find ourselves running back to the shelter of Srila Prabhupada who, we know, was above all of these immature behaviors, we pray and we find ourselves back on our feet again by his causeless mercy, ready to await another kind of lesson from our practical application of the philosophy in our daily life. And this is going on all the time. This is our slow progress in life. We are slow pacers on the spiritual path. We are victims of kali-yuga in this regard. That is why we need so much to read and speak, discuss the books of Srila Prabhupad, in order to arise from our deep slumber of maya. For that purpose a site like Dandavats is a life-sustaining agent for our own advancement in spiritual life. We should never misuse this intended purpose. We need association of devotees as much as we need air to breathe.

    If we become puffed-up start-ups as Srila Prabhupada would describe, then we are going in the wrong direction, in the name of so-called advancement of knowledge. There is such a difference between us, aspiring devotees, and our maha-bhagavat Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada is our model to follow. He could be very demanding —making anyone of us feeling the lowest of the lowest— and at the same time he could be so much understanding, so much merciful and compassionate; and because of this very last quality, he was so expert in rallying all kinds of devotees around him, advanced or not. He knew how to treat everyone out of love, sometimes chastising and sometimes the other way around, simply praising or appreciating and thanking in earnestness. Nothing artificial, simply sincere, honnest Krishna consciousness under the inspiration of the moment, that is the inspiration of Supersoul.


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    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is the kind of mood that should transpire in the various articles published on Dandavats. A balance of knowledge, maturity, soberness, compassion, openness and respect. This is our wish. But we know it is a tall order. Devotees are not at all on the same level of realization, and it shows in their writings. So tolerance and understanding and etiquette are our safest bets for inspiring others about the beauty of Krishna consciousness on and from different points of view. Nothing matches with devotees being in the proper cooperative mood and when it shows that they do appreciate each other. This is what Krishna describes in the Bhagavad-gita 10.9, that devotees take great pleasure together in discussing His glories. He did not mention when they discuss (or doubt) their own abilities and dare to fight about their opinions. No, His glories. Then everything is worthy, it is perfect that way. It is glorification of the Absolute Truth. An activity that is cut-clear distinct from the mundane level train of thoughts. Sometimes it is also necessary to discuss material issues, but ultimately we are happy when we ever come back to the glories of the Absolute Truth because we are naturally, really meant to be in His eternal association along with all His parts and parcels, seeing them as eternal devotees through the eye of scripture. Ekatvam anupasyatah (Sri Iso, 7).

    Thanks Keshava Krsna Dasa for this article. It is a wonderful opportunity to tune up our appreciation of this wonderful sadhu-sanga facilitated by this worthy website,

    “Param satyam dhimahi”, ki jaya! Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

    Bhagavad-gita, ki jaya! Kartika, ki jaya! Long life to!

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    Akruranatha ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thanks Kesava Krishna, Kulapabvana and Prabhava Vigraha. An interesting and important topic.

    I very much appreciate Prabhava Vigraha’s emphasis on Vaisnava etiquette.

    We do not necessarily have to have the exact same opinion on everything. As the Krishna consciousness movement grows and develops and spreads throughout the world, I suppose a certain amount of diversity of views, methods, moods may begin to predominate.

    And yet there are certain things we have to all agree on. The importance of proper Vaisnava etiquette is one of them. Otherwise, the six kinds of exchange of love between Vaisnavas will be checked, and the whole purpose will be frustrated. Sankirtan has to be done in harmony, both musically and emotionally.

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    pustakrishna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As a young devotee of 22 or so in ISKCON in 1971-2, I wrote several pieces. I would send them to Srila Prabhupad as offerings. I remember one was about Bhagavat philosophy. Srila Prabhupad did not comment on the particulars of the piece, but I recall clearly that he gave encouragement to writing about topics in Krishna consciousness.
    Writing helps one potentially formulate their character, their faith, their commitment to spiritual life. The particular content may be more or less mature, as we would expect. I wrote a number of articles for the Back to Godhead magazine in the early 70’s that never made it to press. One did. It was on the last page of the magazine, entitled: “Don’t be a Victim”. It was about the choice that we all have from moment to moment…to choose Krishna or the illusory energy (of Krishna). The choice is ours! That was almost 40 years ago. It is like yesterday.
    Writing also helps us to transcend our own certain mundane mortality. What shall we leave behind after this brief sojourn through life? Writing helps us to express what we want to leave behind as a legacy. I know that, at least for myself, every time I write something in Dandavats, I am acutely aware of this. It is interesting. When you are young, in your 20s and 30s, you look to the future with hope…but when you reach my age (60), you are looking more at the end of the play more. It is so remarkable that Srila Prabhupad came to the West at age 70! His entire preaching mission in the West and throughout India, Africa, Australia, Europe, Central and South America, US, Canada, Pacific Islands, etc. took place after he was 70 years old. He did not retire. We have some Godbrothers now who have preached from their youth and seem to be at least semi-retired. They want to write…perhaps they too are contemplating their mortality. Still, I want to remind each of you, what Srila Prabhupad told me in 1976. We are just trying to become dear to Krishna, by teaching the bhaktas the science of surrender. That is everything…to become dear to Krishna is our goal. He is a Person, and we want to become dear to Him. There is no end to this brief essay for each of us…for we may, if fortunate feel some lalasmayi, some feeling however slight of separation, that we want Krishna. Let us pray to Srila Prabhupad to inspire us from year to year, from day to day, and from moment to moment. Pusta Krishna das

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    Puskaraksa das says:

    Thank you to Prabhava Vigraha Prabhu for his very interesting and elaborate comment which I fully adhere to. I do not find anything to add, except on one point.

    We are not only aspiring to discuss Krishna katha (kathayantas ca Mam nityam) amongst the society of devotees on Dandavats, but we are also discussing about ways to spread Krishna consciousness efficiently. In this way, not only do we draw some enthusiasm from the experience of others, but we also contribute, at times, to avoiding making wrong decisions or choosing lesser options in the way we organize Srila Prabhupada’s sacred ISKCON Movement…

    While cultivating the benevolent spirit of striving to contribute to the highest welfare of others by preaching Krishna consciousness in different appropriate ways and spreading the Bhakti cult efficiently, we all make progress, both individually and collectively, in becoming more and more dear to Krishna, as Pusta Krishna Prabhu highlighted it in his conclusion, recalling one of the many instances when he had the privilege of benefiting from Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental association…

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada !
    All glories to Sri Guru & Sri Gauranga !
    All glories to the assembled devotees !

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    KKDasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Prabhava Vigraha and Akruranatha Prabhus: Yes, I did omit to mention about vaisnava etiquette, though it could have been disguised beneath words like dignity and decorum. Since they are considered ornaments of vaisnavas, would that make some of our discussions on this site, not very well ornamented?

    I sometimes see senior devotees mildly chiding or correcting younger devotees in the comments section, where inappropriate words are used, or for dwelling unnecessarily in certain subjects for instance. The senior and junior ethic plays out, just as they do in a temple or community of devotees. We are family after all, is it not?

    Many devotees who have spent a good portion of their lives living full-time in the ashrama would have first-hand experience of the practicalities of vaisnava etiquette in action. It is easy to pick out elements who display in writing a lack of respect. And having been accustomed to daily classes and hearing, it is also easy to pick out philosophical errors or motivated items.

    We have senior and junior devotees, and indeed laypersons who participate with the Dandavats site, and the gulf of experience or the lack of it is palpable, so could this be something to deter our mostly senior veterans who may prefer – vijnana – related discussions or articles? I have been told that some veterans among us do not participate because of this dynamic. Do they want this site to become more “tame” as it were?

    But then, most of our readership will benefit in any case, from the invaluable contributions of our veterans, some of whom do frequent Dandavats. This is not to say that the elders cannot learn from younger devotees either, or be impressed by realizations and writing style, or be moved by sincere efforts to please our Srila Prabhupada and the rest of us.

    The fact that we have Dandavats – and we must give due credit for the editors – which is a website that is gaining in popularity, and is a major source of Iskcon news and articles, tells us that it is an important resource. I suppose it is part of the package to have such a wide diversity of subjects and minds apply themselves here, and we have to live with it. But there is always the wise counsel of seniors and learned devotees alike to balance things out when needed.

    Ys, Kesava Krsna Dasa.

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    KKDasa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Kulapavana Prabhu: I think most devotees acknowledge the need for critical acclaim from the scholarly and scientific fraternity. The discussions aired on Dandavats should help, but the overlapping with vaisnava sensitivities and the culturally soft “underbelly” might be a deterrent. Still, scientists and scholars also crave for peaceful coexistence among humankind, and if they observe how we deal with each other in dignity and respect, this should be an advantage.

    The scholarly tendency to surmise, and to lend symbolism to otherwise inexplicable subject matter also appears to clash with the age-old system of Sruti and Smriti acquisition of knowledge. This form of submission seems too effete by modern-day standards of enquiry. These differences of approach need not hamper any rigid observation of our attempt to implement vaisnava culture within society.

    It is granted that some of our scientifically minded devotees cringe at the level of “blind acceptance” of all things said and written in Srila Prabhupada’s books, and perhaps “seethe” at the ooh-aahs of subjective “revelation,” but they let their feelings be known politely, we hope. This hard-soft dichotomy is to be expected in any democratic dispensation. So how we interact in the face of this should be of interest to all. But this remains so wherever we have established community based projects; there are other levels of observation yet to be subjected to critical analysis.

    Pusta Krishna Prabhu: There is a common saying, especially for older people, that when they reach certain milestones in age – and in your case – being 60, it means that you are “60 years young,” not old. Being so young and thinking in terms of “end of a lifetime” is of course, humility or your part. With this “Calling all Scholars” entreaty, you are making a lot of us nephews and nieces feel like worn-out geriatrics. How about that?

    Ys, Kesava Krsna Dasa.

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    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thanks to all vaishnavas who took the time to read and comment on my writing on vaishnava etiquette; to all participants of this blog, I bow down with respect.

    It is my turn to express my agreement with Puskaraksa’s comment. Yes, it is essential to discuss how to gather our energies, organize them to preach with great enthusiasm in the service of the great sankirtan mission of Lord Caitanya. In this endeavor, we do need to feel everyone’s warmth and elbows, and concerted intelligence. I believe Dandavats is to some extent an agent for this purpose because it transmits the bits and pieces of transcendental mercy of the vaishnavas to one another despirte their being scattered in different locations on the planet.

    In one lecture of Srila Prabhupada, I was listening to lately , Srila Prabhupada was explaining how a devotee is a friend to all living entities. And Srila Prabhupada was asking the audience how is a devotee the friend of all living entities, how is that? He gave the following answer: because the devotee has surrendered to Krishna. He went on to explain afterwards that because Krishna is the friend to all living entities, therefore on His behalf the devotee is the friend to all living entities. Otherwise, it is impossible for anyone to be the friend of all living entities on his own. End of Srila Prahbupada’s explaination.

    This point is so important. It is a sign of true advancement in Krishna consciousness. When we have a whole number of devotees who are surrendered within and without to Krishna and who happen to be very serious and sincere into being sincere friends of all living entities (suhridam sarva-dehinam, SB 3.25.21) then no wonder that such vaishnavas are all connected by their single-pointed aim in consciousness: pleasing Krishna at all cost of self sacrifice, proportional to the extent of their respective degree of surrender. I believe that is the level of advanced madhyama-adhikarys are meant to come up to. When we can envision devotees who are strongly entrenched in Krishna consciousness, with a strong desire to please Guru and Krishna, Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, then we have devotees who literally love devotees [practiced into seeing in all entities, the divine nature of every spirit soul as part and parcel of Krishna], who see as much as possible, so many opportunities afforded by the human form of life to come to par with some higher level of God consciousness. …… cont’d

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    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Then life is really, nothing else than a golden opportunity to become Krishna conscious oneself and by the same token a natural sequence of desiring everyone else, without exception, to benefit from whatever possible advancement one more step forward in Krishna consciousness bestowed upon them by a sincere preaching devotee or the plain arrangement of Providence. This is the resolute desired vision of any true and true vaishnava. Sheltered in the footsteps of the acharyas, nothing can stand in the way of a devotee who is resolute in purpose to preach. All obstacles are by Krishna’s mercy reduced in their significance, so much so that a devotee is confident even if and when he is to take risks on behalf of the preaching mission. With the help of the internal energy of the Lord, everything apparently material can be used for the service of the Lord and so-called material situations can turn out to teach the devotee how to increase his/her own Krishna consciousness in the process. In other words, the material energy becomes spiritualized due to the sincere spiritual consciousness of the devotee. This is some meaning of chanting and seeing one’s life becoming sublime. No wonder such a devotee will love devotees who are “really into it, meaning Krishna consciousness”.

    As for Keshava Krsna dasa comment on his use of the words of “dignity and decorum”: yes, I did pick up from these words… that it was a golden opportunity to get into describing the importance of vaishnava etiquette as there seemed to be a need for it lately.

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    pustakrishna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Always remember that Sukadeva Goswami was junior in years to the other sages! In addition, Srila Prabhupad, although 70+ at the time, never treated us like children. He treated us like bhaktas, wise beyond our years, dedicated beyond our experience, and he gave us incredible responsibilities although we were in our teens and twenties. That is something to learn from.
    There was a rather famous psychiatrist from Britain during the 1960’s who wrote several books popular with the seekers of the time. One was the “Politics of Experience”. Anyway, we each have a slightly different experience to drawn from. I sometimes think that it is important to be a good listener. The reason is many-fold. First, when you listen to someone else, you acknowledge that they are important to you. (amanina manadena) Giving some honor to others makes them feel better about themselves, and they will attribute that good feeling to your affectionate manners. By giving others an ear, they will be inclined to hear from you also, because you have given them some of your time. It is as important in spiritual interactions as it is between a doctor and a patient. You simply cannot expect the same outcomes when you simply talk or preach at someone. The defense mechanisms of the person have not been lowered yet.
    I do not mean to make this a mere psychological exercise, but there is an art to life, and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gives us some direction how to live…trinadapi, etc. I do like the essays of Keshava Krishna das because they are designed to solicit responses which make us think. That is a good think in While no one bats 1000 (in US baseball, that means they never strikeout), KK das’s batting average is very high in my experience, and I continue to read his essays and like to read the many comments. They are intellectually interesting from a KC point of view. Haribol. Pusta Krishna das

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    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Pustakrishna, my obeisances and all glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    I appreciate all of your good points in reference to post # 13. I agree with them all.

    When I mentioned in one of my comments that we are like children. I refer that we are so small while handling the energies of Krishna. Krishna is so great, Who has created so many energies. It is so amazing. We are given the opportunity to handle them, and as Sri Isopanisad says, we have to be in the mood of isavasyam idam sarvam, while using them. Then everything is in the right focus. Just a little awe and reverence on my part. …..

    I beg to indicate a subtle point. There is a question of internal attitude of a devotee. A devotee who is awaken to the responsibillity of the human form of life, when he sees how so many human beings are not taking advantage of their human form of life for practicing Krishna consciousness, then he has choices to make in regards to trying to make his surrounding acquaintances Krishna conscious or not. If he doesn’t care that much, then nothing will happen. And if he cares, he can try to do something, beginning with praying for so and so becoming Krishna conscious — at least this is my concern for certain individuals, not many though, some specific dear ones. And of course all that you described in post # 13 comes into play, as building a relationship with anyone is never cheap and automatic. It takes time and sincerity of purpose inside and outside. But by the sincere wish of the devotee and practically by the higher potency of the Lord in the background, some changes can be seen by the devotee to take place in his/her entourage. He sees that the Lord is indeed making his surroundings a bit more Krishna conscious especially if such surroundings are regularly in touch with the devotee. This appears to us as the miracle of good association with a devotee. This is our humble understanding of what is meant that by watering the root of the tree, everything else is taken care of nicely. It is simply Krishna’s mercy, Krishna’s magic because of the sincerity of the devotee that some of his entourage can step forward one step at a time toward Krishna consciousness. That is the secret. No bhakta sincerity, no magic. It works hand in hand. The devotee is happy to see whoever he has preached to by his words or by his simple example become a little bit interested by the practice or the subject matter of Krishna consciousness. … cont’d

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    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It is the loving duty of such a devotee to encourage and nurture others’ devotional seeds if others have come to appreciate such loving care of such a devotee.

    Our wish and vision is that we need numerous devotees with such vision in this Krishna consciousness movement. Devotees who care for others within and without the movement. This will help in the “slowly but surely” spiritualisation of society in general.

    Thank you very much for your ever interesting inputs at Your ever grateful servant, Prabhava Vigraha dasa

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    pustakrishna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This response is for our dear Godbrother, Prabhava Vigraha das, a wonderful person and happy bhakta as I always recalled him. Regarding praying for the good fortune of others in Krishna consciousness, I remember Srila Prabhupad when thinking of George Harrison’s contribution to the Krishna consciousness movement, Srila Prabhupad said: “I am simply always praying to Krishna to give that boy ‘realization’.” In other words, Srila Prabhupad also appreciated the service of George and reciprocated in the best way, by appealing to Krishna personally to reciprocate with George. Mr. Harrison not only gave the Bhaktivedanta Manor building to Srila Prabhupad, he also helped to print, I believe, the Krishna Book. We of that generation also know how he incorporated the chanting of the Mahamantra into his song, “My Sweet Lord.” Prahlad Maharaj, one of the Mahajanas, great souls in whose footsteps we are encouraged to follow, also prays for all people. We have see this expression from other vaishnavas in the time of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
    With regard to the “internal mood” of a devotee: We are individuals and so we can expect different moods from practically everyone. However, I have found the following very helpful. It is important to avoid being self-centric. A self-centric mentality is sometimes considered to be part of so-called “self-realization”. But, self-centric spirituality may lead to an impersonal conception, a desire to merge into Brahman. Rather, we realize our true well-being by becoming Krishna conscious. In the seventh Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, there is a description of God as a great magnet, and the living entities are like iron filings. Krishna is the All-attractive Center of existence. The vraja-vasis of Krishna lila are only concerned with Krishna. The cowherd boys, when they walk into the mouth of Aghasura demon, consider that the “cave” they are entering may indeed be a demon’s mouth, and they then consider, “well, the demon may be able to kill us, but it cannot kill Krishna”. One of my early acquaintances in Krishna consciousness said something that helped. “It is not outside in, but rather inside out”. I found this a helpful way to become free from self-centric mentality.” Those who are outside in, will suffer more, and not be able to overcome the internal & external environment.” Pusta Krishna das

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    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dear Pustakrishna, obeisances and all glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you very much for sharing these realizations. It is greatly appreciated. Your humble servant, Prabhava Vigraha dasa.

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