Comments Posted By Mahatma das
Displaying 1 To 10 Of 17 Comments
Your points are well taken and are true, but are half of the equation. Who does Krsna manifest his mercy to? One who is anxious to get it, one who is determine to find it, who “qualifies” for it, who reach out for it, all of which takes a great level of commitment and determination. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati explains.
āUnless we extend our best efforts earnestly, and qualify ourselves forthe Lordās mercy, it is next to impossible that we can be rescued from our fallen condition.ā
So what you say it indeed correct but it needs to be balanced with our effort. Either faith only in our own effort, or complete faith in mercy without effort are imbalanced approaches, imho.
The Avanti Brahmana says, “I will cross over the ocean of nescience.” Why is he affirming this? Because the process works and he know if he follows the process he will be successful.
BTW, many devotees have told me the mantra, “I love to chant, I get to chant and I want to chant” have altered their approach to the holy name. Negative psychology can have negative impact on chanting.
I am very aware of the dangers of modern psychology in its putting emphasis on ourselves as the doer and our need, as devotees, to be well aware that Krsna is the one helping us do everything. But he reciprocates according to our need and desire. So when we say I enthusiastically chant the holy names, we can see this as a prayer saying, Krsna, help me to enthusiastically chant because this is my desire.
Comment Posted By Mahatma das On 05.07.2014 @ 23:33
I have written an article - and sent it to be posted on Dandavts - in reply to your concerns. After reading the articles, if you have still have an concerns or doubts, I would be happy to discuss them with you.
Comment Posted By Mahatma das On 17.06.2014 @ 07:11
I will post something shortly in reply to Citra’s concern that will elaborate on this topic, and I think you find it interesting.
Nice point by Jung. I make this point in my reply. And I have much personal experience that you can’t solve a problem by repressing or suppressing it.
Feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on skype if you would like to discuss this topic further.
Comment Posted By Mahatma das On 11.06.2014 @ 06:02
If that is your assertion, I would ask you this? If we help a devotee deal with a personal problem in a way that helps them better serve Krsna and become more Krsna consciouss, and what we say is not against dharma, is that not Krsna consciousness?
Comment Posted By Mahatma das On 11.06.2014 @ 06:52
I believe the counselor has done their job well. In other words, we judge by the results.
In Iskcon, there is ample education available in sastric study, in learning our philosophy well, much more than there was 25 years ago. Because of this, I decided to focus my writing and teaching more into helping devotees deal with personal issues that may be keeping them bound to lower modes of nature. So although I understand your concerns, my purpose is more to offer solutions to some deep seeded problems than to present sastric evidence for the solutions. If sastric education were not as widespread in Iskcon as it is today, I think I would be reluctant to use the approach I am using. But today devotees are well educated in sastra but not so well educated in material areas of their lives that affect their Krsna consciousness.
Maybe this sounds deviant to you, wrong, not in line with parampara, etc. But again, I see a strong need to counsel devotees to deal with wrong ways of thinking, behaving, etc. as there is a lack of this kind of education in Iskcon. So I have deferred to this approach, because as I said, I see it works and I see there is today in Iskcon abundant sastric education available and I would like to offer specific education that I believe is also important and necessary in order to properly apply what we learn in sastra.
I understand that this may not appeal to you, or to some other devotees, but again, I have seen positive results, and if I were not getting these results I would not continue to teach in this way.
Also, many of my articles are taken from letters that are written in the course of my counseling that deal with specific issues that a devotee is dealing with and I understand these discussions may not be relevant or valuable to all.
I sense that you may feel my answer avoided your question of where this is all coming from and didn’t offer valid reasons for not quoting more sastric references. It is coming my study of Vedic psychology, human nature, many of Prabhupada’s instructions in his letters, and of course his books.
But one question I wish to ask you is this: Did you find the article at all helpful for you or potentially to someone else, or are you politely saying this is all a bunch of “new age” (I guess you mean non Vedic) stuff that we should keep far from Iskcon because it has no basis in sastra.
Comment Posted By Mahatma das On 11.06.2014 @ 06:50
The article actually started out as a letter to a devotee that was dealing with feelings of guilt at not achieving his goals and the repeated failures he was experiencing in trying to follow regulative principles. This resulted in a the lack of confidence and lack of enthusiasm that comes from focusing on one’s faults rather than one goals.
In writing him my focus was to help him specifically deal with this issue, which the letter and subsequent article that came from it seem to do. And most of what I am writing now is based on common problems that devotees write me with asking for solutions. So the nature of the kinds of issues I am dealing with most often require an approach that helps devotees deal with deeply rooted conditioned behaviors, which doesn’t usually require the extensive reference of sastric verses as much as it does helping devotees penetrate more deeply into the influences the modes of nature, and their acquired psychology, are having on them.
I understand your concern about this, but I am not clear if what you are saying is that my article is against our siddhanta or not, or just that you are not sure if it is and would want to see references. Or are you just saying that if I don’t quote sastra then I have no basis for what I am saying.
Prabhupada and Krsna have spoken about being envious of oneself, and Isopanisad refers to material activities being against one’s self interest thus us acting as one being a killer of the soul. If you want a more Vedic perspective we are talking about psychological symptoms manifesting from the mode of ignorance such as depression, self hate, etc, which are alive and well in the hearts of many devotees today. Dealing with such deep rooted problems requires much more than sastric references, in my experience.
It is kind of like helping a couple sort out problems. You can quote sastra of how and husband and wife should be, but I haven’t see this work well. What is most often needed is a change in attitude, taking more responsibility for the success of the marriage, etc., attitudes that might be inherent in the sastric instructions on marriage, but all too often don’t get assimilated unless devotees look at deeper personal issues that are creating marital conflict. So if a devotee counselor is able to helps a couple improve their marriage, even without much sastric reference to do so, because she things specific issues of behavior must be dealt with,
Comment Posted By Mahatma das On 11.06.2014 @ 06:44
Very nice points. We should never limit the power of bhakti.
Devotees sometimes believe the power of bhakti is limited by their own disqualifications. Of course, our advancement will largely depend on how well we apply the practice and process of bhakti in our lives. But our disqualifications have no bearing on the level of purity we can achieve if we follow the process well. Our advancement comes ultimately through mercy, not through our endeavor, but Krsna reciprocates with our endeavor. And bhakti, and the mercy we get from practicing bhakti, is purer and more powerful than any of our impurities.
Comment Posted By Mahatma das On 04.07.2013 @ 10:12
Yes. Bhurijan Prabhu once said tolerance is the essence of humility. The problem is we think the universe centers around us.
Comment Posted By Mahatma das On 22.05.2013 @ 14:16
Interesting that the only reference to obtaining heaven was through spreading the word.
Comment Posted By Mahatma das On 31.12.2012 @ 21:54
It is also interesting how we sometimes think Krsna creates pain, when factually, we create pain for ourselves.
Comment Posted By Mahatma das On 26.11.2012 @ 13:28