The more and more I am spending my moments in Krishna Consciousness…by that I mean chanting, reading, associating etc, I am seeing a pattern.
The good thing is after 10 years of Krishna Consciousness, I still have some taste to chant and continue with a hope there is a future ahead of me that which is not shabby. This hope comes from my abilities to see Krishna as a person more and more. I have lot of impersonal tendencies as my realization of Krishna and guru-vakya is small or materialistic. Either way, at best, I project an impersonal frame of mind. However, the good thing in all of this impersonalism, I somehow kept the words of Srila Prabhupada as much as real and tried to follow in all circumstances. Of course…I do not try to follow everything Prabhupada said because I cannot but do take small and sure steps. Due to this effort over the years, my impersonal mind is slowly shifting to a personal God- Krishna…hence a ray of hope in the horizon that all is not just theory but actually there is light at the end of the tunnel.
What I have noticed is when ever I unconditionally (although seemingly difficult or impossible) follow certain instructions (I don’t do this most of the time as it is not easy) directly in accordance to the parampara conclusion, I immediately get an assurance that what I did was correct. Now…I do not know the source of this assurance…it can be the supersoul or just my own mind. Either way…this assurance comes with happiness beyond mundane happiness and my realization of Krishna shifts to his personal features thus giving me joy.
Hence, my faith becomes stronger that Krishna is a person and not impersonal. All of my problems are due to the impersonal understanding of the Lord. Hence, I am lazy or inattentive or just purely arrogant to the point of un-submissiveness. This happens in chanting, deity worship and association to name a few…what to speak of my character in my work place!
In spite of all the faltering, I learn that following the eternal words of guru makes or breaks my devotional life. I also learn that to fulfill those words, I need faith. A faith that is not from a material source such as my mind and intellect but faith from a spiritual source. This faith comes through serious and committed bhajana and mercy of Krishna.
My internal journey continues from material to spiritual…however this journey will be my life teacher to take me to Krishna…or at least I hope. I use the same formula of faith in guru-vakya in my personal life, in my Krishna Conscious life and career life. In the execution of this formula, change is inevitable. I have to change the way I see this world in a fundamental way. I have to change the way I give importance to how I see the world and start to see (put faith) the world the way guru sees it. This is not easy as how I see the world…I have first hand realization but the way guru sees, I have but just a theoretical understanding. So now I am left with a choice between choosing my personal realization of the world versus choosing the words of guru. This choice to make is straight forward but not easy.
For example, a vaishnav should feel and be humble in all circumstances. This is the word of guru and Krishna. The source of humility is not self-denial or low self-esteem, in other words, not from a loser attitude. Vaishnavas are not losers but rather winners in all circumstances. So how then to remain humble as per taught by guru. Humility is a natural by-product that comes as a result of taking shelter of the Supreme Lord. I will be humble if I let Krishna call the shots…whatever it may be in a mood that Krishna knows best and He is the Supreme master. He is my eternal well-wisher. If I have strong faith Krishna is in control and not I, then I will automatically take shelter of Krishna in all circumstances. In this mood, when I preach Krishna consciousness to others, my primary mood will always be how to take shelter of the Lord at all times so He can give me the appropriate intelligence to speak properly that fits the audience. So really…in one sense I do not need any extraneous modern management techniques to preach. I need only one thing – to sincerely and honestly pray to the Lord to give me the desire to always be His instrument and proper intelligence to deliver the message. Rest assured, to the degree I do this putting faith in Krishna’s ability I will succeed in any endeavor be it mundane or spiritual.
I am reminded of the Jaladuta prayer where Srila Prabhupada prayed to Krishna in this fashion
Somehow or other, O Lord, You have brought me here to speak about You. Now, my Lord, it is up to You to make me a success or failure as You like.
O spiritual master of all the worlds! I can simply repeat Your message, so if You like You can make my power of speaking suitable for their understanding.
Only by Your causeless mercy will my words become pure. I am sure that when this transcendental message penetrates their hearts they will certainly feel engladdened and thus become liberated from all unhappy conditions of life.
How simple is this…to just take full shelter of the Lord. It may seem idealistic...but I think it is a matter of sincere faith. This is the lesson I learn. I can make it practical only if I actually have deeper faith. But yet…this simple instruction seems beyond my scope or perhaps I do not put faith…surely my journey continues!