Chakra Discussions

Comment On Visnu-priya's Article

by Atul Krsna

Posted May 19, 2006

I first met the devotees when I was six years old. My parents were very open-minded people and we started to get more and more interested in Krsna consciousness. I have learned a lot from my time in ISKCON. I have many nice memories and made a lot of friends. As I became older, I met many gurus. In 1996 I first met Srila Narayana Maharaja. He was giving class on the Ramayana. I have always loved the Ramayana but I have never heard it told with such feeling. I was totally surprised, but definitely attracted. I got initiated by Srila Narayana Maharaja later that year, so did my parents.

Visnu-priya wrote that she had never heard any arguments with logic and reason from Srila Narayana Maharaja, only stories of Krsna and the gopis. And that Srila Narayana Maharaja's disciples said that he does this because we are ready now to "move on". And that moving on isn't about time. She also said that bhakti should be unmotivated and uninterrupted. And that we should "Deserve first. then desire....".

Now my opinion is that logic and reason can't be applied in stories about Krsna and the Gopis. These pastimes are more about the heart and not the head.

But apart from this point, I am surprised to hear that she has only heard him speak about Krsna and the Gopis, because I have heard many of his classes that dealt purely with tattva.

This movement of Krsna consciousness is like a school. There is so much to learn from our philosophy. Like in a normal school. We start with ABC's and then we can maybe write words and sentences. Otherwise not. I think "move on" means, that we come out of this stage of "Oh we are so hopeless and suffering" and actually do something about it. Moving on is definitely also about time. We need enthusiasm, greed and also patience if we want any progress in devotional life. And to develop these it might take some time.

I think Visnu-priya is correct when she says that bhakti should be unmotivated. But who has this kind of bhakti? The Gopis!

What is the goal of our life? To get this unmotivated bhakti, right? So we have our goal. We all want to go back to Godhead and serve Sri Radha Krsna. But how can we do something if we do not know our goal. We all deserve to go back to Godhead. If one says, "deserve first, then desire" then that's discrimination.

So I hope devotees will think about what they want and what their goal is in life. Maybe then they should consider "moving on".

Visnu-priya also mentioned that Jadurani prabhu wrote many quotes to discourage Aniruddha from reading Srila Prabhupada's books alone. That Srila Prabhupada's commentaries and purports are his instructions and thus that Aniruddha isn't "alone".

I think that the whole meaning behind "studying under guidance of a pure devotee" is that the pure devotee knows the meaning of these verses and also the meaning to these commentaries. Srila Prabhupada has given commentaries but still there are people misunderstanding them and so many misinterpretations arise from them. I'm sure no-one can deny that.

The books that were being distributed had the purpose to get the philosophy closer to the people. And that those people get interested in our philosophy. Those who are interested, want to know more about it. And so we again come to sadhu-sanga. I'm sure one can get something from studying Srila Prabhupadas books on one's own. But we can get even more by studying it under guidance of a pure devotee. So in that sense, yes, it is a waste of time. Because Aniruddha could have gotten more out of his time when he studied Srila Prabhupada's book under guidance of someone that understands and knows him.

Sometimes Srila Narayana Maharaja's word are taken in a negative way. I don't know Aniruddha's mom, but if I did, I would've asked her how she thinks about her meeting with Srila Narayana Maharaja.

Again, what is our goal? To go back to godhead and to develop love for God. How do we develop love for God? By knowing what relation we have with Him and to realize that relationship. How can we establish this relationship? By chanting our gayatri mantra's. Knowing this, was Srila Narayan Maharaja helping her, or trying to humiliate her?