January 21, 1999 VNN2892 See Related VNN Stories
Fear Is Not Helpful In Devotion
BY SWAMI B.A. PARAMADVAITI
EDITORIAL, Jan 21 (VNN) Future dangers will distract from present dangers. Fear is not helpful in devotion.
Recently we have seen commentaries which are quiet common in this world. Sometimes reasonable, sometimes imaginary, sometimes sensationalistic, sometimes simply prajalpa or indications of a gossip mentality. Many people in the world are worried.
What will happen to the world?
Kali Yuga is rampant. When all the Karma will come down? Well, for Honduras, it already came and wiped out the country in less then 24 hours, leaving only disaster, death and work for the survivors to rebuild, while Kali Yuga's conscienceless administrators steal from the donations sent for relief from abroad. A real disaster already fully manifested.
No need for Computers to save anyone. There is no electricity nor one light post.
What is the real problem? Grow food and share! Behave civilized and do not abuse others. Around all these needs human civilization has grown, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
Some "demons" have even shown great ability to give charity in the moments of utter despair. But when the Karma hits, charity will come too late. That is a fact. It is a gloomy future if we forget Krishna; if we forget Vaisnava unity and real kindness on a daily base. The disaster has already hit us if we cannot extend love to the world, what to speak of Vaisnavas, Guru and Krishna.
Earthquakes and tidal waves, YK2 fear, Ozone holes, poisoned foods from the radiation treated foodstuffs, and what to speak of Saddam and his cronies living all over the world in their government palaces. Get ready friends. Dig a deep whole, fill it with food and thousands of Duracell Batteries. Then, if it starts getting dark despite of the sun, run, go and hide your dark hole, shut yourself away from the outside world as if you and your precious stockpiles never existed. And, of course, you must get yourself a little missile launcher from the US army surplus to position in the entrance. You know, just to blow away anyone who may dare to approach you for help or to intrude your false security.
Let's face it. This is not following the lotus feet of ABHAY CARANARAVINDA. Be fearless by always keeping the lotus feet of Sri Guru and Krishna upon your head. Just like Srila Prabhupada's name indicated and his life confirmed beyond the shadow of a doubt.
There are other subjects, much more urgent that need attention. Like, for example, displaying to the world that Vaisnavism is a world religion which has something of utmost priority to give to the whole world. That is the pure holy Name of our beloved Nitai Gaur and Sri Sri Radhe Govinda. If these names are dispatched to a fortunate soul with the contagious Vaisnava love for the holy names, even only five minutes before his death, he may well be saved from the dangerous reactions of all his sinful acts committed in his life and receive shelter in a spiritual future.
We could try to show that Vaisnavas have been so fortunate by the contact with Guru and Hari Nam Prabhu, that they have broadmindedness, nonsectarian love for all living entities, true humility, appreciation for attempt of others to serve Krishna, and search the truth. In this way people all over could may be get the message that there is a lot to be gained by associating with Mahaprabhu's message and his devotees. Otherwise they will only conclude that Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Gorbachov are the real heroes of the days of Kali Yuga in the present century.
When he argued that India was a dependent nation to whom no one would listen, Srila Prabhupada was defeated by his Guru Maharaj Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada who instructed him to make the Guru and Mahaprabhu's order one's life and soul, regardless what the external conditions. Yes, in a moment of despair for a burning house even the antagonists are appreciated if they help carrying a water bucket. Get ready friends. Get ready for what? Get ready to give up these bodies at any moment and humbly think of the mercy from above. Do not think otherwise. Yes, we should definitely try to live a healthy, organic lifestyle. We should also try to work our gardens and sing with our kids the holy Name after dawn. We should kindly associate with softhearted, kind devotees to study with them the Vaisnava grantha. But we should not train on the shooting range.
We should not look this horrible Kali Yuga agent trying to fill our heads with filth and poison from the moment we switch on a TV. Even Sannyasys fell down just from watching TV. We should not concern ourselves about the big dangers Nostrodamos predicted or some other "Future teller". It has been one of the causes of the downfall of later so- called Vaisnava leaders to predict Bananas for Switzerland and keep arms stockpiled under temples. This is just another type of madness designed to just make yourself the most important.
If I can predict the future, then all I do and say, even if it is totally crazy, must become some incredible revelation for the world. This is the message between the lines. The old false ego creeping up. Be careful my friends. Yes be careful not to fall into any such trap of your mind or of the minds of others.
I want to die on the battlefield. I want to die preaching. "If you do not go on preaching you will all be hippies again." That was not a prediction of Srila Prabhupada. That was his diagnosis as the most experienced well wisher of all of us.
I want to die on the battlefield of this preaching effort. Let the wars, etc. come. They will not ask me whether they should come or not. But I already received my commanders order for all circumstances. Preach with example. Preach and practice. Foremost, try to love Krishna and his creation.
Computers may break down. That would just be some fun. Still the printing press is the Brhat Mridunga and the Internet has also great facilities too, but transcendental literature into the hands of those who need them; the whole world. If all that would break down? Well we will just go back to scratching this message on palm leaves so we may continue to follow our tradition and Gurus order. What would be the problem? Or we make recycled paper from all the garbage in our ashrams to hand print the Gita with vegetable dye.
And if we are meant to starve? Well, it would be the first time in my life that I saw a Vaisnava starve, even though I have worked in some of the poorest countries of the world for the last 25 years. Even today a computer or a car around here is something which can bring a crowd to appear just to look. And if we are going to be molested and attacked by the desperate public? Well that is already a danger in every big city of the world and many countrysides included. (Even in Braj Mandal such things have happened).
So let us create loving unity with those who surround us by preaching to them and by showing them how valuable all this is. This is what we like them to get, for free, with love from our hearts. That will be the only real protection against the masses, and now is a perfect time to cultivate this unity.
Seeing others as potential enemies is a very non Vaisnavas way of viewing other jivas. Surely not those in the line of Prahlad Maharaj. Therefore I request you my dear friends, do not be swayed by any fear mongering. Just be afraid of Maya. That is best. Then you will always be on the watch.
This preaching is not to show my own superiority, as some people misconceive it. Others even reached the opinion the proselytizing is some kind of a nasty puffed up mentality. This is the natural, 100% endorsed by Krishna, way of human communication. We always have to search the truth and share it with those who we get to talk too. Only impersonal consumer society may want you to think otherwise, fearful to lose a faithful consumer. In other words they are preaching against all other messages. Pure nonsense. Only Krishna Katha will bring all auspiciousness to the world.
If people think that others will be more Krishna conscious if we create a fearful atmosphere, I just do not agree. The world as it is, is already fearful enough. Whoever cannot get that message will only increase his egotism when he is getting scared. If we die preaching with love, that will be our greatest fortune. If we preach and no disaster comes to kill us, that will still be our highest fortune. And if we preach and all kind of difficulties appear?
Well then it is really a great chance to preach. Then we can prove that we have learned something and that we have developed maturity and spiritual advancement and thus show to the world that Vaisnavas do have a great treasure to give.The blessing in disguise, that is the way I perceive anything and everything and chanting more purely is the immediate blessing factor for the fortunate.
A joke in South America often told conveys that message: Lining up before Saint Peter on the door of heaven a few fellows waited for their interviews. First a bus driver was reviewed and granted entrance to heaven.Next a priest was reviewed and rejected. The priest protested: "Why is a simple bus driver granted entrance, while I , who serve the church my whole life am rejected?" Saint Peter answered:" While he was driving everyone was praying, but when you were lecturing everyone was sleeping."
Also we have another popular saying: Nothing bad comes without a good reason. Or nothing bad will happen which will not bring a good lesson or blessing. This is the way of God's creation and Srila Prabhupada made good use of it all the times. Two fighting devotees usually turned into another temple being opened somewhere else. Etc, etc. Let us preach with vigor and humility. Let us watch that our own bad character and grouchy moods do not make others unhappy in our surroundings. Whether you are a devotee living in a temple, alone, or with your family life will always be some kind of a challenge. Economically, ecologically and psychologically. Well that is why we received the holy Name; to be able to face all the difficulties as real gentlemen.
Simple living and high thinking. That is not a slogan, it is an instruction which you have to apply according to time, place and circumstance. I am sure we will see many surprises still in the near future which will reveal even further the kind mercy of the Lord looking after humanity by further exposure to the mercy of the pure Vaisnavas.
Do not forget the 1965 scenery. Nobody in the world even knew that Krishna exists. All that was changed by one person. Now his brothers are also preaching in many places and the sons and daughters of Srila Prabhupada are trying to fully grasp what they have received. That in itself seems to be an entire world of philosophical labyrinths.
Devotees are throwing arguments and counterarguments at each other, either glorifying some devotee in an exaggerated way or minimizing others totally thus distorting the tradition or siddhanta, or trying to put it straight again for others. As the Internet become the playground for heated condemnation as well as loving ovations, we can see how deeply Srila Prabhupada has effected many of us.
And it is no doubt the breeding ground for many more wonderful gifts coming towards the world from the Vaisnavas. This exchange will show both the drying up of the offense mentalities and the blossoming of the truth spirit . We will see as time goes by. But the
real issue is to be prepared right now.
Be prepared to remember the pure devotee and his loving message. Live it, give it, that you may not lose it all together.
Our real duty today is to help people into the world to become Krishna Consciousness, not just to focus in on other Vaisnavas from another missions over and over. If somebody is chanting the holy name of Krishna it can already be easily understood that Krishna will make any necessary adjustments Himself to help the faulting devotee in some way.
It is good those forums exist where everyone can read discussions concerning the philosophical understanding of the vaishnava siddhanta, but it is not a personal battle field to attack any vaishnavas in public.
Considering myself the smallest unworthy beginner in the science of Bhakti I have simply written down what has come to my heart being requested to do so by some devotees worried about future disasters announced by some souls in the contemporary Vaisnava world. No intention exists on my side to make anyone feel sad or unhappy about these points. Excuse me if that has not been accomplished due to the delicate nature of the topic.
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti
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