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Meditations on Power and Passion and their interrelationship Part 1

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What follows is my inspired writing flow, sometimes called free writing. I offer it to you in the service of Krishna and his devotees. I take a bit of risk here as it will not appear conventional, yet as I have said, all good communication is inspired. So if this writing was inspired and my aim was to be a better person and go deeper into Krishna consciousness, then this writing will have value for some----certainly for me! See it as food for thought and discussion as we live in the world of relativity and aim for the world of Krishna’s light and love, where everything lives for him and his service. I write not as a pure devotee, but as a Krishna devotee dealing with the world and trying to remember and serve Krishna in the midst of that.

I have chosen topics which are important to me, and which I hope you will also resonate with. Please note that in the devotee world, the word “passion” usually has a negative connotation, as in the material quality or “mode of passion”, but I am using it here as is frequently used in the world as “enthusiasm or inspiration” etc. On Dictionary.com only 3 of the definitions give lust or sexual desire as a meaning, and it should be obvious that I am not using it in that way. Therefore if I say someone is “passionate” about their service, I mean it in a positive sense of being energetic and enthusiastic.

(Spirit is the Source of Power)
Power comes from Krishna
Power is a gift
Knowledge is only potential Power
Acton based on Knowledge is Power

Power is Life
Power is both potential and manifestation
Power is meant to be utilized
Unused power causes depression

The proper use of power
can be realized when
one understands its' spiritual source
and uses it for that purpose.

Power can be constructively
and consistently used
through the focus
of Passion.

Passion is focused Power

Passion is Life
because passion is needed
to accomplish worthwhile
and lofty goals.

Life without Passion
is an undirected
life with
no energy.

Life without Passion is stagnation.

We can only separate real Power
and Passion in writing about them.
You can’t have one without the other.

It can be said that Power
is potential and Passion is
the direction of the potential,
yet when intense passion is present
one’s potential expands.

Passion is nourishment
to bring forth the
fruit of ones’
karmic purpose.

Passion is energy.
Passion is love in action.
Passion is one’s heart desire.

Power is the seed of Passion.
Passion is the positive fruit of power.
Power without Passion is a huge weight.
Passion calls forth Power.

Power is the egg,
Passion is the
fertilization of the egg—
potential made manifest.

Power is the locomotive,
Passion is both
track and the train.

Power and Passion have a synergistic relationship.

Combined comments from old site

Wed, 07/23/2008 - 04:42 — Lilia
Passion and Power

Hare Krishna

When I read your poem, this is what I thought about.

Krishna's desires, being of the nature of Supreme passion, completely supersedes the passions of all beings. How can anyone contend with His passion? One's passions are not enough to bring about any sort of empowerment. I am learning this the hard way. A living entities passions will be subdued by His overarching Supremacy. As the Supersoul, He is free to dictate to the hearts of everyone. So, if Krishna doesn't want others to reciprocate with you in order to bring about the actualization of the empowerment of your passion, then what good does it do to try? Every attempt will only end in bitter frustration.

A pure devotee will attract the conditioned souls to Krishna by virtue of the Supersoul. Krishna will clear all paths for His pure devotee, actualizing the passions of the pure devotee to engage in His devotional service by way of empowerment. Krishna is the power. But, this is because the pure devotee's passions and that of Krishna's passions are one and the same. This is why it is said that you can tell how pure a devotee is by how good of a touchstone he is. The more pure, the more his passions are in line with that of Krishna's. The result of course is that the devotee walks around constantly awash in the dust of Krishna's lotus feet. As such, he is an instrument for the manifestation of Krishna's power.

Sometimes devotees are put in great difficulty and it would appear that Krishna is not favorable to them. But, we see that this is simply Krishna's mercy upon them. Look at Queen Kunti or the Pandavas or Prahlada, etc. Arjuna's passions on the battlefield of Kurukestra ran completely opposite to that of Krishna's when he declined to fight. But, this was all an orchestrated illusion by Krishna himself, in order to bring about
the Bhagavad-Gita. Of course, a pure devotee is always under
Krishna's capable hands, even when he appears to be in illusion.
In reality, he is not and cannot ever be at any time in illusion,
because he is a completely surrendered pure devotee. But, this is a very high level.

In the meantime, in looking at our passions, we must learn to
dovetail them in Krishna's service. I have been having difficulty
doing this, finding that my passions are giving way to what you
call "depression" due to remaining unfulfilled. The topic of passion and power has lead me to a deeper understanding of my state. As such, I am indebted to you.

Wishing you well,
Lilia


*Reply*

Wed, 07/23/2008 - 07:29 — Karnamrita.das
Going deeper and deeper to the core

Thanks Lilia for your very thoughtful, insightful reply, which was your own inspired writing. I really appreciated it. I am happy that through writing about the topic you discovered more about yourself. Such is the importance of reflective writing.

Thinking is nothing but the process of asking questions and you have thought well. Someone writes, and you ask questions. What was the writing getting at? What can I learn from this piece? Do I agree or disagree, or is it some of both? If I disagree is it a knee jerk reaction, or a thought out response? Although I may disagree at first, is there a way it could be true also? The deeper we go into spiritual life, the more gray, or as I like to say, the more multicolored it is.

Over the course of my life as a devotee I have been of many mind sets. Living in the Temple as a young inexperienced person, I didn't generally consider my own needs. Of course, I found out early that my withdrawn nature was not favorable for books distribution, so I gravitated to Deity worship and cooking which remained my main service for 9 years.

When when I first moved out of the temple and had to work a regular job, my whole life unraveled and I had to face my personal growth issues and decide "what I wanted to do when I grew up"---so to speak. It was a difficult, though eventually very rewarding time, when I was search for to reclaim my power----another counseling or New Age term, though I have found it useful. Growing up, the message I received from my father was that if you assert yourself you get a slap, i.e. pain, so I built up a protective wall to keep out the pain, and I developed a default setting of indifference toward life and relationships. This masqueraded as detachment in the Temple, but was based not on spirituality but material survival. I have written about this in my bio, but bring it up in relationship to this topic.

In my later years I had to learn to trust my inner guidance, and that I could accomplish things I set my mind to. I would become depressed when I wasn't using the gifts that Krishna gave me. For me I am a communicator, teacher, writer, visionary, healer, and when I am doing those things I feel empowered and happy. Using those gifts is called our "mission" in my book, in conjunction with the service of Shri Guru and Gauranga!!

Although certainly Krishna is the source of all power and the real doer, we do have a responsibility to manage our energy. We are not pure devotees, yet we are trying to be, and even though our motivations are often materially motivated, Krishna is working in our lives to help us actualize our "mission" in his service. We try something, and he reveals if we should continue or change course. Sitting on the fence is not usually very helpful as a life strategy in the name of depending on Krishna---I did that for a long time. Using my power and finding my passion has my study and endeavor for over 25 years. We have to go from religious theory to practical application---which takes time, effort and prayer.

How can we live in the world and remember Krishna and see everything in relationship to him? How can we use our power and passion for the highest good of all---and as you said to dovetail our nature with Krishna's plan?

Krishna has given us power and ability, and it is part of our job to figure out how to best use it, considering our psycho-physical nature and our service to him and the devotees. We are not ultimately the body, yet we have to take help from it for service and our occupation. That means we have to know our strengths and weakness and act accordingly. At the same time we have to know that with Krishna's help our capacities can grow and we can do more than we ever imagined! We can aspire to be possibility thinkers, on the path of full surrender (sharanagati).

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


Wed, 07/23/2008 - 03:09 — Navasi
Passion

Dear Karnamrita,

I really like this and I understand what you're saying about the positive passion, or heart felt enthusiasm for serving Krishna. Passion and enthusiasm for service are really essential. It is power also, as you said.

The distinction you're making in saying that you are not referring to sexual passion, I understand.

However, it occurs to me, when I read this, that this passion you're speaking of is actually sexual desire channeled in a spiritual direction. (I mean on the energy level).

That is the force that drives creation... and if we are not yet totally pure then wouldn't this passion for service come from that source? (at least to some extent?)

Yet, because it is being channeled and used to serve Krishna, it is therefore not a part of the mode of passion at all.

Would love to hear your comments on these thoughts.

: )
Navasi


*Reply*

Wed, 07/23/2008 - 10:51 — Karnamrita.das
Energy transformation

Passion, anger, intensity, inspiration or any emotion is energy, and it is up to us to use it constructively in the service of worthy goals and service to Krishna. Yes, you are right about the creative energy, it does have many applications, positive and negative, though the source is the same. It could be sexual, or for some other creative endeavor.

Now don't jump to conclusions here, but it is interesting that a best selling motivational author (Napoleon Hill) has studied all the important successful men he had met. According to his analysis they were all highly sexed (read creative energy)----not that they were immoral, but they had an intensity, an attractive energy or charisma, and strong sense of purpose. That is of course in the material field, but how about in spiritual circles?

If we study Prabhupada or great spiritual personalities of the past or present, they had an intensity about them without ego and sometimes a gentleness within the power. It is very different from ordinary successful people of the world. The great devotees are spiritually empowered, though it sometimes manifested in what looked like material resources----people, money, properties, etc., though of course for a completely different purpose. The creative energy was the same for both groups, though it had a different feel, and a different intention was directing it. Perhaps we could discuss that?

Personally, I am a very peaceful, mellow person--so much so that people in the store often comment on it. People relax around me and feel more peaceful. That is nice, yet it has been a big frustration for me when I wanted to accomplish things. I had to learn that I am not a big manifestor like some, so I have generally done better adapting to circumstances. Never the less I have persevered for certain goals I felt called to. When I am convinced on an emotional level and see a deep logic for a particular endeavor that is when my endeavors have power and passion.

Interesting topic

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Wed, 07/23/2008 - 23:55 — Navasi
Two-Part Harmony

I have also read the writings of Napoleon Hill on this subject. It's interesting that you mentioned that. He also stresses that this energy needs to be harnessed and used in the proper way, or it will lead to destruction. Even in the lives of these highly sexed (read creative energy ;) people. If this energy is mixed with negative emotions, such as anger, greed, hatred, envy, etc.. it only destroys the individual. He says no permanent success can be achieved unless these negative emotions are eliminated.

He also talks about the importance of love (separate from sex). He makes a definite distinction between the two. He talks about how it's the combination of those two forces, along with eliminating negative emotions, thoughts and motives, that brings people to great achievements and lasting success.

It's interesting that he has also been highly criticized for being religious. His entire focus is on God, faith, and the relationship of each of us with God, and the necessity of that in order to be a successful human being in any endeavor at all.

He stresses the importance of controlling sexual urges and and not over indulging in the physical expression of them. Without controlling those lower expressions of this energy, he says no one can achieve anything much at all.

That's interesting to me in relation to the regulative principles (in this case no illicit sex). Srila Prabhupad has said that the things he taught us could make us successful materially also if used for that purpose. Of course he didn't say we should do that, only that it could be done.

I'm thinking this is relevant here on connect because we have so many members here who are from Hindu families. From talking to quite a few of them it's come to my attention that the byword of Hindu's now days is Balance. You have to have balance in all things they say. They think that devotees are totally extreme in their views regarding the regulative principles. Yet here, we see even from a material perspective, that indulgence in the physical expression of sexual energy is not beneficial. How much more so for those who are seriously attempting to attain spiritual goals?

~ ~ ~
About devotees and empowerment...

I'm thinking about the soul, and how it is actually energy, but with qualities and personality and the ability to love (amazing in itself, that).

So the soul, being part of Krishna, has it's individual energy, and it's ability to love.

Then there is Krishna, the infinite source of all energy and love.

When the soul is pure and experiencing it's love of Krishna, and comes into this relationship with Krishna, then empowerment occurs.
It's a relationship. One of love. Divine in nature. Empowered. A relationship means there is an exchange of energy. The soul gives it's love to Krishna, and Krishna reciprocates that love.

So it seems to me that this would be occurring all along the process of Bhakti yoga, to varying degrees, as we develop this relationship more and more, and become more purified.

Of course Krishna's energy (power) is infinitely greater and more powerful than anything the soul has, so when the soul is entirely pure, and Krishna is giving His power to that soul, then the empowerment is on a totally different level (or empowerment to the greatest degree) such as with great devotees.

~ ~ ~
This part of what you said is very interesting:

"When I am convinced on an emotional level and see a deep logic for a particular endeavor that is when my endeavors have power and passion."

Going back to Napoleon Hill... he says that it is the combination of emotion and intelligence (by means of controlling the mind) that bring about this focused creative power.

When we look at this same thing, from a Krishna conscious perspective:

As a devotee, the things you could become emotionally convinced about would be things that moved you closer to Krishna (the souls love). Then, you combine that with "deep logic" or the direction of the intelligence. At which point your endeavors have power and passion.

So it seems that the essential ingredients are the emotion (or love) and the guidance of the intelligence (which brings the mind under control as well).

~ ~ ~

Anyway.... those are just my thoughts on all this.
I think it's a fascinating subject and there are of course a thousand ways to discuss it.

Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to have such an interesting discussion with you. It's very inspiring for me, and uplifting. It motivates me (in a spiritual way) entirely and I'm very grateful.

Your Friend In Krishna,
Navasi


*Reply*

Thu, 07/24/2008 - 06:53 — Karnamrita.das
Personal Growth and Spiritual Growth

We are really having a discussion about the relationship between "personal growth" (being a self actualized person) and spiritual growth or advancement. I have been thinking of these things off and on for years. I love the philosophy of success because to a large part it is based on goodness (the golden rule) and on Spiritual ideals. At the same time I know that despite success in the world, if we don't have Krishna consciousness, then our life is not truly, and lastingly successful.

After having lived in Temples for 13 years, I had to learn how to act in the world for results that I needed to survive---AND be Krishna conscious. I didn't have any senior devotee or anyone else to help me, so I began a search. I was drawn to Napoleon Hill and so many other authors, and I naturally tried to understand what they were saying from a KC perspective. Was this true, or "Maya"? How to make sense of it all in the face of Karma?

When I first read "Think and Grow Rich" I realized that Prabhupada had used the success principles like visualization and definiteness of purpose etc. in bringing KC to the West. It was exciting to see what appeared to be Universal principles in action. I tried so many endeavors, but as I have no real Vaishya blood or interest in making money I wasn't successful. Basically my nature is Brahmana/Sudra, so I had no drive to really apply these principles. I did study and learn a number of alternative healing arts.

Peace comes from understanding our nature and acting according as our service or in relationship to our service to Shri Guru and Krishna. Prabhupada sometimes would say, "What do you want to do for Krishna?" He knew the secret in engaging devotees according to their propensity, though of course he also would push his disciples for a special project in ways that were contrary to a disciples nature. However, I do believe that for most people, success will come from doing something they love to do for Krishna.

We can note that there are many different angles of vision depending on age, ashram or position in a Temple. I am speaking from one perspective.

Many years ago when I lived in Temple communities, we lived by the maxim, of "doing the needful" or doing Krishna's work above any personal considerations (personal growth was unheard of) and we did make a lot of spiritual progress by the grace of Prabhupada. That was incredible training that has stayed with me all these years, and I recommend living in an ashram at least for some time for any new person.

I wasn't able to continue that level of external commitment and my nature called me. I needed to be married and to do my "personal growth" (horizontal development) work to become a balanced human being---I am using it differently than I think some of your friends Navasi. I still know that to be Krishna conscious requires total focus and dedication. Religious life means coloring your life with a Godly brush so you can be happy in the world, where real spiritual life is ego effacing and requires purification of the heart. However, for most people it has to be a gradual process.

On interesting fact about Napoleon Hill is that in one of his later books he identified an intelligence that was directing him, that was from certain sages in the Himalayas. They told him that many wrote about how to die, but he was to teach people how to live and prosper. I was rather astonished upon reading this. Now we may argue with this assertion, but many of us have faced the dilemma of how to live in the world like I first did. In the West we had no elders devotee to help us make the transition from brahmacari or brahmacarini, to Grihastha. This could be a big discussion as well.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Fri, 07/25/2008 - 10:07 — Navasi
Growth

I understand what you're saying.... that's something I've thought about a lot for a long time too.

Personal growth vs. spiritual growth.

In the past we only focused on spiritual growth, but because a lot of us had psychological and emotional problems of all sorts, sometimes we weren't actually able to apply ourselves to the spiritual growth in the most serious ways.

(of course I too am speaking only from my experiences and perspective and what I personally knew of others)

It's kind of hard to separate the two things, I think. If you can make spiritual advancement, then you are going to automatically grow as a person (becoming self actualized). However, if because you are not grown enough as a person (for whatever reason) to apply yourself to the path, then it seems like it's time to deal with those things as a separate issue. (while continuing the spiritual growth of course).

I had the same experience you did with finding myself needing to suddenly support myself and earn a living after years and years living in the ashram situation.

I didn't even have an education of any kind. I had not even gone to high school. I was lucky on that though, because a short time after I became a devotee, Srila Prabhupad was told that there were some people leaving high school to move in the temple, and he said "no leaving high school, everyone has to at least finish high school". Lucky me, making it "under the wire" so to speak, I would have died if I'd had to endure that. Especially since I was living about 9 hours away from the temple, and when you're too young to drive, that means you can't go. :)

So, when I had to somehow earn a living, I tried to do sales, since there were no requirements, and that's where I was given the "Think and Grow Rich" book. I thought it was interesting too, but never really could see any connection to Krishna consciousness until many years later. At the time I just thought it was a way to make money :)

I so much agree with you about the advice to new people to at least live in an ashram for some time. As long as possible preferably. The concentrated focus on spiritual development cannot be found any other way. That training has stayed with me all these years also, and makes so many things possible for me in my spiritual life, that I seriously don't think I could do if not for that training.

I think a lot of us faced the dilemma of transition Karnamrita, whether it was changing ashrams, or having to earn a living, (or both). There was really a lot of change going on then. For the most part, we "were" the elder devotees too, so who was there that could help? Mostly I guess it was up to us to find our own way to the best of our ability. It's a very difficult thing trying to find a way to "cope" with the material world (what to speak of earn a living), after being only with devotees and no one else for so many years of your life. Talk about culture shock....

I'm just very, very grateful for those many years of concentrated spiritual life in the temples, because without that, I think I would have become lost entirely.

That's very fascinating what you said about Napoleon Hill saying he was being guided by sages in the Himalayas. Not too surprising considering the things he wrote about.

*just to clarify, it's not that any of my friends feel that Iskcon devotees are extreme in their views, they were just telling me it's a general "feeling" in most Hindu circles... I don't know anything about it personally.

Well, you were right, this is another big discussion... lol

: )

y.f.i. ~ Krishna ~
Navasi