One Spiritual System in the Universe

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I have a list of pointers or guidelines that I feel if anyone follows they will have a successful life:

--Create a spiritual foundation to build your life on.
--Give to live.
--Discover your mission and embody that.
--Be honest and authentic.
--Be convinced, yet open.
--Act with love and enthusiasm.
--Show kindness and compassion.
--Pray for yourself and others.

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I am greatly fortunate to work at the Kindred Spirits store where so many interesting and/or spiritually searching people come. Two days ago a Mother and her adult son came to the store. They are are practitioners of Islam who immigrated from Pakistan. They were both quite broadminded, educated and thinking people. They were a pleasure to speak with. If only everyone understood some basic spiritual philosophy rather then knee jerk reactionary religious sentiment, what a different world we would live in, but then again, this is the age of Kali or the time of quarrel and hypocrisy! The son is in graduate school working on his Ph.D in world religions. We had a fabulous conversation about the religions of the world and mystic spirituality.

Yesterday I met a very spiritually curious lady about my age--late 50's or so, who recently was baptized as a Catholic. Other churches wanted her to wait, but as she realized her days were numbered she wanted to be ceremoniously part of a Church. She is studying everything she can find about Catholicism and asks other Catholics about the meaning of various rituals and what they mean personally to them. She was surprised to learn that most of the people don't really know what they are doing, but are sort of going through the motions. Often this was the religion they were born into, and it is familiar but only superficially meaningful. Hearing this is clear demonstration of how religious people equate the form or rituals with the religion, rather then their purpose and meaning--the "why" and "what for" questions.

Of course I don't meet such quality people every day, though very often. In general I am able to share some thoughts that I think might be uplifting or that will in some way cause people to stretch beyond their ordinary thoughts to think more deeply about spirituality, the controlling force or power in the Universe, their "higher power", or simply God.

I have a lot of basic things I share with those who seem interested, depending on where they seem to be at in their life and how much time we have. For instance I have a card with my email and phone number on it, telling a bit about who I am, i.e., Spiritual counselor, Hope Broker, mantra yoga teacher etc. Then on the reverse side I have a list of pointers or guidelines that I feel if anyone follows they will have a successful life:

--Create a spiritual foundation to build your life on.
--Give to live.
--Discover your mission and embody that.
--Be honest and authentic.
--Be convinced, yet open.
--Act with love and enthusiasm.
--Show kindness and compassion.
--Pray for yourself and others.

Of course so many things could be said, and there are different levels of success in life, though after considerable thought this is the list I came up with. I wanted something non-sectarian that any person could apply with benefit. You could say this is a generic template for success without the specifics that we as devotees of Krishna would like to add. This list will hopefully give people that I might not see again some food for thought, and ideally principles to live by. Some day by the grace of my gurus and Lord Chaitanya I may also have the potency to uplift them by my pure heart--which means the powerful presence of the Lord there. Even as I am, I know some people are affected by whatever spirituality I have been blessed with--because they say so. People may also be affected--or perhaps more so--because I genuinely care about them and communicate that by my natural interest in them and the questions I ask.

I hope this doesn't come out as vain--though I admit to not being supremely humble! I only share it to emphasize the importance of who we are, or our character. Who we are speaks more strongly then our words. Our spirituality should include natural compassion and concern for others that is tangible. I am sharing with you my life, with both my struggles and highest aspirations. I think I have made it very clear my shortcomings. Never the less by the grace of Prabhupada and my gurus who represent Shri Chaitanya and Nitai, there is the flame of spirituality that manifests within me that manifests to varying degrees. Though in one sense we are nothing--on our own--by grace we may manifest part of our true spiritual nature and be able to help others on the path of bhakti. It is important to understand where we are on the spiritual map--so to speak.

My frequent prayer is to be the Lord's instrument for sharing bhakti and healing. I know it is happening gradually, though I also know that I am the main impediment, due to lack of true surrender and humility. Everyone has to be "empowered" to do anything: walking, thinking, manifesting, digesting food, moving their hands, eyelids--you name it, we are all depend on Krishna for everything.

I aspire for the power to give completely, the power of devotion and love for Krishna that flows through me to bless others. I have also shared that this is my high ideal for the written word--that these words will somehow touch people's hearts and awaken the spiritual urge and especially sukriti or blessing for bhakti. This desire could be part of the ego's gratification--as in "I am great"--or the pure desire of the soul to help those suffering in ignorance of their soul and its love for God. Perhaps I am in the middle. My ability to really make a spiritual difference in others lives will only come about if I have developed, or am blessed with constant remembrance of Krishna, and the realization that it is not my credit, but the Lord within me. The world and every person is meant for Krishna's service, not my selfish desires.

The 13th chapter of the Gita speaks of the field of activities, and the ordinary knower (the jiva soul) and super knower (Vishnu) of this field. So to me this store is one of my fields of service, and the people who come here are sent for me to serve and try to be some type of light for spiritual upliftment and harmonious living. This occurs in the world through living in relationship to the Supreme Source of All--God or Krishna, or whatever their conception of their "higher power" or ultimate Truth is.

In a similar though unique way, you can be some type of light or blessing where you work. Sound preposterous? Intentions in themselves are powerful, as are our prayers for the welfare of others. The more Krishna conscious or developed in our spirituality, the more we will benefit the world--and the more people the better. Spiritual people are givers that want share what is most essential and meaningful in life. As they are trying to become free from the exploitive mentality which runs the material world, they also want to see this quality diminish--through positive attainment--in others. Developing a giving, non-exploitive mentality with actions based on that translates into peaceful individuals, and thus a peaceful world.

I share with people that there is only one spiritual system that runs and sustains the Universe. This "Source energy" or "ground of being" (a generic impersonal term for the Universe (God) as the sustaining principle) has many different aspects, and reciprocates according to our desire to understand it. The great teachers in the bhakti-yoga tradition of India have compared the Absolute Truth to a valuable gem with innumerable facets or angles which are seen and interpreted by different people with diverse desires. That is why there are so many religions and spiritual traditions. They are viewing the same subject matter from different perspectives, and using different "lenses". I have a particular "lens" that I use from the spiritual tradition of India, though it is a very broad accommodating lens that can see value in every sincere attempt to understand transcendence, or the Absolute Truth, or Supreme Source of everything.

People are affected by the language and culture they grow up in. Different languages have different potencies and both strengths and weaknesses. Math is the language of science and appears to have a lot of utility for understanding matter. However, it is the language of logic, and is not equipped to understand spirituality or God, which are beyond the power of words, languages, and the mind or intellect. There is an attempt through science and math to exploit the material world for selfish purposes, and see the world in a mechanistic way devoid of spirit or God. There are of course scientists who are spiritual or religious, but I am speaking of the general thrust of science today.

In controlled experiments only those things that are inferior to the experimenter can be studied. Anything superior will not submit to study in such an environment. God will not show up in the lab. Certainly he is everywhere, but he won't be revealed to those with an exploitive or non-spiritual attitude. Scientists would say if we can't see it, we can't believe in it, whereas mystics would say, if you don't believe in it, you won't see it!

The mystics gain experience of transcendence or the land of light and love (the kingdom of God), and when they return they try to explain inconceivable spiritual things through the limitations of language. Often they put their experience, feelings, and deep realizations into the language of poetry--mystic songs or poetry. Such songs or poetry are not of the sensuous type, yet through poetry one can express things beyond logic or our conventional ways of thinking. So we have the Song of God, or Bhagavad-gita, and the poetry of the Shrimad Bhagavatam. These songs and poetry are another type of language, though love and devotion to God or Krishna is required to make ultimate sense of them. Even though Sanskrit is probably the best language to describe transcendence, there will be many interpretations depending on a person spiritually and spiritual ideal: do they relate to God as impersonal Brahmana, or as Vishnu, or Krishna etc. Most importantly love has its own reasoning power and is the key to pleasing Krishna and his devotees. Love is the answer: Krishna prema, or love for Krishna includes loving everything and everyone. By the power of selfless pure love, the "unknowable", "unfathomable", and "infinite" can become know to the finite. This is a different kind of math!

And so it goes. Another day, another opportunity to give and to be thankful for the opportunity to share the gifts I have been blessed with. If we don't share our knowledge and realizations--what we have blessed with--it may be withdrawn or be diminished. When we share Krishna consciousness it is strengthened within us. We often can't share everything--the whole pie--but we have to see where people are in their lives and present spirituality accordingly. That is what "preaching" or outreach is all about. How much realization we have will determine how we are able to express Universal Truths in ways that people can resonate with.

"This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting and joyfully performed." [BG 9.2]

"Those who are devoted to the cause of the Personality of Godhead [Krishna] live only for the welfare, development and happiness of others. They do not live for any selfish interest." [ SB 1.4.12]

Though we may be far from such an elevated state, we can at least devote some of our time to benefit others. If we do we will gradually develop a taste for giving to others what is most dear to the soul, and also enjoy hearing and chanting about Krishna in the association of devotees.

"Always chanting my glories endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before me, these great souls perpetually worship me with devotion." [BG 9.14]

"The thoughts of my pure devotees dwell in me, their lives are fully devoted to my service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about me." [BG 10.8]

Combined comments from old site

Sat, 01/17/2009 - 17:24 — Snehal
Instrument in Krishna's hand

Hare Krishna!

I strongly believe that we (devotees) are all arranged to benefit each other and non devotees too. Krishna makes us His instrument to shower His mercy on others.

As you tell us in this blog that you very offen meet spiritually inclined people in the music store you work in. Why are you working in the store where these people visit? Or other way round, why do these kind of people come to the store where you work? I remember you had mentioned that writting for krishna.com just happened to you. Why did this happen? All because you are arranged for people who visit the store and also for all those who visit connect. I am sure you must be having many such expereinces in your life where you were arranged for the spiritual benefit of others.

I too have such experiences and I am sure all the other devotees too have expeirenced such things in their lives. How, when and how much Krishna will use us as His instrument depends on how much sincere and desirous we are to become His instruments.

Keeping reminded about this can help us overcome the feelings of "I am the doer" and " I am the controller".

Hence, I feel we must always pray to Krishna to make us His instrument. We must keep eyes wide open to prevent loss of any such oppurtunity. In one of Prabhupad's purport, he said that we must be like Krishna's flute, empty - without any material desires so that He can play it whenever he wants.

Haribol!

Snehal


*Reply*

Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:09 — bhaktincarol
Are you saying...

The mystics gain experience of transcendence or the land of light and love (the kingdom of God), and when they return they try to explain inconceivable spiritual things through the limitations of language. Often they put their experience, feelings, and deep realizations into the language of poetry--mystic songs or poetry. Such songs or poetry are not of the sensuous type, yet through poetry one can express things beyond logic or our conventional ways of thinking. So we have the Song of God, or Bhagavad-gita, and the poetry of the Shrimad Bhagavatam.

Are you saying the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam were written by mystics?


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Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:00 — Karnamrita.das
Vyasadeva is a mystic--devotional mystic

Who is a mystic? Not just jnani or impersonal philosopher, or only mystic yogis, but devotees are also mystics.

Mystical is defined in the dictionary as:
1. Of or having a spiritual reality or import not apparent to the intelligence or senses.
2. Of, relating to, or stemming from direct communion with ultimate reality or God: a mystical religion.

So mystics are those who have spiritual experiences beyond matter or are on that path. Vyasadeva is certainly a mystic, but a devotional mystic. Read the 1st Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam 7th chapter. Vyasadeva compiled all the Vedic texts including the Gita and put them to writing for the first time.

We primarily distinguish ourselves by devotional qualities, yet our path is devotional mysticism--we are a devotional, though mystical religion. We are mystics, philosophers, and yogis--bhakti-yogis, bhakti philosophers, and bhakti mystics! This is another way to present our path in a way that contemporary people can understand (at least those who are philosophical), by trying to compare what we do with what may be known about. Part of being a devotee is to find ways to present Bhakti that make it more understandable--that will come about by our realization. Chanting Hare Krishna can be a mystical experience--it is a mystical process--putting us in direct contact with the Supreme Godhead, Shri Radha and Krishna! We have only to realize it! There is theory and realization. We want realization, and that is mystical.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Thu, 01/15/2009 - 18:04 — bhaktincarol
Srila Vyasadeva

Haribol!
This made me curious, so I looked and found this on Vyasadeva:

Srila Vyasadeva is the empowered plenary portion incarnation of the Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna. He descended by his causeless mercy to deliver the fallen souls in the material world... Srila Vyasadeva is not at all dependent on a spiritual master because in essence he is the spiritual master of everyone else. But because he is doing the work of an acarya, he has taught us by his own conduct that one must have a spiritual master, even though he be God Himself....In order to direct people in general to the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krsna, He Himself in the incarnation of Vyasadeva is delineating the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. SB 1.5.21 purport

And Vyasa is also known as an incarnation of Krsna... BG 10.37 purport

By incarnating Himself as the son of Satyavati and Parasara, He explains the Vedic knowledge as Vyasadeva. BG 15.18 purport

O most fortunate Saunaka, the almighty Lord, exhibiting a divine spark of a portion of His plenary portion, then appeared in the womb of Satyavati as the son of Parasara. In this form, named Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasa, he divided the one Veda into four. SB 12.6.48-49

Sri Vyasadeva is the authorized incarnation of Narayan, the Personality of Godhead. Therefore there is no question as to his authority. He is the author of all other Vedic literatures, yet he recommends the study of Srimad Bhagavatam above all others. SB 1.1.2 purport

The Bhagavad Gita is the spoken message of the Lord Himself recorded by Vyasadeva... SB 1.5.13 purport

From Stephen Knapp:
"It is related, “Know, Maitreya, the Vyasa called Krishna Dvaipayana (Vedavyasa) to be the Deity Narayana; for who else on this earth could have composed the Mahabharata. . . That form of Vasudeva. . . composed of the Rig, Sama, and Yajur Vedas, is at the same time their essence, as He is the soul of all embodied spirits. He, distinguished as consisting of the Vedas, creates the Vedas, and divides them by many subdivisions into branches: He is the author of those branches: He is those aggregated branches; for He, the eternal Lord, is the essence of true knowledge.” (Vishnu Purana, Book 3, Chapter 4)

"This is further elaborated that, “In every Dvapara [or third] age, Vishnu, in the person of Vyasa, in order to promote the good of mankind, divides the Vedas, which is properly but one, into many portions: observing the limited perseverance, energy and application of mortals, he makes the Veda four-fold to adopt it to their capacities; and the bodily form which he assumes, in order to effect that classification, is known by the name of Vedavyasa.” (Vishnu Purana, Book Three, Chapter Three)

"To explain further about Srila Vyasadeva, he is not the same person in each incarnation but is usually an empowered individual jiva soul that appears as Vyasadeva to do the service for humanity. Jiva Gosvami quotes the Vishnu Purana (3.4.2-5) in his Tattva-sandarbha (16.2) that a different empowered jiva soul takes the position of Vyasadeva in each incarnation as a shaktyavesha-avatara. This takes place just as each Kali-yuga begins so that He can divide and categorize the Vedic knowledge for the benefit of the masses. Therefore, Vyasadeva is often a position rather than the special name of the person. So Vyasadeva started doing this many thousands of years ago. However, in this particular divya-yuga in which we are in, or cycle of the four ages, Lord Narayana Himself appears as Srila Krishna-Dvaipayana Vyasa to divide the Vedic literature into various branches, which means that in this particular incarnation He is not simply an empowered living entity.

"These verses clearly explain how Srila Vyasadeva is none other than the incarnation of the Supreme Being, Vishnu, Narayana, who appeared in this world to compile and divide the Vedas so that people of all levels of intelligence can understand them."

bhaktincarol


*Reply*

Fri, 01/16/2009 - 05:26 — Karnamrita.das
Incarnations

One of the purposes of writing is to stimulate curiosity and inspire thinking. So you have done well, like a detective to undercover the mystery of Vyasa, the literary incarnation of Krishna.

Spiritual subjects are complex, though we should be able explain them simply. The topic of incarnations is very big subject matter with so many types and functions of various incarnations. In addition you will find that for this subject and others, even great devotees may have different opinions about some of the details. Sometimes other devotees have harmonized the differences for us as with the quote from Jiva Gosvami. This is an example for us when we see such differences, that rather them become confused or bewildered that one answer may be right or wrong, we need to seek to harmonize the apparent differences or seek out someone who can.

Just like when we study Shri Chaitanya he is a very complex theological person when we step back to try to explain him to others. He is God--a dual incarnation of Radha and Krishna--accepting the role as a perfect devotee. His lila is the lila of a teacher or "acharya lila".

In general the avatars or incarnations require some philosophical depth and maturity to be able to understand and explain, especially for people who are new to the idea. I can't say that I completely comprehend the subject, though like any of us I can read the descriptions of the incarnations and I accept the words of Prabhupada and the acharyas.

So looked at from different angles who is Vyasadeva? He is sometimes called "maha-muni-" or great sage, and a mystic as he meditated in trance and beheld the Lord and his energies [SB 1.7.4], yet he is also considered the incarnation of God. People in general might consider that when God appears he would appear brilliantly surrounded by angels or whatever. Never-the-less incarnations still appear to work through the laws of the universe, though they act in extraordinary ways.

Shrila Vyasadeva is described as appearing very fearsome, with mated hair and dirty body--although we can say this is lila or a divine manifestation for a special purpose, people may be shocked or surprised. Vyasa could have just manifested the Vedas by his desire, yet he compiled them and entrusted his disciples to develop their different branches. To make it more confusing, Vyasa in general means "author" so there have also been different Vyasas as well. We are considering the special author here, Krishna-Dvaipayana Vyasa. The guru represents him so we celebrate the appearance of our guru as "Vyasapuja".

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Fri, 01/16/2009 - 05:16 — bhaktincarol
Supreme Mystic

Haribol!
Krsna is the supreme mystic: Oh Krsna, O supreme mystic, how shall I constantly think of You, and how shall I know you? In what various forms are You to be remembered, O Supreme Personality of Godhead? BG 10.17

Does the card you hand out have the words Hare Krsna on it?
What would most make their lives successful, and also would be a true kindness, would be to share the Lords holy names with these individuals.

(I'm sure you must have considered this. I'm not sure I should be writing this. I know you are a much advanced devotee. I hope what I have written here is not offensive. Please consider that I am just trying to process what I have been taught, and am trying to learn. I hope it is ok that I have commented.)

Thank you for writing this article.

bhaktincarol


*Reply*

Fri, 01/16/2009 - 05:48 — Karnamrita.das
Different approaches

Don't obsess about being "offensive". Offensive really means with a malicious intent. It is good that you are concerned, but most things should be done in balance, not in extremes. If we are sincere, humble, sensitive and thoughtful we will be guided. You are asking questions and trying to understand, so that is always welcome.

Telling everyone to chant Hare Krishna would not fly well at the store, where we honor all paths. It is certainly good advise, but not everyone may be receptive to the idea. Sometime we have to wait for a "teachable moment". It also depends on the strength of our relationship. Most people I meet for the first time, while some are regular customers. Most people know we are devotees but we don't push on them.

We hold many types of programs including having Swami's give lectures. Because we have a good relationship with our customers and--thanks to Archi, the store owner--great prasadum, they are willing to come to such an even, hear about Krishna, chant the holy name and take prasad. This is an example that we have to think long term and cultivate friendships with others, so we can understand them as persons. If we have some spiritual standing that will inspire them to want to understand what we are about. Philosophy may or may not attract them, but loving, friendly, intelligent, broadminded, and compassionate spiritual people are a very compelling testimony.

In addition we shouldn't have to convert everyone. We have our preference and taste. If we are broadminded and accommodating that is a huge statement in this very polarized whole. If someone has their own path or religion yet likes devotees and has a favorable impression of Krishna consciousness that is a wonderful thing. In a broad sense Lord Chaitanya said that anyone who chants the holy name once is a devotee. So if people take prasad, chant the holy name occasion that is bhakti, and will bear fruit in time. Not all flowers bloom at the same time, and there are different ways to cultivate them.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Fri, 01/16/2009 - 15:18 — bhaktincarol
peace formula

I think it is very nice that you are sharing prasadam with individuals who come to your store, and giving them opportunities to hear the words of swamis.

Though, I wasn't proposing that we as devotees should convert anyone. I don't think we can convert, as the choice to worship or serve has to come of an individual's free will, and it is Krishna who allows any of us to serve Him or come toward Him. We don't make these things happen.

I appreciate that sometimes different approaches should be taken to help others.

You wrote in One Spiritual System in the Universe (above):
Spiritual people are givers that want share what is most essential and meaningful in life. As they are trying to become free from the exploitive mentality which runs the material world, they also want to see this quality diminish--through positive attainment--in others. Developing a giving, non-exploitive mentality with actions based on that translates into peaceful individuals, and thus a peaceful world.

What is most important to give is knowledge about Krishna, and the holy name, these are also what are most essential and meaningful in life. And, I have read, repeatedly, in what Srila Prabhupada wrote that we will not have true or lasting peace -- as individuals or as a world, unless we become Krishna Conscious, understanding our relationship with Krishna.

They are seeking peace in different ways, but they can achieve real happiness only if they consult Krsna, or the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam--which constitute the science of Krsna-- through the bonified representative of Krsna, the man in Krsna consciousness.
Srila Prabhupada BG 2.8 purport

One who is not connected with the Supreme (in Krishna consciousness) can have neither transcendental intelligence or a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?
BG2.66

...and when one is certain that Krsna is the enjoyer, proprietor and friend of everyone and everything, then one can, with a steady mind, bring about peace. Therefore, one who is engaged without a relationship with Krsna is certainly always in distress and is without peace, however much he may make a show of peace and spiritual advancement in life.
Srila Prabhupada BG 2.66 purport

The greatest peace formula is simply this: Lord Krsna is the beneficiary in all human activities. Men should offer everything to the transcendental service of the Lord because He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereon. No one is greater than He.
Srila Prabhupada BG 5.29 purport

The Peace Formula:

"...In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krsna says that He is the factual enjoyer of all activities of the living entities, that He is the Supreme Lord of all universes, and that He is the well-wishing friend of all beings. When the people of the world know this as the formula for peace, it is then and there that peace will prevail.

"Therefore, if you want peace at all, you will have to change your consciousness into Krsna consciousness, both individually and collectively, by the simple process of chanting the holy name of God. This is a standard and recognized process for achieving peace in the world. We therefore recommend that everyone become Krsna conscious by chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare Hare.

"This is practical, simple, sublime. Four hundred and eighty years ago this formula was introduced in India by Lord Sri Caitanya, and now is available in your country. Take to this simple process of chanting as above mentioned, realize your factual position by reading The Bhagavad Gita As It Is, and reestablish your lost relationship with Krsna, God. Peace and Prosperity will be the immediate worldwide result."
-- Srila Prabhupada, The Peace Formula

bhaktincarol


*Reply*

Sat, 01/17/2009 - 04:50 — Karnamrita.das
Peaceful means Krishna Conscious

The "peace formula" given by Shrila Prabhupada is another description of what being Krishna conscious is. Thank you for taking the time to share that with everyone. There are many ways to elaborate on this both directly and indirectly. I gave one snapshot of what Krishna consciousness is, namely being a giver and having a non-exploitive mentality. How we present things depends on our audience. In my blogs I try to give both. Why? Because sometimes devotees in the name of Krishna consciousness are not very tactful in their presentation.

I remember when I was a new devotee (in 1970) distributing books on the street in Berkeley, California. I spoke to one man who snidely said to me after I spoke to me, "Are you trying to convince me, or yourself?" I was taken back by that and thought there was certainly truth in the fact that although I genuinely believed what I was saying I wasn't entirely convinced, and that came out. Any person can be our teacher if we remain open that Krishna has many instruments to help us.

I loved to share the philosophy or the "Absolute Truth" to guests at the Sunday feast. I gradually realized that I was preaching "at" them, not to them, in the sense that I wasn't taking the time to get to know them by asking questions. Some people politely listen--or feign listening, even if they aren't really interested. I found by asking questions I could find an area of their interest. They would not just be listening to me, but participating and speaking about what was important to them. Then I could address that through the Krishna conscious philosophy and my life experience, which they would find much more relevant.

There is a wonderful example of this from Prabhupada's life and preaching. Devotees in England had arranged a meeting and lunch with a famous race car driver Sterling Moss. Prabhupada asked him questions for an hour and Sterling spoke all about this life and interests. Finally he said to Prabhupada, "You know, when I drive fast, I feel closer to God." That was Prabhupada's queue to speak philosophy. Mr. Moss was "spent" as far as his speaking went, and felt satisfied by being able to speak about his life to a person who was genuinely interested. Then he was ready to hear. If people like us and we show genuine interest in them, they will be more receptive to what we have to say. Remember, we can't give everyone the whole philosophy. Our expertise will be determined by our recognizing people's level of interest and we speak to that.

The logic of Krishna consciousness has "perfect logic"--to us, because we have some background in it from our previous lives. Other people will hear this "perfect logic" and not be impressed. Every religion and spiritual path has its own logic which appeals to some people. Ultimately the scriptures teach us that K.C is beyond logic. The mind and intelligence. although they can be helpful up to a point, are not able to comprehend that which is beyond the body, senses, mind, or intelligence. If logic alone were enough for us to understand K.C then every logical person would become a devotee.

These are some of my thoughts. I take these opportunities to address general areas I think are important for readers to consider. I am not necessarily responding to what you said specifically, though I am responding to what came to me by reading your comment. Your comments reminded me of certain things.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita