In visiting with my mom in her last days I revisited my very poor original dealings with her when I first took up the path of Bhakti or Krishna consciousness. In those days the devotees were almost all very young and inexperienced. We had no balanced elders to show us the way through their wisdom of having gone through many stages of life and various mistakes and blunders. Therefore our application of the philosophy was often very fanatical and short sighted. At least for many of us including myself, “tact” was not in our vocabulary, and we had no ability to think long term or to really understand that we can’t give people everything at once. We have to be sensitive to the receptivity of our audience, and not speak “at” them but to them based on our relationship and their nature. People will be more inclined to hear from a friend than an adversary.
I noticed Hari Priya mentioning this the other day in the forums. It's something I wrote a year ago there. It's an essential point in Krishna consciousness and applies to every aspect of it. Therefore, I am re-posting it here.
This post is about loving other devotees. Please understand how many "other devotees" there are in relation to Krishna. Devotees in the scripture, devotees that we know, the entire planet of devotees who don't know they are devotees yet.
I've been really disturbed lately by all the "grey areas" that I see in the movement these days.
Therefore, I've been working really hard on clearing out grey areas from my life and my consciousness.
The problem I'm having is that grey areas are so insidious. Just when I think I've removed them all, I find more to remove. I guess they are like Maya is, insidious and ever-more sublte. In fact, I think it would be quite realistic to say that grey areas are Maya.
It's exhausting work, and the conclusion I've come to is that I can't clear them all out. It's just not possible.
The Power Of Krishna's Name
āpannaḥ saḿsṛtiḿ ghorāḿ
yan-nāma vivaśo gṛṇan
tataḥ sadyo vimucyeta
yad bibheti svayaḿ bhayam
āpannaḥ — being entangled; saḿsṛtim — in the hurdle of birth and death; ghorām — too complicated; yat — what; nāma — the absolute name; vivaśaḥ — unconsciously; gṛṇan — chanting; tataḥ — from that; sadyaḥ — at once; vimucyeta — gets freedom; yat — that which; bibheti — fears; svayam — personally; bhayam — fear itself.
This is Thanksgiving weekend, and a lot of people are celebrating this popular American holiday by gathering with their families for large, elaborate meals.
Gathering with families almost always involves children. Sometimes lots of them, sometimes only a few.
One of the biggest problems at these types of gatherings is:
Feeding The Children.
Should I wear purple? Or would it be better to wear red? What about pink, that's more subtle, not such a strong statement, people would probably find me more acceptable in pink..........
I wonder if I should add some jewelry? If I wear a gold bracelet, then some people might respect me more, since gold is a symbol of money. If I wear a gold bracelet, then some people might respect me less, since gold is a symbol of money.
"Become the change you wish to see in the world"
I talk about change a lot, change this, change that, how to change, what to change.
Why do we need change? What's wrong with the way things are?
In any life, in any situation, there is usually some kind of striving. Most of us strive, and do have aspirations, endeavors.
Some people are very dull. They have no dreams, no goals, no aspirations. They are satisfied with things as they are. The "status quo" as it were. No striving. No dreams. "Keep things as they are and I'm happy, as long as I don't have to change".
What can be done about strong material desires? Are we going to have to take birth again if they remain unfulfilled? Do we just pray to Krishna to be able to tolerate the pain of our unfulfilled desires?
These questions are asked a lot. Recently, two devotees here on connect requested that I answer these questions for them.
Relationships on the Internet. Not a new phenomenon really, not in the relative sense of how long we've had the Internet for, and how long people have been using it to develop relationships with others.
Here's one of the most amazing things about it all to me:
We don't have any idea a lot of the time who we're talking to. We can't make judgments based on looks, education, money, position, social status, age, color, race, creed, etc.
Well, we try, if we know a little something about someone, the tendency is still there... but it's harder.
There are so many references in my mind for the title of this blog. There's a song.... something about "if you have the chance to sit one out or dance.... I hope you dance". There's also something written by an old woman, and she's saying what she would do if she had her life to live over again, and she says she would dance more. There are also a thousand ways and times, in my own personal life, where dancing has meant so much to me, both as a spiritual activity (directly) and also indirectly as physical exercise that keeps my body healthy so I can do the things I need to do.