Driven by….. guilt

hare-krishna-returns-embed-2This path is all-consuming. At least, that’s what it evolves towards. So whatever I do as a conditioned being, it’s never enough. Never good enough. At least that’s what my mind thinks.

Then greed came up as a requisite to progress again. Greed just keeps on popping up to be able to work myself forward. Ever since I understood what is required of me, I’ve become a bit…. resistant. I mean, if we are talking developing greed, then things are getting serious. That’s scary. Greed is scary to me.

I truly believe in God. I truly believe this world and I belong to him and that I owe him everything. So a lot of my devotional activities are driven by guilt. I feel I don’t do enough, don’t try enough and I feel that almost always when I do something material, which is most of the time. I understand that it’s ridiculous, just imagine this conversation:

Me: Dear God, I’m doing all of this for you – out of guilt.
God: Thank you my dear, but I have to respectfully decline. This is not the service I want from you.

I feel guilty, but that is counter-productive if I’m to develop greed. Actually, I think it runs a bit averse to greed. When your greedy, you go after what you want with all your might, and you get what you want as long as you endure enough failures and learn on the way.

Guilt on the other hand contains a bit of resistance, “I want to do it, but deep down not really. I only do it because I have to, but I will smile and say I like it because goddamnit, that’s what I have to do”.

This is no good.

3 thoughts on “Driven by….. guilt

  1. There is a progression of motivations to serve God. Both mystical traditions and religions seem to agree on the first motivation being fear. “If I don’t do it, I will be punished”. On the same level as that, but the other side of the coin, is to serve out of prospect. “If I do it, I will be rewarded”. Next is duty, “I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do”. Next is attachment, “I just like doing it”. The last one is transcendent, out if pure love, when your being is fully infused with bhakti-sakti and you really can’t do anything else.

    I’m trying to see where guilt fits into this. The explanation you gave of it being because God owns you and everything else, you owe him yourself and whatever is yours. That sounds like the duty motivation, which in our language would be called vaidhi bhakti.

    It’s true that Vraja Krishna is not too excited about vaidhi bhakti, but we cannot produce greed. It kicks in at the stage of ruci (steady greed that is, we can have glimpses and some gradual buildup before that.) and comes from outside of ourselves.

    But strictly speaking, we are not practicing vaidhi bhakti. Jiva Goswami coined the term ajata-ruci raganuga bhakti. That means to follow someone who has greed, and practice the limbs of vaidhi bhakti that he or she instructs you to, mainly sravanam and kirtanam, and to the extent that you are qualified incorporate raganuga practices.

  2. Interesting.

    I agree that it’s out of duty. The underlying reason for guilt is because I feel I need to give more than I receive – which is a bit impossible. The Guru and devotees always give so much more than I will ever be able to reciprocate.

  3. Srila Narayan Maharaja will never feel that he has repaid Srila Keshava Maharaja, and Srila Keshava Maharaja will never feel that he has repaid Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. An so on.

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