Do we ever stop being devotees?

devotees-dancingI was introduced to Krishna Consciousness at 17 when I met devotees that were a part of Caitanya Mission (Science of Identity). I ran away from Caitanya Mission when I was 19 and they began hinting that may be I should marry one other devotee which was NOT a match made in heaven or on earth. It was the best thing they could have done to turn me away.

From 19 until I was 24, I didn’t practice or anything. Just lived my life, discovered IT as an obsession and got a masters degree in the end. During that whole interlude, I never questioned whether Krishna consciousness was my path or not. I knew it was my path, I was just on some kind of break I didn’t know would end or not. I was on the IT path and Krishna lived in my prayers and belief, but that was it.

I’ve always thought that when one leave the practice (and any organization that may have been there), one never really leave krishna consciousness. Isckon even made a term for it: blooping. So do we ever really completely leave krishna consciousness?

Bhagavat Maharaja posted a video where Srila Prabhupada states that a falldown means a gap of millions of years before attaining a human body. His take is that this only applies to people who leave for material enjoyment and become inimical. I never hear that Srila Prabhupada specifically say what constitues a falldown (and if that fall down only applies to inimical persons).

I still don’t get it because such devotees have chanted so much, theoretically removed so much karma that it should make a big dent in one’s sukriti. Not all who leaves becomes inimical. What of them? Do people ever really leave the faith behind completely? My (may be naive) perception has been that it will always stay with them and it’s not possible to leave the faith behind, only the people and organization. If one first have begun to believe in reincarnation and karma – you’re done. You can’t ever give up that perception. Any material enjoyment becomes a bit hollow, because you know better. You can’t give it up, but it doesn’t provide the pleasure you wanted either. You just know better. It’s ingrained in you. You are sold, you know it, you’re just resisting for a time.

This is my thinking. Can I possibly be wrong in this?

So what about those who becomes inimical. Well, there I get it. You can quickly rack up offenses there. But still – am I lacking experience to know how bad it can go?

There is really only one thing in this life that is certain; Spiritual life is our birth right no matter what direction we start in. It’s the only thing that we are guaranteed to have to do at one point or another.

I just can’t wrap my head around that it’s possible to stop being devotees.


6 thoughts on “Do we ever stop being devotees?

  1. “What to speak of falling from Vaikuntha, you can’t even fall from sadhana!”.

    -Srila Tripurari Maharaja (referring to BG 2.40)

  2. You can stand still, you can go slow, you can go off the course, you can go roundabout paths, but you can never go back. When you appear to go down, it’s because you’re on one of the foothill downslopes but still going in the direction of the mountaintop.

    “A kanistha adhikari, his or her sraddha is komala, tender. It means it can be affected. But it doesn’t go away. If you actually have kanistha adhikara, then your faith will not go away. It may be tampered with, you may be shaken, but it won’t go away.”
    -Tripurari Maharaja

  3. There will be some repetition here, and the format is a bit raw, because it’s a direct transcript from a talk:

    “It takes some philosophy to kind of fuel the practice that will close down our mind, so that the real heart can actually come out and guide us. And we need so many devotees. Like, you people are very young, but you can follow me. What I tell you, my Gurumaharaja wasn’t telling you these kind of things. Prabhupada wasn’t preaching to me like this. He was preaching to me what I needed to hear. He gave me what I needed to hear. Whatever I am, whatever that is, is a result of Prabhupada’s association. But you are just young people. You can follow what I’m saying, what will you be when you’re in my age, in your 50’s? What will you be able to do for the sampradaya? We are not for making disciples, we are for making gurus. And then other people my age, like I said, Prabhupada instilled with us something. So many will come forward, and they are not off the track, they’re only going in a roundabout way. And what they gain in that greater circle, that will also come to serve them. When they become interested again directly in spiritual progress, the worldly experience that they have acquired, that will also come to help them. Sridhar Maharaja once told our progress to go to the highest peak of the Himalayas is through the foothills, so we will go up and down and up and down and up and down. And even while appearing to go down, from a bigger picture we are always going up.”

  4. Sometimes words are insufficient to describe the beauty of a conversation, this was beautiful.

    It also explains Srila Prabhupada words, which is rather strict. That those words were neccessary back then, but these days we can go even further.

  5. Pingback: Empowered by Guru? The rasa of Srila Prabhupada | Devotional Confluence

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