Karma bullshit

KRISHNA’S MERCY IS ALWAYS THERE FOR THE DEVOTEE

“O Madhava, Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord of the goddess of fortune, if devotees completely in love with You sometimes fall from the path of devotion, they do not fall like nondevotees, for You still protect them. Thus they fearlessly traverse the heads of their opponents and continue to progress in devotional service.” Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.33

I realize that I have had a superficial look at karma. When it comes to karma, we have a theoretical approach to it. Mine was: “The unjustness of the world is proof that karma exist”. Fairness is a universal expectations everybody have…. except of course life is anything but fair. So what when that unfairness strikes hard at devotees?

[The Visnudutas to the Yamadutas]: Authorities who are learned scholars and sages have carefully ascertained that one should atone for the heaviest sins by undergoing a heavy process of atonement and one should atone for lighter sins by undergoing lighter atonement. Chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, however, vanquishes all the effects of sinful activities, regardless of whether heavy or light. 

So if one has chanted for years, then experiences some heavy duty karma. It doesn’t exactly looks as if the mantra vanquishes anything. If we do talk about karma in such a situation then it’s still superficial. Whatever happens to us, we just superficially attribute it to karma. But we can’t prove karma in any way, it’s just guesswork.

I’m not so sure I believe in karma anymore. All the talk about how wonderfully beneficial it is to chant and devote ourselves to Krishna – I don’t see or realize the benefits.

On uniting the sanga

12928328_543883805780471_5052467027475221778_nBhaktivedanta Vaikhanas Swami has written a couple of statements in regards to Tirtha Swami who has invited Bharati Maharaja to visit and initiate disciples in the sanga. I haven’t really followed this debate because I find it to be… well, not as siddhantically based and therefore not as interesting.

But Vaikhanas Swami latest post on the other hand caught my attention, mostly because of the hilarious picture he attached.

The background is as following: Tirtha Swami made sexual advances towards a couple of teenage girls which was unwanted. Afterwards when this became official, there were a lot of back and forth where Tirtha Swami acknowledge this situation, then he retracted and said it never happened etc. He accepted no punishment and kept on going like before. This was the point where the sannyasi board (I think) found out that they had no authority to extract any punishment and really do anything. Tirtha Swami continued like nothing had happened.

This happened in 2012, four years ago.

What interested me in the latest statement by Vaikhanas Swami is this:

What I am seeking is positive input and recommendations on how to move forward as individuals and communities. What could we do to improve relationships, build trust, define ourselves and our values, develop projects, and take care of one another- all these things.

I think all of these situations occur to help the sanga increase their tolerance and communication skills.

One of the immature ways of dealing with offenders or people who holds different siddhantic understandings from “us” is to ban them: We don’t want to see or hear them. But banning doesn’t really solve any problems, the issue will remain. If a sannyasi falls down, it will not help to ban a person and it will especially create havoc for the fallen person. This will not be in the best spiritual interest for the fallen person or for the sanga. We have to learn how to deal with such person and let them stay in the sanga, but with constant supervision (if we are talking sexual offenders). We have to learn how to interact with a person where we despise the persons actions, but not necessarily the person. This also goes for people we disagree with siddhantically.

I think another problem for the people in the sanga is that they want the sannyasis to be something they are not (liberated, maha-bhagavats). We want people to uphold the highest ideals, so that we can just follow and not put any effort into our understanding. Just let that sannyasi define everything for us.

Life is now showing us that this is not the case in most instances. We have to be very careful where we put all our faith. And even then, we need to think for ourselves. In siddhantic debates, use your intelligence to figure out the solution rather than being told what the truth is.

If we want change and progress, then we have to do it

Exactly, it begins in our hearts with asking ourselves what is the most loving response to this situation that can help all parties.

Since I’m so far removed from all these problems, I may be too optimistic, but I don’t really think of all of this as our sanga fractioning. Why? Because we all are dedicated to Gurudeva – that will not change though we have different ideas about how to be dedicated. Personality differences will always be there, people will disappoint you, people will not act the way you want them to be, people will not have the personality you want them to be.

People will seek siksa from different sannyasis. This is a natural evolution and they don’t abandon Gurudeva in the process.

When I was in Vrindavin I met one devotee which I had previously disagreed with on this blog. She remembered me and we got talking (though she knew nothing of the blog). I told her how she had helped me in service. I may disagree with her in one instance, but I’m still indebted to her because she has shown me how to do some service. She is my senior and she is lovely. I would never hit her on the head about how we disagree on something. It’s not important.

If we want to unite the sanga it begins with your heart. It begins with you smiling to the other one and say haribol, creating a connection that can survive any differences. It begins with just showing that you care about a person, differences be damned.

And the devotees keep on coming with gems of quotes:

Devotee: Why are there so many conflicting ideas for the ISKCON movement?

Gour Govinda Swami: Bah, stop it! There is no conflict. No conflict. No conflict. You are a mad fellow. There is no conflict, no confusion. It is all clear, bābā. Conflict and confusion are within you. Therefore you see conflict. If you put on yellow glasses, everything looks yellow. A man sees the reflection of his mind. In your mind there is conflict and confusion, and therefore you see it outside.

When Hanuman went to Ravana’s capital Lanka, he was extremely angry because the demon Ravana had kidnapped his master’s wife, Sita. Out of anger, Hanuman’s eyes were red hot. Ravana had kept Sita in a very lovely garden, called the Ashok Van. Aśoka means, “no lamentation”. That garden was extremely beautiful. Ravan had brought so many varieties of nice flowers, fruits, and birds from the heavenly planets. In that garden were many wonderful ponds and springs. Hanuman went there, but he saw no variety. He saw everything red, because anger was inside him. His eyes were red hot. Do you understand? Are your doubts clear?

Devotee: No.

Gour Govinda Swami: No? Why not?

Devotee: For instance, when Srila Prabhupada was directly present, everything in ISKCON was under his direction.

Gour Govinda Swami: He is still directing, but you can’t see it. You have no vision. It will take time for you to understand. Be patient and wait, wait, wait. All these problems are inside you. The conflict is within you. Therefore you see such things outside.
— From a lecture in Bhubaneswar on 23 March 1993.

 

Devotee: Some of the senior devotees are very concerned for the work you have done, on our behalf and for the whole world. We are concerned that it will be preserved, now and in the future, as much as possible. Kala may come and change it all.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I know that you want this, but if you are not developing your own Krsna consciousness, you will never be able to do anything.So try to develop.
[Devotee:] We need this sanga to develop. For so many years we have tried to practice on our own, and now we have found a home where we can have like-minded devotees; so we are concerned.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I know you will try, but at last you will see: “Oh, zero.” I know this. This world is controlled by Kala (Time) and kali-yuga. Kali-yuga will not give you permission to do all these good things. You will make a plan, and in a moment the result will be zero.
[Devotee:] Should we try though?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] You should try. To try is bhakti. But I never want that rules and regulations should govern bhakti. Some persons forcibly tried to give lessons and control other devotees by kicking them out of the mission. I told them that this is against bhakti. When they did not want to follow my advice, I told them it was better for me to resign; and still I will help in all ways. Now I am satisfied.
Try to realize. Do bhajana and don’t be engaged too much in these things. I am never involved in this.
You should realize my mood, and if you don’t realize it you will have so many troubles. I have served my Gurus a little, and that is why I do some little bhajana. That is why I can reconcile all these things, and I never become unhappy. I have never been unhappy in my entire life.
[Devotee:] So you are saying we can try, but our bhakti should not be disturbed.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Yes, you should do that; and I will be happy

A spiritual vacation

“You have just taken a spiritual break”, my friend told me over the telephone as I was laying out my usual tale of woe. “Just keep on maintaining the connection, and you will get back to it”. I have maintained my connection by sometimes just chanting the maha-mantra once a day, do some prayers and lately by doing my gayatri every morning. That’s it. I’m keeping the connection, but I am little beyond it.

“Krishna must want a BIG change from you” another friend told me. These words are circulating in my mind – not letting me go. Because I think they are right and it scares the shit out of me.

AlbertEinsteinI’m unable to get a job. I’m only some quick months away from two years, and by then I will loose my unemployment benefits and I will go into crisis mode.

I have gone into interviews and they just don’t work. The chemistry is not there. I used to be really good in interviews and now I’m like shit. Whatever I am doing is not working at all.

It’s getting to the point where only one option is left for me to do, and I don’t want to do it. I really don’t. Why does Krishna keep on pushing me so hard? He always give me lessons way beyond my ability and then I have to struggle so hard to catch a breath. I want my life to be easy, effortless.

This is so unfair.

DISTURBANCES MUST COME by Srila B.R. Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj
Our karma has come to face us, to surround us, and we can’t avoid it.These disturbances are a result of our own karma; they came from within us. So, we must not quarrel. We must act properly in dealing with that. We have to scrutinise more accurately what we thought we understood. Everyone must ask himself, “Where am I? What is my real need? And how much am I hankering for the real thing?” All these things will be expressed, and made public. So, this is the real field of sādhana, or practice. Our practice, our advancement, needs all these difficulties. Otherwise we may not know what is progress.We will become hypocrites and give the same adulterated thing to others. So, to purify ourselves it is necessary that so many disturbances come.
(from Sri Guru and His Grace)