Are we brainwashed?

Whenever I hear preachers giving Harikatha, they are enthusiastically talking about how Krishna will support us, the maha-mantra will deliver the whole world, we are so fortunate to have association with pure devotees etc. I find myself looking at their enthusiasm with a bit of an unbelief. Do they really believe what they say? Wholeheartedly? I see the enthusiasm, I see the glimmer in their eyes, and I wonder. How are they able to do that?

I wouldn’t be able to preach something I don’t believe. I question everything, including myself. One of the main mysteries is simply this: Why do I keep on believing in Gurudeva and Krishna consciousness? I don’t understand what drives me forward. Really.

The vedas said that Vishnu grew the universe from a lotus from his navel. I mean, if I were a designer, sure – why wouldn’t I create the universe from a lotus from my navel?

Bhu-mandal is like lotus petals – why not a rose? Isn’t this a sign of lack of creativity using the lotus parabole again and again? Lotus eyes, lotus feet.

And the feets. I bow down to feets, wash, massage, a speck of dust from the feets. I mean, this is a language of reverence telling us how to view everything as holy. The language itself is set up to brainwash us. Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Goswami Maharaja tridandi…. the titles themselves take up so much space that you hardly see the person. The language hides the person behind all the titles. It creates awe, reverence, a bit of fear of what the person might know (about you).

We walk around and bow down to a bush, for christ sake. The dolls on the altar are real. I will give you all these details about a fairy tale, and if you just believe hard enough, you will get there like in the Wizard of Oz.

Yet… when we discuss sastra, we do it logically, based on sastra. We look at the arguments and try to find holes in them.

The truth is, the reason we keep on working on our bhajan is an emotional decision. When we need to defend our reasons, we do it logically even though it’s an emotional decision behind it.

When things are incredibly hard, why can’t I give it up? I want to eat meat because it’s convenient, but every time I actually contemplate it I become so grossed out. I can’t imagine a life without Krishna, though I find it so unfair that he makes it so hard to reach him. It takes millions of lifetimes to reach him – I mean, this is ridiculous. He will never show himself to us unless we are 100% devoted – I mean, this is ridiculous. Why not before so that I’m motivated? It’s cruel to make it so hard. Why can’t I enjoy my moccas while serving him at the same time?

Why do I have to become 100% brainwashed before He “proves” himself?

And yet.. this is still the deal I have signed up for, and I think it’s fine. I will just continue like before and if He wants me He will get me there. If not, well, fine.

Why do I keep on believing in Gurudeva and Krishna consciousness?

All I can say is that it’s an emotional decision. Brainwashed or not. But I still question everything.

 

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