by purujit dasa
Sometimes people wonder why the hare krsnas are not forcing them to join the krsna religion. of course there might be many pseudo hare krsnas(like me for example*) where this pushing is indeed going on in grand style, but if you walk into a real krsna temple, there should be no pushing, no guilt-tripping. the philosophy is presented and that's pretty much it. it's up to you what you're going to do about it. why this is so? whereas in many groups you have immediately that pushing, converting. you immediately feel like an outsider and they dont take you seriously unless you convert to their religion, so it's all like jesus loves you. that's actually a very pushy line, cuz it implies that you should love him too. it's by force. YOU SHOULD love jesus. it is not why not love jesus? so then it becomes a drag like look jesus is suffering on a cross, why don't you help us out? are you happy to go on with your life while jesus is suffering so much for the sins of the whole planet? so it is actually not a religion, becuz religion means unconditional love. here, they try to invoke your guilt and then suppose you join that particular religion or not you are not joining out of love for jesus, you are joining out of guilt for jesus. It’s love jesus, otherwise… so the whole thing becomes a total drag. the sunday church is a drag, the bible reading is a drag, cuz you're always thinking i have to help jesus as though jesus was just some ordinary dude who’s all needy. they actually make jesus look like a total looser. just see the blasphemy.
so a true devotee of god, becuz god is complete is also complete. and that's what lord jesus was also saying: why are you working hard, the birds and beasts are not working still our father supplies them? just glorify the name of god and awaken your neighbor to this love of god. this is love of neighbor. you can only love your neighbor if you're full of love of god. if you yourself still need so many things to pray for, how can you give him real love? so that's why the true devotee of god, the true son of god like jesus is complete and he wants to show everyone how complete they are too being parts and parcels of god. therefore do not think let me help the devotees, let me give them a donation otherwise how will they survive? let me praise them, because they need my support. no. do not be proud like that. the devotees do not need anything from you because krsna is supplying them all necessities. it is because Krsna is so kind that he asks a materialist to give up his unnecessary attachments to things he is just renting from Krsna and return them to their real proprietor. right? who is producing food? you are paying the shop, but the shop has simply stole it from nature. unless krsna sends rain you will have no food. So Krsna is giving us everything even if we pretend that he doesn’t exist. And it is for this reason that he comes either personally or he sends his representatives, sons, the spiritual master to patiently explain to us that we don’t have to work to keep up the illusion of God’s nonexistence. It is our foolishness.
Although we think that we’re in charge of our live, there are so many limitations. no one asks for death, birth, old age and disease and still they come. these things are pushed on us in the exact same way as a dogma would be pushed on religious convert, but who is protesting? who of you right now is doing anything to free himself from this very fanatical dogma of death, which is pushed on him against his will? it is fanatical, because death knows no compromise. as sure as death as they say. Similarly who is protesting against being subjugated by his karma? sometimes good things are happening to us, but we dont ask them to come they come on their own. Similarly no one is asking for suffering, and yet it comes. so we understand these to be the manifestations of the law of karma. the law of action and reaction. whatever you do has a reaction. so we go on with our lives, but never question the dogmatism of karma, death, old age, so many sufferings. Just see the hypocrisy. the question therefore is if we're accepting these, why not accept krsna? What’s the big deal?
So when you come to this stage, when you come to the experimenting with the idea of perhaps not being charge, this is what you can talk about with devotees –why not Krsna? this is what the devotees are interested in. in other words you should ask yourself, what is stopping me from accepting krsna? You should look at yourself and try to see your limitations. not that simply come here, have a good time, have prasada, pat the devotees on the back, give a donation and leave completely ignoring so many doubts you have about the whole idea of krsna actually being real. do not neglect a controversial quote. Do not ignore that voice within saying WHAT? this is how you will advance- not by brushing the doubts about you being perfect under the carpet, but by pulling them out and dealing with them. not by pretending that everything is alright and that you are fully confident that krsna is god, but by admitting to yourself: actually I’m a fake. I don’t feel it. That’s where your Krsna consciousness begins. in fact none of us really loves Krsna in this world. if we truly believed that krsna is god, then we would immediately be liberated from all the sufferings we are experiencing on account of our identification with the material body. But that’s not the case, we suffer so much so that is the proof. don't ask why should i surrender to krsna? ask why should i keep on surrendering to the material laws of birth, death, old age and disease. and when you realize the precarious situation you're in, ask yourself why not krsna? in other words, challenge this philosophy, criticize, try to faultfind. usually we say to devotees do not fault find it is offensive. yes it is offensive if you have accepted the spiritual master, but if you still have doubts whether the spiritual master is liberated or not, you should try to find fault, criticize, you should doubt, because that is the intelligence to see the dark side also. do not accept the spiritual master blindly in other words for some ulterior motive. and this is what the devotees will appreciate more, when you're sincere. only then they will be able to show you how perfect and complete this philosophy of krsna consciousness is and only then you will be truly appreciating it. you might feel a little awkward you might be thinking oh this person is really saintly, or very devoted to krsna, if i challenge him, he might become hurt, but that is illusion. if your doubt is reasonable, any genuine devotee will be happy, because it will give him an opportunity to explain krsna consciousness from yet another angle. krsna is a like a sugar candy. it is good from all sides, so do not hesitate to place your questions and doubts. it is only through this process your krsna consciousness becomes manifested, when it becomes free from all the various misconceptions. You have to do the job, becuz Krsna consciousness is not a dogma you see? and that is the duty of the spiritual master to open the eyes of the disciple with a torchlight of knowledge. he is not pushing anything new on him, he simply explains you how you can open your eyes and then when you do, you will see krsna yourself. becuz Krsna is already here. it is your doubt which produces question and unless you question how can you not be a blind believer, who despite the fact that he’s outwardly showing to be devoted actually never let Krsna into his doubts-filled heart?
Madhudviṣa: "One should not only hear submissively from the spiritual master, but one must also get a clear understanding from him..."
Madhudviṣa: "...with submission, and service, and inquiries."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Clear understanding. Don't accept anything. First of all there must be submissiveness, no challenge. But at the same time, you must clearly understand. Because you have submitted, it is not that you have to understand something dogmatic. No. Submission must be there, but at the same time, you should have clear understanding. This is science, not that if something is pushed and you are: "Oh, my spiritual master has said; therefore I accept it." That is fact, that you should, but at the same time, by inquiries, by inquisitiveness, you must clear everything. "Yes, God is like this."
Bhagavad-gītā 4.34-39 -- Los Angeles, January 12, 1969