Clearing doubts!

Hare Krishna! 

There are some doubts I have been afflicted with over the years but by Krishna's mercy they are answered from within through realization I gained from my daily endeavor and also, more importantly, through the association of like minded devotees whom I have been fortunate enough to meet and be friends with. 'Doubts' as I have recently learned from one of the recorded videos of His Holiness Sri Gaur Govind Maharaja's lecture 'will make us perish' (I am paraphrasing). So, I kept an open mind and waited and am still waiting until the time the answers to my questions are revealed and my doubts, cleared, ushering convictions. Please bear with me while I try to express my doubts in the hope of some closure and if there is any remarks or expressions which any you may find offensive, I humbly beg your pardon.

So, here's my questions. 

Concerning Vaishnavas and Humility

How does Vaishnavas remain humble when they are offered Vyas-asana, flower garlands and all the salutations of respect when they are present?
Is it by the strength of sense control & advancement in Krishna Bhakti that they remain humble? Should we rely on faith alone if someone decide to take shelter of a Vaishnava (especially Diksha Guru) or is someone allowed to test the strength of His purity through prescribed methods, if there are any? 

Concerning the eternal nature of the soul

I am aware that this particular question has been asked numerous times before and I myself had asked couple of times but the answers were not satisfying. 

How did the infallible pure devotees/pure soul at some point in time fell? Do the incident of Jay and Vijay offer us some clues to the nature of our existence? Were we supposed to fall? If so, were we supposed to purify ourselves and come back only to fall back again, if the Lord or we so choose? If this is the nature of jiva then is our ordeal of degradation and elevation a part of our role, which we will have to play eternally? Or is it that since the infallible pure devotees still has free will, can he turn away if he so choose from Krishna? Is pride, unavoidable, since we see instances of eternal associates suddenly held captive by pride? Or is the whole ordeal a part of total surrender?

The answer or any sincere attempt in answering will be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you. 

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  • Sevak

    Hare Krsna

    How does Vaishnavas remain humble when they are offered Vyas-asana, flower garlands and all the salutations of respect when they are present?

    By remembering that they are simply repeating the words of their guru. Just like a postman delivers a post. Postman is not the origin of the post. He is just a delivery man. Similarly Spiritual masters like Srila Prabhupada consider themselves as deliverer of message of their guru and Lord chaitanya. So whatever they receive from their disciples is to the credit of their guru and parampara. 

    Is it by the strength of sense control & advancement in Krishna Bhakti that they remain humble?

    May not by strength of sense control. But due to advancement in Krsna consciousness. But Advancement in KC is by remembering that we are servant of Krsna and guru parampara.

    Should we rely on faith alone if someone decide to take shelter of a Vaishnava (especially Diksha Guru) or is someone allowed to test the strength of His purity through prescribed methods, if there are any? 

    If the question is about testing the purity of guru or vaishnava then there is no prescribed method to perform such tests by a prospective disciple. In fact judgeing a vaishanava is strongly discouraged in vaishnava scriptures. 

    Whole Krsna consciouness if about losing faith in material energy (maya) and gaining faith in the Supreme personality of Sri Krsna. 

    To understand if a person is a bonafide guru or not one needs to hear the message given by guru and see if they are in-line with the scriptures like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavtam. In addition a the practice of KC of a guru has to be impeccable and long standing. In general nobody  can become a guru after 1-2 years of practice. In general takes many decades. Even Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur performed unimaginable and intense practice for decades despite being a very pure vaishanav by birth and direct son of Bhakti Vinod thakur. 

    Hare Krsna

    • Hare Krishna, Prabhu!
      Please accept my humble obeisances!

      You gave me a great answer & I will show my gratitude by action - by chanting and listening and praying each day to Guru and Krishna for more opportunity for hard work to serve them in whatever little parts that I can. You have been very kind.

      Thank you!
  • There are many ways to fall down Only one way to be delivered! ?
  • This reply was deleted.
    • Hare Krishna! 

      Thank you for your kind response, Prabhuji! The way you have put it very interesting. Please, correct me if I am wrong but if I am not mistaken, the point you are trying to convey is that the probability of a liberated soul falling from grace is very low. Anyway, you have given me much food for thought. 

      Namaste & Haribol!

  • Hare Krishna!

    Thank you, Prabhuji, for your kind response but please bear with me while I elaborate on my question.

    I understand that it is transcendental pastimes of the Lord but everything He does, even whimsically, has a purpose and do mean something, especially, lessons for us to learn which provides eternal answers to the eternal questions on the eternal nature of the marginal jivas. Jay and Vijay on their part are Lord’s eternal associates but the heir surrender was so whole and so complete that when they were ordered to do something which we would normally abhor and for a devotee, unthinkable, they did.

    The Supreme meaningfulness is what makes Krishna so attractive.

    When Krishna proclaimed,

    “sarva-dharman parityajya
    mam ekam saranam vraja
    aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
    moksayisyami ma sucah“,

    it is only natural to ponder the extent of total surrender unto Him, when he followed with “I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”
    What Krishna meant by ‘sinful reactions’ that a pure devotee sometimes will surely need to be delivered from is offered as an illustration by Jay and Vijaya.
    Also, there’s this instance of the extent of total surrender by the Gopis of Vrindavan where they express their readiness to suffer in hell if the dust from their soles cured Krishna’s illness.
    The Vaishnava Acharyas also constantly stressed the importance of remembering & serving Krishna through their prayers and instructions in whatever time, place and circumstances more than a seat next to Him in Goloka.
    Besides the devotees, the Lord Himself comes here again and again to personally grace the devotees and deliver the demons (who are, honestly, extremely fortunate).

    Acharyas do indeed teaches by examples - by being the embodiment of the eternal practice they impart us.

    Lord Krishna and above mentioned personalities are exalted and transcendental, no doubt, but they all hinted towards something - the eternal nature of the jiva in relationship to Krishna - total surrender on our part, that, even if a jiva may “fall” in their effort to serve Him, they will be surely be delivered as illustrated by the story of Ajamil.

    However, I have also read that the fallen jiva one way or another will slowly but surely inch closer towards Krishna regardless of the time taken to approach Him. So, if some point in time the jiva was in Krishna’s company and that in her fallen status have somehow forgotten Krishna, could such extreme circumstance of the jiva also come under the aegis of the nature of surrender we are required to offer unto Him and the subsequent deliverance through His manifested mercy directly or indirectly?

    I absolutely mean no offense neither mean to stir doubts in your hearts nor to condescend. I only seek to steer clear of doubts in case Maya decides to shake my very core to test my convictions and my commitment before granting access to the devotees and the Lord.

    P.S: The fact that your have surrendered to Krishna proves that your brain is not poor at all.

    Your fallen servant.
    • Hare Krishna,

      I believe I understood your question at first itself, however its very kind of you to explain so deeply. Usually people aren't that kind :)

      Now as I have mentioned before; what you are saying is philosophy. And there are like 100s of philosophy in India alone by great sages. Even different incarnation of the lord cited different school of thoughts. So this is a never ending trial. Hence better to accept AS IT IS that Krishna is the Supreme Personality and he does what he likes. Period.

      Maybe you know that educated and non-sanyasi brahmins in old times and still in some close circles do a thing called "SHASTRAT" aka the Battle of Wits and Grammer. So sometimes one is winner & sometimes another is winner.

      What do Gaudiya Vaishanav do? Like Rupa Goswami; instead of participating simply give up and cultivate own's devotional service.

      Thank You

      PS: Haha, Only I wished I was a pure servant of Krishna. You are seeing a mirage in a hot barren dessert. :)

      • Hare Krishna! 

        Yes, I was aware you did. Honestly, i'm a bit of a show off (can't help myself...all these impurities nudge me towards my dumb indulgence...haha) and since I have learned that my only hope of scrubbing clean off my sins is the Mahamantra, which is also the answer to everything, while on the journey, while standing by to become 100% pure in some lifetime or even starting it, I was hoping for some clues to the eternal nature of the soul to process through the crutches of my humble intelligence Krishna endowed me in this human form to use to guard myself against ideas which can potentially shake the very foundation, especially for person of weak faith like me, through the question I was trying to convey with ideas such as 'nihilism'.

        I was hoping to do whatever little part I am supposed to do, on a practical level, before the offensive chanting of the Holy Names ceased. 
        If there is no simple answer to his question which my humble mind can comprehend, then I rest my case and humbly submit to the practice. You have been very patient.

        Thank you.

  • Hare Krishna,

    Answer to Q1;

    It all will come naturally; just follow 9 steps devotion as preached by acharyas:

    1. sraddha: faith
    2. sadhu-sanga: association with devotees
    3. bhajana-kriya: performance of devotional service
    4. anartha nivrtti: decreasing of unwanted attachments
    5. nistha: steadiness
    6. ruci: taste
    7. asakti: attachment
    8. bhava: love
    9. prema: pure love for Krsna

    These characteristics you've mentioned are mere byproducts.

    Answer to Q2;

    1000 people will give you 10'000 philosophical answers to why Jay & Vijay fallen. But in reality it's a elevated leela of the lord. He does what he wants. Simple. There are no strings on him.

    Even the Mind of creator of material realm - Lord Brahma can't comprehend with his past-times; then what to speak of mere human brains.

    We live in the time (kaliyug) where the time itself isn't pure. You need understand time as the 4th dimension itself is not pure now and 4th D is  Spacetime. It envelopes practically everything you see or can perceive. So in nutshell; we're bound to fall.

    Now every rule has an exception, similarly Krishna Devotion is a way to avoid maya devi easily.

    It's plain simple - Chanting + Hearing + Reading. Do this; everything will make complete sense.

    Now this may not be the answer you'll be looking for; but this is all my poor brain can synthesize for now.

    Thank You

    Radhe Shyam

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