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In a dilemma

HK..First of all, gratitude to all the devotees behind the forum and for giving ordinary person like us to post our queries here.

Before I post my question, I just wanted to give a quick background. While I have been following ISKCON since almost a decade now (though I am not at all advanced devotee and do not actually chant).
However, I do read a lot of spiritual stuff (including books like Bhagvad Gita, Bhagvatam, ISKCON blogs in whatever small time I could) Also by the permission of Krishna, I have visited Vrindavan a couple of times & each time I have been there, my faith has gone up tremendously. 

Now coming to my question. While there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about whatever is mentioned in the scriptures, I seem to have got into a bit of dilemma off late. Essentially I am thinking of taking my mind off for some period of time away from KC. Now, there are a few reasons I am thinking of doing that;
1. It is a bit overwhelming reading some of the things mentioned and sometimes seem extremely difficult to comprehend while living in this material world.
2. In some cases, I feel to be getting a bit judemental looking at people who I interact on a daily basis (e.g. at office, etc) who are not into KC like finding it hard to believe why they are so and find it difficult to connect with them. 
3. Also reading things like material knowledge being inferior has had a bit of negative effect. I do not want to take that in a wrong way by becoming lazy and not focus on enhancing my material knowledge (which being a grihastha, I think is also important to focus on)

Thus, to summarize, while I have absolutely no doubt in my mind about the higher taste of spiritual life and the inferior material nature, somehow I also feel that I need to take some break till I find myself more prepared. Please feel free to suggest how should I fix this dilemma.

 

 

 

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Replies

  • Hare Krishna,Thanks for your quality of honesty, But Even Arjuna after hearing Gita was not free from Tribulations in life, And remember that We came in the material world due to our taking the so called break from service of Lord Krishna but in reality we are serving so many of our independent desires, now again taking break means planning to go through 84 lac species cycle , may not be all of them but most of them we may have to go through, so make a wise choice Prabhu, having a one life time of struggle with Krishna in mind and having a positive hope that one day Lord Krishna will show some special favor or other choice is to go through birth, oldage, death etc in each birth as per our Karma. Even Arjuna after hearing Gita was not free from Tribulations in life, He was not calculating his advancement while fighting but was doing his duty to his best in a Krishna conscious way by keeping Krishna behind Him always. And the result was at the end very happy forever. All the best, Hare krishna, association of pure and sincere devotees is only hope !
  • Hare Krishna
    Just listen to Kadamba Kanana Swami kirtans and Loknath swami Maharaj kirtans .you will be pumped up in Krishna consciousness in no time .all the best. Please don't take a break. Just listen . Just repeat after them.
  • Hare Krishna,
    I go through the same dilemma almost daily but it's Maya that pulls us apart from Krishna. So make it a point to listen to some kirtan daily , or chant hare Krishna daily.
    Don't think too much. Just remember the phrase
    Chant hare Krishna and be happy.
    Because staying Krishna conscious is very important or else we may get lost in the material pool.
    This is what I'm trying to think when I myself in dilemma .
    Your servant
  • Hare Krishna

    Too much hype is not good for us. Many preachers are hyped up and by associating them we also become hyped up. Keep away from bad association and also wrong association (hyped up people).

    We have to balance the spiritual and material activities. We cannot ignore our material life duties like working, interacting with everyone etc..

    We are a spiritual being (the soul) in a material body. We cannot remove our body. We are also in the material world and so we cannot remove material thoughts and activities.

    The lotus flower does not touch the water but it grows on a plant that is in murky water.
  • A decade of following and not yet started chanting tells me that either you are not devotedly following or your are extremely laid back.Prahlada maharaj says to his friends who are 5 years old only that time is of the essence,don't delay...start with the process of devotional service IMMEDIATELY
  • E-Counselor
    Hare Krsna Prabhuji,

    PAMHO.

    Thank you for your continued interest in ISKCON and the philosophy over the years. I am unable to understand what "break" you are wanting to take, considering you are not chanting. You have not mentioned the 4 regulative principles - so I don't know if you mean that.
    I will try to answer your queries to the best of my ability:
    1) What part is overwhelming to you - if you could elaborate, I would be better placed to reply.
    2) These are typical things that happen in the initial stages. From your post, I understand that you are not in association of devotees. Once you get into association of devotees, you will see similar faults in them also and end up judging them. The next stage is to learn to accept that everyone is trying. We gradually reach a stage where we become very accepting of everyone around us. It can take time and practice. No harm starting from now, it will help you grow spiritually as well as emotionally.
    3) Reading for one's work has never been prohibited in ISKCON. In fact, some of the leaders are well updated on the latest news, so that they can use it for preaching. Unless we are relevant to the times, how do we make scriptures appealing to the world?
    Having said all this, I would like to end by saying that each soul has its own individual journey back home, back to Godhead. This is not a place for competition, though one can take positive inspiration by being in the company of devotees.
    With the information in your post, this is as much as I can say.
    Please feel free to connect and divulge more to get more pointed revert.
    Haribol,
    Your servant,
    Radha Rasamayi DD
    • HK Radha Rasamayi DD

      Thanks a lot for taking the time out to reply and also for some really encouraging words. Also, sorry for not being more specific on certain points.
      Of the 4 regulative principles, I was earlier having some amount of non-veg food (though only outside home and very rarely). But since the last almost couple of years, I have stopped that completely.So as of now, I have veg food (but do have garlic/onion)
      Also, I am into stock market investing (Mutual Funds mainly)...so not sure if that would constitute as gambling. But apart from that, I am not into any kind of gambling.
      But I do satisfy the other regulative principles.
      Also below are some of my comments;
      1. On the overwhelming part, one is since I have seen many devotees who are extremely dedicated. That kind of makes me a bit overwhelmed thinking if I would ever come close to that and even makes me a bit discouraged thinking if I would be able to do anything close to that. The other thing is when reading scriptures about the infiniteness of the entire creation like millions of universes, just trying to visualize that is a bit overwhelming sometimes.
      2. While I am not entirely out of touch with devotees, I am not regular in visiting temples, chanting, etc

      Also, just wanted to add one more thing is that during my recent visit to Vrindavan for 2 days with a group of devotees (including some quite senior), I tried my best to chant as much as possible during our train journey as well as after the Mangla darshan @ ISKCON Vrindavan. While I do find the early morning temple darshan to be extremely extremely calming and feel totally relaxed, I would admit that I have not really developed any interest in chanting (that is something which I feel like I am forcing myself to do and hence find it very difficult to practice it regularly)

      However, on the other side, I find extremely relaxing to read any kind of spiritual literature incl Bhagvad Gita books, ISKCON books, etc. I have also participated in various book distribution activities organized by ISKCON (mostly at train stations). I had manged to sell good number of books during one of such events.

      So again, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind with regards to the absolute truth mentioned in the scriptures as well as the preaching by various ISKCON devotees. However at the same time, I also feel that either I am a bit unprepared or need the right way to achieve balance for both material activities and spiritual activities.
      • E-Counselor
        Hare Krsna Prabhuji,

        PAMHO.

        Again I am confused on what you want to give up, because you are doing nothing towards devotion. To answer step by step,
        1) Following 4 regulative principles is good. Esp leaving non veg is very good. Try and avoid onion garlic atleast few festival days, ekadasis, karthik month etc for starters.
        2) Regarding your being in the stock market - you may be knowing there are 2 types of people on the stock market - investors and speculators. Speculation is bad, investment is another way to earn money. Don't worry about it now. Continue with investing in stock market for now.
        3) When you see a devotee who is very committed, is it possible for you to have a frank chat with them, taking their time. Basically, try to figure uot what makes them tick. What is it that makes them so dedicated. Please concentrate on grihastas who are also working outside in the material world, because that is the perspective you want. When you speak with them, and I hope you find someone sensible, a lot of your doubts will automatically get cleared. We look at senior dedicated grihastas to take inspiration, not to get overwhelmed.
        If still you get overwhelmed, please have your own private conversation with Radha KRsna, opening your heart and telling Them what is bothering you. I am sure They will respond. Only after you have crossed the obstacle, you will realise how they helped. you. YOu will however understand that this is a response from Them.
        Again I am repeating that each of us have our individual journey towards Krsna, going back home. This is not a place for competition. JUst because someone is ahead of you, don't be discouraged. For eg: someone is 60 years old and someone is 40 (both you know). Suppose you are 30. Would you feel discouraged looking at that person's financial stability, wisdom, something they have that you don't? No na. You will understand na that his journey is different from yours. YOu are on your path to financial wellness, they are on their path. There is no competition here. Same way, someone embarked on the journey sooner than you, so he is on the path ahead of you. That should not stop you from following the path shown by Srila Prabhupada and enjoy the journey as well as look forward to the destination. Simple as that.
        4) Association with devotees will definitely help you. Can you not become friendly with someone you meet in the temple next time? Maybe you could approach an authority and ask for the nearest congregation preaching to your house, day and time. Attend that and see whether you get along with someone. That really really helps to become steady in attendance and clears lots of doubts. Rest will follow.
        5) If you find chanting taxing, maybe you could have a deal with yourself. Start with chanting 4 rounds at a time. This will take half an hour of your time. Do this daily for 6 months without any gaps. Go back to Vrindavan after 6 months. You will hopefully see the difference chanting has made to you.
        Alongwith chanting, do what you like to do - hear lectures, read books of SP. Book distribution is a great way to attract mercy of SP.
        Just a thought, next time you visit the temple, please sit in front of Srila Prabhupada and talk with him mentally. Tell him all your issues and that you could do with some mercy to chant. I am sure he will help. He is loving grandfather to all of us. He always immediately addresses any issue I take to him.
        Prabhu, you are very nice person. You just need someone to kind of push you a little, so that you can kickstart your journey towards Krsna.
        Examine your thoughts and see what is holding you back. There is some kind of unknown fear lurking there. Let go. Surrender. Take one baby step at a time.
        Are you part of any WhatsApp group which has forwards, photos everyday related to KC? Would you want to join such a group? Tell me, I can help in that.
        Maybe I can even make some prabhu of Chowpaty temple speak with you and personally look after you.
        Haribol,
        Your servant,
        Radha Rasamayi DD
        • Thanks a lot Radha Rasamayi DD for your extremely extremely encouraging words...Also I am part of the ISKCON Whatsapp groups and try to read specially the Srila Prabhupada quote which comes in daily (gratitude to the person/team putting the effort to send it across daily)
          While I'll try and follow as much as possible the suggestions given by you, I'll have to see how much of it can I really achieve...

          Again, I do try and remember Krishna on a daily basis & within my heart, thank him for all the things he has given me. Also I am in touch with devotees (though some of them working at different places, the contact is a bit irregular)

          I am extremely grateful to you for spending so much precious time and effort of yours to guide me on the right path...
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