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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami > Obstacles on the Path of Devotional Service > Philosophical Doubts > Introduction

1.Philosophical Doubts


The Vedas teach that every living being is an eternal individual soul, and our constitutional na­ture is to blissfully serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the spiritual world. Since we are tiny souls, we have a tendency to misuse our free will, and when we do this we come into the material world, where Krsna facilitates our desire to enjoy apart from Him. But this actually brings us con­tinual suffering. As Prabhupada says, "We are trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities" (SSR p. 165). Under the dictation of the material energy, we have to transmigrate life after life and experience manifold sufferings. If one is very fortunate, he meets a bona fide spiritual master and starts on the path of devo­tional service for going back to Godhead.


As we take to Krsna consciousness, read Srila Prabhupada's books and hear lectures by his de­votees, we gain a theoretical understanding of this philosophy. It is a vast philosophy with many details. "One will find in the Bhagavad-glta all that is contained in other scriptures, but the reader will also find things which are not to be found else­where" (Bg. 1.1, purport). Gradually our theoretical understanding turns into convictions and realiz­ations. But even after years of practice, a devotee may again misuse his free will and revert to the rebellious attitude which brought the soul into the material world. Prabhupada characterizes this re­bellion as a duality of desire and hate. "Due to de­sire and hate, the ignorant person wants to become one with the Supreme Lord and envies Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead" (Bg. 7.27, pur­port). One form this rebellion takes is doubts towards the teachings of the revealed scriptures.Let me give a practical example. While I was giving a seminar on vandanam, I explained my own practice of prayer. But I admitted that sometimes when I am praying to Krsna a doubt arises as to whether Krsna is really there and whether He hears me. I try to overcome this doubt by quoting to myself, "Ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures do not attain God con­sciousness; they fall down. For the doubting soul there is happiness neither in this life nor the next." And sometimes I quote, "The doubts that have arisen in your heart because of ignorance  should be slashed with the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yoga, arise and fight." Meditation on these verses has been helpful in curing my doubt.


One of the devotees attending the seminar said that he was a bit shocked to hear that a person who is supposed to be a spiritual guide could have doubts about Krsna. I admitted to him again that unfortunately I am not above it. Until one reaches the liberated stage, doubts will continue to come. They may not be serious, or they can become so grave that they can seriously impede our progress. We should not hide the fact and bluff as if we are perfect. We have to learn how to deal with the obstacles on the path.