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Title: Back Again
User: Neil LA Date: 2007-03-27 17:13:17
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!
All Glories to Swami Gaurangapada!
All Glories to the Guru Parampara!
All Glories to the Devotees!
I haven't really been here since November. I keep backing and forthing between spiritual practices.
I've been rather consistent in my other practice since November, but I got nostalgic for Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna.
I don't understand why, but I have a strong attraction for the Vedic tradition. I've never been to India so it really doesn't make sense. I guess I find the philosophy and stories engaging, even though I'm not really an expert.
I'm sure I'll start feeling nostalgic for my other practice in a month or two. It feels strange going back and forth all the time. I just can't get convinced that one particular religion is THE way to the exclusion of all others. I get things (whatever that means) from Gauranga Vaishnava tradition that I don't get other places, and I get things from the other tradition that I don't get other places either.
I sometimes feel that I am destined to be an outsider. When I spend time with other devotees, I feel like I don't fit in because I feel that I am always a beginner and that I still believe in the other way. When I hang out with people in the other tradition, I feel like I don't fit in because I still like Hinduism.
Some friends have told me to combine the two traditions, but I really don't know how to do that. It seems that the philosophies and mythologies of the traditions are opposed to each other on many levels.
I guess my belief is that God is One, but takes many forms according to a devotee's heart desire. I'm afraid that this might sound like mayavada because it may sound like I'm saying that God is ultimately formless...but I don't think so. I strongly believe that God is personal, but which personal God is real? I guess I want to say that they're all real. But if one form of God is real and another form of God is equally real, how does one decide which one is best for himself? Its like different flavors of ice cream...I like vanilla and I like chocolate, but I don't think one is better than the other. Do I have to eat each flavor by itself or can I have a sundae with both flavors together.
The problem I find with combining religions is that if I believe God is a person and I start praying to one person, it seems strange to pray to a different person. Each personal form of God has a different name, and different form, quality and attributes. If I spend time getting to know one person, and then suddenly leave and try to get to know someone else and then go back and forth, soon I feel that the people I'm trying to get to know will feel that I really don't care...But if the different personal manifestations of God are all One God, then he probably knows that ultimately I want to know him...But which form is the one I want to really get intimate with? When I switch from praying to one form of God to another, I feel like I抳e cheated on my lover.
Maybe this issue can抰 be resolved, unless of course I just choose one path and completely sever myself from the other. I抦 not sure if I can do that.
Please forgive me if I抳e caused offence.
Title: Re: Back Again
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-03-30 09:23:43
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! Pranams and Blessings ! Welcome back Neil. We missed your blog entries. Gauranga Krishna Consciousness or Naam Bhakti Yoga is the original consciousness of the spirit soul so there is no question of giving it up or regaining it. It simply needs to be awakened fully. Before it is awakened till the nishta or irrevocably determined stage, Vyudha Vikalpa, vacillating and doubting and Vishaya Sangara i.e. victory and defeat in struggling with the senses will always go on. So we have to keep on trying like you doing and accept constant shelter of especially of Nityananda Gauranga Naam along with the Hare Krishna Mahamantra in our valient battle against these anarthas.
Title: Re: Back Again
User: Nava Gauranga dasa Date: 2007-03-30 21:58:33
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krsna!
nice to hear from you again (I missed your blogging).