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Is there any hope?

Post Author: Bhakta Igor    Date: 2008-01-04 17:22:23
Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krsna
Recently I had small realization that my uncontrolled mind with his numerous wishes, speculations and desires is actually greatest hindrance in my small sadhana and spiritual life. I also heard that in age of Kali Mayadevi does not need to personally interfere because jivas are so weak that almost everyone is victim of flickering and double-crossing mind. Arjuna asked similar question in Bhagavad Gita to Lord Sri Krsna, saying that mind is almost impossible to control, like wind.

What to say about modern times when our mind absorbs zillions of impressions via internet, news, magazines, TV etc. specially if devotee is not living in Dhaam in association of pure devotees and therefore must work within materialistic society full of unlimited sense gratification objects and illusions? It seems mission imposable for ordinary aspirating devotee to become immune under torrents of mundane movies, music, pictures, video games, etc and constant call for our mind to surrender and subdue to so-called enjoyment. This is my great problem, how to become and stay in full Gauranga-Krsna concessness 24 hours per day while in same time person must work and live surround with materialistic persons and vibrations.

Sometimes I am feeling very enthusiastic and sincere in my practice, eager to chant whole day and sometimes my mind knock me down. How to become steady in spiritual life? I also have tendency to think black-white, tendency to push myself far away or higher than my real position is because I have fear that everything less then perfect is not enough. Sometimes I am thinking ?Oh, what I am doing here ?I am wasting my time, I should chant more and more, go to Dhaam and chant, and serve vaisnavas. I should completely devote to spiritual activities. In other moments I am thinking ?Do not fool yourself, you have many obligations, family, and you are not steady. Actually you are cheater and materialistic person. What do you know about real spiritual life. That is not for you! You will only make aparadhas, so it better to go away, stay in shadows or otherwise you will commit numerous aparadhas toward Guru and Gauranga. I also have fear of accepting vows, that is reason why I am hesitate so much to surrender more and ask for diksa or to devote more ?because I have fear ?What if I broke my given vows? That will surely be serious aparadha. I would not be able to live with that. As I said ?nothing less then perfect and that is great hindrance within me. I have great fear of committing aparadhas so that hindrance is keeping me away and blocking me.

Also I feel deep respect for you (Swami Gaurangapada) and small desire to hear, serve, learn and do something for you, but simultaneously I have fear. awe, reverence and hindrance evan to chat with you via Google-talk or to contact more because I am feeling so fallen and sinful according to you and other devotees who are dedicated to Naam and sadhana that I will only make aparadhas. I do not see any good quality, only hindrances within me, my backgrounds, habits and life and I am asking myself is my spiritual battles only self-illusions? I am lacking self-confidence and persistence. How to solve this?

From theoretical point of view somehow or other I can understand sometimes very deep points, but I am lacking practical implementation. What is use if person knows what is cure and not taking it? Is there any hope?

Post Author: Hadai Nityananda dasa    Date: 2008-01-04 20:52:08
Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna!

Dear Bhakta Igor,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Gurudeva and the guru parampara. All glories to Sri Sri Gaura Nitai. All glories to Sri Sri Radha Krishna. All glories to the assembled devotees of the Lord.

Yes the mind flickers. Yes the material world is full of danger. Yes there is hope.

Those moments in which we consider ourselves hopeless and more fallen than anybody else are actually very precious moments. It is like looking at the sky at night and see the vastness of the universe stretched above us and realize the insignificant little speck of dust we are in that enormously large universe. Compared to something really big, we are very small. On the other hand compared to something really small, like a bacteria, we are very big. Of course these are all relative measurements of the conditioned soul who cannot but compare with something else than itself and naturally we extent that comparison to our spiritual lives. Sri Gauranga Krishna is infinite and we are infinitesimal; He is unlimited big and we are unlimited small. There is a similarity between the two: unlimited. That means in the core there is the same quality and that quality is what binds the two together. Like there is no guru without the disciple. There is no disciple without the guru. The guru needs the disciple and the disciple needs the guru. Both are part of the same dynamic organism.

Yes I know what you mean about hesitating to Google with Guruji (GG ). But we should never forget that he is our ever well-wisher and that he is always eager to help us. By asking for his help we honor him in his position as guru and we have to overlook our lowly position the same as he will. So when I get overwhelmed with feelings of reverence I remind myself that he is my friend, my best friend who has only the best for me in mind. Who hesitates to talk to his best friend? Please remember that fear is the shadow of love. It cannot touch love and love doesnt touch fear. They simultaneously exist but they dont merge. So when we are in the shadow of love our task is to get out of there and come into the light of love.

I take my vows very seriously and you are right it would be bad to break our spiritual vows especially when made in front of the Lord, guru parampara, and our own beloved guru. Therefore we make the utmost endeavor not to break our vows. That is life saving when you come in a period in which everything slacks down and you have the feel to throw in the towel. Without vows you can throw in that towel. With the vows you cant and that is life saving. To be connected to the Lord via the holy vows made before Him, the guru parampara and guru is the most wonderful connection we can have in our lives. As soon as you are initiated you will experience a lift in all that you do and are and that only increases over time. Initiation is a second birth; being born into the spiritual world not at the time of death, but here and now. Fear should never stop us from doing that. So please dear Igor stand up to that fear and have the courage to take the vows and keep faithful to your vows for the rest of eternity. That mentality is very much supported by Lord Nityananda and He will give you the strength from within to preserve your honor in front of Lord Gauranga Krishna.

Yes theoretically we are always one step (or a few) ahead. That is actually a good sign because then we have something to live towards. Because we understand (and perceive) our theoretical standards always higher than our implementation we have the means to improve. This is a good thing because without it how can we grow?

I hope my insignificant reflections of your questions are of some help.

Your servant,

Hadai Nityananda dasa

Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna!

Post Author: Bhakta Matus    Date: 2008-01-05 16:59:51
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Very beautiful Hadai prabhuji. Thank You. Matus

Post Author: Swami Gaurangapada    Date: 2008-01-07 16:36:21
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Shri Guru Parampara! Pranams! Thanks Igor for your heartfelt question. Thanks Hadai for your nice reflections.

Igor, these feelings of depression, dejection and even the advance fear of committing aparadha and offenses, which lead to dappening of our enthusiasm to associate with Guru and Gauraanga and wholeheaetedly engaging in devotional service, are itself tricks and curtains of Maayaa to delay our advancement in NITAAI Yoga. The Katha Upanishad states:

uttishthata jagrata prapya varan nibodhata
kshurasya dhara nisita duratyaya
durgam pathas tat kavayo vadanti

"Wake up, awaken, shake away your moroseness and hesitation and take advantage of the human form of life. Learned transcendentalists say that the path of spiritual life is difficult; it is sharp like a razor's edge. (Katha Upanishad 1.3.14)

It is very sharp but still we can walk it successfully due to the causeless mercy of Lord Nitaai. We have hope until our last breath.

We should have the determination of accepting a vow to chant a fixed number of Holy Names daily for our own eternal benefit. Why should we be afraid or hesitate to take a divine vow of the Holy Names? You have named the various agents of the illusory energy. No amount of Maayaa can stop us or distract us unless we ourselves want to be distracted.

We should focus on the substance of Naam Bhajana and Guru and Gauranga's shelter rather than the shadow of other thoughts and distractions. :) I hope this helps somewhat.

Daaso'smi, Swami Gaurangapada.

Post Author: Bhakta Matus    Date: 2008-01-07 20:15:55
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! is sharp like a razor's edge.

What is exactly meant by that?

Does is something to do with the following verse of Bhagavad-Gita (6.38):

kaccin nobhaya-vibhraṣṭaś
chinnābhram iva naśyati
apratiṣṭho mahā-bāho
vimūḍho brahmaṇaḥ pathi

"O mighty-armed Kṛṣṇa, does not such a man, who is bewildered from the path of transcendence, fall away from both spiritual and material success and perish like a riven cloud, with no position in any sphere?"

Thank You very much.

Yours, Matus

Post Author: Swami Gaurangapada    Date: 2008-01-07 20:55:28
Nityaananda! Gauraanga! Hare Krishna! It means that since NITAAI Yoga or Naam Bhakti is the most powerful, easy and sublime means to deliver us from this cycle of birth and death forever, even though it is very easy to perform, Maaya tries hard to create severe obstacles on our path in order to test us before she allows us to leave Her painful kingdom permanently. That is why it becomes like walking on the sharp edge of the sword. It is not because of any uncertainty on the Bhakti path. It is because of the obstacles created by Maayaa. One will be successful one day even if one walks blindfolded on this path or even if one falls down unlimited times as long as one continues chanting the Holy Names. In the above Gita verse which you quoted, Arjuna is asking about the condition of an unsuccessful astanga yogi. It does not fully apply to a Bhakti Yogi since when someone chant the Holy Names with devotion even once, such a soul will never ever perish like a riven cloud.

Daaso'smi, Swami Gaurangapada.

Post Author: Bhakta Matus    Date: 2008-01-07 21:41:17
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Thank You very much. Yours, Matus.

PS. Corrected, thanks.

Post Author: Bhakta Igor    Date: 2008-01-08 08:04:13
Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krsna
Thank you, dear Gurudeva and Hadai Nityananda Prabhu dasa on your words and explanations. Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krsna

'It does not fully apply to a Bhakti Yogi since when someone chant the Holy Names with devotion even once, such a soul will never ever perish like a riven cloud.'

Here is fameus Bg. verse and Srilla Prabhupada's purport:

Text 9.31

ksipram bhavati dharmatma
sasvac-chantim nigacchati
kaunteya pratijanihi
na me bhaktah pranasyati


He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.

Commentary by Srila Prabhupada

This should not be misunderstood. In the Seventh Chapter the Lord says that one who is engaged in mischievous activities cannot become a devotee of the Lord. One who is not a devotee of the Lord has no good qualifications whatsoever. The question remains, then, How can a person engaged in abominable activitieseither by accident or by intentionbe a pure devotee? This question may justly be raised. The miscreants, as stated in the Seventh Chapter, who never come to the devotional service of the Lord, have no good qualifications, as is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Generally, a devotee who is engaged in the nine kinds of devotional activities is engaged in the process of cleansing all material contamination from the heart. He puts the Supreme Personality of Godhead within his heart, and all sinful contaminations are naturally washed away. Continuous thinking of the Supreme Lord makes him pure by nature. According to the Vedas, there is a certain regulation that if one falls down from his exalted position he has to undergo certain ritualistic processes to purify himself. But here there is no such condition, because the purifying process is already there in the heart of the devotee, due to his remembering the Supreme Personality of Godhead constantly. Therefore, the chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare should be continued without stoppage. This will protect a devotee from all accidental falldowns. He will thus remain perpetually free from all material contaminations.

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