Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
In the material world, we are faced with perplexities at each and every step. We are all subject to confusion, loss of composure, inability to take decisions in so many junctures of our life. Mostly the dilemma is not to choose between the good and the evil, but to choose between two evils or between two virtues. Then it becomes all the more difficult to choose the lesser evil and the greater virtue according to the situation. Of course the scriptures give us the guidance, but the scriptural injunctions are dynamic and are full of subtle nuances and implications, that we require the guidance of a representative of the Lord to come to the correct conclusion. That is why it is famously said (verse spoken by Yudhishthira Maharaja in the Mahabharata, Vana-parva (313.117).
tarko 'pratishtah shrutayo vibhinnaa
naasaav munir yasya matam na bhinnam
dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhaayaam
mahaajano yena gatah sa panthaah
"Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the shastras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahajanas advocate."
Srila Prabhupada in his purport to Srimad Bhagavad Gita 2.7 writes, "By nature's own way, the complete system of material activities is a source of perplexity for everyone. In every step there is perplexity, and therefore it behooves one to approach a bona fide spiritual master who can give one proper guidance for executing the purpose of life. All Vedic literatures advise us to approach a bona fide spiritual master to get free from the perplexities of life, which happen without our desire. They are like a forest fire that somehow blazes without being set by anyone. Similarly, the world situation is such that perplexities of life automatically appear, without our wanting such confusion. No one wants fire, and yet it takes place, and we become perplexed. The Vedic wisdom therefore advises that in order to solve the perplexities of life and to understand the science of the solution, one must approach a spiritual master who is in the disciplic succession. A person with a bona fide spiritual master is supposed to know everything. One should not, therefore, remain in material perplexities but should approach a spiritual master."
In the very beginning of the Mahabharat war, Arjuna was subject to this kind of a dilemma on whether it is right on his part to fight and kill his relatives in the opposite side or to withdraw from the fight. There is another interesting incident that took place on the 17th day of the war, just prior to the slaying of Karna by Arjuna. This particular episode has some great lessons that are valid even today.
Krishna willing, we shall see the same in the next offering.
Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayanti mala devi dasi,
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