Individuality, Independence and Intimacy - Part 4

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

This is in conclusion of the previous offerings transcribing the class by HG Devakinandan Prabhuji on Srimad Bhagavatam 4.30.8.In the previous offering, we saw that the real way to be united in diversity is to start by glorifying Krishna. We shall see further.

Individuality, Independence and Intimacy: Being individual does not mean being independent. The more we become dependent on Krishna, the more we become an individual in Krishna consciousness. Another "i" we should avoid is intimacy. In material world everyone wants to be intimate with each other. In material world, the more we become too close to someone, we end up fighting because we take each other for granted. That is why all the fights in the world starts with husband and wife. Familiarity or intimacy is very dangerous in Krishna consciousness. When we are intimate with each other, we are not intimate with Krishna. We forget Krishna. Familiarity breeds contempt. That is why there is a very nice formula given in Krishna consciousness. "Good neighbours build strong fences." I asked Gurudev where this came from. He said in the olden days, when we had a neighbour across our farm, he had cows. We want to keep nice relations. If his cows come into my patch, my cows go into his patch, he will be upset and I will be upset. So before that happens, we build strong fences. Once fence comes up, the cows know their place and we know where the cows are. That way relationship is maintained. We start far, we become close gradually and it is closeness built on love, respect and service. This is Vaishnava philosophy. We don't become friends and forget Krishna because without Krishna, anything that appears to have value has no value.

ṛte ’rthaṁ yat pratīyeta na pratīyeta cātmani
tad vidyād ātmano māyāṁ yathābhāso yathā tamaḥ

O Brahma, whatever appears to be of any value, if it is without relation to Me, has no reality. Know it as My illusory energy, that reflection which appears to be in darkness. ( SB 2.9.34)

Only we can glorify Krishna, if we have the theistic conduct towards Krishna. Very often we don't realize unity in diversity can only come when there is devotional service to the Lord. When devotional service is fixed, then our relationships with Vaishnavas automatically becomes fixed. The sadhana that we have, protects us from disagreements. The sadhana we have, even if we disagree will give us the transcendental knowledge to transcend the material things. But that can only come if we accept Krishna as the Supreme personality of Godhead.  In his purport to Sri Brahma samhita verse 5.37, HDG BhaktiSiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura writes the following and Gurudev dictated this to us and asked us to write, "Those, whose judgment is made of mundane stuff, being unable to enter into the spirit of the all-loving controversies among pure devotees, due to their own want of unalloyed devotion, are apt to impute to the devotees their own defects of partisanship and opposing views."

When we are not fixed in Krishna consciousness, we become separatists in our heart. Then, because we always find the faults and the defects and we try find the division, we put this on other people and we say, "You are like that." That is why there is a famous saying. It takes a thief to know another thief. So when we look at the faults of others, the real reason we can see the faults is because of two things.

a)  We don't have bhakti in our heart.
b)  Our heart is full of criticism.

That is why we are disturbed and because of that we see everything in the line of criticism and we can't understand that even though devotees are individuals, they are united in Krishna consciousness and they don't have any independence from the Lord and they always serve Him. This can only come from theistic conduct. In this regard the word Amogha lila is very important. When you do devotional service, you come in contact with Krishna and Krishna is known as Amogha lila. This means on who is spotless or completely pure. In his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.3.36, Srila Prabhupada describes 'Amogha lila' very beautifully. He says, "He is called the Amogha-lila, which indicates that there is nothing lamentable in His creation. Those who create disturbance in His creation are themselves disturbed."

So there is nothing in His creation that gives us misery, provided we are with Krishna. If we are with Krishna, whatever difficulties there are, even if we appear disunited, we will see Krishna in the centre and we will work together, but if we can’t see Krishna, then we will also lament and we will become disturbed. Pracetas never created disturbance for each other. 10000 years they survived with each other. In Kaliyuga it is very difficult to live with each other. They only had one objective - Krishna. Learn to respect that everyone is different, but see the hand of Krishna and try to find what strength each person has got to give to Krishna. Try to find the good qualities of the living entities. Krishna's nature is that He can take nectar from the stock of poison. In the same way, we are followers of Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. We should also tolerate and be united. Supposing we are agitated, we are fighting with each other, please don't blame Krishna. Don't blame devotional service. It is a sure sign that our devotional service is lacking not any other reason. Our sadhana bhakti is not up to the mark. So we are disturbed and we throw our disturbance on other. They become disturbed ad the whole atmosphere becomes Kaurava atmosphere and not Pandava atmosphere.

Let us try to glorify the Lord and thus create a Pandava atmosphere which alone can attract the Lord. Our heartfelt thanks to HG Devakinandan Prabhuji for sharing these wonderful realizations.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.