Hare Krishna dear devotees,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.
Two days back I had written a mail titled, "Staying Alone with Bhagavatam". In that I had repeated the words of HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj as follows: See, we have to be with Krishna every moment of our life. We may associate with others, but that should be very minimum (yāvad arthaḥ), just enough for the job to be done. After that, we have to free ourselves and be alone with Bhagavatam. You will understand practically that all the realizations will come only when we are alone with Bhagavatam, completely dedicating ourselves to the intense study of this literary incarnation of Krishna.
HG Manohar Krishna Prabhu from Minneapolis had replied back to me as follows: I need further clarifications to this instructions.
Once we have done the mistake of marrying and maintaining a family how is it possible to live alone? What about those who are not blessed with the association of Srimad Bhagavatam? In this age of easy divorces and increased single family homes (esp. in US), this message could be easily misinterpreted.
Everybody needs love and respect. Granted that there are differences while living together. However, man does need association of others. Love and respect implies need of more than one person. While being with Srimad Bhagavatam is sublime and most invigorating, still one must have some way or etiquette to respectfully and lovingly resolve differences. Otherwise, teamwork will fail all the time.
Please ask this to Gurudev on my behalf and educate us.
Manohar Krishna Das. (end).
As he had requested in his letter, I straight away read it out to Maharaj and asked him for the answer. Since I felt that quite a few members in our forum might have got a similar question in their minds, I felt it would be beneficial to everybody if I post Manohar Prabhu's above question and the answer Maharaj gave in response. Here is Maharaj's answer below. It was just a two-line punch and I thought it is worth remembering for the rest of our lives and putting it into practice.
He said, "Association means sense-gratification. If Bhagavatam is absent in association then it is only your own attachment and it has nothing to do with Krishna!"
If somebody's mind blew away on hearing this statement, then it is worthwhile for them to introspect why they really want the association. These days, most of the time devotees want association just for praising each other or to talk something useless not really connected to Krishna. If we read Maharaj's words carefully, association is not condemned if there is discussion of Krishna-katha. Since Bhagavatam is non-different from Krishna, "staying alone with Bhagavatam" in reality means "staying alone with Krishna". By associating with somebody, if we are not with Krishna , what is the value of that association? And by staying with Krishna , if we lose someone else's association, what is the loss really?
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Kalacakra Krishna das.
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