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Lift Me Higher
by Ekabuddhi das
The debates about whether or not Srila Prabhupada knew how many windows are in the Empire State building or if a "good" devotee gives in charity to a "non-devotee" are frankly reminiscent of those other religions I left behind in favor of the Maha Mantra because Krishna Conciousness appeared to offer so much more.
I know some of you have touched upon more substantial issues in answering these questions. I would suggest a touch up on history to those still bogged down by sectarian issues. Times might very likely be very difficult externally, which as can be seen by history creates turmoil internally.
"Oh Lord, why have you forsaken me?"
"You will deny me three times before the cock crows," etc.
At the time of the plague, people became so distraught with fear that they ran from their stricken children rather than nursing them back to health. Superstition is born of fear, fear is born of ignorance. The fact is things could get worse before we see that 10,000 golden years hit.
Kindly focus on "hard core" issues — Am I this body? — Is this planet meant to be "holy"? — Do I have other options?
To me, back to basics does not just mean Kirtan and Prasadam, although these are indispensable. I recall, in the early days, a lot of talk of we are not this body. Remember those classes that lifted us out of our body, above this planet, and gave us a taste of eternality, a "higher taste"? Please preach to me, don’t nitpik. One point I feel to reach that higher ground is to put aside our arrogance. There is a lot to quote, but I will narrow it down.
From The Bhagavat, by Thakur Bhaktivinode: "Party-spirit—that great enemy of truth—will always baffle the attempt of the enquirer, who tries to gather truth from religious works of their nations, and will make him believe that absolute truth is nowhere except in his old religious book....."
Of the great thinkers of the world he goes on to say, "Their words and expressions are different, but their import is the same... God gives all to his children ‘If they want to have it.’"
We can clearly see the upheaval and destruction this narrow-minded party-spirit thought pattern has recently exacted on our world. To not see how these hostilities affect every living entity on "this planet" is to be either cold hearted or too fearful to look at the reality of the situation. To carry on with "party-line" thinking within our philosophy, especially at what could be the advent of the most physically insecure time of this millennium is simply insanity.
What’s that saying? "Godhead is light. Nescience is darkness." The definition of nescience in the dictionary is "lack of knowledge." So please, please, go back to the basics of spreading a higher conciousness. Don’t allow the planet to slip back into superstition. Bhaktivinode Thakur points out that all these differences, "fasting times, dietery restrictions, type of dress, wearing of sacred articles... are external, and do not constitute the true essence of religious understanding."
And, I would like to add, what name of God we prefer. (I’m anxiously awaiting the fan mail on that one). What to speak of judging our godbrothers upon our sometimes imperfect understanding of perfection.
"Doubts arise out of ignorance and should be slashed by the weapon of knowledge" Go forth and give knowledge to the world, but do not step over your brother to do it. The meaning of Jihad is holy war, it is meant as the war within, the internal battle with lust, greed etc. Sound familiar?
Give sincerely from the heart. The highest aspiration of a devotee in Krishna Conciousness is pure love. This is not an impersonal philosophy, and yet sometimes it manifests that way. Let us learn to look at each other and the world in the light of compassion. The sincere soul does not weigh and measure what is in it for me, he gives according to God’s desire — to have everyone experience His love.
Eka Buddhi das
© CHAKRA 25 October 2001
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