First Deliberate Then Follow

[Krishna and Arjuna]“Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.63)

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Friend1: Is it wrong to think of Krishna as yours?

Friend2: As in exclusive property, not belonging to anyone else?

Friend1: I don’t think the second part is considered. Just where you refer to Him as “mine.” “My savior.” “My God.” “My everything.”

Friend2: There’s certainly nothing wrong with it. Obviously, the thought is incomplete. If He is God, He must be for everyone. How did you suddenly find Him and others haven’t? Think about that for a moment.

Friend1: Great points. I was thinking the exact same thing.

Friend2: And consider this. The person to whom Krishna most belongs, if ever that could be, is Shrimati Radharani, the eternal consort. She is bhakti personified. Her entire existence is devotion. And yet one of her primary concerns is bringing others closer to Krishna. She does not keep the Supreme Lord all for herself. She thinks that she is the worst devotee, that others surpass her. These sentiments are genuine; she is not trying to be falsely humble.

[Radha-Krishna]Friend1: Are you saying that using terms like “my God” shows a lack of humility?

Friend2: It’s an immature stage, for sure. Someone else helped to reveal “their God.” Without the help of that someone, the knowledge that God is a person would remain far away. Therefore at the very least Krishna belongs to that person, too.

Friend1: The people of saintly character try to share the all-bliss that is bhakti-yoga with as many people as possible.

Friend2: Definitely. What brings this up? Did someone use that term when speaking with you? Did you feel threatened?

Friend1: Actually, it was used in context with another faith. Somehow I landed on a webpage describing a Bible verse. The writer kept referring to their savior. “My everything says.” “My Lord explains such and such.”

Friend2: I see. Was it a good explanation?

Friend1: Not at all. Pure mental speculation. The verses themselves were strange to read since context was absent. I was thinking this is what happens when the original text is missing, when only the translations are passed on.

Friend2: For sure. That’s another benefit with Vedic literature. The original Sanskrit is there, passed on to future generations. The highest wisdom safeguarded in sacred sound.

Friend1: Reading that got me to thinking. This person basically wanted you to accept their savior without hesitation. They didn’t provide any justification. The model is “accept first and ask questions later.” Oh, and by the way, keep asking questions because you’ll never get real answers.

Friend2: That’s funny.

Friend1: It seems like the Vedic model is different.

Friend2: What do you mean?

Friend1: It’s not “accept first.”

Friend2: Oh, definitely not. Well, you could say there is the requirement to approach a guru in the beginning. The spiritual master can reveal the truth since they have seen it themselves.

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.34)

Friend1: That’s true, but look at the stipulations. Inquire from them submissively. It’s not “accept blindly.”

Friend2: Athato brahma-jijnasa. “Now is the time for learning about Brahman.” This is the call to action in the human birth. Jijnasa means “inquire.” Notice that it’s not, “Now is the time for blindly accepting someone designated as the savior.”

Friend1: Mind you, there isn’t anything wrong with blindly accepting Krishna.

Friend2: Absolutely not. Just look at what He has done. In His expansion of Vishnu He effortlessly creates, maintains and annihilates this and innumerable other universes. He holds the planets up in orbit without issue. He creates an object that provides endless heat and light for a seemingly infinite period of time, without ever running out of energy or requiring maintenance.

Friend1: The sun.

[Krishna and Arjuna]Friend2: Look at the Bhagavad-gita. Krishna shows the virata-rupa, the universal form, to Arjuna. He explains time, fruitive activity, the living entities, material nature, and the Supreme Controller. Even after the wonderful explanation He leaves the decision up to Arjuna. “Deliberate, then make your decision.” It makes sense to do things that way. If you blindly follow, you can blindly give it up later on. If you make an informed choice, you will get so much more out of the experience. And spiritual life is supposed to be fun. It is supposed to be the height of living; not just some way to avoid punishment in the afterlife.

In Closing:

Intended for living at height,

Not just for wrongs to make right.

Punishment for everyone already karma through,

Better to find Absolute one, through duality true.

Vedic culture with approach unique,

Deliberate first at final birth to reach.

Evaluate after from guru inquired,

Then in bhakti live most inspired.

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