“For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.68)
Friend1: From reading the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, one thing comes across loud and clear.
Friend2: That Mayavadis are bad?
Friend1: Okay, two things [smiling].
Friend2: One slight clarification. Though they are his books, nothing is made up. They are based on scriptural texts of importance in the Vedic tradition. The most well-known book is the translation and commentary on Bhagavad-gita, appropriately titled Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
Friend1: Because it doesn’t rely on speculation. Supporting is the authority of parampara, the disciplic succession. The same truths, but with slight variations in presentation accounting for time and circumstance.
Friend2: Remember, the languages are not the same. There was no English spoken during the time Krishna delivered the Song of God to Arjuna. The original sounds are preserved; at least we can rely on that. But people are known to cheat, to use religion to further their material objectives. It is best to consult a translation where the spirit of the commentator is the same as Arjuna’s.
Friend1: Who is a devotee.
Friend2: Someone not opposed to Krishna. A person who recognizes the existence of God and how He can be a person, even a beautiful, two-handed youth acting as a charioteer.
Friend1: The other message that kind of gets thrown in your face, to me anyways, is preaching. It is important to spread Krishna consciousness, to awaken others from the slumber. What you have learned, give to others.
Friend2: Yes, does that not make sense to you?
Friend1: I just don’t know how effective it will be. What is the time and circumstance here? I know that some people will not be receptive. They will make a mockery of the sacred text.
Friend2: And Krishna does conclude His conversation by saying that a person who studies this work worships Him by their intelligence.
Friend1: That people who discuss these teachings amongst the devotees are the most dear to Him.
Friend2: No one can be more dear. Okay, so what is the issue?
Friend1: I feel almost threatened in a way. That if I am not actively preaching, I am somehow a traitor to the Vedas.
Friend2: You feel pressure?
Friend1: That’s probably the best way to put it. Reminds me a little of these pyramid schemes.
Friend2: What do you mean?
Friend1: Where you sign up for this service, and the only way to make money is to sign other people up. It is a kind of preaching, where you tell everyone how great the product is. Meanwhile, the only thing great about it is that you make money by generating referrals.
Friend2: Oh, like those electricity companies that are popping up? People are always trying to get me to sign up for that.
Friend1: You ask for more details and you come to find out that the prices aren’t even lower. There is no benefit except to the person selling.
Friend2: Amusing for sure, but you know that bhakti is different, right? You can’t compare.
Friend2: The preaching is not only for increasing the number of members. Trust me, the travelling saint Narada Muni is not patting his back over how so many famous saints were taught by him. The idea is that if you love someone so much, if you have found this amazing way of life through good fortune and chance encounters, why not share it with others? If we eat at a good restaurant, we will surely tell our friends. If there is a discount deal from an airline, we likely won’t keep the knowledge to ourselves.
Friend1: Yes, but you’re using the same analogy then. It’s selling something!
Friend2: But there is no cost. The only price is sacrifice, yajna. Dedicate some time and energy to chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Read Bhagavad-gita, Shrimad Bhagavatam, and related works. Follow the four regulative principles. It may seem like work in the beginning, but soon everything will change. Your entire outlook on life, how you view the world, will improve.
Friend1: Well, if you put it that way…
Friend2: Plus, there is something else to consider.
Friend1: What is that?
Friend2: Through preaching you will actually gain a better understanding of the principles. Additionally, you will have more appreciation for the guru, the person who instructed you in bhakti-yoga.
Friend1: How is that?
Friend2: You will understand what they go through. As an example, a person becomes a parent for the first time. They always had respect for their own parents; don’t get me wrong. But not until they know what it’s like to be awoken in the middle of the night to feed an infant, to deal with uncontrollable crying, to sacrifice personal desires for someone else, will they fully appreciate what their own parents went through.
Friend1: That is a good point.
Friend2: If you have to explain the concepts of reincarnation, the difference between matter and spirit, the three modes of nature, the difference between false and real egos, the position of God with respect to the innumerable living entities, the deficiencies in other paths of spirituality, the difference between pure and impure devotion, and so forth you will have much more confidence in the path yourself. You will become closer to the person you are worshiping, upasana.
From teachers pressure to feel,
That necessary a sales appeal.
Responsible for corrective track placing.
Otherwise a traitor, the other way facing.
But not ordinary product like selling,
Personal benefit when to others telling.
Guru and Krishna to appreciate more,
Better understanding of principles core.