“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.34)
मन्-मना भव मद्-भक्तो
मद्-याजी मां नमस्कुरु
माम् एवैष्यसि युक्त्वैवम्
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
“It is the majority opinion in whatever polling gets conducted. You could say that the participants are ashamed to respond in the negative. They don’t want the pollster to view them in some strange light. They don’t want to admit to their neighbors how they truly feel.
“But accepting the results at face value, we see that most people already agree to the concept of God. That is the basic acknowledgment when regularly visiting a house of worship. Sure, they may forget Him most of the time. To err is human. We make mistakes. We are not perfect.
“There is no need of convincing. That is all I am saying. What is the point to the spreading of Krishna consciousness, bhakti-yoga, when so many people already identify with certain faiths? They already acknowledge God and His supremacy. What exactly are you teaching them?”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada uses the comparison to higher learning. There is the preliminary qualification. This usually means high school. From there you move on to college. You earn a degree in a specific field of study.
If you really want to be considered an expert, you advance to the next stage of post-graduate. The Vedic science, which deals with the self, is something like this higher stage. Beyond acknowledgement of God. More than just accepting an Almighty.
The question may be raised as to what more there could be. Is not the dividing line between theist and atheist? Worshiper and denier. Saint and sinner. Ascending to heaven in the afterlife and being condemned to hell, for eternity.
The post-graduate study is for learning how to love God. The true relationship. Not speculating as to what pleases Him. Not aimlessly searching for direction in life. Not viewing the man upstairs as merely an order supplier, someone to whom we beg for basic things like food and water.
He is as much a living, breathing individual as you or I. There is the potential to form a connection. There is a way to see Him in every aspect of the creation, which is the product of His amazing artistic ability to begin with. I can remain conscious of Him, always thinking of Him, becoming His devotee.
What is the benefit? How is the post-graduate student better situated than the person who only accepts the existence of God? An ideal example is Arjuna, as referenced in the Bhagavad-gita. He could fight in a bloody war, filled with fear and uncertainty, and remain on an equal standing with a renounced ascetic living in a remote cave.
Just ponder that equivalence. Peace and quiet set against tumult and chaos. Safe and secure against danger and vulnerability. Yet the truth is there. Consciousness is key. More than knowing the Almighty, we should serve Him with love. That is in the nature of the soul, which has a dharma.
That essential characteristic always remains, but it is difficult to identify. The post-graduate study reveals the ideal service and how to reawaken it. The leading teachers in the field start with the recommendation of chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
“Maybe not of devotion steady,
But majority believing already.
That God certainly to exist,
Your teaching likely to resist.”
Idea that from knowledge to grow,
Love result when further to know.
In every aspect of living how,
The blissful feeling arriving now.