“Clear understanding of material nature, the Supersoul, the individual soul and their interrelation makes one eligible to become liberated and turn to the spiritual atmosphere without being forced to return to this material nature. This is the result of knowledge. The purpose of knowledge is to understand distinctly that the living entity has by chance fallen into this material existence. By his personal endeavor in association with authorities, saintly persons and a spiritual master, he has to understand his position and then revert to spiritual consciousness or Krishna consciousness by understanding Bhagavad-gita as it is explained by the Personality of Godhead.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 13.24 Purport)
As part of the mission to enlighten the public, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada gives a clear conception of God. This is not based on mental speculation or hallucination induced by chemicals. It is an authoritative picture, as passed down through the ages.
The Supreme Lord is so kind that He does not limit Himself to a single manifestation, but this does not mean that He is anything and everything. The Vaishnava prefers to worship God in the personal form, such as with Vishnu, Krishna or Rama.
There is a desperate need for such worship, and sadly the information is lacking within a standard education in the modern day. The resultant outcome is generally along one of two paths.
1. Not to think of God
“Do you remember your years in school? I am talking about ages six to eighteen, roughly. The stages go by different names around the world, but let’s agree that this is the period of primary education. You are learning to read and write. You become proficient at arithmetic. You have a basic idea of science and perhaps some history specific to the country of origin.
“While I don’t remember everything from that period of my life, I know for certain that we never discussed God. I think it is illegal to do so in the public education system. There wasn’t really an alternative explanation. We studied the theory of evolution, for sure, but I never took that to be a threat to the religious way of life. Perhaps I wasn’t paying much attention, but the focus was always on the future.
“You had to think about what to be when you grew up. You have to find a way to maintain yourself. If you get good grades in school, you can gain admission into a top university, which then sets you on the proper career track. That seemed to be the primary and only focus.”
2. Everyone can think of God in their own way
“No one religion is superior to another. Every person is worshiping in their own way. If you have a conception of God, stay with it. There is no harm if you don’t believe in God. We are not forcing anything on anyone. The law prohibits the teaching of religion in the public domain, and for good reason. We don’t want people learning a way of life that is incompatible with their belief system.”
Whatever the excuse, there should not be an issue with a person presenting a clear understanding of the Almighty for others to study, contemplate, and even approach. Just because my neighbor does not have an idea on the proper direction of spiritual life does not mean those who do should stay silent.
Without being instructed about something new, how will a person ever learn? How will they learn to decipher right from wrong without someone teaching it to them? How will they even have a chance at happiness if they aren’t provided the different options with respect to worship?
ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते
तांस् तथैव भजाम्य् अहम्
मनुष्याः पार्थ सर्वशः
ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ
“All of them – as they surrender unto Me – I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.11)
Shri Krishna explains that everyone follows Him in all respects. Whether someone acknowledges His standing as the Supreme Personality of Godhead makes no difference. Whether they believe in God or not, they are following Him all the same.
The purpose of removing the veil of mystery is to facilitate a direct approach. Create a relationship with the one who has had my interests in mind since before I can remember. Forge a bond that cannot be broken. Every other relationship severs eventually, due to the influence of time. God is beyond time, and so I can stay with Him eternally, provided I get to know Him.
Education system lacking,
System of connection attacking.
Where otherwise natural to be,
God inside of you and me.
Following all in every respect,
Just different result to expect.
Based on level of understanding so,
Best when directly to go.
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