Decision making

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    Neem J


    What constitutes a good decision? I keep trying to decide if my decision/s would make the Lord happy. But I do not know enough. How should one decide when the available options are bad/less than optimal, and the available information is either inadequate or full of misrepresentations? This process becomes particularly difficult for me when I am trying to make decisions for my child. I have been grappling with this problem for a while. Any guidelines or principles that you may offer would help me in making good decisions.

    Many thanks!


    Ashish Dalela

    In every situation, we must try to act just like Krishna will act in that situation. When we act like God, then we become godly. Of course, we might not have Krishna’s power and intellect, but Krishna will give us that power and intellect if we ask ourselves: How will Krishna act in this situation?

    In Bhagavad-Gita 10.10, Krishna says: To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. This is called buddhi-yoga. So, working in this world also becomes Krishna consciousness if we ask: What will Krishna do in this situation?

    Dharma is not impersonal “laws”. Some basic principles like truthfulness, kindness, austerity, and cleanliness are prescribed to guide society. But these principles are often contradictory. For example, to punish a liar, we have to give up kindness. This is an example of giving higher preference to truth than kindness. Then sometimes we have to give up the truth to be kind. Hence, even though there are universal principles of moral action, they are not always prioritized in the same order.

    Hence what we have to do in each situation is not decided by universal laws. But there is indeed an ideal choice for every situation. That ideal choice is how Krishna will act in that situation. God is the definition of ideal. Whatever He does is ideal. There is no other meaning to “ideal” than God. So, we can either take guidance from a guru who knows God intimately or we can try to understand what God will do in that situation. Even if we take guidance from a guru, he does the same: (a) He tries to understand your situation, (b) He determines what Krishna will do in that situation, and (c) filters it by what you are unable to do to find the best thing that you can do. You can do the same.

    And if some guru gives guidance contrary to what Krishna will do in that situation, then he is a false guru. Just like when Lord Vāmana came to Bali Maharaja to “beg” for three steps of land, his “guru” Shukracharya tried to stop him. But Bali Maharaja ignored his “guru” and agreed to do what Lord Vāmana was asking him. Likewise, if some so-called guru tells you something different or contrary to what Krishna will tell you, then we have to reject that guru and ignore his guidance.

    You might say: I don’t know how Krishna will act, so can I do what He will do? And the answer is to remember Krishna and seek His guidance. He will inspire you to do what needs to be done. But if we ignore or neglect that advice, then Krishna stops advising. He knows there is no use in telling this person what to do because he will do something different. Then God also goes silent.

    Think of Krishna as Purushottama, the ideal man. In this way, you can constantly remember Krishna, always act like Him, and you will become godly, and also just like a puppet in His hands.

    Neem J

    I suppose I am trying so hard to listen that I am not hearing very well. I will continue to seek His guidance; my own fears and misgivings are creating so much noise that I am unable to decipher His signal. I am not giving up though. Thank you!

    Ashish Dalela

    I suppose I am trying so hard to listen that I am not hearing very well.

    There is no such thing as trying too hard. Those who are trying hard say that I have wasted my life by not trying. And there is no question of not hearing well. It is not a sound someone is going to whisper in your ear that you cannot hear. It springs naturally in the heart, in a flash of insight. When it springs like that, there is no doubt about its authenticity and its source. We know that it is not a product of our minds, because we never knew anything that could lead to such an idea.

    my own fears and misgivings are creating so much noise that I am unable to decipher His signal

    All fears are immediately destroyed by remembering Krishna. The spiritual fear is different. Mother Yashoda is afraid that something bad is going to happen to her son. That He may not be eating properly, and if She doesn’t feed Him, He will die. That fear, which is in relation to Krishna and not in relation to us, is considered pure. Likewise, Krishna fears His mother when she shows Him a stick. He starts crying out of fear. The master of all the universes fears a stick in His mother’s hands.

    You may be talking about material attachment and outcome driven desires. For example, in movies they show that some loved one is lying in a hospital and someone goes to “pray” in the Church or temple to cure him. And then a miracle happens. That is the most unadulterated nonsense. Basically, they have made God so cheap, that He has become everybody’s order supplier. You just enter a request in a website and click submit, and God at the “backend” will immediately supply it.

    These kinds of prayers are responded to by demigods. But even then, there is a give and take. It is a business transaction. And there is an elaborate process for that.

    Since Krishna is not interested in a business transaction, hence He never responds to such prayers. His statement is clear: Those who always remember Me, I give them the intelligence by which they can come to Me. If the question is how to serve Him better, then Krishna can respond. If the question is how to serve myself better through family, relatives, business, etc. then there is no response.

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