Loving Krishna

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    Ankita Pandey

    Hare Krishna

    Sometimes while reading when I find something difficult to understand, a question pops up in my mind ‘Why can’t we love Krishna without knowing philosophy?’

    I do try to pacify mind by recalling something of scripture like … Vidya vadhu jivanam (knowledge always follows chanting)

    Ashish Dalela

    Knowledge is not required to become a devotee. Devotion and chanting are sufficient. Knowledge can be a byproduct of chanting. However, because our minds cannot chant or remember Krishna always, therefore, many other ways to engage the mind, such as singing, deity worship, reading books, and so on, are also prescribed. They are various ways to engage the mind so that we can occupy ourselves more and more. However, chanting alone is necessary and sufficient for this age.

    Philosophy is specifically recommended in this age due to the sahajiya tendency in which we are not able to distinguish between mental emotion and spiritual emotion. Mental emotion is always sad or happy, depressed or motivated, but spiritual emotion is opposites simultaneously. There are many sahajiya teachers at present. They sing, dance, and cry, but they don’t have true devotion. Just after singing, dancing, and crying they go back to their regular materialistic activities. Professional singers, dancers, and tear-shedders are also available. They charge money to sing, dance, and cry. To dissuade people from following these kinds of teachers, it is recommended to follow only those who are experts in philosophy. It is not that these philosophers are necessarily perfect devotees. But it is better to follow such a person than to follow a sahajiya because the philosopher will tell us many things which make us realize “I did not know this”. Factually, it is not necessary to know that. But if we think “I did not know this” we become humble. Otherwise, we think “I am already perfect”.

    Philosophy is the manifestation of Krishna’s chit-śakti. Various kinds of practices like breath control and mind control are manifestations of Krishna’s bhūti-śakti. Bhakti is the manifestation of Krishna’s māyā-śakti. The creation is the result of Krishna’s chit-śakti. The control of the creation is the result of Krishna’s bhūti-śakti. And enjoyment of the creation is the result of Krishna’s māyā-śakti. They are all different powers and aspects of Krishna. But the most fundamental aspect of a person is their desire to be happy. The creation of the world and the control of the world are secondary to that. Therefore, when we speak about bhakti then we are talking about the highest aspect of Krishna. But philosophy is not separate from Krishna. It is also an aspect. But somewhat inferior to the emotional aspect.

    The fact is that we can cook for Krishna even if we don’t know cooking. Sabari was giving wild berries to Lord Rama, and He was eating them with gratitude. In the same way, Sanatana Goswami was giving dry chapatis to Krishna every day. Krishna was eating that. But, ideally, we give nicely made recipes. For that we need knowledge. Like that, we need knowledge to do good quality work with devotion. There is poor quality work with devotion. There is good quality work without devotion. And there is good quality work with devotion. Knowledge is required to improve the quality of work. While both quality work and devotion are recommended, if we have to choose, then devotion is more important. Krishna can eat dry chapati if given with devotion, but not fancy recipes without devotion. Hence, He says one who gives Me water, fruit, leaf, or flower with devotion, I accept it.

    Philosophy is also required to organize society. We need knowledge to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong. Similarly, philosophy is required to refute false ideas, including our own false ideas. We are surrounded by propaganda, lies, and deceit. It is rare to find the truth. So we take guidance from philosophy because otherwise, we will take guidance from propaganda.

    We can summarize everything by Bhedābheda. Philosophy and devotion are distinct but inseparable. This means that by devotion we get knowledge, and by knowledge we get devotion. If devotion is strong, then knowledge will automatically come. Likewise, if knowledge is strong, then devotion will come automatically. But every person has different inclinations and abilities for different things. Therefore, many options are given, and each person can choose one of the many. The necessary thing is chanting, and it is for everyone. Everything else is recommended but it is optional.

    Ankita Pandey

    Hare Krishna prabhuji, your response always clarifies doubt and simultaneously gives internal bliss. Hari bol.

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