May 25, 2013

Dear Devotees,

Please accept my blessings. Jaya Srila Prabhupada.

I have good news, by Krishna’s grace. First, a philosophical introduction, since Krishna’s philosophy is so perfect that it explains all situations.

In Bhagavad-gita 3.33, Krishna teaches us that “Even a person with knowledge acts according to their own nature. Beings follow their nature. What will repression do?”

The Sanskrit word for “person with knowledge” is ‘jñanavan,’ the same word Krishna uses at 7.19 to describe a devotee who after many births surrenders to Him, realizing that Vasudeva, Krishna, is everything.

Significantly, even a Krishna conscious person must act according to their nature, offering that nature in love to Krishna. Thus, Krishna also tells Arjuna, a pure devotee, at 18.60, “You are bound by your own duty which arises from your nature. The very thing that, out of illusion, you do not want to do, you will do, even unwillingly.”

In this context, the “duty born of our nature” refers to our varna, our natural bent to work as a teacher, priest, writer, ruler, merchant, farmer etc. However, in other parts of the Gita, Krishna explains that there are also natural limits on the amount of work we can do. Thus at 6.16-17, Krishna says, “One who eats too much, or fasts excessively, cannot practice spiritual life, nor one who sleeps too much or always stays awake. One who in their actions eats properly, endeavors properly, sleeps and stays awake properly, can practice spiritual life which ends our troubles.”

It is important to note that we must be balanced not only in our physical activities, but also in our emotions. Krishna speaks of this often in the Gita in reference to the mind, which is the seat of emotions. He often uses the term ‘sama,’ ‘balanced, equal,’ or ‘sAmya’, ‘balance, equality.’ The mind of a successful spiritual practitioner must be emotionally balanced, just as external activities must also be balanced and appropriate.

Many years ago, it was common for young devotees (we were all young then) to ignore or misunderstand these teachings of Krishna. In our young enthusiasm, we simply didn’t realize clearly that the laws of nature, as described by Krishna, apply to devotees as well. However Krishna is the ultimate creator and ruler of nature, and therefore nature acts exactly as He describes in Bhagavad-gita. All of us go through different stages of our spiritual life, as we try to serve and as we gradually learn from Krishna how to balance our lives. We either balance our lives consciously and intentionally, or if we are unable to do that, Krishna balances our lives by putting us through varieties of situations and circumstances that ultimately bring us to the point of spiritual and emotional maturity.

In any case, it seems that Krishna is answering my constant prayers and I am feeling great enthusiasm in my service. I also believe that my health is improving and that Krishna will allow me to again engage very busily and productively in useful service. Of course, there are always limits. Every one of us can understand, by serious reflection, how Krishna is acting in our lives. If we steadily cultivate a sincere desire to serve, to become useful instruments of Srila Prabhupada in his sankirtana mission, then one day Krishna will fulfill our desires and dreams for devotional service. We must keep chanting and praying with all our heart. That is the price we must pay.

I pray that all of you are happy and well in Krishna consciousness.

With best wishes,
Hridayananda das Goswami
May 25, 2013

P.S. In the near future, I will send more details on my service.