<Insert image>
Click here to listen>
<insert audio>
This is Part Four of Unequivocal Rantings by a Collegiate Existentialist.
To view the live presentation, click here
We are all experiencing suffering. Collectively and individually, no one is exempt from the miseries of this material world. We all experience suffering caused by nature, other living entities and our own minds and bodies. We all also experience birth, death, disease, and old age. Even though these sufferings are inherent to this material world, so much so that no one is exempt from them, people are so dull that they continually try to mitigate the suffering instead of questioning why they are suffering. They may try to blame God, or even become atheistic, thinking that there is no God in control. This is fallacious thinking. There is a reason for our suffering, but are we willing to accept the personal accountability that comes with the Truth?
We are spirit souls and eternal servants of the Supreme Soul, Sri Krsna. Each of us has a personal and intimate relationship with God in love and service. Our present condition in this world of suffering is the result of a mood anomaly that we had previously in the Lord’s abode. In the spiritual world, God, or Krsna, is in the center. Eternally, He is the Supreme Controller and Enjoyer of all His variegated potencies including, us, His parts and parcels. Somehow or other we envied the supremacy of God and have been put in the illusion of this material world to enact our desires for control and enjoyment. The illusion is that “I am this body and everything related to this body, like family, friends, and possessions, belong to me.”
We necessarily have to experience the suffering of loss of control and enjoyment because this is not the truth of our position. The purpose of this suffering is to remind us of our real position as servants of God. It is to propel us towards spiritual practices and away from material engagements for our purification and realization. Thus, this material world is not our real home. It is a correctional facility.
Upon full restoration of our loving and devotional mood towards Krsna, we can leave this prison house and return to our home in His abode after quitting this body. This requires one to take responsibility for their sinful mentality and subsequent suffering. However, no one in jail thinks they deserve to be in jail. You can search the internet for quotes by great criminals like Al Capone and “Two Gun” Crowley claiming their innocence and good natures. In the same way, although we are receiving consequences for our actions, we are refusing to take accountability.
Instead, we rationalize our behavior in all sorts of ways. We claim God is against us. We claim we are excused because Jesus died for our sins. Whatever the narrative, we go on protecting our false egos from radical self-honesty further enabling our wrongful activities. And there are wrongful activities. Just as the laws of the state are given by the government, there are laws given by God. You cannot manufacture your own government laws and you cannot manufacture God’s laws. Fire is hot. If you touch it, you will burn yourself. This is a law of nature. It holds true even when an innocent child reaches for a flame out of ignorant intrigue. Fire does not excuse just because someone is naïve. In the same way, there are reactions to our actions, pious or impious, and we are not excused because of our ignorance.
If we do not rectify our core envy for God by awakening pure love for Him, after receiving some punishment, we will simply repeat the same activities without reform. Until 50 years ago when His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada introduced the process of bhakti-yoga to the entire world, the closest to a purificatory process widely available was atonement. However, what is actually being atoned for if the actions are repeated or simply manifested in another form because the root is not removed? This is the equivalent of an elephant entering the water to take bath and throwing dust on their back again after they just cleaned themselves. This does not allow for substantial spiritual progress.
This human form of life is meant for reaching perfection. People are quite satisfied chalking up theirs and others’ faults to human nature. This is true to some extent. The Vedic literature explains as human beings we are subject to four defects: we have imperfect senses, we can be illusioned, we tend to cheat others, and we are prone to making mistakes. However, we can transcend these flaws, by becoming liberated from the actions that cause reactions, binding us in the material world. For this we must become spiritually intelligent and take personal accountability.
We cannot be overly dependent on the mercy of an extraordinary personality to rectify our sins. We cannot be clouded by a dogma that preaches eternal damnation for those unwilling to accept this personality as the savior. God gave us intelligence. He loves us dearly and wants us to return Home to Him. This is why He comes to this material world and sends His representatives. It is not that they are here because they are also in need of correction. There is always a warden and guards that monitor the prisoners, but it is not that they themselves are imprisoned.
These empowered representatives of God come giving guidance and support on our correctional process, so we can also be liberated from our bondage. This is exactly the position of Srila Prabhupada. He mercifully came to deliver us fallen and conditioned souls from our bondage here in the material world through his books and the process of chanting Hare Krsna. Again, we cannot be overly dependent on the mercy of God’s representatives to save us from ourselves. We must take the process being given and accept accountability for our own spiritual progress and relationship with God. Thank you very much, Hare Krsna.
This is Part Four of Unequivocal Rantings by a Collegiate Existentialist.
To view the live presentation, click here