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Who Do We Tell

September 25, 2015

Who Do We Tell

Bhagavad-Gita As It Is: Chapter 1:46: From the purport:
“Such a kind and soft-hearted person, in the devotional service of the Lord, is fit to receive self-knowledge.” From the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

I have read in many ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) publications, that it is considered to be a sin to try to teach certain kinds of people about God or Krishna, or to expose the representations of the Lord to those kinds of individuals. I didn’t understand that concept when I was younger. Now that I’ve been on the planet over sixty years, it all makes sense to me.

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There’s an old saying, “ You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” Anyone who has ever tried to wrestle a two-thousand pound animal and force them to do anything will understand that statement. There’s just no way. You can totally exhaust yourself trying to do something very futile. Such is the nature of the one who is ‘not ready’.

Stubborn as a mule. Boys on a beach try to coax a recalcitrant animal into action. Photograph, early 1900's. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Stubborn as a mule. Boys on a beach try to coax a recalcitrant animal into action. Photograph, early 1900’s. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

I’m always surprised to see, especially on social media, how the atheists come flying out of the box with swords swinging, every time the word God is brought into the topic. And I’m equally shocked at the behaviour of many so-called believers. They, too, get so enveloped in the moment, they lose total perspective and stop ‘walking’ their supposed talk. One can see easily how wars start, especially wars about religion.

So, teaching someone about faith, or God, or anything to do with religion can be a very tricky thing. You have to take it cautiously.

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The quote at the beginning of this article uses the words “ kind and soft-hearted person, in the devotional service of the Lord.” When you first read that, you might think it means they are already ‘fully enlightened’ beings and so, why would they need more instruction? But that is not what it’s referring to.
It takes a lot of work for an individual to reach the stage where they are open to new ideas and spiritual growth. It doesn’t just happen quickly for most people. And once a person is ready for more input of that nature, you find they are already in the ‘service of the Lord’, sometimes even without knowing it. They are the compassionate ones who recognize pain and need in others and are trying to help. They are facing challenges in their own lives which have made them question more and more the nature of their own existence.

When that person shows up, they are who you can offer assistance to, and never fear to take to a church or temple.

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I have been an animal rights activist and vegetarian most of my life. I recently met a nice couple and had a chance to visit with them for awhile. The fellow was fine when I mentioned I was a vegetarian. But his wife, literally yelled out, “ I could never not eat meat!”

Hmmm…not someone I should try to tell about anything to do with the topic of vegetarianism, just yet. At least not…overtly. My instruction would be more subtle and I would come from the direction of cost effectiveness, environmental destruction, comparison to domestic pets etc. It would be a long and arduous route and I would have to want to get very close to that person. But just as the Vedas teach there are literally thousands of different types and levels of humans, well, not all of them are people I want to become really close friends with. So perhaps I will just pray for her. That works too.

It’s important to be aware and beware when trying to pass on knowledge of higher learning to anyone. Always keep yourself balanced. Don’t lose perspective. Don’t get too attached to the results. Let it go if they don’t want to hear. Don’t make their karma, your karma.

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I am very grateful to the Lord in my heart who has gently guided me into understanding that I cannot change the whole world and it is not my job to do so. I can only try to make the ripples in my own pond quiet and calm, and not tidal waves.

Hare Krishna,
Your servant,
Abhidheya Devi Dasi

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3 Comments
  1. Stella dorothy permalink

    Hmmmmm…. Good thoughts to contemplate. Some of the horses I am trying to lead are not thirsty enough yet, or have only sipped dirty water. Timing , patience and faith are my friends and teachers.
    Thanks

  2. I am very grateful to the Lord in my heart who has gently guided me into understanding that I cannot change the whole world and it is not my job to do so. I can only try to make the ripples in my own pond quiet and calm, and not tidal waves.” – very well written !

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