Krishna consciousness is multi-colored

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Due to his spiritual empowerment and his purity Shrila Prabhupada was able to explain the deeply esoteric philosophy of Krishna consciousness in a way that could be grasped by people with no external background in Vedanta (philosophical conclusions of the Vedic scriptures) or Bhakti. Certainly in essence our philosophy is very simple, as stated in many verses in the Gita, such as 9.34 where Krishna tells us how to be Krishna conscious:

"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."

At the same time that KC is simple it is also backed up by a deep philosophical basis. To varying degrees we require this knowledge to give us evidence for our faith in the simple processes. For example, chanting Hare Krishna can be done by a child or an illiterate or simple person, yet a person who is engaged in chanting the holy name is considered to have realized the purport of all the Vedas. From the Shirmad Bhagavatam [3.33.7]it is said:

"O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a candala [dog-eater], is situated on the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic rituals and studied the Vedic literatures many, many times after taking his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Aryan family."

By the grace of advanced devotees people can take up the simple yet profoundly deep process of Bhakti yoga and chanting the holy name. What they are really doing is continuing the process from previous births, so in that sense we don't "make" devotees, but find them by helping to uncover their dormant spiritual life. Krishna.com is meant to help facilitate that in its' readers.

We often see (which is confirmed by our previous acharyas) that devotees make rapid advancement up to the point where they left off in their previous life. Then they discover the vast intermediate zone which seems like a very long plateau. In a sense this is where the real work begins.

Where at first Krishna consciousness seemed very black and white, and we can perfectly explain everything, we discover that the deeper we go into the philosophy, the more shades of gray we find. Or as I like to say, we discover that Krishna consciousness is multicolored, with so many hues and nuances of color.

This can be disconcerting at first, yet we have to become comfortable with answers that may not be either this, or that, but sometimes both may be true. We have to harmonize apparent contradictions in the light of our guru, the previous acharyas or teachers, the scriptures, and our own mature experience and spiritual insights from many years of practice. (sadhu-shastra-guru-vakya, cittete kariya aikya)

The point of this small discussion is to point out that there are stages of development which have varieties of deeper understanding, in our unfolding as Krishna bhaktas. What we first thought was Krishna consciousness may be turned on its' head.

What I thought Krishna consciousness was 37 years ago, and what I think and feel it is today are very different. Some of the things ARE the same of course--Krishna is still the Supreme Personality of Godhead, chanting Hare Krishna is still the yuga dharma etc. Yes, there ARE black and white aspects of the philosophy, yet my understanding of many of the details have changed. For instance in how I relate to the world, other people, devotees, and to Krishna.

This could be a whole other discussion, yet I try to only give some bites size blogs that don't go on too long.

I will end by sharing a broad yet most basic area that has changed over the years. I see Krishna consciousness is as much deeper and profound, yet interestingly as far more accommodating, inclusive and broad than I ever would have dreamed or thought in my early days. At the same time there is a place for a more narrow view, especially in the beginning or to make certain points according to time, place and circumstances.

In the beginning the black and whiteness of the presentation of Krishna consciousness was very comforting. Now that aspect is not. Now I revel in the understanding that Krishna consciousness is multi-colored and so accommodating!!

Combined comments from old site

Black and white

I do have things in my life which are black and white:

Black and White Krishna and Radha

Picture Shri Shri Radha Nila Madhava


*Reply*

Sun, 10/21/2007 - 20:40 — Navasi
Sri Sri Radha Nila Madhava!!!

Hare Krishna,
Dear Karnamrita Prahbu!
Well, I am ASTOUNDED by your Black and White!!!
With that kind of black and white who would ever need any other color or shade of grey, or anything else at all!!!
They, Sri Sri Radha Nila Madhava are So Very Beautiful!!!
Of course particularly affecting me with my son named Nila Madahva das! (and I chose that name myself for the reasons of the Nila Madhava diety in India and the story associated with it! :)
I honestly don't know how you manage to tear yourself away from just being in front of the altar of this amazing Radha Nila Madhava long enough to post these nice blogs here on Connect!!!
Well, what a great service you are doing to leave this Darshan long enough to sit at a computer screen and write things for us all here!!!!
(maybe I will come up there to Prabhupad village for a visit after all.. :) (if I am invited that is, I don't just "appear" in places... since I am not Krishna... :)
Krishna is certainly "appearing" in YOUR place!!! :) :) :)
Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful Dieties,
Karnamrita Das Prabhu,
Your Servant,
With Love,
Navasi Devi Dasi


*Reply*

Mon, 10/22/2007 - 03:35 — Karnamrita.das
Karnamrita.das's picture
You are invited

Please plan a trip here with your hubby. It is beautiful country and near a scenic park, Hanging Rock State Park, and we have many beautiful Deities in our home, and other devotees here have incredible Deities as well.

Radha Gopinatha, the official or unofficial Temple Deities (depending on who you ask)also reside at our home, along with Gaura Nitai, Pralada Nrisimha, Prabhupada, and four Shilas. We really didn't plan to have so many Deities, but they have come.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


*Reply*

Mon, 10/22/2007 - 06:19 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Thank you!

Dear Karnamrita Prabhu,
Thank you so much for your kind invitation!!!!
We actually live rather close to you, just south, here in Georgia, so perhaps soon my husband and I will be able to come and visit you and your amazing "collection" of Dieites!!!
In the meantime, your kind invitation is making me very happy, just to think of coming up there to such a wonderful place!
Thank you,
Love,
Navasi


*Reply*

Mon, 10/22/2007 - 06:40 — Karnamrita.das
Karnamrita.das's picture
Who is collecting who?

Actually from another angle of vision, our Deities have come into our life to "collect us up", back to Godhead. They have appeared in our lives to engage us in their service, and let us "practice" our eternal occupation.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita

Shri Nrisimha-AnantaShri Nrisimha-Ananta

Prahlad-NrsimhadevaPrahlad-Nrsimhadeva


*Reply*

Mon, 10/22/2007 - 19:44 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Collected!

Dear Karnamrita Prabhu,
Yes, you are absolutely right!
I can clearly see that you are indeed very much:
Collected!
and
Connected!
Very nice to be so "collected" by Krishna! I wish that I would also become collected in a similar way! :)
To be "collected" by all these wonderful Shaligram Shilas alone would have me thrilled!
What better thing could there be than to be "collected" by Krishna!
Thank you so much for sharing the "collecting" through these wonderful photos you are posting here!
Perhaps I will also get "collected" myself! :)
Even if that doesn't occur, it seems to me, just looking at these photos, that I am at least (or really, better than best) "connected" !! :)
(and so is anyone else who views Them) :) :) :)
Thank you, Dear Karnamrita Prahbu,
Love,
Navasi


Thu, 10/18/2007 - 18:43 — Krdc
Krdc's picture
Eternally Greatful

Hare Krishna!
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Please accept my humble obeisances.

I have been Krishna conscious for a few years now but haven't spent as much time and effort as I should be doing in attempting to worship and please Krishna.

Your blogs together with all the others and the wonderful service that Krishna.com is offering to us all, give me the inspiration and motivation I very much need.

Many thanks for all the assistance.
Keep up the great work.

Your humble servant,
Dhesan


*Reply*

Fri, 10/19/2007 - 00:51 — Karnamrita.das
Karnamrita.das's picture
Thanks for your comment

It is inspiring for me to hear from you that I can be helpful in your spiritual journey. I live for that, and am trying my best to give to the next generation of devotees and whoever I can for what time I have left in this body. One of the benefits of getting older is that there is no escaping the fact that death of the body is real, and soon.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, yet we could also say it takes a village of support to keep devotees inspired. Another saying is, " No man is an island". Human beings require society, friendship, and love, and so it is with our devotees.

We all have our ups and downs in KC, so it is essential that we have a devotee support system to help us in times of difficulty or crisis. I hope you have that where you live. In any case I am glad you find inspiration and motivation from being on Krishna.com.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita