Become The Change

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"Become the change you wish to see in the world"
Mahatma Gandhi

I talk about change a lot, change this, change that, how to change, what to change.

Why do we need change? What's wrong with the way things are?

In any life, in any situation, there is usually some kind of striving. Most of us strive, and do have aspirations, endeavors.

Some people are very dull. They have no dreams, no goals, no aspirations. They are satisfied with things as they are. The "status quo" as it were. No striving. No dreams. "Keep things as they are and I'm happy, as long as I don't have to change".

The deadly comfort zone.

"Don't make me change, and I won't make you change" (i.e., you're okay, I'm okay, we're all okay)

For those who are on a spiritual path, this very satisfaction is like death. We don't want to "accept things" as they are, we want to change things. Improve things, work things out, fix things, create things, renew things.

Creative force is part of the soul. The soul is creative. It's not the Supreme Creator, but it does consist of energy, it is energy, personified energy. Energy that is a small particle of the Supreme Energy.

So, we want to "create", we want to arrange, we want to contribute, influence, affect, participate, ... Change.

In material consciousness we try to change the external world. We want to change our living situation, our mates, our friends, our social status, whatever. Some more energetic people want to change the environment, the society, the world.

In spiritual life, we want to change things too. We want to change how people view devotees, how many people become devotees, how we preach to others. We want to influence people to become Krishna conscious.

All these things in spiritual life are ways to engage ourselves in Krishna consciousness and help others become Krishna conscious.

When we are actively engaged in changing ourselves from within, then we are more actively engaged in changing others from without. The more we are actively engaged in changing ourselves from within, the more we will be effectively engaged in changing others from without.

If we are not actively rooting out the cause of our own personal inability to surrender to Krishna, then we can't actively engage in rooting out the cause of other peoples inability to surrender to Krishna.

*Some of us are already totally surrendered to Krishna in every way possible. For the rest of us, it's essential to actively cultivate change from within, and root out the things that keep us from being totally surrendered to Krishna.

We think our minds can sort out and logically analyze all the ways to do this, or do that. But really, it comes from looking inside. There is always more to see, more to let go of.

We are all very dependent on the external environment and influenced by it. Even when that environment involves our devotional environment.

Our friends, our associates, our service, our commitments. (I would call this a "spiritual comfort zone")

We need to let go of all comfort zones to reach our highest goals and be the most effective instruments of Krishna's plans.

There are no mysteries, there are no questions. There is only The Mysterious One. The Supreme Answer. That would be Krishna.

"Become the change you wish to see in the world" to me means "embody whatever it is you want to see happen".

When you change yourself, then Krishna changes the rest. (in other words, pull out the weeds)

Gardens that don't get weeded cannot produce the most spectacular blooms.

The blooms will be weak, the plants spindly, the flowers will fade quickly under strong sunlight, and the petals will be cast adrift at the first strong wind.

* Navasi's blog
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Comments
Wed, 11/26/2008 - 13:10 — madhumangalah1977
madhumangalah1977's picture
Quoting gandhi?

Best to stick with the teachings given by Prabhupada, quote Prabhupada.
Are we so advanced we do not need his teachings any more.
I am amazed at how one can talk about spiritual matters, without a single quote from guru
The vedic standard relies only on guru , sadhu, shastra.
Everything else is ego.

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Fri, 11/28/2008 - 21:07 — abrennan
abrennan's picture
It is interesting to note

Srila Prabhupada mentions Gandhi on many occasions. In Vedabase Gandhi is mentioned 1403 times. $x in Srimad Bhagavatam. 18x in Caitanya Caritamrita 28x in his other books. 518 x in conversations and 91x in correspondence.

Srila Prabhupada talks about the life and politics of Gandhi, he quotes him on a numerous occasions and he says that he has read Gandhi's life story and details some of his life events.

In another thread we are talking about how it is a good idea to check your spelling and grammar before you click 'Post Comment'.

I always find it a good idea to check my facts when posting on a public forum such as Connect.

________________________________________
Visit the Food Channel @ Krishna.com

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Sun, 11/30/2008 - 01:48 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Mahatma Gandhi

Dear Antony,

Thank you very much for bringing this up.

I was actually a bit confused by Bhaktin Carol's comment saying that Mahatma Gandhi did not believe in the reality of Krishna, and the quotes she had there from him.

I always understood Mahatma Gandhi to be a devotee of Krishna, in fact a very great devotee of Krishna.

I did not study his life however, so I chose not to address that aspect of what she was saying.

I was still taking a statement, that on that face of it, does not seem to have any obvious thing to do with Krishna consciousness, and using it to describe something Krishna conscious.

Or so I thought....

Now that I reflect further on this whole topic, it occurs to me, that when one considers that Mahatma Gandhi was in fact a great devotee of the Lord, then even though he is addressing a personal/political aspect in this quote I used, still, one would not be able to say it was "un-related" to Krishna consciousness.

I would say more that it is not directly obvious, and perhaps what I really did, was bring that to light, show it in that light.

I think this is very interesting, when we are talking also about "why don't we use quotes".

Really, we are doing something very similar to this aspect of Ghandi when we discuss our personal lives as devotees in these blogs, rather than using quotes. It's meant to be more direct and obvious, and usually it is, but still, it's a similar concept I think.

We may say things that others would not see the relevance of, if they only took one sentence from our post, and "quoted it". However, read as a whole, and considering the person saying it, then we can understand that it is actually clearly a statement of something Krishna conscious.

Thanks again, Antony, I really appreciate you bringing this out.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Wed, 11/26/2008 - 23:19 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Spiritual Issues And Quotes

Dear Madhu Mangala das,

I realize you are new to this website, so perhaps you are not yet aware of it's purpose, or why we discuss things here in the ways we do.

I will try to explain.

This is not the temple room, and it's not Srimad Bhagavatam class.

This website is meant for people who are just coming to Krishna consciousness (mostly) and because it's about Krishna consciousness, there are also many older, more experienced devotees here.

Some are here because they need association that they can't get otherwise (because they don't live near a temple, or whatever).

Some are here to associate with the newer people in order to help them.

If you were on Sankirtan distributing books, would you expect to only quote scripture to the people?

"Here, take this book because Krishna says "surrender to me and become my devotee".

I don't think you will get many books distributed that way.

There is a time and place for everything, as I'm sure you are aware.

If you are disturbed by the lack of scripture being quoted on this website and it does not help your spiritual life, then I would suggest that you renounce it.

I don't think I have to provide a quote for you to remember:

"Accept all things favorable for Krishna consciousness and reject all things unfavorable".

We all have choices about whom we associate with. You are not being forced to be here.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Wed, 11/19/2008 - 19:46 — bhaktincarol
bhaktincarol's picture
Use everything in the service of Krishna

This article made me smile...made me happy.
I had recently read some things Mahatma Gandhi wrote in his introduction to his translation of the Bhagavad Gita, (he was writing about the Gita) that he "...felt that it was not a historical work, but that, under the guise of physical warfare, it described the duel that perpetually went on in the hearts of mankind..." and "Krishna of the Gita is perfection and right knowledge personified; but the picture is imaginary. That does not mean that Krishna, the adored of his people never lived. But perfection is imagined. The idea of a perfect incarnation is an aftergrowth."
As devotees in the Krishna consciousness movement, we know Sri Krishna to be the original Supreme Personality of Godhead.
You took a well-known statement attributed to Gandhi, who apparently did not believe in the reality of Krishna, and used his own words in the service of Krishna!!

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 00:05 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Using Things

Dear Bhaktin Carol,

Well, seeing your comment made me smile too!

This is one of my favorite pastimes :) Taking totally unrelated things and turning them into something that expresses a point about Krishna consciousness.

I do it all the time. If you look at some of my past blog posts you will see that. One devotee told me a long time ago, in my guest book "It's amazing how you take things that have nothing to do with Krishna and turn them around". (or something like that)

: ) Well, I love doing that.

If you knew how many things in my life I do that with, or how many ideas of doing that I've had about all the articles that I didn't write, you would most likely be laughing really hard, instead of only smiling!

It makes me laugh just thinking of it!

Yes, use everything to serve Krishna. Everything!

Thank you for your nice comment.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Wed, 11/19/2008 - 12:03 — Go-Seva
Go-Seva's picture
Being stagnant

Hare Krsna Navasi~ You have an amazing ability at articulating in a blog exactly the thing that is on my mind at the time... I have been thinking about change alot lately, as many things in my life are undesirable for cultivating devotion to Krsna and progressing in service. Some things are certainly beyond my control, so I can only pray to Krsna for a change; others I am thinking of creative ways to change myself (and only if Krsna so desires.)

My husband works at a large banking institution, and works with many demoniac and atheistic personalities there: meat-eaters, drunkards, and the sort. My husband, however, is a very charismatic and dynamic person and I feel he could possibly effect a change in his co-workers. I have proposed that he take some nice prasadam to work, along with several different books, to distribute to his co-workers. He has agreed, as he himself has changed to a more-willing-to-surrender position as of late. Perhaps is the constant playing of Srila Prabhupada in the house, either chanting or singing...

My daughter has recently become very much enamored of Krsna and all things relating to Him since we took her to the Ratha-yatra in Philadelphia a few months ago. She was very kind and loving toward Krsna before, but wasn't nearly as consumed with KC as she is now. She REALLY has changed!

My son has also changed: he refuses to sleep at night without cuddling the Krsna doll that my daughter previously had by her when she slept. It has caused some before-bed altercations between them (much to my dismay...)

And I feel stagnant. Although all these changes are going on around me, I still cannot do what I would like with my time. It is very frustrating for me at times, until I remember that this is exactly the situation Krsna has arranged for me. I do the best I can everyday to make sure the kids are immersed in a bhakti-inspired environment, as well as remember Krsna all the time myself. I am signed up to attend a Japa Workshop in NYC in a few weeks, so I am praying this will help me along in my devotional service and also with chanting, perhaps break my feelings of stagnation and give me fresh hope.

I feel fortunate that Krsna is seemingly arranging everything so nicely for my family and myself. I pray for His mercy daily, and apparently I am receiving it. That's nice for a change!

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 00:38 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Constant Playing Of Srila Prabhupad

Dear Lisa,

That's wonderful to know that this blog was exactly what was on your mind right now.

You know, it really is amazing all the ways Krishna is working, the things we can't see or don't know.

I write something, with a certain thing in my mind, and then find out later that someone else has been thinking in the same way, and it has meant something to them to read what I wrote at that exact time.

(Thank you so very much, Krishna, I am trying to serve Your devotees, and am so thrilled when I discover that I have.)

:):):):):):)

Just one of the many amazing ways that Krishna demonstrates how He works through His devotees.

There really is a lot to be said for playing Srila Prabhupad constantly that way. I know I do that and it has had a most definite affect on my spiritual life.

What you're saying there about changing the things you can, that effort, that endeavor, that thought, that is "engagement" in devotional service.

Getting engaged, staying engaged. We have all these things go on in our lives, presented to us by Krishna as opportunities for us to "become engaged" in serving Him. Serving with our ideas, our thoughts, our minds, our creativity, our hearts, our bodies, our souls.

hehehe : ) Ah.... sweet!

Krishna consciousness is never stagnant. In fact, that's a good indicator... if we feel stagnant, then that means we need to work on our Krishna consciousness, because when we are Krishna conscious, there is nothing stagnant at all!

So, that's wonderful you've gotten involved in making all these changes, incredible, positive changes!

I'm so impressed with what your husband is doing. Please give him my regards and express my appreciation. That is so fantastic the he has started to become more enthused.

(obviously due to his having good association ;)

Wonderful about your children also.

Love that you are going to the japa workshop! Excellent! Is your husband going to take care of the children while you're gone? I hope you'll tell us all about it when you get back.

Yes, those are certainly some nice changes! Wow!

Hare Krishna!
Navasi

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Wed, 11/19/2008 - 12:27 — Karnamrita.das
Karnamrita.das's picture
Remembering Krishna dispite our life

I thought of an example that Prabhupada often gives in regard to your situation. Here is one version from a Prabhupada lecture:

So you haven't got to do anything. Simply you have to act in Krsna consciousness and for Krsna. Then your life is successful. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita: yat karosi yad juhosi yad asnasi yat tapasyasi kurusva tad mad-arpanam [Bg. 9.27]. Now, yat karosi. You have to do something. You have to work. Krsna does not say, "Oh, because you are in Krsna consciousness, you, you simply..." If you can, simply can think of Krsna, it is very good. But in our present position, that is not possible, because we are not so advanced that we can simply think of Krsna. But simply think of Krsna is automatically done if you work for Krsna. The same example, just like I gave you several times, that a woman who is attached with another lover, he, she appears to be very much engaged in the family duties but she's always thinking of her lover, when she'll meet at night. The thinking process is going on even with the activities of her household affairs. These examples are given in Vedic literature. Similarly, if you actually love Krsna, then, in spite of your being engaged in so many works, you can think of Krsna, full meditation. That is possible, practical. If you have got, I mean to say, very eager attraction for a certain thing, in spite of your acting differently, you are thinking of that. There are many examples. Suppose somebody beloved, your son, is ill at home. You have come to office to work. You are working but you are thinking, "How is the boy? How the child is there? How the child is there?" It is a question of love only. So there are certain processes, regulative processes. If you follow those processes, then automatically you become a lover of Krsna. Just like one process: this chanting. You go on chanting Hare Krsna and you'll find very soon you become a lover of Krsna.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Lecture: "Nobody Wants to Die" -- Boston, May 7, 1968

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita

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Sun, 11/23/2008 - 06:38 — vijay_koradi
vijay_koradi's picture
good one

Dear Karnamrita,

this is my first reply to this forum

I feel fortunate to be a part of this website

i am learning many things...which i didn't know

and the information which u shared was very inspirational

the example which u gave about dad and his son was a good one

i too wanna become a lover of Krishna the Lord

thank u for Ur valuable info

Hare Krishna!

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Thu, 11/20/2008 - 00:15 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Lover Of Krishna

Fascinating....

Dear Karnamrita,

We were just discussing becoming "lovers of Krishna" in the forums!

"You go on chanting Hare Krishna, and you'll find very soon you become a lover of Krishna"

That's wonderful!

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Yes, I surely want to become a lover of Krishna!
(I think I'm in pretty deep as it is!)

Hare Krishna!
Navasi