Why do people feel lonely despite being Krishna conscious?
Via the Internet
Our reply: “Being Krishna conscious” and taking up the process of Krishna consciousness are two different things. Your question is like asking why someone doesn’t practice medicine even though he is in medical school.
Fully Krishna conscious persons see Krishna in everything, are fully aware of their own spiritual nature, and are attached to rendering loving service to Krishna at every moment. Such persons have no separate material concerns for happiness or satisfaction. Rather, they feel that if Krishna and their guru are satisfied, then they are also happy.
Taking to Krishna consciousness is the beginning of a process. One starts to read about Krishna consciousness, discusses it, and practices it with the hope of developing a taste for spiritual activities and realizing his or her relationship with Krishna. During the initial stages, we may slip occasionally, may have doubts and weaknesses, and may lack clarity. All these things may make us feel separate from Krishna and even from Krishna’s devotees. Thus loneliness settles in.
When one is fully absorbed in Krishna, one realizes that Krishna is in the heart and can be accessed anytime. The Lord and the guru are always there, and so one never feels alone. Even in adversity one sees the hand of the Lord and understands deeply that the Lord is always present.
Increasing Determination and Tolerance
Please tell me how to increase my determination to follow the path of Krishna consciousness. Also, I want to know how to increase tolerance.
Via the Internet
Our reply: There are several things you can do to increase your determination on the path of Krishna consciousness. Number one is association. By taking regular association from those who are strong, determined, and dedicated to the process of Krishna consciousness, you will find that your determination increases. And if by chance you become weak, then there will always be others to assist you by offering strong support.
The second thing is to read Srila Prabhupada’s books daily. In his purports Srila Prabhupada always took the time to offer detailed instructions applicable to us. He taught us how to overcome the obstacles we face, and by reading his books we will become stronger and more determined.
Studying Srila Prabhupada’s life and seeing his determination will also help. Read Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita or other books written about him by his close disciples. You will be amazed and strengthened by hearing of his determination.
Eat only prasadam. We become weak by eating food not prepared for and offered to Krishna. If we eat only prasadam, we become inspired and stronger in our Krishna consciousness.
As for increasing our tolerance, the most important thing is to remember that everything happens with Krishna’s sanction. We are coming in contact with the results of our past activities. We have no choice in that, but how we react to what happens creates our future situation. So to lessen your future difficulties, be tolerant in your present situation, and you will find that the karmic chain will be broken.
Remember, Krishna is in control. Be grateful for the lessons He is teaching you. Even if you find those lessons difficult to take, develop an attitude of gratitude, and you will find yourself much more peaceful and appreciative of His intervention in your life.
The Spiritual World
Will things that one loves to do in earthly life, like art or a particular discipline, exist in Krishna’s world, or is all lost? Is there activity, or total absorption? What about child-rearing?
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Our reply: There is a story in the ancient Vedic texts about two frogs. One was a worldly-wise frog, having traveled far and wide, and the other lived in a village well. The worldly frog went to visit his friend in the well one day and tried to describe the ocean to him. But the frog in the well could only ask, “Is it twice the size of my well? Three times the size of my well?” Each time, he would puff himself up a bit trying to compare the ocean to his well. Finally he exploded. It was not possible for the frog to understand the grandeur of the ocean by looking through the lens of his experience in his small well.
To some extent, trying to understand the spiritual word is like that. Here we are in this material well. People are getting old, dying, and fighting over nothing. Material things deteriorate; cars and houses have to be replaced or repaired regularly. Prices go up, and so we work harder and harder. But we are still unable to get anything that will make us permanently happy, eternally happy. So we find a few things on earth, like art or children, and we wonder if these little bits of joy will be present in the spiritual realm, or do we just sit and stare at God in awe all day.
Actually the spiritual world is full of variety. Sri Krishna has friends, wives, and children, and even lovers. He is busy in loving exchanges with His parents and friends all day. He plays games and tends cows. He runs in the pasture. After playing with His friends in the forest, He shares His lunch with them, His lunch having been prepared with great love by His girlfriends and parents. Everyone is happily engaged. Krishna is the center of everything, but there is individuality, and there are personal loving exchanges of all varieties.
Everything in the material world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual world, and there is far more in the spiritual world. So there no need to worry that “all is lost.” Actually, all is found, and everything is eternal. There is no death or old age, and Lord Krishna has a personal, loving relationship with every soul.
Offering Everything to Krishna
How can I offer everything to Krishna? For example, when I am at work, how can I make everything an offering? Do I stop and mentally say, “Krishna, I do this for you”? Also, what about the things in life we have difficulties with? How best can we ask for Krishna’s help with our challenges and obstacles?
Via the Internet
Our reply: As we open up to Krishna—with our chanting and asking him to accept some service from us, and with our attempt to remember Him as the Supreme—our consciousness gets woken up, purified. This is a gradual process. We will see that we start including Krishna, in different ways, in our life. We may begin to listen for some direction from Him in the heart, remember some instructions of His, and as you say, mentally offer the results to Him. This is progress. Instead of always thinking of ourselves, we think of Him. It takes practice and purification.
It may seem artificial in the beginning, but it will become more natural as we contact Him through bhakti. We try to accept all those things that may help us remember Him, like putting a picture of Him on our screen saver or on our work desk, in our car, and so on.
A strong sadhana, or regular spiritual practice, in the morning hours helps us carry the proper consciousness all day without separate endeavor. We are praying with our japa for Him to accept us and everything we do. We are begging to render some service and to connect with Him again. That is why it is so important to get that head start on the material energy with our daily spiritual program.