Sunday, January 25, 2009

Compassionate Reflections #4

Inspired by my reading of "Vaisnava Compassion" by HH Satsvarupa Maharaja

Spiritual life, from beginning to end, is an opening of our hearts in divine, dramatic, and dynamic selfless acts and ways. Your neighbor, your dearest friend, and the nearest stranger are all spirit souls trapped in bodies and minds full of nonsense, and we have to drop our doors and walls that keep us trapped in our own heads and help each other!

The basic principles of compassion, tolerance, and nonviolence are essential to any sadhu, whether neophyte or enlightened. Maharaja focuses on the nonviolent principle, ahimsa, in the 2nd section of the book, stating quite clearly that unless one learns to honor all life as being part and parcel of God, limiting the harm done to them, then one remains hopelessly stuck on the material platform.

Ahimsa means much more than not frying the insignificant ants with a magnifying glass. It is the expression of our duty in helping others free themselves from the shackles of lifeless matter. Prabhupada writes in the purport to SB 11.3.24:

"Ahimsam indicates that one should not committ violence against any living entity...Ultimately the material world is full of violence, and the laws of nature, which impose old age, disease and death upon every living creature, are themselves filled with violence. Therefore, if somehow or other one can convince others to surrender to Krsna and thus release themselves from the violent laws of material nature, that is the perfection of ahimsa."

Walking the walk-we can't convince the fickle others if we don't show, beyond just faith and ideas, that we are practically alleviating the suffering of all of the living and breathing.

This is why it's so important we remain in open communication and collaboration with progressive-minded peoples in the fields of environmentalism and consciousness expansion.

We all share the problems of our specfic planetary situation. What we offer as devotees of Krsna is specific answers to the questions we all have. But we must apply this gift of the Absolute Truth in ways and hows that link us up with the nonviolent movements of our time.

We must share and even lead, and this is the defining objective of the next generation of devotees who push forwards Prabhupada's movement.

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