Aspects of Vaisnava Theory & Practice
Making a "Case" for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada's "Mission"
Rasing Our Spiritual Standards

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Chapter 2
Responsibility

Part 3

“Srila Prabhupada Exemplified the Vyavasayatmika Buddhi Quality When He Came to the West to Preach Krishna Consciousness”

Srila Prabhupada exemplified this vyavasayatmika buddhi quality when he came to the West to preach Krishna consciousness. Because he attended to the many problems he encountered, he was successful. Prabhupada was never passive about dealing with situations that came to his attention. He was proactive.

 We are meant to follow in his footsteps. For such a determined person who has no other agenda in his heart, Krishna says,

“I will carry what you lack and preserve what you have”.

He also says,

“Because of your constant endeavor to attain Me, I will give you the intelligence to come to Me.”

We need to understand that no one can take this responsibility for us. We have to take it squarely on our shoulders to become vyavasayatmika buddhi. The guru is only pointing the way; he is not carrying us on his shoulders. Traversing the path is our responsibility.

Srila Prabhupada makes this point in a lecture in 1973:

“The same example as I gave sometimes, that you learn how to drive airplane. So, you go high in the sky. But if you are in danger, no other airplane can help you. You are finished. Therefore, you must be a very careful pilot to take care of yourself.

Similarly, in this material world everyone individually has to take care of himself. How he can be saved from the clutches of maya.

That is Krishna consciousness movement. A teacher can give you hints. The acarya can give you hints that ‘You can be saved in this way.’ But the execution of the duties, that is in your hand. If you perform the spiritual duties rightly, then you are saved. Otherwise, even acarya gives you instruction, if you do not follow, so how he can save you? He can save you by instruction, by his mercy, as much as possible. But you have to take it in your hands seriously.”

He teaches us how to fly, but flying we have to do. It is the solution to our ultimate problem, repeated birth, and death. And once we have accepted full responsibility for solving this problem, we are able to deal with lesser problems that come up in our service.d

Quotes applicable to this discussion.

The price of greatness is responsibility. —Churchill

Forgive others often, yourself never. —Syrus

Lord, grant that I will always desire more than I can accomplish. —Michelangelo

Our object in guiding others, either the society or temple or some aspect of the community, is to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number. (Variation on Plato’s wording in the Republic).

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