A Treatise; Making a “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”
Comments on The Art of Management. Part 5
Why not shake off all this ignorance in this life, tighten your belt and face the music? Make a decision that no matter what, I am going to mold my life to Krishna consciousness. This is success thinking in spiritual life.
Such success goes only to those who accept full responsibility and who make a firm, non-negotiable, non-retractable decision to do whatever it takes to become Krishna conscious. Starting today. Starting this minute. That willingness to do whatever it takes includes understanding clearly what is mixed devotional service and what is pure devotional service and having the willingness to do the work of discriminating between the two. That means one must have more competence in understanding the modes of material nature than mere ability to explain it in a Sunday Feast lecture.
Living deliberately, knowingly, using the modes of nature as a God-given tool for dealing with material reality is superior to relying on the mind and senses and one’s feelings as the basis for decisions.
By study of this knowledge, and by putting it into practice, one can see the enormous difference between a pro-active and a reactive life.
To be reactive is to have no knowledge—or less than a working knowledge, of all four aspects of the modes of nature, especially of how they give liberation.
To be pro-active, on the other hand, is to use this knowledge to one’s full advantage. That is, instead of living at the hands of material nature as a victim, you can opt to be a victor.
Therefore, Krishna exhorts Arjuna,
“Be victorious, rise above these modes of nature.”
However, this is not a matter of blindly throwing oneself at transcendence. Rather, rising above the modes is a systematic, deliberate process, a science.
Another important consideration is the utility of this knowledge for preaching. It is very effective to preach about the modes of nature to non-devotees. Preaching to audiences of non-devotee’s results in an effective effect; for this is a highly accessible and verifiable aspect of the Krishna consciousness philosophy. The symptoms of the various modes are not abstractions. When well-presented it is convincing because people can readily apply this knowledge and see the result. An observant person can easily appreciate the modes by seeing how they act on people and on himself. Once a person has a fair grasp of the three modes, or their symptoms, he or she can go to any public thoroughfare, such as a mall or a major downtown street corner, a disco, anywhere, and see the modes of nature interact and get instant verification of Krishna’s teachings.
Moreover, preaching about the modes brings pressure to bear on me to keep myself always in the highest mode. Preaching about it confers responsibility on one to keep their act together and alerts one more and more to their influence from within and without. The more this awareness is increased, the more deliberately one can live their spiritual life. By this very process, sages in the past achieved perfection. All you have to do is follow in their footsteps.
“As a boat on the water is swept away by a strong wind, even one of the senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man’s intelligence.”
Readers are invited to read “SUPREME WISDOM. A Treatise on the Three Modes of Material Nature” that is available on this Web-Site.
In the next parts of Srila Prabhupada’ letter he confirms how difficult this process is. Hover, in the same time he gives the prescription on how to Battle with these difficulties.
Even mechanically following, and if he gets gradually understanding from the class, he will come to the point of spontaneous enthusiasm.
The word “mechanically” has several meanings. The only one that was applicable was,
“Without thought or spontaneity; automatically.”
Here Srila Prabhupada is saying that like a machine, without any philological understanding of sastra in this regard; if someone simply follows the regulative principles “mechanically”, and gradually comes to the understanding of Gaudiya-Vaisnavas philosophy, one will “come to the point of spontaneous enthusiasm”.