Do We Need to Spend Time on Introspection?

ASK BVKS | May 1, 2016 |

English; Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Question:

When it comes to spiritual life, as a sadhaka, I am busy on constant survival mode, trying to chant, read, hear etc. Between this, do I need to spend time to self-introspect? For example, I was listing to a lecture of Jswami. In his lecture he was talking about how lust or desire is the cause of material bondage. Am I supposed to self-introspect myself and change this desire aspect or is this hovering over the mental plane?

Answer by H.H. Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:

Yes, everyone is busy, busy, busy. Not enough time to dedicate to devotional service.

Introspect means to look at oneself, take time to think: Who am I? Where am I going? Am I doing properly? Take time sometime to stop and think that… He said just running, running. [chants fast Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare] Just sometime, just: Am I going properly? Am I actually performing my devotional service in a proper way? Am I dealing with others properly? Am I becoming purified, or are my material desires increasing? So this is self-introspection. Actually, it’s just introspection. There’s no… The word self is redundant in this case.

Well, certainly to introspect is a mental activity, but it’s not that all mental activities are on the mental platform. The mental platform is when we become stuck in thinking what I want to do instead of employing our intelligence to understand what is best for us to do. 

So, we often say that someone is on the mental platform. It used to be a common saying in our ISKCON. I don’t hear it so much nowadays. Mental platform means instead of accepting good advice about what is proper for us to do in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we’re just stuck: No, I’ve got to do this. And you can’t discuss because the mind is locked into some material desire. But utilising the mind to understand where I am, where am I going, am I progressing properly, is what I’m doing proper – that is the proper use of the mind.

uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ

nātmānam avasādayet

ātmaiva hy ātmano bandhur

ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ

(One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.) [Bg. 6.5]

The mind can be the friend of the living being or the enemy. So it’s not that using the mind is outside of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It’s essential, practically that’s what Kṛṣṇa consciousness means- sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ - to place the mind on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. 

So yes we should take time, we should think, we should constantly consider: Am I… Not constantly, if it’s constantly, then we probably will be on the mental platform. But from time to time we should look and see: Am I leading my life in a way that’s actually conducive to my spiritual advancement? Are my material desires reducing? Am I acting on the platform of ego, or am I actually serving Kṛṣṇa and guru and Vaiṣṇavas? We should think like this. As far as not having enough time, I’ve spoken on this many, many times. We have to make time for spiritual life. Otherwise, what’s the use? Working, working, working, one day have a heart attack, drop dead and go to hell. Then what did we do? What was the use of our life? Even, of course, devotees are locked into this money, money, money. You have to run around all day to get money just so that you can eat. 

But devotees should, somehow or other, make time for sādhana. Otherwise, we are spoiling our lives, or at least not utilising it to the best of our ability. Like I say, I’ve spoken on this many times, so I won’t elaborate on this more.

Audio answer:

Play (5 m 43 s)     Download (2.7 MB)    

You can mark interesting parts of the page content and share unique link from browser address bar.

Mark




Related Lectures

Preparing for Sannyasa

October 29, 2013 |

English; Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Vrushahi, Vrushabhah, Vishnuh, Vrushaparva

September 2, 2013 |

English; Belfast, Antrim, Ireland

Religion for the 21st Century

May 26, 2011 |

English; Belfast,, Ireland

Missing the Point and Being Defeated

October 11, 2013 |

English;

Reflection and Original

March 4, 2011 |

Question: I heard from some devotee that everything present here in this world is the perverted form or the reflection of the original things present in the spiritual world. So please explain me the positive form of sex and sexual desires.

English;

Sticking to Srila Prabhupada

August 31, 2012 |

English; San Diego, California, USA

Samadhi later – Work now!

July 20, 2017 |

English; Gauragrama, Telangana, India

Krishna is Not Mentioned in the Scriptures Prior to His Appearance

August 2, 2011 |

Question: If Krishna is the original form of the supreme personality of Godhead, why is that there was no mention of his name and form as Krishna in the scriptures prior to his appearance, like the Ramayana and the Vedas. why is the lord referred to as Narayana and not as Krishna? I would be glad if you could… Expand>

Question:

If Krishna is the original form of the supreme personality of Godhead, why is that there was no mention of his name and form as Krishna in the scriptures prior to his appearance, like the Ramayana and the Vedas. why is the lord referred to as Narayana and not as Krishna? I would be glad if you could clarify this doubt which has arisen in this sinful mind.

^ Show less

English;

Action in Inaction and Inaction in Action

March 4, 2011 |

Question: Please explain with practical example the Bhagavad-gita text 4.18. karmany akarma yah pasyed akarmani ca karma yah sa buddhiman manusyesu sa yuktah krtsna-karma-krt

English;

Engaging Propensities in Preaching

October 3, 2016 |

English; Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Revelation and Scripture

September 25, 2013 |

English; Almviks, Sweden

On Yajna and Sankirtana-yajna

September 28, 2005 |

English; Los Angeles, California, USA

How to See God

December 21, 2014 |

English with தமிழ் translation; Karur, Tamil Nadu, India

Mahamaya, Mahotsaha, Mahabala, Mahabuddhi

September 30, 2012 |

English; Boston, Massachusetts, USA

  • Viṣṇu-sahasranāma 172-175

  • 47 m 19 s  |  21.7 MB

  • Download
  • Play

Drinking Milk from Protected Cows

October 20, 2016 |

Question: I have noticed some devotees only drink milk from protected cows and I was wondering if I should do the same. I tend to… Expand>

Question:

I have noticed some devotees only drink milk from protected cows and I was wondering if should I do the same. I tend to drink a cup of milk in the evening because this is what Prabhupada said was needed to develop the brain. I am being told that the milk given by karmis is full of poison and you don't receive the benefit. Others are saying, "what can be done we have to drink milk anyways." What is the correct stance on this issue?

ANSWER BY HH BHAKTI VIKĀSA SWAMI:

Kalki dāsa – he’s given two questions. I’ll answer the second one first.

Some devotees only drink milk from protected cows, and should I do the same? I tend to drink a cup of milk in the evening because this is what Śrīla Prabhupāda said was needed to develop the brain. Specifically, the brain tissues which are helpful for spiritual understanding, Śrīla Prabhupāda said. I’m being told the milk the karmīs give…

Whoops! Indian English made it all the way to America. He’s in America and looks like the effect of Indians, India, so many Indians in ISKCON in America that Indian English is exported to the Americans also.

POISONOUS MILK
I’m being told the milk the karmīs give is full of poison and you don’t receive the benefit. Others are saying: “What can be done? We have to drink milk anyway.” What is the correct stance on this issue?
About drinking milk from Walmart… You haven’t heard of it yet. It’s coming. It’s all over America. You buy milk from cows which are raised for giving milk and for slaughter. Horribly tortured, and then when they don’t give enough milk they are slaughtered. They are tortured throughout their lives. They don’t graze in the fields. They’ve never seen a field in their life. It’s really criminal what they are doing to the cows. That milk, anyway it’s what I believe is called now a one milk which is not very digestible for humans. And yeah, it’s full of poison in various ways. The cows are injected with so many hormones and they’re fed with all chemical foods.

Śrīla Prabhupāda wanted his disciples, he would have them take this milk anyway. I’m not sure if he was informed about all poison that’s in it.

NO HUMAN SOCIETY WITHOUT COW PROTECTION
The real thing our movement should have done, we are celebrating fifty years of ISKCON, but we really didn’t get our cow protection together and Prabhupāda says there’s no human society without cow protection.
It is possible; many devotees in America get milk sent to them from the Gītā Nāgarī Farm. So it’s possible to do that. I don’t know how much is possible for Kalki Prabhu, who’s often out traveling on saṅkīrtana doing book distribution in America.

Here in India, in many places there are goshalas. How do you translate that in English? Cow protection shelters. Yeah where the cows are kept and they’re protected, they are not going to be killed. And you can get milk from them in many places in India. And even when I go to some places in the Gulf countries… There’s actually a goshala in Dubai, believe it or not. All air conditioned and everything. So I get milk there. In Kuwait you get the pata medha milk, dried milk. So that’s a facility.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
You could maybe, Kalki Prabhu, you could get from India powdered milk from protected cows, from one goshala, or it’s a go complex. Shala - you get the idea of a shed or something, but this is huge. How many do they have? Three lakhs cows? How many cows? Some huge number of cows in Rajasthan. We should all go there one time actually. One lakh twenty thousand. Have you been there? Yeah, we’ve all heard, but who’s been there? We should all go there sometime and offer obeisance to swami who’s developed that. Really! Great thing he’s done. He’s probably a Māyāvādī, but doing better than we’re doing in cow protection. So there’s a solution for you.

Another thing you could do is: encourage people, devotees, or people who’re interested to be devotees to join our farms in America and develop this cow protection programmes. Gītā Nāgarī is there. Husband and wife couple in America, they’re just in the process of joining that farm near New Orleans, which I can’t remember the name just now. New Talavan – that’s it, yeah. That’s Nitya Gaura. Do anyone know him – Nitya Gaura? He was in India years ago. He stayed for more than a year. He recently got married, so he’s moving there. And then there’s … New Vrindavan is very famous. I don’t know how much they are doing cow protection. I’m sure they are doing something. Murāri Sevaka in Tennessee. So encourage, take devotees there. Show them. Let them see. It’s possible to protect cows. There must be more. I guess in Alachua, they have some cows also. I hope so. Here and there, there are such things. Abhirāma Prabhu in New York City, he’s very serious about developing such a project. So let’s encourage devotees in the West to get behind it – cow protection.

CONCLUSION
Drink milk. Throw the vegans out. 
He asked: “What is the correct stance on this issue?” 
Well, I’m giving my understanding. I’m loath to say it’s the correct stance, because I wouldn’t say that someone’s necessarily wrong in all respects if they take milk from Walmart. Now that leads us into the next comment.

^ Show less

English; Gauragrama, Telangana, India

Conflict Among Devotees – Part 1

June 26, 2011 |

Question: I have experienced that there is conflict between devotees serving under different leaders: many devotees consider their own service or approach to bhakti as the most authentic, and associating with different genres of devotees sometimes creates confusion in my mind. Why does this conflict emerge although all devotees are engaged in service of Krishna? How can we overcome conflict and instead cooperate to fight against our common enemies, impersonalism and materialism.

English;

Sannyasa Krt, Samah, Santah, Nishtha, Santih, Parayanam

August 17, 2017 |

English; Kukatpally, Hyderabad, India

Rtuh, Sudarsanah

November 17, 2014 |

English; Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

  • Viṣṇu-sahasranāma 417-418

  • 51 m 11 s  |  23.4 MB

  • Download
  • Play

Detachment as a Precursor for Prema

November 8, 2013 |

English; Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Reply to Welcome by Vedic Brahmanas

June 13, 2008 |

English with தமிழ் translation; Kaveripakkam, Tamilnadu, India