Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Posturing as a poseur

I forgot to mention some important points in my last post about smart guys. I figured that when thinking of Siksastaka 4 it is almost impossible not to think of and ruminate upon Siksastaka 3. After all, that's the verse that Sri Kaviraj Gosvami said that we should tie into a garland and place around our necks. I also mentioned that no matter how big my ego grows sometimes, Mahaprabhu always finds some way o fmaking me level with the straw in the street.

Well it occurred to me that I have to work on my humility, who doesn't? I might try to flatter myself into thinking that I am more humbler than anyone as I definitely feel humble. However, my standard of "humble" may be very different from Mahaprabhu's, and this is why I am not blessed with any great insights or progress of sorts.

Specifically it occurred to me that I need to reduce my level of participation on GD. Not in the sense of pulling out altogether as it is THE fantstic forum with a lot of great people around, but I kind of get the feeling that I am acting as some great big pundit over there, which I am certainly not. There are too many devotees around who are way WAY more smarter and knowledgeable than me when it comes to siddhanta, yet somehow there comes along a feeling of showing off. "Hey, I find these great verses and I can even put them into HK!" Well, I'm not sure if Mahaprabhu is impressed if I can write in Harvard-Kyoto encoding, I think He is is much more interested in how far I put any of those verses into practice in my daily life. I think that Mahaprabhu is much more interested in the quality of my japa and seva and bhajan rather than my "expertise" at writing in HK or how many posts I make per day. So my wiriting in HK is restricted to posting of verses or perhaps inclusion of a verse in prose, as some do. It's not endearing to show off by typing every word of Sanskrit in HK.

So it seems that most of the time I just like to pose as some big pundit and throw my weight around like some big know-it-all. Sometimes I think it is unfair to label someone as a know-it-all, especially when that is ultimately an admirable quality, knowing so much about Krishna or Gaura-lila. I guess I mean that being an arrogant know-it-all is an annoyance. But perhaps in the true spirit of a Vaishnava, it is appropriate to give credit to anyone and everyone for their standard of learning. I definitely need to restrict my participation to questions and clarification-seeking, and perhaps the odd glorification of transcendent personalities.

I really don't have much to contribute anyways. I am not initiated like most of them are, and I don't have a great collection of Gosvami-granthas. I only have the total set of ISKCON books as well as some of their translations of granthas. I definitely need to add to my huge collecton of books when I finally get the chance to visi the dhamas. I sometimes ask people to ge things for me as a favour, not for free of course (!), but they always have some excuse or other or they just don't bother to reply. Fair enough, I guess we all have to travel on our own journeys but it would be nice to receive a bit of help along the way. I have 3 books by Sri Ananta das Babaji but not much else by anyone else. I badly need to get a good collection of Gosvami and Acarya-granthas. It will help me to deepen my understanding of the siddhanta.

Along those lines, I have to admit that the issue of guhyam AkhyAti pRcchati (UpadezamRta 4) has been on my mind for a long while. Despite the friendly dealings that Vaishnava's are supposed to have, I still do not feel that I have found anyone to whom I can totally reveal my mind in confidence without fearing some sort of rebuke or other. On one hand it is merficul to receive chastisement if one has done anything wrong or is guilty of speculating on the wrong lines and is grateful to be corrected with the correct siddhanta, I have to wonder what Sri Rupa Gosvami is getting at when he mentions this. Does he really talk about the discussion of personal issues also? What does he refer to? Revealing and inquiring confidentially about matters of siddhanta and/or bhajan? Or can it refer to personal issues also? It is something I've had to wrestle with; the exact and precise parameters of 'guhyam AkhyAti pRcchati' as well as the content of it.

How nice it would be to find a Vaishnava who only looks at you through eyes of kindness and a smile always on his lips for you. And an embrace too. Someone I can reveal the totality of my heart and mind to. And who will understand.


  • At 08 September, 2005 04:55, Blogger advaitadas said…

    Right on Jay you got the point! Too much learning is a burden and posturing with it becomes almost its natural consequence. All is there at the feet of the sat Guru!

  • At 08 September, 2005 04:56, Blogger advaitadas said…

    Right on Jay, you got the point! Too much learning is a burden and posturing with it becomes almost its natural consequence. All is there at the feet of the sat Guru!


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