Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Friday, April 20, 2007

How Far Can We Speculate?

We oftern hear that it's not good to speculate in spiritual matters, and that it is best to accept the considered opinion of guru-sadhu-shastra. Of course there is such a thing as philosophical debate, but how much can we speculate?

I was looking through Gita yesterday and I think I've found the answer from Krishna Himself:

mayy arpita-mano-buddhir
mAm evaiSyasy asaMzayaH

"Surrendering your mind and intelligence to Me,
you will surely attain Me without a doubt." BG 8.7

The activities of the mind and the intelligence have to be offered to Krishna in His seva, by which we can think and ruminate on whatever spiritual issues we may be contemplating. It is not that we just willy-nilly speculate about this and that, it is important to consider how much we have surrendered our mind/intelligence in the discussion.

Actually, you know what? When I read this yesterday I had a whole different take on it because I was reading it in the context of BG 8.5-6 but it's all gone now. All I can think about right now is how some devotees tend to get involved and argue their cases in debates with some sort of agenda or other. Whatever that agenda may be; to prove their point or to push forward the views of their guru on that matter, I am growing convinced that it is always a bad idea to argue a case with some personal investment involved. If the debate is about a philosophical matter and a point of siddhanta, then it would be most beneficial to put all agendas aside and listen to the truth. Listening to the "truth" means accepting it even if it breaks your dearly-held ideas. This also requires an open mind, instead of a closed mind that is bent on pushing an agenda. There are so many implications for this; once one gets locked into pushing an agenda, it is very difficult to make further progress in understanding and knowledge.

So surrendering our minds and intelligences to Krishna in the context of debates and discussions entail that we keep an open mind about any issues and also be prepared to be wrong and have your ideas smashed. Of course if one is gentle-hearted and humble in the first place, admitting your errors won't be too much of a problem. And that's another reason why agendas are bad; there's an awful lot of ego involved. And when one Vaishnava ego clashes with another, a horrendous amount of aparadha occurs which withers the bhakti-lata of both of them. Entirely avoidable. Simply when we engage our thinking and critical faculties in spiritual topics and conundrums, the best thing to do is follow Krishna's advice: simply by surrendering our minds and intelligences we can attain Him.



  • At 22 August, 2007 05:25, Blogger Shyam said…

    very very interesting.....i was looking for vaisnava songs with word to word meaning ....and discovered you here ... good to see ur taste from ur profile and writings ....if u have word to word meaning file of vaisnava songs ...then pls post it to me ..I am Shyam Balakrishnan aspiring to be your servant..Hare Krishna!!


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