Innocent One Can Go Anywhere
Question: You mentioned how the Kumaras may have lost their childish innocence as we can see that they became aware of their act and were apologizing. Perhaps they do not need that childlike innocence anymore because originally, they wanted to avoid being influenced by the material energy, and now as devotees, they do not need to remain innocent children?
Answer: Although that is an interesting idea, I cannot really comment on it because our acaryas do not seem to say anything about this. However, I suspect they would say that the Kumaras retain their innocence somehow. Srila Prabhupada’s comment is that they are just like children, so they will walk around anywhere, innocent of the outside or inside.
It reminds me of Prabhupada’s disappointment. I think it was more than once, but I know of one case when he and his disciples were prevented from entering Singapore. Prabhupada was quite annoyed about this. He said, “They are just like barking dogs! Sadhus traditionally could go anywhere.” So, the point is that sages, sadhus, are counted as innocent, in a sense – innocent as children. Like children can go anywhere, similarly, sadhus traditionally could go anywhere.
—From a class on SB 3.15.43 by His Holiness Krishna Kshetra Swami at Pula -Croatia in June, 2017.
Delicacy in Conviction
When we speak about the process of Krishna consciousness, we sometimes speak about it in broader terms, and sometimes in narrower terms. Sometimes we read about rules, which say: Do such and such, or you go to hell. Then we read another rule which is the opposite: You simply circumambulate tulasi and all your sins are destroyed, including (this is the one that always amazes me) brahma-hatya.
As devotees we are trying to understand: I want to progress in spiritual life, how do I do it consequentially? Sastra states that the only way to do this is by taking shelter of guru. At that point, we understand that it gets serious. But we should also always remember that adi guru is Krishna or His expansion, Balarama, or on the other side, Srimati Radharani and so on.
Are they not in any way acting in the hearts of all living entities? Is there no access to anyone except those who explicitly and intentionally practice Krishna consciousness? I think we should be cautious about that. Why? Because the danger is that we become arrogant. The danger is that we become overconfident. The danger is when we think, “I am on that straight and narrow path and nobody else is and there is no hope for them unless I bestow mercy upon them.” Then we forget where that mercy is coming from. A lot of problems can arise from that, individually and also collectively.
Then what is the perception of the Krishna consciousness movement by persons who are not part of it or do not see themselves as part of it? I may be generalizing, but the danger is there - someone can say, “Oh, these people think they know it all!” I remember I was rather surprised and I have to say a bit dismayed, years ago when the BBT printed a pullover and on the back, it said in big letters something like, “What is the aim of life? Ask me!”
I understand the positive side - it is very nice if somebody would feel like: “Oh, maybe I should ask him!” But, if you look at that message from another perspective, it can appear a bit arrogant. I don’t know if it’s possible to estimate how many people were attracted to that message and how many were repelled by it. But I suspect a rather high number of people, unfortunately, would have repelled. That’s just the reality and thus, is the challenge.
—From a class by His Holiness Krishna Kshetra Swami in Mayapur, India on October 1st, 2018.