Dhanurdhara Swami October 6th, 2003
Dear Vaisnavas (Journal Subscribers),
Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
In three days I will be headed to Govardhana to spend the month of Karttika. It is especially recommended to perform Karttika-vrata in Vrindavana:
“In the Padma Purana it is said, “The Lord may easily offer liberation or material happiness to a devotee, but after some devotional service has been executed, particularly in Mathura during the month of Karttika, the devotees want only to attain pure devotional service unto the Lord.” The purport is that the Lord does not award devotional service to ordinary persons who are not serious about it. But even such unserious persons who execute devotional service according to the regulative principles during the month of Karttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathura in India, are very easily awarded the Lord’s personal service. (NOD 103)
Although there is special potency to executing devotional service in Vrindaban, the potency of devotional service cannot be limited by time or space. In fact, the most potent Karttika I ever observed was in America at Gita Nagari in 1995.
I am thus writing this to encourage you to increase your devotional service in Karttika in some practical way and to reap the benefit of Srimati Radharani’s special month. As Mother Yasoda was able to bind Krishna in this month with the ropes of her affection, a devotee who honors Srimat Radharani in her special month by increasing their devotional service certainly attracts Sri Radha’s mercy.
It is especially pleasing to the Lord to sing the Damodarastakam prayers and to offer a lamp to Sri Sri Radha Damodar in whatever manifestation the Lord appears in your home.
My journals have increasingly taken the form of essays. For Karttika, however, I will again keep a regular daily journal. I have arranged that it be sent regularly and promptly during Karttika. In my journal I will share my meditations and experiences and hopefully invoke remembrances of Vrindaban to enhance your own Karttika observance.
In the service of the Vasinavas,
Below is a correspondence that I would like to share with you on my last journal entry “Be faithful”.
You said in your 8/23 journal entry, “Is what I said clear? No? Then get a clear understanding. I’m eager to hear from you.” Therefore, I am saying that I’m still not clear on the difference between submissive hearing and blind acceptance. In my view, just because someone has enough faith in guru to enable him to try to get a clear understanding of the guru’s instruction, this does not preclude blind acceptance since the disciple can blindly accept an instruction that he has properly understood from guru.
A non-submissive hearer will say, “Based on my very limited experience, I will accept this instruction as true or reject that instruction as false.” A submissive or faithful hearer will instead say, “Based on the fact that a particular instruction is coming from a bona-fide guru, I will accept it as true regardless of whether I presently have realization of that truth, and I will try to get a clear understanding of the truth that is being spoken by guru.” This is my understanding of the difference between a submissive and non-submissive hearer. My problem is that my perception of a submissive hearer does not prevent him from the pitfall of blind acceptance because it seems to me that to the extent that a person accepts but does not have realization of a truth is the extent to which he blindly accepts that truth. Please untie this knot for me.
It is not so clear what your point is here. In answer to what I think is your question, a submissive hearer accepts with faith, but that is not blind following. Blind following is when you accept something without trying to understand it clearly, even to the extent of not questioning that which appears outrageous or immoral. So blind following is accepting something without trying to understand it, while the submissive hearer respectfully questions what he doesn’t understand
Faith is always required in learning and to be submissive in that way is a far cry from blind faith. In the Chandogya Upanishads (7.19.1) it says:
“When a person develops sraddha (faith), he can think about a subject and understand it, wheareas one cannot do so without sradhha. Indeed only a person with sraddha can reflect on anything.”
I hope this answers your question.
Wishing you well,