The Happy Vaishnava
I used to think, before I came to Krsna consciousness, that now I would join a movement of very like-minded people and that I would feel very intimate friendship. Then, I was shocked to see that that person who I kind of detested for his views, he also had joined!
I thought, “How is this possible? Not this guy! How is it possible that he became a devotee!?” Well, because of the universal nature of Krsna consciousness, people of all kinds, from all walks of life, even from opposing world views, can join the Krsna conscious movement and therefore it is not always easy to have that kind of intimate friendship with everyone. We do not!
Some devotees never get beyond colleagues. We do have some friends also, in this movement. With colleagues, it can get very impersonal and very distant with virtually no affection; and therefore we can feel alone, especially if we have not deeply developed our relationship with Krsna. If we have deeply developed our relationship to Krsna, then there we find a satisfaction that nourishes us even when we are alone or with people. Then once one is nourished in that relationship, one has to bring it back down to the social platform and begin to develop real relationships with people. But without first going up to Krsna – and first up to Krsna means developing a relationship of attachment to Krsna, intimate interaction with Krsna and always feeling that he is interacting with you – without that, we are on the normal social platform! Then we will only be able to deal with people who are kind of like-minded, and others remain strangers even when they chant Hare Krsna. Then we are a movement of strangers with a few friends because how many people can you relate to, anyway?
When we go up in attachment to Krsna and really interact with Krsna closely at every moment, and we bring that down into our relationships with others, then we can become like Prabhupada! He had that capacity. He was not limited by his social background and he could be completely relevant to hippies in America although they were culturally so different and in such a different stage of life and so on… Prabhupada was so relevant and that is what I am talking about because he went to the root of the things. Yes, unless we have that, we will just still be alone because we will just still associate on the level of like-mindedness and the normal social dynamics will still apply.
That is what I see and it is all over the world. Loneliness is becoming an issue in our movement…
(June 8th 2014, Stockholm, Sweden, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.5.14)