Dear Sriman Jagadananda dasa Adhikari,
Please accept my blessings and well-wishes in consonance with the wishes of my Divine Masters.
I know you have told me time and time again that if I have any questions to feel free to ask.
Yes. There is nothing wrong with your humble request that I direct your study with more specificity. Actually, I am the servant of my disciples, although appearances may seem to contradict that fact.
I find all our texts to be of great interest, worthy of thoughtful consideration and discussion, and vital to the understanding of my disciples. Therefore, I have not sought to push you too much in one particular direction for your study. My principal interest remains this: resist the temptation to explore texts not authored or published by our trinity of gurus. To move outside the domain of those texts poses an ever present danger. You can easily avoid this danger by following my direction on this point. Curiosity not only “killed the cat” it killed many devotional creepers as well.
As I survey the battlefield of those who set out to fight with maya, even those who were guided by magnificent generals in the line of Krishna consciousness, I see many dead and wounded. All the carnage can be attributed to three factors: deviation and unbridled curiosity, which inevitably lead to bad association. And bad association can stop the growth of, or even kill, the devotional creeper.
Nothing is worse for us than bad association and bad association is not always obvious. A word to the wise: it is better to be safe than sorry.
I don’t even know what to ask.
This makes it a little more difficult for me as it is through your questions that I get some idea of your progress and the direction I should take with you. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with trying to collect as much as possible by simply hearing from the spiritual master.
I suggested you read Krishna Book to your children. It seems everything there is mostly self-explanatory but I get great satisfaction from reading it. When I first sat with Srila Prabhupada for a darshan he had a disciple read Krishna Book to us. Srila Prabhupada listened very attentively and appeared to relish every word. He spoke very little. As I remember it, he did not say much more than this (paraphrasing): “It is not my book. It is Krishna’s. Through it He is speaking to us.” Why not start there, with Krishna Book? Your children will benefit, you will benefit and I will benefit from reading it.
Alternatively, or in addition to, I would welcome a refresher course in Bhagavad-gita, which always figures prominently in my mind when the US appears to be on the verge of a major war. The propaganda sirens are whining louder and louder now that such a war is in the making with North Korea. All the Western generals and leaders should be well versed in Bg before embarking on such a dangerous expedition. This is true also for society as a whole, everyone should be well versed in Bg. Unfortunately, they are almost all wholly ignorant of these teachings. As a result, the West is unnecessarily in serious decline with little reason for optimism about its future. There is little will to stand against evil. Only the preachers of Bhagavad-gita can reverse this pitiable situation. The only solution is in their hands. All those who accept it will be guided to the exit from the world of war.
You once asked if I would come to the Philippines. As your financial situation improves you may consider arranging for me to come there for a visit at some point in the future. In any event, expend what is needed for “simple living and high thinking” by remembering the instruction of Sri Ishopanishad:
īśāvāsyam idam sarvaṁ
yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam
Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.
Save something for future need and please be careful to utilize as much as possible for the seva of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga.
I pray this finds you well in all respects. Please convey the same, along with my blessings, to Srimati Malini Devi and your children.
Swami B.K. Giri