In course of our preaching work, we many times encounter persons with doubts about their ability to take up devotional service to Krsna, especially when they see the procedures in the temple, the devotee looks (shaven heads, robes, tilak etc.) and when they hear about the discipline followed by the devotees, the deep philosophy behind the practice and so on and so forth. Often it becomes „too much“ in their minds.
Seems like a completely different world. And it indeed is a different world. It´s the spiritual world, but now we are encaged in this world of material forms and procedures. So how can one come to the platform of connecting with the Absolute Truth, how can one achieve that perfection of yoga? It may seem like an insoluble difficulty, to come out of our common ways and take to the path of bhakti. But is it so? Is it really so difficult? What is actually required?
The thing here is, that nowadays people in general are superficial. They let themselves to be guided by their eyes without hearing patiently and sufficiently, what to speak of pondering over what was heard. They come, they SEE and they go. They see these strange guys bowing down to pictures, ringing bells, speaking some freaky language and smashing their cherished ideas. „This brainwash is not for me.“
So let´s see. You had a body of a small child, but that body does not exist any more. Now you have a grown up body, but this body you´ll also have to give up, just like all the old people used to have a young body, but they have given it up. By force, naturally. Isn´t that so? But you are still the same person. „No, I´m not the same, i have changed.“ Yes, your mind has changed, your intelligence has changed and your idea about who you are has also changed, but who is observing these changes? The transcendental consciousness which is the symptom of an eternal soul within the ever-changing body of five gross and three subtle elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether and mind, intelligence and false ego). This is the plain logic and simple truth of consciousness. Now, what is beyond of the purview of this consciousness limited by the material senses and the mind, that has to be searched out by hearing from an authority, just like everytime we want to learn something we don´t know, we have to approach some sort of an authority – a book, a teacher, go to school, ask our mom etc.
The Vedas, the ancient, better to say, timeless scriptures which the devotees study inform us about this fact and they also go beyond, to tell us about the Supreme Consciousness, the Supreme Being, God, Krsna, the Supreme Ultimate Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truht. That Supreme Truth is a conscious living entity just like us, yet there is a vast difference between our respective positions. Krsna is the controller, we are the controlled. Krsna is the enjoyer, we are the enjoyed. Krsna is the maintainer, we are the mantained. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam, eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman. He is one, we are many. He provides, we depend. He is vibhu, great, we are anu, small. He si the whole, we are parts. And our relationship is that of service, just like a limb of the whole body enjoys only when it cooperates with other parts, serves, to satisfy the whole.
Our position in this material world is that of a limb cut off from the complete body. Just like now, we see so many pictures from the world of wars and fights, where severed limbs of human bodies lie down on the ground. How does such a limb enjoy? There is no question, it is dead. Similarly, when we become severed (in our consciousness) from the Complete Whole, we end up dead and cold like the limbs severed from the body. That is the position of every soul forgetful of his eternal loving relationship with Krsna, conditioned by the external energy of the Lord, the matter. This applies to everyone and it manifests in our separatist consciousness of „I & mine“, fighting like cats and dogs, subtly or openly over supremacy in our relationships, communities, families… Everyone is more or less intensely subjected to the threefold miseries coming from one´s own body and mind, from other living entities or from natural occurences. The consciousness is filled with anxiety: „What will happen next?“ „Oh, she doesn´t want me.“ „Oh, I have to pay this and that.“ „Oh, what shall I wear today?“ „Oh, where shall I get clean water to drink today?“ and so on, unlimitedly.
So to get again in touch with Krsna, the Supreme Complete Whole Personality of Godhead is the interest of everyone, not just some band of „cultists“ who don´t know what else to do. Everyone is a part and parcel of God, His transcendental servant, and accepting this position voluntarily, on basis of sound philosophy and simple practice is the eternal interest of all. So what is the process? Very simple.
To hear from an authorized source, to examine that source without bias and a priori prejudice with an attitude of sincere inquiry and „maybe I don´t know everything“ understanding, to chant the transcendental Maha-mantra Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, to offer one´s food to the Lord according to what He likes (He discloses this secret in the Bhagavad-gita), to associate with devotees of the Lord in the temple, take prasadam and serve the mission of Krsna consciousness in any possible way under the merciful guidance of a bona fide Spiritual Master. If one simply tries to go a bit deeper, he/she will find out, that to serve Lord Krsna, God, is actually easy and blisfull. Anyone can do it, the only required qualification is sincerity.
And that is often the difficulty. No?