So, to control or not control? Both sides haven’t exhausted their arguments yet and the battle continues in the court of my mind.
The control side says that our present consciousness is contaminated, we can’t simply avoid that fact and pretend that we are on the transcendental platform already. Our lives are full of desires, aspirations, plans and so on. We can’t just turn it off instantly, like the lights in the house.
We should gradually purify our consciousness by surrendering it to the Lord, step by step. When we turn our dreams towards Krishna it will be our sacrifice, just as it’s said in the Bhagavad Gita. Not the first class devotion but we shouldn’t pretend to be more advanced than we really are.
It’s not the question of control or not control, it’s the question of turning our existing desire to control towards Krishna’s pleasure. We can’t stop it, we have to engage it.
The “no control” side has a good answer for that – okay, true, we can’t artificially stop our tendency to control the world, but we have to try anyway. First and the most obvious example is chanting japa. We must strive to give up all our thoughts and stop all our plans while we are chanting. It’s not like “Oh, let me think about Krishna or my service when I chant”, not at all. We should shut all our planning and thinking altogether, only leaving ourselves and the Holy Name.
Okay, this is a good argument, but it’s confined to chanting only, it still us leaves with with hours and hours of waking life when we better engage our minds in Krishna’s service, and the best way to do it is to plan more, plan better, take full control, but do it for Krishna.
We should devote all our efforts to fulfilling the mission of Lord Chaitanya and our spiritual masters and if that means thinking it through, so be it. If it helps us to achieve better results – what is the problem?
But there’s an answer to that, too – anyone who spent any time distributing books knows that the more you plan, the worse it goes. The secret to successful book distribution, and all preaching by extension, is to the let go of our desire to control and simply become instruments of our spiritual master.
We should literally let go of our minds and just do guru and Krishna’s bidding. They know better where to go and what to say, we just have to properly surrender. They can control our efforts far better that we can ourselves, and it also helps us to see their mercy in action, with every minutes spent our there in the streets and with every book placed in the hands of the conditioned souls. This leads to realization of our true situation – just humble servants of our guru and Krishna.
Gradually we see that our desire to control the world is our own worst enemy and we learn to avoid it as much as possible, because that’s where the nectar really is – in being blind instruments in the hands of Lord Chaitanya and guru parampara, that’s how we most vividly feel their presence in our lives.
We become naturally afraid of trying to control the world ourselves as in our memories it associates with pain and emptiness.
Or maybe it’s just only me. Maybe it’s just the first step, maybe we should learn to control things for Krishna and then the emptiness and the feeling of disconnect disappears. I honestly don’t know.
So, to control or not control?
Practically, it’s one of those things where you just try to remember Krishna and let Him sort it out. Maybe one day I will have a better answer but for now it’s all I have – endless pro- and con- arguments, tilting towards less control if possible.