I don’t even remember what I wrote about it a week ago, the matter obviously hasn’t been resolved and the answer hasn’t been found. Today I’m going to look at it with the background of what I discussed yesterday – spiritual constraints in our search of His association.
In the beginning it looks very easy – we assume that we are eagerly awaited back home, in Kṛṣṇa’s abode, we just have to shake off our material contamination and everything will be back to normal. Well, it doesn’t address the reason we left. We don’t remember it, Kṛṣṇa does. We caused Him pain by turning away and choosing the material world.
Are there second chances in spiritual life? Obviously yes or we wouldn’t be here talking about Kṛṣṇa at all. Not only second but third, fourth, fifth and innumerable number of chances. Every new birth is a second chance, at least a birth in a human form of life. How many have we had? Thousands? Millions?
I’m not talking about chances given to us here, however. I’m talking about chances given in purely spiritual relationships, unadulterated by even hints of material life. Things we did to Kṛṣṇa when we were with Him – do we get a chance to set them right? Is it possible?
I don’t know how it goes in the spiritual world but down here second chances are often outright forbidden. A woman spending a night under another man’s roof is to be rejected regardless of whether she did anything truly inappropriate or not. No second chances there.
Betrayal is impossible to rectify. It’s possible to forgive but impossible to repair, it leaves permanent scars on one’s heart, be it a friend, a spouse, a mentor, or a protégé. We live in a material world and we always seek sense gratification so giving a second chance to another person is often a second chance at our own selfish pleasure we derive from that relationship. Sex is probably the best example, we can “forgive” anything for sex but it can’t repair a broken heart.
Just think of a term itself – broken heart. It’s broken, it can’t be restored to its original condition and all the talk about mending it is just about giving it time to find a substitute and hope old memories won’t interfere.
So, with that in mind, is it possible to return to Kṛṣṇa as if nothing had happened last time we were there? I don’t know how this interpretation of personal affairs in the material world is applicable to relationships in Vṛndāvana. I don’t see why it should work fundamentally differently, so we are probably doomed.
The fact that our pure, spiritual behavior in the spiritual world is integral part of our being, part of our rasa with the Lord doesn’t inspire much confidence either. We WERE serious when we broke up with Him, it’s how we WANTED to relate to Kṛṣṇa, and He obliged no matter how uncomfortable it must have made Him. He knew what we were getting ourselves into and it probably made His heart very heavy.
It was impossible to keep us then, He had to let us go. His heart was broken, our hearts were probably broken, too, for it takes two to tango, as I said yesterday. Can we both just forget it and move on, once we get out of here? Probably not.
Consider material life examples again – it is possible for people to get back together but it would be on new terms, with memories of old feuds being buried and dismissed. Old life never comes back again, especially if it ended in acrimony.
Same could be true for us – we can come back but we should come back with new hopes and new love, and whatever we did before should never be spoken again. Think of a guy in the office having some troubles. Maybe with alcoholism, maybe with the law, maybe some mental stuff, something that drives him away for a while. We would all be glad if he came back, we miss him, miss his old self, miss him being a part of the gang and when he comes back it makes us really really happy. Except we don’t want to mention old problems, don’t want to think of them, erase them from our memories.
I hope that’s what they think of us in the spiritual world, too. But we are in the position of the guy who went of tracks and we have to deal with the situation from his POV.
First of all, we have to make amends with the boss, Kṛṣṇa. We might have old friends there but without Kṛṣṇa’s acceptance no one would accept us back. Only, perhaps, to re-introduce us to Him and vouch for us, which would be very much appreciated, of course.
To make amends with Kṛṣṇa, however, we need to overcome our own demons, which we can do through chanting, and we need to also swallow our pride and beg for our old place back, which could be much harder. We have to overcome the same pride that brought us here in the first place and at the moment we have no idea how bad it was.
Christians regularly atone for their sins but these sins are not really theirs, it’s just material energy forcing them to do this or that. Even that kind of atonement is very hard for those who do not practice it regularly.
Our atonement should come from the very depths of our hearts we don’t even know exist. Everybody says that the reason we fell down into the material world is unknown and untraceable but we have to find it, accept our fault, and approach Kṛṣṇa begging for forgiveness. That’s not a small task, I bet much harder than practically mechanical process of cleansing ourselves from material contamination – we just have to chant and it magically goes away.
And what of Kṛṣṇa? Is He going to help us?
Sure, but only to a degree. Relationships with Him are a two-way street, we need to do our part ourselves. So far He has been merciful enough to give us this chance, giving us this choice and preparing us to make it but we have to make it ourselves. He would gladly keep us around, waiting for us to make our decision. He provides all the facilities, all help we need, but final decision is up to us, we have to find courage in ourselves.
Problem is – we probably don’t have it. It was our last spiritual decision, life in the material world hasn’t given us any experience with spiritual side of our life, it was frozen for the whole period we were here, so once we are “free” we come back to our “original” position that caused our falldown.
That’s why we should seek mercy of devotees – let them shape our desires, guide us and train us, it’s only from them that we can learn how to please Kṛṣṇa again. It’s only from them that we can pick up our new agenda that we can present to the Lord and hope He accepts it. We have no idea what His current interests are, how they have changed in our absence, and only devotees can tell us what to do.
So, we should forget our personal interests, even spiritual ones, we should forget even our spiritual selves, they are of no help here. We should rely solely on guidance from devotees. Whatever they say, is good, whatever we think, is bad or at least doubtful. Instead of seeking OUR relationships with Kṛṣṇa we should humbly serve OTHER’s relationships with Him. Theirs are legit, ours are corrupted beyond repair.
Our chanting, even if it comes from our hearts, is crap, we should accept the mood of others instead. We have the entire paramparā to learn from, we are in good hands in this regard, we just have to give up our selfishness and embrace the given path.