The "LAZINESS" of a Devotee

Manidhara Das
20 Mar 2023

As a follow-up to a text appearing on this web page describing the hypothetically "negligent" nature of a brahmana, here is a most valuable testimony of Srila Prabhupada's wisdom, teaching us what to do when our minds become agitated by the constant flows of chaotic situations this material world is providing or by the awakening material desires sprouting from our hearts. There are two ways to become agitated: an external one and an inner one. Even in the absence of external agitation, we can become agitated by images appearing in our mind based on previous actions and reactions.

In such a situation, Srila Prabhupada recommends doing nothing. To do nothing in Krsna Consciousness means to chant Hare Krsna and wait until an opportunity arises so that one can become physically active again. After all, splashing water in an already agitated river with more feverish action will only increase the agitation and diminish our vision under the surface of the problem even more.

This explains why, when materialists are desperately trying to find a solution to an agitation, more agitation is created. As Prahlad Maharaj confirms, "it was the material means I tried to apply in order to remove material problems that created even bigger material problems for me". It is exactly in these times of congregational agitation that a devotee retreats and seeks first spiritual refuge in the Holy Name while being simulatenously ready to get into action when things become more clear and his action is authorised by the Supreme Lord, ideally by the spiritual master. It is in these times that materialists get angry at the devotees, calling them escapists, while they themselves are getting more and more entangled in the network of actions and reactions that karma provides.

A devotee should not be negligent, especially when the basic moral rules of human society are violated, but he should act in the spirit of manisinah, meaning in a thoughtful manner, so as to be caught passionately in the whirlpool of the momentary development of events.

Srila Prabhupada tells the story of a man who was severely moaning, and his moaning was shared from one neighbour to another until it was reported all the way up to the king, who wondered why his whole town was moaning. He told his brahmanas to find out the source of the congregational moaning, but actually nobody knew. People simply emotionally copied what the neighbour did. Finally, the man who was moaning first was found—because his donkey died. And so, because of one dead donkey, the whole town was in grief.

This is the nature of the internet. Without verifying the source, one reports the "news" further, simply increasing the agitation. The Internet may be useful for sharing relevant messages; it was created for this purpose.
But in the hands of demons and fools, it became a devastating medium, filled with gramya katha, destructive talk, unnecessarily agitating our minds over and over again.
Demons learned quickly to use this media to monitor our thoughts and activities; after all, there is no "privacy" on the internet, and anything can be hacked and monitored by the invisible "Big Brother". Such media can be used in a progressive way only by brahminical persons, who can distinguish what is useful to be communicated about and what is of no use or absolutely destructive. But such a culture doesn't exist in these agitated Kali Yuga days, and so any fool and any ruthless rascal can broadcast his views to millions of foolish listeners, churning the ocean of agitation more and more to the point of insanity. Devotees naturally abstain from such oceans of "gramya katha," or destructive talk. As one wise man said 150 years ago, "how dangerous it is that even when you know you heard a lie, you can still repeat it to others".

And so a devotee is always eager to focus on the essential and avoid what is not relevant or simply agitating. In times he finds himself surrounded by agitation and follows Srila Prabhupadas advice to simply disconnect oneself from the agitated scenery, chant Hare Krsna, and wait until the water surface becomes again clear and one is able to see what is below it at the bottom of the agitated waters. Knowing that not even a blade of grass can move without the permission of the Supreme Lord is already pacifying news, and so a devotee seeks to confirm first his connection to Krsna before responding to the "news" coming from a material source.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada, who came to make our lives peaceful even in the midst of the agitated age of Kali.