Friday, August 11, 2006

Email to Ed

I have an old friend, Ed Fissinger who recently had an epiphany that Krishna is God. We use to chant together before I came to New Vrindavan. This is Lake Michigan where he recently took a retreat and was chanting 16 rounds daily and reading the Srimad Bhagavatam. From an email exchange:

>I am now curious about your practice

Well, usually I have them do ball feel exercises until they are warmed up. Then, we do stretching exercises, many of which are yoga postures. Then we do some shooting, dribbling, passing and trapping drills. Then 3x3 games.

>...what you do on a regular basis regarding the practices and principles of Krishna???

Oh THAT! I thought you meant soccer practice. I do follow the 4 regulative principles. I don't go to the temple or chant japa as much as I should, though I wish I did, and think they are very important and useful. I have done them strictly for extended periods in the past.

Mostly, I cruise devotee websites, and comment sometimes. I spend an hour or so a day on my blogging -- researching, writing, and posting. So for me, that constitutes hearing and chanting, 2 of the 9 processes of devotional service stressed by SP.

>What things matter????

Chanting. Remembering Krishna and never forgetting Him (third process of devotional service). Struggling to live a life in the mode of goodness. Trying to see Krishna in all living entities.

>.....and what things does Krishna actually want us to do???

Ah, that's a question. Any number of people will be willing to give you an opinion there, usually, strangely enough, involving labor or money for their project. Which may, or may not, be a good thing. Discovering your true service is a challenge.

For now, continue what you are doing but add Krsna Consciousness to it. Avoid becoming overzealous and proselytizing everyone you meet. Do share with those who are receptive. Parisha used to say, " If they can't ask the question, they aren't ready for the answer."

> And how much of scripture do you think is infallible???

There are 3 pramanas - direct perception, logic, and sastras, scripture. I think scripture is a map, not the territory, and it is a teaching tool. Whether every bit is literal or not doesn't concern me. I think the underlying principles expressed are infallible.

"Pramana means proof. Vaisnava philosophers condense all the different types of pramanas into three: pratyaksa, anumana, and sabda. Pratyaksa means direct evidence by the senses. But since the senses are imperfect, pratyaksa often has to be corrected by higher knowledge. Anumana refers to deductive and inductive logic, which depends on the validity of its premises and reasons, and so cannot prove anything with final certainty. Sabda means receiving knowledge from authoritative sources. Vedic knowledge is sabda-pramana. This is particularly applicable to transcendental subject matter, which cannot be understood by the empirical and theorizing methods."

Narada Bhakti Sutra 59

>Right now I can only seem to believe what i have discovered not so much what i am far as doctrine is concerned anyway.....

Review -- what did you believe in 1966? 86? Today? Has it changed? If it has, how valid can it be? What will you believe in 2026? What are the unchanging things that have been constant? It helps to realize that there is relative truth, contingent on time and circumstance, and absolute truth. USA has never won a World Cup. Relative truth. In the material world, in the mode of passion, there are winners and losers. Absolute truth.


At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Ed Fissinger said...

It seems a bit strange to comment on this post, but I want to get deeper on a couple of points. Yes, Gosh and I chanted before he came to N.V. but I never stopped chanting as he had taught me. That means I have been chanting, at least some, for over 30 years. And reading B. Gita too. But 20 years of Zen led me to the Brahmajyoti...then upon deep investigation and questioning I realized that a "void" that spawned personalities is a Personality. This being true because as I viewed it, the "all that is", was defined by what is in it. Then one night as I was up to go to the bathroom my vision turned bright blue in all directions and I heard the Maha-mantra very loud and to my right for some reason. THIS was when I had the realization that Krsna is God. When I could see I got back in bed. But I have been awake ever since.


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