The Imitation 17th June, 2012, from Sao Paulo

Dear devotees,
Greetings from Sao Paulo, the land of Mahaprabhu Gandharvika Giridhari.

Today I want to talk about imitation, a very common attitude among the humans beings. Imitation means acting without understanding, just copying what others do. The imitation causes big problems because is act without understanding the essence of things or even without fully understanding what you are imitating. Sure, there are many things we would like others to imitate:

For example, our nutritional style and everyone to become vegetarians or that everyone imitate devotees and start chanting Hare Krishna. But the essential is to realize that the process of Bhakti is not just about imitation, but true understanding, and that is why the devotees try to teach the essence to the imitators, although it brings many difficulties.

As Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji said, a woman who is not pregnant cannot imitate the symptoms of a woman who is. She might complain about the pain of contractions and make great mannerisms of pain. But that will not make her to give birth to a child. Likewise, in spiritual life we can imitate the symptoms of advanced devotees, but that does not mean that we are advancing.

There are other negative aspects of imitation, such as jealousy, envy, etc. Also competition and false ego. Srila Prabhupada taught us that imitation can be destroyed by the unity in diversity. What is this? Well, joining within the differences means accepting the other as he is in his true process and for that we need no imitators. That was Srila Prabhupada's attitude and that is what we must implement in our temples. Srila Prabhupada was very special.

Srila Prabhupada would hand responsibility to everybody with no prejudice. Myself included, I had to send Srila Prabhupada the names of the candidates for initiation and manage fire ceremonies, to take important decisions, etc., with only one and a half year living in the temple. At that time I was very grateful to Srila Prabhupada. I was very enthusiastic about all the responsibilities he left me, despite the fact I was not qualified to do them. This is unity in diversity and it saves us from the imitation.

What happens when there are devotees in Krsna Consciousness in the age of 10, 12, 15?
How to act to keep them encouraged to satisfy their needs? It is not easy to do this... But the essence is that we need to take responsibility with humbleness, for those who take responsibility for Krishna to be humble students who long to execute their tasks successfully, even if it means that they might find faults, failures and difficulties on the way. Sometimes we must fail to find the way we must go. Therefore, it is not fair for us to be bothered by others mistakes, we ourselves are learning from mistakes all the time. Mistakes are necessary.

For example, children cannot write well on the beginning. Those who learn to swim do not learn fast at first. The same way, a temple's president needs lots of practice to become a good leader. And on the way he must teach the others. We have been training leaders for years in thie manner... Unity in diversity is fully applicable in Krishna Consciousness. Because everything is for the cause of Sri Krishna, our ashrams that are true shelters must be united in diversity. Together we are stronger in the fight against Maya. We must make things easy for the diversity. We must deliver freedom and confidence to the devotees with whom we work with, especially the leaders should do this.

We are warriors of Krishna's cause, so we took risks for Him and we must keep in constant struggle. Remember always that above all is Love. Above the institutions, including, above varna ashram dharma. We must continuously serve more and more the devotees with love. Our intent is to reach perfection. The service full with love, this is perfection. Even if we make mistakes on the way our goal must be steady.

To have a strong Vrinda Family, the younger devotees should see how senior devotees love each other. Without that relationships get weak, the family gets waek and our service is affected.
So I insist: we must include everyone in our effort. For example, the style of the Vrinda Bhumi's devotees is different from the Harijan Mandir devotees in Santiago, but both styles are wonderful, two ways of practicing Krishna consciousness. That is unity in diversity. I even send many devotees and mothers to learn at my office, there they will be trained with tools that they could not have known in Vrinda Bhumi or Santiago. Thus, our Mission is a very dynamic family. Right now, in Brazil, we are moving in many areas and many sannyasis and devotees have come from different places to be in the marathon in service to Krishna.

We must concentrate our efforts on educating ourselves and becoming qualified as brahmanas. And we must educate those who are with us, who we have in our care. They are the future spiritual leaders. Because a brahmana is a spiritual leader. Krishna Consciousness is a school for Brahmanas that train people to leave this world. This miserable world... it's miserable like this for us to remember that it is temporary and that we must turn back to God, back to Home. And Sri Krishna keeps the doors open to everyone who want to be with Him. This is our everyday goal:

To create for Krishna. And the leaders should create beautiful communities to Krishna, where everyone is respected, where everyone can take responsibilities, where everyone can grow and create, supporting the unity in diversity and where there are daily istaghostis to discuss together how to serve and create better and with more enthusiasm, for Krishna; where everyone gathers to share the Lord's mercy in the form of Prasadam and make plans together to the future of the community.

With these words I say goodbye for today. We have a nice meeting for the Universal Love at the park of Aclimação. Sannyasis arrived here from everywhere, Damodhar Maharaj, Narayan Maharaj, Tirtha Maharaj from Chile, Giri Maharaj from Argenting, besides our Mangal Maharaj and Puri Maharaj whom are serving in Brazil. A very beautiful meeting, so I leave you all my affection today. Jay Srila Prabhupada!

Your always well-wisher,
Swami B. A. Paramadvaiti.

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