Receiving without Questioning and Cultivating appreciation 8/7/16- Sweden

**(Excerpted from a round of questions and answers in Nimaihuset, Sweden, May 2016)Question:

What is the purpose of Kali Yuga?

Answer: I like this question because it forces us to be self-critical.

 prayenalpayusah sabhya

 kalav asmin yuge janah
mandah sumanda-matayo
 manda-bhagya hy upadrutah
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada: 
O learned one, in this iron Age of Kali men almost always have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed. (Sb 1.1.10)

That is one of the first verses in Srimad Bhagavatam which explains the effects of Kali Yuga. There it is stated that Kali Yuga in a way has come to wake the laziest, the "unintelligent", the "less sincere," those who have received the invitation of Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dvapara Yuga but continue to pursue the idea of "I want this and that" (...) then the atmosphere of Kali Yuga becomes necessary to (hopefully) wake them up.

Actually this is not exactly a very lovely answer, right? This means that there is another alternative as well. Srila Prabhupada used to say "learn either by listening or suffering; yet there are people, when suffering comes, who will not learn". This means that there is another opportunity. First of all, at the time of destruction of the material world you rest in Mahavishnu and then come back. The cycle begins again. Because God loves us regardless of our own stupidity, but He does not want to take away our free will.

Another thing I would add is that we should not question the good intentions of the Lord towards us. Do not do that!, Do not let your mind do it! Because the moment you do it is like falling again and say, "God, you can sit in the chair of the accused?" And you feel yourself being in the position of Judge saying, "Be attentive my Lord because now I'll check." That should not do for any reason; the position to question the Creator's intention towards us is not for us. That destroys something inside us and creates a kind of artificial ego. It is that  very artificial ego which otherwise is very popular, among those who deny the existence of God, that makes us not only put God in the chair of the accused but remove Him as if He didn't even exist.
The question about why Kali Yuga is perfectly answered in the Srimad Bhagavatam, I just wanted to branch out a little more, I only wanted to explain what happens when we allow our minds to question the good intentions of God. What if we ask ourselves whether we have the right to breathe? And if we do, who gave us that right? We have never paid for the air we breathe. How is it that we have the right to drink water? How is it that we have the right to eat a plate of food? After thinking about these questions the only thing left is to be grateful and say "thank you to whoever is responsible for it." You can call "the responsible" as you want, but you must recognize that he exists and be grateful to Him. That's what even the native tribes teach us. This is what we call the "United Nations of the Spirit" human beings united in the spirit of gratitude.

Without a deep spirituality nothing can happen, nothing will change within us. That's what Krishna said: "Anything that is ingested without being offered to me is nothing but sin." Even the strictest vegan who does not offer their food to God is doing nothing more than eating sin. Even if we take water without having offered to God, we're just drinking sin. That is what the Scriptures teach us.

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. Because, you know what comes after gratitude? Mirth. Without gratitude you can not have joy. So we plunge into depression, because we are not grateful. In modern society, one way or another, we have managed to put the mind above all things, but that has not produced very good results, rather it has turned our lives into a mundane, materialized and secularized life. So there can be no obedience to any higher authority, because the very principle of authority is questioned. Children often do that sometimes and question the authority of their parents, but as soon they have a problem or are even a little hungry, they are transformed again immediately and accept the authority provided they obtain food. Therefore, it is better to appreciate all that we have received without question and rather  receive it with deep appreciation.

Jay Srila Prabhupada!

Your always well wisher,
Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti

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