Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

COMING OF AGE #3 – Making Good Decisions
By Yudhisthira Dasa   |  Apr 29, 2023

Have you ever made a bad decision in your life? Who hasn’t?

In hindsight, review a couple of your bad decisions. Then ask yourself if you made those decisions on your own or if you may have consulted the wrong people.

When His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami engaged me as his long-term secretary, there were many lessons for me to learn. One of the most important ones was to consult with others before making important decisions. This idea is millennia-old, but unfortunately is often not followed. Most of us look for validation when selecting whose opinion/guidance to ask. This tendency manifests itself in bad choices for individuals and larger mistakes when institutional politics emerge in groups or movements like ISKCON.

While we know that the threesome of guru, sadhu, and sastra is certainly sufficient for life decisions that are timeless, there are also other key decisions in life that are dependent on time, place, and circumstance, where opinions from others can be life-saving! Here’s what I learned from Tamal Krishna Goswami, who in turn learned from Srila Prabhupada.

  1. Select a handful of very trusted confidential friends or mentors, each with different strengths and perspectives, and confirm, if needed, if they could be available to you for advice from time to time. Since all humans love giving their opinions, you can expect a smile and agreement.
  2. Identify what is an important decision that warrants the time to consult with others. Measure twice and cut once.
  1. Accept the fact that this process will take extra time and energy, knowing that the best decisions are made by thoroughly informed individuals, who (if you are endeavoring to be more and more spiritually awakened) will help allow you to see Krishna or God working through those individuals.
  1. Although many may feel that the initiating guru (if available) should be enough of an opinion, isn’t it the responsibility of the guru to train the disciple how to consult with others so that the student/disciple will be trained in the art of decision-making when the guru is not physically available or has passed away?
  1. Seek consultation from at least two individuals on your list, although three is better. And, be sure to get contrary views to consider. After all, if the path is totally clear, you would not have a decision to make in the first place!

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