Exposed by the Swami
In the 1950s, Srila Prabhupada described the hard-core materialist’s self-absorption in his Message of Godhead:
“At present we are concerned primarily with two things: one, ourselves, and the other, the place where we live. We are concerned with these two objects, everything that is related to our gross and subtle bodies and the world at large with all its paraphernalia. But there are others above us, the transcendentalists, who are concerned not only with their bodies and minds and the world at large, but also with the transcendental subject, which is above the mind and body and the world at large.” (Message of Godhead, Introduction, p. 1)
While Vaisnava philosophy is equally applicable all over the universe, it seemed as if Prabhupada was specifically addressing the material mentalities of his first Western followers who would follow a decade later. We ’60s people were so anti-establishment (thus against the political world at large with all its paraphernalia). Out of ignorance we surrendered completely to the atheistic view of the scientists. As products of the intellectual counterculture, we accepted Freud, Darwin, and Marx. Atheism was our religion. Out of false pride, we would never yield to the concept of a descending process.
So it is strange that we “enlightened” free-thinkers who thought of ourselves as sensitive barometers of truth, who had our own code of truthfulness and didn’t appreciate anyone foisting anything upon us (especially if we perceived the foister as being phony or cheating or ego-tripping), embraced the parampara message as presented by Srila Prabhupada. We became sold on Prabhupada’s version of the truth and never looked back.
There are people—and this is one of the most important proofs of God’s existence—who are not concerned just with the self and the world at large, but with the Absolute Truth. The transcendentalists—saints, philosophers, reformers, messengers of God—appear in various places of the world at various times and render transcendental service to the Absolute Truth and to humans by preaching the message of the transcendental world. This is getting in touch with Krishna. We have a right and a need to do that, even if it’s awkward at times.
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Atma Tattva Das, ISKCON News Staff Writer
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