Article July 10, 2017
Question: At times I get confused….to follow the brain or to follow the heart? How do we get that signal from God to take the right decision?
Radhanath Swami: The same way you access a television station. You have to tune into the correct frequency, and that comes by associating with the people who are tuned in. In their association, really learning how to hear from holy scriptures and from the holy Acaryas, we get the proper understanding.
If we do it with right association and with the right character, the chanting of God’s names tunes us into the frequency of God’s grace, God’s infinite grace. When we chant as a group together we are not only accessing the grace but we are spreading that vibration throughout the universe.
The heart is the seat of feeling; the brain is the seat of discrimination. Srila Prabhupadawould say religion or devotional feeling, using the heart, without philosophy often is degraded to sentimentalism or even fanaticism. Then instead of feeling love, we feel hate and envy; that’s what fanaticism is about.
But just discrimination, using the brain, without feeling, often breeds just cold mental speculation, no transformation of character, no love – just intellect discrimination. We must harmonize the two.
निमित्तानि च पश्यामि विपरीतानि केशव ।
न च श्रेयोऽनुपश्यामि हत्वा स्वजनमाहवे ॥
भावार्थ : हे केशव! मैं लक्षणों को भी विपरीत ही देख रहा हूँ तथा युद्ध में स्वजन-समुदाय को मारकर कल्याण भी नहीं देखता॥31॥
I do not see how any good can come from killing my own kinsmen in this battle, nor can I, my dear Kṛṣṇa, desire any subsequent victory, kingdom, or happiness.
Without knowing that one's self-interest is in Viṣṇu (or Kṛṣṇa), conditioned souls are attracted by bodily relationships, hoping to be happy in such situations. Under delusion, they forget that Kṛṣṇa is also the cause of material happiness. Arjunaappears to have even forgotten the moral codes for a kṣatriya. It is said that two kinds of men, namely the kṣatriya who dies directly in front of the battlefield under Kṛṣṇa's personal orders and the person in the renounced order of life who is absolutely devoted to spiritual culture, are eligible to enter into the sun-globe, which is so powerful and dazzling. Arjuna is reluctant even to kill his enemies, let alone his relatives. He thought that by killing his kinsmen there would be no happiness in his life, and therefore he was not willing to fight, just as a person who does not feel hunger is not inclined to cook. He has now decided to go into the forest and live a secluded life in frustration. But as a kṣatriya, he requires a kingdom for his subsistence, because the kṣatriyas cannot engage themselves in any other occupation. But Arjuna has had no kingdom. Arjuna's sole opportunity for gaining a kingdom lay in fighting with his cousins and brothers and reclaiming the kingdom inherited from his father, which he does not like to do. Therefore he considers himself fit to go to the forest to live a secluded life of frustration.