‘This is what I feel, if I can find other people that feel like that, that’s truth.’
Because of the identifying so strongly, as we are saying here, with the modern culture, especially the Protestant, as the prominent element of the First World culture… Means it doesn’t mean… You can be any religion, but the whole social economic thrust is Protestant, meaning, it’s just you and your feelings because that’s what the Protestant is, ‘me and God and my bhava.’ That’s more trying to be raga, not so vaidhi like the Catholics were. But in that, the bottom line is, as Narada Muni pointed out to Vyasadeva, ‘You are going to drop the actual purpose of it, the Mahabharata is trying to get you Krsna conscious, and you are just going to see the material side of it and forget the God consciousness.’ So in the same way, they are going to ‘It’s just my bhava, what I want to do, that’s reality.’ And that works very nicely with the sophists, the sophistry of vox populi. ‘This is what I feel, if I can find other people that feel like that, that’s truth.’
So then with this combination of the sophistry and just the emotional element of the Protestant, that culture is totally devastating to any sense of authority, because that’s the first thing they go after. That’s the first thing that’s gone after, is any authority, shastra, Prabhupada, previous authorities, anything like that, varnashrama. It’s all just thrown out, it’s the first thing to go, because it’s just your mood. And then, ‘Whatever I feel and my friends feel – that’s truth. So therefore if we establish, this is law, it’s correct.’ But this is all coming from identifying, the mind identifying with these things. Because if one doesn’t, then the whole point is, if I am servant of Krsna, therefore this has to be pleasing to Krsna, so it has to be coming down from Krsna, so what does Krsna say in the shastra? What is Prabhupada saying? These would be the prominent elements, what is the example Prabhupada set? What are the [examples] previous acaryas set? Then we would start looking at it from that angle and that’s a completely different flavor.
(From Lecture on Vedanta Psychology, 17th February 2009, Bhaktivedanta Academy, Sridham Mayapur)
(Trascription by Uddhava Priya pr, used with permission, minor adjustments made)