The Importance of Faith

Sunday lecture on Bhagavad-gita 9.3, given in Riga, Latvia, 26 May 2019

The following are lecture notes briefly delineating its contents.

  • Reading from Bhagavad-gita 9.3.
  • A neophyte can advance in devotional service in the association of devotees if he has simplicity, i. e. is not political.
  • Prema is mature faith.
  • The problem with neophyte devotees is not that they do not have a basic faith, but that they think that things other than Krishna consciousness have some importance separate from Krishna consciousness.
  • Professionals give great importance to their work, but they forget that the only meaning of work is to make money to maintain oneself and one’s family, and then one can serve Krishna.
  • Trends always keep shifting, it is a detail that people make look important, but actually it is not.
  • Eating, sleeping, mating and defending always go on, whether they are a trend or not.
  • We give importance to the direct activities of devotional service, and engage in other activities only as much as necessary. If we do so, we will become second or first class devotees, but while we keep distracted, we will remain neophytes.
  • If we are distracted, we are doing things that are not necessary, so we are not doing something necessary.
  • We should see everything we do in connection to devotional service.
  • No religious process addresses person’s individuality as much as devotional service, but to experience that one has to be honest.
  • A professional appears useless in a village.
  • If something is important for our conditioned nature, we engage in that activity while practicing devotional service, until it either goes away or gets properly balanced.
  • Yudhisthira Maharaja was a very cultured, sophisticated person, but it is not emphasized. He is engaged in devotional service, manifesting those qualities.
  • Just as with karma, one may also get distracted by overemphasizing things in the field in jnana.
  • There may be a very educated person who does not identify as an academic.
  • Stages of learning. First stage is just hearing, but that is nowadays called knowledge. Academics cannot apply their knowledge.
  • Jnana is just knowledge, while vijnana is a value according to which we live our life.
  • Even useful things in Krishna consciousness can distract us from Krishna consciousness.
  • It is not the form of activities, but our attitude that is important in Krishna consciousness.
  • If we believe that we are a better devotee due to our status, skills or knowledge, we are still a third class devotee.

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