Bhakti

Is it right to say that “I am trying to be nice”?

romapada swami on is it right to say that I am trying to be nice?
Written by Romapada Swami

Question: Is it right to say that “I am trying to be nice”? As for me, I think one should be naturally nice, but when the word “trying” comes in a statement in regards to a positive act, then the act is not from the heart. I could be wrong, please clarify.

Romapada Swami Answers: As discussed in a previous answer, only spiritual qualities endure in all circumstances because they are real and they are coming from the soul platform.  In our conditioned state whatever qualities we have are on a material platform and therefore they do not endure when one’s buttons are pushed beyond a certain point or in other words when the influence of modes of nature on us is very strong.  But one cannot go from a conditioned state to a liberated state all of a sudden.  There is an interim period during which one is practicing to develop those qualities for the pleasure of Krsna.  While one is in the stage of practice all the activities or speech may not flow from the heart naturally but it is also not a pretension or artificial or imitation if one is genuinely trying to cultivate those qualities.  During this stage of cultivation some of our speech or activities may seem awkward but by practice it will become one’s nature. This is what Srila Prabhupada said – “By practice it becomes second nature.” So we must be very careful in coming to some conclusions because someone said, “I am trying xyz..”

Below is an excerpt from a very nice morning walk conversation of Srila Prabhupada in San Francisco on 3/23/1968 where Prabhupada talks about the importance of practice:

Prabhupada: “Yes. Practically everything depends on practice. Abhyasa-yoga-yuktena cetasa nanya-gamina [Bg. 8.8]. Abhyasa-yoga. Abhyasa-yoga means yoga practice… Practice it. So this whole Krsna consciousness movement is to practice transferring from one kind of consciousness to another. So we require practice. Just like one man can run few miles. I cannot run even one mile. He has practiced. We see some boys, they run, run on. They practice. Practice it. Strength of the heart increasing by practice. And if I run, my heart will be palpitating. Because I have no practice. So by practice, everything can be attained.

7 Comments

  • The example that is coming to mind is that of a person who has fallen in mud and is bathing. While he is bathing, one may point to him and say, “Oh, there is mud here, or mud there!” Yes, there is mud, but the person is bathing and therefore, gradually all the mud in his body will be gone. Similarly, one “trying” to be nice may not be perfect yet, but he has understood from a bona fide source what perfect means, and he is striving for that standard. He may not be perfect but with practice over time and mercy from guru and Krishna, he may some day be there.

  • I agree too. The expectations of the society, family, friends is many times way too idealistic. To survive in such situations would have been extremely difficult. Such wonderful loving and practical teachings are an Oasis for people like me who frequently lose to the force of the modes.

    All glories to Srila Prabhupada and His Generals to gift us this treasure of wonderful association of devotees.

  • How nice is this movement of Srila Prabhupada!

    Its so scientific, so systematic yet very reachable for many conditioned souls. If this flexible training program where there is facility for interim period to develop qualities for the pleasure of Krsna is not there, where would there be any shelter for many of us?

    Very grateful to Srila Prabhupada for sending His representatives to connect us to these mercy particles and training and guidance. Thank You Srila Prabhupada and His Genarals.

    Feeling inspired to share this nice lecture given on Srila Prabhupadas disappearance day in honor of Srila Prabhupadas gifts – http://www.romapadaswami.com/node/9267

    Co-incidentally Srila Prabhupadas disappearance day falls today.

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