Notability of this knowledge
To mould ourselves into our better personas, we require a mindset convenient for the idea of change.
Our mind is like concrete, once thoroughly mixed and permanently set, it is stubborn. The mind is also compared to a Parachute, which functions only when it is open. Thus in order to know the truth, we have to keep our minds open. The problem lies not in being corrected but in being attached to our misconceptions. Reality is not our mental concoction but is based on the age-old truth of the Vedic literature like the Bhagavad- got a and the Srimad Bhägavatam
Who are Swindlers?
The oxford dictionary gives some interesting definitions of the word swindling:
“Use of deception to deprive someone of his money or possessions.”
A Human being suffers from four defects known as bhrama (meaning the tendency to commit mistakes), pramäda (the tendency to be illusioned), vipralipsä (cheat- ing propensity), karaëäpäöava (imperfect sense perception). Thus, the cheating propensity is one of the inherent defects of every conditioned soul.
Since there are limited resources and unlimited people, the cheating propensity is a natural consequence. Now using deception is not something wrong so long as it does not deprive others of their possessions. For example in the Magic show.
In the spiritual context, the definition of a swindler is someone who claims to be religious without appropriate qualifications, for personal benefits. The easiest way to classify a devotee is by asking 2 questions; “Who is God? and “how should we love him?” A person who has perfect answers to these two questions can be accepted as a bonafide saint and if one doesn’t have proper answers to these two questions, he comes in the category of swindlers.
Causes of the existence of Swindlers
- Lack of peity : Those who cannot afford the price of Sacrifice for the fulfilment of Krishna consciousness are the ones looking for cheap alternatives and these are available in the form of swindlers. It is because each person based upon the activities of his pre- vious lives carries a certain kind of Sukriti (pious cred- its), based on which his desires are generated.
- The Adonement of Kaliyuga : Prabhupäda comments as follows: “During the rainy season, in the evening there are many glow-worms visible about the tops of trees, hither and thither, and they glitter just like lights. But the luminaries of the sky, the stars and the moon, are not visible. Similarly, in the age of Kali, persons who are atheists or miscreants be- come very prominently visible, whereas persons who are actually following the Vedic principles for spiritual eman- cipation are practically obscured. This age, Kaliyuga, is compared to the cloudy season of the living entities. In this age, real knowledge is covered by the influence of the material advancement of civilization
Types of Swindlers
Swindlers can be classified in the following five categories:
vidharmaù para-dharmaç ca äbhäsa upamä chalaù adharma-çäkhäù païcemä dharma-jïo ’dharmavat tyajet
“There are five branches of irreligion, appropriately known as irreligion [vidharma], religious principles for which one is unfit [para-dharma], pretentious religion [äbhäsa], analogical religion [upadharma] and cheating religion [chala-dharma]. One who is aware of real religious life must abandon these five as irreligious.
In the Bhagavatam, there is a brief discussion for each of the following categories. Along with stories and practical examples; a refutation of Adamant Ritualistic practitioners, Hoaxers, Transgressors, Mayavadis, Egoists, Mundane bigots and the Manipulators of Scriptures.
- Who is a saint?
A saint is one who knows who is Kåñëa and how to render devotional service to Him.
- Importance of Saintly qualities
A saint is someone who ideally commits to the highest standards of spiritual upliftment. The one who is a true saint can deliver countless others.
- Why to develop saintly qualities?
The purpose of developing saintly qualities is to please Kåñëa and to go back home back to Godhead.
- What are the symptoms of such a saintly person?
He always chants the holy name, always obeys the çästra, always occupies himself in devotional service to Kåñëa and has the power to liberate his disciples from the cycle of birth and death. This can be put in the form of the acronym COOL.
Chants the holy names of the Lord always
Obeys the Shastras
Occupies himself in devotional service to the Lord
Liberates his disciples from the cycle of birth and death
- How can one become saintly?
- Reject the association of the five types of swindlers mentioned above.
- Associate with devotees and serve them
- Problem discourse : Swindling
- Solution : Turning Saintly
- Application : To try to adapt Saintly qualities.