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Counseling based on a Bhaktivedanta approach (Part II)

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Edited by Marco Ferrini

Akrura Prabhu: Therefore all this requires the development of eminently personal relationships?

Matsyavatara Prabhu: Certainly. Every person must be considered as a single world. A charming, universal conscientious unique being, different from others, with whom we can establish a unique and special relationship. No one must be stuck in a scheme or labeled as a certain psychological type. By viewing an individual in a schematic vision we can significantly diminish the help that we can give him.

I would like to stress that this help is not comparable to a psycho-therapeutic cure. It draws teachings and spiritual values that can produce harmony, equilibrium and long lasting wellbeing to every component of the personality and in every sphere of existence (psychological, social, professional, etc. ) The available instruments of Krishna-Bhakti are formidable and extraordinarily powerful, but we must learn how to use them at their best by understanding how to apply them to ourselves. To do this it is important that we are encouraged to go deeply inside ourselves, try to really understand our feelings, what is against and what is favorable to our evolutionary process, and how we can better express our spirituality and devotion to the Lord. As it is explained in the Ayurvedic science, each individual has a determined psychological-physical profile: pitta, kapha or vata, at the same time in transcendent psychology, on the spiritual level, each one of us has his own rasa or spiritual sentiment that connects him to God in a peculiar way. By rediscovering that rasa, we can participate in ananda, hladhini shakti and happiness which is intrinsic in our original Love nature. And by realizing this rasa every negative tendency and behavioral defects disappear naturally. Consequently, discouragement, suffering, sadness, fears and depression will dissolve. Therefore, helping people first of all means helping them to re-settle in their human nature by stimulating them to do what is more in accordance to their nature, from which they can draw authentic satisfaction and benefits. Devotional service means encouraging a person to center himself in his own rasa. If we do not stimulate the devotee to engage himself in his guna and karma coordinates and in the vision to realize his peculiar relationship with the Divine, he will hardly be able to live his spiritual life in a joyous and evolutionary way.

Akrura Prabhu: Therefore we must engage people in accordance to their nature.

Matsyavatara Prabhu: Yes indeed. This could be a priority even in relation to the principle of practical utility because this is the only way that we can really offer a good spiritual cure.

Akrura Prabhu: I remember reading a letter from Shrila Prabhupada in reference to this where He underlined the importance of acting this way.

Matsyavatara Prabhu: Yes, it is fundamental to comprehend inclinations and spiritual aspirations of each individual by helping him first with recognizing them. We must interact with each person in a personalized way. We could not act the same with two individuals, not even with twins! Each person is characterized by his peculiar nature and we must enter the same wavelength. This also includes the development of a peculiar modality of relationship, a modality more in accordance with our interlocutor.

Akrura Prabhu: It is a great principle, an important lesson. How can you comprehend people’s problems and help each individual with expressing and facing his uneasiness?

Matsyavatara Prabhu: By establishing a personal relationship, sharing experiences, doing things together, educating him on how to reflect and weigh up his life and make projects for his future. This would help people with connecting even more the dreamed reality with the one lived every day by increasing their desire to overcome their limitations and to evolve by developing a greater sense of responsibility. One of the main causes for suffering is the inability to realize ones most intimate aspirations, the discrepancy between who we are and who we would like to be, between how we live and how we would like to live.

Akrura Prabhu: When and how do you generally include the importance of undertaking ones responsibilities?

Matsyavatara Prabhu: I try to make the individual responsible right away. He who doesn’t have a sense of responsibility, cannot aspire to bring improvements in his life.

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