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Counseling based on a Bhaktivedanta approach - Interview given by Akrura Prabhu to Shriman Matsyavatara Prabhu (Part III)

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Edited by Marco Ferrini

Akrura Prabhu: If you like, we can now speak of helping relationships for those people who have not made a certain spiritual choice yet.

Matsyavatara Prabhu: Yes, these are people who are looking for a solution of their existential problems. There are many who suffer in their family environment because of difficult relationships with their spouse, their parents or their children. The family system is actually in a critical situation and problems in this sphere are the most frequent.

However, there could be problems even on the work place, in the economical sphere or in the health area. I personally have being working for the for six years having started in 2002 in some of the biggest Italian hospitals by holding seminars accredited by the Health Ministry in the field of Psychology of the Assistance to the terminally ill and to their family members, by giving them the Hindovedic Traditional teachings. These seminars were organized mostly for the medical personnel: doctors, nurses, social-assistance workers, but also for people affected by irreversible diseases and their families, their assistants, their friends, etc. In this environment we deal with a huge amount of suffering, anxiety, anguish, fears and a number of other ailments that can be alleviated and definitively resolved through the introduction of spiritual teachings of universal value and applied to the specific context. I wrote a book on this subject “Psychology of the Life Cycle”. I wrote this book after my experience in the hospitals and it is also related to a subject of our Study Course of the Indian Traditional Sciences. The traumas of death and mourning are very difficult to elaborate, especially when a sudden death takes away an offspring or a young parent or a young spouse. In these cases we must help the individual on different planes: emotional, psychological, social, professional, economic, etc.. Through our Counseling Courses for the harmonization and the development of personality we help people with solving also practical aspects, for example in the legal field or by re-projecting their professional career, stimulating them to gain a superior vision through ethical-spiritual teachings of universal value and with the help of the extraordinary instruments such as meditative visualization. In any case, I would like to emphasize that at the base of each helping relationship there are reciprocal respect and valorization of personal freedom.

Akrura Prabhu: The freedom of choice?

Matsyavatara Prabhu: Yes, the freedom to make decisions in relation to our own lives. We offer the means and the stimuli for consideration so that those who desire it can choose them, having freed the mind from conditionings, cultural and religious prejudices, etc. Shri Krishna Himself in Bhagavad-Gita (XVIII.63) says to Arjuna: “Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to.”. In the helping relationship there are four main goals that I try to point out: one ought to realize one’s uniqueness, pursue a good social integration by respecting and valorizing all cultures, live in autonomy and freedom of thought without being phagocytized by fake models and realize one’s deepest spiritual dimension. Realization of freedom should be expressed on two levels: my freedom as an individual and the respect for the freedom of the other members of society and of all creatures. We cannot experience an authentic inner satisfaction if we don’t respect and favor the wellbeing of all living beings (See Bhagavad-Gita XVIII.54). We should be ready to sacrifice some of our so called freedom to respect other’s freedom thus reaching a higher level of freedom.

Akrura Prabhu: This represents the essence of sacrifice.

Matsyavatara Prabhu: Of course. It the concept of yajna: giving up something to obtain something more elevated. If a person doesn’t realize that other’s wellbeing is not different from his own, he will never achieve real success in life. Love others as you love yourself is the teaching of the Gospel and in Bhagavad-Gita we also find the same teaching expressed particularly in chapter XII from verse 13 through verse 20. Bhakti is the most lofty expression of spiritual consciousness actualized in pure Love for God and can also be realized through service to humanity. This service leads us to the comprehension of existence of a superior Self, the universal Self, the Soul of humanity, the Origin of life and Sustainment of every being. It is in this manner that we can gradually realize our deepest identity of spiritual nature, not in a dogmatic or stereotypical way, but through a major awareness of ourselves on physical, psychological and emotional planes. As a result of a deep inner work we can generate consciousness, vision, serenity, joy and capability to give and receive Love.

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