(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 29 April 2010, Radhadesh, Belgium, Lecture)

If I think of what I would desire to achieve, it is to become a strong individual – strong in integrity, strong in character, to be someone who lives by his word, to be someone who embraces principles regardless of whether it brings me gain or loss, comfort or distress.

This is what I would like to be and that is what I would like to transmit to all of my disciples. I would like my disciples to be people who live by principles, who live by their word regardless of the situation, who can recognise that the illusory energy is strong but who remains an observer of themselves and who are not just going to fall prey to their mind and senses, but who will say, “No!”

For this, one needs to be strong in knowledge. Knowledge is not just a matter of parroting. It is a matter of hearing, assimilating and thinking.

Sometimes, I give the example of you are not this body; you are an eternal spirit soul. It is a nice slogan for a T-shirt. But, one can also ask, “If I’m not this body, then what are the consequences?” And the consequences are many. One has to think it through in Krsna consciousness. Just as, “We are the eternal servants of Krsna!” What are the consequences of this? That no matter what happens; we are the eternal servants of Krsna. Nothing in the world can ever change that! This is very important for me; this is one of my meditations.

A lot of my Krsna consciousness comes from thinking about things. Not just hearing and reading Srimad Bhagavatam but thinking about it, “What does this mean for me? What are the consequences of what I’m reading here?” and this kind of thinking process can eventually make us what Srila Prabhupada phrased as INDEPENDENTLY THOUGHTFUL. This means a lot to me. I am looking for people who deeply think about what are they doing with their lives and why are they doing it! People who live very consciously and in this way become strong in their own conviction and independently thoughtful, and I would be glad to add to it!

Something I learnt from Tamal Krishna Maharaj, by observing him, is that the duty of the spiritual master, the principal duty of the spiritual master is to give people a greater vision for themselves than what they came up with on their own! I want disciples who have a vision about their life, who know where they are going and what they are trying to achieve in this life!

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