Kadamba Kanana Swami, Vrindavan India 4 April 2019, SB 8.17.25-27)

Ekalavya, on his own, was trying to perfect the way of archery and appeared to be even better than Arjuna. But as a result his thumb was taken by Dronacarya. So we are not becoming Ekalavya – no. We cannot imitate Krsna; we can only serve Krsna. We cannot imitate Arjuna either. Arjuna is Krsna’s eternal associate, and we are simply following in the footsteps. Our path is not anukāra – imitation; it is anusārataḥ – to follow.

Anusārataḥ means to follow in the footsteps. We cannot imitate anyone; we simply have to be ourselves and follow in the footsteps of the previous Vaisnavas. We should know that every person has unique attributes, unique qualities and Krsna has a purpose with each one of us. We are instruments and each of us has a particular quality that will come out over time. So be yourself. You are valuable and you are meant to utilise what you have – everything!

What will repression accomplish? We are not going to repress our nature and imitate someone else. Be who you are but purify. Kavi Karnapura says, “Be natural, but purified nature.” Purify your nature and then the characteristics that we have, become perfect. And how do we become purified? By anusārataḥ – by following in the footsteps. 

Even Krsna is acting by example. In Chapter Seventy of The Krsna book Krsna’s daily activities are nicely described. Krsna gives charity to the brahmanas. He sees statues of cows and other auspicious things in the morning. So one can follow in the footsteps of Krsna and of the Vaisnavas.

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