Please accept our most humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
We wanted to share some comments about todays morning discussion.
In regards to how devotees can preach within their profession as a doctor, psychologist, counselor, etc.. Our thoughts are within a therapeutic setting it is most conducive to follow some Vedic standards to help preserve the devotees' mind and purity.
For example, because therapy or having a medical visit with a patient is a confidential atmosphere, we suggest a female doctor or therapist to request female clients if possible.
This of course, is not always possible and especially with therapy, the plethora of what is going on in someones mind and desires comes out.
Another topic of interest is when is it appropriate to encourage the use of psycho-tropic medications and when is it not. We like to help clients come to the mode of goodness standard through the most natural means possible. Sometimes therapies such as REBT, CBT, DBT, solution focused therapy, Adlerian therapy can help clients understand how to best control their mind and desires. Also encouraging them to increase their spiritual coping skills such as prayer and studying their Bible or following their yoga routine can help, but if they want to take pharmaceuticals due to extreme distractibility or depression, should we encourage it?
HpS - Don't know? Guess it is O.K. in some circumstances. I read from ONE book that Srila Bh. Siddhanta Sarasvatis said, that Bang, Marijuana might bring someone to a higher consciousness by allowing them to see things from a non-concrete perspective, but it would definitely have bad side effects, so it should be abandoned as soon as possible and actually never be taken up if they could do Nama Japa, or meditate on the Virata Rupa etc. May be it was a bogus book.
If it could mean saving them from suicide, this seems to make sense.
HpS - Yes...
But otherwise, we are sometimes unsure. It seems if someone is a devotee, we discourage it. But what if someone is a devotee and may be suffering from a diagnosis such as bipolar disorder? There seemed to not be time this morning to talk about this subject, but we are curious about your thoughts on this subject.
HpS - Like we say it is a very detailed topic but yes in general it seems to be correct for certain people.
Another awesome topic brought up was engaging those in systematic study according to their level of motivation. I would say with our group due to possible time constraints, independent reading is at times hard for the group. So we encourage reading two texts independently. We also read together and review points of interest found in the texts we read independently and re-read these points again. Besides sharing our answers to the study questions and answering a general topic discussion question, we are mostly reading.
It seems this is a great way to avoid speculation and to have any group come together for the purpose of association and to improve our motivation to study and read, even if they lack a qualification or title such as Bhakti Vaibhava or Bhakti Sastri.
Devotees who are sincere and following devotee standards could lead the group and correct any philosophical questions or deviations new comers attending the group may bring up.
HpS - Yes.
It also is nice if there is at least 3 devotees such as Sudevi, Lalita, and I, and if we are not able to answer a question properly, we usually ask our husbands then share with the group the answer.
ASA - Chanakya Pandita said, one person is good for Puja and meditation, two people is good for study, three for music, four for travel and for making war, as many as you can get.
Let us know what you think of this standard? Newcomers and those interested in reading may have too low of motivation to participate in a formal Bhakti Sastri program, thus, a reading group like this can be the alternative. We are starting Light of the Bhagavat tonight!
ASA - Yes.... Seminars on one book one one theme eg. Rupa siksa, Chapter 19 of the Madhya lila are very useful and popular. Of course, you could relate them with a larger diploma, but that is not necessary.
Thank you Gurudeva!!
Your lowly servant,
ASA-HpS - Thank you. Life is very short, so keep some general priorities and then improvise. Live life one day at a time.