Papa Don’t Preach

Still working on my radio script about kirtan this week. With each new draft I’m trying to distill what it actually is that I want people to feel and understand by listening to it.

It’s hard. Perhaps part of it comes from the difficult process of unpicking exactly why I think kirtan is so great? Do I really believe that it’s the greatest answer to the world’s problems, or do I just know that believing it gives me approval within my own society? If I’m not totally convinced myself, how do I communicate that doubt to an audience, without diminishing the message?

I understand more and more the gap between preaching and practise. I’ve grown up being able to explain some simple philosophy, as well as becoming a little familiar with more difficult concepts just by being exposed to them. This is one kind of spiritual knowledge. But I don’t think it’s really knowledge in a true sense unless it’s then internalised and practised with full faith. Is it?

Maybe the ability to preach or evangelise is no more than just being charismatic or  good with words. Without the truth of personal experience and conviction behind the exclamations,  I wonder if the message can ever have a very long lasting effect.

O, it is far easier to study and press a thousand truths upon others, than to feel the power of one truth upon our own hearts.

–  John Flavel, 1627-1691


Filed under Creative Writing, Krishna Consciousness, Uncategorized, University Coursework

5 responses to “Papa Don’t Preach

  1. a long held thought of mine told to me waaaay back from where I cant remember stated: you learn best about what you know when you teach it. relaying it to others cements your knowledge and allows you to understand it more fully. You believe in Kirtan because it is right for you, it may not be the right way for everyone and striking that teaching ballance of showing why it is right for you may help you move forward.

    good luck.

  2. This is powerful thinking. This honest approach is really what makes outreach effective in my opinion. People can’t relate so much to someone who presents themselves as having perfect faith. They can relate to someone who is honest about their conviction or lack thereof.

  3. Niti

    The youth in our community went book distribution once, I couldn’t make it for some reason, but thought that if I did go, how could I distribute anything. I haven’t read any of the philosophy myself, so how could I persuade someone to buy this book, which I myself was not convinced of yet.

    But I guess once you try and explain to someone, why you have such strong faith, you become empowered, and have the desire to progress more, and deeper your faith. I agree with both the above comments.

    All the best for your radio gig!

  4. great distinction between “knowing” and “believing.” someone may be very learned (or even just learned enough) in the philosophy but not fully convinced.

    anyway, great, honest reflection on your part. thanks for putting it out there.

    and thanks for the madonna reference 😉

  5. mala108

    Hi Jhanavi! This is really a wonderful realization. I myself can really relate to this. Even though, I almost grow up in the movement ( I was 9 when my aunt and her ex-husband patiently taught me about KC), I still find it so hard to convey to people about the benefits they can get from KC.Not that I’m not fully convinced about the ways we share KC, like for example you mentioned kirtan which I believed is one of the easiest way to somehow deliver KC to people with out them knowing that you’re already preaching and giving them something priceless.

    Also, maybe because I’m not a good talker at all, in fact I’m kind of quite an awkward, but I know this is a lame excuse to not to preach. I guess we all need to find w/ in our selves in our convenience (somehow) on how to deliver to people on how confident and how much firm convection we have in our practice with out over empowering them. Ahhh… I hope I’m making sense here 🙂 Thanks again for this nice post. Hare Krishna!

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