When guidance is not easily available, how can we make good choices?

by Chaitanya Charan dasMarch 15, 2017

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Time: 4 minutes

Transcribed by: Nikhil Fernandes

Question:
When guidance is not easily available, how can we make good choices?

Answer:
Srila Prabhupada writes in the introduction to the Nectar of Instruction that once we come to the mode of goodness, our knowledge on how to advance further will be revealed from within. Sattva sanjayate jnanam. When we come to the mode of goodness, things become clearer and we can better understand the consequences of the choices available to us.

In our lives, we can observe that sometimes we are in the mode of goodness, sometimes in passion, and sometimes in ignorance. Whenever we need to make decisions, we should do so in the mode of goodness. If we are tired and can’t even think clearly, we should either postpone our decision making till we are fresh and clear. We can also do some activities that will bring us to the mode of goodness which enable us to think more clearly e.g. praying, chanting, studying etc. Another aspect of the mode of goodness is that we will be able recognise issues where we absolutely need guidance. There are some issues where we can arrive at a decision ourselves, however, for some issues we will need guidance.

There are times when we are faced with major decisions and we would like to take guidance, but that guidance is not available and our own mind flickers. In such cases, it is good to write things down. We can write down the pros and cons of each of the options available to us. Writing forces us to organize our random thoughts. When thoughts are in our head, they keep going around in circles and congest the mind. It becomes difficult to find a way forward. As soon as we get the thoughts out of our head, the increased distance between us and our thoughts brings objectivity. We can now evaluate our thoughts better. In other words, writing helps us to come to the mode of goodness.

For very big decisions in our life, we can write things down and revisit our thoughts periodically. Our mind changes from time to time. What we consider very important right now may not be so important later. If we find that for a significantly long period, our write up has not changed, it means that our decision is not driven by some fleeting passion of the mind, rather it is an enduring inclination or inspiration. Like this, we can ourselves arrive at a more mature decision. In situations, when we are to seek guidance, we should do our homework well so that we can present our situation nicely to our guide. For example, a patient should understand their symptom well before going to the doctor. Devotees should think over their problem well before presenting it before their spiritual masters or senior devotees.

In general, for making decisions it is vital to come to the mode of goodness. We need to find out ways for ourselves which promotes mode of goodness.

About The Author
Chaitanya Charan das

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