Common Impediments: Independent-mindedness

                                                                  Q. 1. There are still people (at least in India) who believe God is impersonal and say that devotion is just a stepping stone for realizing the Supreme Truth which they say is actually impersonal.

                                                                  Q. In the Ekalavya pastime, it is mentioned that one should perform duties according to one's propensity and capability. However, Lord Krishna declares that it is not the prerogative of only the Brahmanas to indulge in sacred activities such as reading scriptures etc.; rather any one who can raise himself to the platform of bhakti is eligible for this. Are these not contradictory?

                                                                  Q. Since Dronacharya refused to teach martial arts to Ekalavya, therefore Ekalavya was left with no choice but to learn himself. Why was it wrong?

                                                                  Having approached Drona for instructions, Ekalavya should have deferred to his decision. When a qualified preceptor offers an assessment or order, however unpalatable or contrary to one's expectations it may be, one should be willing to honor it whole-heartedly: that is real respect. By doing so, in a mood of absolute respect, Ekalavya could have easily won the favor of Drona.

                                                                  Q: BG 14-19 mentions that in all activities no other performer is at work other than the three modes. BG 13-21 similarly calls nature to be the cause of all material causes and effects. I have difficulty understanding this. Does it mean that inert matter is the cause, or does it refer to the controlling deities in charge of different departments of nature?
                                                                  Material nature consists of the three modes. The material nature or the material energy works under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.