In scriptural dissemination, the problem is not in transmission but in reception

When we are watching TV and suddenly the image and sound goes off, we may presume that the problem is in transmission. But if we find that our neighbor’s TV is still working well, then we understand the problem is not in transmission, but in reception.

The process of disseminating scriptural knowledge is something like TV transmission. At the dawn of creation or at other cosmically consequential moments, Krishna transmits the current of wisdom to exalted spiritual seers who transmit it down through a lineage of similarly exalted spiritual seers. These seers receive that wisdom not just in head but also in their heart, thereby becoming linked in a bond of love with their teachers and ultimately the original and supreme teacher Krishna. Such seers internalize, exemplify and share that wisdom with others, thus continuing the transmission. The Bhagavad-gita (04.01-02) points to such transcendental transmission of wisdom, but then cautions that the wisdom in the course of time tends to gets lost (04.03). Yet time itself is not the cause of the interruption, for Krishna states in the same verse that he is going to restore the transmission at that very time.

The problem is in the reception. The Gita (04.10) lists the reception blockers: attachment (“I don’t care about this spiritual stuff; I want to enjoy here-and-now”), apprehension (“I don’t know what’s out there; how can I court the danger of exploring?”) and anger (“Different people have different philosophies – who knows what’s right? Best to forget this whole spiritual business.”) Even if we aren’t getting reception, the transmission continues and transforms, as demonstrated through the examples of many successful seekers (04.10).

By continuing to study scripture in saintly and learned association, we can remove the reception-blockers and gradually relish Krishna’s wisdom and its culmination: eternal ecstatic love.

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