8th June, 2015. Gurgaon.
Last few days whatever I have been hearing, reading or even receiving from other devotees, there is one common thread: We should not desire any change in our karmic reaction from Krishna. As the coincidences built up I took them as a clue to share them with everyone.
It is not very uncommon to see that when we fall into difficult situations, we earnestly pray to Lord to remove it. It could be a simple cold to a serious illness or some other difficult situations. While this may be acceptable as a neophyte but as aspiring devotees we must endeavor to progress upwards from that level.
We are aware that almost all of our current circumstances have resulted from our past actions. But we should remember another very important point that nothing happens by chance, specially in the life of a devotee. We should have the firm faith that since Krishna is in control so whatever is happening in my life is for my own good.
HG Damodar Prabhu sent me the below two SMSs yesterday.
Sharanagati (surrender) is accomplished only when one can see the grace of the Supreme Lord in every situation -V.V.imp verse from SB below
“One who, in the hope of achieving Your grace, goes on enduring the inauspicious fruit of his own karma, and passes his days practicing devotion unto You in every thought, word, and deed- such a person is heir to the land of freedom: he attains to the plane of positive immortality.”(spiritual world)- Lord Brahma (SB10.14.8)
Few weeks back HG Padmalochan Prabhuji sent me the below verse from Mukunda Mala Strota
O my Lord! I have no attachment for religiosity, or for accumulating wealth, or for enjoying sense gratification. Let these come as they inevitably must, in accordance with my past deeds. But I do pray for this most cherished boon: birth after birth, let me render unflinching devotional service unto Your two lotus feet. (MM 5)
Then two days back I was hearing a lecture by HG Srimati Mataji where mataji quoted Srimad Bhagavatam on how devotional service could be in the mode of ignorance, passion & goodness, and finally above the modes of nature, which should be our target. Here are the verses:
Devotional service executed by a person who is envious, proud, violent and angry, and who is a separatist, is considered to be in the mode of darkness. (SB 3.29.8)
The worship of Deities in the temple by a separatist, with a motive for material enjoyment, fame and opulence, is devotion in the mode of passion. (SB 3.29.9)
When a devotee worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead and offers the results of his activities in order to free himself from the inebrieties of fruitive activities, his devotion is in the mode of goodness. (SB 3.29.10)
The manifestation of unadulterated devotional service is exhibited when one’s mind is at once attracted to hearing the transcendental name and qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is residing in everyone’s heart. Just as the water of the Ganges flows naturally down towards the ocean, such devotional ecstasy, uninterrupted by any material condition, flows towards the Supreme Lord. (SB 3.29.11-12)
Srimad Bhagavatam is calling the devotees in the mode of ignorance and passion as separatists, which we all know is not such a nice quality to possess.
So who is a separatist ?
Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport of SB3.29 that A separatist is one who sees his interest as separate from that of the Supreme Lord. Mixed devotees, or devotees in the modes of passion and ignorance, think that the interest of the Supreme Lord is supplying the orders of the devotee; the interest of such devotees is to draw from the Lord as much as possible for their sense gratification. This is the separatist mentality.
The mind of the Supreme Lord and the mind of the devotee should be dovetailed. A devotee should not wish anything but to execute the desire of the Supreme. That is oneness. When the devotee has an interest or will different from the interest of the Supreme Lord, his mentality is that of a separatist…The devotee has no interest but to fulfill the transcendental desire of the Supreme Lord.
We should note that Lord Caitanya also teaches us in Siksastakam verse 4:
“O Lord, I do not wish to gain from You any wealth, nor do I wish to have a beautiful wife, nor do I wish to have many followers. All I want from You is that in life after life I may remain a pure devotee at Your lotus feet.”
Srila Prabhupada writes: there is a similarity between the prayers of Lord Caitanya and the statements of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Lord Caitanya prays, “in life after life,” indicating that a devotee does not even desire the cessation of birth and death. The yogīs and empiric philosophers desire cessation of the process of birth and death, but a devotee is satisfied to remain even in this material world and execute devotional service.
By practicing Krishna Bhakti, or Krishna consciousness, we get aligned with Krishna. The firmer the faith we have in trusting Krishna to be my best well wisher, the sharper will be our realisation that everything that is happening in my life is designed for my spiritual progress.
Once Srimati mataji asked HG Jananivas Prabhuji `how does he manages to remain so much in Krishna consciousness despite so many ups and downs in Mayapur?’ Prabhuji replied that for any such `event’ he considers that this particular situation is best suited for my own spiritual progress, at my current stage !
Sometimes we see events, in our own or other devotee’s lives, which we may bewilder us but we should have firm faith that Krishna is doing something which is best for that devotee. The reasons could vary from fast forwarding some of our balance karmic reactions so we can quickly come back to Him or to show other devotees, by example, how to respond when calamities fall on us or it may be to complete our detachment from the material world or something else, we are too miniscule to comprehend the thought process of Supreme Lord but we must know that He is our best well wisher.
I remember during a workshop, two years back, HH Bhakti Brhat Bhagavat Maharaja asked devotees to first write down few `bad things’ that have happened in our life and then Maharaj asked us to think what message was Krishna trying to give us through that `event’. It was a wonderful experience as each devotee wrote and shared his realisation. An old devotee wrote how he felt very pained when his only child left him for a posting abroad and he now realise that it was Krishna’s arrangement to get prabhuji more attached to Him. Prabhuji now does a lot of service in the temple and is very happy internally!
So under such circumstances it helps a lot to pray to Krishna to please let me know what are You trying to convey or teach me in my current situation.
While writing this blog I also remember an earlier blog where HG Chaitanya Charan Prabhuji said how we have `half faith’ in Krishna. We believe in Krishna’s power but in our own intelligence, instead, we should have full faith in Krishna’s power as well His intelligence.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.