13th September, 2015. Gurgaon
Since last many days few terms are coming again and again as I read and hear various lectures, become conscious in Krishna consciousness, shelter, surrender and ‘conscious cooperator’. Of course it helps that these days most of my hearing is from lectures from HG Srimati Mataji. These topics are too subtle for my conditioned heart but slowly they are entering my consciousness or let me admit that I trying to imbibe them, struggling but trying is my current state.
As I was trying to get a grip on what is actually meant by the term ‘conscious cooperator’, I wrote a mail to Srimati Mataji and received the below reply
Conscious cooperator’ is a multi-level and very subtle field. It begins with us taking into our heart the very essence of the teachings and mood of Srila Prabhupada and the acaryas he represents so wonderfully.
Then as luck would have it in the next session Mataji broached this topic briefly and I am sharing the same.
Srimati Mataji : As aspiring devotees we should see Krishna’s hand in our daily lives, that whatever is happening in our life, there is certain reason for it. It is there to teach us a certain lesson or redirect us in a certain way.
Another Devotee: When something happens to us many a times we feel we don’t deserve it, so we ask other devotees to pray for us! In a way this also means that Krishna is not intelligent enough that I am receiving something which I don’t need. We should know that everything which is happening to us has a purpose. We should not take on a victim’s mentality and think, even subconsciously, that we are victims. We should see Krishna’s hand in everything happening to us.
Srimati Mataji: Right. If there is something in our life which is causing us disturbance or difficulty, the first thing we should ask is that
Krishna what are You trying to tell me? What am I supposed to learn from this?
Because it will keep coming up again and again and again until we have learned the lesson.
Then Mataji asked another devotee to share her experience of Ouch ! This devotee shared that for a long time she has been praying to Krishna to make her remember His name under all situations. The devotee said that in past she has twice broken her wrist, an elbow and her hip but every time this happened only one word comes out of her mouth… Ouch! She admitted that she is unable to remember Krishna instinctively at such moments and her list of injuries continue!
Srimati Mataji : So there is always a reason why things are happening to us and unless we become a conscious cooperator it won’t help. Our mood should be that I want to learn, that I am trying to understand what I am supposed to learn under these circumstances. What change I am supposed to make in my consciousness and my life.
It is a good practice, if we do not understand the reason, to sincerely pray to Krishna to inspire us in our heart to make us understand what do You want me to learn from it?
I am quoting two paragraphs from the Prayer Srila Prabhupada wrote on board the ship Jaladuta to show the mood of our founder acharaya. This too is from a book Srimati mataji has written on Srila Prabhupada, Mataji entitled these paras as a
Prayer of Surrender
āniyācho jadi prabhu āmāre nācāte
nācāo nācāo prabhu nācāo se-mate
kāṣṭhera puttali jathā nācāo se-mate
O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord, make me dance as You like.
bhakti nāi veda nāi nāme khub daro
‘bhaktivedānta’ nām ebe sārthak koro
I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. I have been designated as Bhaktivedānta, and now, if You like, You can fulfill the real purport of Bhaktivedānta.
(His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada at Boston Harbor, September 17, 1965)
The principle here is that Srila Prabhupada is seeing this arrangement as Krishna’s arrangement. And actually we also have to try to develop this vision, to see Krishna’s plan in everything, to see Krishna’s arrangement in everything- that we have surrendered to Him, and so he is taking care of us.
Sometimes we may experience setbacks or disappointments ,but actually Krishna has some reason for giving them to us. We should try to understand that, and if we do we’ll never be disappointed in life.
Prabhupada’s complete surrender is amazing: “I am Your instrument. You can use me. You can engage me as You wish. I have no agenda of my own, no personal agenda. My agenda is whatever You desire. I am here to accept Your desire as my life and soul, to give everything to please You, to serve You.
(Markine Bhagavata-Dharma commentary by HH Giriraj Maharaj, Three rivers, CA-2002)
So we get some idea as to what should be the mindset of a devotee of Lord Krishna:
- See Krishna’s hand in all our circumstances
- Have complete faith and dependence on Krishna’s intelligence
- Learn to become a ‘conscious cooperator’.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
PS : I have received many mails requesting me to share Srimati Mataji’s lectures. Many of her lectures are private but here is the link to an amazing seminar on the Holy Name mataji gave at Sri Sri Radha Gopinath temple, Chowpatty, some years back. If we hear it sincerely and seriously then there is no reason why our quality of japa would not improve. Press here for the link.