Leadership and Dharma - Part 23

Leadership and Dharma - Part 23

Amoghadrk Krishna das

Dear Devotees,
Please accept my humble pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada, all glories to Srila Gurudeva!

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Leadership and Dharma", which concluded with Sati deciding to leave her body on the principle of avoiding association with non-devotees. Similarly Caitanya Mahaprabhu warns us, nishkincanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya, "if you want to worship Krishna, rather not have anything to do with non-devotees."

We have the examples of spiritual leaders, aacaaryas, in our line, like Gaura-kishora dasa Babaji, who simply used to sit by a latrine and chant all day long, in order to avoid bad association. His disciple, Bhaktisiddhaanta Sarasvati Thakura, also remained nishkincana, without materialistic association, although he had thousands of disciples opening gorgeous temples, and although he even preached to the materialistic well-to-do Britishers, because these were used only for furthering the status of Krishna consciousness amongst common people, who follow what the famous material leaders do; this was not for his own aggrandizement.

Similarly, his disciple Srila Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, being a most advanced devotee (sattama) did not shun using opulence in Krishna’s service, and thus he could attract people in general who are attracted to opulent lifestyle, to attain services at ISKCON’s gorgeous temples where distribution of delicious prasadam is going on. So it is all a matter of consciousness. However, Daksha had become contaminated by materialistic association and thus he was very proud, angry and talkative in deriding the great devotee Shiva. These were indications of his soon-to-come death. This is a truth given in the Mahabharata (5.37.9-10), after Dhrtarashtra asked “why man dies before his allotted 100 years of lifespan?” Vidura answered,

ativaado'timaanashca tathaatyaago naraadhipa
krodhashcaativivitsaa ca mitradrohashca taani shat
eta evaasayastikshnaah krntantyaayumshi dehinaam
etaani maanavaanghnanti na mrityur bhadram astu te

"Excess pride, excess speech, excess eating, anger, desire of enjoyment, and intestine dissensions; these O king, are six sharp swords that cut off the period of life allotted to men. It is these which kill you, and not death. Knowing this, be blessed!"

The news of Sati having taken suicide because of Daksha's  blaspheming her husband, resulted in Lord Shiva and his followers becoming so angry on Daksha that they attacked the sacrificial area, seized Daksha and beheaded him. Later on, when Brahmaji helped Daksha's camp by pleading Lord Shiva for excuse, Daksha was admitted to get his life re-animated by putting on him the head of a goat. Daksha then went to Shiva and most sincerely begged for his forgiveness, which he got. And thus, having become blessed, he again resumed his sacrificial activities, but now, with the head of a goat, he had become most humble, and as a result Lord Vishnu agreed to mercifully appear at the conclusion of the sacrifice.

So here we have a great teaching in that, before, Daksha had a nice looking appearance and great status. But he was full of pent-up anger and envy troubled him. But now, after he got humbled, not at all looking good any longer, he actually was much more eligible to receive the mercy of the Lord, who came to directly to his darshan. So similarly, when we become humbled because we had become too puffed-up, we must take it as the Lord's special mercy on us that will helps us to see Him. Because we cannot see Krishna in out dreamlike enjoyment of material opulences; if we are attached, we need calamities to shake us up! Like Kunti Mahaaraani says, vipadah santu taah shashvat, "let there be material calamities again and again", bhavato darshanam yat syaat "because then I can see You again and again."

Krishna willing we shall continue to meditate further on this topic in the subsequent offering.

Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Amogha-drk Krsna dasa,
ISKCON Norway.