Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
In our last offering on the story of Mrgari, we saw how the disciple should have unflinching faith in the instructions of the spiritual master. Let us continue to meditate further on this topic.
9. Source of Income is not the Source of Maintenance: When the hunter was genuinely concerned about his source of living and questioned Narada muni how can he maintain himself if he breaks his bow and arrow, Narada muni assured him, "Do not worry. I shall supply all your food every day."
Our spiritual master relished the punchline from Prabhupada's purport, "The source of our income is not actually the source of our maintenance." He took several classes on this statement and enjoyed an article written by H G Devakinandan Prabhu on this topic in Granthraj several years ago. This is the fundamental principle upon which our entire Krishna conscious philosophy rests. It is because we have made 2 basic mistakes in our understanding that we are not able to digest this fundamental principle:
1. We are ignorant of the real source of income
2. We are wrongly attributing the false source of income to be the source of our maintenance.
If the source of income is our source of maintenance, why so many wealthy people are dying of incurable diseases? Can we earn a single extra breathe in our life by paying hundreds of million dollars? My source of income may be my choice but the actual source of maintenance for our life is the Supreme Lord.
Hence Srila Prabhupada explains this sublime point further, "The hunter was disturbed about breaking his bow because he was worried about his income. Nārada Muni assured the hunter because he knew that the hunter was not being maintained by the bow but by Kṛṣṇa."
This is the divya-drshti that the spiritual master possesses - that the Supreme Lord is the ultimate maintainer and protector of all living entities, and they have the purity to convince ignorant living entities of this transcendental tattva.
In this day and age of doubt and faithlessness, if our spiritual master makes the statement, "Don't worry, I will supply all your necessities", we will first check if he has sufficient bank balance, credit card, steady income etc. We may even get a letter of assurance from him. But the hunter had no such qualms. He had complete faith in Narada muni's words. He had his doubt initially but once Narada muni assured him of his protection, he was convinced.
In July 2009, a few months before our spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj left our mundane vision, Maharaj was talking to me over a phone call about the plan for Vyasa puja for that year. Maharaj loved Nasik. He would get extra energy every time he speaks about Nasik, Godavari river, Tapovan etc. Ever since 2004, Maharaj's Vyasa Puja was celebrated in Rajkot especially because of the projects going on there and also there is facility for devotees' accommodation, prasadam etc. However Maharaj, in that phone call in 2009, told me, "Kaal, this year Krishna willing, we should observe the Vyasa puja in Nasik". I was very elated to hear this but had my doubts because in Nasik Maharaj had only a small 2 room ashram and no facility to cook. So I asked Maharaj, "Maharaj, How can we arrange for accommodation and prasadam for hundreds of devotees?"
Maharaj responded with a beautiful verse,
bhojanā ācchādame vrtāh / cintā kurvanti vaiṣnavāh
sa deva viśwāmbharah / bhaktānām kim upekṣate
"Vaishnavas are not unnecessarily worried about the roof over their head (shelter) and prasadam. They are satisfied with whatever shelter they get and whatever prasadam they get by Krishna's mercy. Their beloved Lord Krishna is known as vishwambarah because He supplies all the necessities for the living entities in the entire universe. How can He neglect His devotees?"
Maharaj quoted this verse and explained further to clear my doubts, "We will arrange for the visiting guests to take snaan in the Godavari river, have prasadam arrangements there and we will organize the program in the river bank. We can arrange some simple shelters if needed and we can take them on a yatra to various important temples."
Maharaj's thought process was quite amazing. True to his humble nature he wanted us to meditate upon and glorify the Lord instead of making his Vyasa Puja an important occasion. As decided by the Supreme will of the Lord, Maharaj's Vyasa Puja could not be celebrated in either Rajkot or Nasik that year because Maharaj was admitted in Bhaktivedanta hospital during Dec-Jan, and he departed to the eternal abode on 25th Jan 2010. But Krishna decided that Maharaj's words would not prove false. As per Maharaj's wish, after his disappearance he was taken to Nasik and his final samadhi was performed there. Before Samadhi, he was placed in his Ashram for an entire day for public darshan, devotees recited Srimad Bhagavatam and the holy name all night, hundreds of devotees from all over the world came and took his final darshan and he was taken in a long procession to the spot where he decided to rest.
Earlier when Maharaj spoke to us in mid 2009 about his wish for devotees to gather at Nasik we did not believe how it could be managed. But during his final departure ceremony devotees came in hoards even more than we could imagine. However all the prasadam, accommodation and all facilities were automatically arranged somehow or the other. It seemed like a miracle orchestrated by Krishna and Maharaj to prove the sublime meaning of the above verse and the statement that the Source of Income is not the Source of Maintenance.
Krishna willing, we will meditate further on the lessons from the story of Mrgari.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das
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