Power of Association - Part 21

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 the importance of offering obeisances in devotional service and how the hunter paid his sashtanga dandavat to his spiritual master. Let us continue to meditate on further lessons from the story today.

21. Devotion without Disturbance: One of the important lessons we should also learn from the hunter in the way he paid his obeisances after whisking away the ants on the ground. He did not want his act of devotional service to be a disturbance to other living entities even if it is an ant. Many times we do knowingly or unknowingly inconvenience other living entities in the process of doing our services or even sadhana. We cannot take a high moral ground saying, "I am serving Krishna and others are supposed to glorify me instead of getting annoyed at my service." Even if our chanting is a disturbance to others who may or may not know the value of Krishna consciousness, we need to leave them at peace and move away to a different place instead of confronting them. This way, the living entity may not be inspired to take up Krishna consciousness at that point, but they will at least leave with a positive impression about Krishna consciousness.

Krishna says in the Gita, 12.15:

yasmān nodvijate loko lokān nodvijate ca yaḥ
harṣāmarṣa-bhayodvegair mukto yaḥ sa ca me priyaḥ

He by whom no one is put into difficulty and who is not disturbed by anyone, who is equipoised in happiness and distress, fear and anxiety, is very dear to Me.

The first condition Krishna says is that 'we should not put anyone into difficulty'. He does not qualify it with words like 'knowingly' or 'inadvertently' etc. The person who is inconvenienced by us will not care whether we did it knowingly or unknowingly. So what is the best way out? We simply ask for genuine forgiveness from them and ensure we either move away from them or do not repeat the same mistake.

The next condition Krishna says is that 'we should not be disturbed by others'. We predominantly get disturbed by others in two ways.

1. First is, when others are disturbed by our Krishna conscious activities, ignore or neglect us, we get disturbed at the fact that they are not appreciating or respecting the value of our devotion. This is a sign of our immaturity. If others are not appreciating our devotional service, it simply means we have to improve the quality of our devotion. Also we have to keep in mind that we are not doing our devotional service for someone to glorify us. na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye. We are doing our service for Krishna's pleasure and not for our own pleasure.

2. Second is, without any reason or without any instigation, someone may come and disturb us physically or mentally. This is adhibhautika misery and it is unavoidable. When we are 'disturbed' by these adhibhautika miseries, it indirectly means that we are expecting the process of devotional service to mitigate our miseries. While devotional service will naturally mitigate it anyway, but it is the 'expectation' of results and our impatience that will kill our bliss in devotional service. Krishna says we should avoid being disturbed by others as well. Only when we follow these two conditions along with being equipoised in all circumstances, Krishna says we will be dear to Him.

The hunter, before getting Narada muni's association, was enjoying putting others into difficulty, such an anti-bhagavad gita life he led. But after getting the pure association of the great saint, he turned into saintly devotee who would not like even an ant to be disturbed by his devotional service. This is the great miracle that Narada muni performed on the hunter by giving his association and causeless mercy.

Krishna willing, let us meditate on further lessons from the story of Mrgari in the subsequent offering.

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das