Choose Your Battles Wisely

17th Jan 2020
Vaijayantimala devi dasi

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

In Mahabharata, when Dronacharya was killed in the battle, his son Ashwattama, unleashed the Narayana astra on the Pandavas. Narayana astra is a very powerful weapon. The Pandavas were unaware of how to counteract this weapon. The weapon is so fierce that it in turn fires a powerful tirade of millions of deadly weapons simultaneously. Lord Krishna knew that the intensity of the astra rises with increase in resistance. The only counteraction for this is total submission by just bowing down. That is the only way which will cause the weapon to spare the target. So, Lord Krishna instructs the Pandavas and their warriors to just drop their weapons and lie down on the ground, so that they all surrender completely to the power of the weapon. It was also said that this weapon can be used only once in a war and if one tries to use it twice, then it would devour the user's own army. Bhima refuses to surrender thinking it an act of cowardice and Lord Krishna forced him to submit and bow down and thus he was saved.

This is a very beautiful pastime which instructs us that retaliation is not always the way to win. As we go through life, we realize that though there are so many battles we have to face in life, all the battles are not worth fighting or rather the best way to win is not to always fight the battle. That is why we generally hear people asking us to choose our battles wisely. Otherwise we lose all our inner peace and we waste our time and energy. Maharaj always instructed that no counteraction is the best counteraction and to just cut short the things and let go.

Herein we remember the nice advice of Brahmaji to Prthu Maharaj in Srimad Bhagavatam 4.19.34:

maasmin mahaaraaja krthaah sma cintaam nishaamayaasmad vaca aadrtaatma yad dhyaayato daiva hatam nu kartum mano 'tirushtam vishate tamo 'ndham

My dear King, do not be agitated and anxious because your sacrifices have not been properly executed due to providential impediments. Kindly take my words with great respect. We should always remember that if something happens by providential arrangement, we should not be very sorry. The more we try to rectify such reversals, the more we enter into the darkest region of materialistic thought.

This was instructed to King Prthu who could not finish the 100th sacrifice thus making him understand that, just because he could not hit century, does not mean that he is lost. The Lord was very pleased when King Prthu embraced Indra and thus gave up all envy against him. By submission if we can please Krishna, then it is like winning the war though seemingly losing a battle. We see in the pastime of Lord Vamanadeva that even though externally it seemed that Bali lost everything, actually he was supremely successful as he achieved the personal protection of the Lord just by his complete surrender & submission.

Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi