Graceful Degradation - Part 2

Hare Krsna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupad and Srila Gurudev.

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Graceful Degradation" wherein we were discussing about insurmountable and imperceptible nature of time and how we start feeling completely powerless when we meditate on these dark attributes of time. Now we shall continue further.

Let Krishna graciously overtake us: As I kept thinking about being overtaken and overcome by time, by the grace of Maharaj, I remembered a very nice verse (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.19.14) offered by HG Vaishnav Seva Prabhu to our Gurudev during Vyasa Puja 2015. This was a verse spoken by King Parikshit after he came to know that he had been cursed by Shringi and he had a few days only to live.

tasyaiva me ’ghasya parāvareśo
vyāsakta-cittasya gṛheṣv abhīkṣṇam
nirveda-mūlo dvija-śāpa-rūpo
yatra prasakto bhayam āśu dhatte

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the controller of both the transcendental and mundane worlds, has graciously overtaken me in the form of a brahmana's curse. Due to my being too much attached to family life, the Lord, in order to save me, has appeared before me in such a way that only out of fear I will detach myself from the world

I remember Prabhu offered this verse to Maharaj and described how Maharaj had graciously overtaken the lives of so many devotees just like how the Lord overtook King Parikshit. Adding a quick caveat, even though in the context of the verse the external manifestation of the notion of the overtake seemed to instantiate as a curse, Kalacakra Prabhu very nicely describes in a previous Granthraj mail that just like the other incarnations of the Lord, King Parikshit venerates the curse as he would any of the so many transcendental incarnations of the Lord, as his internal understanding of the word overtake was an example of the Lord's attempt to help him factually. 

We can see that the phrase "graciously overtaken" is very meaningful. In the material world, when a person senses that there is some trouble brewing around them which might affect their ability to maintain their dignity or comfort, they perform what we would consider as a "graceful exit". If for example we are working in an organization, where we sense that the organization is not doing well, we might look for opportunities elsewhere and "bow out gracefully". The same idea could be extended to our lives with respect to dealing with time. Parikshit Maharaj, when faced with the situation where he realized that the overtake of time had started the countdown to the end of his physical presence on the earth, instead of being bogged down by the effect of time and getting mentally depressed, he focused on how to let the Lord overtake him, for that would be literally the most gracious way for him to accept the difficult situation he was put into. Even though there was an external physical attack from Taksaka after seven days, he was actually spiritually overtaken by the Lord who took His devotee home. Thus the material overtake by Taksaka became a superfluous one, acting to just end the devotees physical presence on earth. The lesson we can take away is that we have only two choices for us:

a) Either let the Supreme Lord overtake us in our lives, resulting in a "gracious overtake"  or
b) Be subject to a rough overtake from the ruthless time in the form of old age and death resulting in an ungraceful and inglorious end to our lives.

This can also be extended to other trying situations in our life. We must remember that our perception of a challenging situation in our lives is actually the concomitant effect of the agent of time ending the separation between us and our reactions to our past sinful actions. A "good time" is essentially a separation between us and the reactions of our past bad deeds and a "bad time" is the bridge connecting the two. If we want to let the Supreme Lord to overtake our lives, we must fully surrender unto the Lord unconditionally. If we want to take a leaf from the book of Parikshit Maharaj, we must consider and think about what he did to let the Lord graciously overtake him and expressing that this causeless mercy is only a tip of the iceberg. The king's actions after expressing thus, exemplify the persistent attempts we must take in difficult times to persuasively try to let the Lord be our "overtaker", all the while depending on His mercy. He immediately left his Kingdom and palace and went on to hear Srimad Bhagavatam. Despite being a great king, he left behind all his royal retinue, to hear the Lord's pastimes and glories. He also "gracefully bowed out" from his material position as a King.

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

Thank you very much.
Your humble servant,
Krpana Vatsala Krishna das