Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.
This is the conclusion of the offering titled, "Graceful Degradation" wherein we were discussing below points.
1. Insurmountable and imperceptible nature of time
2. Let Krishna graciously overtake us
3. Graceful degradation
Now we shall continue further.
4. Graceful degradation to eternal upgradation: By performing a "graceful degradation", giving away the formalities of material positions, the great devotees not only let the Lord graciously overtake them, but they also achieved ever-lasting fame, such that we pray for their "grace" to help us advance in devotional service. The story of Bali Maharaj deserves a special mention, considering the anti-climax that stands out dazzling distinctly from the standard template story of the victory of "good" over "evil", with Lord Vamana glorifying Bali Maharaj at the end. Even though Lord Vamana came to help the demigods wrest back their abodes from Bali Maharaj, we can all agree, that when we celebrate Lord Vamana's appearance, we often end up spending more time glorifying and meditating upon Bali Maharaj, rather than the demigods or even Lord Vamana sometimes. Surely, a "graceful degradation" of his material positions by Bali Maharaj and his willingly allowing the Lord to graciously overtake him resulted in unending praise and adoration by devotees and non-devotees alike and this will continue for generations to come. So much so that the Lord stands guard to him in the Sutala planet and is constantly thinking about His devotee, that even Lakshmi devi, the goddess of fortune goes and tells Bali Maharaj, "Please inform the Lord as to which door you will use to move out of your palace, because it seems like the Lord is always constantly worked up wondering which door you will use so that He does not forget to salute you since you are the king and He is your door keeper."
Lord Vamana came up to Bali Maharaj as a "harmless dwarf" in an attempt to "clandestinely" take away all the possessions of Bali Maharaj. It started out as a sneaky attempt, but ended in a "gracious overtake" upon Bali Maharaj's decision to take the path of "graceful degradation". We cannot say the same about the sneaky snake of time, we would rather be not naive to assume that the agent of time will transform the sneaky attempt to any form of a "gracious overtake" . Now we can better weigh the two choices in front of us and come to the right conclusion as to what would be the perfect choice.
We can also recollect from Caitanya Lila that when Rupa Goswami, came to meet Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he placed grass in between his teeth and fell at His lotus feet. He told Caitanya Mahaprabhu that he felt he was more fallen than Jagai and Madhai. He performed a "graceful degradation" from his former life as a senior minister in the king's service and approached the Supreme Lord leaving aside all material possessions very quickly (tyaktva turnam). From these beautiful examples, it is clear that the graceful degradation of our material positions will lead us to eternal upgradation in the transcendental service of the Lord.
I am personally not qualified enough to pray to the Lord to graciously overtake me. I will pray like Vaishnava Seva Prabhu did, to Srila Gurudev to kindly graciously keep overtaking me and help me realize that this is the safest way to deal with time, the all-consuming form of the Lord.
Thank you very much.
Your humble servant,
Krpana Vatsala Krishna das
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