Recipient of Mercy

11th Oct 2011
Tushta Krishna das

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept our humble pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

‘sādhu-saṅga’, ‘sādhu-saṅga’ — sarva-śāstre kaya
lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya

The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment's association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.

When we introspect each of our own life's Krishna has been extremely merciful to us and has given us so many moments of association of many wonderful sadhus. But we haven't yet attained the stage of perfection yet. Indeed, by the causeless mercy of Guru and Krishna, we have taken to the path of bhakti. We are chanting Mahamantra, offering prayers and bhoga to Lord, honouring prasadam, studying scriptures. But still, we are very far from the path of pure love. Srila Prabhupada in his purport to verse 1.8.29 of Srimad Bhagavatam very nicely mentions that "Lord's mercy upon the fallen souls is equally distributed and He has nobody as the object of specific favor neither He has anybody as the specific object of hostility... He is undoubtedly known as partial to His pure devotees but in fact, He is never partial as much as the sun is never partial to anybody. By utilising the sun rays sometimes even the stones become valuable while a blind man cannot see the sun although there are enough sun rays before him. Darkness and light are two opposite conceptions in relation to the sun rays but it does not mean that the sun is partial in the matter of distributing its rays. The sun rays are open to everyone but it depends on the capacity of the receptacle." 

The following pastime from Sripad Ramanuja Acarya will further clarify our doubts. Once Sripad Ramanuja acharya was walking with his 5 sannyasi disciples. On the way, they came across a pond and Ramanuja Acarya he threw some mahaprasadam into the pond. The fishes in the pond ate the mahaprasadam and then immediately the fishes attained 4 handed forms and went back to Godhead. The disciples were shocked to see this and they inquired their guru about it. Ramanujacarya answered, "You've seen the power of taking mahaprasadam." The disciples replied, "But we are taking your mahaprasadam daily, and this is not happening to us." Ramanuja said, "These creatures have no free will, and therefore make no offense. Nor do they doubt the transcendental power of mahaprasadam. So they get full benefit at once. But you with your free will and human intelligence make offenses and are lacking in faith, and thus you hinder your own progress."

So definitely the verdict of shastras is never false. A moment's association with pure devotees, honouring of mahaprasadam, etc makes a great impact on us, provided we also receive it with proper respect and humility. Recently we were watching one of the speeches given by Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, wherein he was mentioning how during his early days when he was a drop-out from college, he used to walk 7 miles every week to Hare Krishna Temple to honour Sunday feast prasadam. He had a very genuine appreciation for prasadam and was mentioning that it was wonderful. Inspite of becoming a billionaire, he gratefully remembered and appreciated the prasadam. We could see that prasadam did have a nice impact on his life, for he further spoke about how every one of us must remember death. He said, "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I have ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything, 'all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart...If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right. It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." These are pretty much, what we learn from Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam. Our beloved spiritual master, HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj always says, "Remember your last day and then you will behave in a sane manner." 

So the point is, as Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita verse 4.11, "ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham"
 - "As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly." Attaining love for Godhead simply just not depend on the number of moments of association and number of times we had prasadam or mahaprasadam. It depends on our faith, surrender, offenseless attitude. We have also practically seen that so many devotees who had very brief or little association with His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, during his physical presence in the world, have now become powerful preachers in the mission of Lord Caitanya, simply because of their faith and offenseless surrender to His Divine Grace.

So Guru and Krishna will reciprocate to us depending on our level of surrender. They are never partial in giving instructions or service. The onus is on us to change our behaviour and become suitable recipients of Their mercy. 

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Tushta Krsna Das and Suniti Devi Dasi,