Obedience Saves Us from Suffering and Injustice - Part 1

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,
Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

We would like to share a very powerful lecture delivered by our Guru Maharaj H H Mahavishnu Goswami on the 20th Jan 2009 in Rajkot. Maharaj gave an astounding practical explanation on the verse SB 1.9.12:

aho kaṣṭam aho ’nyāyyaṁ yad yūyaṁ dharma-nandanāḥ
jīvituṁ nārhatha kliṣṭaṁ vipra-dharmācyutāśrayāḥ

Bhishmadeva said: Oh, what terrible sufferings and what terrible injustices you good souls suffer for being the sons of religion personified. You did not deserve to remain alive under those tribulations, yet you were protected by the brahmanas, God and religion.

1. The thing is we should try to think about our conditions. No doubt the Pandavas were put into so many turbulence by the Kauravas. These living entities how pure they should be? They were able to talk to Krishna directly. We cannot even see Him anywhere. We have to be satisfied with water, fire etc. He says, "I am the taste in water" and then we try to find Him out in the taste of the water. Then fire, air, omkar etc. In these things we have to endeavor to find Him out. How to habituate to see Him? We have to habituate to find Him out. Otherwise without Him it is all terrible suffering and terrible injustice. Unless we find Him out, we will not be satisfied at all.

2. Every living entity is knowingly or unknowingly in search of Him. But they don't know where to find Him out and how to find Him out. That's why the guide is needed. Otherwise there is no need of guide. We get lost without the guide. Guide means we should follow the shloka (guṇāyanaṁ śīla-dhanaṁ kṛta-jñaṁ vṛddhāśrayaṁvṛddhāśrayaṁ  is very important. saṁvṛṇate ’nu sampadaḥ, all opulence you can get just by obedience to elders).

3. This is the common trend in Srimad Bhagavatam. Here Bhishmadev says this verse to pacify Yudhishtira. The reason was that the massacre was a terrible one, nobody survived. Yudhishtira might be remembering all his uncles and aunts who died in the battle. It was more than nuclear disaster in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nagasaki was limited to that city only but this was disaster for the whole globe. That's why the figure of the globe changed. Where there was water, there was land and vice-versa. The whole culture was changed. And formally it was only vedic culture all over the globe, but because of this great battle, pockets of cultures were formed like Roman Empire, Egyptian Empire, Indian Empire etc. All these empires were completely cut off from each other and they were struggling on their own. That's why Yudhistira Maharaj was very much morose.

4. But the thing is that we have to churn our intelligence and find out why these things like terrible suffering and terrible injustice are happening. And how to avoid that?

Here also every living entity feels he is having injustice. Every living entity feels that I am working hard and he is not working etc. The kashtam and anyaayam is there everywhere. What is the reason we are experiencing these things? Because vipra-dharmācyutāśrayāḥ is not there. Brahamanas are not there, religious principles are not being followed and Acyuta is absent in our lives. That's why Prabhupada says in the purport, "As long as a person is fully in cooperation with the wishes of the Lord, guided by the bonafide brahmanas and vaishnavas, and strictly following the religious principles, then there is no cause of despondency, however trying the circumstances of life".

5. Everybody's mind is independent. I want to do one thing and he wants to do another thing. We are running in different directions. Our minds are different. How to coordinate? That is shown here. We should work fully in cooperation with the wishes of the Lord. Lord is there in the form of Supersoul. But He has given us elders - vrddhashrayas. So some form of obedience must flow. If we obey, that will save us from injustice and terrible suffering.

6. Till the time the family has the leader and wife is submissive, the family progresses. Code of obedience is important. In the absence of the orders, say, father may die or whatever, then the system is there. He has chalked out a system, and the family goes on. This was really possible when the obedience was there. The families were very happy. Unequivocal obedience was there in those days. The independent attitude of our mind will not poke nose into father's orders. We had one determination - that "I will obey", that's it. Obedience carried us through. We had no kaṣṭam, no injustice. In absence of authorities, the system works.

7. In factories also there is the system. Authority is not there always but it is the system they follow. In any concern if the orders of the authority are followed and if the system is there, then these injustices are less. The chalked out program is there. That's it. There is nothing to be doubted about it or no question against it. It has got to be followed. This is the way you can avoid this anyāyya and kaṣṭa. Immaculate system must be there. If we are shop owner, shop runs very good because the system is there. If suppose that so many people might be taking the things, they don't know where to pay. They may go away without paying and the concern will be bankrupt within five minutes because there is no system. But if one til (cash counter) is there and a girl is standing, then people know that they have to pay money at that spot. So everything goes on alright. This is the only system in the shop that you have to pay at the til. So people know that I have to pay at the til to buy. There is no kashtam, no suffering, no injustice. Why? Because the system is there. So in absence of the orders, the system works. And then there is no question. Nobody can question the system. Nobody asks, "Why I should go to the til and pay? I will pay in the office." No, you cannot do it. In the office nobody will accept the money. You have to go to the til. There is no kaṣṭam. There is no revolution against the system. The system is there, everyone stands in the line before the til. This is how anywhere if the system is there or the direct orders are followed, there is nothing like that.

8. Here in our life, we are always obeying. We are obeying police department unknowingly. That's why we don't have any suffering, there are no injustice. Police has fixed, "You always drive on the left side of the road." We follow. Till we follow we are safe, there is no suffering, there is no injustice also. Because this is the system. Anywhere you go, we are following that. Krishna has manifested this material manifestation. He has given us a booklet - Bhagavat-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. If you are on this planet, this is the way to stay. īśāvāsyam idaḿ sarvaṁ. Clearly He says, "Everything belongs to Me. I have set a quota for you. Be satisfied." So if you follow this, then there is no question of injustice. Injustice evaporates. But as soon as you stop the cooperation, the suffering is there.

9. Duryodhana did not cooperate with Krishna's wishes. The Supreme Lord goes to his court to explain to him that He doesn't want to have war, just give five villages and that too Duryodhana denied - śucyagram naiva dāsyāmi keśava. I will not part with the land which is at the tip of the needle, yuddhena vinā keśava - 'without yuddha I will not give'. That is his opposition to the system. He disobeyed. The result was complete massacre. In case if he had obeyed Krishna's order, everybody would have been very happy. In any place, obedience plays an important part.

10. Unless we improve our quality of existence by finding out practical points from these verses, these discussions are useless.

Krishna willing, we will continue with the transcription of this transcendental lecture in the subsequent mails.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das.