Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
After the departure of Krishna to Goloka, Arjuna with an intention to protect the wives of Lord Krishna, leaves Dwaraka taking them with him to Hastinapur. But on the way he is defeated by some cowherd boys, who manage to take away the queens from him. Arjuna who was already suffering due to the pain of separation from the Lord is all the more aggrieved for not being able to protect the queens from the cowherd boys. He remembers and recollects the good days and times he had in the past when Lord Krishna was physically present with him. He realizes that whatever powers he had in the past were all simply due to the presence and grace of the Supreme Lord. Once he reaches Hastinapur, Yudhishtira Maharaj asks him several question to find out why Arjuna looks depressed. Checking his tears with great difficulty and remembering his dear Lord, Arjuna begins to reply to Yudhishtira, the reason for his despondency.
vañcito ’haṁ mahā-rāja hariṇā bandhu-rūpiṇā
yena me ’pahṛtaṁ tejo deva-vismāpanaṁ mahat
Arjuna said: O King! The Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari, who treated me exactly like an intimate friend, has left me alone. Thus my astounding power, which astonished even the demigods, is no longer with me.
Arjuna was not an ordinary person. He was the most excellent disciple of Dronacharya. He learnt archery from Dronacharya with so much dedication, that every day he used to practice for long hours, even at nights. In fact scriptures show some of his other names which points out his glorious qualities. He was known as
a) Bhibatsu - terrifying to behold in battle,
b) Savyasācī - able to wield a bow with both hands,
c) Jiṣṇu - unconquerable
d) Vijaya - always victorious
His skill was appreciated by demigods as well. In spite of all these talents and great qualities, he was simply defeated by the cow-herd men who broke his arrows like sticks, even though he was possessing the same Gandiva bow, same chariot, and was the same Arjuna. Arjuna knew that all the powers which he had in the past were endowed by Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada beautifully writes in the purport to above verse, "The power and energy which were bestowed upon Arjuna were required for fulfillment of the mission of the Lord, but when His mission was fulfilled, the emergency powers were withdrawn from Arjuna because the astounding powers of Arjuna, which were astonishing even to the denizens of heaven, were no longer required, and they were not meant for going back home, back to Godhead...The lesson is, therefore, that no one should be puffed up for his powers borrowed from the Lord. The sane man should rather feel obliged to the Lord for such benefactions and must utilize such power for the service of the Lord. Such power can be withdrawn at any time by the Lord, so the best use of such power and opulence is to engage them in the service of the Lord."
Each one of us will have some Krishna-given talent, which we will be using in His service. For example some might sing nicely, ability to dance, ability to cook, make garlands, stitch dresses etc for the pleasure of the Lord. But a day might come when these talents would be withdrawn by the Lord any time and we must be ready to accept that situations. In the death-bed when our senses are failing, we might not be able to do all these services which we did in the prime of our life. In most cases, even if senses fail, Krishna mercifully allows the remembrance capacity. So we must pray to Krishna to bless us with this ability to remember Him till our last moment.
Krishna willing we shall continue to meditate more on the various ways by which Arjuna remembered Krishna after Krishna's return to Goloka, in the subsequent offering.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.
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