Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
This is in continuation of the previous offerings titled, "Always Remember Krishna" wherein we saw how Arjuna was recollecting how with Krishna we are heroes, without Him we are zeroes. Now we shall continue to hear further.
2. Count your blessings: There is a famous hymn in Christian faith - "Count your blessings". The message in that hymn is that in times of difficulty, when we feel that we are completely lost and hopeless, it is good for us to just sit back and count our blessings. When we do so, we would definitely realize how much the Lord has done for us till date and that will awaken our gratitude for Him and revive our faith in Lord. It will also give us hope, strength and clarity to face the current miseries. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.15.7 through 17 we find that Arjuna recollects many instances in the past wherein Lord Krishna was personally present with them and had helped them in every step of their life. He shares with his elder brother Maharaja Yudhishtira some of the blessings bestowed by the Supreme Lord.
Blessing 1: "Only by His merciful strength was I able to vanquish all the lusty princes assembled at the palace of King Drupada for the selection of the bridegroom. With my bow and arrow I could pierce the fish target and thereby gain the hand of Draupadi" - Srimad Bhagavatam 1.15.7.
The test which Drupada had kept for the selection of groom could have been passed by Karna or Arjuna. Krishna advised Draupadi not to allow Karna. So Karna was not give a chance to attend the test as Draupadi refused him on the pretext that he was not a kshatriya. When Arjuna won the test, Karna and many other great warriors who had come there for the Svayamvara picked up a fight with him. By the grace of Lord, Arjuna was able to win over all of them single-handedly and marry Draupadi.
Blessing 2: "Because He was near me, it was possible for me to conquer with great dexterity the powerful King of heaven, Indradeva, along with his demigod associates and thus enable the fire-god to devastate the Khandava Forest. And only by His grace was the demon named Maya saved from the blazing Khandava Forest, and thus we could build our assembly house of wonderful architectural workmanship, where all the princes assembled during the performance of Rajasuya Yajna and paid you tributes." - Srimad Bhagavatam 1.15.8.
Krishna wanted to kill the demon Maya Danava. So He arranged for fire-god to attack him and also sent the Sudarshana cakra. But when Maya Danava took shelter of Arjuna, he was saved from the wrath of fire of Lord Krishna. Srila Prabhupada very nicely writes in the purport to above verse the sweetness of relationship between Lord and His devotees. "Devotees are therefore more merciful than the Lord, and in devotional service the mercy of a devotee is more valuable than the mercy of the Lord. Both the fire and the Lord ceased from chasing the demon as soon as both of them saw that the demon was given shelter by such a devotee as Arjuna. This demon, feeling obliged to Arjuna, wanted to do him some service to show his gratefulness, but Arjuna declined to accept anything from him in exchange. Lord Sri Krishna, however, being pleased with Maya for his taking shelter of a devotee, asked him to render service unto King Yudhishtira by building a wonderful assembly house. The process is that by the grace of the devotee the mercy of the Lord is obtained, and by the mercy of the Lord a chance to serve the Lord's devotee is obtained. The club of Bhimasena was also a gift of Maya Danava."
This pastime shows how merciful Lord Krishna is. Krishna did not chastise Arjuna for giving shelter to Maya Danava. Indeed He forgives Maya Danava when he took shelter of His devotee and being pleased by His act, Lord also gave him a chance to serve His devotee. Indeed Lord's mercy is inconceivable and transcendental to our mundane mentalities. Krishna willing let us continue to hear more from Arjuna on the other blessings that he had received in subsequent offerings.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.
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