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 were meditating on Arjuna's experiences once Krishna returned to Goloka. In previous offerings we meditated on 12 blessings recollected by Arjuna. Now we shall continue to hear further.
Blessing 13: While recollecting the various blessings bestowed upon him by Lord Krishna, Arjuna then told Maharaja Yudhishtira the actual reason for his despondency. In verse 1.15.20 of Srimad Bhagavatam Arjuna says,
so ’haṁ nṛpendra rahitaḥ puruṣottamena
sakhyā priyeṇa suhṛdā hṛdayena śūnyaḥ
adhvany urukrama-parigraham aṅga rakṣan
gopair asadbhir abaleva vinirjito ’smi
O Emperor, now I am separated from my friend and dearmost well-wisher, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore my heart appears to be void of everything. In His absence I have been defeated by a number of infidel cowherd men while I was guarding the bodies of all the wives of Krishna.
We may wonder how wives of Krishna could be kidnapped by ordinary cowherd men, when they were under the protection of Arjuna. His Divine Grace quotes the explanation of Srila Vishwanatha Cakravarthy Thakura in the purport to above verse wherein he mentions that it is Krishna only who came in the form of cowherd boys and took back His wives. Actually if Krishna had come in His personal form, Arjuna would have happily given away the wives of Krishna to Him. But the Lord chose to appear in the form of ordinary cowherd boys, simply to teach us the lesson of humility through Arjuna. Many a times we also have this habit that if either our Guru or anyone favorable to us request us for some service or chastise/punish us, we take it in a positive manner and accept it. But when the same thing is done by others who we don't respect as much, then we disregard their words. This is because we have this 'discrimination' mentality. As long as we see everything with a differential vision (pṛthag-dṛśaḥ) we will not be humble and as a result we will not be able to see Krishna in everyone. As Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita verse 5.18, our knowledge (vidyā) has to be imbued with humility (vinaya sampanne), then we will be able to see Krishna in everyone.
vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].
Now we may wonder how losing to the cowherd men is a blessing for Arjuna. Our normal tendency is to think success in any activity as a blessing and failure to be a curse. But all failures indeed are real blessings because it helps us to understand, "We are not the doers". We all have this big disease of "I am the doer". And Krishna being the transcendental doctor, He wants us to get rid of this disease of false-ego. So at various instances of life whenever we become puffed up either in a gross or subtle manner about our borrowed plumes, Krishna as our best well wisher (suhrdam sarva bhutānām) arranges for such failures in life, which will help us to introspect and give up the "doer" mentality. Srila Prabhupada very nicely mentions in the purport to SB 1.15.21, "One should not be puffed up by borrowed plumes. All energies and powers are derived from the supreme source, Lord Krishna, and they act as long as He desires and cease to function as soon as He withdraws."
Krishna willing let us continue to hear more from Arjuna in subsequent offerings.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.
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