Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept our dandavat pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.
Recently we came across a nice pastime of the Lord. There was one sincere devotee. One day Krishna was very pleased with his devotional service and appeared in front of the devotee. Krishna told devotee to join Him for a walk in the town. Taking the form of Brahmanas, both walked on the street. Krishna told the devotee that He is very hungry. On the way they saw a house of a rich merchant. The merchant was giving a feast as he was very happy due to the money he earned in his new business. Krishna and devotee entered in the house and requested for some food. The merchant saw them and got very angry with his watchman for allowing the poor Brahmanas in the house. Both were asked to leave immediately. After coming out of the house, Krishna said “I bless this merchant so that he gets more wealth”. The devotee was surprised but did not say anything. They went further and saw one Sanyasi on the boundary of the town. Both approached him and requested for some food. Sanyasi had one roti with him. He said “I have this one roti in prasadam. We will share this one. I also have a cow so I will get you a glass of milk. That should fill your stomach”. After taking prasadam and milk, both thanked the Sanyasi and left. After walking some distance, Krishna said “Let this Sanyasi’s cow be stolen tonight”.
Now the devotee was bewildered. He said “Prabhu, how is it? You gave more money to the rich merchant who had thrown us out and You are taking away the cow from that poor Sanyasi.”
Krishna replied “The rich merchant is very much caught in Karma that he is going to suffer after his death. So from his past good deeds, let him enjoy in this life. But the Sanyasi is already free from all Karma and very close to coming back to me. I do not want him to get attached to that cow and enter again in the cycle of birth and death”.
We have already seen this in the story of King Bharata. King Bharata after renouncing his kingdom retired to the forest for meditation. One day a female deer arrived near his hut and gave birth to a calf and just by hearing frightening roar of a lion it died. King Bharata took the calf under protection like his child. Eventually he developed so much attachment towards the deer that he forgot the purpose for which he was in the forest. As a result, when King Bharata left his body, he was thinking of the deer. This resulted in him taking next birth as a deer. He was highly elevated soul, so he could go back to Krishna in next life when he got back human life as Jada Bharata.
But if we evaluate internally, we will find a large number of desires leading to attachments which we still want to fulfill. There are so many attachments in our life that as mentioned in various discourses, we are continuously generating many more lives for us by these so called sweet feeling affections. We are chanting, praying and getting association of devotees while attending various programs. This is all due to the causeless mercy of Krishna and a clear indication that He is giving us opportunity to think of Him so that we may succeed in overcoming all attachments and return back to Him. Out of compassion, Krishna, knowing our desires, gives us the right thing at right time. We some times love the prasadam given by Him and some times get morose with the outcome of our so called efforts. This shows the fragile nature of our faith and devotion.
As told to us regularly, if we consider any loss or suffering as Krishna's special mercy upon us then we will be behaving as a devotee. Srila Prabhupada had set the personal example for us when he took the failure of his pharmaceutical business as a blessing from the Lord. In Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.10 we find great sage Narada taking the calamity i.e. mother’s death as blessing he says
tadā tad aham īśasya bhaktānāṁ śam abhīpsataḥ
anugrahaṁ manyamānaḥ prātiṣṭhaṁ diśam uttarām
I took this as the special mercy of the Lord, who always desires benediction for His devotees, and so thinking, I started for the north.
In the purport, Srila Prabhupada mentions, “Confidential devotees of the Lord see in every step a benedictory direction of the Lord. What is considered to be an odd or difficult moment in the mundane sense is accepted as special mercy of the Lord. Mundane prosperity is a kind of material fever, and by the grace of the Lord the temperature of this material fever is gradually diminished, and spiritual health is obtained step by step. Mundane people misunderstand it.”
In Srimad Bhagavatam 10.88.8 we find the translation “The Personality of Godhead said: If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another.”
The purport is really wonderful. The reasoning given in the purport for this suffering of devotees is by an analogy, “A very affectionate father takes the responsibility of restricting his children's play and making them go to school. He knows that this is a genuine expression of his love for them, even if the children fail to understand. Similarly, the Supreme Lord Vishnu is mercifully strict with all His dependents, not only with immature devotees struggling to become qualified. Even perfect saints like Prahlada, Dhruva and Yudhishtira were subjected to great tribulations, all for their glorification.”
In this Kaliyuga when our life is short and there are so many ill effects of Kali impacting us at every moment. We may not be as pure as Kunti mata to beg Krishna “I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.” But if we take solution to our sufferings as the shelter of the Lord’s lotus feet just in the same way a kitten would feel safe while being carried in her mother’s sharp fangs, we will always be safe from the tribulations of this material world.
Let us therefore sincerely pray to the Supreme Lord, Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev to bestow Their mercy upon us, and give us the strength with which we can continue on the path of devotional service even when calamities come upon us.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Paramanand Krishna Das and Laxmi Devi Dasi
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
And Be Happy!
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