Lessons from Lord Damodara - Part 5

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!

This is in conclusion of the previous mails on the topic, "Lessons from Lord Damodara", based on the class taken by H.G.Sajjana Priya Krishna prabhu on Deepavali day. In the last four mails the following points were posted.

1. Do not delegate all the services
2. Never forget Krishna
3. Perspire for Krishna
4. Prioritizing the activities of devotional service
5. Distributing prasadam and knowledge
6. Swiftly run after Krishna
7. Admitting our offences
8. Art of dealing with the children

I shall post the remaining points in this mail.

9. Persistently Endeavoring with Steady Determination:
When Mother Yashoda was trying to bind the offending child, she saw that the binding rope was two fingers short. Mother Yashoda joined whatever ropes were available in the household, but still she failed in her attempt to bind Krishna. Mother Yashoda’s friends, the elderly gopis on the neighborhood were smiling and enjoying the fun. Similarly Mother Yashoda, although laboring in that way, was also smiling.

Here we find that even after all this has happened, Mother Yashoda did not give up her endeavor to bind Krishna. Without being bewildered, she continued with great labor, in her persistent efforts to bind the child. Srimad Bhagavatam describes in 10.9.18:

sva-mātuḥ svinna-gātrāyā visrasta-kabara-srajaḥ
dṛṣṭvā pariśramaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ kṛpayāsīt sva-bandhane

Because of mother Yashoda’s hard labor, her whole body became covered with perspiration, and the flowers and comb were falling from her hair. When child Krishna saw His mother thus fatigued, He became merciful to her and agreed to be bound.

We see here that Krishna became merciful to mother Yashoda seeing her steady determination, endeavor and hard labor without getting bewildered. She did not stop trying with a few ropes to tie the child. In spite of repeated failures, she continued joining whatever ropes were available in the household. This is an important lesson for us to learn. While being engaged in devotional service, we may undergo difficult situations and situations that completely bewilder us. In these situations we should remain fixed and continue the process of devotional service. Srimad Bhagavatam 10.20.15 instructs us,

girayo varṣa-dhārābhir hanyamānā na vivyathuḥ
abhibhūyamānā vyasanair yathādhokṣaja-cetasaḥ

Just as devotees whose minds are absorbed in the Personality of Godhead remain peaceful even when attacked by all sorts of dangers, the mountains in the rainy season were not at all disturbed by the repeated striking of the rain-bearing clouds.

On seeing the persistent and determined endeavor (drshtvaa parishramam) by mother Yashoda, Krishna agreed to be bound by Yashoda.

10. The Importance of Loving Dealings:
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.9.21 describes

girayo varṣa-dhārābhir hanyamānā na vivyathuḥ
abhibhūyamānā vyasanair yathādhokṣaja-cetasaḥ

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, the son of mother Yashoda, is accessible to devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realization by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self.

Krishna who is sva-vasha, "who is within the control only of His own self", exhibited the quality of bhrtya-vashyataa, the transcendental quality of becoming subordinate to His servitor or devotee. Srila Prabhupada writes that this bhrtya vashyata does not mean that He is under control of the servant; rather He is under the control of the servant’s pure love. Thus Krishna can be bound only with the tassle of pure love. This is true of all our relationships in the material world also. We are all parts and parcels of Krishna and the only way to bring everyone together to work cooperatively is by the process of loving dealings. Our beloved Guru Maharaj showed by his personal example the power of his unbounded love. We are all conquered by the pure love of our spiritual master.

Srila Prabhupada in his letter dated 18th November, 1972 writes, "We are persons, and Krishna is a Person, and our relationship with Krishna He leaves open as a voluntary agreement always, and that voluntary attitude, "Yes, Krishna, I shall gladly co-operate whatever You say", that ready willingness to obey is only possible if there is love. Forcing will not make me agree. But if there is love, oh, I shall gladly do it. That is bhakti, that is Krishna Consciousness."

Lord Krishna Himself states in Srimad Bhagavad gita, "nigrahah kim karishyati? - what can repression accomplish?" The binding tie for all the living entities under the shelter of Srila Prabhupada should be on the basis of loving dealings with each other.

I remember that during our beloved Guru Maharaj’s last visit to Abu Dhabi in June 2009, when Maharaj was about to return for India, myself and prabhuji went inside the room of Maharaj to offer our pranams and when we took leave of Maharaj and were about to get out of the room, Maharaj looked at us with the love of millions of mothers and instructed, "Be loving to all".

We are guilty of not imbibing this most valuable instruction of Maharaj. We seek the forgivenss of all the Vaishnavas and others whom we have offended knowingly and unknowingly and now we have to beat our minds to remember this precious instruction of Maharaj and only that way we can please our spiritual master and carry on Maharaj’s legacy of love.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.