Accepting the Destiny – 2Jul 1st, 2011 | By Gaur Gadadhar Das | Category: Art of Living
In the last offerings we saw that Prabhuji explained that
1. Nothing is in our hands and everything is in the Lord’s hands. So destiny is really not under our control.
2. But we plan so many things. So how to know Krishna’s plans? Prabhuji explained that this begins with accepting that we do not know His plans.
Now the next question is how to accept Krishna’s plans and we continue the transcription of the same here.
3. How to accept Krishna’s plans? Maharaj says that if something you want does not happen, very simple, just tell yourself, “It is okay. Krishna does not want. If Krishna does not want, we do not want it also. Your mind will rebel against it. Your mind will say, ‘No, no…, I want it for these reasons.’ But you just put a stop to the mind and how do you control the mind? There is only one way. The way of remembering Hari and Guru by the weapon of devotional service (guror harer caranopaasanaastro - SB 5.11.17). Only this way we can control the mind.” Then this “muhyanti kavayopi hi” does not touch us. When we accept that “Krishna‘s plan is so great, I do not know His plan”, that is the first step in accepting our destiny. Maharaj said, “Once we accept we do not know His plan, then we are not bewildered. We only become bewildered when we try to know His plan. Once we know it cannot be known, we are not bewildered. we are free. Once we are not bewildered, then we are not distressed. Once we are not distressed, then we are not disturbed. One B (bewilderment) leads to two Ds (distress and disturbance). When there is no bewilderment, there is no distress. When there is no distress, there is no disturbance. This is the science and this has come because we understand and accept that we do not know Krishna’s plan. So that is the secret of devotional service to accept that we do not know Him.” And those who accept this, then how do we execute His plan?
4. How to execute Krishna’s plan? For this we just follow Bhagavad gita 3.31.
ye me matam idam nityam / anutishthanti maanavaah
shraddhaavanto ‘nasuyanto / mucyante te ‘pi karmabhih
“Those persons who execute their duties according to My injunctions and who follow this teaching faithfully, without envy, become free from the bondage of fruitive actions.”
This is the royal way to accept our destiny that whatever Krishna gives in Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, we accept in toto. In toto, in Latin means ‘completely’. If you accept one half, not the other, accept one quarter, “This point of Krishna’s deal is nice; that part of the deal I reject”, then we become like kichadi. Kichadi means we do not know what is where. Then we become distressed, because we are bewildered. Those who accept Krishna’s will, very innocently and very very simply, they will come in line with whatever the Lord wants. Otherwise duhsthita matih, oscillating mind is there. Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.14 instructs
tato ‘nyathaa kincana yad vivakshatah
prthag drshas tat-krta-rupa-naamabhih
na karhicit kvaapi ca duhsthitaa matir
labheta vaataahata-naur ivaaspadam
“Whatever you desire to describe that is separate in vision from the Lord simply reacts, with different forms, names and results, to agitate the mind as the wind agitates a boat which has no resting place.”
This is the seminal verse to understand what our destiny is. This is the advice given by Narada muni to Vyaasa Bhagavan. This is very good advice. You take this back with you today. Maharaj says that you can forget anything but you just remember this verse. Very simple verse. The purport of this verse is that as long as your wishes are not in alignment with His wishes, you will be disturbed. So Maharaj said, very simple litmus test in our devotional service. Every time we are disturbed, it means Krishna wants one thing and we want something other than that. See how practical Srimad Bhagavatam is. Very simple but very difficult to put into practice. But we will never learn to practise until we speak about something. Until you start contemplating on it, you will never practise.
Supposing, I think in the morning, I want to go for a movie. In the morning it will just be a simple, latent desire, but the more your senses contemplate on the object of the senses, i.e. cinema, what happens? Your contemplation increases to the point where the desire generates a will, not only to think about it but to start feeling about it. Now we feel like going to the cinema. In the morning I was thinking of going to the cinema. Then the vocabulary changes. Now I feel like going and the moment you feel very much, then what happens? Before you know, you are buying the ticket and you are in the cinema. This is psychology because thinking leads to feeling. Feeling leads to willing. Do not be discouraged if you are speaking Srimad Bhagavatam verses and you are struggling to understand the plan of Krishna. The more we speak about them; the day will come when we will feel about them. Once we feel, Krishna will give the encouragement to will ourselves. But it must start somewhere. So Bhagavad gita says that those who follow the rules of Krishna cent percent, to the extent you follow, to that extent you are with destiny and to the extent you do not follow, to that extent, you are bewildered, distressed and disturbed. Following the rules involves two things and they are
a) Shraddha – Faith
b) Anasuya – Non-envious
a) Following with faith: Shraddha – this faith is so important. Maharaj said how much faith we have in the contractors who build our houses. We have so much faith that we expect and know that they have correctly calculated the load that this house can take. That is why we are sitting comfortably and we know the house will not collapse. If we have so much faith in a contractor, who is most of the time number one cheat, why can’t we have faith in the good Lord who most of the time and every time will never cheat us. This is the lack of our faith. Every time you step into a car, Maharaj says, you know how much risk you are running. The two sworn natural enemies are together in your car – Water and petrol. When you put water and petrol together, it is a combustible combination and yet water is in the car, petrol is in the car and you are in the car and every day you are driving the car because you have faith that ‘nothing will happen to me’. But when it comes to Krishna, “Prabhu, I am not very sure.” muhyanti kavayo ‘pi hi – This is what we feel. This is an insult to the good Lord. We should never do this. We have more faith in material objects than the good Lord who created everything. It just does not make sense. That is shraddha.
The other point which is required to execute Krishna’s plan is anasuyanto meaning being non-envious.
4.How to execute Krishna’s plans? We must never be envious of Krishna. I asked Maharaj one time, “Maharaj, frankly speaking, I am very confident I am not envious of Krishna because Krishna is too high for me to be envious of. At least I need to find someone my competitor, then I can understand, I am envious of him. So how can we be envious of Krishna?” Maharaj said something that really floored me. He said that, “You are envious of Krishna.” I said, “How? I am really not jealous of Krishna. I am happy for Him. I like what He does and everything. So I am not competing. I do not want His Sudarshana cakra or anything. So how am I envious of Krishna?” Maharaj said, “When you are envious of someone, the symptom of envy is you do not follow his instructions. If you are envious of someone, you never hear that person” and then I thought, “yes it is true.” Maharaj said, “Because we are envious, we don’t hear that person and that is why we do not get Krishna.” Maharaj told me, in the same way, when we are envious of our spiritual master, we do not hear his instructions. So Maharaj said, “Someone may say, ‘Maharaj I have no envy for you’, but if you do not follow my instructions then I take it that you are actually envious and the symptom of your envy is in the lack of following.” Such a powerful point. For the first time in my life I got the connection between non-enviousness and faith and Maharaj said that is why they are put in one line in BG 3.31- ‘shraddhaavanto anasuyanto.’ Faith and non-enviousness they come one after the other. The next question is what happens once we follow the instructions?
5. Liberation from one’s destiny: When one follows Krishna’s instructions with faith and without envy, he becomes liberated. Liberated not from the world. Maharaj says, from a deeper point, he becomes liberated from his destiny. He comes under the full shelter of Krishna’s protection. Then his destiny changes. Whatever might be your destiny in your material life, the moment you come to Krishna consciousness, it is Krishna’s realm. He determines your destiny. If destiny is greater than Krishna, then destiny is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So never should we think that Krishna cannot change destiny. He is big boss. He can change policy just like that. He can say, “Where is the policy? I never knew it.” He has done that. He has bent every rule possible, for every devotee possible. He has done that.
When Krishna was trying to save Arjuna, from the arrows of Duryodhana during his battle with king Jayadratha, one arrow came so fast that it was going to hit Arjuna right in between his eyebrows, Mahabharat tells us and at that time, all Krishna did was to step down half a foot and the moment He did that, the entire chariot went half a foot down and the arrow just grazed Arjuna’s mukut and went flying by just like that. When Krishna decided that king Jayadratha had to be killed, he was one and a half mile away and half the formation had been killed and Krishna told Arjuna, “Very simple. I would make the situation such that the clouds would cover the sun.” This is cheating. Isn’t it? The clouds would cover the Sun and all the Kauravas would put all their weapons down and say, “Very good. Now everything is done. Now Jayadratha will live and Arjuna must fulfill his promise because if he does not kill the king, he must leap into the fire and kill himself.” So Arjuna looked at Krishna and Krishna said, “Can you do only one favor? When I make the clouds dark, I would suddenly let them go away and the Sun will come. You are one mile away from Jayadratha. Can you aim at him? Can you shoot one arrow that will kill him?” Arjuna said, “With You, I can do anything.” With the blessings of Krishna, anything is possible. So at the right opportune moment when Krishna was one mile away and it is 5.30 in the evening and all the Kauravas are thinking, little bit more and Arjuna is dead. Krishna suddenly makes all the clouds come and the Sun goes. They see that the sun is gone and they say, “We have made it!” Jayadratha who is one mile away gets the message that he is saved. Very happy. He gets off his chariot and Krishna makes all the clouds go and all of a sudden, Kauravas say, “Wait a minute. This is not the time to end”, but before their bewilderment can go, Krishna says, “Shoot! Nimitta maatram bhava savyasaachin!” Now this time Arjuna shoots with full confidence with Krishna having determined his destiny and with that faith and because he was one in line with the vision of the Lord, Arjuna finds his target and the force of the arrow is so great that it razes the head of Jayadratha and sends it to the lap of his father miles away.
The incident from Mahabharat how Krishna saved Bhima from Duryodhana was very wonderfully narrated by Devaki Prabhuji and the same shall be offered in the next mail, Krishna willing.
Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayanti mala devi dasi,