Accepting the Destiny – 3
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.
3. The next question is how to accept Krishna’s plans and it begins with the conviction that we do not want what Krishna does not want for us.
4. Having accepted His plans how to execute the plans? Here Prabhuji explained that it has to be done with faith and without envy.
The result of implicitly following the vision of the Lord is liberation from destiny and in the last mail, the pastime of killing Jayadratha was offered. Here we continue with the pastime of Duryodhana and Gandhari.
5. Liberation from destiny: When Jayadratha was killed by the clever plan of Krishna, when that terrible incident happened, Duryodhana was pacing up and down in the night and he was thinking, “What is this? The clouds just came and then went! I am not a weather-man. This Krishna is just too much.” Gandhari, his mother was thinking, “I must protect my son. This is cheating. With Krishna on their side, they have it all easy.” Gandhari thought, “I have my siddhi"perfection"; refers specifically to the eight mystic powers, such as the ability to become very light..” So she said, “My dear Duryodhana, come and see me in the night without any clothes. When you stand before my eyes, I will take off the blindfold and by the force of my siddhi over the years, I will make you so strong that no one can touch you.” So in the dead of night, (because one has to be very late to walk around with no clothes) Duryodhana decides to come out and he walks. Everything is quiet and he makes a turn and who does he see? He sees Krishna. Duryodhana is thinking, “Of all the people in the world, why should I see this personality?” Krishna saw him and starts smiling. Duryodhan became ruffled. He said, “why are you smiling?” Krishna said, “why you think I am smiling? Grown up man with no clothes walking in the dead of the night. Are you mental?” Duryodhana becomes embarrassed and he says, “No no. I am just going to see my mother.” Krishna says, “Your mother! You are going to see your mother with no clothes on? Where have you learned your etiquette? Some decency is required. At least wear some gumcha or something and go to see your mother. I know you had a bad day in the battlefield but that does not mean you have to become mental.” So what happens now? Duryodhana thinks, “Yes, it is very bad. I am very much embarrassed.” He tells himself and checks himself. “I am going to wear my gamcha now. Once Krishna goes, and I stand before my mother, I will take it off. Then everything will be alright.” So he goes before his mother. Gandhari says, “Are you ready son? Is everything okay as I told you?” He says “Yes.” She opens her eyes and sees him. She goes all the way down and she sees the gamcha. At the end of it, Duryodhana’s thighs could not be strengthened because they were covered. Gandhari tells Duryodhana, “I gave you just a simple instruction to take off your clothes and stand.” He said, “I met Krishna.” Gandhari thought, “why of all people must my son meet Krishna? In the night, the pandavas were very happy and they must have all gone to sleep. Why is this Krishna roaming around?” She asks, “What did Krishna tell you?” He said, “Krishna told me just wear a gamcha and it is not right to walk around without any clothes. Mother, I agreed to Him and I told myself I will remember at the right point, this instruction that I should remove my clothes.”
But Gandhari realized with an air of resignation that no matter what she planned for her son, the truth is Krishna in a very simple and cheeky way was teaching her something that, “Gandhari, whatever plans you have for your son, is not within My line of vision. It is not going to help. You are only going to be disturbed.” But till the end of the war, Gandhari could not accept this. Even though Gandhari was a very virtuous lady, but this point is important for us. If you really want to be peaceful in life, we have to understand that we have an intimate firm connection with the Lord. What is the point of reading Bhagavatam and chanting if at the end of it, it cannot translate into peace? Then it means something is wrong. Bhagavatam should not be in the air. It should be on the floor, on the ground. It should make us learn how to live our lives peacefully. It should make us become peaceful. It should make us understand that we have an intimate connection with the Lord and that we are not away from the Lord. But we make ourselves away. We are not away from our spiritual master. The reason we feel we are away, is because we are not prepared to sacrifice. What is that sacrifice?
6. Sacrificing our senses to satisfy the senses of the Lord: The real challenge of our love for Krishna and our guruA spiritual teacher; a regular teacher may also be called guru. will be seen and demonstrated by doing all the services that you do not like to do. Maharaj told me, “what is the fun in singing kirtan"glorification." It usually refers to the chanting of mantra to musical accompaniment. Devaki? You like kirtan. So you are singing. Where is the sacrifice? You try cooking.” Everyone knows I am a bad cook and the sacrifice is too much because everyone will die. But Maharaj said, “That is your excuse. The point is you want to do a service because you would prefer to do it. This ahankaar becomes the greatest impediment in accepting our destiny. So our connection to Krishna is determined by how much we are ready to satisfy the Lord and not satisfy our senses and those who satisfy the Lord, automatically their senses will be satisfied.”
RavanaA king of the Rakshasas. He lived on Shri Lanka, kidnapped SitaThe wife of Rama and heroine of the Ramayana. and was killed by Rama. did everything to satisfy the senses. But what did he lack? Whole Lanka was solid 24 ct. gold. Imagine an entire city of gold, especially at the current rate of gold prices. Imagine how much Lanka would be worth? On top of that, he had the most virtuous wife, MandodariCelebrated wife of Ravana. She was loyal to her husband but urged him to return Sita to Rama.. When you read and see the qualities of Mandodari in Ramayana"the journey of Rama"; the shorter of the two Hindu Epics., you can write pages and pages of her quality. First class lady. But it was not enough for Ravana. He wanted Sita and he wanted Sita without the controller Rama, without the person who owns Sita and to whom Sita was given and to whom Sita has pledged Her life. Maharaj says this is our rascaldom. We want LakshmiThe goddess of fortune. She is the eternal consort of Vishnu. devi"goddess"; used to refer to any female deity, but most specifically Shakti, wife of Shiva.. We pray, “Lakshmi devi! Please. Money is not enough. Job is not good. Give me this. Give me that. Lakshmi gives you everything but in giving we forget that the pati of Lakshmi is the one who gives you the sanction to come to Lakshmi. So we ignore Krishna and if we think we can steal away from Him what belongs to Him, then Ravana’s fate awaits us. Ravana was destroyed in the end. Everything he had was destroyed only for one reason that he was coveting something that did not belong to him. So we may ask, how do we know that something does not belong to us? Very simple, Maharaj said. “Just live in this world in such a way that nothing belongs to you because everything is borrowed and everything has to come and everything has to go.” Whenever we had difficulty in raising money for the temple, myself and Vaishnava prabhu will be in so much distress. We will think so many material solutions and innovative ways to raise the money. Finally all the innovative ways will not give us the peace. Then Maharaj would sit with us and say, “Devaki, as it is we all have nothing. As it is when we came here, there was no temple. As it is when we came here, there was just land. Now if there is no temple, what have we lost?” When I remember these instructions and I find if I put them into practice in any field of my life, immediately we do not become bewildered. Supposing we gain a lot of money and at the end all the money goes, then this point is very relevant. As it is, when we were born, no one was born with a pocket full of money. Nobody. Nobody had pampers on them. Any child that we know came in with a full set of clothes? Any child was born with a birth certificate saying that I was formerly MBA? Nobody. No child ever came even smiling. It is unusual and Maharaj says we are so foolish that when the child comes out crying and crying, we say Hari bol! The child is saying, “I really hate coming here and my silly father and mother are saying welcome to this terrible world. It is an upside down civilization.”
It is important that we learn to satisfy the senses of Hrishikesha and that alone can make us peaceful.
6.Sacrificing our senses to satisfy the senses of the Lord: Jatayu was at the fag end of his life. He was the old retired king of vultures and had no strength left. But when he saw that Ravana was taking away what belongs to Lord Rama, he did not care about his senses, his body. He just cared about his sevaService, a key Hindu principle/value; the soul's sanatana-dharmaThe religious duties that sustain humans and all living beings., fully expressed through bhaktiThe path of loving devotional service (also Bhakti-YogaThe path of loving devotional service; also called bhakti marg.).. – service. He transcended his pain, suffering, old age and infirmities to challenge Ravana to give back what rightfully is Lord Rama’s. But what was the result of that great act? He was slaughtered. His wings were cut and he fell down bleeding. When Rama and Lakshmana came and saw this bird, they first thought it was Ravana or one of Ravana’s men. Then they recognized him as Jatayu and then Jatayu described to Him that “I tried very hard my dear Rama, but my Lord, I am sorry. I failed in my endeavor. I tried to save Mother Sita but I could not save Her. I feel very bad that I have failed.” Lord Rama told him in Ramayana, “You have actually won. You are victorious because it is not the result of the endeavor that I am worried about. It is your beautiful effort. You had all the disqualifications yet with all your disqualifications, you rendered service and you tried your best. This is the qualification of a devotee. That is true nature of devotee that he does not think about his difficulties but he is concerned about what he can do for the pleasure of the Lord and the devotees.” For such a person, Krishna’s destiny becomes his destiny. To such a person, bewilderment, distress, disturbance may be coming for a while. They may touch him just for a while but like Jatayu he endeavors in the service, uninterrupted, unmotivated (ahaituky apratihataa). In Jatayu’s service there was no motivation. Where was his motivation? Was he going to get a ranking? What was he going to get? Nothing. He was going to die anyway. But he did that to serve the Lord and because he was unmotivated, the result of his service was uninterrupted. Why? Because his destiny finally lay in the hands of Lord Rama. Lord Rama tells Jatayu, “Today I will perform your funeral rites. I will do it as a son does for his father.” Where will we get this bhaagya that the Lord does our funeral rites and for a bird, He did that. When He did all the funeral rites, like a loving son, Lord Rama told Lakshmana, “My dear brother, today is the most painful day of My life not because Sita mata has left, but because of the death of Jatayu. A great service has been rendered by My dear most devotee Jatayu. His death has pained Me more than separation of Sita.” So Maharaj said that this is the greatness of the Lord and this is the greatness of His devotees.
Hanumanji is another wonderful example. Because Hanumanji only wanted to satisfy the senses of Lord Rama, his senses were automatically satisfied without any endeavor. You just try to satisfy Krishna by doing all the things that He has said.
- Follow the four regulative principles.
- Chant your rounds nicely.
- Read Bhagavatam daily.
- Be loving in your dealings with devotees.
- Tolerate the onslaughts of the material world.
- Always be humble.
We do all this and automatically our senses will not be agitated. Even if we stretch ourselves in service what is going to happen? Maharaj always says even if you are sick, just come for Mangala arati. What is the worse that will happen? You will die. If you die during Mangala arati, it is mangal – auspicious. As it is you are going to die. Better you die during Mangala arati than during any other time. See the logic. Who can refute this logic? So anytime somebody tells that, “Prabhu, I was very tired. Very sick.” Then I remember what Maharaj said, “then come for Mangala arati. Fall more sick because it is better to be sick for Krishna than to be sick for yourself.”
Hanumanji was fixed with Lord Rama. Sita Mata and LakshmanThe brother of Rama who went with him to the forest. He is worshipped with Sita, Rama, and HanumanThe monkey-like deity; he is a devotee of Rama, but also worshiped in his own right.. were worried that they will not get a chance to serve the Lord as Hanumanji was doing all the services. Sita mata said, “Even when I am asleep, he is somewhere around in the quarters chanting Rama’s names. I have no personal time with my dear husband.” So what they did was they drew up a nice service roster. They delegated all the services and made sure everybody’s name was there except Hanumanji. Then they got the service roster approved by Lord Ram.
Then Hanumaji came and he saw the notice-board. There was no service for him. So he went to Lord Rama in His assembly and he spoke with Him. Sita mata and Lakshmana were a bit anxious hoping they would continue with their services without Hanumanji’s interference. Hanumanji said, “There is no service for me” and Lord Rama said, “That is okay. What is the problem?” Then Hanumanji said, “I cannot live without serving You.” So Lord Rama said, “Because you are sincere, somehow the good Lord will give you the intelligence to do some service.” Then Hanuman said, “You are my Lord. Who is the good Lord you are talking about?” So Hanumanji sat down next to Lord Rama. Every service was being done very nicely by all others. Towards the end of the assembly, Lord Rama yawned. So when He yawned, He opened His mouth very wide. The moment He opened His mouth, immediately before anyone could jump and before anyone could realize that it is not on the notice board, Haumanji jumped up and snapped his fingers before Him. Then he became very satisfied. It is customary that if anyone yawns we snap the fingers before that person’s mouth. Lakshmana and Sita mata were not totally aware of the consequences of this until Lord Rama said, “I am going to my chamber.” Hanuman got up. Sita mata said, “Why are you following Him? I am the wife. I am going inside the chamber. Why are you going in?” Hanumanji said, “Do you know when the Lord will yawn?” Sita mata said, “How do we know that? It may be any time.” Hanuman said, “That is exactly is my point. Mata, because we do not know when He is going to yawn, I have to be 24 hours on standby so that anytime He yawns, I must be ready to snap my fingers. For that I have to be in close proximity to the Lord. I will just be very close to the Lord and will continue my service.” Maharaj said Sita mata fainted and Lakshmana was really frustrated.
But it shows one thing that if you want to really really become peaceful, in following the destiny, then try to satisfy the senses of Hrishikesa and by doing so enthusiastically, He will find some way to keep you always engaged. Krishna never lets anyone down. It is only our faith that is required. If you say, “Krishna please give me Your service and I am prepared to sweat”, why will He not give and this is the key. From the protection of the Lord comes the direction. Maharaj said this is the point. When the Lord protects you, He also directs you. When the Lord protected Arjuna, He literally directed him through the armies and when you are directed, you are automatically protected.
Prabhuji went on to explain that until and unless we see the hand of Krishna in everything, we will not accept the destiny of the Lord as ours and the same shall be transcribed and offered in the next mail Krishna willing.
Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayanti mala devi dasi,