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How to Deal with People in Anxiety?

While going through the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam especially after Brahma prayers for creative energy in 3 Canto 9 Chapter, we see that Lord Krishna starts answering to the prayers in a wonderful manner and is teaching us how to deal with people who are in anxiety. After 25 prayers, Lord Brahma becomes tired and also expresses depression because the creation of this gigantic manifestation without any mistakes is undoubtedly a daunting and challenging task. Also his humility shines throughout his prayers which are full of his dependence on the Lord’s mercy and pleased by this the Lord answers wonderfully.

1. Respond with thoughtful words

Lord responds with thoughtful words in verses 3.9.27-28 of Srimad Bhagavatam

athaabhipretam anveekshya / brahmano madhusudanah 
vishnanna cetasam tena / kalpa vyatikaraambhasaa
loka samsthaana vijnaana / aatmanah parikhidyatah
tam aahaagaadhayaa vaacaa / kashmalam shamayann iva

The Lord saw that Brahma was very anxious about the planning and construction of the different planetary systems and was depressed upon seeing the devastating water. He could understand the intention of Brahma, and thus He spoke in deep, thoughtful words, removing all the illusion that had arisen.”

In this verse the word ahaagaadhayaa means deeply thoughtful. Brahmaji was anxious about creation and understanding his anxiety, Lord used thoughtful words while responding to him. So our nature should also be that if someone comes to us with anxiety, we also should be deeply thoughtful before answering. But We do not want to talk or hear others at all. We simply give them philosophical statement and tell them to tolerate and this is biggest defect in us. This needs to be rectified by understanding these verses very nicely. Instead of simply speaking whatever comes in our mind, we should be thoughtful about others feeling and apply the triple filter which our scriptures suggest (Truthful, Auspicious, Pleasing) and then speak to others.

2. Hearing Patiently 

The Lord patiently heard the 25 verses of prayers before he responds. The Lord is the creator of everything and also he gave intelligence to Brahma to offer the prayers. The words are directed by the Lord from within. Everything is done by the Lord ,and he also knows what Brahma is going to recite also because He is fully cognizant – abhijnah.On the other hand we are puppets in Lord’s hands. But wrongly think that we are controller of everyone. So we don’t have the patience to hear from anybody. We proudly think, “why should I listen to somebody who does not have any knowledge. Let me interfere and cut him to size.” Simple reading of Srimad Bhagavatam does not add any value. We have to learn the lessons through Srimad Bhagavatam and apply in our daily lives or otherwise it is just done for name and fame.

3. Remove Anxiety of Others

We can see how the Lord is teaching the lesson on how to respond to someone’s anxiety nicely in verse 3.9.29

shri-bhagavaan uvaaca
maa veda garbha gaas tandrim / sarga udyamam aavaha
tan mayaapaaditam hy agre / yan maam praarthayate bhavaan

The Supreme Personality of Godhead then said: O Brahma, O depth of Vedic wisdom, be neither depressed nor anxious about the execution of creation. What you are begging from Me has already been granted before.

The first phrase used by the Lord is -“maa veda garbha gaas tandrim” – Do not get depressed, O depth of Vedic wisdom! na means no. maa means double no. Lord is re-emphasising that Brahmaji should not get depressed. Whenever people come to us with problems, we tend to become para duhkha sukhi. We become internally happy.We do not have genuine concern or compassion for that living entity. Internally we say, “he deserves more because he is not listening to me.”

Also the expression of the Lord is also wonderful. He addresses Brahmaji as Veda-garbha, “you are depth of vedic wisdom and whatever you are asking is already granted to you before.” The Lord appreciates Lord Brahma for his depth of vedic wisdom and thus encourages him in the matter of executing the creation. Our nature is to find fault with everyone and discourage them. As our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj says – “Encouragement is Krishna consciousness.”

4. Tolerate the misery caused by others

Due to the nature of the material world there is bound to be a misery called adhibhautik misery (misery caused by another living entity). This misery is inevitable as confirmed by Prahlad maharaj in his prayers to Lord Narasimha as grasatam – one living entity devouring another living entity. We should be ready that in the material world some living entity is going tp devour us with words and talks and therefore we should not get depressed in our devotional service. We can simply ignore, pity and pray for that living entity who is bound by external energy and simply carry on with our devotional service.

I pray to the unlimited Gurudev, Srila Prabhupada and Lord Sri Krishna to give me the mercy and unassailable strength so that I learn these lessons from the Lord and try to apply in my life.

Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Sajjanapriya Krishna Das,