Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Srimad-Bhagavatam Meditation: 1.7.5 (Part 2)

Scroll down to read Part 1, or just click here.

It is once again time for our weekly/bi-weekly meditation on the ripened fruit of the tree of Vedic knowledge, the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

I humbly ask you to read first the translation and Bhaktivedanta purport to today's verse, from the 1st Canto, Seventh Chapter, Fifth Verse.

yayā sammohito jīva
paro 'pi manute 'narthaḿ
tat-kṛtaḿ cābhipadyate

Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries.


A very famous example of the intense mercy of the Lord came in the final months of the life of one of our dearest saints, Bhakta Tirtha Swami. As he dealt with the final stages of terminal cancer, Krsna was actually feeling so much love for him that he decided to purify him of any remaining material attachments by letting him face and pass one final, very challenging, but incredibly rewarding test.

So many devotees who experienced his final pastimes in his direct presence realized that their own devotional life was actually being affected in the most positive way. The powerful experience of seeing and hearing from a pure devotee in the direct process of going back to Godhead, being used by Krsna as a vessel for all to see the temporary nature of the body and the eternal nature of the spirit, allowed a real sense of re-committment and renewal to come back into the lives of all involved.

Throughout the process, Bhakta Tirtha Swami repeatedly said, despite the bodily pain he was feeling, that he could not have been more grateful to have been allowed to be of so much benefit to those who came to him in love. It was the exclamation point to his ideal example that we should all follow.

In a more common example, for those in the throes of the various types of addiction, the difficult circumstances involved can often lead to a personal enlightenment that could never come to someone who never faces any serious challenges. Indeed, we are all addicted to the idea that we are our body, and unless we face up to and overcome the serious challenges that are involved with breaking this bodily addiction, we will never be truly happy. We cannot blame maya, for she is just acting a vessel of mercy in the Lord's hands. She is tied to Krsna as we are tied to Krsna. We cannot blame Krsna either. He is always with us, guiding us, pushing us, and desiring for us to return to His side more so than we ever realize.

Prabhupada says "that eternal relation between the Lord and the living being is transcendental, otherwise the Lord would not have taken the trouble to reclaim the conditioned souls from the clutches of māyā." This is the foundation of Krsna's causeless mercy. Like a lover after a stormy fight, we huff away for a few moments, determined never to return, but the pull is too strong. We must go back! Difficult circumstances will be arranged before the original condition is restored, so that we fully understand our own foolishness.

The beat-down of boot-camp that this material life is is not meant to be comfortable. We have to go kicking and screaming back. This life is for some serious learning, and the sufferings imposed by maya are a very powerful teacher. We must understand what she is actually trying to tell us, and when we are finally able to reach our head and hand above the surface of this ocean of misery, we must take grasp of His hand reaching down to pull us out. He is always there, waiting, and by serious endeavor and prayer, we will get back to Him. This is the real promise, and the real goal of our lives

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