Sunday, February 15, 2009

Compassionate Reflections #6

Inspired by my reading of "Vaisnava Compassion" by HH Satsvarupa Maharaja

In conjunction with our recent pieces from Thomas Merton on the importance of depth and sincerity in prayer, Maharaja's piece on "Trusting Krsna" opens up the reality of our relationship with Krsna, and how it is a fool's lament to feel that Krsna will ever abandon us in our times of need and joy.

Of course, we know that we should never see Krsna as an order-carrier, there simply to fulfill our whims and urges. Our prayers to Krsna should be simple and selfless: O Lord, O energy of the Lord, please engage Me in your service.

From that foundation, our self-realization can only deepen, and we can begin to understand the never-ending and unyielding compassion Krsna has for us at every single moment.

Indeed, He is always trying to deliver us. In the purport to S.B 8.3.17, Prabhupada writes

"He is within our hearts and is not at all inattentive. His only aim is to deliver us from material life. It is not that He becomes attentive to us only when we offer prayers to Him. Even before we offer our prayers, He incessantly tries to deliver us. He is never lazy in regard to our deliverance."

Imagine that. Krsna doesn't even need our prayers to make the attempt to deliver us, so if our prayers to him are selfless and sincere, then His efforts to bring us back home will be even more potent.

As Thomas Merton mentioned, for some, this is actually too intense, because it means Krsna will carry away any material impediments we may have to loving and selfless devotion to Him. If we are too comfortable in our material lives, then certainly our prayer will not come to this level of intensity and sincerity.

But it is to our ultimate benefit to go deeper, for it is through our prayers that we make the vital connection to Krsna. Maharaja writes:

" Prayer is a flexible concept. It is the state of Krsna consciousness behind any activity we perform that helps us break through into emotion into Krsna. It is the activity that carries us past the mechanical into the feeling."

Our intellectual and close-hearted tendencies will leave us only with an impersonal realization of who Krsna is and what He wants to do for us. This is also the result of mechanical chanting, prayer, service mood, etc, and we have to go beyond this. Maharaja writes:

"If we are open to Krsna's presence in our creativity and in nature, for example, we will feel grateful to Him for His mercy. We will be able to see His compassionate nature to our prayers, and we wil give up our narrow-mindedness in deciding how we expect Him to act on our behalf. We will grow past our stereotypes of who Krsna is, and we will learn to see Him as a person"

He is our best friend, our ever-well wisher, our most beautiful companion, truest guide, and wisest giver of knowledge.

We should never forget our gratitude towards Krsna's compassion for us poor, conditioned souls, and we should always try to return the favor, by serving each other, serving Prabhupada's mission, and trying to serve every spirit soul by helping them to remember Krsna and the love He has for them.

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