Seeing Krishna in Everything--Exemplified by Thundershowers
We have the inspiring verses in the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita (29 & 30) that describe how the yogi or devotee sees Krishna within everyone, and everyone in Krishna. This means he or she sees Krishna everywhere, and that as a result, Krishna is never lost to such a person. This gives us a clue how to endeavor to see Krishna within every situation, person, and phenomenon we encounter. That is one of our jobs as a bhakta (Krishna devotee), since the perfection of our life is to be lovingly absorbed in remembering and serving Krishna, and those that are dear to Him. One of the most feeling attractions I have for Krishna, on a human level, is His manifestation in thundershowers, since they are such a dramatic, powerful, and aesthetically pleasing display of His material energy.
I have written another blog where I briefly (and perhaps more eloquently) describe my experience of thundershowers (http://www.krishna.com/power-krishna-thunder-storms) noting the gradual preliminary build up to the exciting downpour as I experienced them in Baltimore. However, at present I experience them more thoughtfully, though I have to say, our particular location in Baltimore made the storms more dramatic—or perhaps it was the newness of the phenomenon, since I grew up on the West coast which never has thundershowers.
Through Krishna’s energy devotees see and remember Him as we learn in the Gita’s seventh chapter verses 7-11. Krishna specifically points out to us that anything particularly opulent, beautiful, and glorious represent His splendor, though only a spark of it (Bg 10.41). Here in the Southeastern United States, thundershowers are an essential and life giving phenomenon, generally welcome, but always so after an especially long dry spell like we are having yet again.
During these dry periods, one can almost feel the angst of all living beings as their search for water intensifies, the ground cracks, weeds die, and leaves yellow and fall from the trees. The plants and animals sense that that without water they will surely perish, and after the rains come, it seems that the forest comes alive, as the creatures and trees party and rejoice in material happiness. The tree frogs give a voice to this. Although they are quite in the dry periods, during and after the rains the frogs sing songs of joy and gratitude with their croaks! This is my experience after having lived in a rural wooded area for the last eight years. One develops new sensitivities and awareness, and Nature takes one into her confidence.
Living in this environment makes one very aware of our absolute dependence on Krishna in many ways, as is symbolized by the dramatic coming of the rain clouds, with its wind, thunder, and lightening. I think of how Krishna says that rains come from sacrifices, which are born of offering our life energy and work to Him (Bg 3.10-14). And specifically in this age, if we perform congregational chanting of the Holy Names, all the purpose of the Vedas will be served, and we will receive all our necessities of life. Whether in drought or rain we can remember Krishna and his many instructions in the Gita. Another appropriate verse comes to mind from the ninth chapter: “O Arjuna, I give heat, and I withhold and send forth the rain. I am immortality, and I am also death personified. Both spirit and matter are in Me.” [Bg 9.19] The previous verse to this is one of my favorites, and says almost everything. Krishna says: “I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.” [Bg 9.18]
Krishna consciousness is the process to both live by these principles and realize them. In material egoic, or self-centered consciousness, we think we are the enjoyer and the center of everything—or we should be. Gradually by our spiritual practices or sadhana our soul awakens to its natural serving, giving tendency, with Krishna in the center of our heart and life. For now we practice seeing Krishna as suggested by the scriptures and eventually we won’t be able to forget Krishna, as he will be everything to us—the be all and end all of our life!