Krishna Carries What we Lack
At various times in my life, time seems to go at warp speed, and I feel caught up in the rush of Krishna’s arrangements. Whooooooooooooosh! This happened during and after my wife and my trip to New Vrindavana for the Festival of Inspiration a few weeks ago. As a result I have been thrown off my usual routine of writing blogs which I take as one of my spiritual duties, or a small way I try to give back to my guru, Shrila Prabhupada, and Shri Chaitanya and Nitai, by attempting to serve and help devotees of Krishna, or those interested in investigating the bhakti path. I will share one spiritually rich experience.
The day before we left for New Vrindavan, I had to go to the post office to mail a few of my Blog books, “Give to Live,” (available in July on Krishna.com) to be reviewed, but the normal parking area was blocked by a semi-trailer truck. Thus, I went to the back parking area in the bank lot. After mailing the books I got into the car and backed up with a kirtana loudly playing. I wasn’t used to this parking spot, and didn’t see the curb on the passenger’s side. As I turned the steering wheel to back out, I went over the curb with one wheel and found the car unable to move. I needed a tow to get unstuck, so I called our towing service, and was told it would be a 30 minute wait. O well! I am not one to get too upset over things. What would anger do anyway? Admittedly it was a little embarrassing as it seemed a dumb thing to do, but things go wrong for everyone, and we have to make the best of them. Devotees are called to search for life lessons and deeper meaning. Since it was raining, I sat in the car to wait.
I always keep Prabhupada’s translation of the Bhagavad Gita (As It Is) in my glove compartment, and took it out so I could use my time well. I opened it to the ninth chapter of the Gita, verse 22, a famous verse of how Krishna takes care of His devotees: “But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form -- to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.” I then read Prabhupada’s explanation to the verse, and I wondered aloud, if this verse applied to such a meager, materially motivated devotee like me.
As I was considering this idea, I noticed a truck pulling up behind me. Two men got out and walked toward the car. I thought that maybe it was the towing service, but that was doubtful since I had only just called them. When I got out they were viewing my predicament. They said, “Looks like you are stuck, maybe we could be of help.” I looked at the car and said, “Well, this car is very heavy.” One of them flexed his muscles, and said, “We’ll give a try.” He asked me to get in the driver’s seat and put it in drive and give the car gas when he told me. The two young men easily lifted the back end, and I gave it gas. Presto, I car was immediately over the curb, and drivable. I offered to pay them, but they refused and just shook my hand, and drove off.
After getting back in the car, I pondered the events. I am pretty dull, but what a dramatic demonstration of how Krishna’s carries what we lack! I kept thinking of the car being lifted up by Krishna, and so easily! I beamed from ear to ear at both Krishna’s kindness and sense of humor. One moment I am stuck the next I am free to move. Krishna brings us true freedom. Even as we live in the world, we are learn to give our life, and all we are entrusted with, as an offering to Him, and revive our eternal serving nature.
Although we are less than perfect devotees, by taking to the surrendering process, and trying to remember and serve Krishna and His devotees, He is involved in our life. If we are sincerely trying to be a devotee, we shouldn’t doubt that He will carry what we lack and preserve what we have. We all fall short, yet if we don’t give up by a defeatist, doubtful mentality and keep on the path, we are in Krishna’s loving network. Like a baby learning to walk, stumbling and falling are inevitable for most devotees. We are sure to face tests of faith at different time in our life. However, if we regularly chant the Hare Krishna mantra, read Vaishnava literature, associate with and hear from advanced devotees, try to remember Krishna in all situations, and see our identity as His servant, we will build our spiritual muscles to see all situations as favorable for our spiritual progress. This involves stepping out of a material evaluation of what is good or bad, and understanding the ordinarily hidden spiritual perspective.
As it turns out, the truck that blocked my normal parking spot and set up the above scenario, was parked there by someone who is occasionally an antagonist in my life. This demonstrates how valuable such people are, even though they can at times really annoy us, or worse. They don’t actually appear to place obstacles in our lives, but to put us in a situation where we can choose to go beyond externals labels , and take shelter of Krishna—or not, and see the difference! For a devotee of Krishna, or anyone with spiritual awareness, things are not what they seem on first glance, or by appearances. If we can learn to be Krishna conscious amidst difficulties and successes, we will understand that our lives are full of mercy and learning experiences. We only have to have a different angle of vision steeped in faith in Krishna, and the path of bhakti.