A cut from above

Have you ever experienced a cut from above ever? Did you recognize it? I was fortunate to experience this…

Early this morning I was excited to be able to offer some sugarcane to Krishna. In India, sugarcane is abundantly available, and especially children and youthful persons with strong teeth enjoy chewing the sugarcane and tasting the sweet juice from the sugarcane.

It is quite the miracle, one can reflect on this, how is it that God has made it that a hard stick-like plant growing in the ground can be filled with delicious sweet juice.

In Canada sugarcane is rare, and Aruna Keshavi had managed to procure some. And to offer to Krishna, I was cutting it. There were two knives, one was like a saw, serrated edges, and he other had a straight edge to peel the hard bamboo-like exterior to expose the sweetness.

A knife, but an instrument…

It happened in a flash. The knife with the serrated edge slipped and my right index finger came in its way. Deep cut. I will spare you the gory details but it was quite bad. The wound has now dried up but it throbs as I type this out.

Immediately I started chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. At first in pain and in fear, but then as realization dawned, then in appreciation, gratitude, and finally in ecstasy. Aruna Keshavi found me ecstatic when she came down, and she did not know that a cut had sparked this ecstasy.

I reflected how it was that one little cut produced so much pain but only because I inhabited this body. A dead body feels no pain. To feel pain is a sign of life. I am alive.

I reflected how the same knife could be an instrument of loving devotional service, a source of pain, an interruption of service, a dangerous weapon or an instrument of mercy. Time, Place, and Circumstance, intent and consciousness made all the difference.

I reflected how much pain we cause those living entities on a daily basis. The ones we breathe in and kill, the ones we accidentally ingest, the ones we step on, the ones we regard as pests… the ones we eat too. I cannot imagine how anyone can think that any living entity can be “painlessly killed”, even if following the Kosher process or the Halal process. It is idiocy to think that any living entity can be peacefully killed. We should strive to minimize the pain of course, but only take as much as needed to keep body and soul together. Not one extra grain of rice. And only in an act of sacrifice to God. Of course, God is no bloodthirsty demon, so God accepts no fish or flesh.

I reflected that the knife could have cut off my finger entirely. It was a big knife, and I was using a lot of force But my finger still works. I am typing with it right now. So I knew that some big calamity had been averted by Krishna. Krishna took a mountain-load my my karma, and gave me a token, little cut instead, just to remind me of His immense mercy.

In Vedic tradition, especially Bhakti (Tradition of Loving Devotional Service to God), the index finger represents the false ego, false pride… index fingers are used to point fingers at others. When we chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on our meditation beads, we chant with our right hand we leave the index finger outside the bead bag. We chant with the thumb and middle fingers on the beads. So this cut represented a cut to my false ego, which I need and will gladly take any day. My false ego is what keeps the subtle and not-so-subtle traces of atheism still present in my heart. With no false ego, I would be a pure devotee of Krishna!

One day will surely come when I will need to leave this body. I am attached to this body and everything connected to it. Best to remember that I am a tenant in this apartment, and I don’t exactly how long my lease is for. I am passing through. But that is a subject for another post.

I could still chant Hare Krishna. I could complete my entire morning service, without any significant problems. In fact, when I was deeply engrossed in my meditation I could not even feel the pain. So, it was a fact that my consciousness determined whether I felt material pain or spiritual bliss. And I became aware of this. Above all, it was confirmation that I am not this body.

So, I am very deeply grateful for this. It was indeed a “cut from above”.

There have been many other such situations, and each time, I ended up with an ecstatic experience, by the mercy of Sri Krishna.

Queen Kunti, one of the greatest saints of all time

So I am today praying Queen Kunti’s prayer. She said…

विपद: सन्तु ता: शश्वत्तत्र तत्र जगद्गुरो ।
भवतो दर्शनं यत्स्यादपुनर्भवदर्शनम् ॥ २५ ॥

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat tatra tatra jagad-guro

bhavato darśanaṁ yat syād apunar bhava-darśanam

I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/8/25/

I am Krishna’s dog. Krishna can kick me or starve me. Krishna can keep me or kill me. Krishna can do whatever He likes with me. I pray to remain. I am happy to be “Das”. Please bless me that I may remain servant of the servant of God.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, God in the form of His own devotee!

mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ

He alone, and no one else, is the worshipable Lord of My heart.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Krishna can give me a pat on my back, or a kick on my backside. In all circumstances Krishna is my Supreme Well Wisher and Best Friend, and I pray never to forget.

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।

सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ २९ ॥

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram

suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/29/

Experiencing Difficulty

Sunil, Jul 5 2011

Please accept my respectful obeisances

Is it true,that when one is experiencing difficulties then the intensity of devotion in chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is enhanced?

Regards,

Sunil

Rahul Mangla, Jul 5 2011

Hare Krishna,

I also feel the same but if that is the case, it means that person is chanting for sense gratification. We should however feel eternal spiritual satisfaction while chanting.

Hare Krishna,

Rahul

Jagannatha dasa, Jul 5 2011

Hare Krishna prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

This is a really nice question.  Thank you for posting it.

Difficulty is material. This is explained in Bhagavad-Gita (8.15) by Lord Sri Krishna.  He uses the phrase duhkhalayam asasvatam.  The material world is both miserable and temporary.  Whereas His own abode is free from misery.

Matter can’t give rise to spirit.  Spirit is eternal.  So it’s true that misery alone can’t make us more advanced in spiritual life, otherwise everyone who is intensely suffering would be more and more

Krishna conscious; however, that being said, misery can be used as a springboard to surrender, if we take it as the mercy of the Lord. This mood is perfectly shown by Srimati Kunti Maharani.

– Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.24 and 25.

viṣān mahāgneḥ puruṣāda-darśanād

asat-sabhāyā vana-vāsa-kṛcchrataḥ

mṛdhe mṛdhe ‘neka-mahārathāstrato

drauṇy-astrataś cāsma hare ‘bhirakṣitāḥ

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat

tatra tatra jagad-guro

bhavato darśanaḿ yat syād

apunar bhava-darśanam

My dear Krishna, Your Lordship has protected us from a poisoned cake, from a great fire, from cannibals, from the vicious assembly, from sufferings during our exile in the forest and from the battle where great generals fought. And now You have saved us from the weapon of Asvatthama.  I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.

So the question may be raised, why do some persons take direct shelter of the Lord in times of miseries, whereas others do not?

The first paragraph of Srila Prabhupada’s purport to text 25 begins by dealing with this doubt.  It says:

“Generally the distressed, the needy, the intelligent and the inquisitive, who have performed some pious activities, worship or begin to worship the Lord. Others, who are thriving on misdeeds only,

regardless of status, cannot approach the Supreme due to being misled by the illusory energy. Therefore, for a pious person, if there is some calamity there is no other alternative than to take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord.”

I hope this is helpful.

Your servant,

-Jagannatha dasa

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Jul 5 2011

Hare Krishna Sunil Prabhu,

Yes, that is seen in the essence of Queen Kunti’s prayers… “vipadah santu” – “let there be calamities”,

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat

tatra tatra jagad-guro

bhavato darśanaḿ yat syād

apunar bhava-darśanam

“I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.” SB 1.8.25.

http://vedabase.net/sb/1/8/25/en

Sometimes, Krishna may “turn up the heat”, just to increase the devotee’s feelings of dependence upon Him, in this case, the difficulty provides impetus to getting closer and closer to Krishna.

From the Bhagavad Gita, it is understood that Krishna personally sanctions everything that happens in a devotee’s life, and everything is simply meant to completely purify the devote of all traces of material contamination.

teṣām evānukampārtham

aham ajñāna-jaḿ tamaḥ

nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho

jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā

“To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.” BG 10.11

http://vedabase.net/bg/10/11/en

Please read the purport to these two verses very carefully, it has many deep significant statements by Srila Prabhupada.

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Manian VB, Jul 5 2011

Hare Krishna,

An enlightening and helpful explanation given.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada, and other great saints.

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