01
Jun
Vraja Bihari Das (Venugopal Acharya)

The Prahalad- Narasimhadev pastimes teaches us, besides other lessons, the reality of suffering and pain. Just like Prahalad was tortured by his own father, often it’s our near and dear ones that bring pain to our lives. Prahalad exemplifies forgiveness and compassion at the highest level.

Although we can’t imitate Prahalad’s mood, we can reflect on what is expected by us by the Lord as we practise Krishna consciousness. 

Prahalad pastimes reveal how whoever we are, we will face injustice, or we will be disliked or face suffering. And the most important lesson is: we need to upgrade our Bhakti, sooner or later, to reach the next level of Krishna consciousness. 

I once read a quote: “Every new level of life will demand a different version of you.”

We have practised Hearing and Chanting in association of devotees for some time. But are we upgrading? Are we ready to face new challenges in Krishna consciousness or are we still seeking our own peace and happiness.

Sooner or later Krishna will expose us; He will reveal to us our motives for accepting the path. How many of us can honestly say we accepted Krishna consciousness because it offered exciting challenges, discipline or new spiritual education. Or is it that we desperately sought relief from suffeing in the material world? If we came looking for peace, after some time Krishna will demand we grow up and learn to face new challenges or practise the process with more vigorous discipline. We may get reluctant at the mention of discipline but Krishna will keep knocking at our minds and that’s when many either leave the association of devotees or get miserable in Bhakti. We are unable to rise to the occasion. Those who choose to surrender, however, reap rich rewards.

The mind cheats us at that time. The common excuse is Bhakti must be natural and more chanting or hearing or all these activities are unnatural. 

But wait! 

Everything in life is unnatural at some time, especially when we begin it. Do you remember as a toddler how natural it was for you to defecate anytime and anywhere without any concern. You were given potty training and that was so unnatural for you. But eventually by discipline it became natural. This is one of the most powerful of human characteristics: ability to change through education, discipline and challenges. What seems unnatural at first, we can, by training, make it a part of our lives.

Similarly when we come to Krishna consciousness we are trained to change the way we think and feel. Remember we are on a path that will bring about a major transformation of the heart- we are on an amazing journey back home to Godhead.

And will this journey happen without any endeavor from our side? Is it all a hanky dory feel-good path? No sir, there is a challenge and discipline is needed to experience a higher level of Krishna presence in our lives.

To be continued….

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