Calamities come in our life uncalled for. Now the choice of how to respond to them is in our hands. Diseases, Accidents, money loss, insulting and unpleasant exchange, death of some near and dear relative, change in service which I never wanted to give up, some admonition from my superior for a mistake I committed, falldown of someone important to me in my spiritual life etc are some examples of calamities that I can expect in my life. How can I apply this sloka in such situations?
It is a fact that calamities shake us, wake us up, makes us open eyes rubbing to see what has happened; they melt and soften our hard hearts that refused to melt in morning chanting when japa becomes a routine. They make us helpless bringing tears to eyes, creating severe pain in the present and uncertainty of future. Instead of running here and there, trying to sort out things on my own, it is better for me to learn to fervently pray to Krishna for inner strength to tackle such instances. It is true that I can feel presence of Krishna strongly in my life in such instances, because when all else fails and everyone leaves me alone and vanishes from sight, in that state of loneliness, when I chant Japa and call out for Krishna, He is one person who is my heart-to-heart friend, who will never give me up.
Because material world is a false shelter, all friendship society love is a facade of material bodies which are `slab of flesh flapping for a moment’ or ‘bubbles that blow off in the ocean of samsara’, we are always faced with inevitabilities when so-called shelters are stripped off. It is exactly as when we are sitting in a mat, someone pulls it from behind. When I face such dangers in life and that too time to time, I learn a lesson that I should take shelter of the unchanging spiritual platform, where lotus feet of Sri Krishna and Guru are present. I’ll never die; Krishna will never die and my service to Krishna and Guru is eternal. Let me take shelter of THIS platform. Then I’ll never be broken down. Let me firmly chant, pray and take shelter of Krishna and Guru spiritually, realizing the changing phenomenon of the material body and material world with its changing material situations.
Krishna does not say in scriptures that a devotee’s life will be free from problems. He only assures that He will be personally present for that devotee who calls Him fervently depending on Him whole-heartedly. Arjuna himself had to encounter terrible situations in the battle. But all-through Sri Krishna was escorting him through those dangers, since Arjuna was depending on Krishna fully and Krishna is `Dinabandhu’. I’ll remember this principle and take advantage of Krishna’s shelter when calamities attack me, instead of asking Krishna to stop calamities.
So let me not shy away from whatever problems and anxieties that are due in my account or even the problems that Krishna may like to invent for purifying me to bring me closer to His lotus feet. All I would beg Him is to help me not to forget Him at that moment, but to fervently call out His holy name. Hare Krishna.
The above article is an open book essay on Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1.1-9, written by HG Radheshyam Das for the following question: Kunti maharani prays for more and more difficulties so that she can remember Krishna. Derive principles for personal application for your practice of Krishna Consciousness, from Kunti maharani’s behavior.