by Gauranga Darshan Das

It is bhakti that bestows one the maturity to withstand the reversals in this world, and maintain composure and hope in the most hopeless situation. “

King Citraketu had one crore wives and only the eldest of them, Krtadyuti, gave birth to a child, due to the power of a sacrifice. Citraketu began giving more attention to Krtadyuti and the child. His remaining wives felt neglected and considered the child to be the cause of it. Overwhelmed with envy, they all conspired and poisoned the child and killed him. Due
to their envy they lost their intelligence, commonsense and developed such destructive tendencies.

King Uttanapada had two wives – Suniti and Suruci. He loved Suruci, but neglected Suniti and didn’t even welcome Suniti’s son Dhruva, who once eagerly came to sit on his lap. Even when Suruci outrageously insulted Dhruva, Uttanapada didn’t stop her. Although Suniti was neglected by her husband and her son was insulted by her co-wife, she didn’t become envious. Suniti advised Dhruva not to desire harm for anyone (even if they cause him pain), but take shelter of the Supreme Lord Krsna. Because Suniti herself was a great devotee, she could inspire Dhruva to take to devotional service.

Both Citraketu’s wives and Uttanapada’s wife Suniti were neglected by their husbands. But they responded in different ways, due to the difference in their maturity levels and their dependence on God. Citraketu’s wives who poisoned the child lost their luster and ultimately felt guilty for their heniuous act. Because of Suniti’s tolerance and devotion, Dhruva became a great devotee and Uttanapada also became transformed.

Miseries are natural in this world. The nature of misery may vary but no one can escape misery. Situations are not within our control, but our response is. We need to try our best to address a situation, but it may not be possible every time by every person.

When situations are beyond our control, if we train our consciousness to take shelter of Krsna, the miseries cannot overwhelm us. It is bhakti that bestows one the maturity to withstand the reversals in this world, and maintain composure and hope in the most hopeless situation.

Gauranga Darshan Das, a disciple of His Holiness Radhanath Swami, is dean of the Bhaktivedanta Vidyapitha (www.vidyapitha.in) at ISKCON Govardhan Eco Village (GEV), outside Mumbai. He has written study guides, including Bhagavata Subodhini, Caitanya Subodhini and Gita Subodhini, and teaches scriptural courses at several places in India. He also oversees the deity worship at GEV.

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