Sunday, February 10, 2013
Verse 2.10: O descendant of Bharata, at that time Kṛṣṇa, smiling, in the midst of both the armies, spoke the following words to the grief-stricken Arjuna.
On the surface, this verse seems pretty astonishing. Krsna is smiling at Arjuna's grief? What kind of God is this? Someone who takes pleasure in others' suffering?
Firstly, let's clear one thing up. Krsna is not smiling at Arjuna's grief. Krsna is smiling because his dear friend has now taken shelter of him. He is smiling because Arjuna wants to let go of the material suffering he is experiencing, as a result of identifying with his body, and instead wants to understand what reality is all about. Now that puts things in a whole different perspective, doesn't it? Just like a parent who may smile with compassion and understanding when their child comes to them in a heartbroken state and asks for help, Krsna too is smiling because this dear soul is now turning to him.
Arjuna is putting all his faith and trust in Krsna, a lesson we can all take inspiration from. Oftentimes, when things don't go the way we want, when we lose loved ones and when we see someone else getting something we think we "deserve", we blame God. C'mon, if you are in any way religious, spiritual or just believe in a higher force or entity, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.
Our problem is that we have been burned by the material energy so often. Not just in this lifetime but in previous lifetimes. Although we may not remember those previous lifetimes, what we carry with us are the impressions from those lifetimes. Having been hurt, disappointed, misled, and betrayed, it is no wonder that we have such a hard time trusting one another, what to speak of God.
God doesn't work by "our rules", which by the way are often different for every single living entity. He gives us what we need. And what is that need? Normally it's not the red Porsche, million dollar book deal or perfect relationship. No, often those things will just drive us away from him since we will feel we don't need anything but material temporary pleasures. What we do need is a reminder that our trust and faith should be put in that person who will never let us down - God.
But we forget this and keep questioning "Why? What did I ever do to deserve this?" Thing is, we cannot remember everything we've done to deserve what we're receiving now, but Krsna does. The law of karma states that for every action, there is an equal reaction. Because we tend to live our lives thinking that nothing comes before or after this lifetime, this truth doesn't often bring solace to the heart. But, if we were to actually remember this, things won't affect us as strongly as they do.
Krsna only wants us to come back to him. So everything that happens to us, whether good or bad, is actually an opportunity to remember that. Anyone who is aspiring to reconnect with God will go through this. "But why?" we may ask and the answer is actually quite simple. To make us stronger. To deepen our faith.
Growth only occurs when there is some pressure. Whether it be a weight-lifter, academic or aspiring bhakti yogi, we grow the most in difficult conditions. Not conditions that will break us, but those that will stretch us. God loves us more than we can even fathom, so the next time you pose the question "Why?" remember that. The answer is because we need to grow and he's giving us the opportunity to come closer to him.