Monday Morning Greetings 2019 #42 – Krishna Giveth, Krishna Taketh

October 21st, 2019

I hope you don’t get bored of me sharing my writing struggles again. The writing itself is not the difficulty, in the sense that if I have an idea and begin expressing it I know that it is just a matter of time before that idea is reproduced in a written form. That has been increasingly my experience in writing Monday Morning Greetings. The greater struggle is when I don’t have something to write about. Hopefully I don’t sound too self-promoting by saying that Krishna has blessed me that week after week I am inspired with something to write about. I’m amazed how it happens. Krishna giveth!


I am writing this on Tuesday. I was just sitting here for a half-hour trying to write something. I finally just closed my computer in frustration. Although I thought I had something to say, nothing came. This week, more than any other week, that should have not been the case. I am in Govardhan with spiritually advanced devotees, chanting and hearing about Krishna all day. There has been no dearth of personal realizations. In fact, they seem palpable and thick, but for some reason they are just not translating into that impelling idea that I am bursting to share, and that will move my pen (keyboard) with enthusiasm. Krishna taketh!


It’s frustrating, but I can also see the grace of Krishna. By withdrawing His empowerment He is reinforcing the realization that I am only the desirer, not the doer, and thus the results of all my endeavors are totally dependent on Him. An impelling idea just came. Why not write about this through the story of Nārada?


Nārada was the son of a poor maidservant who didn’t even have a father. Fortunately, his mother was the maidservant at an ashram where learned and renounced devotional scholars visited for the duration of the four-month rainy season. Nārada’s natural humility and serious nature attracted their mercy. They educated and blessed him with genuine realization, although he was just five years old. Unfortunately, by the will of providence, shortly after their visit, Nārada’s mother suddenly died. Having no parents, and only armed with the mercy of those great souls, he saw no other choice but to take full shelter of Krishna. He immediately left to wander the world, deepening his dependence on God. After some time, he sat down in earnestness to meditate as he had been taught by those great souls. In that state of complete helplessness and dependence, his meditational efforts somehow attracted sākṣāddarśana, the direct audience of God. He became overwhelmed in total bliss, only to have that soon withdrawn. No matter how hard he repeatedly tried to invoke the Lord’s presence in the exact same way, it was to no avail.


“I desired to see again that transcendental form of the Lord, but despite my attempts to concentrate upon the heart with eagerness to view the form again, I could not see Him anymore, and thus dissatisfied, I was very much aggrieved.” (Bhāg. 1.6.19)


In his commentary to this verse Śrīla Prabhupāda explains why:


“When He pleases, being satisfied with the sincere attempt of devotional service depending completely on the mercy of the Lord, then He may be seen out of His own accord.”


I was reminded of something important today, reaffirmed here by Śrīla Prabhupāda, something that is at the core of the practice of bhakti. The result of all devotional endeavors is totally dependent on the mercy of Krishna, but if there is any hope of pleasing Krishna and attracting His mercy, our efforts must also be imbued with humility and dependence. Without that understanding and mood, His mercy can be withdrawn no matter how expert we are. And even if our efforts come to fruition, without imbuing our endeavor with such humility the result will lack the substance to change either our heart or the hearts of others.


I sat down today to share something. Nothing came. Krishna taketh.


I begged for mercy. Then something came. Krishna giveth.


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