09.31 – Transcend the labor pains of devotion through loving anticipation
We normally don’t like pain. But when a to-be-mother undergoes labor pains, love shifts her thoughts from the present pain to the future child. Her loving anticipation doesn’t stop the pain, but it enables her to see beyond it, thereby tolerating even transcending it.
Love makes the pain meaningful.
Gita wisdom provides us the seminal insight that life’s sufferings become meaningful when we choose to love Krishna.
All our sufferings result from our karmic misdeeds. When we devote ourselves to Krishna, he takes charge of our life and orchestrates our past karmic reactions in such a way as to stimulate and accelerate the awakening of our love for him. The sufferings that we undergo while practicing devotional service are like the labor pains of devotion; through them all, the seed of love for Krishna is growing in our heart. And we are in safe hands; Krishna is better than the best gynecologist. In the Bhagavad-gita (09.31), Krishna assures that he will never let his devotees perish.
Just as a to-be-mother may not always understand the cause of a specific pain, we may not always understand the cause of a particular suffering. Just as the to-be-mother does whatever she can practically to minimize the pain, we should do whatever is possible to minimize life’s sufferings. And when the pain is unavoidable, like the to-be-mother, we can tolerate and transcend it by loving anticipation.
By our persistent practice of devotional service will emerge a new person: a new me; the pure effulgent soul; an attractive part of the all-attractive Lord; a person free from all the vices and blemishes that beset the present me; a me who will happily delight in eternally loving Krishna without the limitations and distractions caused by the material body and the materialistic mind.