From Grudging to Gratitude QA 2
[Retreat at Krishna Avanti School, Leicester, UK]
So, we discussed today on the theme of understanding the cause of suffering. I started by the incident of Parikshit and bull and the cow, beaten by Kali. So, when Parikshit says that, the abused and the abuser gets the same destinations, he is not talking about the literal karmic consequences. He is talking about the essential level of consciousness. If the abuser is only looking at the immediate level of reality, I am going to hurt this person, and they abused also looks at the same level of reality, Oh this person is hurting me, then nobody is seeing philosophically, nobody’s consciousness is very deep.
Isopanishad says have materialistic consciousness, whether they are relatively pious or they are relatively impious it doesn’t matter so much, all are going to be in the darkness of this material world, in the darkness of the ignorance of the material world. Similarly, here the Bhagavatam urges us to look beyond immediate causes. Now, how to deal with immediate causes, that will vary from situations to situations.
Parikshit maharaj.. Pariskar… was about to punish Kali, but when Shringi curses Parikshit at that time nobody punishes Kali. So, rather than seeing Shringi as the cause of his suffering… which was a very disproportionate punishment. If you don’t welcome someone, and there is capital punishment for you, then it is disproportionate, but Parikshit simply sees that as an opportunity to become devoted to the Lord.
So, and we also discussed about Bhisma pitama, he discussed the Pandava’s cause of suffering, he doesn’t even mention Kauravas, although it is obvious, they fought against the Kauravas, they killed the Kauravas. Again, both Bhisma and Yudhisthir are deeply philosophical people and both know the immediate cause, both are discussing beyond the immediate cause. So, wisdom means to look beyond the immediate cause.
Somebody may say discoloured pigment, a doctor with deeper medical vision can see… I just hear a car which is making noise, but the mechanic understands that the carburettor has gone wrong. So, looking beyond the immediate problems, immediate cause of the problem, that is …(inaudible 1.5.28) Now, in the Bhagavatam, Bhisma Pitama says that it is… he doesn’t focus on the fact that Krishna was the person who instigated the shooting of arrows against him. He doesn’t Krishna as the cause of his suffering, although he says that ultimately everything is by the plan of the Lord, and he focuses on how Krishna is rewarding unflinching devotion, and in that sense he sees that Krishna is the cure of his suffering to help him at the time of death, and then he says that, ‘Just see how he rewards the unflinching devotees, his point is not to brag an unflinching devotee, his point is to demonstrate how devotion that stays unflinching will be gloriously rewarded, and he is encouraging Yudhisthir to also become unflinchingly devoted.
So, in the Kurukshetra war, Yudhisthir felt responsible, ‘I was the cause of so much devastation.’, but we see that he was not at all devastated. Pandavas went out of their way… Krishna Himself went as santi duta. If the Prime Minister of India goes to seek peace, and Duryodhana arrogantly not only rejected the offer but the person. What happened was not because of the pandavas, it happened in spite of the Pandavas, and even Yudhisthir felt responsible and he felt, ..1.06.56-58, and he was telling Yuddishir that, ‘do your duty to the Lord, even when it is difficult, then you will see how gloriously the Lord will reward you, and for that he is giving his own example.
Then we discussed about… what do we understand about the cause of suffering in terms of concept. So, if I get Malaria the immediate cause is the mosquito, the intermediate cause is the karma, and the ultimate cause is Krishna. So, I discussed about how Krishna, He is like the rain. He is the cause of the growth of all the vegetations, but that doesn’t mean that the rains are responsible.
So, we could say something is a cause or a factor, but that is not what is responsible. Just like there are terms and concepts. Concepts are like the suitcase, terms are like the handles for the concept. Sometimes we start fighting over terms, but need to move beyond to the concept of suitcase. So, the concept is that whatever happens Krishna has a role in it, Krishna is not the cause of it. It’s not that Krishna who wants us to suffer, and I discussed about how a thief who has robbed, is put in jail, A is a thief, B is a police, C is the judge. So, C sentences, B executes the sentence, and A goes into jail. So, all three are causes. So, C is Krishna, B is like material nature… jiva, jagat and jagdish. So, we are the souls.
Now, the judge… Krishna is like the judge or he is like an umpire. He is disinterested, but He is not uninterested. Whatever happens in this world, it is the reaction of our karma, and Krishna allows it to happen, but Krishna is not the cause of it, and when we understand that Krishna is not the cause then we can avoid resentment, and when we understand that Krishna is the cure, we wholeheartedly take shelter of Him.
So, in our next session we will discuss how to understand that He is the cure.