Are our mistakes Krishna’s mercy?
Transcribed by: Geetanjali Nath
Question: Are our mistakes Krishna’s mercy?
Answer: The term “Krishna’s mercy” can mean two possible things: (i) an external situation orchestrated by Krishna coming to our life (ii) a frame of mind by which we can turn towards Krishna.
Krishna’s mercy can be multifaceted. The word “mercy” has a connotation of Krishna personally doing something. However, when we have made a mistake and landed ourselves in a mess then we cannot say that Krishna has done it. Devotees see such a situation that Krishna is such an expert that he can even incorporate our mistakes also into his plan. We may have landed into a terrible situation because of our own folly but through that situation Krishna can bring something good out of it. For example, when Chitraketu, a great devotee, laughed at Lord Shiva he was cursed. Consequently, he became a demon. However, in a demoniac body also he demonstrated great devotion and thus he demonstrated the principle of universality of bhakti.
Rather than analysing too much – is it my mistake or is it Krishna’s plan – we should focus on the attitude that will best help us to move forward. There is one very intriguing past time in Mahabharata that highlights on two contrasting attitudes. Before the war occurs, Vidura strongly castigates Dhritarashtra to stop the war. Dhritarashtra responds that if the war is destined what can he do. He expresses his helplessness saying that he is only a tiny mortal and cannot stop the war. Vidura says the destiny determines neither the consequence of our actions nor our actions themselves. Vidura strongly holds Dhritarashtra responsible for his and Duryodhana’s actions. However, after the war when Dhritarashtra is morose after losing all his sons, Srila Vyasadeva comes. Seeing Dhritarashtra’s moroseness, Vyasadeva consoles him. He tells him to not be morose. The war was destined. Now he should focus on spiritual growth and act according to dharma.
Here, both Vidura and Vyasadeva seemingly advising opposite to one another. Was the war destined or not destined? Actually, the question is not so relevant. Initially, when Dhritarashtra was abandoning his responsibilities using “destiny” as an excuse, Vidura reminded him of his responsibilities and asked him to take action. However, later when the war is over and nothing can be done about it, Srila Vyadadeva advised Dhritarashtra to see it as “destiny” and act in the best possible way in those circumstances.
Philosophy is not in the category of just right and wrong. It is a source of knowledge that is meant to guide us to right and wrong action in a situation. Depending on our situation, the right action would be different at different times. Rather than thinking, is this Krishna’s plan or not, we should start serving Krishna and have faith that Krishna will act in a beneficial way for us even through our present situation.