What is the source of anger? Or what is the source of betrayal?
Sure, material modes of passion and ignorance lead a person to behave this way or that way, but we’ve always been taught that everything we see here is possible only because the originals are in the spiritual world. We have things like love and friendship and motherly attraction, and we know about special nature of parakiya rasa in Vrindavan, or thievery and stealing. Yesterday I expressed some ignorance of some aspects of amorous relationships there but nevertheless we know they are not anything like cheating on your husband in this world, and stealing butter is even easier to explain, but what about anger and betrayal?
Off the top of my head I can’t think of any good examples, but emotions like these surely must be present in Vrindavan, too. Closer to home there’s an example of Satrugna almost killing Manthara, Kaikeyi’s maidservant who corrupted queen’s mind, or Lakshmana ready to kill almost anyone who was involved in banishment of Ram, they were both extremely angry. There is also a story about Deities’ lilas in which, without mentioning any names, one of Them jumped on a servant who committed a mistake and pounded him heavily with His fists until He was stopped by His eternal companion.
It could be (hold on, it IS) all lilas and devotees on the receiving end ultimately derive greatest blessings out of Lord’s anger but it surely is a serious test of one’s devotion. I’m sure I don’t stand a chance.
Anger is probably not so bad, it’s when it subsides and there’s only indifference left, that is an eternal doom for someone like me, for people who approach the Lord seeking their own satisfaction. Actually everyone approaches the Lord with some ulterior motives, but when you are given the chance, the shot at getting real devotion, and you blow it on personal comfort, and the Lord is indifferent – then you are really really screwed.
Ok, Krishna probably won’t keep the grudge for too long, but what if you offended His devotee? Will He ever forgive you that? That is the most certain way to shut yourself off from His mercy forever, and it doesn’t take much to show disrespect to a vaishnava, and it would count even if it was only in your mind.
I dread to think of situations where Krishna might exhibit betrayal. Technically, He is well within His rights NOT to respond to our prayers and He is well within His rights to betray our hopes, too. That’s what makes Him the Absolute, He is not obliged to do anything, and being accepted as His aspiring devotee is not like taking an insurance policy, and you definitely can’t sue Him. Maybe you can appeal to Lord Chaitanya, though. I can’t stand the thought of Lord Chaitanya failing to show mercy to anyone. Not Him, not Lord Chaitanya, and even if Lord Chaitanya might get occasionally angry, His associates will never leave any one of us without mercy.
Anyway, my point was that when we ask for devotion we must hope for the best but we should also be prepared for the worst, because for a devotee even Lord’s anger, indifference, or betrayal cannot possibly shake his faith even a little.
I’m happy for devotees who feel that the Lord genuinely reciprocates with them, but for me, all too often I must be prepared to beg for the shelter of His Holy Names against all hope and beg Him not to take away chanting away from me. I do not have strength to endure on my own for very long. Sometimes even three rounds at lunch seem like eternity…
Before I finish – despite all the doubts I expressed here one must fully believe in the words of Srila Prabhupada and the shastras. The Lord is all merciful and He will never betray our efforts and this is not something we – I – should spend time on speculating. The Lord would never betray His devotee, period.
PS from a little demoniac voice in my head: “But He can, can’t He?”