A short while ago I had a little car accident.
Some guy cut in front of me and, as he didn’t have enough space and wasn’t going fast enough, I chipped a little paint off his rear wing. The guy didn’t stopped and I was infuriated. I overtook him, cut him off, blocked his way but he didn’t want to stop at all, just drove around my car and went away. I got out my phone and tried to take a picture because I needed to file a police report for insurance purposes but, while I was fiddling with the pone buttons, he got out of clear view and then he shot up expressway ramp that was going in a completely different direction from me.
Adrenalin was rushing through my blood, my eyes were probably red shot with anger but I had enough presence of mind not to start a full blown pursuit and let him go. Then I started counting my chickens. Insurance would probably need me to cough up some petty cash as a “processing fee” or something because I didn’t have the guilty party to sign off the papers. The police report would have only slowed things forever and wouldn’t be worth the trouble. The real trouble was coming from my better half.
I can’t imagine facing her wrath in the evening, it doesn’t matter whether I was right or wrong, IT WAS ALL MY FAULT. After the anger there would be a lot of sulking, silent treatment, pent up emotions and reminders of MY FAULT for many years to come. I would never be able to overtake anyone with her in the car, she would always make caustic remarks about driving “too fast”.
It would be hell.
The accident happened in the morning, on the way to work. When I parked my car I looked with desolation at the large area of scraped paint, impossible to hide. With a heavy heart I went on about my duties. Whole day I was thinking about it, or trying not to think about it. At some point my mind put all the blame on Krishna – I was listening to a lecture on a CD when it happened, why didn’t He look out for me? Why do I have to suffer so much? Why doesn’t He protect His devotees? All kinds of unreasonable arguments. So silly and ungrateful that there’s no point in refuting them at all.
I got home early enough to survey the damage alone. I got some oil and alcohol and tried to clean up the mess. To my great relief most of it was the paint from the other car but I knew that somewhere underneath it there would be scars that can’t be hidden. I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and most of it was gone, then I got some special, hard rags and scrubbed some more until there was nothing left, not even a scratch. Paint on my car was completely untouched, no sign of accident left.
Now it was time to deal with Krishna. As a die-hard ingrate I took it philosophically:
Well, I didn’t really blame You, I knew it was just my mind, so I don’t feel guilty at all. Thanks for saving my behind on this occasion, knowing me it won’t be the last, we have a lot of business like this ahead of us…
Did I fully realize that Krishna IS saving devotees? Not really – He wasn’t supposed to save me here and I wasn’t supposed to appeal to Him to clear my own mess, so I should be prepared to eventually deal with these things on my own. The fact that I couldn’t avoid those thoughts dampened my spirits significantly. Instead of celebrating I was already looking forward to the next test, and I probably won’t have to wait for long.
I shouldn’t even think of “mat prana nathas tu sa eva naparah” without passing “marma hatam” without a thought of my own salvation. If I can’t live through troubles inflicted by me alone and blame the Lord, what are the chances of me living through pain inflicted by Krishna? None, zero, zilch, nada.
My realization – if you feel happy making progress and earning Krishna’s attention – keep chanting, it will go away.