Vanity thought #308. Bhava maha davagni nirvapanam

Not directly related to yesterday’s attempt to re-examine the first Siksashtaka verse but still a fresh look at the old problem.

I’ve always assumed that Lord Chaitanya would take care of His devotees, and this is, of course, correct, but I think I’ve got the mechanics of this “take care” a little bit wrong.

It all starts with chanting Hare Krishna mantra as yuga dharma, meaning it can fulfill all our desires. On the other hand we know that though it definitely can fulfill each and every our desire we also know that Krishna is kind enough not to grant us wishes that will harm us in the long run.

Still, even in the early days of this blog I wrote that whatever it is that we want we should ask Lord Chaitanya and the Holy Name, there’s no benefit in asking anybody else. From then on it’s just negotiating between what we want, what we deserve and what the Lord is prepared to grant.

Basically, if we want to feel the power of a sports car and the exhilaration of gunning it down the highway we should pray to the Lord for a Ferrari. Or we could desire an agreeable wife, or the latest iPad, or a pay raise or a million other things we find ourselves craving in this world. Whatever we want – pray to Krishna, Lord Chaitanya, and chant a lot of Holy Names and all will be “taken care” of.

For that we can appeal to bhava maha davagni nirvapanam promise – if our senses feel depraved of something to the point where their urges interfere with our service we should feed them something in order to keep them under control. Our path is not that of renunciation anyway, we better engage our senses in the service to the Lord and that means, incidentally, that they can get all satisfaction they want, too.

This is where I think I got “extinguishing the blazing fire of material existence” wrong. It doesn’t mean that our desires will be fulfilled, it’s not the only way to put down the fire, perhaps it’s even the wrong way to go about it and I think what the Lord does is not fulfilling our desires but reducing them.

He simply makes us want less.

So, next time I turn to the Lord with prayers for Samsung Galaxy S3, I should ask not for the phone itself but for removing the interest in this and other phones altogether.

A similar solution should apply when we consider the axiom that having firm faith in devotional service means, among other things, belief that surrendering to the Lord will satisfy each and every our desire so we don’t go astray trying to pray elsewhere. The Lord won’t satisfy each and every our desire, he will make sure we ourselves are satisfied regardless of what our senses are getting.

It means that if I wanted to feel the speed of a Ferrari I will end up not with driving one but with sitting in a front seat of a friend’s Honda and watching him trying to get us killed due to his reckless driving. Much much cheaper solution but the end result will be the same.

Conclusion – before praying to get something we should try praying not to want that thing first. That would be the real nirvapanam.

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