Vanity thought #604. Payback time

This is in continuance of an old post where I promised to find a shastric example of a liberated person being put in the most abominable position. Usually we expect that Krishna would protect us in every way and that means He would also make our lives as comfortable as we want.

We don’t seriously expect for our egos to be dragged through the mud, not on Krishna’s watch.

Unless we achieve a hundred percent purity our appeals to Him to protect our egos are not actually about Him keeping His word, it’s about us protecting our attachments. Needless to say, as long as we cherish our false egos we’ll be born here again and again. It’s quite possible that even when offered liberation and going to Krishna we would choose our false egos that have kept us warm through millions and millions of lives. Would Krishna take us to Him against our will? Our attachments to our conditioning is ours, as long as we have it we will be stuck here.

One could say “But what about our devotion?” Well, what about it? If we have devotion we wouldn’t be having attachments. If we keep our anarthas we don’t have devotion, at least not the pure devotion that would take us to Krishna directly.

So, in Uddhava Gita Krishna tells a story of an Avanti brahmana. He was a merchant and an agriculturalist, he had a nice family but he wasn’t a nice man. He was quite wealthy but due to his stinginess all good fortune deserted him and soon the family had followed. This lead him to renunciation and eventually he realized that material attachments are the cause of distress and he decided to dedicate his life to serving Lord Hari.

His karma, however, just wouldn’t let him go. Even as a sannyasi, being in the topmost order in varnashrama system, he didn’t get any respect. While he was sitting and meditating on the Supreme Lord he was derided and abused by hooligans. They would spit on him and urinate on his food, or fart in his face.

Those who knew him from his earlier days blamed him for everything he had done before and dismissed his renunciation as a cheap trick to find food. Some would put him in chain and keep him as a slave. In short, he got the worst possible treatment as a member of the human species as possible.

Yet he didn’t bother the Lord for protection, he fully separated his devotion to the Lord from his karmic reactions. No matter how badly he was treated it didn’t affect his meditation, he didn’t try to bring his material concerns into Lord’s service and he didn’t try to make the Lord his servant, asking him to do this or that for his own comfort.

Whatever was done to him he didn’t think he deserved any better and he didn’t see his offenders as doing anything wrong, he didn’t see any injustice in his inhumane sufferings. There was nothing to be corrected or protest about.

This is what I was talking about in that old post – if we strive for perfection we should forget about our innate desire to judge and correct the world around us. We should give up all our “human rights” and we will never be able to pull rank again. No matter what happens we should see ourselves as being in the wrong and our offenders in the right.

Moreover, we should not appeal to Krishna for our personal comfort either. Let Him enjoy our service without being disturbed. The beauty of devotion is that it can’t be hindered by our karma, our own conditional existence and Lord’s service should be totally separate.

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