It’s not really impossible, actually it’s the only reality for liberated souls and pure, unalloyed devotees but it’s impossible for us in our present state, without exceptions.
In every personal conflict where things do not go as we like we are always wrong and our opponents are always right. Whenever we see injustice done to ourselves it isn’t there – we have to accept whatever is forced on us no matter what.
This rule follows straight from the third Siksashtaka verse – lower than grass, more patient than a tree, always offering respect to all others.
It means that in no confrontation we are allowed to come on top, it should always be – you are right, I’m wrong, prabhu, I’m too low to even argue with you.
If we are upset at not getting something, like food, for example, then we cannot argue that it’s unfair – amanina – we should not allow false prestige dictate us that we deserve more than we get.
Another foundation for this rule is the fact that we are conditioned living entities struggling in a world controlled by the Lord through His maya potency. This plainly means that maya is always right and we are always wrong. Another way to put it is that karma is always just. Yet another way to put it is that our feeling of injustice and of being unfairly treated is also the result of our karma, we can’t increase of decrease it, we just have to accept the discomfort and carry on.
Sometimes we come in contact with devotees, and they are controlled not only by maya but also by Krishna who personally takes care of them no matter what they do. Obviously when we pop up with our selfish desires then we are wrong and Krishna is always right.
There aren’t any other actors in this world – only Krishna and His maya potency, every other living entity is just an observer.
Once we try to apply this rule in real life it quickly becomes apparent that we are nowhere near that platform, ie it’s impossible. It’s pretty hard to sustain this attitude even for a few moments, and it’s okay because that is the natural feature of illusion we are in – as soon as we identify ourselves with our bodily interests we see ourselves as superior to the world around us and we start believing in our divine right to shape it according to our desires.
Sometimes, however, we fight for our rights and we win our trophies – does it mean that the rule can be broken? No, not at all, it’s a rule for those who seek spiritual progress, it’s not the rule for those who desire to control material nature as they like. If someone wants to control the nature and obtain desired things than maya makes them work hard and eventually grants their wishes. This has been going on since time immemorial and it will continue to go on because that’s what material world is for – to grant us our illusion.
If we want to be freed from the illusion – that’s when the rule comes in with full force.
It ties up beautifully with the ability to chant the Holy Name – as long as we think we have some rights to stake in this world we can’t be Krishna’s devotees, we have to give up all and every right and aspiration. It is possible to be like little gods in Krishna’s presence and draw power from him but that is not devotion, that is not service and that is not love. It might be a perfect setup for personal gratification but it’s not what we are looking for at all.
There’s one important catch with this rule – when we represent Krishna we gain a lot of power and we can argue on His behalf with all given strength and intelligence. This is very important because if we fail to do so then we are practically refuse to carry our service. Yet at no point we should assume that these powers are our own.
The moment Krishna withdraws His endorsement we are back below the straw on the street where everybody, and I literally mean everybody, can trample upon our egos and display their superiority in all imaginable ways and we should patiently accept it, for without Krishna we are nothing.
I just remembered a shastric example to illustrate this point, hopefully will investigate it further some other day.