Hare Krishna. Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
In continuation of our discussion on the topic "Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus", we were meditating on the below qualities that we need to learn from one of the spiritual masters of avadhuta brahmana – Ocean
We had a peek into the quality of being prasanna (cheerful and pleasing) and gambhira (grave) and ananta-paraah (unlimited) in the last few mails of this series. Today we will try to delve into the next quality – akshobhyah – never disturbed. Akshobhyah – Never Disturbed. This quality of ocean is very nicely described by avadhuta brahmana in the verse 11.8.6 of Srimad Bhagavatam
"During the rainy season the swollen rivers rush into the ocean, and during the dry summer the rivers, now shallow, severely reduce their supply of water; yet the ocean does not swell up during the rainy season, nor does it dry up in the hot summer. In the same way, a saintly devotee who has accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the goal of his life sometimes will receive by providence great material opulence, and sometimes he will find himself materially destitute. However, such a devotee of the Lord does not rejoice in a flourishing condition, nor is he morose when poverty-stricken."
Krishna is the goal of our life. Until we understand, realize and accept this truth, we are bound to be disturbed. We get disturbed when
a) Others criticise/hurt us: To accept criticism is one of the most difficult thing in this world. We remember Maharaj saying that whenever others criticise we should know that there will not be smoke without fire. There will at least be a pinch of truth in every criticism. So we should try to introspect ourselves honestly and correct our mistakes. Even if some unjust incident is happening to us, we should remember that it is definitely due to our past karmic reactions, (if not of this birth, it would definitely be because of the baggages of sinful reactions of our past lives). So in such disturbing circumstances, we need to remember and practise the golden instruction of Gurudev – "No counteraction is the best counteraction". On the other hand, if we fail to understand this and keep counteracting to the offences made by others, then in that process, we keep increasing our baggages of sinful reactions. Also we should remember that not even a blade of grass can move without His will. Our Supreme Father Krishna has sanctioned this criticism to occur now, just to purify us and help us get rid of those reactions so that we don’t carry those baggages life after life. If we are able to understand this, then we will be able to experience great peace of mind. It will also help us not to hold grudge against the people who are hurting us.
b) We are not able to flourish like others: Be it family, school, work or business life has become a rat-race now. Gone are the days when people felt happy at each other’s well-being. Nowadays there is either gross or atleast subtle envy when we see others flourishing. This envy which is poisonous like cancer unnecessarily disturbs us and impacts our health more apart from hurting others. So atleast for our own well-being, we should give up this quality of envy and be satisfied with whatever Krishna has blessed us with. Couple of years ago, we went to meet Maharaj. Even before we could speak anything, Gurudev said, "Never feel short of anything in life". He said these words with so much gravity that we realized that our actual problem is most of the time, we wrongly think that we deserve more than what we are blessed now. Reality is we deserve nothing and whatever we are blessed now, is completely due to the mercy of Guru and Krishna. Guru and Krishna are our best well-wishers and based on our individual karmas, capacity and sincerity, They mercifully bless us those things which would help us to go back to Them sooner. Understanding this reality we should be satisfied and grateful to Them for whatever we are blessed. Instead if we get disturbed by our overflowing desires, then we are unnecessarily delaying the process of going back to Them. In Bhagavad Gita verse 2.70, Lord Krishna says
aapuryamaanam acala-pratishtham samudram aapah pravishanti yadvat tadvat kaamaa yam pravishanti sarve sa shaantim aapnoti na kaama-kaami
"A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires — that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still — can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires."
We get easily disturbed and distracted by the miseries of this world and waste so much of our precious time. Chanakya Pandit very nicely illustrates the value of time in his Niti shastra -"aayuhu kshana eko api na labhya svarna kotibhih" – Wasted time cannot be obtained even by giving millions of gold. On our own it is not possible for us to practise this wonderful quality of akshobhyah. So we pray at the lotus feet of our merciful spiritual master Srila Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna to bless us with strength to practise this quality of never being disturbed, so that we make the best use of remaining time.