Help ourselves or Complete surrender

Hare Krishna, all glories to the Srila Prabhupada and the devotees of the Lord. 
I had a question in my mind that has been bothering me a lot so i am putting it here, please help me in finding it's answer.
So the question arised in my mind after watching two YouTube videos two months back. In the first video there was a tale that once a devotee of Lord Krishna was travelling through a forest, suddenly a ferocious wild dog attacked the devotee. At the same time Lord Krishna was dining at his palace and mata Rukmani was serving him. Lord Krishna was just about to start eating when he suddenly stood up and upon enquiry from mata Rukmani he told her that a devotee of his is in grave danger and that he had to help him. But the very next moment he sat down and continued eating again. Upon enquiry from mata Rukmani as to why has the Lord sat down again, the Lord replied that the devotee upon seeing himself in danger picked up a stone and threw it at the wild dog thus intending to hurt the dog and save himself, so that's why the Lord didn't helped him.

The second video was from the channel of our beloved and respected Amarendra Das prabhuji. He was narrating a tale of an encounter between sripad goswami tulsidas and sripad surdas ji. The tale goes like this that once Tulsidas ji and surdas ji happened to meet at vrindavana and were having a discussion talking about the glories of the lord walking on a road at Sri Govardhan. Suddenly a man came running down the way screaming that get out of the way because a mad elephant has been set lose on the way forward and is heading this way. As Surdas ji was blind so it was difficult for tulsidas ji to move him along with him. Suddenly as Tulsidas ji looked his side, he saw that Surdas ji had climbed up a nearby tree and was calling Tulsidas ji to come over and climb too. Upon seeing such a cowardly behaviour by such a renowned devotee of Lord Krishna Tulsidas ji was astonished. Tulsi das ji started chanting Rama Naam loudly and with unflinching faith in the name he stood before the hurdling elephant. The elephant stopped after reaching near Tulsi das ji and even bowed before him. All the people in the proximity began cheering Tulsidas ji and began praising his raam bhakti. Tulsidas ji called surdas ji that he must now come down as the danger is gone. When surdas ji came down , tulsidas ji enquired him that why had he climed up the tree, didn't he had faith in Lord Krishna's Name like tulsidas ji had in Ram Naam ?. To this Surdas ji humbly replied that he has all faith in Krishna's name but if he had took the name of the Lord the the Lord would have to come and help him whereas him being a servant of the lord should not bother his master and should only serve him unconditionally without even expecting timely and untimely protection.

Now the question that came in my mind upon hearing these two tales is that, as we know that this human material body is very precious and moreover it is the temple and property of the lord. Now if under some circumstance the protection of this precious body is at line and there are only two ways before a devotee-

1- Let the fate of our body in Lord's hand by completely surrendering unto him like tulsidas ji did and as krishna suggested in the first tale that the devotee should have relied upon him, that whatever the Lord thinks is right should be done to me even if it is causing a harm to this material body and that it may a reaction of my karma and Lord is neutralizing it this way.

2-Help ourselves and protect this body thinking of it as the property of the lord and our carrier on the path of Bhakti even if we have are under compulsion to undertake violent behaviour. And also in the mood of surdas prabhiji who suggested to only serve and never take service.

Now the question is that which path is the right one or better for a devotee who aims to achieve ecstatic love of Godhead?
Hare krishna.

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  • Sevak

    Hare Krsna 

    Should we depend on Krsna to protect/preserve our material asstes/life or should we endeavour to protect the material asset/life which Krsna has granted us ?

    Both possibilities can be perfect in case of pure devotees and both possibilities can be imperfect if not done with devotion. 

    Example 1 : Pure devotee completely depending on Krsna without putting personal endeavours - Prahlad Maharaj. Prahlad Maharaj was a pure devotee and whenever his life was in danger he never attempted to protect himself. This is not because he was too young. By expereince we can uderstand that even small kids try to escape if they see any danger / harm to themselves. But Prahlad Maharaj was completely dependent on Sri Krsna and hadcomplete faith in Krsna that  no harm can come to him without lord's consent.

    Example 2 : Pure devotee risking/sacrificing their life to serve Krsna - Jatayu .Jatayu very well knew that he was not match for Ravana , but he still fought valiantly and tried his best to save mother Sita. He was not successful in preventing the abduction of mother Sita, but he fought and delayed Ravana's escape from India. Other examples of this incliude - Arjuna, Hanuman,Srila Prabhupada etc

    Example 3 : Pure devotee endeavoring their best and yet depending on the lord in the end - Draupadi & Gajendra. Both Draupadi and Gajendra tried their best initially by depending onothers and their own strength to protect themselves. But when they realised that it was beyond them, they surrendered to Krsna and were saved by Krsna. 

    In all the above examples and many other examples like - Dhruva, Sudama, etc the essential ingredient is bhakti or pure devotion. If there pure devotion within the heart of devotee, Krsna will inspire from within on how to act . The pure devotee will know it and will act according to the inspiration given by Krsna. The goal of pure devotee is to serve and please Krsna. Krsna will inspire the devotee to act depending on the rasa in which the devotee is situated. Serving and pleasing Krsna can be the most hardest or most easiest depending on the purity of devotion. Krsna can be pleased with a samll tulasi leaf or he may be dispeased by surrendering of upper and lower planetary systems to Him.

    This is where the personal feature of lord Sri Krsna - The bhagavan feature stands supreme even with reference to Brahmman and Paramatma features. In bhagavan manifestation of Sri Krsna , He can be displeased or be pleased by anyone , to whatever extent and for however long. Nobody can question Him, He is supremely independent and is conquered by love only. There is no formula to please Krsna other than pure love. 

    For those who are impure, they can do nothing on the pretext of depending on Krsna and become lazy (in mode of ignorance) or they can try to do everything "for Krsna" without depending on Krsna ( in mode of passion) and yet be not pleasing Krsna. In first case they are not doing any service, and using Krsna as excuse to not do anything. In second case they are acting by and for themselves and pretend to be doing for Krsns but attached to results and think themselves as cause of results. The best advise for practicing devotees is given by Krsna in BG

    कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन ।
    मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि ॥ ४७ ॥
    karmaṇy evādhikāras te
    mā phaleṣu kadācana
    mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr
    mā te saṅgo ’stv akarmaṇi
    You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty. (BG 2.47)
    This is the best and safest reccomendation applicable to everyone. Now depending on the advancement of a devotee, the other extreme advise given by Krsna to Arjuna is as follows 
    सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।
    अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा श‍ुच: ॥ ६६ ॥
    sarva-dharmān parityajya
    mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
    ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
    mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
    Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear. ( BG 18.66) 
    The above advise was given to Arjuna by Krsna, but it cannot be followed by anyone and everyone. This requires high level of faith and surrender.
    As practicing devotees we have to begin our journey from 2.47 and reach 18.66 the point of complete surrender and further continue it. 
    Hare Krsna
    • Thank you so much prabhuji for this valuable and elaborative answer. I think i got the essence you tried to explain that pure devotion is the thing that matters and krishna himself takes charge and provides the inspiration to such a devotee as to how to act based on his mode of rasa. 

  • Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    I am glad to read this whole content whatever you have wrote. What a genuine doubt!!!

    To answer your first question-- Lord was having food and He got up and suddenly seeing that His devotee understood what to do at that predicament situation ( dangerous situation), He simply didn't budge and got back to finish His meal.  

    Try to understand this way. For every small problem Lord needn't come. Lord who is sitting right in the heart of the individual will guide you to do what is necessary. That intelligience is provided by Lord.

    "To one who constantly engages in the devotional service of the Lord with faith and love, the Lord certainly gives the intelligence to achieve Him at the ultimate end." 

    The Lord gives one the intelligence to cross over the ocean of nescience and come back home, back to Godhead. ( BG dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ tam. The Lord says, "I give him intelligence." What is that intelligence? Yena mām upayānti te. The Lord gives one the intelligence to cross over the ocean of nescience and come back home, back to Godhead).

    To emphasize this point. There is one katha.

    One time Laxmi ji felt all say My Lord is the provider and maintainer. Let me check how can He provide to this ant when I keep the ant in a box. Because she felt If  She is not the mother who is the giver of food ( money) how will even Lord provide?

    This was understood by Lord .. He smiled to Himself. and kept silent and went back into yoga nidra. Then Laxmi maiyya she took a box and put the ant in the box and closed it. Felt now let me see the Power of my Husband. Lemme see how will He provide food to this ant in the box.  Waiting expecting that the ant will die of hunger by tomorrow. Next day she opened the box to see for her amazement the ant was hale and healthy and was chomping on a grain of rice. Laxmi ji went rushing to Lord Sri Maha Vishnu and asked what is this how did this happen. I confirmed while closing the box that there was no grains in it. How can that be that the ant is still surviving. Pls. explain.

    Lord smiled and said, Oh Devi, You being mother of all beings,  how can you be so stone hearted you urself without your conscious while closing the box kept the rice grain in it? She said  No no Prabhu. I wanted to test your ability and power and I made sure nothing was available to the ant as food.  Pls. Explain how did this happen Prabhu. 

    Then Lord Sri Maha Vishnu provider and maintainer of whole Universe said.. Oh Devi, it is out of MY mercy that the akshatha ( rice grain which was on your head)  slipped into the box when you were about to close the box.  Laxmi ji realized that it was her mistake to underestimate Lord's prowess. 

    From this stroy I come to know that Nothing in this World happens without Lord's intervention. It is out of false ego people ( we) feel we are doing the act.

    The devotee picked up a stone to hit the wild animal which is also done by Lord only. Lord gave the person that intelligence to do so.

    Now coming to your second story

    In this story also. You can see two kinds of renowned devotees one who is totally dependent on Lord who has total faith ( Tulasidas ji). Another is an unconditional lover of Lord ( Surdas Ji).

    Tulasi das ji is in dasya bhava while Surdas in prema bhava.

    In dasya bhava.. the devotee is completely dependent on the master. 

    In prema Bhava the devotee feels why to trouble my Lord for small small things.  Because prema bhava or Raganuga bhakti is highest bhava and here devotees sees Lord as his own family like a lover of Lord or sometimes they consider Lord as their own child or younger brother.

    Now let me say for example -- If you have a younger brother whenever there is a trouble what would you do. You would never let the younger brother know how much pain or suffering you are going thru for getting food on his plate. You would simply show love and care isn't it?

    If a mother or father is there they never let the children know how much trouble they are undergoing everyday but keep a brave face in front of their kids saying nothing and showing just love and care.  Or do you find ur parents saying all the troubles which they are facing at work place or how tough is their life ? No, No parent will want to tell anything to their children.

    One father toiled day and night working overtime in a resturant and earning and saving money to celebrate the son's birthday and give him the gfit what the child loved to have. He wouldn't tell his child how he made saved that much money for that gift the child wished for.

    Similarly If you love someone you would undergoe any pain but you wouldn't want to complain to the lover. and HoW IS OUR Lover? He IS Superme Personality of Godhead. The one who knows you in and out.  Do you even need to tell HIM. Lord pls. take care of me? Wouldn't the Lord Himself know what to do to make your life peaceful. You are coverd from all sides by LORD.

    Lord Sri Krishna will give  the necessary intelligience to protect the devotee when the time of need comes. 

    Dasya bhakta is way different from a premi bhakt.

    Premi bhakt are superior and have a different level of understanding  when they show love to Lord.

    Hare Krishna.

    • Thank you mataji for this wonderful and elaborative explanation. It has cleared up my doubt. Thanks for giving a slice of your precious time and also i have noticed that you are always the most forward for providing answers to the devotees in the forum. Wonderful service and may lord keep giving you wisdom to clear up the minds of the devotees in the future.
      Hare Krishna. 

      • Hare Krishna,

        All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Without Srila Prabhupada's books we are nothing. All knowledge is provided by the wonderful master of masters Srila Prabhupada.

    • Hare Krishna Mataji, Thank u for this amazing Answer.. while reading I got a question, please clarify🙏

      You said - He IS Superme Personality of Godhead. The one who knows you in and out.  Do you even need to tell HIM. Lord pls. take care of me? Wouldn't the Lord Himself know what to do to make your life peaceful. You are coverd from all sides by LORD.(from last 4th para)

      So my question is then why should pray? if lord know everything in & out the he know our desire also then why to pray to him?
      What I have understand till now is to please him with our prayers. Please correct & answer

      • Hare Krishna,

        Why are you wanting to please HIm be clear in that?

        What is ur motive behind pleasing Krishna.

        See, If you please your boss at work place you may get some promotion.

        If you please you wife you may get her support.

        If you are neta ( politician) you please janta then they will vote for you.

        What is ur agenda in pleasing Lord Krishna??

        Hare Krishna.

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