Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Mathajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.
Few days ago, one of the mathajis in our neighbourhood was admitted in hospital as she was suffering from dengue fever. Her blood platelet counts had come down and doctors informed that she is in very critical condition. We were informed that in a normal person the count of platelets should be around 1.5 lakhs whereas for her it was just 6 thousand and she had become unconscious. Her 10 year old daughter, along with her friends were all chanting all day and praying for her speedy recovery. That night the doctors informed that the count had increased upto 80000 and everyone of us were happily thanking Lord. But the next day morning, we got the news that mathaji had left the body. Day in and day out we keep hearing that death can come any moment, to any one of us etc. But it has hardly sunk into my dull head. It was hard to believe that just a simple(?!) fever can turn our lives topsy-turvy. I was wondering how will I face the child and what could I even console her ? A mother is indeed a most special person in one's life. I was wondering if the kids will ask why Krishna didn't protect the mathaji etc ? But to my surprise, when I met the child, the first thing she asked was "Will Krishna take nice care of my mother now ?". There was no complaint or question about Krishna's decision by the children. It is in-fact our faithlessness on His supremacy that we keep wondering as why and how Krishna allowed this etc. It is we who have fruitive mentality and in the name of devotion also we keep thinking the Lord should act as per our wish. Most important point to remember is when Lord closes one door, He definitely opens another. So when some-one leaves, Lord definitely gives courage and mental-strength to the family members as well.
After a few days, when I met the children again, the Lord revealed the answer for all the doubts/questions we had in our mind through the following story.
Once Narada Muni went to Lord Krishna and asked Him - "Lord can you please tell us as to why we should chant Your Names always ?" Krishna smiled at him and said, please go to the earth and chant My Names in the ears of the worm that is present there. Narada Muni went and did the same. To his surprise the worm immediately died. Narada Muni came back and told to the Lord - "Narayana ! the worm died.". The Lord smiled and said - "No problem. Now please go and chant My Name to butterfly in that garden." Narada Muni chanted and the butterfly died. Narada Muni came running and informed Krishna about it. The Lord continued to smile - "Now go to that forest and chant My Name in the ears of the deer." But when he did that the deer died. Narada Muni became very afraid and he came back running to Lord and this time the Lord asked him to chant the names in cow's ear. When the cow also died, Narada Muni became very upset. But the Lord instructed him, "Now please go to the kingdom of Kasi - There a child is born to the king. He will be very pleased to meet you. So please go and chant My Names in the ears of the newly born child." Narada Muni replied - "People already call me as mischief-maker. Now do you want them to call me as murderer as well ? ". Lord Krishna started laughing and said "Don't worry Narada. Just do as I say."
Narada Muni entered the palace and the king cordially welcomed him and requested him to bless the new born prince. With great fear, Narada Muni went near the child and uttered the Lord's names. As soon as he uttered the child started speaking. Narada Muni was completely taken aback. Then the child replied - "O great sage, Don't you know the power of Lord's Names ? I was a worm in the beginning and when you chanted the Lord's names, I became a butterfly and then a deer and then a cow and now I have got this valuable human birth in which I can perform devotional service unto Supreme Lord and purify my existence." Hearing the child speak Narada Muni said - "Indeed the Lord's name is all powerful and all potent !"
As soon as the story was over, the children taught me the below powerful shloka
namaami narayana paada sevanam
karomi narayana pujanam sadaa
vadaami narayana naama nirmalam
smaraami narayana tattvam avyayaym
"Let us serve the Lotus feet of Lord Narayana, Let us always worship Him ; Let us always chant His auspicious Names and always remember His inconceivable nature"
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu says in Sikshashtakam - "bhava mahaadaavagni nirvaapanam". Lord's Names extinguishes the fire of conditional life of repeated birth and death. He is the Supreme controller and the most magnanimous Father for all of us.
We are completely insignificant and can never ever understand His inconceivable potencies and plans. So instead of questioning His authority, all we need to do is simply surrender unto His lotus feet and chant His Names in all circumstances. As Srila Bilvamangala Thakur says in Sri Govinda Damodara Stotram verse 56
sukhaavasaane tv idam eva saaram
duhkhaavasaane tv idam eva geyam
dehaavasaane tv idam eva jaapyam
govinda damodara madhaveti
"Indeed this is the essence found upon ceasing the affairs of mundane happiness. And this too is to be sung after the cessation of all sufferings. This alone is to be chanted at the time of death of one's material body - "Govinda Damodara Madhava".
I pray at the lotus feet of Srila Gurudev and Sri Krishna, that I give up my lethargic attitude and showy behaviour and start chanting His Names, with simple innocent faith like these children and utilise the remaining available time in this birth in Their service.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Sudarshana devi dasi.