“A person who wants to give everything in charity to Krishna but does not want anything in return is considered the real renouncer. Thus, a devotee will refuse to accept any kind of liberation, even if it is offered by the Lord. Real love of Krishna becomes manifested when Krishna becomes the recipient of charity and the devotee becomes the giver.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 46)
Wouldn’t you want to give your child everything? In the beginning the innocence and cuteness are overwhelming. In the morning time there is no need for an alarm clock. They wake you up with their crawling. You can hear the sound as they approach.
Seeing your face the reaction on the other side is always excitement, sometimes accented with dance-like movements. Your name is audible in their baby-talk. They don’t want much; just that you stay close by.
Would not any parent feel indebted through such attachment? A similar story occurred with Dhruva Maharaja. Though well beyond the stage of infancy, he was still a young child. The maturity was not yet to the point of understanding the cruel nature of life, that you don’t always get what you want. He took expert advice, from his mother and also Narada Muni, that for fulfilling desires the best person to approach is Lord Vishnu.
1. Pieces of broken glass
Dhruva wanted revenge on his step-mother. She refused to allow Dhruva to sit on the lap of his very own father, who was the king. Embarrassed, humiliated, and made to feel inferior to other members of the family, Dhruva took to renunciation in the forest. This was a legitimate desire in his eyes, and the urge for fulfillment was something like a burning sensation.
The comparison to pieces of broken glass came after the fact. This was the effect of a face-to-face meeting with Lord Vishnu. He is the personal side of God. Not an abstract figure. Not someone left to the imagination. Not a concept or a coping mechanism. Not an entity only visible in the afterlife, Vishnu arrived swiftly with His eagle-carrier, Garuda.
From a few moments of direct contact the mentality changed. What was revenge going to do in the long run? So what if the step-mother could learn a lesson? Is sitting on the king’s lap going to solve every problem going forward? Knowledge came to Dhruva, putting the initial desire into the proper perspective.
2. The most valuable jewel
Another interesting change occurred. Realizing the mistake, understanding what is truly valuable in life, the natural tendency is to simply shift the desires. Stay away from broken glass and go for gold. Aim for the top prize.
Yet Dhruva awoke to the fact that the highest achievement already belonged to him. Vishnu’s association was enough. Compared to the most valuable jewel, the now mature young boy did not want anything else. The all-compassionate father of the entire creation, Narayana, was ready to offer one of His sons anything desired. The request would not be denied.
The purification led Dhruva to not ask for anything. Simply to remember Vishnu and serve Him in the future are enough. This is an example of the Supreme Lord becoming the recipient of charity and the devotee acting as the giver. The mentality doesn’t make sense when operating on the material platform. Take from those who have and give to those who don’t.
Vishnu, who is also known as Krishna, already has everything. What could we possibly give to Him in charity? The answer to this secret lies in the devotional process itself, which is started easily through the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Like pieces of glass shattered,
Original desire no more mattered.
Since with Vishnu to meet,
Long in meditation’s seat.
As child Dhruva only small,
But receiving benediction tall.
Still not wanting anything more,
Just that in future service in store.
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