Were People Like Arjuna Ever Nervous In Their Devotional Service

Krishna_Arjuna_battlefield“Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity, and leadership are the qualities of work for the kshatriyas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.43)

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शौर्यं तेजो धृतिर् दाक्ष्यं
युद्धे चाप्य् अपलायनम्
दानम् ईश्वर-भावश् च
क्षात्रं कर्म स्वभाव-जम्

śauryaṁ tejo dhṛtir dākṣyaṁ
yuddhe cāpy apalāyanam
dānam īśvara-bhāvaś ca
kṣātraṁ karma svabhāva-jam

Friend1: When I have an important task to complete, sometimes I get nervous.

Friend2: About the outcome? Concerned that you won’t be able to reach success?

Friend1: Certainly that is part of it. The other is just the knowledge of the amount of effort necessary. I guess you call the result procrastination.

Friend2: Every person suffers from that to some degree. Imagine if there were no deadlines in this world. Nothing would ever get done. The pressure related to time serves as the great impetus to actually focus and put in the effort needed.

Friend1: I know there is the classic case of the all-nighter for students. They wait until the last minute to complete a lengthy paper.

Friend2: Or maybe there is an important exam for which they cram the studying into a single stretch of time.

studying_clipartFriend1: The night before the due date. Anyway, I was considering the carryover to devotional service. Bhakti-yoga looks like fun and enjoyment on the surface.

Friend2: Chanting, dancing, feasting. Repeating the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Friend1: Hearing about the Supreme Lord. Shravanam, one of the most effective processes of devotional service. It happens to carry the least mental strain, at least in my opinion.

Friend2: Isn’t that such a wonderful promise? Shri Krishna is so merciful that He will liberate anyone who simply sacrifices to hear about Him on a regular basis. Krishna-katha alone can dispel the ignorance borne of illusion.

Friend1: For some of the other tasks, I’m wondering if devotees ever get nervous. Are they worried that an outcome won’t go there way?

Friend2: You mean in like spreading the glories, talking to other people, speaking in front of the public, and so forth?

Friend1: You don’t even have to get to the modern day. Think about people from the past. Shri Hanuman. Arjuna. In some cases they were risking life by carrying out work for the Supreme Lord. Did they ever get so scared that they couldn’t continue?

Friend2: Hanuman was always assessing progress. He was most worried about failing Shri Rama and letting down the friends from Kishkindha.

Friend1: Okay. So how does someone like that carry forward? How do you get past the nervous feeling?

Friend2: Well, with exalted devotees it is part of their makeup. They have the sannyasa spirit, even though they may not officially be part of that institution.

Friend1: The renounced order of life.

Friend2: Hanuman fights against many enemies at the same time. Arjuna is fearless in battle. He is a true kshatriya. You see that in people today. If there is an active shooter situation at a church or something, sometimes ordinary citizens grab their firearms and look to protect people.

Friend1: True heroes, in my estimation.

Friend2: Absolutely. They are not worried about getting shot. They have this fearless attitude. The more a person advances in devotional service, they acquire a similar mentality. Not that they necessarily become a kshatriya, but any worry that arises is not enough to stop them from moving forward.

Friend1: I see.

Friend2: Arjuna was so saintly in character that his primary concern was winning. He wasn’t worried about the incoming fire from the enemy. He could handle that. He was worried about what would happen to the other side, which contained many well-wishers. Arjuna at one point was trembling, unsure of what to do.

Friend1: This means that even exalted people are not entirely confident.

Krishna_Arjuna_battlefieldFriend2: If they run into issues, they know where to get help. The connection in yoga guides them along the proper direction. In Vrindavana, the elderly gopis are worried that Shri Krishna will be attacked by asuras sent by Kamsa. They see Krishna taken high into the air by Trinavarta. They see the poisonous snake Kaliya wrapping its hoods around Him. They see the hideous witch named Putana. The people get nervous, but they know towards which direction to turn.

In Closing:

Big assignment tomorrow due,

So nervous prior are you.

Since waiting to the minute last,

Now time to work super fast.

Nervous not devotees the same,

Like when Arjuna to battlefield came?

Idea that still pushing through,

Inspired by Krishna for who.

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