“Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krishna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.7)
तस्मात् सर्वेषु कालेषु
माम् अनुस्मर युध्य च
माम् एवैष्यस्य् असंशयः
tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu
mām anusmara yudhya ca
mām evaiṣyasy asaṁśayaḥ
After all, He is the greatest. No one is superior to Him. Travel the three worlds and the ten directions. Try outer space and deep inside of the earth. From the tiniest living being up to the creator himself, Lord Brahma. Everywhere features beginning, middle and end. Every living being has the limited range of manifestation, i.e. birth and death.
पुनर् आवर्तिनो ऽर्जुन
माम् उपेत्य तु कौन्तेय
पुनर् जन्म न विद्यते
punar āvartino ‘rjuna
mām upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate
“From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.16)
The Supreme Lord, Bhagavan, is different. He cannot be compared to any person, place or thing. He is beyond the range of sense perception. He has the most power. Therefore, if we are in trouble, why not petition Him directly? Have Him take care of everything. There are instances in recorded history where Bhagavan has done just that.
1. Protecting Dandaka-aranya
The saintly people residing in the tapo-vanas [forests conducive for austerity and meditation] appeared to be helpless against attacking night-rangers. On one side you have skinny brahmanas known for their peaceful nature. On the other you have ogres who can change their shapes at will. Also, they like to eat human flesh.
The brahmanas were getting attacked, but they were not completely defenseless. They had the ability to declare curses on the intruders. The problem is that for every curse applied, the source would lose some of their difficult to acquire spiritual merits.
They asked Shri Rama to help. This is the Supreme Lord Himself in the avatara of a kshatriya warrior. The greatest wielder of the bow, in fact, as He had shown in the contest in Janakpur to win the hand of Sita Devi in marriage.
Rama’s wife was even concerned that carrying so many weapons in a forest area would invite violence. The Supreme Lord kindly explained that after being asked for protection by His devotees, He was not going to sit idly by and allow them to be injured.
2. Helping Sugriva
Later on in Rama-lila, there is the alliance with Sugriva. He is the ostracized former leader of the Vanara kingdom in Kishkindha. Sugriva wants to help Rama find Sita, who has gone missing. Rama offers assistance first. Sugriva’s rival is his brother Vali.
Rama helps by shooting Vali in the back. What Sugriva could not accomplish the Supreme Lord takes care of rather quickly. The act went against the standard code of conduct, the dharma-rules established for the kshatriya order. For His friends, Bhagavan is willing to do anything. Since He is above right and wrong, piety and sin, there are no harmful side effects.
3. Entering Talavana
This case wasn’t as serious, in an objective analysis. Cowherd boys in Vrindavana wanted to taste the fruits from a nearby forest called Talavana. The problem was that the asura named Dhenuka was terrorizing the area.
The boys did what was familiar to them: ask Krishna for help. Though displaying the visual of a young child, Krishna was Bhagavan Himself. In any size or shape He retains full potency. To meet the desires of His friends, Krishna entered Talavana and dealt with the problem.
There must be sufficient justification to simply sit back and allow Krishna to do everything, but a higher standard of devotion is to act with good faith on His behalf. The outcome is always in Krishna’s hands regardless. Better to put the effort in, because then the reward will taste sweeter. There will be victory of some kind for sure, and it will be tied to the all-attractive one.
This was the route Arjuna chose on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. He fought with a devotional spirit. Hanuman showed the same courage in travelling to Lanka and searching for Sita. He did not ask from God; rather he is always willing to give. That selfless attitude is most appreciated on the other side.
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