Any Port In A Storm

[Vasudeva crossing the Yamuna]“While Vasudeva was carrying his son Krishna in the falling rain, Lord Shesha in the shape of a serpent spread His hood over the head of Vasudeva so that he would not be hampered by the rainfall. Vasudeva came onto the bank of the Yamuna and saw that the water of the Yamuna was roaring with waves and that the whole span was full of foam. Still, in that furious feature, the river gave passage to Vasudeva to cross, just as the great Indian Ocean gave a path to Lord Rama when He was bridging over the gulf.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 3)

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These are sayings with a similar meaning. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” “Beggars can’t be choosers.” His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada would quote a Bengali proverb, “A blind uncle is better than no uncle.”

With “any port in a storm,” the idea is that when a person is in trouble, they will take any rescue avenue presented to them. There is no time to conduct an assessment on the option, to compare values, features, shortcomings, and the like.

It is a storm, after all. Find relief, first. That is the top priority. Once the storm passes, continue onward. Don’t risk further damage. Don’t put the entire operation at risk. Why needlessly place yourself in jeopardy when there is at least one way to gain relief?

[Krishna's birth]Within Krishna’s lila, there is the storm faced by the father named Vasudeva. His newborn was already talking, though only minutes old. The surprise was explained through the vision of Narayana, who is opulently adorned.

This is the vision of God the person, in His role of all-pervading maintainer. He is worshiped by those in the mode of goodness, who are knowledgeable and seeking advancement of the consciousness. Deep down everyone understands that Narayana is the source of men, that there is an Almighty responsible for the entire creation, but the acknowledgment may not be forthcoming.

King Kamsa was in the category of vehemently denying. He would not accept Vishnu’s authority. There was the warning from Narada Muni that Vishnu had killed Kamsa in a previous birth. Destiny was set to repeat, but Kamsa thought he could thwart that fateful collision of time and place.

Vasudeva and his wife Devaki found themselves caught in the middle of the struggle. They were imprisoned and forced to give up each one of their children, with Kamsa anticipating the arrival of the eighth.

When Krishna did appear, there was nothing Kamsa could do. After revealing Himself to be Narayana to His parents, Krishna asked to be transferred to the nearby town of Gokula. The mission was to be conducted in secret, so that no one would be aware.

Vasudeva managed to escape the prison in the dead of night, child in toe. He ran into an issue at the Yamuna River. Rain falling and no other option, he proceeded forward. The difference here was that Krishna is not any old port. He is neither a last resort nor an undesired consolation.

नेहाभिक्रम-नाशो ऽस्ति
प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते
स्व्-अल्पम् अप्य् अस्य धर्मस्य
त्रायते महतो भयात्

nehābhikrama-nāśo ‘sti
pratyavāyo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt

“In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.40)

[Vasudeva crossing the Yamuna]He is actually the best option for any person, under any circumstance. Whether in great distress or peaceful contentedness, His shelter is solid. It provides both relief and hope. It protects against the greatest type of fear, and in Vasudeva’s case it enabled safe passage across a sacred river.

In Closing:

To Kamsa time approaching near,
Moment of attention clear.

Yet sleeping to be found,
Along with the entire town.

Vasudeva escaping prison then,
But obstacle at Yamuna when.

His child the problem to erase,
Best port in storm’s case.

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