“Since it was almost night, and all the inhabitants of Vrindavana, including the cows and calves, were very tired, they decided to take their rest on the river bank. In the middle of the night, while they were taking rest, there was suddenly a great forest fire, and it quickly appeared that the fire would soon devour all the inhabitants of Vrindavana. As soon as they felt the warmth of the fire, they immediately took shelter of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although He was playing just like their child.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 17)
1. Baby won’t go to sleep
“We are at our wit’s end. We have seriously tried everything. The trusted option is rocking the baby to sleep. That didn’t work. Every time it looked like we had succeeded, as soon as we put her down she started crying again.
“The next option is the car. That never fails. The only variance is in how long of a trip is necessary. This one took longer than usual, but she did fall asleep. Of course, the same problem upon returning home. As soon as we took her out of the car seat, she woke up again.
“We are getting desperate. I did not eat well today, and so I don’t have sufficient energy to keep moving about. I need to sleep, since tomorrow is a big day at work. At this point, we might require Divine intervention. If the man upstairs is listening, please help us.”
2. The server went down
“I logged into my work computer this morning, preparing for a typical day. I had a few things I was in the middle of completing, but I always check email prior to getting started. You never know what might come up or what someone will ask for.
“It was a good thing I checked the email first today. Major problem with one of our applications. It was down entirely. Not working; nobody could log in. Investigating further, we found out that the database server was down.
“We have backups and failover resources, but something was messed up in the network configuration. The standby server was not being recognized. I cannot tell you how stressful this was. We were doing everything right. No one had come upon this issue previously.
“The business people were waiting, impatiently. Every minute we were down was revenue lost to the company. I will admit, I said a prayer or two. What else could we do? Thankfully, after a few hours we found a resolution.”
3. Car breaks down
“At the worst possible time, in the worst possible area, during the coldest month of the year. The car just had to break down today, didn’t it. Before you criticize, I am not one of those people who is careless when it comes to automobile maintenance. I follow the recommended schedules, even if they go a little overboard. I spend the money on the front-end so I can avoid problems on the back-end.
“Well, a lot of good that did me. The car just won’t start. It literally shut down in the middle of driving. I am lucky to have maneuvered the vehicle to the side of the road, using whatever momentum was left from travelling at a high speed at the time of failure.
“The cell coverage was terrible, and so I could not get in touch with an emergency repair service. I cannot believe how stressful the situation was. Fortunately, we were saved by a good citizen, someone who saw our predicament and pulled over to help us. Thank God for such people.”
4. Surgery for a loved one
“I am not a medical professional. I don’t play one on television, either. I read books here and there about maintaining health through proper diet and nutrition, but no way I could perform surgery or anything.
“This major surgery for a close relative was agonizing. All I could do was pray. I know that there was human effort involved, that skill and intelligence were determining factors to the outcome, but you just never know how a patient is going to react to a particular treatment.
“Everything worked out, but I will never forget the desperation. I have to believe that a higher power was at play, that they did not want this person to leave the world, just yet. Everyone is headed for the same destination, but thankfully this family member is still with us, for the time being.”
5. A raging fire nearby
This was the situation residents of Vrindavana faced. As described in Bhagavata Purana, they were suddenly surrounded by a raging fire. There was no option to simply run through it. The people could not leap high into the air and find an area of safety.
There was no fire department to call, but fortunately Shri Krishna was nearby. He simply devoured the fire. The flames went into His mouth and the emergency was over. Extinguished by magic? A clever display of mystic potency?
Since He is the source of the material and spiritual worlds, such work is literally child’s play for Nanda and Yashoda’s son. He accomplishes the most difficult feats without tiring. His material nature carries strict rules and inflicts punishment primarily in three ways.
In this case the element of fire was set to cause misery, so the calamity could fall into the category of heavenly intervention. Problems like these were a regular occurrence in Vrindavana, it seemed. Ever since Krishna arrived, it was like someone was out to get Him.
The people were caught in the crossfire, but Krishna saved them time after time. Any approach to Him is worthwhile; prayer never goes to waste. The outcome may not be as magnificent as a doused forest fire, but the connection to the Almighty is everlasting. The more a person inches closer to Him, the more they advance on the path of liberation, which is the highest achievement in a material existence.
Despite both of us trying,
Our baby still crying.
Exhausted now and tired,
Men not for such care wired.
Only hope now to pray,
Promise to Divine to say.
That good from now on I’ll be,
And affixed to dharma you’ll see.
Categories: the five