(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 09 May 2014, Bhaktivedanta Manor, England, Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.23.36) One can never be complacent! One can never think, “I’m there, first initiation! Yeah. I’m there, second … more
Throughout the world in literature about religious topics, we are finding that people are being tested. Recently I was watching a movie about Islam, which was particularly a national geographic production. It showed the Hajj. The Hajj means the pilgrimage to Mecca. One of the details in Hajj is that they stay there for quite a number of days, and at one point they go into the desert and camp out there, and remember that God then ordered Abraham that he should sacrifice his son. Three times he was tested by the devil, and he had moments of doubt, and they are reliving that testing by the devil. Then Abraham threw stones at the devil, and he chased him away with the stones.
So they all go – a millions of pilgrims, – 2 millions at a time, or more and they have these stone columns and they throw stones. They really get into it, I mean they get wild in throwing – it’s quite an occasion, and these pillars are quite large and there is a large open area of ring around them to catch all the stones. I guess they keep on using the same stones. So these pillars are also quite high and there are now modern walkways on different levels – so that people can go on 3 levels all at once and throw stones, so that the crowds can really get into it by chasing away the devil 3 times.
So we also experience something like that. We have the six enemies of the mind: kāma, krodha, mada, moha, bhaya, mātsarya and – these attacks of lust, greed, anger, madness, illusion and envy – these are the six enemies which reappear again and again – and attack the mind! At a time like that, it is more difficult to experience everything as inspiring and ever fresh. When one is under attack, then one experiences a little difficulty – spiritual life at that time becomes a struggle.
So that maybe the case if one is still to some extent a conditioned soul. One cannot say a fully conditioned soul but still a little bit influenced by the material energy, and then that material energy comes in the forms of these six enemies – and that is the case. So that maybe there, but one still has a deeper philosophical level, and a devotee at least must live within the philosophy – he must firmly fix himself in that philosophical understanding, and time and time again remind oneself that:
“Actually there is no cause, no cause for lamentation, and actually everything is surcharged with the mercy of Krishna and therefore everything is full of positive meaning – everything is really part of a wonderful scheme and we are constantly seeing. We can constantly recognise how things are going on by the wonderful arrangement of Krishna!”
So it’s very important to see everything as Krishna’s arrangement, and to recognise not only philosophically but also to actually see in practical circumstances – Krishna’s hand – and that meditation is required to kind of try to see Krishna in the circumstances!
(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Radhadesh, January 2011)