(HH Kadamba Kanana Swami, Leicester, England, 4th June 2012) Lecture: SB 1.2.7
When something happens to a devotee, then is it karma? Or Krishna? Or what is it?
That is sometimes the big question:
‘That’s your karma Prabhu?’
But then the other times, you know:
‘But isn’t it Krishna who is behind this?’
Of course Srila Prabhupada has explained about how karma works for a devotee in ‘The Nectar of Devotion’ book. ‘The fan is spinning and you turn off the electricity at the time you take on devotional service.’ So we are getting diminished reactions of karma. So are we under the influence of karma? And then is it waiting until that karma is gone? Or is it directly under Krishna’s influence? The pure devotee, is he under the influence of Krishna? And is everyone else under the influence of diminished karma? One could think like that! Giriraj Maharaja had shed some light on this matter. He describes that:
‘Yes as Prabhupada said that there is that diminished reaction, but Krishna is behind it and Krishna is sort of watching that karma – that diminished karma. Sometimes He interferes, then other times He just lets it act, and He’s just watching it. Anumantā upadrasta – He just witnesses it and oversees everything. In anumantā He gives ajna diba – the permission. So in this way Krishna permits it.’
Or sometimes Krishna says:
‘No, scrape that off the bill. That’s okay, there is not need for that.’
Sometimes Krishna puts an extra test, there is no karma but He just puts an extra test – a little extra! According to our entire karma it was not suppose to happen but Krishna puts it in there! So it’s interesting how we are under the influence of simultaneously Krishna’s direction and karma as devotees. Ultimately, Krishna is the ultimate cause and therefore we are always seeing Krishna. So whenever something happens to us we are seeing that it’s Krishna ‘pūruṣa’ – He’s our maintainer, He is with us every step of the way. He’s caring for us there is no doubt! He doesn’t leave us alone. Although He puts us through things that we really don’t want to go through it, but it’s good for us. He’s prodding us, activating us like a buffalo, because after all we have become like buffalos!
In India you see the buffalos walking in the street and some Indian cars are coming from behind, ‘Honk, honk,’ as Indian cars do…but the buffalo doesn’t move an inch, and just keeps on walking. Even when a car touches the buffalo a bit (I’ve seen that happen) it doesn’t move, but with anyone else they would have moved, and a monkey would also fly off the tree and bounce off the ground but the buffalo, when the car hits it, it just keeps on walking! So we have a bit of that buffalo consciousness, by being under the influence of the 3 modes of material nature. I know we don’t usually look in the mirror and say:
But that is actually the case since we are dull, as Prabhupada has said many of times:
‘You are dull.’
So due to the influence of the 3 modes of material nature we have become dull, we have lost our sensitivity. Gradually it again awakens and we rise above. So when things are happening in our life then Krishna is prodding us. Sometimes you see a little boy or a little girl is walking next to the buffalo with a stick, and they are not shy, and ‘whack’ with a stick and that’s what gets through the buffalo. Then the buffalo thinks:
‘Oh yeah, better to go through the side.’
So sometimes Krishna also does it to us!