(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 1 October 2006, Cape Town, South Africa, Initiation lecture)
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said that in Krsna consciousness, one must be prepared to change his life and not just a little, not just partial but rather that this Krsna consciousness is a total revolution. So, it means that we have to be prepared to change completely and there is nothing in us that cannot be changed. We cannot say, “This is the way I am.” No, that argument doesn’t stand because this is simply the way that we are now conditioned. Because we don’t know the way we are as we are covered by the material energy. Now we are of a particular mentality because of many lifetimes in the material world and therefore we have come to this conditioned state.
The total revolution does not have to be made in just one day but ideally speaking, it must be made in one lifetime – that is our aim! That is what we are embarking on. Initiation means that we are ready to become pure devotees and whatever sacrifices that will come our way, we will take it. Like today, we are having this yajna, this fire-sacrifice, where we are taking vows and there will be more yajnas later… more fire-sacrifices but also many other sacrifices in life where we have to face many difficulties, just because we have chosen to be devotees. Those difficulties are to be taken as the mercy of Krsna.
In my life, when I went through some intense difficult periods then I got some solace in Srimad Bhagavatam when I read about the bull, Dharma who was beaten by kali and all his legs were broken except for one. Just then, Maharaja Parikshit arrived and he saw how kali was still standing there with the stick in his hand. Before taking action against kali, he inquired from Dharma who the culprit really was – just to be sure that as a king, he would not punish an innocent person. He asked Dharma, “What is the cause of your condition?” In other words, who did this?
Dharma replied by saying that the cause is difficult to ascertain, “It could be my karma, it could be the will of providence, it could be the will of the Supreme Lord.” In this way, Dharma did not immediately look at kali, that he did it! Dharma looked at the deeper cause. So, this is truly how a devotee must learn to see in whatever transpires that there is an immediate cause and an ultimate cause. And the ultimate cause is always Krsna. In this way, the devotee is always seeking out: What is the will of Krsna… What is Krsna desiring from me? In this way, we are always looking at how Krsna is always acting in our life. If we can do that then basically, we can tolerate anything. We can because Krsna has sent this to us. He has purpose with this and it is all part of a plan.
If difficulties arise, then we know that now he wants to make us stronger. When it all comes too easy – we got everything worked out, we got a nice home and the perfect everything and it is all Krsna conscious and wonderful – Krsna gives us that gift but we must use it to be Krsna conscious. So, good and bad things will come but we must remain fixed, remember Krsna and offer our chanting to him.