(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 02 October 2013, Melbourne, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.2-7)
We can’t waste time trying to take away all the problems in our life; problems are built-in. I am going to tell you a fairytale – just listen carefully. Once upon a time, a long time ago my dear children, believe it or not, there was a time when suitcases had no wheels. Really!
And in those days, believe it not, people used to carry it by handle in the hand. They would have to hold the suitcase in one hand until the fingers were bent and couldn’t straighten… and then they tried the other hand for a while. Sometimes, they would put the suitcase on the shoulder, sometimes on their back and even on the head! In so many ways, people were carrying suitcases. Those were the days.
The austerity of suffering in the material world is like that. I had some realizations. Once, I was in the city of Amsterdam. It is a city in which it rains a little more than Melbourne; there is a bit more wind than Melbourne and the winter is a bit colder than Melbourne.
So, I was walking there on the street with a red nose and the eternal drop on the nose. I walked past this shop window and there was this poster: blue sky, blue ocean and beach! And somehow, before I knew it, I had bought a ticket to Kenya.
So, Kenya, “Here I come,” and I went to the beach. I was there on the beach and there were coconuts everywhere and I was drinking coconuts and I was enjoying. There were cashews, not peanuts, that were very cheap. On the beach, it was HOT!
Hot at last but a bit too hot so I decided to go sit under the palm tree; the palm tree was there – from the poster. So, I was there, sitting under the palm tree and suddenly, “Bloph!” What was that – a scorpion!
Wow, I thought, wait until I get back home and tell them the story of how I single-handedly fought off this dangerous scorpion. This holiday is a big success and then, “Bloph!” Another scorpion, “God, you know. I’ll just go for a swim.” Then someone said, “You can’t swim now, it is high-tide!”
I said, “I’m from Holland. I can swim. No problem.”
They said, “No, you can’t because the sharks are coming over the reef in high-tide!”
Sharks! So, I couldn’t swim; I couldn’t sit under the palm trees. Finally, I was sitting on the beach with a towel over my head and realizing that the suitcase of karma had gone from one hand to the other hand. First, I was freezing and wet in the rain, and now I was roasting on the hot beach but my karma was simply still following me around.
That is the nature of the material energy, you try to fix a problem and it comes back in another way because karma is like that. Therefore, it is an illusion when we think that we are going to fix the material world.