(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 29 October 2014, Vrindavan Dham, India, Srimad Bhagavatam 5.13.22)

Question: You have mentioned that logic can sometimes make us dull and this maybe is an example of how that works. In your class, I am trying to be logical and I am having a little difficulty, as what you have said seems like a circular kind of reasoning. You were saying that we are all running to apparent limitations and we have to break through these, we have to extend ourselves in order to get the mercy. But then you said that if we get the mercy then we will be able to go beyond our limitations. So it sounds like that in order to go beyond our limitations, we have to go beyond our limitations! Limitations, you have said, make us stumble, we are very much challenged by it, and because of it we cannot do it. But then, you are saying that in order to get the mercy that will enable us to do it, we have to do it – we have to put some effort. So it seems that even before getting mercy, we have to do something anyway. Could you please explain it a bit more?

Your question is refining things and that is appreciated. Yes, we have to make an initial effort to take the mercy which is so widely available. But we have to make that initial effort to take advantage of it. It is something like ‘stretching’. Stretching means we are stiff and our hands can barely get passed our knees, so we have to make that first effort. One day, as we stretch, our hands will be on the ground. So, like that, first we receive some causeless mercy, mercy we never asked for, mercy that just appeared in our life. Then it is up to us to take that mercy and take advantage of it. As we take a little advantage of some mercy, immediately we get more and that will give us more strength and enthusiasm to again take some more shelter. So, it is simultaneously going on: we make a little effort to take a step and immediately so much mercy will come our way which will give us strength for another step and for more mercy coming. In this way, we will make progress as it is a combination of both personal effort and mercy. Damodar-lila shows us those two fingers – one for the mercy and one for the personal endeavor of Mother Yasoda. Only then Yasoda was able to tie Krsna.

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