(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 2 January 2023, Vrndavana, India, Balarama Hall Q&A Program)

A lot of time in our movement is spent with struggles and discussing struggles – struggles with chanting, struggles with following the regulative principles, struggles with living with devotees, struggles with the institution, struggles with accepting every aspect of the philosophy, struggles with our anarthas, struggles with old habits – so there is so much struggle. There are groups of devotees who are meeting because they have a problem with the internet – they go to the wrong websites and then they try to meet and overcome such struggles together – this is widespread. So, we are all struggling. And with these struggles, sometimes people also become hopeless. One person was expressing to me in a message how they are struggling, and they do not want to live anymore, and this is not an isolated incident where people feel like they can no longer cope. So, we have on one side the element of struggle and on the other hand we have the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Now this mercy is not something abstract that we are reading about, and we are saying how amazing it is, but it is something that is very tangible that we need in order to make everything worthwhile. This mercy is not a luxury, but it is essential to all that we do.

On this topic, I am thinking of some verses where Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami is saying, “I am more fallen than a worm in stool. I am so fallen that anyone who comes in contact with me loses all his pious credit.” So, hearing this, one might think how this is a serious case of low self-esteem and how this will not have a happy end. But then he says, “Despite all this, how amazing is it that someone as fallen as I am, has received the mercy of Lord Nityananda.” So, this is the case. With all of our weaknesses and with all of our shortcomings, there is that unique mercy of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, and it is that mercy and the mercy of their representatives like Srila Prabhupada, who then add their own bit of mercy, that this movement is growing and carrying on. And in this way, we are sustained in spiritual life.

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