THE PRABHUPADA CONNECTION
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A Devotee Accepts Suffering as a Blessing
"In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 8, it is said, 'My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim.'

This statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam should be the guide of all devotees. A devotee should not expect immediate relief from the reactions of his past misdeeds. No conditioned soul is free from such reactionary experiences, because material existence means continued suffering or enjoying of past activities. If one has finished his material activities then there is no more birth. This is possible only when one begins Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, because such activities do not produce reaction. Therefore, as soon as one becomes perfect in Kṛṣṇa conscious activities, he is not going to take birth again in this material world. A devotee who is not perfectly freed from the resultant actions should therefore continue to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness seriously, even though there may be so many impediments. When such impediments arise he should simply think of Kṛṣṇa and expect His mercy. That is the only solace. If the devotee passes his days in that spirit, it is certain that he is going to be promoted to the abode of the Lord. By such activities, he earns his claim to enter into the kingdom of God. The exact word used in this verse is dāya-bhāk. Dāya-bhāk refers to a son's becoming the lawful inheritor of the property of the father. In a similar way, a pure devotee who is prepared to undergo all kinds of tribulations in executing Kṛṣṇa conscious duties becomes lawfully qualified to enter into the transcendental abode."

(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 10)

"In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 10.14.8) it is stated: tat te 'nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam. Whenever a devotee is in distress or has fallen into difficulty, he thinks that it is the Lord's mercy upon him. He thinks, 'Thanks to my past misdeeds I should suffer far, far greater than I am suffering now. So it is by the mercy of the Supreme Lord that I am not getting all the punishment I am due. I am just getting a little, by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.' Therefore he is always calm, quiet and patient, despite many distressful conditions."

(Bhagavad-gīta As It Is 12.13-14, Purport)

"An exalted devotee of the Lord never thinks that he is a paramahaṁsa or a liberated person. He always remains a humble servant of the Lord. In all reverse conditions, he agrees to suffer the results of his past life. He never accuses the Lord of putting him into a distressed condition. These are the signs of an exalted devotee. Tat te 'nukampāṁ susamīkṣyamāṇaḥ. When suffering reversed conditions, the devotee always considers that the reverse conditions are the Lord's concessions. He is never angry with his master; he is always satisfied with the position his master offers. In any case, he continues performing his duty in devotional service. Such a person is guaranteed promotion back home, back to Godhead."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.10.14, Purport)

"A devotee is naturally so humble and meek that he accepts any condition of life as a blessing from the Lord. Tat te 'nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ (SB 10.14.8). A devotee always accepts punishment from anyone as the mercy of the Lord. If one lives in this conception of life, he sees whatever reverses occur to be due to his past misdeeds, and therefore he never accuses anyone. On the contrary, he becomes increasingly attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of his being purified by his suffering. Suffering, therefore, is also a process of purification."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.17.17, Purport)

"When a devotee is in great danger, he sees that danger to be the great mercy of the Lord because it is an opportunity to think of the Lord very sincerely and with undiverted attention. Tat te 'nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇo bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam (SB 10.14.8). He does not accuse the Supreme Personality of Godhead for having let His devotee fall into such a dangerous condition. Rather, he considers that dangerous condition to be due to his past misdeeds and takes it as an opportunity to pray to the Lord and offer thanks for having been given such an opportunity. When a devotee lives in this way, his salvation—his going back home, back to Godhead—is guaranteed."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 8.3.32, Purport)

"Tat te 'nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ (SB 10.14.8). This is a practical example of how a devotee thinks. He regards any reverses in life as blessings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, instead of being agitated by such reverses, he continues his activities of devotional service, and Kṛṣṇa takes care of him and enables him to be promoted to the spiritual world, back to Godhead. If a devotee has to suffer the reactions of his past misdeeds, the Supreme Lord arranges for him to be given only a token of these reactions, and very soon he is freed from all the reactions of material contamination. One should therefore adhere to devotional service, and the Lord Himself will very soon see to one's promotion to the spiritual world. A devotee should not be disturbed by unfortunate circumstances, but must continue his regular program, depending on the Lord for everything. The word upadhārayan, 'considering,' is very significant in this verse. This word indicates that a devotee knows what is what; he understands what is happening in material, conditional life."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 8.4.11-12, Purport)

"Whatever Kṛṣṇa gives, we should be satisfied. We should never be dissatisfied, 'Oh, Kṛṣṇa today is giving only śuka chana.' No, whatever Kṛṣṇa gives. That is devotee. Yadṛcchā-lābha-santuṣṭaḥ. Dvandvātītaḥ, no enviousness. Why I shall be envious? If somebody is eating very nicely and I am not eating nicely, why I shall be envious? We should be satisfied. Kṛṣṇa has given him. Just like in the hospital, one patient is eating very nutritious food and another patient, the physician has ordered, 'He should not take anything.' So why he should be envious? He should know that 'Physician has prescribed like this, that I shall not take anything, and he has prescribed to the other patient, next bed, nutritious food. So it is the physician's desire for treatment.'

Similarly, we should not be disturbed by all these things, that 'He is eating more, he is enjoying more.' Nobody is enjoying more. Whatever Kṛṣṇa has given, he is enjoying. That is called yadṛcchā-lābha-santuṣṭo dvandvātītaḥ. Dvandvātītaḥ and vimatsaraḥ. He is not envious. Why he should be envious? Just like at the present moment, politically, a poor man is envious of a rich man, because there is no Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And a so-called rich man, he is eating himself sumptuously, but he does not take care of the poor man. This is envious, 'Let him die.' No. The rich man should distribute prasādam through Kṛṣṇa consciousness to the poor man, and the poor man should not be envious of the rich man. Then there will be happiness, prosperity. Not that to form the political party and to become envious. Vimatsaraḥ. Samaḥ siddhāv asiddhau ca. If you are working for Kṛṣṇa, this is Kṛṣṇa's desire if you be successful or not successful. Here it is, the word is used, asiddhau. That means don't think that because you are Kṛṣṇa conscious, you will be always successful. No. It doesn't matter. Even if you are unsuccessful, you must know it firmly that without Kṛṣṇa's desire, nothing can happen. If you are unsuccessful, then you should... That is Kṛṣṇa conscious. You should know also that 'It is Kṛṣṇa's desire.' It is Kṛṣṇa's desire. So there is no question of being depressed because you are unsuccessful. A devotee is never depressed in the horrible condition of life. Tat te 'nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo bhuñjāna... (SB 10.14.8).

Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja, he was always being put into trouble by his father, but he was never envious of his father. When he was requested by Nṛsiṁha-deva to take benediction, he refused anything for himself, but he begged to the Lord for his father: 'My dear Lord, my father has become envious to You; so I request You to excuse him.' Just see. This is vimatsaraḥ. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām (BG 5.29). He was not against his father. Similarly, a Vaiṣṇava, a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, he is nirmatsara, and this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is paramo nirmatsarāṇām (SB 1.1.2). It is meant for the paramo nirmatsaraḥ, paramahaṁsa, those who are not envious. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām. They are friend of everyone—not this particular class, but everyone. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām. Samaḥ siddhāv asiddhau ca kṛtvāpi na nibadhyate. Because the law of karma is so accurate that every action is being recorded."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, April 11, 1974)

"Kṛṣṇa has made me, say, a śūdra, not a brāhmaṇa. A śūdra also has got work to do. Paricaryātmakaṁ kāryaṁ śūdra-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). So if we simply remember that 'Kṛṣṇa has put me in this condition of life, I am a śūdra,' that is very nice. Tat te 'nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam (SB 10.14.8). A devotee is satisfied always. He does not grudge that 'I am put into this condition. Why I'm not put into the condition of a king or a learned brāhmaṇa?' No. 'Whatever condition Kṛṣṇa has given me, that is all right.' Tat te anukampām: 'It is His grace. By His grace I have got this position.'

Because my only business is to remember Kṛṣṇa. That we can do any stage of life. It does not require that you have to become a brāhmaṇa, an Indian, and so on, so on, great learned scholar in Vedic scripture. No. You may be in the far-away country, in Europe, America, or you may not be in brāhmaṇa family. It doesn't matter. But you can remember Kṛṣṇa. We are teaching this art through Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that you may remain in whichever position Kṛṣṇa has put you—it doesn't matter—but try to understand Kṛṣṇa."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Vrindavan, August 17, 1974)

"I am glad to note that from your recent letter under reply you are feeling better than you previously expressed. So when you may feel morose, chant Hare Krsna Mantra loudly and hear it. That will reestablish you on the platform of transcendental bliss. Sometimes it appears that the devotee is put into some difficulty unreasonably, but the devotee does not take even this adverse circumstance as other that a manifestation of the Lord's Supreme Mercy. Anyway, such feelings come and go like seasonal changes and we should not deviate for that reason from our prescribed duty."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 8, 1971)

"When a devotee is put into hellish conditions, he accepts them as Kṛṣṇa's mercy: tat te 'nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇaḥ (SB 10.14.8). He does not protest, 'Oh, I am such a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Why have I been put into this misery?' Instead he thinks, 'This is Kṛṣṇa's mercy.' Such an attitude is possible for a devotee who engages in the service of Kṛṣṇa's representative. This is the secret of success."

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.1.16, Purport)

Prabhupada: Devotee, real devotee, he does not take anything as distress. He takes everything as Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Tat te 'nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo (SB 10.14.8). Otherwise, that is not pure devotion.

Actually devotee's never in distress. People may see that he is in distress. Just like there is a very good example—you are going to Māyāpur, you'll find—his name was Śrīdhara, Kolaveca Śrīdhara. His income was very poor. At night he would chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra very loudly: "Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa..." His neighboring friends would say, "This man has no income, and because he is hungry now he is chanting 'Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa.' He's hungry." So one day Caitanya Mahāprabhu... Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to take away his possession, flowers. He was selling, making business, making some donā, donā. What is called, donā

Devotee: Cups.

Prabhupada: Cup, yes, that was his business. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu take away some of his fruits and donā, as a friend. So one day Caitanya Mahāprabhu said that "Śrīdhara, you take benediction from Me." So he said, "What benediction, Sir?" "Well, you are so poor that your house is not even properly repaired. There are so many holes in the roof." He, "Still, I have got a nice house, because it is better than the bird's nest.

They have no roof. (laughter) They have no roof, and they live on the tree. I have got a shelter. What is the difficulty? There is no difficulty." In this way Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to offer him so many thing, and he said that "No, I have no trouble for this. If You want to benedict me, please give me pure devotion on Your lotus feet."

Guest: Bhakti.

Prabhupada: Bhakti. So that is pure devotion. That we should hanker after, how to fix up our mind always in the service of the Lord. That we are trying to teach, that's all.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Calcutta, February 23, 1972)
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