Why Is a Devotee Put in Danger?
(Click to enlarge BTG #25, September, 1969.)

"Kṛṣṇa is so magnanimous that He is present before us by the transcendental vibration of His name, which has all the potencies of Kṛṣṇa Himself, and if we remain in contact with that name we shall get all the benefits of Kṛṣṇa’s benedictions. But still we are not inclined to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This is our misfortune.

A devotee, however, is never disturbed by dangers, reverses, or calamities. Rather, he welcomes them. Because he is a surrendered soul, he knows that both dangers and festivals are but different demonstrations of Kṛṣṇa, who is absolute. In the śāstra, the Vedic literature, it is said that religion and irreligion, which are complete opposites, are merely the front portion and the back portion of God. But is there any difference between God’s front and God’s back? God is absolute, and therefore a devotee, either in opulence or in danger, is undisturbed, knowing that both of these are Kṛṣṇa.

When a devotee is in danger, he thinks, 'Now Kṛṣṇa has appeared before me as danger.' In His form of Nṛsiṁhadeva, the Lord was dangerous to the demon Hiraṇyakaśipu, but the same Nṛsiṁhadeva was the supreme friend to the devoted Prahlāda Mahārāja. God is never dangerous to the devotee, and the devotee is never afraid of dangers, because he is confident that the danger is but another feature of God. 'Why should I be afraid?' the devotee thinks. 'I am surrendered to Him.'

Therefore Kuntīdevī says, vipadaḥ santu: 'Let there be calamities.' Vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat: 'Let all those calamities happen again and again.' Because she knows how to remember Kṛṣṇa at times of danger, she is welcoming danger. 'My dear Lord,' she says, 'I welcome dangers, because when dangers come I can remember You.' When Prahlāda Mahārāja’s father was putting him into dangerous predicaments, Prahlāda was always thinking of Kṛṣṇa. So if we are put into a dangerous position and that danger gives us an impetus to remember Kṛṣṇa, that is welcome: 'Oh, I am getting this opportunity to remember Kṛṣṇa.' Why is this welcome? It is welcome because seeing Kṛṣṇa or remembering Kṛṣṇa means advancing in spiritual life so that we will not have to suffer any more of these dangers. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna (Bg. 4.9). If one becomes advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the result will be that after giving up the body (tyaktvā deham) one will not have to take birth again in this material world (punar janma naiti). This is to be desired."

(Teachings of Queen Kuntī, Chapter 8)

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