This [Guru-disciple] relationship is what we’re thinking about here. And they can be fun, but then we get to the hard parts, and life certainly now has its hard parts. And Guruji said we will be brought to our knees in devotion, or in desperation. We can remember those two—devotion or desperation.
And I, being at the temple, hear the stories of people’s lives, of relationships, finances, health, jobs, everything collapsing all at once. And accidents, and loved ones dying, and injuries and not dying. And the enormity, it’s awesome of what we go through.
And recently I was reading some of the stories from the Mahabharata, and I weighed those tragedies, and the impossible situations that people were put in, in the Mahabharata, against the impossible situations that I hear in the lives of the devotee and wondered which was more traumatic, which was greater. To me they were comparable, and even here when it’s not fun is a wonderful opportunity to grow this relationship with God.
Kunti appealing to Lord Krishna
Kunti, Arjuna’s mother, was approached by Krishna after the war, the Kurukshetra war. And Krishna said now I need to take leave from you, I need to go back to Dwaraka. And she said, “Krishna, you’re not fooling us. There you are pretending to be Krishna but we know who you really are.” And she said, “Lord, please grant me a boon.”
What would it be, that everything would be bright and shiny and no more war?
She said, “Bless us that we will always have misfortune after misfortune visiting us, because then our minds will always be with you.”
To her that relationship was more important than a smooth life. And Daya Mata has said when these tragedies happen to us, and to our cities and to our world, that whatever it is–think about it–if God exists, it is also coming with his blessing. So no matter how difficult it is, we can always take some benefit from it, even from a tragedy. These things can force us—we can run away from God, or we can decide to go toward God. And then we can get the benefit. And so we should face them.
There was a skydiver who was skydiving with his army buddy. They had done it fifty times, more times, way up there. And in the middle of the air, with their parachutes not yet open, they were crisscrossing, and in that completely open sky they hit each other.
His buddy was killed. He lost his legs when he landed on the ground. His wife left him. Everything went wrong. But…he said later on, “Through that incident, I am a better individual.” There’s a picture of him standing on his artificial legs on skis, so he learned to ski again. And with his artificial limbs he skydived into his reenlistment ceremony with the military. So he decided to take some advantage from whatever it was.
So we should face them realizing, “I can get an advantage out of this.”
Somebody was going through a very difficult divorce, a relative of mine, and I said right from the beginning, “Can you get some advantage from this?” And this has gone on for years, six, seven years or longer. And every once in a while he says, “I am growing, I am getting a benefit from it.”
So then what do we do? We’ve got this traumatic thing, whatever it is, maybe a whole bunch of things. We look at them and we face it. And then, where do we go? Daya Mata said we should take these things to God.