“Don’t be afraid of failure”
Don’t be afraid of failure. We may work hard, strive hard, but it all falls apart. Maybe you’ve loved, and then been betrayed. Brother asked everyone who has ever experienced a disappointment or a painful experience to raise their hand. Then he had the younger devotees, who were all seated together in the front rows, turn around and look. There was no one who didn’t have their hand raised. (Some had two hands raised, and some were waving them too!)
Brother said, “Now everyone here is a really, really, really good person – and yet all of us have experienced something painful in our life. This is maya- this is duality, and it happens to everyone. You may be thinking, “Oh, but the monastics live in a monastery, so they have it made.” No – it happens to everyone.
There is a purpose. When a good thing fails, you feel alone – and all anyone else can do for you is offer sympathy. But at that time, you will see a choice. You will see a fork in the road – to take the road towards God, or to wander away in darkness, maya. In our past lives we’ve taken the wandering road of darkness, and we’ve ended up bitter. If you choose at that time to follow the way of God, you will find what you most need.
Failure is a call from God and He is saying, “Be with Me. When you are alone, you are alone with Me.” Be with God – and you will see a quantum leap in your spiritual progress. Sometimes the only way out is through – through accepting, forgiving – accepting God one hundred percent. We will all have to go through failure to become strong – to realize that we have that strength within us. We have to be threatened in order to bring that quality of strength out. This is the ‘fire of purification’. You may think, “This feels wrong, unfair.” But just choose God and you will come to see the Christ-like strength in yourself.
Daya Ma says, “Suffering is the greatest teacher….if you don’t let it get to you.” (Laughter from the audience)
Say to God, “I don’t care. I only want You.” Then you will contact God. Then the great, powerful presence of God will slip in to comfort you when there is no one else who can. He’s been waiting for this – waiting for the right time to come.
What is on the other side of the chaos is Bliss. The worst thing about failure is the fear of failure. It’s worse than the failure itself.
“Let the guru come close. Let him lift you up”
Brother ended his talk with a story from the scriptures about Krishna and the healing of Trivakra:
Krishna and his brother Balarama traveled to a city festival. There in the city streets they came upon a girl named Trivakra. Her face was very beautiful, but she walked bent over like an old woman, for her spine was bent in three places. (Trivakra means “thrice bent”) She was carrying a pail, and in it was a fragrant, scented sandalwood paste that she had made upon the king’s special request. Trivakra was on her way to deliver the paste to the king, but when her eyes fell on Krishna she immediately recognized him as a great soul and knelt before him in devotion.
Now Krishna had a very playful nature, and he decided to have a little fun with Trivakra. He asked her if she would give them some of the sandalwood paste. So full of devotion was she, that without hesitation she offered them as much as they would like, though doing so would jeopardize her own life, for the paste was meant only for the king. Krishna and Balarama dipped their hands into the pail of paste and rubbed generous amounts of it all over themselves. The paste was so wonderfully fragrant that they kept taking more and more until they had used it all up. Krishna apologized for using all the paste, but Trivakra was not in the least bit troubled. Instead she told him what a blessing it had been for her to have been given the privilege of offering this gift to him.
Then Krishna said, “You have unselfishly done something for me. Now I would like to do something for you.” …he very softly, very gently, stepped on her toes…Then he took two fingers and very gently placed them under her chin, and he very slowly lifted her chin, lifted her whole body, until her face was level with his. Thus was Trivakra healed, and she was given a new name which meant, ‘One who has been made beautiful by the Lord.’
So let the guru come close. Let him heal you. Let him lift you up. It’s not a matter of us drawing close to him – let him come close – so close that you can feel him standing on your toes…(and he will – laughter from the audience) Let him come near…feel him breathing on your head and down your spine. Let his life force work within you. Let him get that close, and he will lift you up – lift you into greater consciousness of God. It is why we have come.
excerpts from Teen/Young Adult Class, 2003, devotee notes
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