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Pain Junkie

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I'm a pain junkie. I love to suffer. Krishna knows this about me, and He's always giving me what I want. You know that saying "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it". Well, when it comes to Krishna, you have to be even more careful. At least I do.

I tell Him I want to be happy, I want things to be easy, but He knows it's not true. I was talking to Snehal about how we don't always know what we are desiring. We think we're desiring one thing, but really, there is something else we want more.

So, I tell Krishna, from time to time, "this is too much, I can't handle it, I don't want anymore pain".... then the pain stops. Things get easy again. Peaceful. Well, that goes on for a little while. It never lasts though because I don't want it to.

Complacency is the worst thing in the world to me. A mediocre life. Things that are "just so". I guess it's my conditioning. I grew up in "world war three" (just kidding, but it was like that). This is the way I feel the most alive, and the most challenged. I guess I'm dovetailing this need in the service of Krishna, because when I'm suffering I take shelter of Krishna and remember Him more.

Sure, I have lots of happy, wonderful, beautiful things in my life. In fact, I'm so blessed with wonderful, beautiful things, I sometimes can't even believe my good fortune. I thank Krishna for taking such good care of me. I'm always thanking Krishna. I thank Him for the facilities He gives me. He gives me so much.

Inside though, I am always challenged. I feel everything so deeply. It makes me isolated from others in a lot of ways, because most people just don't relate that well to my level of intensity. I feel pain deeply, just as deeply as I feel happiness. I keep thanking Krishna for that pain.

Suffering and pain makes me remember that I'm not this body. It makes me remember that all my relationships here in this world are temporary. It makes me aware of how limited our minds and senses are. It makes me realize that time is moving fast, and Krishna is the only shelter.

I can take a walk tonight and smell the Autumn air. It's getting cooler now, the earth is fragrant. The moon is out. It's quiet and peaceful where I live. There will be a turtle crossing the road, and I will cry at it's plight, there in it's turtle body, how bitter sweet. I love turtles. But it's a soul, look how it's stuck in a shell, a cage, and all it can do is drag it's shell across the ground. Oh, that hurts. I'll chant to it's soul. I've seen this so many times, how all we can give anyone is Krishna. We're so fortunate to have the holy name. So powerful. Liberating.

Save me God, I'm drowning from too much mediocrity. So, I cry for pain. Make me suffer, then maybe I'll feel You, know You, strive for You, think of You. He's always answering my prayers. I never have to wait very long. Sometimes if I want something I might have to wait a little while, but never long.

People write to me, asking me what to do about their suffering. This kind of suffering, that kind of suffering. Well, I tell them all the same thing: "We're all suffering in one way or another, it doesn't matter what the details of the suffering are, there is still only (and ever) one solution. That solution is Krishna."

Find Him, and then give Him to everyone you can. Thank Him. Thank Him for the gifts, thank Him for the suffering. It's all the same really. It's good if it makes you closer to Him, it's bad if it makes you further from Him.

I love that verse of Shikshastaka from Lord Chaitanaya "even if He handles me roughly by His embrace".... someone posted that in the forums a long time ago, and I commented to it saying "better to be handled roughly by Krishna, than handled gently by someone else".

~~~
*"I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord unconditionally."*
Shikshastaka, Lord Chaitanya, verse 8
~~~

I'm praying to Krishna that I will never forget this verse. What an amazing state of consciousness to aspire to. Just imagine.

* Navasi's blog
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Comments
Sat, 09/27/2008 - 09:50 — Snehal
Snehal's picture
~

Hare Krishna!

Since we had that discussion about desires, I pray to Krishna to ignore by desires (all subtle and obvious) and do only what You think is right for my spiritual growth. And I sincerely pray to just give me strength to tolerate whatever He does with me (either make me suffer or give me tremendous happinness).

Thank You for this wonderful blg.

Snehal

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Sat, 09/27/2008 - 23:14 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Whatever Krishna Does

You know, Snehal, you are always teaching me things too.

(you have said a lot of times that I happen to post the exact thing you need to hear when you need to hear it).

This sometimes happens to me with you also.

Like this, what you are saying here:

"And I sincerely pray to just give me strength to tolerate whatever He does with me (either make me suffer or give me tremendous happinness)."

This is something I need to learn and understand right now.

Sometimes, it seems like Krishna gives me so much that is "positive", it's hard to accept it. I can easier accept distress and suffering. So, I need to learn this too. I need to also pray sincerely for the strength to accept (or tolerate) everything Krishna does, with equanimity.

It's not easy, some people have a harder time accepting "negative" things. I have a harder time accepting "positive" things.

I say a lot that they are the same. Whatever brings you closer to Krishna is good, whatever leads you further away is bad.

So, I'm also praying that I can remember that, and feel just as welcoming to any positive things Krishna sends, as long as they are making me closer to Him.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful prayer. I really needed to read that right now.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Sat, 09/27/2008 - 09:44 — Snehal
Snehal's picture
Kunti Devi and Navasi Mataji

Hare Krishna!
What is common between Kunti Devi and Navasi Mataji?
Their prayers.

This blog reminds me of Kunti Devi's prayers. She too desires to have calamties in her life to get purified to enter Lord's abode. Only realized souls like you can desire like this. And I am blessed to be associated with you.

All glories to Kunti Devi!
All glories to Navasi Mataji!

Haribol!
Snehal

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Sat, 09/27/2008 - 11:29 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Pure Devotees And Conditioned Souls

Dear Snehal,

I appreciate that you were inspired by what I wrote. Thank you for letting me know that.

However, there is nothing in common between Queen Kunti and myself at all.

She is a pure devotee, one of the greatest devotees of the Lord. An eternal associate of Krishna.

On the other hand, I am just an ordinary conditioned soul. I'm covered by my material consciousness in so many ways, and am only just attempting to be devoted to Krishna in some way.

It's wonderful to be inspired by others that are alive here in this world, and to see the attempts they make to try to somehow become Krishna conscious.

At the same time, it's very important to make a clear distinction between great souls such as Queen Kunti, and ordinary conditioned souls, who are only just trying to, aspiring to, somehow think of Krishna.

Just because I have an appreciation for the purification of distress and the fact that it helps me to remember Krishna more, does not mean that I have anything in common with Queen Kunti. My prayers are not similar to her prayers. There is no comparison at all.

Hmmm.... here's an example:

If I pray "Krishna, I surrender unto you, please instruct me" does that mean I have something in common with Arjuna? I am maybe trying to follow his example, but that is all. We would not say I have something in common (even prayers) with Arjuna.

These great souls are eternal associates of the Lord, and we are only being given the chance to follow their example somehow, if we can.

: )

I am glad you appreciate my association. I just want make certain you really understand the differences here.

Maybe you do already understand this, and it's just a case of trying to express things on the internet with the limitations of the words we use.

I know things can often be misunderstood. So perhaps I am misunderstanding how you meant this.

I just want to be sure. :)

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Sat, 09/27/2008 - 22:39 — Snehal
Snehal's picture
Glorifying you

Hare Krishna!
I was just trying to glorify you. I understand what you say. All of us are conditioned souls. Some of us on 100th step of the spiritual ladder while some on 1000th step. But all trying to climb up.
My only intension was to glorify you.

Haribol!
Snehal

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Sat, 09/27/2008 - 23:03 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Okay :)

I understand now.
That's fine then.
:)

So, you and I, Snehal, we shall try to follow Queen Kunti, and be grateful for whatever distress Krishna sends us, so that we can take shelter of Him and remember Him more.

:)

That's very inspiring to think about.

Thank you for your comments.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Fri, 09/26/2008 - 08:14 — Go-Seva
Go-Seva's picture
I know what you mean...really

One of my favorite devotional albums to listen to right now is As Kindred Spirits' "Nectar of Devotion." The night before Radhastami, I was preparing dinner and listening to the album, thinking of Krsna as I generally do while preparing nice food to offer to Him. On the second song of the album (an amazing version of Jaya Radha Madhava), there is a short interlude where a dasi comes on and prays: "Dear Govinda, feeling your separation, I am considering a moment to be like 12 years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in this world in your absence. I know no one but you as my Lord, and you shall remain so even if you handle me roughly by Your embrace************or make me broken-hearted by not being present before me. You are completely free to do anything and everything, for You are always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally."

The stars ************ denote the point at which I was inattentively chopping a jalapeno thinking of this prayer and the pain of separation from Krsna and, in the process, also chopped the tip of my finger and fingernail ~off~. I was stunned for a moment, and thought, "Oh well, it's just my body...", then grabbed a towel to wrap around my finger spurting blood. Boy, did that bleed profusely for a long time, and it sure did (does) hurt; there is still a scab there, sans nail. But now, everytime I look at my finger, I think of Krsna handling me roughly for a moment while absorbed thinking of Him :-), and I am grateful that He did. I will be grateful after it heals, and I will be grateful until the day I leave my body.

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Fri, 09/26/2008 - 08:01 — Radhikesh
Radhikesh's picture
We really desire something else

Haribol Navasi. What you have written is so true. It certainly struck a chord with me.

"We think we're desiring one thing, but really, there is something else we want more."

"...It never lasts though because I don't want it to."

I always lament the situation I am in thinking that I desire to be always in Krishna consciousness. But deep inside I know I am not serious about it. And Krishna really knows my heart better and so fulfills my real desire to suffer materially.

It is true complacency is the worst thing -for anybody. We always have to take that extra mile for Krishna and I am sure being the most merciful Lord, He will reciprocate wonderfully. But I will know that only when I come out of my complacency.

Thanks for writing this.

Radhikesh das

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Fri, 09/26/2008 - 11:56 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Desiring Krishna

Haribol Radhikesh,

I'm glad this struck a cord with you.

It's so true. We tell ourselves that all we want is Krishna, and unless we are really introspective and very honest, it seems to us that we really just want Krishna.

When Krishna is merciful to us, because we're endeavoring, He starts to allow us to see what kinds of other desires we have in our hearts also. We can then see our attachments to all kinds of material things. This is good, because as long as we think all we want is Krishna, it's difficult make progress. We're in denial about our material attachments and our level of spiritual advancement.

It's hard to look at our material attachments, but we have to, at least at some point in time. Some of these attachments are the weeds that are growing as a result of watering the devotional creeper. If we don't know they are there, we can't even pull them out, and then they can choke out the creeper.

Like you're saying, Krishna knows us better then we know ourselves, and it's our real desires he's reciprocating with. It's not easy to let go of all these material desires and attachments, but the start of that letting go is at least being willing to acknowledge that we have them.

I'm glad you feel that way about complacency also. It's like death. Like the way Srila Prabhupad says that sleep is a small death. Similarly to me, complacency is like a type death. Not really putting everything we can into our spiritual life (i.e. not really living, since that is what life is for). Better to suffer, it at least gives us a motive to "go the extra mile".

Thank you for your comments.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Sat, 09/27/2008 - 02:01 — tekisui
tekisui's picture
All I want ...

When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is usually, "Oh, I just want to lie in bed a little longer, not thinking of anything, just lying here while I am still tired" - right there, first thing in the morning, a prime example of wanting to enjoy separately from Krishna ... and then more throughout the day.
For the time being, I just notice these desires, don't engage with them much, but if they keep coming up, I give them a decent rational treatment and put them in perspective as to what would be best for my wellbeing.

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Sat, 09/27/2008 - 06:03 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Being Rational

Hare Krishna, Tekisui,

: )

Here you are again :) Nice to see that you are still with us, talking about things.

Being rational and giving things rational treatment is fantastic.

That's an excellent point.

We need to always be rational.

Sometimes devotees act in ways that are not even rational. This is not Krishna consciousness. Being Krishna conscious involves being rational, realistic and practical.

Thank you for your comment.

Navasi

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Sat, 09/27/2008 - 02:58 — Preethi.N
Preethi.N's picture
Pain!

Hare Krishna Navasi mataji.

Thank you so much for the wonderful blog. Yeah, many times, I do suffer, theres a lot of pain, i want it to go, but it makes me feel closer to Krishna. But, the part that, i remember Krishna, is so beautiful. Reminds me of the prayers of Queen Kunti, so beautiful they are.
Theres one devotee, who has acute pain in the abdomen, since the past 13 years.Its not just ordinary pain, its just terrible, she suffers so much. One day, i asked her, about her pain and she said, my karma! She accepts it, she chants so blissfully, inspite of her pain, shes so cheerful, which amazes me.She does wonderful services. I think, Krishna, has placed me in such a better situation. Sometimes when i feel, oh what a life(:) of course material world!) i just remember that devotee. Take inspiration from her. A few months back, when i was reading Bhagavatam, i remembered this famous verse and messaged her :)

tat te 'nukampam su-samikshamano bhuïjana evatma-kritam vipakam hrid-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te jiveta yo bhakti-pade sa daya-bhak
My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.
When i told her this, she was ecstatic, and said, its worth all the pain. How true it is!Suffering is all a part, a part to bring us closer to Krishna.Each one suffers in various ways, but at the end, its worth all the pain. A part to help us, identify ourselves as spirit souls and not this body. And suffering, i dont need to shun it, but accept it as His mercy! :)

Radha Priya D. Dasi

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Sat, 09/27/2008 - 06:05 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Either Way...

Hare Krishna, Radha Priya,

Well, that's the thing. We're going to experience suffering, it's unavoidable.

So, we can use it to become closer to Krishna.

Otherwise, it's just plain suffering. No benefit at all. A waste of time :)

We don't like to waste time. We want everything to bring us closer to Krishna.

Material or spiritual is all in what it's used for.
:)

That's a nice verse, thank you for sharing that. I can see why it inspires your friend so much.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi