Lord Krishna, who is expert and unpredictable, crafts inconceivable plans which awaken us to the existence of a higher reality. Often, this is done through unexpected challenges and reversals; “THE DIVINE SLAP” acts as a wake-up call to kick-start our journey back to Him.
In this material world we all are suffering because of our karma (pious or impious). Our karma comes back to us as threefold miseries —
1. Adhibhautika (sufferings that we get from other living beings),
2. Adhidaivika (sufferings we get from nature or the controllers of nature, demigods),
3. Adhyatmika (sufferings we get from our own body, mind etc.)
But a common tendency is that whenever suffering comes, we always blame God that, why me! Is it true that God is the reason for our miseries? The answer is “no.” Throughout the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says we are stuck & struggling in this world because of our desire to lord it over the material nature
prakrti-sthani karsati—–The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.
Reversals The Special Mercy
What is the difference between the normal sufferings and the reversals? In this material world which is called “duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam” (BG. 8.15), the sufferings that we get normally comes from our own karma that binds us more in this world.
But THE DIVINE SLAP or the special sufferings that we get is totally planned by Krishna to remind us that we are running blindly in this material world forgetting our real identity.
“Suppose a worker is working in a construction site. But he was doing the work in a wrong way, and because of the loud noise of construction site he was unable to hear the voice of his friend who was trying to inform him about his mistake. Now to catch his attention his friend from the upper floor throws a little stone on his head.
Our condition is very similar to this example as we are busy in our material activities and can’t hear the words of our dearest friend Sri Krishna, who is trying to guide us form the heart. Now to catch our attention and take us back to our real position He throws some reversals, so that at least in those reversals we call Him out.”
These are the words of Jagat Guru Srila Prabhupada in a morning walk ~
Girirāja: “Is that benefit coming in all suffering, or only when it is given by Kṛṣṇa?”
Prabhupada: When there is suffering given by Krishna… Therefore a devotee does not take seriously suffering. Tat te ‘nukampam susumiksamanah [SB 10.14.8]. A devotee thinks, “It is the favour of Krishna that He has put me into suffering.” They never see suffering as suffering. It is favour of Krishna. That is devotee’s vision. It is exactly like a son who knows his father well. If the father slaps, the son never protests. He knows that “It is good for me.” Similarly, a devotee never is disturbed when there is suffering given by Krishna.
Giriraja: A karmi [materialistic person] is suffering just the laws of…
Prabhupada: The karmi is different. The karmi is suffering… He is suffering just like criminal is suffering. A criminal is given slap by the police. That slap and the father is giving slap, that slap is different. Although it looks the same thing, but there is great difference.
– Morning Walk,1st May 1974, Mumbai
How To Go Through Reversals
jnatva mam santim rcchati (BG.5.29)—–The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.
Krishna, through Arjuna, is giving us this lesson that He is our ever well-wishing friend and whatever happens in our life is the mercy of Krishna.
There is nothing wrong which happens to us. Everything that happens with us is just a form of the Lord’s mercy to take us one step closer to Him.
It’s only our perception that we think this is good that is bad. If things occur according to our expectations, we say this is good, and when things do not happen to our expectations, we say that is bad. But from the vision of Krishna, everything is all good.
So whatever He does is ultimately the best for us. It’s our attitude, our outlook towards the things, if we could simply accept the mercy of the Lord and take the situation as favorable and remember the Lord, then even if reversals or A DIVINE SLAP come, we should think that I might not be able to understand this as good. Still, I know that this is ultimately Krishna’s plan. Then we can accept even reversals in our life in an attitude of gratitude.
Sri Bramhaji says in Srimad-Bhagavatam ( Srila Prabhupada also quotes this )~
tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk
(SB. 10.14.8)—–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.
***At last, being Krishna consciousness is not to change our surroundings or not even to change the dress; it’s all about changing the mood, the consciousness with which we perceive the world.***