Be Prepared for Anything

By Śrīla B.R. Śrīdhara Dev-Gosvāmī Mahārāja, originally published in Divine Aspiration.

We must be prepared for anything; anything from the environment may come to us, but we are to face it with optimism. That is the key to success in our life. The highest advice is given in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk

One who, in the hope of achieving Your grace, tolerates all kinds of adverse conditions due to the karma of his past deeds and passes his days practicing devotion to You with his mind, words and body, is truly eligible for becoming your unalloyed devotee.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.14.8

We have no ability to interfere with the environment; to do so will only be a useless waste of energy. Rather, we must try to correct ourselves, so that we can adjust with the circumstances we find surrounding us. We have been advised that the best estimation we can make about the environment is to see it and understand it as a grant. A grant means something which is given. But from where is this grant coming? It is coming from my Lord and He is my Guardian. He is Supreme; He is Autocrat. So, what is coming from Him is His grace. We are living by His grace always and it is not a matter of ‘right’. That we are living and existing at all is not our birthright! Whether we exist does not matter to the Infinite Whole. So, tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo: whatever comes is His grace; it is not earned by my right, my ability, or my qualification. Our well-guided estimation about the environment should be such.

And we must be satisfied with whatever grant we get. It is not a matter of right; we are not to see with the eye of any right, whether we are getting our own ‘quota’ or not. “Am I getting my own portion, my own share?”— this should never be our attitude. At the same time, we must try to see that whatever trouble we find is self acquired: “Due to my own defective position, I am in such a condition. I am so low, so mean.” Our vanity will have to disappear forever when we realize fully our dependence on His grace: “I have got no position; I am fully dependent on His grace. My whole existence, whole prospect, everything—it is only on account of His grace.”


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