When life treats us harshly, and sufferings lash at us unabatedly, we wonder, “Does God really love me? Does He even know my plight?” Many become cynical.
At such times a comforting verse from the Bhagavad Gita (9.22) could give us hope
“But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form—to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.”
If I turn to Krishna during my various life situations, Krishna would certainly care for me. He is already caring for us; being the ever alert witness in the heart, He observes and sanctions our desires (Bhagavad Gita 15.15, 18.61). However due to our narrow, selfish outlook, we can’t feel His loving presence in our lives.
He cares for us by facilitating the fulfilling of our desires in this material world. Although we desire to enjoy separately from Krishna, and almost all of our ambitions are unhealthy for our spiritual lives, yet He silently sanctions them because He doesn’t interfere with our minute independence. Instead of thanking Him for giving us what we want, we instead cry foul when as per the law of this material world, the things we enjoy give us pain. We then demand why Krishna hasn’t made the laws of this world conducive for us to enjoy separately from Him.
Krishna is merciful to us because He allows us to enjoy separately from Him, and through our sufferings gives us a chance to turn to Him. This suffering in our lives is an expression of His care and support. And during this situation if we can somehow offer a heartfelt prayer to Krishna, and express our desire to remember and love Him, we could suddenly feel His reciprocation.
If we are presently feeling a lack of connection to Krishna, then it’s time for serious soul searching. How can we perceive His love if we treat Him only as a person who sanctions what we want? Imagine a relationship with a loved one where the only basis of relationship is I get what I want from the person I love. If I never to care to think what the other person wants, how will I ever feel loved by him or her. If I am full of myself I shall naturally think only of myself and would predictably feel unloved when my desires are not fulfilled.
The Mundaka Upanishad gives a graphic example of two birds sitting on the branch of a tree. While one is busy eating the sweet and bitter fruits and accordingly feeling happy or sad, the other bird- the real well wishing friend of the suffering bird- is quietly watching and waiting for the bird to turn to him. Similarly we are enjoying and suffering the sweet and bitter fruits of reactions in our lives. We are busy in it, and hardly acknowledge the real lover, Krishna, seated just next to us. Since we are busy suffering in this world, we think either God doesn’t exist or He doesn’t help me in my pursuit of the fruits.
If once we turn to Him and call out, “Krishna I love you; I have suffered immensely turning away from You, now You please help me remember You. Let me never forget You. Let me in all circumstances whether happiness or distress, always love You…” we shall see a huge difference in our consciousness.
To such a devotee, Krishna is a reality. His reciprocation and love is palpable. And Krishna consciousness is a wonderful process, amidst all the pain and suffering that inevitably comes in this material world.