Janmashthami Blessings, 2011

August 2011

I hope that - by God's grace - this finds you and all your loved ones in the best of health and happiness at this holy time of Janmasthami. Krishna Janmasthami is the celebration of the day that Bhagwan Krishna incarnated in human form upon the Earth. It is celebrated at midnight on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada, which falls this year on August 22nd.

The Bhagavad Gita says that whenever there is darkness in the world, whenever strife and ignorance prevail, the Lord incarnates to shine His divine light on the darkness. He grabs hold of the faltering world, preventing it from drifting too far astray.

However, the Lord does not simply incarnate, give wisdom and depart. Rather, His divine light, His divine message and His divine grace continue to shine, on and on, upon all future generations. His wisdom is such that, once given, it is timeless and eternal, infinite and universal. Lord Krishna's message in the Bhagava Gita and the message of His entire life are not meant merely for those who lived 5000 years ago in the lands of Mathura, Vrindavan, Kurukshetra and Dwarka. Rather, the messages are as timeless as His presence and grace.

As we celebrate the divine anniversary of the date He came forth into this world in human form, we must ask ourselves, "Why did He incarnate? What were the messages of Lord Krishna's life? What darkness did He come to dispel? In what ocean of ignorance were we drowning, from which He came to save us?"

Many are familiar with the Bhagavad Gita. We know that Lord Krishna's verbal message to Arjun on the battlefield was "Stand up. Do your duty."

However, there are many other important messages in the Gita and also invaluable lessons and divine teachings embedded in the very life He lived. At this holy time of Janmasthami, let us examine and take to heart these messages. We must remember that Bhagwan Krishna incarnated FOR US. He incarnated to remove our veil of ignorance and darkness. It is our duty to Him to take His message to heart and let it uplift, inspire and transform us.

Never Lose Your Song:
One of the most beautiful lessons of Bhagwan Krishna's life is never lose yourself due to external circumstances, never lose your smile, never lose your song... Bhagwan Krishna's life was full of trials and tribulations, beginning on the day when He took birth in a locked jail cell and ending in the jungle shot by a hunter's arrow. However, throughout it all - through the innumerable challenges wrought upon Him - He always maintained His divine simple. He always palyed His divine flute. Even after His physical flute was left with Radhaji, the song of Krishna's flute was always on, wherever He went. The song emanated from His very being. He never once said, "I'm in a bad mood today so I will not play my flute." Regardless of what the external world brought and wrought, the Song was on. This is a beautiful message for our own lives.

So frequently we let small, small thing upset us and ruin our day. However, to truly be Krishna devotees means that we should try, as much as possible, to follow His divine example. Whenever failure, frustration or fury stares us in the face and we are tempted to let it ruin our mood and our day, let us always remember the sound of Lord Krishna's ever-present flute. Let us try to emulate His divine example and let our own song and our smile also be ever-present.

One of the most important messages that Bhagwan Krishna gives to Arjuna is Abhayam, be fearless. Arjuna was afraid to battle, afraid of killing his relatives and loved ones. In our lives also we are paralyzed fear. Omnipresent fear is one of the most insidious obstacles to our peace, happiness and progress in life. When I say fear, I don't necessarily mean terror. But, rather I mean all that makes us anxious, nervous, tense and in need of controlling our surroundings. The root of fear is distrust. We have been betrayed, injured and abused. We decide that the world and those around us cannot be trusted. In this way, we lose that faith which is so crucial.

What is the answer? The answer to fear is to firmly root ourselves in God (by whatever name, whatever form you choose). When we realize that God is always with us, always for us, we will never be afraid regardless of the circumstances.

Sure, our family and friends many betray us. They may injure us. But, if we give ourselves to God, if we make our relationship with Him our first priority then we will never be broken inside; we will always be cared for.

We must realize that we are God's children. Just as a child is never afraid whne his mother is near, so we must never fear. Fear immobilizes us. It freezes us. It prevents us from thinking clearly. Most of all, it serves no purpose. No catastrophe has ever been prevented by fear. No catastrophe has ever been averted by anxiety. No. Calm, serene, wise understanding of the situation coupled with undying faith is what is needed.

Let us renew our faith in the Supreme. Let us give away our fears, our anxieties. Let us put all our insurance in the Divine Insurance Company. Let us realize that everything is just as it is supposed to be. We are in the lap of our Mother. How can anything go wrong?

On this beautiful and divine day of Janmasthami, let us offer to Him not only our prayers, our puja and our aarti, but let us offer our lives at His holy feet. Let us surrender completely to His Divine Will. This will bring great peace, purity and divinity into our own lives.








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