Recognising Rare Opportunity

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.61.25 - Recognising Rare Opportunity (download mp3) and (download mp4)
by Smara Hari Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.61.25
 pautrim rukmy adadad dhareh
rocanam baddha-vairo ’pi
 svasuh priya-cikirsaya
janann adharmam tad yaunam

Rukmi gave his granddaughter Rocana to his daughter’s son, Aniruddha, despite Rukmi’s relentless feud with Lord Hari. Although Rukmi considered this marriage irreligious, he wanted to please his sister, bound as he was by the ropes of affection.

Srila Sridhara Svami explains that according to worldly standards one should not give one’s beloved granddaughter to the grandson of one’s bitter enemy. Thus we find the following injunction: dvisad-annam na bhoktavyam dvisantam naiva bhojayet. “One should not eat an enemy’s food or feed an enemy.” There is also the following prohibition: asvargyam loka-vidvistam dharmam apy acaren na tu. “One should not execute religious injunctions if they will obstruct one’s journey to heaven, or if they are odious to human society.”

It should be pointed out here that Lord Krsna is not really the enemy of anyone. As the Lord states in the Bhagavad-gita (5.29), suhrdam sarva-bhutanam j├▒atva mam santim rcchati: “One achieves peace by understanding that I am the well-wishing friend of every living being.” Although Lord Krsna is everyone’s friend, Rukmi could not appreciate this fact and considered Lord Krsna his enemy. Still, out of affection for his sister, he gave his granddaughter to Aniruddha.

Finally, we should note that, contrary to the prohibition quoted above, one may not give up the basic principles of spiritual life merely because such principles are unpopular with people in general. As Lord Krsna states in the Gita (18.66), sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. The last word in spiritual duties is to surrender to the Supreme Lord, and that duty takes precedence over all secondary injunctions. Moreover, in this age Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has kindly presented a sublime process that will attract all sincere people to come to the point of surrendering to the Lord. By following Lord Caitanya’s blissful process of chanting, dancing, feasting and discussing spiritual philosophy, anyone can easily go back home, back to Godhead, for an eternal life of bliss and knowledge.

Still, someone may argue that the members of the Krsna consciousness movement should not practice in the Western countries those ceremonies or activities that displease people in general. We respond that even in the Western countries, when people are properly informed of the activities of the Krsna consciousness movement, they generally appreciate this great spiritual institution. Those who are especially envious of God will not appreciate any type of religious movement, and since such persons are themselves little better than animals, they cannot impede the great Krsna consciousness movement, just as the envious Rukmi could not impede the performance of Lord Krsna’s pure pastimes.