5.29 May You Take Refuge in God and Offer Jasmine to Him

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries. – Bhagavad Gita, verse 5.29

Miseries have affinity to our subtle and gross bodies. We can’t attain peace from the pangs miseries by running away from things, situations, and people that can make us miserable. Everything and everyone is potent enough to harm us if our consciousness operates at the level where it’s either attracted to or repulsed by this creation.

A loving and deep connection with the one who is our genuine well wisher, who shows us the light when we sink in darkness, who protects us from inner dangers and from those outside, and who at the basic level feeds us, shelters us can alone give us peace. Those who have a loving devotional connection with Krishna, who is seated in our hearts as Ksirodakshayi Vishnu, who is known as Paramatma, do not crave for ephemeral relationships, things, securities, and any other attraction of this world. The cynosure of their lives is not this creation but the creator. Their hearts are replete with peace and joy that the bonding with the creator alone can offer. Their souls dance in the glories of this well wisher who plays so many roles in their lives, lives after lives, and in the lives that they finally live in His spiritual world.

Krishna understands us no matter in which language we talk to Him, as long as we’re sincere and have unconditional faith in Him. Sachinandan Swami  says, “At the time of Krishna’s appearance an old woman once turned to the gopis because she was surprised that Krishna could speak with everyone. She said: “How wonderful it is that Krishna, who owns the hearts of all the young girls of Vrajabhumi, can speak the language of Vraja with the gopis, while He speaks with the demigods in Sanskrit, and with the cows and buffalos He even speaks in the language of the animals! Furthermore, He speaks the language of the Kashmir Province (that’s the Himalaya area) and the language of parrots and other birds, as well as other common languages – this Krishna is so expressive!””

We become fully conscious of Him by eating Krishna (pradasam), breathing Krishna (chanting His Holy names and the glories of His pastimes), and doing only that which pleases Krishna. I’m not even a little bit conscious of Him, so it’s very hard for me to write on this verse. Actually, I’m not qualified to write on any of the verses of the Bhagavad Gita, but I take the liberty to do so due to my lower nature. When I remembered Him in dire situations, He helped me and reminded me that He is my ultimate well wisher. But my remembrance of Him has always been for selfish reasons. Those who absorb themselves in His love, call Him a universal lover. This quality makes them extraordinary, rather other worldly. They’re always drowned in His memories through His wonderful pastimes. They’re eternal heroes whose glories spread more and more with time.

I don’t read newspapers or watch news on the TV. I avoided a news for a couple of days, but it flashed on my phone persistently. It ended up in my consciousness like a fruit of karmas that we can’t evade, or a seed of a future karma that we must bear when the time is ripe, in this life or in a future life. Monika Ghurde who was raped and murdered by an ex-security guard in her apartment in Goa was always concerned about her safety. She had fears. One of her friends has written in her tribute to Monika, “What we know is this: that you had been obsessed with your safety. That you moved from a house to an apartment with security guards to feel safe. That you took Kalaripayattu lessons to empower yourself. That you would not honk at boorish men blocking the street because you did not want to endanger yourself. That two days before you were killed, you were examining the tiny window above the door in your apartment to see if a person could get through. You were a woman who was only just beginning to learn to live alone. You wanted to be fearless but you had fears. You were trying to overcome them. You took every precaution. We told you that you could do it. We said, go ahead, you’ve got this.”

In another tribute, another friend revealed, Monika once said she was ready to deal with any situation having learned Kalaripayattu. But controlled environments are different from uncontrolled and unpredictable reality. When the devil of reality pounced on her, as the newspapers inform us, she felt unconscious and the murderer tied her up with her bed.

No friend, no relative, no army, no police, no law can protect us unless we take a shelter at the feet of our eternal and infinitely powerful well wisher, Krishna. To be eternally free from the miseries that we incessantly face in our material existence, we need to move out of this world. Moving out from a house to a gated community is never enough. We can’t change the world, but we can change our selves. The highest form of change is to realize that we don’t belong here. Everyone is in as dangerous situation as we are. No one can help us unless Krishna makes them an instrument of our safety. No achievement can give us joy that can help us survive neverending psychological and physical miseries that we suffer from one moment to another. But if we take refuge in God, the physical and mental harms become impotent. They can’t pull down our consciousness if it has found its home in God.

The woman of scents, who was obsessed with Jasmine, had moved into this apartment only a couple of months before she was murdered. On a photograph of her apartment building on her Instagram she said, “And then serendipitously this happened…. My new and very first home on my own in a building named Jasmine. One of the happiest moment of my life. Feeling blessed …” And, within a few weeks of writing this note, the blessing turned into a curse; as if brutality and death attracted her to this apartment which she transformed into a beautiful home. In one of her notes on Instagram, she said that on Holi day she bagged a huge project and that throughout the year she would play with fragrances. Her dreams were nipped in the bud. Her scents will remain nipped in Jasmine flowers. One of her friends said in her tribute that Monika’s funeral pyre refused to burn as if she didn’t want to go. We get entangled in the dreams that we weave for ourselves. Pleasures, pain, heartbreaks, frustrations, anger,  and other internal enemies attack us from all sides, and we feel paralyzed to be able to do anything for ourselves. Our souls scream for help in the dark labyrinth of our subtle and gross bodies. Sometimes we hush these screams; we don’t want to get late for our date with Maya. And sometimes we scream for help, but nobody hears, because those who we call can hear us only if He empowers them. And the one whom we don’t want to remember keeps calling us from within. We ignore His voice. Monika screamed for help, but no one heard and soon her murderer shut her mouth.

According to the newspapers Monika died between 2.30am to 3.30am. I created her death chart per this time, but intuitively felt that the time the soul left the body was not before 2.45 am. The planetary configuration on this time suggested the turmoil she was in while she was leaving the body. Rahu seated the ascendant, Saturn and debilitated Moon conjunction in the 4th house of mind/heart. I’m far from being an expert in astrology.  But, in the verse 8.6, Krishna says, “Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.” “And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.” (8.5)  She was not thinking of Krishna. Her mind (debilitated Moon) suffered from fear and coldness (Saturn) to say the least. I pray that wherever this soul incarnates in the next life, in whichever body, she comes with a sponge-like heart that is able to absorb the mercy of the Lord, which is available to everyone. Otherwise, it’s going to be several lifetimes of sufferings and revenge for this soul.

May we all seek shelter in Him and not in the shallow securities of this world!

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