Today whilst driving home from university, I saw a big grey bird on the other side of the road. The sun was filtering beautifully through the trees and I was feeling pretty happy, but as I drew nearer, I realised that the bird was on its back, frantically flapping its wings in distress. As it lay there, cars passed over it indifferently, causing it to panic more and more. There was nowhere to stop and nowhere to turn around so I was forced to guiltily drive on, praying for its suffering to end quickly. I felt terrible, just leaving it there and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, but I suddenly realised that this one bird’s suffering was only a minute fraction of the suffering that is being experienced every second of every day in this world. No matter how much we care for others, it’s easy to let our emotions control us – when we feel happy, the world is rosy and there is no pain and hardship. At other times, when we are feeling more sad or refelective, the realities of the world are all too visible. Even as devotees of Lord Krsna, it is easy to forget the suffering of those who have not yet rekindled their eternal relationship with Him. I remember something I read in Satsvarupa Maharaj’s book – Prabhupada Lilamrita, where a devotee remarked to Srila Prabhupada that he sometimes thought about all of the unfortunate souls in the universe and felt extremely sad. Prabhupada replied ‘Sometimes? I am always thinking about them’.
<> I hope that I can become more like this in life, because the true devotee is compassionate to all living beings and the greatest compassion we can show to others in the long run, is to share with them the Maha-mantra : Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare
<> Now I feel preachy.
On a similar (?) note – the other day I had my first car accident. Nothing too serious and it was in a car park but the other car’s door and tyre got damaged and unfortunately for my bank account, the car was a fairly new BMW. Ouch. Needless to say, it was a stupid mistake which I feel terrible about but I guess these things happen for a reason and I am being more careful than ever now. Our own mortality is staring us in the face at all times , yet like all things unpleasant, it seems so easy to turn a blind eye…