Today was like any other day at least that’s what I thought. I got up, chanted a few rounds, cooked and off to work! Little did I know Krishna had a lesson to teach? My gas-tank reader showed 10% gas and so I thought I could make it to work without a problem. My wife might have figured what I am going to write because I did this before too. I never learn. I have to drive approximately 40 miles one way to get to work. I am in the 39th mile and have to take a couple of turns from the main road. I am the first car in a signal and as I am slowing my car towards the signal, my car without my permission comes to a standstill and….dead!
I could not believe this was happening as it was freezing out (20 deg Fahrenheit) and after a 2 sec pause I figured what was happening. I ran out of gas and am right at front of the line in a signal. But I was lucky the car had some momentum so I could tow it to the left a little, away from the traffic. I still had to go a distance, up a small hill, a stop sign, through a college campus and then finally to my office parking lot. I figured no matter how hard I try which I did I had to face reality, I am stuck in the middle of the road and had to walk close to a mile to a gas station. I always pitied stranded cars and always wondered why people stop in the middle of a highway or road?...don’t they not use reliable vehicles? Well…I got my answer today, reliable or not reliable; there is one thing every good, bad, ugly cars require, it is ….GAS!! Isn’t this why Bush is in Iraq? Anyways, that is a different conversation.
With all these thoughts running in my mind, I immediately got down out of the car not knowing what to do. The bad thing is my car got stranded right in the middle of a 4 way intersection and I was worried if I had to stay there physically to redirect traffic. All this in 20 degree weather? To be honest…I was flustered a bit as I did not know the traffic and legal protocols in leaving my car behind while I walked to the gas station (in freezing weather by the way). I turned the danger lights on and got out of the car, turned around and who do I see? I guess this is what it means, when we surrender to Krishna, He will back us up no matter what. I could not believe my eyes but the next car behind me was my friend and co-worker. She saw me coming out of the car with the danger lights on and she stopped her car ready to offer me help. I asked her what to do and she helped me. We went to the gas station, bought a gas can, filled the can with 1 gallon gas and after some difficulty refilled my tank. In all of this, I had to stand out for 5 -10 mins and my fingers froze in spite of my gloves. I thanked Krishna for the timely help and I thanked my friend and went to a meeting 10 mins late.
If you guys are wondering why I had to drive 40 miles before I filled my tank….because I could save 15cents…that’s why! Anyways, I learned my lesson and from now on I will scout for a gas station that pays 15 cents less and not drive 40 miles for it! Just kidding…I will pay whatever it takes and not run out of gas.
The point of it all is I felt humbled by God-Krishna. We are so proud of our accomplishments and modern technological advancements. No matter how advanced (technology wise) a vehicle may be, it still needs petroleum that comes from earth that is created by Krishna. If it runs on battery, it still needs electricity which is also a product of nature. No matter what we do, without the help of Mother Nature, we will be doomed to the stone-age. Yet we are so proud without giving due credit and payments to the right place. Krishna has shown me that without him…not a blade of grass moves.
On a more personal level, my friend backing me showed me how tolerant and humble I should be towards non-devotees. Normally, I try to be tolerant and compassionate but since I am on the material platform, that tolerance and compassion runs out as it is not spiritual. What I am trying to say is I don’t see everyone and everything as part of Krishna and hence judge people some times. Though I try hard, I still judge because I feel I am doing something “better” and they are not. The person who helped me is a non-devotee and yet she helped me without judging me and without her help, things would have been very difficult for me. If I think I am better than everyone just because I am chanting some rounds like a parrot, then I am no better than a burdened ass (not knowing the essence of spiritual life). I am still on the plane of duality (I am better and you are lower). Krishna wants us to come under His spiritual energy which is on the absolute plane and till I come to that plane I will be going up and down the modes of nature. The only way I can get out of the modes of nature is by following this;
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me
Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend. -
BG Chapter 18 text 65