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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Prayer that changed the world

As I entered the living room from the bedroom, I saw a movie playing on television. A man was asked to leave the kingdom and soldiers were escorting him out onto the desert with a day’s ration. Surely, I thought this man will die crossing the desert. The scene was from the movie Ten Commandments and this happened when I was nine years old. Although this happened sometime back, still, I remember it like it was yesterday.

The story of a man as messenger of God who changed people’s lives had a lasting impression on my young psyche. For some reason as I was reminiscing the movie, what stood out for me was the scene where Moses met God as the Burning Bush. It is a pivotal scene where God commands Moses to follow His instructions. Moses humbled himself and asked God for guidance on how to relieve people from bondage. This incident forever changed the history of the world.  Although it is a cinematic depiction the entire scene was shown in a mood of awe and reverence. Below is the scene on the meeting of Moses and God on the mountain.

That scene reminded me of a similar historical prayer by our own Srila Prabhupada on his arrival to Boston on Jaladuta. Prabhupada was praying with deep emotion on how to present the philosophy of Krishna consciousness to the western minds to drag them out of material bondage (a bondage of a different kind) just as prayer in the movie . Below is his prayer, and it is very much in line on how Moses (in the movie) prayed to God for guiding Him to relieve people from bondage of slavery.

My dear Lord Krsna, You are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here (USA). Now You can do whatever You like with me But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?

Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life, they think themselves very happy and satisfied, and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva. I do not know how they will be able to understand it. But I know Your causeless mercy can make everything possible because You are the most expert mystic. How will they understand the mellows of devotional service? O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message.

All living entities have become under the control of the illusory energy by Your will, and therefore, if You like, by Your will they can also be released from the clutches of illusion I wish that You may deliver them. Therefore if You so desire their deliverance, then only will they be able to understand Your message. How will I make them understand this message of Krsna consciousness?

I am very unfortunate, unqualified and the most fallen. Therefore I am seeking Your benediction so that I can convince them, for I am powerless to do so on my own. Somehow or other, O Lord, You have brought me here to speak about You. Now, my Lord, it is up to You to make me a success or failure as You like. O spiritual master of all the worlds! I can simply repeat Your message, so if You like You can make my power of speaking suitable for their understanding.

Only by Your causeless mercy will my words become pure. I am sure that when this transcendental message penetrates their hearts they will certainly feel engladdened and thus become liberated from all unhappy conditions of life. O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord, make me dance as You like. I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Krsna. I have been designated as Bhaktivedanta, and now, if You like, You can fulfill the real purport of Bhaktivedanta

Signed−the most unfortunate, insignificant beggar
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami,
on board the ship Jaladuta, Commonwealth Pier,
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
dated 18th of September, 1965

Hare Krishna

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