(Below is an excerpt of the lecture given by Sripad Bhaktivedanta Paramarthi Maharaji (picture below) on his recent visit to Malaysia.)
“We must have strong faith in the holy names. The holy names will protect you and will give you bliss. Srila Bhakti Ballabh Titha Maharaja once related this story.
There once was a lady devotee who wanted to attend a temple function near her house. She dressed up very nicely, putting on beautiful ornaments as well. She then, got a rickshaw to the temple. Seeing such beautiful ornaments on the lady, the rickshaw wallah immediately took another route.
For the entire day, nobody heard from the lady. Everyone was really worried about her whereabouts as she was to be at the temple for the function. Soon there was a search party. People searched everywhere. Soon enough, some people heard a very faint voice in a deserted place. It called out, “O Gopal, O Govinda!”
The lady was calling out Lord Gopal's name throughout her ordeal.
When the search party approached to where the voice was coming from, they saw an old well by the forest. On top of the well was a snake circling around the top edge of the well. And beside the well, was the rickshaw wallah, dead.
They saw the lady was inside the well and was constantly calling out the Lord’s name. She was soon rescued.
So you see, if you have full faith in the holy names, there is no need to fear”
(Below is another excerpt from Sripad Bhaktivedanta Paramarthi Maharaja’s lecture)
Trying to Change Providence
We always think that by hard endeavour, we are able to change our sorrowful situation. Each and every one of us is governed by providence to receive what we are supposed to get.
There was once a very great astrologer in a kingdom. Whatever he says, will surely come true. The king did not have any children yet at that time. But according to the astrologer’s calculation, the king will have a daughter. If that daughter grows up and marries, the astrologer’s son will be blind and he (the astrologer) will become blind and deaf.
The astrologer was devastated. He thought out a plan. So, he went to the king and told the king that whomever the young princess sets her eyes upon; she must marry that person in order to receive all auspiciousness. The king listened to the astrologer as he was always correct in his predictions.
When the princess grew up, she was put in a closed box, with only some holes for her to breath. On the cover of the box, there was an inscription that read, “Who ever opens this box, will marry the princess and will have the kingdom.”
The astrologer planned it so well, that the box should float in a river and at the opportune time, his own son will open the box and marry the princess. And if the son becomes blind, he will be taken care of as he will be married to a princess. As for the astrologer, he too will be taken care of as he is the father of the new king.
And so the princess inside the box was put in the river and the box floated. But it so happened, a heavy thunder storm came and the box floated taking another course along the river.
At the same time, there was a young prince in another kingdom. He was exasperated with his siblings as they were always squabbling for the throne. He thought he had enough of that and he decided to go on an adventure. He was a playful prince as well. He took along with him his pet monkey and bear in a boat, looking for an exciting voyage.
Soon enough, the prince’s boat came across the box with the princess inside, floating in the river. The curious prince decided to see what was inside the box. As he came near the box, he saw the inscription that read, “Who ever opens this box, will marry the princess and will have the kingdom.”
When the prince opened the box, he was delighted to see a beautiful princess. The princess was delighted to be rescued. They fell in love and decided to go back to the princess’s kingdom. But there was one problem though. The prince’s boat did not fit in the monkey, bear, princess and the prince. So, the prince decided to put his monkey and the bear inside the box and close it. He hoped that they would find their way somehow.
In the meantime, the astrologer was getting agitated. According to his calculation the box should have floated at its designated place. He was losing his patience, when he finally saw the box floating by.
He quickly got his men to take the box and bring it home to his son.
Once home, he told his son to open the box. When the boy did so, an agitated monkey sprang up and gave the boy a swipe across his face causing him to become blind. And the equally agitated bear sprang up and pounded the astrologer’s head and swiped him across the face, causing him to become deaf and blind.
So you see, no matter how hard the astrologer tried to save himself and his son, he could not fight providence. What is written for you is what you will get.
But if you chant the holy names, follow Sri Guru’s instruction, and then, by their mercy you will be saved.”