Govinda das, an avid exponent of Mahabharata and Ramayana, has an experience of over 25 years in Vedic education & counselling and travels extensively all over the world sharing his reflective knowledge and wisdom. Whether counselling children, guiding families or mentoring corporate and social leaders, his profound insights are always practical, comprehensible and relevant to all cross sections.
His intellectually stimulating and analytical writing blended with the softness of his devotion strikes an appealing balance, urging his readers to be awake, alert and to make informed choices based on logically driven lessons from the scriptures.
He possesses an incessant zeal to build a bridge between the ideal and real world with a life centered around dharmik wisdom. His writing stems from the need to make ancient epics relevant to modern times, such that life becomes satisfying and fulfilling driven by values and ethics expected of humanity.
Protection entails dependence. Being independent implies that one does not need protection. When we accept authority i.e. seek protection, it indicates subisiveness in our attitude. Being protected gives rise, over-dependence, which occasionally leads to complacency. This creates a perpetual schims between the faithful and the faithless, a 'Tug of War' of sorts that it pushing and pulling the tangentially opposite belief systems of the believers and non-believers.
The faithful believe that God will protect, while the faithless say they have to seek their own protection. Both are antithetical and fixed in their own logic.
The faithless especially cannot understand how the principle of 'seeking protection' works for the faithful. The faithful, however, do not have such conflict as they are always aware how the hand of God wields its way in their lives which is inconceivable to the faithless.
What does it mean to be depended on God? What does it mean to be faithful? All can be understood by a little glimpse into the lives of the Pandavas, who were ardent followers of dharma, or religion as given by God.
The non-believers, who have never experienced the hand of God are sceptical. They challenge – "How does God protect His followers or devotees? If indeed he does, then why do they face reverses in their lives? Consequently often those who are not devoted to God are also well situated. How is this possible?"
Critics vociferously speak about the sufferings meted out to the Pandavas. They retort, "What did the Pandavas gain after meticulously following dharma? They eventually struggled, lost their children and relatives in the fratricidal war, even killing their own brother Karna! So how was the outcome of their life any different from the Kurus' in regards to suffering? Kurus' suffered by dying and the Pandavas suffered while still alive!"
To reconcile all this is not so easy. Viewing it through the lens of mundane vision will only make us more perplexed. The lives of the Pandavas can be understood when one familiarises oneself with the foundational principles based on which the laws of his world affect individuals. For that, one needs to thoroughly imbibe the concept of God's incarnation in this world (avatara)especially as Sri Rama and Sri Krishna.
These avataras are typified by Their own unique conduct and philosophy. Actually the whole concept of how God protects and helps is very uniue and must be viewed in the dharmik context. When we fail to decipher great epics such as Mahabharata and Ramayana through this lens, we misconstrue God's role in our life. This is one of the biggest ironies, from both believers and non-believers – having wrong expectations from God! Such fallacies raise doubts even in the believers, what to speak of reinforcing the scepticism of the non-believers.
Do such avataras forewarn their devotees about the problems they will encounter or how They will extend their protection? No. In fact, they don't even promise unceasing physical protection to their devotees. Rather, these avataras act inconspicuously, just to increase the struggle and self-endeavour of their devotees, making their hearts ever more grateful and prayerful.
Through the different stories of the Pandavas in this book, one will have a clearer picture of what real protection means.
The Pandavs exhibited three key principles when they took shelter of Lord Krishna's protection:
a) A grateful heart
b) A visionary mind
c) Action-oriented senses
Shri Krishna's protection brought forth these key principles in the lives of the Pandavas. The Pandavas wee after in helpless situations yet they continued to act on the path of dharma, with hearts ever brimming with gratitude for Sri Krishna. We see from their impeccable and venturesome lives, how they always depended on Shri Krishna, especially in adversity, thus leading to unabated remembrance of the Lord.
Pandavas always remained self-sufficient, and the most essential aspect of which is to remain faithful backed by proper understanding. Their expectations wee backed with efforts, applying appropriate strategy, correcting wrong moves, and learning to evolve by making changes, acting on those changes, collecting the right resources, experiencing setbacks, always remaining united in chaos and conflict, within and without, and seeking guidance from Kunti, Vidura, Draupadi and a host of sages, and of course, the foremost of all – Sri Krishna, who was protecting them in a very unique way.
This book attempts to evince what the hand of God entails for each one of us and to get an inkling of what to expect through the precept of the Pandavas' life and how to channelize our life's endeavours.
Brahma Sutras (79)
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