At the beginning of our spiritual life, we theoretically understand that Krishna is there, that Krishna will protect and maintain us, but this is only theoretical, and in times of challenges we might start to doubt. After practicing Krishna Consciousness for a longer time we start to realize that yes, maybe it is really true. Maybe Krishna is actually here. Having experienced too many so-called coincidences in our life, we have developed more faith. But a pure devotee has actually realized that Krishna is always there and is personally caring for us.
Sacinandana Maharaja once shared how he had personally heard the following story from Srila Prabhupada in this connection:
‘When the brāhmaṇa, Arjunācārya, was writing his commentary on the Gītā, he saw this verse and thought it a mistake to believe that the Lord would personally carry whatever was needed to each devotee. Arjunācārya, therefore, scratched out vahāmi (I carry) and inserted karomi (I have it done). Arjunācārya was extremely poor. After making the change in the text, he, as he did every day, went out begging.
While he was gone, his wife heard a knock at the door. Two beautiful boys fearfully insisted that she quickly accept the food that her husband had forced them to bring. These beautiful boys were anxious to get away from her house because, they told her, the great brāhmaṇa scholar, Arjunācārya, would probably beat Them again. When Arjunācārya’s wife expressed disbelief that her husband had beat such boys, one said, “See?” And the dark boy turned to show her the marks on His back where He had been struck. Then They both dashed away. Arjunācārya’s wife was bewildered, and she began to cook and eat the food the boys had brought. Upon Arjunācārya’s return, he saw his wife eating. He was shocked. According to the Vedic system, a wife never eats before she has fed her husband.
When he challenged her, she replied, “Ācārya, why have you acted so inappropriately and become so cruel?” She then told him that two beautiful boys had come, left a bountiful supply of food, and after the dark boy had shown her the marks on His back, They had rushed away. The ācārya thought for a few moments and then asked what the boys looked like. Upon hearing that one had a beautiful darkish complexion and that the other was white, he could understand that his fortunate wife had been blessed with the darśana of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. The “beating” marks on the beautiful dark boy’s back were the result of the ācārya’s having scratched out the word vahāmi. Kṛṣṇa had been forced to come personally to prove the truth of His words, “I carry what they lack.”’ (1)
One may think that `yes, this is a nice story, but does it work in real life?`. Maharaja shared how his doubts very taken away trough a very special arrangement by Krishna:
„The next day we faced a big challenge, we were not able to pay our rent and that already for three months. The owner told us ‘you are nice people but if you do not pay I have to quit our contract and you are out on the streets..!’
I thought to myself, we heard this story from Prabhupada, Krishna convinced Arjunācārya that He personally carries what His devotees lack. Now if Krishna wants to convince Sacinandana Dasa then I want to see the money which we need to pay the rent for three months. And my dear devotees, I am telling you the truth, I am an old man now, no reason to lie. The next morning when I went to take out the mail of the mailbox there was a letter and inside there were 500.- Mark, that's nowadays like 2500.- dollars…There was no stamp on the letter, someone just brought it there…! Now Sacinandana Swami is also convinced that Krishna cares!
I’ll never forget this incidence, and what is even more important: Krishna takes care of us during the inner darkness. When we are not enthusiastic anymore, when we are desperate and when nothing makes sense anymore, at that time Krishna comes to the devotee in a special way. When we take shelter in the Holy Name, Krishna rises like a sun in the sky of our heart to remove our ignorance. Krishna is arriving in our heart – what’s the use of a Krishna Who is far away? Yes, He is there in the transcendence, thousands of light-years away. We want to feel Krishna, we want to experience Him, we need to come to this platform of realization that Krishna is actually here and is taking care of us.“ (2)
1 - From `Surrender unto Me` by Bhurijana Dasa, Commentary on BG 9.22
2 - Sacinandana Swami Lecture in Switzerland, 8. August 2019