The Prayer of devi Kunti

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The pastimes of the Lord are completely transcendental and beyond the scope of the minute material intelligence of the conditioned living entities. Although the jivas in this Kali yuga, due to their acutely diseased state of false ego, think themselves to be very intelligent and capable, yet they are not at all able to comprehend the wondrous activities of the Lord. The Lord says in the Bhagwat Gita:

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so ‘rjuna

One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.

The activities of the Lord are all transcendental and only the pure devotees of the Lord are capable of understanding them, and therefore they are not bound in the repeated cycle of birth and death. But yet, the pastimes of the devotees are even more confidential and difficult for the conditioned living entities to understand and comprehend. One such instance is the following statement made by Kunti devi when Sri Krishna was about to leave for Dwarka after the war of Kurukshetra:

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat
tatra tatra jagad-guro
bhavato darśanaṁ yat syād
apunar bhava-darśanam (S.B. 1.8.25)

I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.

It is only possible for the pure devotees of the Lord to pray for calamities like Srimati Kunti devi has done. For Sadhakas as ourselves, we always desire for all happiness and prosperity in life, taking such material facilities to be the mercy of the Lord. But such material comforts often result in complacency and forgetfulness of the Lord. On the contrary, one automatically takes shelter of the Lord and prayers for the Lord’s protection in the times of calamities. Understanding this, Kunti devi is willing to go through all sorts of trials and tribulations so that they could take shelter of the Lord and see him when he comes to protect them, for the Lord promises that he always protects his devotees. These exalted personalities, like the pandanvas and their mother, find separation from the Lord to be much more painful then all the calamities combined together that they have ever faced in their lives, and the calamities themselves to be greatly desirable when they grant them an opportunity to look upon the lotus face of the Lord and serve him. For such great devotees, the only true distress is not to be able to see the Lord in front of them, as all the problems related to the body are external and do not pertain to the eternal nature of the soul. And therefore, they are eager to relive all their past difficulties just so that they can get the association and protection of Sri Krishna. Although we are not capable of imitating them and praying for calamities, we can surely make an attempt to surrender at the lotus feet of the Lord during times when calamities come of their own accord, and with such practice, we can someday completely surrender ourselves at the lotus feet of the Lord, and thus attain transcendental good fortune.