Realizations on Thanksgiving from Varsana M in New Vrindaban

THANKSGIVING DAY CLASS Given by Varsana Maharaja

THURS NOV 28 2013

The class is paraphrased below, entitled: “A Series of Losses”

SB 11.3.7

“Thus the conditioned living entity is forced to experience repeated birth and death. Impelled by the reactions of his own activities, he helplessly wanders from one inauspicious situation to another, suffering from the moment of creation until the time of cosmic annihilation. “

His Holiness Varsana Maharaj happily gives out sweets on his Vyasa Puja.

His Holiness Varsana Maharaj happily gives out sweets on his Vyasa Puja.


“A Series of Losses”

This verse helps us contemplate Thanksgiving Day. It actually sums up the nature of material existence!

Life in this material existence is a series of losses.

Birth means we lose the shelter of the womb, which, although a different type of suffering, has been our first shelter in the material world.

A child grows up and goes to school, where he loses the option of playing all day.

Eventually, a person grows up and gets a job, thus losing more of his/her freedom.

The person often marries or gets ordained, losing their choice of certain options.

When old age comes up, one often eventually loses their independence.

If one becomes ill, they’ve lost their health.

And when you die, you lose it all!

These are just the common losses suffered by everyone.  Many suffer other, more serious losses, such as loss of innocence through abuse, or loss of a loving relationship through betrayal. There is loss of security through abandonment.  There are many other types of losses.

But if a person doesn’t heal from such losses, this can lead to a deeper loss: the loss of hope!  Such inevitable pain may lead to bitterness, where the heart can become cold, hard and closed.

But we have a choice. Whatever choice we make as a result of severe loss can change our lives for the better and turn us toward Krsna and all that He has to offer, or we can turn towards a life of blaming, hatred and resentment, and shame.

We can choose to take responsibility for the reaction to our losses, or we can rationalize them, and blame others for them.

We can listen to the gentle voice within that encourages us to take the responsibility and to learn the lesson, whatever that is.

Not that we musn’t  mourn or grieve the losses.  Even great, saintly souls like Bhisma grieved after the Battle of Kuruksetra. But there is a difference in a great soul’s grieving and mourning a loss, and a materialist’s grieving.  The great soul does NOT IDENTIFY with the grief and loss.  Their tears serve to wash away the illusion of false security, and expose the bitter truth of our brokenness..

Ultimately, we choose to either be resentful, or have gratitude.

Even the mundane hero , Abraham Lincoln, created this holy day of Thanksgiving to give gratitude in the midst of the most troubling time in America’s history – the civil war, when everything was torn apart.  He declared, “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”.

Our challenge when we suffer a loss is to see the essence beneath the surface.  What is the lesson?  What is Krsna trying to impart to me?

Life on Earth has a beginning and an end, but in between, each and every one of us has a choice what to do with it. Every loss, every closing chapter, opens another chapter in our lives.

There is a big difference between being grateful FOR the injustices, which is very difficult if not impossible at times, but rather let’s be grateful IN the injustices, and choose to learn from them.  Injustices will come, so be grateful in them  and learn the lesson.

Lord Indra learned his hard lesson after Krsna stopped the worship of Indra for the Govardhana Puja worship.  Indra finally admitted, “Krsna, you are my maintainer, my well-wisher, my best friend. Thank you.”

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