Wednesday, June 25, 2008

1008 Down

Sometimes in life we're forced into situations or duties that we would prefer to avoid. Actually, this is more common than most of us care to admit. We are masters at self deception and internal fraud which find expression in various acts and misadventures .

But the hand of Krishna is on everyone, especially on one who attempts to pay some attention to Krishna, however imperfectly. That was shown to me recently when i went down to Florida, first to see, and then to perform the funeral rites for my uncle. When i made the booking one evening for my flight to Miami, my uncle was in the hospital. By the time i landed the next afternoon, he had died. Naturally i felt not just sad, but uncomfortable. But i was comforted by a couple of very trivial things that reminded me how Krishna is always present under all circumstances.

First, the record locator or confirmation code for my ticket to Miami was a series of letters that started with OM. I thought that was cool. And when i got to Miami, i took a short train ride from the airport to Ft. Lauderdale, about 25 miles north. After i sat down on the train with my carry on luggage i looked up and noticed the number of the train car i was riding in (bogey number they call it in India). It was 1008. Certainly auspicious, i thought. Later i realized that i had used that same number: one zero zero eight, in the intro to my song, Jivatma Express. "One Zero Zero Eight Down is now leaving from platform number"....a voice over says in English and Hindi as the music starts. So there i was, riding on my own 1008 Down, presiding over a funeral!

So no matter what life throws at us, and it definitely throws all kinds of curve balls, if we can only remember that the sweet Lord is the real controller, the real pitcher, He shows us his presence in all kinds of interesting ways.

Somehow or other, by hook or by crook as the expression goes, always remember Krishna. And never forget Him. This is one of the essential sutras left to us by our beloved guru and eternal well-wishing friend, Srila Prabhupada.