Faith and Devotion are 2 of the main pillars upon which our whole spiritual foundations are built upon, yet so little is actually written about how to apply and enhance these principles in our daily lives.
The help address this situation, I am sharing 2 powerful stories from the Vedic Scriptures to help you understand how you can add more faith and devotion to your life, and thus to increase your spiritual growth.
- The Story of Draupadi, Ego & The Infinite Source
- The Story Of Radha Connecting To The Divine
Draupadi, Ego & The Infinite Source
There is a beautiful story in the ancient Mahabharat scriptures about Draupadi, the beautiful and powerful wife of the Pandavas, and a wholehearted devotee of her Lord Krishna.
During her many adventures, there was one particular episode where she had been dragged into an evil King’s castle and thrown into the middle of a packed courtyard.
Here she was ridiculed and tormented by so many of the King’s noblemen, and as a final insult, the brutes decided to strip Draupadi of her clothing in front of the entire audience.
Draupadi held on to her saree (a long Indian traditional dress), for as long as she could, but the strength of the soldier pulling it away became too overbearing for her.
In sheer desperation, she remembered her Krishna and called out his name as an absolute last resort for any kind of help. Krishna never came, and her grip on the saree was loosening fast. She carried on calling from the depth of her heart, still holding onto her saree with every ounce of strength she could muster; yet still, her Krishna never came.
Draupadi was almost about to pass out as she could no longer hold on. She finally gave up all her efforts and resigned herself to having her dignity completely stripped, with the whole city watching on.
At that moment, Krishna appeared, and turned her saree into a never-ending robe, so no matter how many times her perpetrators pulled away at her saree, the dress kept unfolding further and further with no end in sight. Finally, the soldiers gave up in sheer exhaustion, as they were unable to pull the saree off her, no matter how many times they tried.
A few days after the incident had passed, Draupadi met Krishna, and with fury scolded him for not helping her when she first cried out for help. Krishna replied by telling her that when she first called out for the divine, she also kept her hands firmly on her saree. Her ego was not ready to fully submit itself to the divine, and her faith was not strong enough to trust Krishna to come and save her.
It was only when she lost all sense of hope, that her ego had finally loosened its grip on her saree, that her heart allowed space for the divine to enter and work its charm. Only then, could Krishna make his appearance and fulfil her every need and desire.
This story is quite complex, as it demonstrates the power of absolute faith without holding on to any level in doership in one’s actions. Yoga teaches us to unite with our infinite consciousness, and access our unlimited powers, yet to do so, our egos must not block the passages for this great power.
However, yoga also teaches us to always be 100% in the moment and to always give our full efforts with every action we undertake. The subtlety lies in working with a strong level of conviction, yet still allowing space for the divine to enter your life.
Though Draupadi was giving her 100% in holding onto her saree, she had not surrendered her ego to her actions, and thus, was not able to draw upon her infinite powers. Only when she had lost her sense of doership connected with her actions, did the divine appear and help her in her hour of need. Faith beyond reason is what sees us through any given situation in life.
Radha Connecting To The Divine
Radha is the embodiment of devotion, with her entire existence dedicated to loving her Lord Krishna.
She loved Krishna from the very core of her being, and totally accepted everything about him; even the flirtatious attentions of all the fellow gopis (village girls) who also had their eyes on her beloved.
Nothing in this universe could ever move her from her affections;
Radha did not care for all the other women chasing her love; she did not bother with all the animals who unconditionally loved Krishna, nor was she concerned with the environment or nature who adored the lands Krishna graced.
Nothing could move Radha from her one-pointed focus towards her Lord, except for one tiny matter, which would bring out the most extreme jealousy within her.
Throughout her life, Radha had always yearned to become Krishna’s flute.
Krishna is seen as the eighth avatar of Vishnu (the God of preservation, who governs this entire creation). He entered the world some 5000 years ago and came with the intention of restoring righteousness within people’s hearts and to uplift the spirituality of mankind.
For each being to be cleansed of their vasanas (impressions) and karma (consequences of past actions), they would have needed a human body in order to experience this world, and move through the journey life had mapped out for them.
The spiritual upliftment of a person is achieved through aura cleansing, and internally connecting themselves with their higher infinite nature. Awareness of one’s inner consciousness is developed through igniting the seven chakras (centres of energy) located along the nervous system in the spine.
Through a combination of meditation, positive thoughts, wisdom and intense dedication, the chakras can release their divine energies, and help move an individual towards the goal of reaching their higher self. In becoming aware of your true self, you become aware of the divine.
Krishna is seen as a complete manifestation of the divine consciousness, and to be in his presence is considered to be the greatest boon a person could ever wish for. In his company, wisdom, compassion, love, self-realisation and innate talents all rise to the surface, as the divine God, you see on the outside is just a mere reflection of the divinity residing within us all.
Krishna is said to not only guide us towards the source of our higher nature but actually take us there himself in an elegant and effortless manner. Any barriers or obstacles we face in reaching our spiritual goals are completely removed by Krishna himself.
From a practical perspective, this is accomplished by Krishna working through each chakra in our body, and turning all our internal energies towards the divine. Remember how we mentioned the body has seven chakras? Well the musical flute, in turn, has seven holes.
Each hole in the flute plays a different note when held down, and when each of these notes is played in unison, beautiful music can be heard.
In Krishna’s presence, the flute does not need to do anything to produce divine music, Krishna works through all the holes and allows his magic to shine through; the same way Krishna works through our seven bodily chakras to release the natural beauty we have within us all.
Radha envied the flute because she too yearned to be an instrument who purely existed to be used by her beloved Krishna. She wanted to be the hollow and empty vessel which once touched by Krishna’s lips, would simply allow his divinity in the form of music to play through.
Grace can only flow through Krishna’s flute, as there is nothing inside its body to prevent his will from coming through. As human beings, we too can experience this same grace, by removing our egos and small-minded concepts, so we too become hollow and empty vehicles.
Radha realised the power of Krishna’s flute as it existed to be nothing other than an instrument of the divine. Only Radha was able to come to this realisation, as only she could love Krishna with every cell in her body.
Radha symbolises devotion and the flute represents our human body; when they both connect in union with each other, Krishna appears in the form of absolute beauty and music.