Gary and Richard (now Radhanath Swami) were at France and wondered where to go now. Richard replied they surrender to God’s will. Hitch hiking, they reached Geneva and befriended Jim. Richard revealed how he had been accidently left out by the draft board. Later Jim’s belongings got stolen and Gary wondered if the both of them were bad luck as others are troubled because of their association; first Frank and now Jim got robbed. Richard assures that everything in life- the draft board making a mistake in keeping out Richard and the bad luck of Frank and Jim, and even their unexpected destinations- are God’s will. Richard exclaimed that God had a beautiful plan behind it all.
The ability to see God’s plan behind everything that happens in our life is very difficult; especially when things don’t work according to our plans. Radhanath Swami says it requires humility to accept that we are not the doers and God is all good. To have faith in God’s goodness in trying circumstances opens the door of unlimited grace. Radhanath Swami repeatedly tells us, “God is our dearest friend and well-wisher, and everything He does is for our highest good.” This reminds me that a favourite saying in many God-centered self-help groups is “Let go and let God.” This is a high ideal for any practitioner of a spiritual path.
Radhanath Swami urges a spiritual seeker to accept the fact that we cannot know what God has in mind for us, and God’s plans are always beyond our comprehension. God’s plans are bigger and broader and more far reaching than our tiny little minds can possibly conceive of.
Radhanath Swami reveals on the basis of scriptures that God resides in the heart of every living entity and He knows our hearts, our desires, our attachments, or needs. He is there guiding us, and directing our lives in such a way as to lead us to Him as surely and truly and quickly as we are willing to accept and come to Him. However Radhanath Swami says we are engrossed in relative matters and hence unable to see God’s beautiful plan unfolding in our lives.
I remembered a famous story about a Taoist farmer that goes like this:
This farmer had only one horse, and one day the horse ran away. The neighbours came to console him over his terrible loss. The farmer said, “What makes you think it is so terrible?”
A month later, the horse came home–this time bringing with her two beautiful wild horses. The neighbours became excited at the farmer’s good fortune. Such lovely strong horses! The farmer said, “What makes you think this is good fortune?”
The farmer’s son was thrown from one of the wild horses and broke his leg. All the neighbours were very distressed. Such bad luck! The farmer said, “What makes you think it is bad?”
A war came, and every able-bodied man was conscripted and sent into battle. Only the farmer’s son, because he had a broken leg, remained. The neighbours congratulated the farmer. “What makes you think this is good?” said the farmer.
The story reveals that instead of being swayed back and forth by the various appearances of so called good and bad fortune in this life, we can become more balanced and realize that everything is relative and we don’t ever really know what is good fortune, and what is bad fortune. Radhanath Swami explains that the only good fortune is to allow God’s plans for us to unfold, and become an instrument for His will, and the only bad fortune is in not doing that.