The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

A Yes to What’s Been Given

By: for on Dec. 5, 2020

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that never would otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

(William Hutchison Murray, concerning one of his climbing expeditions to the Himalayas)


I witnessed this magic many times in the life of my teacher, Srila Prabhupada. Yet in his life he had innumerable setbacks as well.

Psychotherapist David Richo writes that there are five unavoidable “givens”, five immutable facts, that come to visit us all many times over:

One. Everything changes and ends

Two. Things do not always go according to plan.

Three. Life is not always fair.

Four. Pain is part of life.

Five. People are not always loving and loyal all the time.

We’ve all experienced these facts of life. And yet there is grace as well. Moving in our lives, unwarrantedly, and unexpectedly. St. Paul advised us to be grateful in all things, though we cannot always honestly feel grateful for all things. How do we rectify this paradox?

Living in the material world can evoke a sense of pessimism. Yet unforeseen grace that arrives, beyond my plan-making or comprehension, exists as well. At those times, a material pessimism is held in tension with those rays of spiritual optimism. We are eternal beings who come from a higher sphere, meant for a higher life, a higher love, beyond this temporary world of suffering.

The path of Bhakti is sometimes called, The Path of Grace. My tiny efforts and sincere intentions, coupled with grace, can move me, shift me toward a “Yes” to all that presents itself each day.

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