So there I was, driving on a five lane highway, a good speed mind you, when a car moseyed up behind me. The driver wasn’t putting a lot of pressure on me to get out of his way, but still I thought, let me move over and make room. So I did and it felt good.
It also made me think how the act of making room for another is inherent in the practice of Krishna Bhakti. After I moved over I experienced a moment of humility. And a sense of service – even to a stranger as we cruised down the highway.
When we make room, we are moving ourselves out of the center, shrinking the needs of our false ego to be right, or first, or the best. Depending on the circumstance, making room can bring a mellowing of our bristling ego, can be an expression of trust, an honoring of emotions (even uncomfortable ones), and a ‘giving space’ to other perspectives. Making room reminds us that we are not the controller and that we need to work with and get help from others. Making room helps us be the observer and avoid jumping in too soon to be the rescuer or fixer.
Of course our whole sadhana (daily practice) of Bhakti Yoga is the making room in our heart for Krishna. Mantra meditation breaks our mental barriers and invites us into the wide open space of spiritual energy where we can better understand and sense the presence of Krishna. When we read Bhakti philosophy and Krishna Lila (such as Krishna speaking with Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita) we are making room in our otherwise intellectual dullness for the light of awakened consciousness.
And when we make room for hearing from great souls, those whose lives are dedicated to finding and explaining the deep truths of our existence, we find ourselves humbled and grateful that we too can have a personal relationship with Krishna – the source of all love. And in finding that, we see that Krishna makes room for each and every one of us.
The list can go on and on. Make room for failure, make room for success! Make room for yourself and make room for others! Make room in small and big ways. Make room! Make room! Make room! This is the abundance mentality inherent in Bhakti – there is room for all of us and we all belong.
And in the ultimate paradox, when our love for Krishna takes over and there is no room for anything else, it’s there that we find everything, and room for more. It’s there that we find the beauty and truth of it all.
Read more from Ananda Vrindavan Devi at ISKCON of DC
Photo c/o: Matthew Henry
May 15, 2022
Sunanda Das, Temple of the Vedic Planetarium