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You need the Lord's Grace to Achieve Anything Worthwhile

As long as Arjuna had the blessings and the company of Krishna, he was a mighty hero and he was able to accomplish many heroic deeds. Once Krishna left his mortal body, Arjuna, through body consciousness and attachment, was overcome with sorrow and self pity. He felt that Krishna had left him, and as a result, he lost all his valor. Arjuna, the great hero, now became weak and unable to accomplish even the smallest tasks. When Arjuna was bringing the surviving women and children from Krishna's household to shelter, robbers attacked him in the forest. Arjuna tried his best to fight against them and to free the women and children from the grip of these murderous robbers; but he could not do it.

During the many battles of the Mahabharata war, Arjuna was able to fight and defeat so many great heroes. He was unconquerable, no matter the odds against him. But, the same Arjuna was not able to even vanquish the robbers in the forest and rescue the women and children who were under his protection. What was the reason for this? Until that time, with Krishna at his side, Arjuna had felt great strength. Not recognizing where that strength came from, he believed it was his own valor and his own strength that had provided the victories he was able to gain. But this delusion stemmed from ignorance. Arjuna's strength had not been his. That strength had been given to him by the divinity.

Even though a person may be endowed with divine strength, he deludes himself into thinking that the strength he has is all due to his own human capabilities. So it was with Arjuna. But, once he lost the strength of divinity, he was not able to accomplish even the smallest thing. Man has been able to undertake many types of activities because the divinity is inherent in him and has been providing all his inner strength, sustenance and power. Without this divine power, man would not be able to accomplish anything. Without the stamp of divinity not even his smallest undertakings would reach fruition. That stamp is all-important. Consider the following example.

Let us say that you have made a beautiful envelope out of heavy art paper. You have written Swami's address on it in colorful decorative script, and you have enclosed a beautiful letter, carefully written with calligraphy and adorned with striking colors. The borders of this envelope are also artfully embellished with many exquisite designs. You have inserted the letter inside the envelope, you have sealed it and posted it. Yet, despite all your great efforts and skill, the letter never reached Swami. Why is that? The reason is that you did not put a stamp on the envelope. All your decorations and all your beautiful handwriting could not help in getting that letter to Swami.

Even a letter which has been dropped in the postbox at the college hostel will not reach the temple here, less than a mile away, without a stamp. But with a stamp on it, a letter could even have traveled thousands of miles and reached its destination. The postal department will not look at all the decorations, the ornate letters, the striking colors and designs. They will not pay any attention to all your beautiful art work. They will only look at the address and check to see if the envelope has the correct stamp. So, what was most needed was for you to procure a stamp and properly place it on the envelope.