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Rescue Me!

There is a great rescue happening this weekend. After many months in captivity, Sita Devi, the wife of Lord Rama, is freed. Kidnapped many months earlier, she resisted Ravana’s request to become his wife. She waited and trusted Rama would come and rescue her. And he did.

Such is the core story of the epic, Ramayana. The Bhagavad-gita is also a rescue story. As Arjuna drove between the two armies and saw his future laid out before him, he collapsed. He was confused about his duty, not sure if he should fight or walk away. He asked Krishna for a rescue - ‘please tell me what to do.’

Krishna listened, questioned, and gave his opinion. His rescue took the form of laying out options and, in the end, Arjuna was ready to make his choice - with a clear head and an open heart.

It’s often easier to be the hero-to-the-rescue - whether it’s a small situation or more urgent. It feels good to do the good deed, to be at the right place at the right time, to fix things. However, asking for help or acknowledging that we even need help, tends to be harder. Being independent and managing things ourselves is natural. We don’t want to bother others or feel like a fool. But help we need, and help we must ask for - sooner or later.

Coming to that position of helplessness is especially important for a spiritual practitioner. Humility and vulnerability--which are the essence of a rich and growing relationship with Krishna--are the key elements in asking for help. They bring a healthy understanding of our actual position - a tiny soul, covered by a very powerful and formidable material energy.

Prayer is a good place to start. We express our total dependence on Krishna and our desperate need for a rescue from this cycle of birth and death. That should be the mood we are looking for in prayer. We have to feel it, to truly desire it. Otherwise not much will change in our lives and our false ego, this temporary identity of ‘I am this body’, will dupe us again and again. O Lord, rescue me!

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