87. The Dîkshâ for Acquiring Raksha (security)

The Lord is all compassion, all grace. Bhîshma the grandfather of both the clans that were battling for supremacy in the field of Kurukshetra, had led the Kaurava hosts for eight days, but victory was not in sight. So the eldest of the Kauravas, Duryodhana, approached him and prayed for a more terrific onslaught on the enemy to be guided and directed by him. Bhîshma replied that it would be either death or victory for him, the next day. Knowing this, Lord Krishna persuaded the Pândava queen Draupadî, who was imbued with the deepest devotion to Him, to accompany Him to the camp of Bhîshma at dead of night. Prayer was the source of strength for that tormented queen; her prayers could not but move the Lord. She entered the tent of Bhîshma, with her face hidden behind a veil. Krishna had asked her to leave her sandals behind, lest their pit-a-pat should disturb the silence and alert the guardsmen. He wrapped them in a silken kerchief and carried the bundle under His arm!

Draupadî (see also humiliation of Draupadî and Krishna's rescue) moved into the tent and fell at the feet of Bhîshma, who blessed her, automatically, as was his wont, "May you have many years of happy married life!" Draupadî revealed herself as soon as she was blessed thus; she prayed that the Pândava brothers, her husbands, may be saved from his arrows. Bhîshma guessed that Krishna must be the originator of this stratagem; Bhîshma knew that he was doomed to die. "We are but puppets in His hands", he said and when he found Him at the entrance to the tent, he inquired what the bundle contained. Imagine his feelings when he was told that the Lord had condescended to carry under His arms, the sandals worn by His devotee! Have faith in Him; He will never give you up; He will guard and guide, until victory is won. Sincere devotion, unshaken faith they can never fail to earn grace.

Draupadî had the faith to surrender unreservedly; she led a dedicated life. The five Pândava brothers who were her husbands are the five vital airs, the panch-prâna which activate and vitalise the body. She is energy that sustains the prânas, by constant vigilant care.

To have that faith you must dive deep into the inner mystery of the avatâras like Râma or Krishna, and not lose your way in the tangle of the outer events and emotional conflicts, the external adventures and activities. Do not take Râma as a brother, son, husband, entangled in the personal calamity of having his wife kidnapped and heroically rescuing her (see RRV). You can be moved into adoration only by diving into the cool depths of the inner mystery. This process was specially discovered by the sages of India, and so India rose to the status of the Guru of the whole world. Incessant humility, insistent reverence, contemplation on God and His Glory - these shall be your Dîkshâ for acquiring Raksha (security).