Recently I met a man who told me something that changed my view of life.
Since I in 2001 worked with mentally retarded and handicapped children, and again in 2005, I have felt so much sorry for them. Thinking of what bad karma the must have to end up in a body like now, and maybe even so mentally retarded that they cannot communicate with others.
Some weekend’s back I was in Stockholm and I met Sri Krishna Caitanya das, an Ayurvedic doctor, who was a part of the starting team of Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai. This prabhu is very remarkable…First of all Ayurveda is fantastic, but in the hands of a doctor who knows his school, it becomes a mystical experience. He checks the pulse and somehow he can tell you how your physical and mental health is. It’s almost magical.
One morning during breakfast one Prabhu at the table asked the doctor: ”what about devotees who get mentally retarded and handicapped children? Even after performing all the samskaras (chanting 50 rounds before having sex etc.), they still get a child like that.”
Sri Krishna Caitanya Prabhu told the story of how one of the doctor couple at the hospital has a severe handicapped daughter, she is 9 years old, she cannot see, she cannot walk, she can only listen. This couple are such nice devotees, they are always so kind and always in the mood of serving Krishna and the Vaisnavas. Still the had a handicapped daughter. Why? And he also told that a lot of devotees have miscarriages (involuntary abortion). Why? Why do their souls get a body like that?
First of all, we are not this body. Secondly, we are not the mind. Thirdly, we are spirit souls! When we are born in a normal healthy body, we are very early under the spell of Maya, the whole material world. We have to do like this, be like that, and follow the mainstream. When a soul takes a body that is handicapped, it does not have to ”fit” into the society, it does not have to be like everyone else. The soul in the handicapped body does not have so many filters to cleanse. The normal bodied soul has innumerable filters to cleanse before the soul is reached. He further explained how a soul might come down just for one purpose, sometimes to have prasadam or just to hear the maha mantra through the womb. So when all samskaras are performed and one wish for a pure soul to come, the result might not be what one expects. A pure soul might not want to stay so long, and will as soon as it’s karma is “burned” return to Krishna. Finally.
This 9-year-old girl cannot see or move, but she can hear. All day she is listening to kirtans. That is what the soul needs.
Just 3 days back I saw a proof of this. At the Sunday feast here in Oslo, one couple came with their daughter, and she clearly had some mental disorder/handicap. No clear speech, but she understood sign language. I was leading kirtan when they came, and she right away started rocking back and forward and clapped her hands. She even moved her lips to chant the mantra. I looked at her many times during the kirtan, and I saw that the mantra was reaching her heart. If she could she would jump up and dance! I spoke shortly to the parents and they said she had been there one time before with her grandmother, and they had never seen this girl so happy and ecstatic. They’ve tried to search YouTube for kirtans, but the girl did not react so happily to them. I gave them the link to our web page www.harekrishna.no where we have links to wonderful and ecstatic kirtans.
I was so touched after this Sunday feast…I started thinking of, how I for so many years have felt sorry for mentally retarded and handicapped people, but now something had changed in me. These souls might seem unlucky or we might feel sad for their destiny, but that is only seen with our material eyes.
As the matter of fact, these souls are the lucky ones. They are free from mental contamination, and can take to Krishna consciousness very easy. They are very much blessed. They are burning so much karma, and have a shorter way back to Krishna.
That is where all souls must go – Back to Godhead.
So in a short time Krishna has showed me how all is temporary, I had long time back made up my mind that I didn’t want to have a job, working with mentally retarded people, but now I really feel the desire to have a job like that. Then I can play kirtans for them and their souls will remember Krishna. Dream-job.