First the Glossary(…a little unorthodox style 🙂 )
Ananta Koti Vaishnavas –The millions of devotees of the Supreme Lord Krishna; according to the Vedic understanding, the majority of them are in the spiritual world, beyond the material universes.
Pancha Tattva—The Supreme Lord manifesting in five features—Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, NItyananda Prabhu, Advaita Acharya, Gadadhar Pandit, and Srivas Thakur. Their activities are documented in the epic Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita.
Six Goswamis—The six saintly followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who wrote books that form the basis of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Theology.
The story begins now….
Exam was approaching!!! At least this time… will I successfully clear my MS in Orthopedics?
Incidentally, Radhanath Swami visited my home on the eve of my exam. My medico friends also joined in to have his holy association. But the ambience was deadly dull: the gathering knew of the exam tension that gnawed at me, and they felt for this dear friend.
“So, how many times have you attempted so far to clear your exams?” Radhanath Swami asked me. “Tomorrow will be the fifth,” I felt my parched mouth as I replied; I burned with anxiety.
“Fifth attempt? Don’t worry. The Pancha Tattva will be there to help you out tomorrow,” said Radhanath Swami. That was a quip, but nonetheless a blessings. I bowed down in gratitude. As I raised my head, Radhanath Swami peered into my eyes.
Perhaps, detecting that I was still edgy, he said, “Don’t worry. If you don’t make it tomorrow, on your sixth attempt, the six goswamis will be there to help you.” My friends burst out laughing. I broke into a smile, spontaneously fell on my knees, and bowed down before him. When I raised myself, Radhanath Swami studied my eyes—once again.
“Don’t worry. Even if you cannot clear in your sixth attempt, you can endlessly go on, for ananta koti vaishnavas will be there…” The last few words of Radhanath Swami drowned in the sounds of roaring laughter that now filled the room. That roar dispersed the cloud hanging over me, and I too had a hearty laugh.
The next day I performed well, feeling light and depending on higher powers. And it turned out to be a winning performance.
Looking back, Radhanath Swami had taught me a lesson of dependence and a lesson of detachment from results. Later on I came to know that he had also made sure that my preparations were good: weeks before my exam, he had secretly called on my friends to help me out with my studies. So, at the end of the day, the lesson was–work hard, but with dependence on higher powers and with detachment.
–Dr. Girish Rathod