Crying for Krishna, an act of self sympathy.
O the great journey of life-- ventured upon from our youth, led by aspiration and high hopes, accompanied by the best plans for success, love and fulfilment. But then the unplanned and inevitable failings, personal losses, heart break and fallouts. And what comes of it, a life survived but at its core--deep personal sadness?
I often wonder why we are so troubled by people's choice to end their lives fatally. Their commission to 'no hope', their preference for nonexistence as opposed to living on with such relentless sadness, is it the truth of it and in us that haunts us? Where hope counters misery, to have none, is that the end for us? Is self immolation the ultimate act of selfishness or indeed self-pity? If self-pity could be expressed, heard and embraced by absolute empathy, acceptance and love could life be survived?
Petrarch, the renaissance poet and humanist expresses such pity turned 'sympathy' as follows:
"As I wander deep in thought, so strong a sympathy with myself comes over me, that I must often weep aloud, a thing I am otherwise not accustomed to do". As if to his own surprise, perhaps not even permissible, Petrarch's acceptance and expression of self sympathy clearly overcomes him.
Is this an act of indulgence or humanity at its centre...where the self may save the self through self acceptance and love? A powerful line in Shakespeare, addressing this deep relationship we have with ourself, rings out in Dauphin's advice to the French King: 'Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting'. And so to cry for yourself though apparently unnatural may be an act that saves you as apposed to self destruction.
Is there a place for this in our religious tradition? I do think there is. Perhaps not immediately recognisable but it comes in the form of our engagement with God (Krishna).
We often hear the phrase we must cry to Krishna, to cry for mercy. Prabhupada would say 'To actually cry for krishna is the most perfect realisation'. To cry for the grace of Krishna, the acceptance of having need but no personal capacity to achieve, may well be such an act of feeling self pity and personal need that we are reduced to tears in supplication. Our helplessness, proneness to wrong and often compromised behaviour, has become worthy of even our own tears. Such tears are for us, not for Krishna. To cry for Krishna is to cry for ourselves and the act embellishes our approach in humility and self regret. To cry for my pitiable self and in appeal for you for benevolence. May I be embraced by absolute empathy, acceptance and love.
Closing the gap between our own shortcomings and need for absolute help comes in tears, deep tears of self empathy. And when directed to Krishna, wherein only absolute acceptance and love exists, life becomes again indeed worth living. Do not falter.