Why Can't You Do It? It's Such a Simple Thing!

2nd June 2015 • Active Meditations

Mother Srimati

Once upon a time there was a very talented and intelligent devotee who excelled at everything she did. She was very people-friendly and a very successful preacher and teacher. Everyone in the community not only respected her, but loved her. She had only one fault, and it was very prominent. She found it very difficult to tolerate the inadequacies and shortcomings of other devotees. If a student couldn’t learn three Bhagavad-gita slokas in a week she’d say, “Why can’t you do it? It’s such a simple thing!” If her cleaner didn’t clean the brass to her satisfaction she’d say, “Why can’t you do it? It’s such a simple thing!” If the shopkeeper didn’t bring the quality of fruit she wanted she’d say, “Why can’t you do it? It’s such a simple thing!” It was like a mantra for her; something that was unconscious but very harmful and hurtful for those who had to interact with her.

A few times best friends tried to open her eyes to how badly she was hurting and disempowering other devotees, but she just couldn’t see it. Her personal expertise didn’t allow her to empathize with others less able. Krishna had to arrange a very special circumstance for her to wake her up to the reality. She had been overworking for some time and her body had become weak. Still, she pushed herself; the perfectionist in her wouldn’t allow her to live a balanced life. Then one day a terrible thing happened. She had a severe stroke. It almost killed her. She was bedridden for six weeks and couldn’t even lift her head. But with each passing day, she became sweeter and sweeter, happier and happier, kinder and kinder. The experience proved to be very transformational for her and her interactions with devotees were very loving, understanding and encouraging. Her best friend was really keen to understand what it was that prompted such a major paradigm shift. She asked, “My dear friend, what’s the reason for this sudden change of heart? It’s wonderful, but please explain it if you can. The bedridden devotee replied, “This stroke is Krishna’s mercy. Now I can finally understand what you have been trying to explain to me for many years. Every time I try to lift my head off the pillow and can’t; or try to hold my beads and can’t, I hear my own voice like a tape-recorder: “Why can’t you do it? It’s such a simple thing!” Finally I understand. Krishna is such a kind and expert teacher. Thank you, Krishna!”


Too often we are blind to our shortcomings and this can seriously harm our dealings with other devotees, and people in general. Quite often Krishna has to arrange a special circumstance for us to help us learn what we need to learn, help us remove obstacles that otherwise just won’t budge. Whenever something “negative” happens in your life, first ask Krishna, “What do you want me to learn from this, Krishna? What changes in my heart and life are You wanting me to make.” Don’t fight the circumstance, but be a conscious and sensitive cooperator. You’ll never be the loser!