God Helps Those Who Help Themselves
By Virabahu Dasa
As an institution representative of Krsna and the parampara, we have the duty and obligation to be an example of responsibility and caring concern for everyone. Thus, in the present context of the coronavirus pandemic, we must strictly take all recommended precautions and strictly follow all official indications.
Krsna must see that we are doing everything that we can and not that we are irresponsibly leaving everything to Him. «God helps those who help themselves.» While endeavoring thus, we do it with the ultimate understanding that
ONLY KRSNA PROTECTS (…but in His own way), as presented by Srila Prabhupada in
Canto Seven, Chapter 9: Prahlada Pacifies Lord Nrsimhadeva with Prayers
balasya neha saranam pitarau nrsimha
nartasya cagadam udanvati majjato nauh
taptasya tat-pratividhir ya ihanjasestas
tavad vibho tanu-bhrtam tvad-upeksitanam
My Lord Nrsimhadeva, O Supreme, because of a bodily conception of life, embodied souls neglected and not cared for by You cannot do anything for their betterment. Whatever remedies they accept, although perhaps temporarily beneficial, are certainly impermanent. For example, a father and mother cannot protect their child, a physician and medicine cannot relieve a suffering patient, and a boat on the ocean cannot protect a drowning man.
Through parental care, through remedies for different kinds of disease, and through means of protection on the water, in the air and on land, there is always an endeavor for relief from various kinds of suffering in the material world, but none of them are guaranteed measures for protection. They may be beneficial temporarily, but they afford no permanent benefit.
Despite the presence of a father and mother, a child cannot be protected from accidental death, disease and various other miseries. No one can help, including the parents. Ultimately the shelter is the Lord, and one who takes shelter of the Lord is protected. This is guaranteed. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (9.31), kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati: “O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.”
Therefore, unless one is protected by the mercy of the Lord, no remedial measure can act effectively. One should consequently depend fully on the causeless mercy of the Lord. Although as a matter of routine duty one must of course accept other remedial measures, no one can protect one who is neglected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this material world, everyone is trying to counteract the onslaught of material nature, but everyone is ultimately fully controlled by material nature. Therefore even though so-called philosophers and scientists try to surmount the onslaught of material nature, they have not been able to do so.
Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (13.9) that the real sufferings of the material world are four — janma-mrtyu jara-vyadhi (birth, death, old age and disease). In the history of the world, no one has been successful in conquering these miseries imposed by material nature. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]. Nature (prakrti) is so strong that no one can overcome her stringent laws. So-called scientists, philosophers, religionists and politicians should therefore conclude that they cannot offer facilities to the people in general. They should make vigorous propaganda to awaken the populace and raise them to the platform of Krsna consciousness.
Our humble attempt to propagate the Krsna consciousness movement all over the world is the only remedy that can bring about a peaceful and happy life. We can never be happy without the mercy of the Supreme Lord (tvad-upeksitanam). If we keep displeasing our supreme father, we shall never be happy within this material world, in either the upper or lower planetary systems.