I was asked to write a BBC TV interview (a mock one) for a documentary show called “Thought For the Day”. The context is that I am a Hare Krsna, presenting Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the epic commentaries on India’s timeless classic, telling the story of Krsna and Arjuna on the battlefield. I am asked a specific question based on the subject of the day, “Can we make it to God by our own endeavours or are we reliant on God’s grace?” and I’m expected to represent the Bhagavad-gita’s/Hare Krsna’s version of this concept.
So the question is – can we make it to God by our own endeavours or are we reliant on God’s grace? We are going to use the analogy of the Sparrow and the ocean to answer this question, so that we may shed some light over the issue. This famous analogy is quoted by Srila Prabhupada in his famous Bhagavad-gita As It Is.
The sparrow was just another ordinary bird, nothing special about her in physical or intellectual nature; actually she was quite simple. Similarly, if we are humble, we can understand that we are very minute (especially in comparison to God and His creation) and, although we are seemingly unique, our abilities fit into a very limited spectrum.
So the sparrow had some eggs (as sparrows do) and she wanted her young hatchlings to be born with the best. Most of us dream of having a house by the sea, so the sparrow also had this inclination. She made herself a nice nest, by the sea side, a picturesque scene indeed. With this material endeavour, she was somewhat happy.
It just so happened, that one day, while our sparrow was fetching some sticks for her nest (probably renovating some space for a nursery) the tide began to rise. The ocean waters rose up so much that her little nest began to float away. The little sparrow was horrified when she returned, her young now miles out to sea.
The young sparrow begged for the Ocean to return her little babies-to-be….