Not Always Getting What The Heart Desires

There is a philosophy going around that if you desire something enough in a positive way, and you visualize it continually the universe will deliver the fruits of that desire. There are some instances depicted where a man really wants something like a new sports car and he meditates on it (don’t try this!), sees it in his minds eye, tries it out in his imagination, surrounds himself with picture of it, etc; and low and behold this sports car manifests one day on the gross plane and he is able to possess the object of his desire.

Of course possessing the object of your material desire does not give you happiness. I will talk about that subject after talking about the conception of the universe as one big Kalpa Vrksa (desire) tree or Aladdin’s Genie for everyone. Does the universe fulfill all your desires if the desires are strong enough?

There is an interesting word "synchronicity", which means that events which are not causally related (one event being the cause of the other) occur together by the action of some unknown (in this case the universe) factor. Sometimes we are speaking about someone else, and at the same time the person calls on the phone.

That would be an example of synchronicity. So, what is actually happening, and how to explain this through the lens of Vedic knowledge? The universe is not unconscious nor it a big genie responding to everyone’s wishes, nor is it impersonal energy responding to our mental energetic radiation!

We know that behind all the universal functions there is Krishna as the creator, law giver, overseer, permitted, proprietor, universal Supersoul, individual Supersoul, etc. So, in other words "not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Also there are 33 million demigods who control the universe under Krishna’s direction. So, why does it seem that when people desire things with great intensity and they meditate on the fruits of their desire, the universe responds to their desires?

Srila Prabhupada explains this nicely in a purport: And so, when the living entity is bewildered in his desires, the Lord allows him to fulfill those desires, but the Lord is never responsible for the actions and reactions of the particular situation, which may be desired.

Being in a bewildered condition, therefore, the embodied soul identifies him with the circumstantial material body and becomes subjected to the temporary misery and happiness of life. The Lord is the constant companion of the living entity as Paramatma, or the Supersoul, and therefore He can understand the desires of the individual soul, as one can smell the flavor of a flower by being near it.

Desire is a subtle form of conditioning for the living entity. The Lord fulfills his desire, as he deserves: Man proposes and God disposes. The individual is not, therefore, omnipotent in fulfilling his desires. The Lord, however, can fulfill all desires, and the Lord, being neutral to everyone, does not interfere with the desires of the minute independent living entities.

The key phrase in Prabhupada’s purport is: "The Lord fulfills his desire as he deserves!". In other words if one is functioning under the laws of Karma one has a certain stock of good karma and a certain stock of bad karma. The good karma we can compare to a positive balance in our bank account.

When we have a strong desire to buy something, at a certain point that desire motivates us to take the money out of our bank account so that we can purchase the item. In the same way when we have a strong desire to get something in this world, Krishna as the Supersoul is aware of this, and this desire is fulfilled, if (and this is a big if) we have enough good karma in our bank account.

Now, when we take the good karma out of our karmic bank account, guess what? The amount of good karma in our karmic bank account is reduced by the amount of the withdrawal. So after some time there will be no more good karma left and we can desire till the cow jumps over the moon, but there will be no response.