Question: How can an aspiring spiritual practitioner prepare for something disastrous that can happen at any moment, and how can he or she tackle the situation of uncertainty?
Radhanath Swami: Our whole life should be prepared for each moment. If we have a strong foundation, when a storm comes you will have strength. If we have the wisdom and intelligence that is coming from hearing the great scriptures like Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and Chaitanya Charitamrita, if we are properly nourished with philosophy and if we are chanting the holy names properly and not committing offense to others, we get spiritual strength and intelligence, and then when these moments come we will be prepared.
If we are not prepared when the moment comes it is just like….when I was in Vrindavan, India, in 1971, there was a war between Pakistan and India. At night everyone was told to stay inside; they would cut out all electricity for the whole of Vrindavan, and if you had a candle or something you had to put a black covering over your window. The idea is that when the enemy planes come over and when they see light they will bomb. There was preparation. If you know that you are going to be attacked then you have to prepare yourself to be safe. It is not that just do anything you want and it does not matter.
So we know that maya (illusion) is going to attack. Definitely, she will attack you every day in so many ways from within and without. So we should prepare ourselves. We prepare ourselves by chanting attentively, hearing Srimad Bhagavatam, avoiding offenses to others, sincerity of our prayers of feeling helpless and crying out for Krishna’s mercy. Then when the storms come and the attacks come, we have some preparation.