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August 11, 2020

Tulsi's 2020 Janmashtami Message

Aloha and Namaste,

2020 is certainly a year that will not soon be forgotten. For most, if not all, of us, it has brought about many unexpected changes. Changes to our daily routines, our work, and even our relationships.

Whenever we’re put into difficult situations, it gives us the opportunity to take shelter in the loving protection of the Supreme Lord, our Supreme Friend. It propels us to reflect upon and draw upon the lessons we've learned from the past and also to consider what changes we can make to live a better life, now and in the future. So if we take the opportunity to slow down and connect with what really matters, we can enjoy a gentler, more meaningful existence.

The challenges we face today, both as individuals and as a society right now, are tremendous. The uncertainty that this year has brought has made me personally reflect upon the time I spent deployed in the Middle East. That too was a time in my life when there was danger at every step. Each day brought new uncertainties, and likewise, many lives were lost. My shelter then and now, has been the Bhagavad-gita, which means “Song of God”.

The Bhagavad-gita, spoken by Sri Krishna, is full of transcendental wisdom that is as relevant today as it was 5000 years ago when it was spoken. On this holy day of Janmashtami, when we celebrate the appearance of Sri Krishna in this world, it is the perfect time to reflect on His sublime instructions, which are like a transcendental lifeline.

When we are blown here and there by the strong winds of change, when giant waves are crashing upon us, when we are feeling unsteady, lost, adrift, the Bhagavad-gita offers us guidance and hope. Looking at our problems through the prism of eternality, rather than merely identifying with our temporary, material circumstances, gives us an anchor that offers great peace, purpose, and stability through even the most trying of times.

May we always be blessed with remembrance of Sri Krishna, His unconditional love and His transcendental appearance in this world.

Jaya Sri Krishna!

-Tulsi Gabbard

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