"Snap! Crackle 'N Pop!" It wasn't the sound of rice krispies exploding in the cold milk that I heard. I don't eat that stuff.
At 4 AM the sound came from above - with a thunderous volume. The gods were displaying a light and sound show. The threatening rain was a deterrent to my venturing too far away on foot from the ashram as the rowdy party ensued above.
The sky was the stage for a real drama, short, but real. The cracking with resounding echo and strobe effect that I physically witnessed seemed a precursor to the reading of this morning's Bhagavatam verse.
Our small band of monks, about a dozen, sat down to hear about a major conflict between one of the gods and a demon. the demigod, Indra, wielded his thunderbolt weapon in the battle against Vitrasura, a demon of extraordinary valour. According to the text, Vrtrasura out shone Indra while in action by the use of his eloquent philosophical insight and his expert use of weaponry. Tridents, clubs, and thunderbolts were divine weapons employed in the field of action. Sparks flew. You could just imagine the fireworks.
Vrtrasura's strength was so intimidating that all the gods were retrieving. It became apparent to him that they were avoiding the struggle of battle. "Struggle should be welcomed" was our message to the monks after the reading. And our guru, Srila Prabhupada, had emphasized that in order for there to be victory it must be preceded by struggle.
What we learned from the display of explosions in the sky and the Bhagavatam message on ground level was that in this world there will be clashings. In the choice of battles, particularly the battle of mind and senses, must be accepted and in the end may we be victorious.