Whether we are in school or working hard at our jobs, we all look forward to vacations. Vacations provide us relief from the daily grind, a way to break free from the monotony of everyday life. We just can’t wait to have some time off, where we aren’t pressured to meet deadlines or required to be at a certain place at a specific time.
When we were growing up as children attending school, the Christmas and summer breaks were the two longest vacation periods in American schools anyway. Going to school is something most kids don’t like to do, so getting to stay home, wake up later, and watch television all day brings great joy to students. Even His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the modern day Hare Krishna movement, had a dislike for school when he was a child.
“I never wanted to go to school. And my father was very kind. ‘So all right. Why you are not going to school?’ I would say, ‘I will go tomorrow.’ ‘All right.’ But my mother was very careful. Perhaps if my mother would not have been little strict, I would not have gotten any education. My father was very lenient. So she used to force me. One man would take me to school. Actually, children do not want to go to school. They want to play. Against the will of the children, he has to go to school. Then there is examination, not only going to school.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Lecture, 740621.BG.GER)
Adults working full-time have fewer vacation periods, so they usually try to make better use of their time off than children do. Getaways to exotic destinations, site seeing, or visiting theme parks are some of the more popular vacation ideas. Disneyworld is the probably the world’s most famous vacation resort getaway.
“Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited and largest recreational resort in the world, containing four theme parks; two water parks; twenty-three themed hotels; and numerous shopping, dining, entertainment and recreation venues. Owned and operated by the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts segment of The Walt Disney Company, it is located southwest of Orlando, Florida. The property is often abbreviated Walt Disney World, Disney World or WDW, and is often referred to by locals as simply Disney.” (Wikipedia)
Kids especially love going there so they can see all their favor Disney characters along with riding roller coasters such as the one on Space Mountain. Adults even enjoy Disneyworld for all the sites and attractions that it offers. Planning such trips gives us something to look forward to. The opportunity to explore new places and break free from the daily routine gives us excitement. Looking forward to things is an essential part of maintaining a healthy mindset. Staying at fancy hotels, fine dining, and relaxing on a beach are very nice activities, but wouldn’t it be better to always be on vacation? Instead of looking for ways to break out of our daily routines, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to change our daily routine to include fun activities? This may seem impossible to us, but according to the Vedic teachings, this is exactly what results from practicing devotional service.
We may not be aware of it, but we are all serving something or someone, for this is what we are born to do. We serve our family, friends, countrymen, and even our own senses. It is the natural position of the spirit soul to serve, and it is the natural position of God to be served. By practicing bhakti yoga, or devotional service, we gradually elevate ourselves to where we are in complete God consciousness. When we are always thinking about God and lovingly serving Him, then in our minds, we are always on vacation. Serving our senses may provide us temporary happiness, but service to God brings about everlasting bliss. Lord Krishna is described as having an eternally blissful body, saccidananda vigraha. He is always in bliss because His knowledge is perfect. If we dedicate our time to serving Him, then we can come in contact with that knowledge. If God is eternally blissful, then naturally anyone who comes into contact with Him will also be full of bliss and happiness.
Chanting God’s names, reading books about Him, and offering Him food are extremely fun activities. God is very nice and He takes care of us when we come to Him. Krishna’s abode is completely spiritual, and when we serve Him, we become guests in His spiritual home. He is the most hospitable host, so if we visit Him once, we will never want to leave.
Sometimes when we are on vacation, we overindulge ourselves in eating, drinking, and sleeping. Some people often joke that they need a vacation from their vacation. Unlike material activities, one never gets tired of devotional service. The expansive Vedic literature provides us the opportunity to always read stories about Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These stories are timeless and through them, we always associate with God. So let us commence the process of devotional service and we’ll be guaranteed a spot in the greatest vacation resort, the spiritual planet of Krishnaloka.