“The Supreme Lord, Purushottama, or Shri Krishna, is the maintainer of all, in both the transcendental and material worlds. He is the life and friend of all because there is eternally natural affection and love between the living entities and the Lord. He is the one friend and well-wisher for all, and He is one without a second. The Lord maintains all the living entities everywhere by His six transcendental opulences, for which He is known as bhagavan, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.9.22 Purport)
The coach and fans wish well for the players on their team. They hope that each person fits their assigned role perfectly. There are the scorers. They are expected to deliver the goals. They have the skill necessary to put pucks past the goaltender and into the net. They get the majority of the ice time because of their skill. If they are not scoring, they are not doing their job.
Then there are the checkers. They are expected to shut down the opposition, especially their best scorers. A good night for the checkers is one where their opponents don’t outscore them. The special players are those who can both check and score. The coach loves these players because they can be used in so many different situations. If the score dictates that defense is required, the two-way forward is sent to a lower line so that they can boost its defensive responsibility. The goalie is expected to stop pucks. They can help a little bit on dump ins in the defensive zone, but that is just an added bonus. If they can’t stop the puck, they will not have a job for long.
In all situations, the coaching staff, management and fans wish well for their particular players. If the scorers are scoring, the defenders are defending, the goaltenders are stopping pucks, then all is well. The interest for these well-wishers is by definition limited. They may say “good luck” to the opposing team at the beginning of the game, but they don’t really mean this. They don’t want the other team to do well. They hope that the players on the opposing team play poorly. They hope that the scorers don’t score, the defenders relax in their checking, and the goaltender has a lack of focus. This will help their own interest, which is victory for their favored team.
The example of a hockey team has crossover significance in helping us to understand how interests are always limited. The parents are the well-wishers of their children first. Not that they dislike other children, but their focus is always on what their sons and daughters are doing. They are proud when their son scores high on an examination, especially if they are at the head of the class. They aren’t necessarily so thrilled when another child does well.
In the job market, one candidate looks to beat out the others. As shown in the reality television show, The Apprentice, if the job goes to someone else, there is disappointment. In this sense the well-wishing is at the personal level. If the candidate really wished well for the other candidates, they wouldn’t be disappointed upon hearing that the job didn’t go to them. They would be genuinely happy for the other person.
Such are the ways of the material world, for one person’s gain is often another person’s loss. My victory comes at the expense of your defeat. To the wise person, this sobering reality should give pause for thought. It should trigger a search into the higher truths of life:
Why must we compete in such a way? Why should we limit our interest? Is there any person who is a well-wisher of all? How can that be possible if everyone competes for resources?
Indeed, there is an eternal well-wisher for all. His affection extends to every single living entity. He does not maintain a narrow vision. He does not wish well for the humans and forget about the cows. He wants every person to be eternally happy. He also knows that for every living entity, the source of that happiness is the same: yoga.
Not that the cows should practice gymnastics or that the person who is completely inflexible should attend an exercise course, real yoga is the linking of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul. “The one and only Supreme Soul” is one way to describe this eternal well-wisher. The individual soul resides within one body at a time, whereas the Supreme Soul resides simultaneously within everyone. This ability makes this soul supreme. It is different from the individual.
That supreme soul is in the cat, the dog, the hunter, the priest, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker. That supreme soul is in the man and the woman. Therefore yoga is open for everyone. Since yoga can occur for any person, it is possible to be a well-wisher for all. If I wish that everyone finds yoga, it means that I wish the best for everyone. In this way we see that the Supreme Soul can pass on His trait of universal well-wishing to others. In fact, those inheriting this attribute begin to wish well for the Supreme Soul, something which is wholly unnecessary since He possesses everything. Nevertheless, the sentiment is there, and it is very much appreciated.
Gymnastics, breathing exercises, meditation, and renunciation from material affairs are all different ways to find that link to the Supreme Soul, but in all cases the rightful culmination is love and devotion, or bhakti. In the modern age, it is recommended that one find bhakti right away. Practice it first, for even if the love isn’t there at the start, if you stick with it eventually you’ll reach the right end. If you go to the gym for two weeks and make your body fit, if you then later on stop going you could lose all of your accumulated gains. In bhakti all progress is permanent. It is never lost; it carries over even into the next life.
“In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.40)
To facilitate bhakti-yoga practice in the hectic modern age, where competition is fierce, the Supreme Soul has given us sound vibrations that directly represent Him. Chanting and hearing these vibrations is a way to practice bhakti-yoga and it is more fruitful than any other kind of yoga practice. It is available to even the animals, who have the ears to hear the wonderful names found in mantras like, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”
Wish well only for my favorite team,
Fine if opponent falls apart at the seam.
Compete hard to get the coveted job,
Unhappy when others my post to rob.
This rule of material life only one can breach,
He who lives inside living entity every and each.
By chanting and hearing His presence feel,
Then become ever well-wisher for real.