A Story of Cleaning

[Lord Krishna]“O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.8)

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Bhagavad-gita, 7.8One day Richard decided it was about time he tidied up his room. The chore had been long overdue. Though usually a punctual man when it relates to work, school, and obligations that benefit others, when in the confines of his own room, Richard let’s go of all pressure and attention to time. “That is the whole point to relaxing, is it not?” he tells others.

As it had been a while since he last cleaned, there were a lot of things to organize this time. The closet needed a good once over. There were so many clothes that Richard hadn’t worn in years, it seemed. Many clothes no longer fit him, and others seemed out of fashion. “These were gifts from someone, but I can’t remember who,” he remarked as he combed through the vast web of accumulated shirts, pants, ties and sweatshirts.

The task went on without issue for a while. Not until he reached the dresser on the other side of the room did something noteworthy happen. The inside of the top drawer had long since been designated the “miscellaneous” area. One time after doing laundry Richard saw that it was empty. Rather than leave it in its pristine state, Richard figured it a prime spot to put so many odd papers, gadgets, wires and the like that didn’t seem to fit in any other area.

[Cluttered drawer]As on this day he had finally gotten up off his lazy rear-end, Richard decided that he should try to organize as much as possible this miscellaneous drawer. A few odd things he first found, like a receipt from a trip to a restaurant a few years back. “Ah, I remember that day,” he recalled. “It was a good time, back when all of my friends were together. I miss those times.”

Then he came upon an object that brought back even fonder memories:

“Oh, this is my old music player. Man, I totally forgot I had this. This thing was great back in the day. I remember how excited I was when I first received it as a gift. I remember opening it up and loading all my music onto it.”

The case that was presently on the device seemed to bring particular recollections, as there were a few other cases for the same device in the drawer:

[Zune with Speck Toughskin case]“This case is great. It was the one I finally decided on. I remember I spent so much time looking for the right one. The first few I bought weren’t that great. I would exercise frequently and watch videos on here. I remember how long it took me to convert all the movies I had and place them on this device.”

Despite the fond memories the device brought back, Richard was now in a dilemma. He didn’t know what to do with it. The obvious choice was to throw it out. But he had spent so much time setting it up. It used to be of vital importance to him. This sort of machine was once an integral part of his life, but now no longer so.

What followed next was a brief period of reflection:

“Doesn’t this device just say it all? It speaks to how the machines man creates are never perfect. For this once-loved device to have stayed in this drawer for so long shows that something better came along. Now I get music and movies on my phone. There are tablet computers today. Oh man, the most famous tablet of them all wasn’t even invented back when I was using this thing. That’s crazy!”

Then came remembrance of a higher power and the machines He creates:

“How great must God be to have created so many machines that never stop working? I know we tend not to think this way, but the sun is like a machine. It provides heat and light, just like the lamps in our rooms and the space heaters we use in the winter months. The relative positioning of the sun also welcomes in cold weather, like the air conditioners we take out of the garage every summer. And this one machine, the sun, has never needed an upgrade. There is no chance of it being turned off and tucked away in a drawer. There is no way to ever improve upon it, either. Indeed, scientists today look for ways to make machines and mechanisms that will better harness the existing sun’s immense potency.”

After cleaning was finished, to the best that it could be done in that short amount of time, Richard sat down and happily opened up his Bhagavad-gita As It Is. This work, one of Richard’s favorites, is a translation of the famous Sanskrit text done by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In opening up the book, Richard immediately jumped to the verse where the wise speaker reveals to the sincere listener how He is the light of the sun, among many other things.

[Bhagavad-gita As It Is]Richard thought to himself, “So the sun is one way to remember Krishna. He is the light behind it. The sun, as great as it is and as much as it is a flawless machine that is benevolent to us creatures on earth, is but a small way to understand Krishna, who is much greater.”

The rest of the day was spent in contemplation of Richard’s beloved Krishna, who is the personal aspect to the abstract concept of a supreme deity. Richard connected with Krishna again in a slightly different way, by chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. All in all, it was a good day’s work of cleaning, with the memory of a once dear machine bringing to mind the grace, intelligence, beauty and potency of the author of the perfect machines of mother nature.

In Closing:

To inventors we give praise to the hilt,

Marvel at the machines they have built.


The sun and the moon what about?

Not possible these to live without.


Supreme Lord alone these things made,

Since dawn of time with us have stayed.


Appreciate Him next time the sun you see,

Know that His inventions of flaws are free.


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