“Disturbance is due to want of an ultimate goal, and when one is certain that Krishna is the enjoyer, proprietor and friend of everyone and everything, then one can, with a steady mind, bring about peace. Therefore, one who is engaged without a relationship with Krishna is certainly always in distress and is without peace, however much one may make a show of peace and spiritual advancement in life.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 2.66 Purport)
Work hard at something. That’s the path to achievement. Better to put in the effort than to simply expect good fortune to fall into your lap. Put in the time. Go through the struggle. Learn from the experience. Victory at the end will taste that much sweeter.
Time is infinite in both directions. The past becomes erased through a successful outcome. The present is good; there is happiness. But what about the future? Time waits for no one. It continues forward, so what happens next? From studying common goals, we see that even after they are achieved lasting peace remains elusive.
1. Graduating high school
In America it takes twelve years. This is the traditional route. There are people who drop out early and others who enter from a different system in another country. In these special cases there is the opportunity to study to get the equivalent of a high school education, but the achievement is just as important. It shows employers a basic proficiency in relevant subjects.
But am I at peace after finishing high school? Is there time to rest? Do worries completely vanish? After all, no more assignments. No more getting up early to beat the opening bell. No more spending hours and hours studying for exams.
2. Graduating college
Ah, but everything starts again at college. The twelve years put in likely aren’t enough. To earn more money, to start a career instead of jumping from job to job, higher education is required. This means more classes, more assignments, and more exams.
Does everything end there? When college is done, is there peace? Is there finally some time to rest? The important issue of money remains. How to pay for things? Where to live? How to buy a place of residence?
3. Getting a job
The struggle to find a job is next. Look long and hard. Find something appropriate to the major field of study from college. Send out resumes and cover letters. Buy a suit for job interviews. Polish up on what is needed to be said.
The job is landed. Finally, some stability. Now there will be peace, no? Just do the job and everything will be alright. No more problems.
4. Getting married
This might be the most difficult goal of them all. There are plenty of universities to choose from. Jobs might be scarce for a time, but eventually people will retire. Companies will need an infusion of fresh, young faces to liven the place up.
But how to find the partner of your dreams? What are the chances of meeting someone who will make you happy for the rest of your life?
Ah, but somehow there is success. Marriage is there. No more worrying about the future. No more being a social outcaste. No more hearing the dreaded question of, “When are you getting married?”
5. Having children
Of course things don’t end there. Marriage is a partnership where two people have to live together and thus compromise desires. If one person gives up too much they will feel taken advantage of. Then comes resentment, anger, and possible break up.
Ah, but then there are children to make everyone happy. High school, college, job, marriage and family life. What else is left? Now there is time for relaxation, no? Actually, the worries begin anew. Every struggle for the children is shared by the parents. Every goal that must be achieved is a partial concern for the mom and dad.
In this way we see that even with so many goals achieved there still isn’t peace. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that unless and until Shri Krishna is the goal, there is no chance of peace. And as Krishna Himself asks in the Bhagavad-gita, how can there be happiness if there is no peace?
“One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.66)
Be in the transcendental consciousness. Understand that there is a God and that He is a distinct individual, a person like you and me except with features beyond imagination in size, scope and ability. He is the original proprietor of everything, the best well-wishing friend of every living thing, and the true enjoyer to every kind of religious sacrifice or austerity.
Understand these three things and Krishna will become the goal. He is God in the original form, which is all-attractive. He is the final goal, since there is nothing beyond Him. Making Him the goal means always serving Him and always thinking of Him; hence the emphasis on consciousness. The truth has to be experienced to be believed, as there is already so much evidence that achieving other goals only brings temporary happiness. A glimpse into the truth is experienced through the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Let high school be finished first,
But for knowledge still a thirst.
After difficulty college graduation the end?
To look for job, resumes to send.
Marriage from great fortune coming,
With children worried again becoming.
Only when Krishna the goal to find relief,
Chant holy names for everlasting peace.
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