“The Lord is the all-prevailing Supersoul of all existence, and yet He appears in the form of a boar amongst the animals, in the form of a human being as Rama, Krishna, etc., in the form of a rishi like Narayana, and in the form of an aquatic like a fish. Yet it is said that He is unborn, and He has nothing to do. In the shruti mantra it is said that the Supreme Brahman has nothing to do. No one is equal to or greater than Him. He has manifold energies, and everything is performed by Him perfectly by automatic knowledge, strength and activity.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.8.30 Purport)
You thought it would be just another Saturday. A quick trip to a few stores to run some errands. Sadly, the weekend is the only time you get for meeting such responsibilities. On this day there is more traffic on the roads than usual. The cause is easy to decipher. There is bright sunshine, and the temperature is comfortable. Unofficially, the first Spring Saturday. Everyone is out enjoying the weather.
Stopped at one of the intersections, you notice a bumper sticker on the car in front of you. It reads, “I want my dog’s life.” What an interesting idea. Something you certainly never thought of, as there have never been pets in the homes you have lived in. The professed desire is intriguing, especially when considering the teaching of the Vedas that the human birth is the most auspicious.
1. Someone else to take care of everything
Travel no further than the present situation. A dog does not need to exit the house to pick up the dry cleaning. They do not have to go to the supermarket, either. Everything in life gets taken care of by others. They are completely dependent, and at the same time there is no worry. Just live your life. Have fun. Something similar to the experience from childhood, but of course without the compulsory formal education aspect.
2. No commitments
Try to relax on the weekend and you can’t help but contemplate the week ahead. The pressing responsibilities at work. The travel to that wedding of a family member. The need to get maintenance done on the family car. The cleaning out of the garage, the mowing of the lawn, and the new furniture that needs to be purchased.
The dog has no such issues. Their name is likely not listed on any enrollment sheet. No one is taking attendance. They do not need to request paid time off from work. They can avoid showing up at a certain place for days and no one could do anything about it.
3. Easily found companionship
The bumper sticker was specific. Not just any dog. “My dog”; i.e. the one kept as a pet. In that instance the animal does not need to find a friend with whom to play. The owner will arrive at some point. There may be other dogs in the home. Loneliness is not an issue, and there is no need to spend hours surfing the internet to pass the time. No vulnerability to divorce and losing half of your financial assets.
If the dog has it so good, why the emphasis on reaching the human birth found in Vedic literature? The acharya, the one who represents the sacred and eternal culture of Divine life, stresses the need for making this kind of birth successful, saphala.
“Don’t spoil the opportunity. You don’t only get one life to live, but who knows when you will see the human form again. Now is the chance. Understand who you truly are: Brahman. Plunge into genuine spiritual life and experience a level of happiness never before thought possible.”
In truth, the human being can act just as carefree. The worries are due to the influence of maya, which is the illusory energy pervading the material world. The cause of all causes, the origin of the species and everything else, is Himself without a care in the world. He is always in pleasure, atmarama. He has nothing to do, despite accounting for the vast creation, its maintenance, and the eventual dissolution.
Those who are connected to Him can have a similar experience. That is the benefit of the human birth. Understand that the Supreme Lord is already taking care of everyone. He is the eternal companion, with us in the heart as the Supersoul, Paramatma.
In His spiritual land of Vrindavana, there are no commitments or responsibilities. The all-attractive one, known as Krishna to those who love Him, simply plays the day away. Time exists, but it lacks a negative influence. Similarly, those associated with Him forget about time, and they only find new ways to enjoy with the person who is full of transcendental pleasure, Rama. Thus the wise person chooses the saintly life, wherever it may lead them.
The dog with nothing to do,
At home waiting for you.
Like loving companion to greet,
Happy with no tasks to meet.
Human being for similar meant,
For reviving the acharya sent.
Of the spiritual world to explain,
Where Krishna’s association to gain.
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