“Persons devoid of atma-tattva do not inquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children and wife. Although sufficiently experienced, they still do not see their inevitable destruction.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.1.4)
आत्म-सैन्येष्व् असत्स्व् अपि
तेषां प्रमत्तो निधनं
पश्यन्न् अपि न पश्यति
ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api
teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ
paśyann api na paśyati
“I get what you are saying. God bless you for your effort. Everyone has what they are into. Before you proceed any further, let me tell you that I am perfectly content. I am one of those rare people to answer ‘yes’ to the question about happiness.
“My friends and family are around. I have a job that I love. I am excited to get up every day and go to work. I enjoy the leisure time on the weekends. You must realize that your message is tailored for the unhappy, the miserable, the lonely, the disenchanted, and the like. You might be better off focusing on them, for I have found happiness.”
1. Do you like to die?
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says that the only true happiness in this world comes from a connection to God. In any other case, the happiness is either an illusion or a person has simply gone mad. Something like the bliss from intoxication, the feeling is not lasting. It is not real, and the crash to reality is painful.
To the person who claims to already be happy and thus not needing a sell on the Divine side of life, the swami raises four questions. If they can be answered satisfactorily, then the Vaishnava welfare worker will ease up. They will move on to someone else, but if the answers are in the negative, then at least some faith should be extended.
In truth, no one likes to die. Whether they are happy or not, even in the case of suicide the chosen end to life is not the preferred option. The distressed person would rather have resolved the pressing issues. Every person should soberly consider the final destination, the guaranteed end that brings equality across the entire population.
2. Do you like to take birth again?
Knowing that death is inevitable, would anyone prefer to endure the same struggle again? That is to say would I ever want to enter a temporary situation again, where I know that nothing created is sure to manifest in perpetuity?
The next birth is guaranteed. Evidence is there from the existing life, and from the eyes of shastra we learn that the cycle continues. This means that even the happy person has to be born again, getting jammed inside of the mother’s womb for nine months and then hopefully making it out alive, only to enter a world of ignorance.
3. Do you like to be an old man?
I am enjoying today, but how long will that last? The supposed greatest athlete of all-time is no longer in the arena. They cannot perform today the way they did in the past. What is the cause? Why could they not remain in the topmost position?
The truth is that the guaranteed end of life has associated agents working in conjunction. Time is synonymous with death in Sanskrit, and one influence of time is old age. Every person has to witness the deterioration of the body, be it gradual or sudden.
4. Do you like to be a diseased man?
Try your best, but eventually disease will arrive. That is another aspect of time, which constantly attacks. The person perfectly healthy today is not guaranteed to remain so. A life of denial of these basic truths will only bring temporary happiness.
The real thing is through the connection with the Almighty, who is all-attractive [Krishna]. He brings bliss right now, today, tomorrow, and also into the future. The connection with Him lasts between lifetimes, even potentially ending the cycle to birth and death.
To juxtapose, the Vaishnava is happy today because of their service in love to Shri Krishna. They can live in a remote cave or a city apartment. They can survive on few funds or an abundance of wealth. The externals are not a factor in their happiness, since they know everything originally belongs to the husband of the goddess of fortune.
Every soul’s birthright is the same happiness, derived from the connection known as yoga. The acharya comes to teach this yoga, and the fortunate ones listen attentively to the message and sacrifice some time and effort to the process, which pays lasting dividends.
Do you prefer to die?
Or from birth again to try?
What about disease plaguing?
Time a constant war waging.
Even if declaring happy today,
Temporary is nature’s way.
Real thing in yoga connection bound,
Lasting beyond lifetimes found.
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