“O scion of Bharata [Arjuna], O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, overcome by the dualities of desire and hate.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.27)
इच्छाद्वेषसमुत्थेन द्वन्द्वमोहेन भारत।
सर्वभूतानि संमोहं सर्गे यान्ति परन्तप।।
icchādveṣasamutthena dvandvamohena bhārata।
sarvabhūtāni saṃmohaṃ sarge yānti parantapa।।
“Surrender unto the Supreme Lord. Immediately become absolved of sin. Guarantee the best destination in the afterlife. Suffer no more. Be eternally happy in the shelter of the Divine.”
These are the boilerplate recommendations forwarded by proponents of genuine religion, but what exactly is the harm in not following? Does not every person share the identical fate of death? Is not everyone suffering through the same hellish life experienced at present?
Goswami Tulsidas lists different areas where people get burned. The common theme is the lack of association with the Supreme Lord. That is to say the life in maya is one of illusion, and eventually the false setting dissipates, bringing a hard crash back to the real thing.
There is something called “anger management” for a reason. Toss that golf club into the pond out of frustration. Break the tennis racket that led you to victory so many times in the past. Punch that person in the face, drive dangerously close to the car in front of you, spout off at the boss, and so on.
These are regrettable incidents after the fact. Yet who hasn’t been burned by anger, no matter how much they tried to control their emotions? Who won’t be vulnerable to the same moving forward, as the raging fire of personal desire never seems to be fully under control?
Earn a significant amount of money and all problems will be solved. At last the ability to live in peace. No more having to worry about meeting life’s necessities.
The problem is that it is easy to lose one’s grounding through such an ascent. Others will become envious. Suddenly, no more friends around. Family members feel like you owe them some financial assistance. After all, you can now “afford” it.
Because of the increasing bank balance, you think you are better than others, that somehow you have excelled in an area where they have failed. Their dismay is merely a case of sour grapes, you tell yourself. Meanwhile, you don’t notice until it is too late that in gaining so much you have lost nearly everything.
The aforementioned situation may have been the result of excessive desire, but here you already have everything going for you. Yet you hanker for more. If it doesn’t arrive, the lack of success is seen as a great failure. Lament the situation, not realizing that further progress will only lead to the same situation of restlessness.
Shri Krishna concurs with the saint’s opinion that every person is vulnerable to such delusion. In fact, they are born into it. The dualities are desire and hate, or aversion. I want something today. Tomorrow I can’t wait to get rid of it.
Tulsidas gives the solution: surrender unto the Supreme Lord. God is the only cure. There is no embarrassment in approaching Him. Every person is suffering. No one can say that they have never been the victim of illusion. Maya is God’s energy; she works at His direction.
Only He can dispel the illusion. Those fortunate souls who awake into the reality realize what they have been missing for so long. They are kind enough to share it with others, who are eligible to interact through something as simple as sound: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Who by anger never been burned,
Or for beyond excess yearned?
No embarrassment in approach taking,
When after proper assessment making.
Those raging fires to douse,
When living in devotion’s house.
For everyone possible the same,
Simple like chanting holy name.
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