“This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.2)
पवित्रम् इदम् उत्तमम्
सु-सुखं कर्तुम् अव्ययम्
pavitram idam uttamam
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam
1. Completing paperwork
“It’s not that big a deal, but I have been putting it off for a while. Classic case of procrastination. I was well aware of the tedious nature of the task, so I delayed the inevitable. Make two copies of this document. Get that one notarized. Head to the bank to get an official check, as this new institution doesn’t fully trust you yet. Go to the post office to mail everything together a certain way.
“One thing I anticipated beforehand was the satisfaction after completion. I tell you, I feel great. What a load off my shoulders. The task also presented a nice break from the daily routine. I got to visit places that normally wouldn’t come across my radar.”
2. Finishing a coding project
“The managers allocated two months for this particular work. That estimate incorporates issues with concurrency, i.e. being on more than one project at a time. Still, I didn’t think everything would take that long. I was only considering the individual pieces, not the whole.
“Of course, they are managers for a reason. They have experience in this area. They made a good guess based off past projects of a similar nature. I can’t believe I spent so much time on this. It was really a lot of work. Now everything is functioning properly. The code modules integrate seamlessly. Not much time to take a victory lap, but I am grateful for the experience.”
3. Assembling furniture
“Going in, I knew it was an uphill battle. I am less skilled in this area, to say the least. Nevertheless, the alternative seemed a bit too much for me. Rather than visit different stores, pick out the items I want, and then arrange for delivery, I decided on the online purchase option.
“Several advantages, including the ability to research thoroughly, but the one drawback is that the furniture has to be put together. It arrives unassembled. I did not foresee something simple like a shelf being a problem.
“With my level of proficiency and vulnerability to frustration, the task was anything but easy. I somehow completed it, and I must say that I feel great. I am taking care of the house, doing some things by myself. I wouldn’t want a repeat of the experience moving forward, but it’s nice to know that I am not completely useless around here.”
4. Completing a marathon
“I am in an elite class. Most people can’t run a full mile, let alone twenty-six. Heck, I was terribly out of shape at the beginning of the process. All of that pizza and soda didn’t do my body good. I was motivated to improve my health, and along the way the running became easier.
“I can’t believe I reached the level of fitness necessary for completing a marathon. What an accomplishment. Not to rub it in anyone’s face, but to myself it proves that I can do something significant. The power is in my hands to shape destiny; to an extent.”
In the Bhagavad-gita, Shri Krishna says that the king of education, raja-vidya, is joyfully performed. This happiness is not of the material variety. It is the true ananda corresponding with the blissful potency of the individual spirit soul.
Full assimilation into that education is not required to get a taste of the bliss. Just as an everyday task may bring tremendous happiness upon completion, so reading a single verse from sacred Sanskrit texts like Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam can provide sufficient joy to last throughout the day.
While the feeling may wane due to the influence of time and the interfering external factors, another verse is ready to be absorbed the following day. Some saintly personalities focus their entire existence on a single set of verses, such as the four spoken by Lord Vishnu to Lord Brahma at the beginning of the creation.
अहम् एवासम् एवाग्रे
नान्यद् यत् सद्-असत् परम्
पश्चाद् अहं यद् एतच् च
यो ऽवशिष्येत सो ऽस्म्य् अहम्
aham evāsam evāgre
nānyad yat sad-asat param
paścād ahaṁ yad etac ca
yo ‘vaśiṣyeta so ‘smy aham
“Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.9.33)
Any evangelist for their particular favored way of life can make a similar pitch, but there is no harm here in trying. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has made the esoteric available to the masses. The complex is now understandable, and fortunate are those who relish in the sacred sounds passed on by the Supreme Lord.
Overwhelmed and wanting to retreat,
But through perseverance to complete.
That task difficult and long,
Required concentration strong.
Bliss in bhakti similar so,
When to just one verse to go.
Contemplate and next day to repeat,
In this way life’s mission meet.
Categories: the four