“Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Partha, and they are helplessly dissolved.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.19)
भूत-ग्रामः स एवायं
भूत्वा भूत्वा प्रलीयते
रात्र्य्-आगमे ऽवशः पार्थ
bhūta-grāmaḥ sa evāyaṁ
bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate
rātry-āgame ‘vaśaḥ pārtha
You’ll see it on the shelves at the bookstore. As those places are becoming more difficult to find, the same titles can be discovered through a search on the online retail outlet’s website. Perhaps listed among the best sellers, the demand is there due to the suffering.
People want to be without stress. Less anxiety throughout the day. More meaning found within the daily grind. A higher purpose, beyond just struggling to survive. Fortunately, from Vedic culture there are many reminders and tips on how to break free from stress.
1. Remember that Shri Hanuman is still here
One of the heroes from the Ramayana story, Hanuman faced unbelievable stress. There was the time crunch. He had to succeed within an allotted window of time. There was the foreign territory. No GPS device to offer guidance. No sending an SMS to get clues and hints. No online search engine to help identify new places and people.
Through it all, he never actually asked for the distress to end. He wanted to succeed in pleasing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Rama. The prince of Ayodhya was that particular time period’s prominent avatara, the Divine who descends from above.
Hanuman succeeded but he still didn’t ask for outright liberation. He requested to remain in this world for as long as Rama’s glories continue to be sung. This means that the inspirational hero is here to remove our distresses. He can carry the burden of our success in spiritual life, since he is known to help the fallen, patita-pavana.
2. You worried so much in the past
There is confirmation from the personal experience. I can recall worrying about that important exam in high school. I was afraid over how that health scare would pan out for my relative. I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to operate a motor vehicle properly.
Success or failure, those concerns are in the past now. They are not on the mind today. In the same way, whatever it is I am concerned over in the immediate term will eventually pass. The lifetime itself is but a blip on the infinite timeline of existence. As confirmed by Shri Krishna, I have lived in the past and I will continue to live on moving forward.
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि
जन्मानि तव चार्जुन
तान्य् अहं वेद सर्वाणि
न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप
bahūni me vyatītāni
janmāni tava cārjuna
tāny ahaṁ veda sarvāṇi
na tvaṁ vettha parantapa
“The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!” (Bhagavad-gita, 4.5)
3. The spirit soul is eternal
The existence continues because of the nature of the individual. I am spirit soul. I am neither the body nor the place of birth. I am not my hands, my legs, or my face. The “I am” declaration is due to ahankara, which is ego. That ego is a subtle element tied to the animating spark within, the atma.
Nothing can kill the atma. It has no date of birth. It always exists in some capacity. The human birth is the best chance to realize this soul and to know that other souls of the individual category are the same in quality. This means that I am the same as you, though we are distinct individuals.
Why should I worry when I know that nothing can kill me? I will always be somewhere. Perhaps there is cause for concern that I will forget the Almighty, my greatest benefactor. I didn’t remember Him during the time of this birth, so the next time around there is vulnerability to the same.
4. Everything will return to Krishna in due course
Bhagavan confirms that everything returns into Him at a specific time. The host of beings enters His transcendental body and then exits again at the time of the next creation. The universe follows cycles. In the worst case, I will merge back into the Almighty.
At the same time, there is the opportunity for returning to Krishna’s spiritual abode. This place is known as Vaikuntha. The name means “free of anxieties.” One who goes there never has to leave. The qualification is consciousness, measured particularly at the time of death.
5. Worry is a result of maya’s play
Concern over this issue and that. Lamentation at loss. Excessive joy over a temporary victory. Bewilderment over the ignorance pervading the population. I am worried because maya has tricked me into associating with the temporary. This is her job, after all. She is the illusory energy sourced in the origin of everything.
If I think of Krishna now, I can think of Him tomorrow. If I always chant the holy names, I have a better chance of thinking of Him while quitting the body. If I am worried that I will forget Him, I can chant again to remember: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
If for a moment should forget,
Another chance to get.
That the name again to chant,
Many benefits to grant.
Like from worry to be free,
And His smiling face to see.
Through illusion maya tries,
Through Krishna name I will rise.
Categories: the five