“As confirmed in the Vedanta-sutra (1.1.1), athato brahma jijnasa: without inquiry about the Supreme, or the Transcendence, one cannot give up attachment for this material world. By the evolutionary process in 8,400,000 species of life, one cannot understand the ultimate goal of life because in all those species of life, the bodily conception is very prominent. Athato brahma jijnasa means that in order to get out of the bodily conception, one has to increase attachment to or inquiry about Brahman.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.22.21 Purport)
The urgency is there with the human birth. No more waiting. Don’t squander the chance. It wasn’t there previously. The individual continues in their existence. Forward and backward. Choose any arbitrary point in a plotted timeline of creation, as best as can be understood. Know that the individual, including you and everyone else, existed in some capacity.
If nothing can kill me or you for real, what is the urgency in regards to? Why the pressing need when nothing fatal will occur moving forward? The basis is happiness, sukha. Real pleasure, ananda. That is the reason for living, and the human being has the requisite intelligence for matching the potential.
Unfortunately, even if I am fortunate enough to become aware, to approach a tattva-darshi and listen attentively, I might put off my future wellbeing for short-term interests. In common affairs this is known as procrastination. Waiting until the last moment. Put off something important until later.
1. Explaining politics
I see a public figure vilified for comments they made. I know what they said. I listened to the original speech, as it was delivered. There was no offense taken. At least this person speaks their mind. They are not bought and paid for by corporate interests. They are not worried about losing their job based on what someone might think of them.
Now there is a public outcry. At least that is the impression the news media gives. That same speech is supposedly offensive to the entire world. No need to raise counterarguments. No intelligent discussion. No back and forth with an exchange of ideas.
Simply remove the offender from the public arena. Get them out of office, at any cost. Even if there is no evidence of wrongdoing, just flood the zone with innuendo and suggestion. Hint at possible criminal behavior and the public will soon be convinced. Conduct one pointless investigation after another.
I know that politics is a dirty game, but I can’t stop myself from getting involved here. I don’t like it when innocent people are persecuted for speaking their mind. I have been offended so many times throughout life. I never wanted to silence others. Some of their hurtful words were very important to hear; they opened my eyes to new ways of viewing the world.
2. Arguing in online forums
This player who won the last big tournament is now on pace for having the most titles ever. He is not someone I prefer. My favorite hasn’t retired yet, but their best years are behind them. And those years were spectacular. It is so easy for people to forget the dominance; that is the nature of time.
In the end, it shouldn’t matter what public opinion says. If someone thinks their favorite player is the best, it shouldn’t have an impact on my way of life. I still can’t help it. I feel the need to argue in favor of my guy.
Mind you, the subject matter is sports, where the athletes are far away. I will likely never meet any of the people discussed. The arguments are essentially worthless, but I can’t stop from weighing in, from offering my two cents.
3. Criticizing an established institution
Even within the realm of bhakti-yoga practice there are areas which distract my attention. I might spend too much time criticizing an established institution. Their decrees of late make no sense. Some of their most respected leaders actually behave like mafia bosses behind the scenes. They stamp out dissent. They do not tolerate any criticism.
I take up the crusade to warn others:
“Don’t be fooled by the cheating gurus. Don’t spoil your spiritual life by surrendering to these fraudsters, who are only after money and power. Never, under any circumstances, leave your children alone with them. That will be the biggest mistake you make.”
While the causes may certainly be worthwhile, the idea is not to get distracted from the ultimate aim of life. Social, communal, and political issues will always remain. One person cannot absolutely influence the behavior of millions. They cannot get everyone to behave in a certain way; there will always be some degree of failure.
With the objective of pleasing Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the effort alone guarantees success. This means that if I chant the holy names purely just one time, Shri Krishna will be pleased: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
I might be a failure at everything else. The whole world might turn against me. The man-eating ogres could take charge of government and terrorize the innocent. The people are frightened into silence, into speaking only what is acceptable. But I will still be on the right track.
On the other hand, every injustice in this world could be rectified, but if I have forgotten Bhagavan then my effort is for nothing. I have not gained anything tangible, and in the future I will have to try again for something that was already within my grasp.
Categories: the three