“The Lord can be served by any ingredient, even the most common commodity – a flower, a leaf, a fruit or a little water, which are available in any part of the universe and without cost – and thus the Lord is served universally by the universal entities. He can be served simply by hearing, He can be served simply by chanting or reading about His activities, He can be served simply by adoring Him and accepting Him.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.9.36 Purport)
1. Abundance of food and water
“There are the discount warehouse stores. A shopping club. For a nominal yearly fee, you can enter and purchase items in bulk. Enough toilet paper to last you a year. Plastic utensils in supply that you will never have to take the real ones out of your kitchen drawer.
“There are also the more traditional outlets. The supermarket. Fresh produce. A frozen food section. A place you can visit once or twice a week to get everything you need to feed your family.
“As a last resort, there is the convenience store. Recently ran out of milk? Need a loaf of bread and nothing else? Drive a few hundred feet and you’ll be able to pick up such items, along with filling up the gasoline tank in the automobile. Who wouldn’t love this kind of living?”
2. Medical treatment
“In the latest pandemic, as declared by the authorities who are supposed to be experts in these things, there is an increased need for testing. One nice feature that our country has is the drive-through test. No need to visit a hospital and possibly infect others or catch something from the many sick patients.
“Drive up to a parking lot of a store somewhere and get tested quickly. Who wouldn’t love that? Safe and effective; at least that is what they tell us. I sure do love this country.”
3. Ordering food through an app
“The tyrants in the government have virtually shut down the entire civilization. The seasonal viruses kill way more people every year, but supposedly this one is different. I don’t buy it. The entire thing seems political to me. Destroy the economy so that people will blame whoever is in power at the moment.
“The latest ridiculous move has been to shut down all of the restaurants. Oh, but in this supposedly free country, we are still allowed to order take-out. Thankfully, there is the smartphone and its many applications. We can get our food delivered without having to talk to anyone. The application is based off intelligence, so it transmits our order without errors. Whether we receive the items with the same accuracy is another story.”
4. Interstate highway system
“Want to escape to a different state? A place where they haven’t shut down civilization yet? Airplane travel is too risky, if you ask me. They are on the verge of shutting down domestic flights. As if they can actually contain the spread of disease through these means. People, healthy and sick, carry so many viruses all the time. There is nothing new about the present situation involving needless panic and hysteria.
“At least we have the highways. Those haven’t been shut down yet. We can drive to another state. It won’t take days, like it does in other countries. Our highway system is rather advanced. As long as there is enough gas in the tank, with a properly functioning car or truck, you should be able to make it to your destination.”
“The schools are closed for two weeks. Businesses have to adapt. The parents can’t be at the office and leave their children at home, by themselves. In the modern world there is something known as telecommuting. Most of the work at my business is done through the computer anyway.
“Just shift places. Have the computer at home, sitting on a desk, instead of at the place of business. Now there is flexibility to hopefully manage through this crisis and whatever new ones the government creates in the future.”
It is understandable for a person to be proud of where they live, to compare and contrast to people in other parts of the world. Yet every advancement is actually rooted in one person. He is the source of both the material and spiritual worlds.
अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो
मत्तः सर्वं प्रवर्तते
इति मत्वा भजन्ते मां
ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
“I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.8)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that a person must understand that all properties and commodities are due to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That single source is ultimately responsible. If there is appreciation, it should fall at His feet first.
As these commodities are because of Him, the Supreme Lord can be served by any one of them. If a person appreciates the app on their smartphone and immediately thinks of the intelligent mind of Shri Krishna, they are serving Him, in a way. They are honoring God without having to step foot in a house of worship.
The appreciation can be for something as basic as a flower, which has very little cost. Offer a flower, a leaf or some fruit to Bhagavan and make advancement in the purification of consciousness. At any time and at any place I have the opportunity to appreciate that great benefactor of humankind, and that mindset will do me the most good.
Even in pandemic’s state,
Not long for food to wait.
Or on toilet paper to hoard,
Large purchase for future secured.
If of advancements wondering aloud,
From the single source should be proud.
That Shri Krishna providing to me,
The original most benevolent is He.
Categories: the five