“A person is said to be established in self-realization and is called a yogi [or mystic] when he is fully satisfied by virtue of acquired knowledge and realization. Such a person is situated in transcendence and is self-controlled. He sees everything-whether it be pebbles, stones or gold-as the same.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.8)
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युक्त इत्य् उच्यते योगी
yukta ity ucyate yogī
The wife has been hounding you for quite some time. This is not your area of expertise. You are more than willing to pay someone else a lot of money to get the job done. Sadly, in this particular part of the world, combined with the present situation relating to a public health crisis, it is difficult to find anyone willing to do the job.
You decide to finally bite the bullet. Climb that stool and put hammer to nail. Hang curtain rods in the various rooms of the house. A problem you run into immediately is the lack of proper supplies. No hammer. No nails.
After making the necessary purchases, you get to work. You need the right kind of screwdriver, one matching the type of screw to hold the piece in place. If anything in the setup does not match, you will not be able to succeed.
When the experience is over, you can’t help but recall the verse in the Bhagavad-gita describing the vision of the yogi, the one who is fully realized in the self, and how he sees things that are certainly different as equal.
During a recent visit to the home of a friend, you noticed the landscaping improvements they made since the last visit:
“Oh, interesting. They have a circular driveway now. I have always wanted one of those. Makes entering and exiting a lot easier. There is a walkway with small lights to help you find the way to the front-door. That area is lined with so many small rocks. Looks pretty cool.”
Usually, the pebbles are not worth much. Who would want them? They are the residue of larger objects broken apart. The pebbles certainly wouldn’t exchange for much on the open market.
Take the raw material from pebbles together and you get a stone. These can be valuable, depending on the circumstance. Need something to act as a weight to hold an object in place? The washing machine malfunctioning in the home and you need to clean clothes by hand? Need a way to traverse a pond without getting wet? Stones can help.
Wherever there is gold, people will notice. The price of the nation’s currency is not as important. The economy could be booming or there may be a recession, but gold will always be in demand. The Vedas describe that wherever there is gold, there will be sinful behavior of some kind, such as lying and cheating.
Shrimad Bhagavatam illustrates this with the historical account of King Satrajit and his Syamantaka Jewel. Krishna was already living in the community, presiding over the majestic city of Dvaraka, safely guarded by gates. But somehow the people got overtaken by the allure of gold and this jewel that could produce endless amounts of it on a daily basis.
“The Syamantaka jewel was so powerful that it was daily producing a large quantity of gold. A quantity of gold is counted by a measurement called a bhara. According to Vedic formulas, one bhara is equal to sixteen pounds of gold; one mound equals eighty-two pounds. The jewel was producing about 170 pounds of gold every day.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 1)
The jewel became something of a hot potato, and the people who possessed it did not fare well. Envy, greed, murder, conspiracy – the people even suspected Krishna at one point. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and so to Him gold is nothing but a material element.
The person realized in the self and the relationship to Krishna has a similar vision. Gold is the same as the pebbles and stone. Not that they are foolish enough to throw away valuable objects or that they decorate themselves with fake jewels. They simply understand the difference between matter and spirit.
At the end of this lifetime the same spirit soul that entered and associated with dull and lifeless matter will have to exit the arena, so to speak. Better to value the soul and its plight than to worry over something temporary and fleeting like a commodity.
This vision is also helpful in the way that it discourages envy, without extra effort. If I view pebbles, stones and gold as the same, I will not be overly concerned if someone else should come into wealth. The same if they should suddenly become destitute, as they are still spirit soul who are meant to connect with Krishna in a mood of love.
Rather, the self-realized soul values that relationship and finds ways to maintain it, such as through chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Pebbles, stones and gold,
With same value to hold.
In terms of understanding so,
Where of future impact to go.
Since destined for destruction is he,
And again in type of body to be.
Better for to the Almighty connected,
Whose entire creation respected.
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