“Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge, and religiousness—these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.42)
शमो दमस् तपः शौचं
क्षान्तिर् आर्जवम् एव च
ज्ञानं विज्ञानम् आस्तिक्यं
śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
1. When will the sun shine again?
“It’s been days. Cloudy. Gloomy. Rain, on and off. No one really wants to go outside during this time. In some parts of the house we leave the lights on from morning until night. Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?
“I don’t mind the rain. We need it. It is a vital part of life. But what kind of area of the world has rain consecutively for an entire week? That is ridiculous. If I don’t see the sun soon I am going to lose it.”
2. When will they open the restaurants?
“The lockdown has been going on for too long. People are this afraid of catching a virus? That expensive tuition paid to the university obviously did nothing for them. Your average village person realizes that this world is dangerous, that there is always some kind of disease lurking around the corner.
“But, no, we are forced to stay at home until the authorities tell us it is safe to go out. I don’t think I can last much longer this way. I want to know when the restaurants will be open again for people to sit down in. Just so I can have a change of setting and read a book. I am not asking for much.”
3. When will I be able to sleep peacefully?
“In childhood there was no issue. I never remember hearing the term ‘insomnia.’ Probably because it didn’t apply to us. We were more than happy to wake up in the morning and start playing. Go to school? That was a different story, but it had nothing to do with wanting to sleep more.
“Now it seems like every night is a struggle. I know diet and exercise can play a factor, but it is mostly concern on my part. I fear the pressures of the upcoming day. I am worried that I will not have enough rest to function optimally. That concern then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I long for the day when sleep will come easily.”
4. When will I have enough money?
“I realize this concern is not exclusive to me, but I feel as if I am so close to the finish line. Just a little more and I will be able to retire. That would be terrific. Then I could concentrate on the real business of this human life, that activity which gives me more happiness than I could ever imagine.
“Seeing the way things are going in the world, it looks like that dream will never become a reality. Work well into old age. Never leave the responsibilities behind. I see other retired people and I wonder how they did it. It seems impossible to me.”
5. When will the people become wise to their government?
“This shouldn’t bother me, but it does. You could call it political correctness. You could label it as covering one’s rear. I think it is just Administration 101. It is the basics of being in charge of a committee.
“I am saying that these people don’t really have anyone’s best interests at heart. The primary concern of a bureaucracy is to make sure the bureaucracy continues to exist. Thus they keep making predictions that are wrong, but there are no consequences. They are not experts on health in the least, but they continue to act as if they are.
“I just wish other people could see through the farce like I do. It bothers me that people just accept what their government tells them, without questioning. How can they be so foolish? Do they not notice the deceit? Why are they so trusting?”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada recommends advancing to the brahmana stage of living. Not that every person will have the necessary qualifications, but at least a certain class of people should be trained to fulfill this role.
One of the qualities of a brahmana is shama. One English translation is “peacefulness.” The idea is to not be easily agitated. A steady mind. Focused on the bigger picture, the end-goal, instead of getting distracted by issues that are not so relevant in the long-term.
From the review conducted above, we see that there are many sources of distraction. If everything else is going well in life, I could be upset over the outcome of tossing a coin. In other words, I could invent distresses if they should be lacking. Take the trivial and elevate it to vital.
योगिनाम् अपि सर्वेषां
श्रद्धावान् भजते यो मां
स मे युक्ततमो मतः
yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
“And of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.47)
It is much more difficult to remain free from agitation. Fortunately, there is yoga, and in Bhagavad-gita we learn that the best yogi is the one who always thinks of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This yoga can be established and maintained through chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Through connection maintained,
Higher state attained.
Where on temporary not dwelling,
Or mind agitation’s quickly swelling.
Since towards Krishna to reach,
Finally finding peace.
This life for yoga is meant,
And in Divine’s company spent.
Categories: the five