“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.19)
बहूनां जन्मनाम् अन्ते
ज्ञानवान् मां प्रपद्यते
वासुदेवः सर्वम् इति
स महात्मा सु-दुर्लभः
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
“I recently heard someone try to explain the concept of procrastination. They said it wasn’t really about mismanaging time or being lazy. It was more about certain feelings that a person is trying to avoid. Whatever it is they are supposed to do, what they know should be done, has accompanying feelings that they would rather not experience.
“In the realm of spiritual life, what would that be? It seems we all procrastinate in this area. When I first learned of the principle of bhakti-yoga or sanatana-dharma, my eyes were opened. It was like someone was finally speaking honestly with me. No sugarcoating. No expensive twelve-step program that you had to purchase after the fact. No gimmicks.
“Just the hard, cold realities of living. I really appreciated the bluntness from acharyas like His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. But let me be honest with you. After having purchased a copy of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, it sat on my bookshelf for months, unopened. I kept putting off reading the entire thing.
“What would you say is the reason? I am not lazy, otherwise. I am responsible at home and at work. There must be something I am afraid of. Not asking you to play psychologist, but perhaps there is an explanation in the general sense.”
In that very same book, Bhagavad-gita, Shri Krishna explains that a person finally surrenders to Him after many births. This is due to knowledge, jnana. The births, janma, are many, bahu. In other words, more than one. It could be two or two thousand. We’ll never know for sure, because perfect knowledge is out of reach. To fully trace the history of the living entity, the jiva soul, is not a wise use of time.
This surrender is worthwhile, as Krishna is all-attractive. He is the greatest leader, and He is always on duty. He provides perfect protection and without prejudice. That is to say anyone can approach, no matter what they have done in the past. Wherever they were born, however they appear, to whichever gender they belong – every living thing is inherently connected to Krishna.
We put off important duties until tomorrow, but there is no guarantee that tomorrow comes. A Vedic aphorism specifically applicable to the human birth highlights this urgency. Athato brahma-jijnasa. Now is the time for inquiring into the spiritual subject matter, Brahman. Not tomorrow. Not in one hundred years. Not in the next life.
Begin today, even if you are an infant. No one is excluded from connecting with Krishna. If you are living in any way, if you have vibrancy within the body-spirit combination, there is the potential for yoga. Krishna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, can be known through any of the senses. We are not restricted to only the visual.
If there would be any negative emotions that we might be avoiding, it is the inherent knowledge that increased attachment to Krishna brings an accompanying sense of vairagya. This is renunciation. I won’t be as interested in the upcoming elections. Those sporting events that I lived on watching and attending before will be insignificant.
I might even lose attachment to family and friends. Many of them will turn away, not accepting my choice of dedication to bhakti life. Prahlada Maharaja lost the affection of his own father, the king of Daityas. Shrimati Radharani and the gopis were always under suspicion in Vrindavana. Poor Vibhishana was alone in Lanka in his dedication to dharma.
Who is actually ready to accept such drastic changes? Who would welcome the potential of the entire world turning against them? Yet the same rules apply. There is no guarantee of a tomorrow, but without a pure consciousness there is the guarantee of another birth, where the same vulnerabilities exist. Better to take advantage of the chance right now by chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Tomorrow may never come,
Today’s work to be undone.
Towards another birth to take,
Where again Divine to forsake.
Better the opportunity now,
Steering destination how.
Where on transcendence side,
No more from reality to hide.