“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.22)
वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरो ऽपराणि
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णान्य्
अन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही
vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro ‘parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī
“This is a grassroots organization. We don’t have any big donors. We are not funded by an industry or two. This is literally, ‘We the people.’ We have had enough of the corruption. The backroom deals go against our interests.
“It is time to make the liars pay. They say one thing during the campaign and then another after assuming office. Sure, this aligns with the cynical view of politics, but the citizens do not have to sit back and take it. They can fight back. That is what we are doing. It is our mission to unseat every liar in the next election. We don’t care which party they belong to; no one is safe.”
“Due to the draconian measures instituted by the government in response to the worldwide pandemic, our business has been shut down. We cannot operate remotely. The entire model is based on personal presence; paying customers visiting the establishment and using our services.
“We can go out of business, for sure. Take the loss and move on in life. We would rather not do that. We put in too much work to walk away now. Rather, we are asking for a bailout. The government hands out money like it is candy at Halloween, so why not us? Give us some assistance so that we can survive these difficult months.”
3. Day job
“I am not ashamed to say that I love my job. I do have to hide my enthusiasm from time to time. Colleagues moan and groan. They count down the days until the next vacation. I am the opposite. When time off hits, it is like I have no direction. I don’t know what to do. I get depressed from the resulting inaction.
“I landed this job through a friend. Otherwise, I would have had a difficult time. The requirements were not aligned with my prior experience. I knew someone on the inside, so to speak, and that helped me tremendously. I am glad I was not too embarrassed to ask for help.”
4. School admission
“I am an alum. I graduated from the place around twenty years ago. I have maintained a good relationship since, making yearly donations and contributing to various events around the world. I don’t know why I did; maybe because that seemed to be the proper etiquette.
“Anyway, that diligence seems to have paid off. This upcoming year my child will be attending. Their grades weren’t in the top level. They had okay scores on the standardized tests, but I know that my membership in the alumni had a lot to do with them getting accepted. I will take the assistance because everyone in this world needs some kind of outside help to get ahead.”
5. Restaurant seating
“I was awkward in the beginning. I had seen it done in movies and on television shows, but I thought real life would be different. It actually isn’t. At these big restaurants, tipping the person in charge of seating does go a long way. Every time I arrive, no matter how busy it is, I am able to get a seat. My companions are impressed.”
These are but a few examples out of many where an individual can apply influence in order to get a desired outcome. The result is never guaranteed. Others may attempt the same kind of pressure campaign and find failure. This underscores the truth from Bhagavad-gita about the individual not being the doer.
गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः
कर्ताहम् इति मन्यते
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.27)
The acharyas recommend influencing in the long-term interest. Known as paramartha in Sanskrit, the connotation is the afterlife. Where will I go once this term completes? What does my future hold? Will I even continue to exist?
Bhagavad-gita confirms that the existence continues. The comparison is to changing clothes. One set comes off. Usually tossed in the hamper to be washed. Sometimes donated to a local charity. Then a new set comes on. The individual does not change; though outside viewpoint may.
In the same way, the individual changes full clothes in terms of bodies, one lifetime to another. This is transmigration of the soul, or reincarnation. While we cannot remember our past lives, they did occur. We can also influence where we will go moving forward.
अन्त-काले च माम् एव
स्मरन् मुक्त्वा कलेवरम्
यः प्रयाति स मद्-भावं
याति नास्त्य् अत्र संशयः
anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ
“And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.5)
A simple truth. Remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna, while quitting the body. That will stop the cycle. This will influence the best possible outcome: liberation. The promise is true; no exceptions, no special qualifications, no outside requirements. We remember at the end by remembering today, through saying the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
From consciousness detection,
To rule no exception.
That if on Krishna setting,
Then liberation getting.
Whereas influence tenuous in kind,
Chance for success or failure to find.
In material endeavors flawed and competing,
Only through Lord’s favor defeating.
Categories: the five