“Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Partha, and they are helplessly dissolved.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.19)
भूत-ग्रामः स एवायं
भूत्वा भूत्वा प्रलीयते
रात्र्य्-आगमे ऽवशः पार्थ
bhūta-grāmaḥ sa evāyaṁ
bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate
rātry-āgame ‘vaśaḥ pārtha
“I swear, moving is the worst. I never want to do it again. You go through this whole process to get everything packed into boxes. You hire the truck and the people to load and unload. You have to find a place to stay in the meantime. It is a lengthy ordeal, even if you are only shifting a few miles away.
“That is not the end of the stress, though. In the new home, which is unfamiliar surroundings, you have the daunting task of unpacking. You don’t know exactly where your stuff is. When you unpack a specific box, you have to find a way to get rid of it. The city does not collect garbage every day, and they want these large boxes broken down.
“I never want to go through this again. The moving company did not offer the service of unpacking. It doesn’t seem to be a standard thing. I can’t wait for the problem to be over.
2. Fixing the garage door opener
“There is the saying that every convenience carries an accompanying inconvenience. You think that you are making progress, advancing the condition of living in some way, but there are always some drawbacks. Sometimes you might not perceive the potential until it becomes a reality.
“Enter the garage door opener. A great convenience of the modern day, as you don’t have to get out of the car in order to enter the garage. Simply press a button and a machine will lift the door for you. Same thing for closing it.
“What if the power goes out, however? Unless you know the trick for triggering the manual operation, your car will be stuck in the garage. There is also the issue of the light bulb going out. Grab a ladder, reach all the way up, and make the change. The garage door sensor might think something is impeding the progress, and so it won’t close or open properly. Just a ridiculous stress that was never there during the time of manual operation only.”
3. Making dinner
“On top of the heavy responsibilities of the day, there is always eating to figure out. What to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner – not so easy when you have to do everything by yourself. You don’t want to order out too much, considering the quality is not as good. You want to save money, as well.
“But who has the time? If cooking was the only responsibility of the day, we could take care of it without a problem. Prepare in advance. Put in the necessary effort. Clean up properly afterwards. Sadly, this is not a standard convenience of modern-day living.”
Of course the total number of tasks varies from person to person, but the general idea is that material life is difficult. It is a struggle, due to the contact with the modes of nature, which are not binding to the individual, who is spirit soul.
ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूतः सनातनः।
मनःषष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति।।
mamaivāṃśo jīvaloke jīvabhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ।
manaḥṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛtisthāni karṣati।।
“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.7)
We struggle due to the senses and the contact to objects through such a conduit. The mind might be the greatest source of trouble, as there is vulnerability to excessive lamentation. I think too much about the past failures. I worry greatly over the outcome to a specific upcoming event. To control the mind is like trying to get ahold of the wind.
चञ्चलं हि मनः कृष्ण
प्रमाथि बलवद् दृढम्
तस्याहं निग्रहं मन्ये
वायोर् इव सु-दुष्करम्
cañcalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa
pramāthi balavad dṛḍham
tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye
vāyor iva su-duṣkaram
“For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it is, it seems to me, more difficult than controlling the wind.” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.34)
In such times of difficulty, it is comforting to remember the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The entire world has some idea of God. Even those who do not accept, at least they have a target against which to base their opposition. They are thinking of someone or something to deny, rather than remaining completely unaware.
The Vedas provide an accurate understanding, for the purposes of our advancement. God is everywhere. He is omnipresent through the plenary expansion of Supersoul. To understand God as a separate individual is to know Him as Bhagavan.
One image of Bhagavan is that of Vishnu lying down in the causal ocean. He is resting. He does not have any pressing responsibilities. He is not tied down by the weight of the planets. He is not worrying over what will occur in places that are only temporarily manifest.
Vishnu’s work is so effortless that simply through breathing everything gets accomplished. The one breath out creates. The one breath back in destroys. The time in between is where we find ourselves. Again and again the host of beings arrives, stays for some time, and then gets dissolved.
The one who does the most amazing work with minimal effort is the ideal target for our service. We are working towards something, after all. Service is in the very nature of our existence; it is dharma. Sanatana-dharma is our eternal calling, ready to be resumed at any moment. We can find Vishnu through His names, and with such contact the difficulty of material living gradually diminishes: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Worrying over this and that,
That performed correctly exact.
Another after one done,
Desperate for relief to come.
When to Vishnu comparing,
How so easily faring.
The same for His children meant,
When back to original home sent.
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