“He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.31)
क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा
न मे भक्तः प्रणश्यति
kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā
na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati
1. A car
“You have no idea how long I had my eye on this. I was thinking about this car for months. I wanted it so bad that I saved up money. I declined lunch invitations from colleagues at work. I cancelled cable television at home. I wore shoes that had holes in them, since I didn’t want to purchase anything else unless I absolutely had to.
“My diligence, resourcefulness, and frugality paid off. I eventually bought the car I wanted, in the color I preferred, just in time for my birthday. No candles needed for me; this brought more happiness than I could ever describe.
“Unfortunately, this story does not have a happy ending. One day, while stopped at a red light, a series of collisions involving other cars led to severe damage of my own. I escaped the ordeal safe and sound, but I could not say the same for the vehicle I was in. I am still devastated, to tell you the truth.”
2. A house
“It is where I grew up. I had my room, with every cherished possession. I felt most comfortable there. Whenever I travelled someplace else, I missed my house. I wanted desperately to return. I was there in the beginning, when the lot was empty. I saw this place from beginning to end of the construction.
“Sadly, a recent weather event destroyed the entire place. Nothing on the block was spared; my home was not the only one part of the devastation. There was literally nothing that could be done to save it. This is what they refer to as, ‘An act of God.’ I don’t know why God would want me to suffer like this, but I have the rest of my life to figure that out.”
3. A business
“This is really unbelievable. You have these smartphone manufacturers and they invite people to develop and sell applications on their store. It is a tremendous business opportunity. Make money without having to directly engage with a customer. No physical storefront necessary.
“Well, we built a really popular app. It recently exploded in sales after a much larger, established company started removing customers due to political differences. We really had nothing to do with this company, yet in one of the most brazen moves in collusion, our app got banned from the store.
“We can still survive without people using the app, but then the company that hosted our data decided to shut us down, also. No prior notice. We hadn’t done anything wrong. We were simply doing too well, threatening that larger company with a competing business. This is a sick world that we live in, where high paid actors are really no different than thieves that enter the home and steal everything that you have.”
4. A political regime
“The leader of the country can be sitting pretty. They are doing a good job and they have mass approval from the population at large. The election comes and they start pulling away, winning big on election night. Then in a few states they intentionally stop the counting. What follows are massive dumps of votes, which are almost one hundred percent for the other candidate.
“Everyone sees the stealing; it is done in broad daylight. Yet the opposition party has control of the media, the courts, and even members of the current leader’s party. Despite doing everything right, they are ousted. The country boasts of its freedom and the free and fair elections, but it is really no different than a banana republic.
5. A friendship
“We go back years and years, since childhood almost. We talk on the phone regularly. We have each other’s backs. We have disagreements every now and then, but they usually don’t last. I would define a close friend as someone you can make fun of. You can say anything to them and it won’t matter.
“Well, my definition was obviously invalid. Recently, the friendship crumbled. Over political differences, of all things. I don’t really care how someone else votes, but we had a discussion about certain issues. I brought up specific facts challenging the friend’s assertions. That seemed to upset them. They ran away from the argument and then from me, entirely. Oh, well.”
It is the business of saintly people to build a life of devotion, instead. This is their primary focus. They are well aware of the dangers lurking in every corner in this material world. Nothing will remain fixed; not even well-established masses of land. Mahadeva, the great destroyer, has the scheduled appointment to annihilate everything at the appropriate time.
The life in devotion does not perish. The Supreme Personality of Godhead passes along this truth to Arjuna in Bhagavad-gita. The life may and certainly will end at some point. Arjuna did not remain in this world forever. He fought valiantly in the Bharata War and eventually won. His brothers then ruled the world through control of the kingdom of Hastinapura.
That did not mean they would stay here forever. The consciousness they built through that devotion to Krishna is what remained moving forward. This can never be destroyed. No intruding force can move my thoughts away from the all-attractive one, who has had my interests in mind since before I can remember.
He will always protect my devotion, provided I have the desire. Saintly people following in the Vaishnava tradition do not take chances. They follow routine practices to support and stabilize their goal of a purified consciousness. If I simply chant the holy names and avoid bad association, I will be able to withstand the attacks of this dreaded world of illusion: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Illusion of world dreaded,
To only dispair headed.
Constantly psyche attacking,
Vulnerable when knowledge lacking.
But saintly people rescuing me,
Enabling clearly to see.
And life of devotion to build,
Where days blissfully filled.
Categories: the five