“Every living entity is wandering within the universe, subjected to the law of karma and transmigrating from one body to another and from one planet to another. Therefore the whole Vedic process is meant to save the wandering living entities from the clutches of maya – birth, death, disease and old age. This means stopping the cycle of birth and death. This cycle can be stopped only if one worships Krishna.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 3.181 Purport)
“You might find this silly, but to some people moving even this far is a chore. It is like they need a visa in order to properly enter. They are otherwise content where they are. Upstairs, in the bedroom. There is a television, a computer set up on a desk, a lounging chair, and of course the smartphone.
“Sometimes, they even get delivery people to bring food upstairs. No need to move. But on this day they feel like trying something. They get ready to visit the lower level of the house. They haven’t been there in a long time, and the change of scenery is refreshing.”
2. The backyard
“One of the worst things about snowstorms is the limitation on travel. You literally can’t go anywhere. If you try, your car will get stuck. Some people have the large vehicles that are made for such inclement weather, but I haven’t gone so far as to make such an investment.
“Well, after this last wintry blast, I decided to step outside, in the backyard. I must say, it was beautiful. Seeing the snow covering the trees in the daytime, the quiet sound of the snow-falling, the lack of cars on the roads. It was pretty cool; I gained an appreciation for life.”
3. To a friend’s house
“It is almost a daily routine. I have no problem intruding. If they don’t want me coming over, they shouldn’t be my friend. They can tell me to find something better to do. Otherwise, I will maintain the routine.
“At least in someone else’s home I don’t feel the pressure to do anything. No garbage to take out. No worrying about the thermostat. If the curtain rod should fall from atop the window, it’s not my problem to fix.”
4. To a foreign country
“There is the saying that travel is as good as rest. If you simply change the setting for a few days, that is enough to relax the mind. It certainly works. Every time I visit a foreign country I end up reassessing my priorities on the return trip home.
“I think about those things to which I am attached. I identify the bad habits that I want to get rid of. I also plan my next excursion, when I will be able to get away again. Every person should fit such travel into their schedule at least once a year.”
5. To outer-space
“If you have had enough of earth, water and sky, try outer-space. Leave the planet altogether. I know that only the wealthy can invest in such an adventure, but at least the opportunity is there. You can fly away to another planet, where no one has yet claimed property. There is no struggle for existence precisely because no one else is there to serve as competition.”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada describes that the living entity constantly wanders from place to place. The frame of time is not limited to the human birth. I could find myself in the nest of a tree, at the bottom of the ocean, or even standing as the tree itself in the subsequent lifetime.
While everyone is wandering here and there looking for a purpose, no one is trying to get out. That is the benefit of bhakti-yoga, which is also known as sanatana-dharma. This endeavor is meant for the human species. Dharma is for everyone, but it takes a higher standard of intelligence to identify the distinction in way of living.
Shri Krishna is the beneficiary in bhakti-yoga. He is the object of service. His name means “all-attractive,” so there is nothing lacking in that devotion. Knowing Him in truth translates to release from the cycle of birth and death.
If I know Krishna, I won’t have to return here. I won’t have to keep wandering. Some people choose to do so, such as Narada Muni, but he is not compelled. He is not in a desperate search for meaning in life. He has already found it and wants to share it with others, in the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Wander here and thereabout,
Since real purpose without.
Through many lifetimes spanning,
In different species scanning.
With bhakti finally found,
Rescued now through sound.
That for Krishna’s service meant,
Blessed to this life sent.
Categories: the five