“Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.63)
इति ते ज्ञानम् आख्यातं
गुह्याद् गुह्यतरं मया
यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु
iti te jñānam ākhyātaṁ
guhyād guhyataraṁ mayā
yathecchasi tathā kuru
The acharyas of the Vedic tradition speak the truth. In olden times, there was less concern over public opinion. The spiritual leaders were not worried over what stories would leak in the media. There was no such thing as political correctness, precisely because there was no negative impact in offending someone who was approaching a saintly man for advice on life.
The bold truth is that the human life is meant for understanding the spiritual side of things. Athato brahma-jijnasa. “Now is the time for inquiring into that which lasts beyond the temporary.” The human being has the ability to inquire; hence the birth is auspicious. There is an urgency since it is known that life can end at any point in time. Better to take advantage of the opportunity while you have it.
Absent this vital inquiry and subsequent pursuit towards purification of the consciousness, there will always be a glaring flaw in the manner of living. Whether someone is rich or poor makes no difference. Whether they are respected and adored by millions or held in the lowest esteem has no bearing on the final outcome. That flaw will always come to light.
It is something like the saying that the missing tooth always happens to be in the front of the smile. Perhaps you were playing organized sports. A random collision knocked out one of your teeth. It is not that big a deal if one of the side teeth requires pulling. This is a routine procedure for a dentist, who deals with root canal operations on a regular basis.
Sadly, it is just your luck that one of the front teeth is damaged. This means that every time you smile, people will notice. They will ask what is wrong. They will want to know both the story behind the loss and the future plan for filling the gap.
We see something similar in professional sports, such as baseball. The most well-rounded team has the best chance of winning the championship. Another team can be really good, but they have a glaring weakness. They lack a reliable pitcher to come in from the bullpen. Known as a closer, this position is especially vital in a post-season game, where the stakes are high.
The manager tries their best to hide this weakness. They extend the starting pitcher as much as possible into the game. If the team is winning by a significant cushion, then no issue. The same for if they are losing by a lot; no need for a strong bullpen reliever if there is no lead to protect.
Nevertheless, the time comes when there is no other choice. The reliever gets the call, and even if he makes it through one or two games, there is that pivotal moment where his weakness gets exploited. A player on the opposing team hits a three-run home-run in the ninth inning to clinch the series.
The weakness of lacking genuine spiritual life is always a vulnerability, and it especially shines through at the time of death. Not knowing what to contemplate, what to review from the just completed lifetime, the individual must have a materially-focused consciousness.
This guarantees rebirth. In other words, a sort of defeat. A missed opportunity. If we are made aware of the weakness, the remedy is neither difficult nor expensive. Take advantage of the wealth of information passed on to us. As Krishna shows in His conversation with Arjuna, hear the entire Bhagavad-gita and then deliberate on our own. Understand for ourselves if the path of devotion makes sense in light of the futility of advancement with satisfaction of the senses and the guaranteed death for every individual.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead simplifies things even further. Just think of Him at the time of death. Remember the transcendental nature to His janma and karma. His birth and activities do not carry reactions pertaining to a future birth. God’s body and spirit are one; there is no dichotomy.
It is easy to remember Krishna since He is all-attractive. Everything about Him, including His words of instruction, brings joy to the heart and mind. He brings hope in a world otherwise filled with despair. He is the light to the darkness and He is the answer to the problem of repeated birth and death.
To hide only for so long,
Eventually weakness too strong.
That open and visible glaring,
That not well in future faring.
Since opportunity wasted,
And transcendental not tasted.
Better right now to correct the mistake,
Contemplate after Gita wisdom to take.
Categories: devotional service