“The many past births you spoiled can be rectified right now, today, if you start chanting Shri Rama’s holy name and renounce bad association, says Tulsi.” (Dohavali, 22)
बिगरी जनम अनेक की सुधरै अबहीं आजु |
होहि राम को नाम जपु तुलसी तजि कुसमाजु ||
bigarī janama aneka kī sudharai abahīṃ āju |
hohi rāma ko nāma japu tulasī taji kusamāju ||
1. What kind of house to buy
“We live in a good place right now. We put a lot of work into it, in fact. Redoing the kitchen, adding a large play area in the backyard, uprooting bushes and shrubs and replacing with something better, expanding the driveway, new flooring in the bedrooms, and so forth.
“Regardless, I want something better. It would be so cool to move into a brand new place. We can design it from the ground up. The choice is ours. That is the focus at the moment. I can’t guarantee that we will stay there forever, but for the time being this shift will make me happy.”
2. Where to place the furniture
“It isn’t necessarily an awkward room. It’s a smaller space to the side of the dining room. This is the room you go through to reach the backyard. In the summer this place will get a lot of traffic, as people like to go out onto the deck.
“The problem is we can’t decide what furniture to put inside. Is this a reading room or a lounge area? There are French doors leading in, but nothing covering the glass. It is like a semi-private room. Do we go ahead and turn it into a guest bedroom? What about a home-office? We have otherwise been using one of the upstairs bedrooms for that purpose.”
3. Taking pictures to make others jealous
“My wife has been buying decorations lately. She is arranging them in the dining room and the living room. I asked what the purpose was and she said it relates to the upcoming holiday. The problem is we don’t have many people around with whom to celebrate. It will be just us.
“She responded that the ultimate purpose is to take great pictures of the event. I don’t really care about something like that, but she said the only reason people take such pictures is to make their friends and family jealous. Share the pictures online and hopefully draw attention. I don’t understand the logic here, but I’d rather not disagree and cause myself even more trouble.”
4. Working hard to accumulate wealth
“I don’t know what the advice is in the present period of time, but it used to be that you needed to change jobs every three years. This was for the purpose of advancement. With each shift you would earn more money. A better title, too.
“It makes sense, if you think about it. If you are stuck in one place, what impetus does anyone have to promote you. You have already proven that you are willing to settle. At least if you keep moving around, a company realizes that they need to up their game in order to keep you interested, to make sure you don’t jump ship for another place.”
This is just a sampling of interest in what would fall into the asat category in terms of the science of self-realization. It is not that the issues are unimportant or trivial. Furniture can impact overall mood. In this world where survival is so difficult, why not chase after a higher salary?
The idea is that the primary interest should never be on the temporary. Otherwise, it is easy to fall into the trap. There are enough bits and pieces of information and discovery in this vast universe to occupy many lifetimes’ worth of attention.
Yet only in the human birth do we have the opportunity for transcendence. That is to say we can make a conscious decision to renounce the temporary and desperately seek and maintain the permanent. If we don’t want a bigger house, we don’t have to buy one. If we are fine with where we work, we can choose to stay there.
All the while, the primary motivation, what gets us out of bed each morning, is connecting with the Almighty. He is the original sat, or eternal, and we are sparks of that one eternal. We are sat in our foundation, but due to illusion we mistakenly take the asat to be permanent.
Goswami Tulsidas advises to simply repeat the holy name of the Lord. This will fix the many past births, that were otherwise spoiled. We know that to be true due to the present birth. We failed to reach perfection, so we go to try again.
Chant the holy names and renounce bad association. Stay with the eternal, work to bring others into the eternal engagement, and always maintain a safe distance in interest from that which is temporary. The transformation can then take place instantly, if we are fortunate. A single utterance of the holy names can make a world of difference: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
The many interests to divert,
To temporary focus to revert.
But entire lifetime spent,
Away the focus went.
Better the holy names to say,
And far from asat to stay.
Then even past births corrected,
Consciousness properly directed.
Categories: the four