“For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.68)
य इदं परमं गुह्यं
भक्तिं मयि परां कृत्वा
माम् एवैष्यत्य् असंशयः
ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ
bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā
mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayaḥ
Like sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, everyone hopes to eventually pass through the doors and meet with someone else. Though in the office setting the wait time might reach a maximum of a few hours, with the entirety of life the stay within the present body lasts one hundred years, if you are lucky.
Even still, that body is always changing. From boyhood to youth to old age – constant change. Snapshot images capture the physical appearance of the body at a moment in time, but know that it is always changing. This is why people require haircuts on a frequent basis. More infrequent are changes to lifestyle due to certain milestones in age being reached.
In supposing that we were to last one hundred years in the great waiting room, there has to be a way to pass the time. Someone who acknowledges impending and inevitable death instead of ignoring it might decide to help others. They take it as their mission to make a positive difference, so that they can look back on the life concluded and not have regrets.
1. Educate them
“I would not be where I am today without someone teaching me. I have heard the stories of people in small towns attending a single school their entire lives. There was one teacher who instructed all of the students, regardless of age.
“Some people learn at home. The mother or father instructs them. Perhaps the older siblings get called to duty. Regardless of who it is or how many there are, the instructors are amazing. To me, they are doing God’s work. They assume a role of authority in order to help others. Teaching is the noblest profession out there.”
2. Feed them
“We have so much food in this part of the world that people casually toss aside the excess. The regular garbage collection in the neighborhood features enough food to feed entire populations in different parts of the world.
“Those people are not so lucky. Perhaps they have a tyrannical government, whose first priority was to eliminate the wealthy from society. Now there is no incentive to produce, thereby leading to scarcity in goods and services. The leaders have plenty for themselves, but the common man is begging and starving.
“In this way, to feed those who are in need is noble. I do not think anyone would object to this kind of behavior. Though we are all destined to die, there is no harm in keeping others alive, in maintaining their good health. Let them live a full and happy life, albeit a temporary one, just as it is for the rest of us.”
3. Heal them
“I have earned so much money as a doctor. I came to this country specifically to practice this profession. In this part of the world doctors get paid very well. They are respected in society. Maybe that is changing with the times, as today the medical community is driven more by politics than proper treatment and honest dealings with patients.
“I remember where I came from. It was a humble beginning. The people do not have much, but they are good. They are religious in nature and they are not duplicitous. They perhaps lack the resources to pay for top of the line medical treatment, so I will do my best. I plan on setting up a free clinic in my hometown. I will not charge anyone. I will do my best to heal the sick, to uplift the community that means so much to me.”
4. Entertain them
“These people are in a war zone. They face imminent death on a daily basis. They are neither elderly nor infirmed. They are quite young, and many have families back home. They have decided to make the ultimate sacrifice in defending the country from foreign attack.
“The least I can do for them is entertain. Everyone needs that in life. You can’t be working from morning until night. You need a way to relax, and I am glad there are people willing to fulfill that role. I will always be mindful of the diversity of the audience, how not everyone is of the same political persuasion or income level. I am here to entertain specifically, not to talk down to the audience or accuse them of horrible behavior without knowing any of them individually.”
5. Enlighten them
The number will eventually get called for every person in the waiting room, but what happens on the other side? Who exactly is the meeting with? To where does a person go after death? Why did they take birth in the first place? Who controls the entire system? Is there anyone in charge, at the helm observing and overseeing?
Bhagavad-gita gives a brief explanation, but one that is complete at the same time. This information is intended for every person who takes birth. Not until there is the second birth with the association of the spiritual master does the official knowledge transfer take place, but everyone who is born has the right to access such information.
Those who pass it on are very dear to the origin of the knowledge. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the best well-wishing friend of every living entity. In terms of merciful affection, He does not distinguish between high or low, man or woman, or even human and non-human.
ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिम् ऋच्छति
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
“The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.29)
A valuable way I can spend my time in this birth is to hear the teachings and assimilate the culture whereby I can always remain connected to Krishna in consciousness. If I pass on the wisdom to others, to those who are willing to hear, then I have helped another life. That can create a chain effect, whereby countless souls are liberated from the cycle of birth and death through the association of the one whose names are many and full of potency: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
In large waiting room sitting,
Forced eventually quitting.
This life to which grew fond,
So how best to dwell upon?
Perhaps a helping hand giving,
Treatment to turn ill into living.
But to pass on Gita wisdom the best,
One shining moon to brighten the rest.
Categories: the five