“The unsuccessful yogi, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.41)
प्राप्य पुण्य-कृतां लोकान्
उषित्वा शाश्वतीः समाः
शुचीनां श्रीमतां गेहे
prāpya puṇya-kṛtāṁ lokān
uṣitvā śāśvatīḥ samāḥ
śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe
“When I was younger, home consoles for playing video games were just beginning to grow in popularity. Though one of the earlier versions could be found in many homes, the system was not that good. The graphics were minimal to a level that you basically had only a floating dot moving around the screen.
“There was one system in particular which became so successful at launch that practically everyone I knew eventually got it. There were hundreds of games, and when visiting each other we would share different tips and secrets.
“I remember that one of the important feature additions was the ability to continue from where you left off. Some of the adventure-style games were rather difficult. You would play for hours to reach a high level, only to eventually lose. There were no ‘save-states’ or internet videos to consult for help. The internet didn’t really exist at all; at least as we know it today.
“Sometimes the game gave the player infinite continues from the level upon which they failed. That was really nice of the game-makers, though we still had the problem of time. It was not like the children could leave these consoles on overnight, especially considering the home might only have one or two television sets.
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” src=”https://krishnasmercy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/image-6.png” border=”0″>“Is there an analogous concept in spiritual life? I am sure that someone might be concerned with their progress getting abruptly halted due to the ways of nature. There is no guarantee that a person will wake up in the morning. Children are lucky to make it out of the womb, and today the fortunate ones are allowed to breathe freely throughout the day.“Basically, what happens if we mess up? Does everything go for naught? If I tried so hard to progress in purifying my consciousness, does a sudden mishap reverse the entire fortune?”
Given the kind nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and upon being informed of the many births we have already endured, it is easy to deduce the answer. In the shastra of the Vedic tradition the reason provided for settlement in the world of ups and downs is forgetfulness of the Divine nature.
To “fall” from a higher realm means to simply change consciousness. Instead of serving the one Almighty, we think we can compete with Him. Therefore, we get a land suitable for this purpose. There are many “suits” to wear in the journey, and there are infinite attempts to get it right.
Only the wise understand the secret: there is no success. No one can become God. No matter the promises made of a better future, no matter how many accolades they receive from respected institutions, no matter how many credentials they have, a person in the material world is always subject to the evolutions triggered by time, which works in concert with fruitive activity and the modes of nature.
If the Supreme Lord kindly allows for repeated indulgence in the direction away from Him, He would surely do the same for those who wish to return to Him. Moreover, based on the vast timeline of the past, to even accept someone would require an extended level of forgiveness.
Imagine if someone intentionally disobeyed you for a year. They refused to listen to your wise words of advice. Though they supposedly respected you before, they decided that you were not worthy of their time. Only after suffering for so long do they finally realize their mistake.
How forgiving would you be? Would you not keep in mind the insulting words they hurled at you? Would you not remember being labelled a conspiracy theorist or a crazy person following outdated traditions and practices? Would you not derive a little joy upon seeing that person’s suffering?
The Supreme Lord is so kind that He is willing to forgive. He has the best memory, so He has seen us at our worst. Yet a single good deed done in His honor is enough to erase the past. That deed never gets forgotten, even if we lose memory of it.
Then there is the direct confirmation from Bhagavad-gita. Shri Krishna explains that the unsuccessful yogi gets to continue in the next life. They do not lose progress. They receive auspicious circumstances for birth. There is every opportunity to forge ahead, to make sure that the choice to stay with God is the final one, firmly established and evident while quitting the body.
At video game to lose,
To continue again to choose.
But not all games sustaining.
With spiritual life a way,
Where in same path to stay.
Despite another birth taking,
Krishna this opportunity making.