“For one who worships Me, giving up all his activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, who has fixed his mind upon Me, O son of Pritha, for him I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 12.6-7)
ये तु सर्वाणि कर्माणि
मयि सन्न्यस्य मत्-पराः
मां ध्यायन्त उपासते
तेषाम् अहं समुद्धर्ता
भवामि न चिरात् पार्थ
ye tu sarvāṇi karmāṇi
mayi sannyasya mat-parāḥ
māṁ dhyāyanta upāsate
teṣām ahaṁ samuddhartā
bhavāmi na cirāt pārtha
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that in the civil action of human society, hearing is a very important factor. The proof is there from the typical day, where hearing begins in the morning and continues throughout, despite responsibilities of work, family, friends, and home.
1. The newspaper
“This virus is really going crazy. It is raging through the country. No, I don’t understand why something typically reserved for the winter months is increasing in scope during the summer. I also realize that more people have received an injection against this threat, but the experts say there is no correlation. One has not necessarily led to the other.
“Anyway, people are still afraid. The news says that you cannot enter an establishment in town unless you have proof of having received the medical treatment. Yes, there are a few people objecting. They are asking why the people who have received the treatment are afraid of those who haven’t. They give the example that a seatbelt in a car doesn’t depend on other seatbelts in order to work. Whatever the case, the situation is really bad.”
2. The neighbors
“The mothers in the community held a party last weekend. There was one particular person who refused to attend. She is new; just moved in a few months ago. No one really likes her. Her behavior is a little odd.
“Apparently, someone called the police on the partygoers, complaining that there was excess noise. Everyone is accusing the woman who did not attend. She is giving people strange looks when you come across her. I have been out of town; this is based entirely on what neighbors have told me. I am catching up on what I missed.”
3. The colleagues
“We are awaiting a decision from on high. I compared it to learning if there is a new pope or not. There is supposed to be a certain color of smoke emitted after a meeting of the decisionmakers. At the office, the issue is returning to the place of business. We have been working from home for the last year and a half.
“From the brief survey I conducted, practically no one wants to return. They make the comparison to relocation. Imagine if your business suddenly moved to a different state. Would everyone pick up and follow? Of course not; you would lose a lot of people. This return to the office is similar; you are closing down everyone’s place of business, which has been their home.”
4. The family
“Wow, one of my cousins just had a baby girl. The first one in their family. We were worried about them, as they got married late in life. They were with their significant other for a long time; it took them forever to get married. This is great news, as we will send a gift for the new member. We can’t wait to meet them.”
5. The friends
“Wow, one of my friends from college just appeared on a television gameshow. They did pretty well, too. It was sports trivia. I never knew they were so knowledgeable. They did not talk much about it when we were together. I only found out after a friend messaged me. The episode is airing again this weekend; I will make sure to watch.”
The volume of such information is quite lengthy in comparison to something important from shastra, such as Bhagavad-gita. Yet the tendency is to indulge more and more in the other side, completely ignoring what might be seen as dogmatic insistence, mystical stories from the past, or an outdated tradition foreign to the area.
Only a little time in association can make a huge difference, though. If placed on a scale, the significance of shastra vastly outweighs even every newspaper stacked together from the past one hundred years. This is because the hearing is authorized, arriving to us in a chain of disciples, who originate in the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Bhagavad-gita demystifies the concept of the Almighty. He is not someone to fear. He is not someone who punishes unnecessarily. Rather, He is the most forgiving, considering that I have forgotten Him for countless lifetimes. Despite the many wrongs I have committed, He is always willing to take me back.
Accompanying that return is release from a land of duality, with the range of opposites encapsulated in the events of birth and death. Between coming and going, there are ups and downs, highs and lows, moments of happiness and times of despair.
From hearing about the Supreme Lord, who is all-attractive, I can be rescued at this very moment. I can learn of the importance of staying connected through something as simple as chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. If I only dedicated a little time each day to such hearing and chanting, there will be a world of benefit on the other end.
Benefit on the other end,
To afterlife to extend.
Otherwise many sources to hear,
But never understanding clear.
With application one,
Release from ignorance done.
When Gita or Bhagavatam to choose,
Never in that proposition to lose.
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