“The Mundaka Upanishad confirms that the Supreme Lord, in whom everything is resting, can be realized only by those who engage constantly in thinking of Him. This constant thinking of Krishna is smaranam, one of the methods of devotional service. It is only by devotional service to Krishna that one can understand his position and get rid of this material body.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 10.12-13 Purport)
1. My upcoming task for work
“It’s a new job. A ton of pressure. I won’t lie, I sometimes feel as if I won’t measure up. Though I passed the rigorous screening process, though I have decades of experience in the field, though I have never failed before, I can’t help but worry over what will happen moving forward.
“To help ease the tension, I constantly think about what I have to do. Tomorrow’s work is on my mind tonight, as I fall asleep. I know the time should be put to better use, but I cannot help it.”
2. The list for the supermarket
“My wife gave me the list of items to pick up. She said to go whenever is convenient, but I know what that really means. I can decipher the code. I have to go as soon as possible. She verbally listed items that need to be picked up, and I did not write anything down. I will have to go by memory. I hope I can remember; otherwise I will pay for any mistakes.”
3. The bitter breakup from the past
“It was years ago. I don’t see this person anymore. I don’t even know if they are still alive, to be honest. But I can’t shake the memory. I relive it constantly. It was a traumatic period. I couldn’t believe someone could be so cruel. I still can’t believe it now. I just wish that never happened; that I could skip over the experience in reviewing the timeline of my life.”
4. The horrible loss I suffered
“I can’t believe they are no longer with us. It is like they appear out of thin air and then magically vanish in the same way. To where have they gone? What was the meaning to their time here? Do they even remember me? I sure can’t forget them. The loss weighs on me on a constant basis. I keep thinking back to the time I spent with them and the impact they made on my life.”
5. The responsibilities for the upcoming year
“Next year is important. Lots of milestones being reached. The pressure is on. I have to take care of the issues. Other people are relying on me. I better remember everything that needs to be done. I hope I am able to succeed.”
As long as a person is alive, they will remember. They will contemplate. They will keep something on the mind. Though it is a subtle material element, mind is an integral aspect of a mature existence for the adult human being. It is through control of the mind that one finds happiness and contentment.
आत्मैव ह्य् आत्मनो बन्धुर्
आत्मैव रिपुर् आत्मनः
ātmaiva hy ātmano bandhur
ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ
“A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.5)
In the field of sports competition, the person who is best able to control their mind, to not give in to the pressure, to not contemplate the previous failures, will have enhanced opportunity for success. The person dragged into distant memories, of which no reality or substance remains at present, is stifled in their progressive march towards enlightenment.
The human birth is meant for such purification. The added intelligence allows for proper discrimination in living. The animals live off of instinct. Go here. Don’t go there. Eat this. Avoid that. Sleep now. Wake up later.
The human being can configure such activities to produce optimal results. Control behavior so that I don’t meet destruction in the future. Eat only what is necessary to survive. Sleep just enough to be energized and awake the next day.
नात्य्-अश्नतस् ऽतु योगो ऽस्ति
न चैकान्तम् अनश्नतः
जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन
nāty-aśnatas ‘tu yogo ‘sti
na caikāntam anaśnataḥ
jāgrato naiva cārjuna
“There is no possibility of one’s becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much, or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.16)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that realizing God the person is best done through contemplation. In a continuous effort, like sitting down to watch an entire movie, fitting the experience into a single viewing, continuous attention on the Almighty is ideal for understanding Him.
This method is known as smaranam, or remembering. Simply remember God. Instead of focusing as much on other things, which have temporary significance, just remember Bhagavan, who is all-attractive. Every feature of His is absolute and without blemish. He is full and complete in Himself.
This means that I can actually remember Him from the beginning of life until the end. There is ample material available for contemplation. There is established Vedic literature in the many Puranas and associated commentary, and the same expands through the realizations and observations of saintly personalities, who base their conclusions off the original Vedic works.
अन्त-काले च माम् एव
स्मरन् मुक्त्वा कलेवरम्
यः प्रयाति स मद्-भावं
याति नास्त्य् अत्र संशयः
anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ
“And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.5)
Those who remember Krishna at the time of death never see rebirth. They attain a nature just like His, which equates to residence in His realm. Of this there is no doubt, and there is nothing to lose in at least attempting the practice. Remembering Krishna today is as beneficial as remembering Him towards the end of life, whenever that should arrive.
Take time out of way,
So that remembering today.
Nothing in process to lose,
When for Krishna to choose.
Such that on the mind to stay,
And during final act of play.
Though life quickly it went,
And next to Vaikuntha sent.
Categories: the five