“It is not possible for the common man in this age to follow all the rules and regulations of the Vedic rituals and the injunctions of the Vedantas and the Upanishads. It requires much time, energy, knowledge and resources to execute the purposes of the Vedas. This is hardly possible in this age. The best purpose of Vedic culture is served, however, by chanting the holy name of the Lord, as recommended by Lord Chaitanya, the deliverer of all fallen souls.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 2.46 Purport)
“I spent the entire day fixated on a problem at work. The manager hardly gave me specifics. I had to dig in this place and that. Every time I thought I found the solution, he simply told me that I was wrong. No help from the outside. No hints or clues. He just described what the end product should look like, and I needed to figure out the rest.
“Well, now there is no time left in the day. How will I focus on more important things? Weeks and months pass by in this way. What have we really gained? Survival? The animals are under less stress. They eat and sleep without issue, in most cases. Sure, there is death, but that is for every living being.”
“It is a vicious cycle. Wake up in the morning. Have a difficult time kickstarting the day. Take some mild intoxicants to rev up the engines, so to speak. Then there is the subsequent crash later in the day.
“Who really has lasting energy? I just want to sleep all the time. I dread the upcoming days, where I will be subjected to torture in the form of endless work. I really do envy those renounced mendicants. They beg for a living, but at least they are not under pressure to be alert and active the entire day.”
3. Knowledge and resources
“It took me forever to know about the difference between matter and spirit. No one ever told me. I had no idea. I guess there was an inkling. I remember thinking to myself that for an old person it doesn’t matter much their glory from the past.
“For instance, if an athlete reached new heights in their particular sport, when approaching death it makes no difference. They are struggling the same. The crowd is no longer there. No one wants to interview them. It is like they achieved everything in a dream.
“I had a vague idea, but no specifics. It wasn’t until I came across the acharya, the person leading by example in both teaching the Vedas and following the rules and regulations, that my mind was opened. Just imagine how many people go through an entire lifetime without true knowledge, which is rooted in spiritual life.”
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains that these three components are vital to understanding the purpose of the Vedas, in the traditional sense. Following rules and regulations, from the time of birth until the precipice of death. From morning until night in each day. Careful attention to the demigods, to those worthy of respect. Taking care of dependents and maintaining control over the senses.
In the present age of Kali, there is little time to focus on higher goals. Energy gets depleted through ugra-karma, which is work that is unnecessarily difficult. Knowledge is stifled through needless argument and debate. Who is the best scientist? Should we condemn that celebrity for something they said ten years ago? Is pizza good for you? Should we stop changing the clocks twice a year?
यावान् अर्थ उदपाने
तावान् सर्वेषु वेदेषु
yāvān artha udapāne
tāvān sarveṣu vedeṣu
“All purposes that are served by the small pond can at once be served by the great reservoirs of water. Similarly, all the purposes of the Vedas can be served to one who knows the purpose behind them.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.46)
We can overcome the overwhelmingly inauspicious conditions through the gift passed down by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Understand the purpose of the Vedas through chanting the holy names of the Lord: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Through simple chanting done,
A proper understanding won.
Since same purpose served,
As from all rules observed.
Because energy in this age depleted,
By fatigue and despair defeated.
Holy name only to save,
Path which Mahaprabhu gave.
Categories: the three