“The heart which does not melt upon hearing of the glories of Hari is like stone. The tongue which does not sing the glories of Rama is like the croaking of a frog.” (Dohavali, 43)
हृदय सो कुलिस समान जो न द्रवइ हरिगुन सुनत।
कर न राम गुन गान जीह सो दादुर जीह सम ॥
hṛdaya so kulisa samāna jo na dravai hariguna sunata।
kara na rāma guna gāna jīha so dādura jīha sama ॥
Friend1: Have you ever come across the term ‘adulting’?
Friend2: No. What does it mean? Is it a verb?
Friend1: I was not familiar before, either. I sort of understood the meaning through the context in which it was presented.
Friend2: Does it relate to being an adult?
Friend1: I guess doing the responsible sort of stuff. Buying a house. Taking out a mortgage. Paying the monthly bills. If you go down a level, it could be something as simple as opening a checking account.
Friend2: Oh, I sure remember my first experience with that. Having my first credit card and then paying the monthly bill. It seems silly to view that as a milestone, but for someone new to the real world of living, it represents a significant step.
Friend1: Then I heard the saying that “adulting is hard.” I take it to mean that it is easier to remain a child for as long as you can.
Friend2: Living at home with the parents, who take care of everything. They manage to make the rent. They pay the property tax bill.
Friend1: They call the plumber if there is a leak. They deal with the unexpected shutdowns of the heating and cooling system.
Friend2: So much to do. It is exhausting. You almost need a single person dedicated to maintaining the house. A property manager.
Friend1: Right and that only relates to a single dwelling. Imagine dealing with finances, saving for retirement, creating an emergency fund, maintaining proper health, etc.
Friend2: The list is endless.
Friend1: I was thinking perhaps there is some correlation to spiritual life.
Friend2: How so?
Friend1: Well, the first time I came across Bhagavad-gita, it was like a whole new world opened up. The principles and guidance were unlike anything I came across before.
Friend2: You had a different idea of religion, prior?
Friend1: Exactly. This wasn’t a religion. It was more like an outlook on life. More than a single lifetime. Shri Krishna basically explains the entire universe and our role in it. It was both eye-opening and overwhelming.
Friend2: As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’re not expected to immediately realize everything the science of self-realization teaches. You need help. Time in immersion. Assimilation through the guidance of the certified instructor, the guru.
Friend1: Could we say that bhakti-yoga is like adulting for people interested in spiritual life?
Friend2: That is at the foundation, for sure. The human birth has the ideal destiny of dvija. Become born twice. Take the second birth from the association with the spiritual master. This is when life really begins. Someone who has potency within them, they can describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no better embodiment of the living spirit.
Friend1: Everything else is equivalent with death, then?
Friend2: The mouth is like a snake-hole, if the name of Hari does not regularly flow from it. We are wandering through the universe, birth after birth. We don’t really become adults until we make the approach for understanding the Almighty.
बहूनां जन्मनाम् अन्ते
ज्ञानवान् मां प्रपद्यते
वासुदेवः सर्वम् इति
स महात्मा सु-दुर्लभः
bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.19)
Friend1: We shouldn’t remain single-born? We should advance towards becoming an adult in spiritual life?
Friend2: Someone has to be. Think about it. If we never become adults, who will take care of the next generation? Is our life meant to stop at childhood? That period eventually ends. Then what? It wasn’t the only life. You always get more than one attempt, as that is in the nature of time.
Friend1: What if that kind of adulting is too difficult?
Friend2: It won’t be easy. Nothing worth acquiring ever is. You have to put in some effort. There is no reason to be afraid. Even a little progress in this path can provide tremendous protection. The Supreme Lord has permanent storage in terms of memory. Our good deeds will never be erased.
Like permanently storing,
Our success ensuring.
Good deed for Him done,
When to adulthood have come.
By the second birth taking,
Serious life endeavor making.
Though difficult the path may be,
Worthwhile to fruition to see.