“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
Friend1: It seems like striving for perfection in yoga would be the best use of time.
Friend2: As opposed to?
Friend1: Sense gratification. Working your way up the corporate ladder. Enjoying with friends and family.
Friend2: Such interactions have temporary significance. Even something considered long-term, like the return on investment in education, is short in the grand scheme of things.
Friend1: It makes sense if you consider the aphorism, athato brahma-jijnasa. “Now is the time for inquiring about Brahman.”
Friend2: Learn about the spiritual truth. This is the call to action for the human birth. Notice what the aphorism does not say.
Friend1: “Now is the time for trying to live forever.” “Now is the time for earning a lot of money.” “Now is the time to become the most famous person in the world.” “Now is the time to lose cognizance of the world around you, through steady intoxication.”
Friend2: Wow, that’s pretty good. You nailed it.
Friend1: Back to the yoga angle. Aside from the immediate relief from the burning fever of material existence, there is the long-term gain in terms of future birth.
Friend2: If you are the ideal yogi, rebirth stops. You no longer have to be made aware of Brahman. You are always aware.
Friend1: Right, but so blessed is the path that even if you fail at yoga, all hope is not lost.
Friend2: You get to start again from where you left off.
Friend1: We get direct confirmation from Bhagavad-gita. Fortunately, Arjuna asked the question. He had the opportunity to receive the highest knowledge directly from the original source.
Friend1: Arjuna was justifiably concerned. Yoga is not easy. There is sacrifice involved.
Friend2: No pain, no gain.
Friend1: People might become upset with you. You are not giving them as much attention. You are too renounced, in a sense. Perhaps others will view it as competition, that you are somehow trying to surpass them at the game of life.
Friend2: If you become devoted to the Supreme Lord in truth, lacking outside motivation, there is the chance that society turns against you, such as for the gopis of Vrindavana.
Friend1: That brings surrender in the truest sense. You have no one else but your beloved, who is like the dark raincloud.
Friend2: The devotees are like the chataka bird. They take only what God gives them. They are not jealous of the same mercy offered to others. They will wait patiently for the rain to fall. In a show of allegiance, they keep the beak pointed upwards.
Friend1: I think every person should follow the path of yoga.
Friend2: I agree.
Friend1: The genuine kind. We are not talking about gymnastics here or meditating on a void.
Friend2: Worship in the truest sense. Going beyond blind allegiance and following out of fear.
Friend1: Yoga is never institutionally bound.
Friend2: It can’t be. You just proved it.
Friend2: Because the unsuccessful yogi gets to continue in the next life. They don’t lose progress. Their previous institution of choice may not be around anymore. Perhaps they are born in a different part of the world, speaking another language.
Friend1: I never thought about it like that.
Friend2: Dharma is always one. It never changes. The opportunity for yoga in dharma will remain, though the circumstances might be different. New parents. A new body type.
Friend1: You could go from female to male.
Friend2: From a family of businessmen to a family of yogis. You never know. The Supreme Lord is so kind and merciful. Just dip your toe in the pool. The water is warm. There is the lifeguard standing by, waiting to rescue, should you run into trouble. There is oversight the entire time, even if we think we are all alone.
Even if thinking all alone,
That progress not known.
Support entire time giving,
Best future conditions living.
Such that yoga forward to move,
Never progress to lose.
Kindness by Krishna bestowing,
Best bargain showing.