“He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that My devotee never perishes.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.31)
क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा
न मे भक्तः प्रणश्यति
kṣipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā
na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati
1. My boss
“I switched jobs recently. It was a risk, for sure, but my hand was almost forced. There were some changes upcoming at the place of employment that would have caused tremendous distress to me and my family. That is the only reason I decided to look elsewhere.
“I am at a new place now, but I don’t really like it. I have an eagerness to please. I want to do a good job. I like feeling relied upon and trusted. The thing is, every time I go to finish something, my manager gets in the way.
“He always has some kind of negative comment. It only recently dawned on me that he views me as a sort of competition. He doesn’t want me to output more than him. Normally, this is a great situation to be in. A better job. More compensation and less work. But I don’t know. It seems unnatural to me to just coast.”
2. My spouse
“I have all of these plans for travel. We can visit this place and that. There is plenty of opportunity, given the vacation benefits at the place of employment. I think these periodic getaways do wonders for mental health. It is like a recharge of the system.
“The problem is my spouse does not want to go anywhere. They would rather stay at home. As soon as I mention the possibility of travelling, they get upset and start yelling.”
3. My parents
“While the more recent trend is to suck the parents dry, to take as much as possible, I have always had the opposite inclination. At least since reaching adulthood, I have wanted to serve as much as possible. A small token of affection, a way to repay the kindness and protection offered to me during childhood.
“The issue is that whatever I buy for my parents is not appreciated. They don’t respond with kind words. They always complain about this thing or that. They end up treating the gifts terribly. At this point, I have given up. No more buying them anything.”
4. My government
“Seriously, I just want to work. Let me go outside and run my business. I want to serve the people of the community. My place was doing so well that I was ready to expand it further. Now we are forced to stay at home, as if no one has ever heard of disease before. This is ridiculous.”
5. My competitors
“You know, I noticed that after winning certain competitions, amassing trophies and the like, not many people were happy for me. This is especially true when sharing news of the achievements. They politely acknowledged the accomplishments, more so out of seeing my enthusiasm, but then quickly changed the subject.
“If I can’t share my good news with others, what good is it? It is like they view me as competition, that I am winning at life and they are losing. That is not how I view it at all, but just see what this world is like. I would rather remain anonymous from now on, so no one feels bad because of me.”
This is the nature of the material world. It is limiting in every way, and this is not the natural state. The individual is spirit soul, who is otherwise free and full of potency. Just consider that the same kind of soul is within the ant and also the elephant.
The ant is barely capable in comparison to other species. The ability is still amazing. The ant has autonomous movement. It can fit into small spaces. It lives for a certain duration.
The elephant, meanwhile, can destroy an entire garden by accident. Simply by walking through it, the smaller objects can get crushed along the way. The elephant is so large that it can act as a transport vehicle, such as during marriage ceremonies.
Spiritual life is the ideal occupation for the spirit soul. This matches the dharma of the individual, and it is not limiting. It may appear to be in the same category as the above mentioned situations, but there is someone special on the other side.
He will never limit the exercise of loving expression dedicated in his honor. If I want, I will be able to chant the holy names every single day: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
I can bring Him one delicious offering after another, as seen in the famous temple of Jagannatha in Puri. If I am so inclined to write words of praise, glorification in both prose and extended essay, He will provide every facility.
There is no envy in Him, as is clearly stated in Bhagavad-gita. He actually wishes the best for every single living being. They become a friend to Him through their devotion, and within that relationship of dependence there is an abundance of freedom.
समो ऽहं सर्व-भूतेषु
न मे द्वेष्यो ऽस्ति न प्रियः
ये भजन्ति तु मां भक्त्या
मयि ते तेषु चाप्य् अहम्
samo ‘haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
na me dveṣyo ‘sti na priyaḥ
ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.29)
It may appear that the forces of time and space put a limit on what can be accomplished. After all, we need to sleep. We need to eat. Eventually, we have to move on to the next life. The difference with the devotional path is that we get to continue in the future. The life of devotion never perishes, as boldly declared by Arjuna.
Eager for work to do,
With great enthusiasm too.
But others in way getting,
Obstructions in path setting.
Such that lost all motivation,
But with bhakti determination,
Since Krishna all facility to provide,
Opportunity never denied.
Categories: the five