“In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.40)
प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते
स्व्-अल्पम् अप्य् अस्य धर्मस्य
त्रायते महतो भयात्
pratyavāyo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt
1. The investment in that startup company
“They tell you to diversify. They tell you to play it safe. They tell you to think for the long term, like twenty and thirty years out. They tell you not to put all of your eggs in one basket.
“The thing is, who can guarantee that we will be alive in that time? Past performance indicates that such an investing style yields minimal returns, as compared to inflation. That is why I took a chance with this startup. I invested quite a large sum, thinking only of the upside potential.
“Well, I sure paid the price for that (no pun intended). The company’s value is down around seventy-five percent in the last year. At this rate, my entire investment will be wiped out. Total loss. Not cool.”
2. The marriage experience
“We have so many memories together. The arrangement took place after extensive deliberation. Several parties were involved. The ceremony itself was quite expensive. The attendees had a good time, but they don’t have to live with a total stranger, after the fact.
“Well, it is not going so well. We are on the verge of total separation. I am not sure how anyone survives this institution. It would have been nice to get some prior warning. Those years of my life are now gone. What will I do?”
3. The sandcastle on the beach
“It was such a fun day. I am not big on water-related adventures. I appreciate from a distance, but I rarely go in. I decided to build a sandcastle, instead. I wasn’t really sure what to do at the beginning, but I kept at it. I took pictures of the finished product.
“It was such a good time that we decided to visit again the subsequent day. Lo and behold, the sandcastle is no more. Not sure what happened. Maybe the waves approached closer inland and washed the beautiful structure away. Maybe some children came by and dismantled it. I am quite disappointed.”
If we were to compare material nature to an insurance company, there is not much that could be done. Maybe we try to file a claim against the loss. The concept of insurance has been around for centuries, and companies are always creatively applying new models and ideas, to keep up with the changing times.
In the grand scheme, material nature provides no indemnification. If we try to file a claim, the superintendent might laugh at us. After all, total loss is the final destination. It was guaranteed since the time of birth.
जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्
ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च
तस्माद् अपरिहार्ये ऽर्थे
न त्वं शोचितुम् अर्हसि
jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur
dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca
tasmād aparihārye ‘rthe
na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi
“For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.27)
It does not matter how much we protest. There are no exceptions based on time of service, level of allegiance, or degree of attachment. The loss is a total loss. The things built, the attachment created, and the relationships formed will be gone forever.
Life in transcendentalism is different. Refining the process further, we have yoga, the genuine kind. The master of all mystic power, Yogeshvara, gives direct assurance as to the safety of the process. There is no loss. The concept of total destruction does not apply.
Just as the air carries aromas, so the conceptions of this life move forward into the next life. This explains reincarnation and also the varying circumstances to birth. Some people feel as if they knew something from a previous life, based on the ease with which they adapt into a new skill or experience. This is due to the previous conceptions.
शरीरं यद् अवाप्नोति
यच् चाप्य् उत्क्रामतीश्वरः
वायुर् गन्धान् इवाशयात्
śarīraṁ yad avāpnoti
yac cāpy utkrāmatīśvaraḥ
vāyur gandhān ivāśayāt
“The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.8)
As conceptions can carry forward, so does the progress made in yoga. Material nature is not responsible for these results. Yoga is for connecting directly with Yogeshvara. It is a friendship that has been there since time immemorial, except that one of the friends has forgotten.
बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि
जन्मानि तव चार्जुन
तान्य् अहं वेद सर्वाणि
न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप
bahūni me vyatītāni
janmāni tava cārjuna
tāny ahaṁ veda sarvāṇi
na tvaṁ vettha parantapa
“The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!” (Bhagavad-gita, 4.5)
Yoga as a discipline is for triggering the remembrance. It is for maintaining the relationship after remembering. It is for remaining steady in the link and enjoying all of the benefits of the close proximity to the source of the material and spiritual worlds. Yoga is true transcendence.
That sandcastle no more,
From waves washed ashore.
That marriage with bitter end,
Pain and misery to extend.
Insurance claim ready to file,
But might have to wait awhile.
Only real yoga assurance to give,
That with sustained progress to live.
Categories: the three