Our Gift To Him

[Radha-Krishna]“O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.27)

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यत् करोषि यद् अश्नासि
यज् जुहोषि ददासि यत्
यत् तपस्यसि कौन्तेय
तत् कुरुष्व मद्-अर्पणम्

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam

“I know that in the general presentation on the urgency for the science of self-realization, the cause of birth is said to be a challenging spirit. More specifically, it is we individuals who want to challenge God. We want to enjoy without Him. We think we can do a better job of managing authority, of controlling others, of enjoying, and so forth.

“To that end, we get to play in this illusory world. For as long as we want. Like the small child who wants to repeatedly go to the beach, so that they can build their sandcastles. Each day, the objects built from the previous day are no longer visible. The waves have come upon the shore and moved the sand.

“The child does not mind. They have no problem sitting down and building again. They will do this over and over. They think they have progressed, that their work is meaningful. It might have a positive impact in the long run, in terms of developing skills and instilling values, but the actual sandcastle structure has no value.

“Similarly, we get to take our chance at life in the material world. Over and over. Even after the days and nights of Brahma have ended, the host of beings arrives again. I believe that is how Krishna explains the cycle. The juxtaposition is intentional. Brahma is the creator. His day is ridiculously long.

भूत-ग्रामः स एवायं
भूत्वा भूत्वा प्रलीयते
रात्र्य्-आगमे ऽवशः पार्थ
प्रभवत्य् अहर्-आगमे

bhūta-grāmaḥ sa evāyaṁ
bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate
rātry-āgame ‘vaśaḥ pārtha
prabhavaty ahar-āgame

“Again and again the day comes, and this host of beings is active; and again the night falls, O Partha, and they are helplessly dissolved.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.19)

“I heard something recently that made me think. In terms of a comparison with the science of self-realization, this might be a more optimistic view. The saying is that life is God’s gift to us, and the way we live that life is our gift to Him.

“That really resonated with me. It acknowledges kindness from the man upstairs. It also puts some responsibility on the individual, that we should be repaying that kindness instead of exploiting it. Instead of acting like the spoiled child, who never appreciates their parents, we should always be happy that we have the opportunity to live.

“What is your take on that? Does this kind of thinking contradict the idea that the material world is like a prison, wherein the population is the equivalent of inmates needing to be reformed?”

Sometimes the pessimistic outlook is necessary in order to advance to a higher standard. The child in school, for instance, might be frightened at the prospect of repeating a grade. Rather than have to sit with new classmates, who are younger, in the subsequent year, they make sure to complete assignments on time. They study so that they can demonstrate sufficient progress for moving on to the next level.

[clipart]In reality, repeating a grade is not that big of a deal. The concept of a grade level itself is arbitrary. There are plenty of intelligent, bright, articulate, and well-behaved adults who never received formal education during childhood. Perhaps they learned at their own pace, while at home. Maybe they learned how to read and write at first, and then took personal initiative from there.

Shrimad Bhagavatam explains the situation of the child within the womb. They are not happy to be forced inside of that small space. They promise to remember the Supreme Lord, to no longer be stuck in the cycle of birth and death.

The process of entering the world is so traumatic that everything gets forgotten. It is like starting over, except the previous conceptions of life move forward, like the air carrying aromas.

शरीरं यद् अवाप्नोति
यच् चाप्य् उत्क्रामतीश्वरः
गृहीत्वैतानि संयाति
वायुर् गन्धान् इवाशयात्

śarīraṁ yad avāpnoti
yac cāpy utkrāmatīśvaraḥ
gṛhītvaitāni saṁyāti
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)

With forgetfulness setting in, the experience is more like the prison analogy. There has to be some kind of reform. Discipline. Standards. Control over the senses. Basically, superior authority compels the individual to behave a certain way.

With enough progress, however, the outlook can change. The person advanced in the science of self-realization certainly views this lifetime as a gift from God. They are thankful for the opportunity to always connect with Him, to remember Him, and to keep Him close by.

मन्-मना भव मद्-भक्तो
मद्-याजी मां नमस्कुरु
माम् एवैष्यसि युक्त्वैवम्
आत्मानं मत्-परायणः

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
ātmānaṁ mat-parāyaṇaḥ

“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.34)

[Radha-Krishna]As His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains, the Vaishnava is a symbol of sacrifice. Their very existence is dedicated to the Supreme Lord. Everything they do is an offering, whether formal or informal. They live for Shri Krishna, and He in turn never forgets them. The prison-like atmosphere transforms into the most pleasant area, since there is constant glorification of the one from whom everything has come.

In Closing:

To prison-world sent,
Reform in that time spent.

But changing when to advance,
Life viewed as wonderful chance.

For gift from above to repay,
Blessed in every way.

Our life dedicated to Him giving,
That happiness in bhakti living.

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❤️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❤️🔥 Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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