Five Things I Don’t Want To Have To Learn Again

[Shri Krishna]“From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.16)

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आ-ब्रह्म-भुवनाल् लोकाः
पुनर् आवर्तिनो ऽर्जुन
माम् उपेत्य तु कौन्तेय
पुनर् जन्म न विद्यते

ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ
punar āvartino ‘rjuna
mām upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate

1. Driving

“I will admit that I was a little apprehensive from the beginning. I thought I would never be able to learn. I was afraid of having a crash on my first day. It just looked too difficult. I knew that it was a vital skill to possess, though.

“When I finally got behind the wheel, I practiced like no other person. I was in the car all the time. When the time came for the driving examination, I was unbelievably nervous. I thought I had failed, but when I received the passing slip, I was elated.”

2. Office politics

“Let me tell you, my first few years in the workforce were difficult. Newly graduated from college, I had so much enthusiasm. I spoke honestly with everyone. I just assumed everyone else was as excited to be there as me. I couldn’t believe we got paid to do what we do.

“Several decades later, my outlook has sure changed. I can’t believe my past behavior. It was so silly. I was so naïve. I tread lightly now. I barely speak. I rarely volunteer for projects. I keep my head down and collect a steady paycheck. It is much better this way, but the lessons learned were difficult.”

3. The truth of inevitable death

“I think it might have been after I entered the teenage years. I hit the realization that everyone was going to die. I was not as concerned for myself as I was for my parents. I couldn’t bear the thought of one day being separated from them. It was so difficult to accept. I never want to suffer that realization again.”

4. The difficulties of marriage

“I joke that I am married to something like a wild dog. Imagine if you had to keep something like that within the home. You can’t go out in public, because the dog will bark at people. It might escape the leash and cause havoc everywhere.

“That is similar to my marriage experience. I can’t have guests. I can’t invite friends or family over. I can’t attend any events as a family. I don’t ever want to have to learn these lessons again.”

5. PhD level science

“I have two doctorates, in fact. It was necessary for advancement in my field of work. No one respects you, otherwise. The process was not easy. Taking classes is simple. Coming up with new research is more challenging.

“Add to the mix the complexities of publishing academic papers. It seems that they care more about formatting and citations than they do about the actual content. It was an arduous journey, but I finally made it to see the other side. I never want to repeat the experience.”

Vedic culture is built on the foundation of making the human birth the last one in the cycle. Never mind exactly how many iterations there have been. There is no use in tracing out the exact history of the jiva soul, precisely because time is so vast in both directions, forward and backward.

“The child cries to have the moon from the mother, and the mother gives the child a mirror to satisfy the crying and disturbing child with the reflection of the moon. Similarly, the crying child of the Lord is given over to the reflection, the material world, to lord it over as karmi and to give this up in frustration to become one with the Lord. Both these stages are dreaming illusions only. There is no necessity of tracing out the history of when the living entity desired this. But the fact is that as soon as he desired it, he was put under the control of atma-maya by the direction of the Lord.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.9.1 Purport)

The aphorism of athato brahma-jijnasa applies to the human being, who has a higher potential for intelligence. Now is the time for inquiring into spiritual matters. Now is the time, because perhaps the past was not as suitable. Inquire into spiritual matters, precisely because there is now the ability to question.

Another birth is starting over. There is no way around it. Observe the newborn child. They came out of nowhere. That is the visual, but we know that individuals are always coming and going. The same ones that departed, they are returning. The ones that are returning, they will one day depart.

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)

There is the long path towards success and also a more simple and straightforward one. Follow all the rules and regulations. Offer respect the entire time. Flow through the rites of passage, known as samskara.

Live with such detachment that it will be easy to remove interest in the temporary when quitting the body. It is the state of being which determines the next kind of existence. If the consciousness is on the temporary, there will be birth again amidst the temporary.

यं यं वापि स्मरन् भावं
त्यजत्य् अन्ते कलेवरम्
तं तम् एवैति कौन्तेय
सदा तद्-भाव-भावितः

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya
sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ

“Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.6)

There is the shorter path. Simply stay conscious of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who go to His planet never have to return to the land of birth and death. This is not a speculation or extrapolation. The promise is there, directly stated in words preserved in the original language they were spoken, Sanskrit.

Is it too simple? Is it too easy? It might appear that way, but just see how many are following. The material world is full of takers, but hardly anyone wants to take this reward off the shelf in the store, so to speak. They would rather continue to enjoy in illusion, hoping that if they keep their eyes closed things will work out in their favor.

[Shri Krishna]If I know that Krishna’s appearance and activities, janma and karma, are Divine, I no longer have to take birth. This is another promise directly stated. I can choose to ignore or I can choose to believe. Those who believe and stay with the path of consciousness attached to His lotus feet soon have all their doubts resolved.

In Closing:

Despite higher honor to earn,
Possible again to return.

Despite that skill to learn,
After reset another turn.

Ways of reincarnation true,
Determined consciousness through.

But if on Krishna the entire time,
Completion to the cycle to find.



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3 replies

  1. Enlightening post. Thank you.

  2. Very interesting! Bye. Kamila

  3. 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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