“To remember Krishna one should chant the mahamantra, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, incessantly, following in the footsteps of Lord Chaitanya, being more tolerant than the tree, humbler than the grass and offering all respect to others without requiring respect in return. In such a way one will be able to depart from the body successfully remembering Krishna and so attain the supreme goal.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 8.5 Purport)
1. In marriage
“Seriously, I do everything. I am the only one who works. I am at home most of the time. That is my day job. When the working shift ends, things only get more difficult. Then I have to drive around, taking care of the children.
“Does the spouse take care of the home? Do they cook food? Do they clean? Nope. They won’t even walk into the garage to take out the trash. Everything is there for me to do. It’s ridiculous. How did I end up in this position? People recommend the 50-50 split of duties. I have to laugh at that. Right now we are at about 95-5.”
2. At the store
“They had a promotion running. Bring in your old device and get hundreds of dollars off the purchase of an upgrade. The deal seemed too good to be true. I should have known better. I fell for it.
“I brought my device in. I waited in line for two hours. When I got to the counter, they told me that my model is not eligible. The device is too old. I pointed to the advertisement, where nothing of the sort was stated. This is a bait-and-switch tactic. They just lied to get people in the door. I will certainly not be buying anything from them ever again.”
3. At the car mechanic
“I brought my car in for routine maintenance the other day. As soon as I left, the light for the engine went off. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. They must have done something that triggered the issue.
“When I brought it back in, they gave me some mumbo-jumbo about a part that needs to be replaced. I think it is their fault. I have no choice but to pay. I know nothing about cars. This is why I hate owning a vehicle.”
4. At the airport
“I prefer to drive. Always. I never want to get on a plane if I don’t have to. The entire experience is too stressful. The latest journey proved that intuition to be correct. I felt so cheated by the airline.
“I did everything right. I arrived at the airport on time. I checked in hours before the flight. I was in line getting ready to board. Then an announcement came on. They were overbooked for the flight. I don’t know what that means. They didn’t explain.
“Next thing I know they tell me that I can’t get on the flight. One of the crew members will be taking my seat. What kind of fraud is this? How does anyone put up with it? Why would you sell a ticket when it’s not valid? Why would I travel all this way for nothing?”
5. At the ballot box
“You are seriously telling me that people voted for this? And only in certain parts of the country, mind you. The political party that locked people in their homes for years, closed the schools, forced experimental injections on the population, and destroyed the economy just got reelected to office?
“I don’t buy it for a second. These people are so blatant with their cheating. They stuff the ballot box with their mass mail-in campaign. They flip votes with their machines, and no one is allowed to audit, after the fact. There is nothing anyone can do, either. You’re basically stuck with these dictators. There is no accountability for their pathetic job performance.”
There is the saying that you can’t cheat an honest man. If a person is pure in their intentions, if their desires are in the right place, they will instinctively avoid situations where they can be cheated. They will know where to go and where not to go. They will be able to put together a general idea of right and wrong.
यया धर्ममधर्मं च कार्यं चाकार्यमेव च ।
अयथावत्प्रजानाति बुद्धि: सा पार्थ राजसी ॥
yayā dharmam adharmaṁ ca
kāryaṁ cākāryam eva ca
buddhiḥ sā pārtha rājasī
“And that understanding which cannot distinguish between the religious way of life and the irreligious, between action that should be done and action that should not be done, that imperfect understanding, O son of Pritha, is in the mode of passion.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.31)
However, if there is a desire to be cheated, there are plenty of places to go. In the Vedic understanding, the original sin, if you will, is turning away from the Absolute Truth. This is a kind of cheating since there is the accompanying desire of trying to be Supreme.
Trying is the extent to which the desire can grow. There is no actual attainment of the goal. The Absolute Truth is one. The Absolute Truth is always in that state. There is no coming or going. There is no becoming or transforming.
For as long as the cheating propensity remains, there will be cheaters to follow. They will subtly guide in this direction and that. They will say to become rich. They will ask for votes. They will put priority on improving the quality of sense enjoyment. They will give no acknowledgment of the afterlife or the future beyond inevitable death.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada recommends remembering Shri Krishna. He says that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is a more elaborate explanation of the Absolute Truth. It is the detail behind the abstract. It is the person behind the curtain, so to speak.
Remembering Krishna is attaining the supreme goal. Remembering at the time of quitting the body equates to perfection of living. Every person has some kind of consciousness, state of being, during that inevitable moment. If focused on Krishna, then the next state of being will be of a similar nature.
यं यं वापि स्मरन् भावं
त्यजत्य् अन्ते कलेवरम्
तं तम् एवैति कौन्तेय
yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya
“Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.6)
One way to remember Krishna is to chant the maha-mantra. There is even detail on the mood to maintain while chanting. Follow the lead of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Be more tolerant than the tree and more humble than the blade of grass.
There will be many cheaters. Sometimes, due to our past karma, we will be victims to such deception. If we remember Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the acharyas following in His line, our cheating propensity will end. We will become like the honest man who can no longer be cheated, for we are always merged in the Absolute Truth through thought, word, deed, and desire.
On some level deserved,
Through sanctity not preserved.
That by others cheated,
Through personal ambition defeated.
Better the mood of Chaitanya taking,
And finally an honest life making.
With prayers and glories to send,
Where Krishna grace to extend.
Categories: the five