“Our dear Lord, You are the last word in good fortune and the last resort of all saintly persons; therefore we all consider that we have achieved the perfection of our life, education, austerity and acquisition of transcendental knowledge by meeting You.” (Assembled sages at Kurukshetra speaking to Lord Krishna, Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Volume 2, Ch 29)
“This is a struggle for me, at the moment. I have dependents. I know that the traditional route is to place your children in school. Someone else will take care of them for the working portion of the weekday. The kids stay in school for a sufficient number of years, and then they enter the real world.
“The problem I have is what they are learning. More specifically, what they should be learning. I want them to know the distinction between spirit and matter. I want them to be firmly convinced of the established truth of reincarnation, which is transmigration of the soul from one body to another.
“How can I ensure that this education takes place? The schools will not teach it. The knowledge will not accidentally fall upon them, like a book striking the head. There has to be some kind of instruction. If no one else is available, I might have to do it myself. That education is too important to dismiss.”
“To me, one of the most important traits a person should acquire is the ability to get by with less. In the voluntary sense, being satisfied with just enough to maintain life. There is no need for excess. Too much sense enjoyment leads to ruin. Every single time.
“To that end, I hope that the dependents follow austerity. Just enough so that they will not get spoiled. They should know the value of money. They should respect others, especially honest authority figures. They should know that happiness is through austerity and not indulgence.”
3. Acquisition of transcendental knowledge
“I want that the dependents learn about the source of everything. You can get an education in how to build applications for smart devices. You can be taught how to fly an airplane. You might one day become knowledgeable enough to write many books and subsequently travel the lecture circuit.
“Transcendental knowledge is more important. That is real vidya. As Krishna describes in Bhagavad-gita, it is raja-vidya. Every person should be interested in this subject matter. It should be the primary focus. Everything else will then take care of itself, more or less.”
4. The complete life experience
There is no higher standard to reach. There is nowhere else to go. You have succeeded. You have reached the ultimate destination. Everything else was for this moment. You cannot go any higher; it is the last stop on the ride up the mountain, so to speak.
This is the testimony of the assembled sages meeting Shri Krishna at Kurukshetra. A truth should be able to stand on its own. For instance, if someone tells me that two plus two equals four, that transfer of knowledge is enough.
The source should not matter. Whether the person instructing, in this case, is a highly credentialed teacher at a prestigious institution or a homeless beggar who has not properly bathed in months makes no difference. The truth is the truth.
Nevertheless, the source of the information provides added support. Everyone extends faith, to some degree. We hope that the people crossing on the opposite side of the road do not veer off into our lane, causing a life-threatening collision. We believe the signs posted at the train station, saying which train is headed to which destination.
Assembled sages take part in yajna. This is sacrifice, in the religious sense. There is some respectability to the process. Not just any person can sit down, light a fire, and chant the appropriate mantras. It is necessary to have qualified brahmanas to officiate the proceedings.
If such credentialed pious men reveal that there is nothing higher than Shri Krishna, the claim carries some weight. We find the same truth in Bhagavad-gita, spoken directly by Krishna. He is the highest authority figure, so the support is at as high a level as one can imagine.
मत्तः परतरं नान्यत्
किञ्चिद् अस्ति धनञ्जय
मयि सर्वम् इदं प्रोतं
सूत्रे मणि-गणा इव
mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
kiñcid asti dhanañjaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ
sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva
“O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no Truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.7)
Meeting the Supreme Personality of Godhead meets the standard of the perfection of life. At the same time, the meeting is not the end. There is no concept of retirement. There is no reason to stop working in the same way that led to the achievement.
Continuing forward aligns with the constitutional position of the living entity. The dharma, the essential characteristic, is to serve. That dharma is eternal, or sanatana. This means that even after finding perfection to life, through establishing a connection to the all-attractive one, dharma does not dissipate.
Dharma eternally to stand,
Meaning even if success at hand.
Not that service to drop,
Where interest suddenly to stop.
After Shri Krishna to meet,
Even more service to seek.
Such that pleasure forever increasing,
And from dreaded illusion releasing.
Categories: the four