“Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.41)
बहु-शाखा ह्य् अनन्ताश् च
bahu-śākhā hy anantāś ca
1. Worshiping a blue-complexioned figure
“Guilty as charged. I worship someone who has a blue complexion. I am more than certain they are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I have no doubt on the matter, as I never really believed that randomness is the cause of creation. I might have previously indulged various speculations, a little here and a little there, but nothing could really convince me to go in that direction.
“The color on Krishna’s body is like a dark raincloud, the one about to release water from the sky. Like the atasi flower or the tamala tree. It is the shyama color, if you are familiar with Sanskrit. Since there is amazing beauty to this color, another name for Krishna is Shyamasundara.
“Not just Krishna, but I also worship someone who looks like a monkey and can carry mountains in his hand. Someone with the head of an elephant that can write the longest book in recorded history. A person travelling through space, carrying only their musical instrument of choice.
“I don’t think any of this is make-believe. I have not lost my mind. I am sane and rational. I have deliberated fully on the matter. This is my choice and I am sticking with it.”
2. Repeating a sacred chant
“Guilty as charged. I repeat the maha-mantra on a daily basis: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. There are times when the sound annoys me, especially if it is part of a musical ensemble that does not follow etiquette in terms of volume, time, and place. Or perhaps the singing is terrible, the instruments out of tune, or the length too long.
“I still repeat the mantra. I love the sounds represented within those sequence of words. I have more enthusiasm for chanting today than I did when I started. You may not have the same affinity. You may think that I am crazy, but there is nothing else in life where the same ascendency has taken place for me. There is something special to this mantra. I just know it.”
3. Having no interest in material life
“Guilty as charged. Trust me, I can pretend like the best of them. If we had a conversation on sports, politics, the local news, the weather, raising children, buying a house, reading books, taking hobbies, and the like, you would never be able to tell. I can fake it like no one else.
“But I tell you that there is no interest. I am more or less disgusted by the proposal of anything temporary. These are just sources of misery. I have personal experience. I have lived long enough to notice the pattern. I am not trying to show off, to say that I am more renounced than you or anyone else. I am just revealing my mind.”
ये हि संस्पर्श-जा भोगा
दुःख-योनय एव ते
न तेषु रमते बुधः
ye hi saṁsparśa-jā bhogā
duḥkha-yonaya eva te
na teṣu ramate budhaḥ
“An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.22)
4. Feeling renewing enthusiasm
“Guilty as charged. What I worked on a year ago still has relevance. It is like I am constantly building upon successes. I have no regrets since I entered this path. Not only do I appropriately plan for the future, but the present is thrilling. It is invigorating. I have this enthusiasm that cannot be checked.
“Sure, I run into people who are sad, depressed, unhappy, miserable, and the like. I have casually audited meetings of what I call the Perpetual Lamentation Society. Always crying about this. Sadness over this failed experience. Reliving traumas, as if remembering the incidents again and again is somehow going to change the outcome.
“I will not be dragged down by others. There must be something to this Krishna consciousness, at least in how I found it and how I understand it. I have no enthusiasm for anything else. Whether successful or failing, the other stuff doesn’t matter much to me.”
5. Having firm resolve
“Guilty as charged. You can make fun of me. You can make me the topic of attention when trying to impress your friends and family with a comedy routine. You can insult me repeatedly. You can say that I am the worst person in the world, that I have no soul, that I am dead inside, that I am emotionless.
“None of those words will change my resolve. This is the path I am sticking with. I have no control over how long I will remain viable. The material elements are constantly operating, after all. As long as I have a say in the matter, as long as there is a choice, this is what I am following. I am not afraid of going to hell, even, since not even the Supreme Lord can talk me out of my decision to worship Him.”
कथयन्तश् च मां नित्यं
तुष्यन्ति च रमन्ति च
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ
tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca
“The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.9)
My resolve never torn,
Despite ridicule and scorn.
All day long can make fun,
But never my work undone.
Past effort benefits still showing,
And with enthusiasm ever-growing.
That for Krishna everything to do,
Intelligence, words, and promises too.
Categories: the five