A Dream Journey of Enchanting Engagements

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

A friend once had to undertake an over the night journey to reach a beautiful resort set off amidst an idyllic ambience. Hence the friend boarded a luxury train that had an air-conditioned salon with in-house facilities for watching an assortment of movies, browsing the web and also with attender on call to take care of his personal needs like providing him with snacks and drinks and many other such facilities. So after the carnival of the all-engrossing enchanting engagements through the day, he had a very sound sleep in the train that night. On the next morning on reaching his destination, he felt that the entire journey itself was very comfortable and further went on to mull as to what was the point in getting down at the terminal point. Thinking so, he again booked himself in the same train for the return back to the starting point and continued with his journey to return to the place of origin without ever getting down at the designated destination.

This may sound funny, but when we try to give it a thought, we realize that most of us are sailing in the same boat. This human body is the vehicle which the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna has provided for us to reach the ultimate destination (paraṁ dhāma) of Goloka Vrindavan. The body is the means to achieve the ultimate goal, but unfortunately we take the human body itself to be the be-all and end-all in itself. However we do have to take proper care of the body as well as the so-called relationships attached to this body, but with the realization that the body is actually meant for a higher purpose (śarīramādyam khalu dharma sādhanam - Body is an instrument for executing Dharma).

We should not be so much engrossed with this body, which is like a machine or vehicle for travel, that we keep taking birth after birth without coming off the repeated cycle, just as to continue to travel in the same vehicle for the luxury and the comfort it offers without getting down at the desired destination, illusioned by an idea that the journey itself is more pleasant than the ultimate destination. However nice it might be one cannot be on a solo joyous sojourn forever and will have to understand that he has to brace himself up for getting off at the designated destination to return back home for a solemn reunion with the near and dear ones longing for such a blissful occasion. Our correct approach towards this body is very wonderfully portrayed in SB 11.9.25,

deho gurur mama virakti-viveka-hetur
bibhrat sma sattva-nidhanaṁ satatārty-udarkam
tattvāny anena vimṛśāmi yathā tathāpi
pārakyam ity avasito vicarāmy asaṅgaḥ

The material body is also my spiritual master because it teaches me detachment. Being subject to creation and destruction, it always comes to a painful end. Thus, although using my body to acquire knowledge, I always remember that it will ultimately be consumed by others, and remaining detached, I move about this world. in the purport it is very nicely mentioned.

In the purport it is very nicely mentioned that, "The words 'yathā tathāpi' are significant in this verse. Although the body bestows great benefit by enabling one to learn about this world, one should always remember its unhappy, inevitable future. If cremated, the body is burned to ashes by fire; if lost in a lonely place, it is consumed by jackals and vultures; and if buried in a luxurious coffin, it decomposes and is consumed by insignificant insects and worms. Thus it is described as pārakyam, "Ultimately to be consumed by others." One should, however, carefully maintain bodily health to execute Krishna consciousness, but without undue affection or attachment. By studying the body's birth and death, one can acquire virakti-viveka, the intelligence to detach oneself from useless things. The word 'avasita' indicates conviction. One should be convinced of all the truths of Krishna consciousness."

Krishna Himself is seated in the heart of all the living entities, the prodigal ones, and directing the journey of return back home to the most idyllic place where there is no misery and no danger (padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām), SB 1.2.17,

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated on a machine, made of the material energy.

But just as the friend of this narration we are enamored and swayed and as a sequel entrapped by the many engrossing engagements as to be completely illusioned and as to be at a loss even to remotely understand or appreciate the lasting bliss that can be attained by arriving back home under the aegis of a beloved father. The excursion of engaging engrossments should not become one of endangering entrapment. Our journey should always be guided by the message of the Acharyas and Krsna, who Himself is directing our wanderings.

With humble prayers to Krsna to ensure that I don't get foxed by the many allurements of the way on the journey back home and continue to remain focused on the ultimate objective of reaching the supreme destination acting under His direction.

Thank you very much.
With humble obeisances at the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Malathy Vivek
Abu Dhabi.