No Moment to Reflect

1st Nov 2010
Vaijayantimala devi dasi

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

Now the auspicious Damodar month is going on and it is a very great opportunity to remind ourselves how the unconquerable Lord is conquered by the tassle of loving devotion unto Him. We are all offering lamp to Lord Damodar and we also avail the opportunity to light the lamp of transcendental knowledge by reaching out to a lot of living entities by way of performing aarathi in various houses and preaching the message of Lord Shri Krishna. When we go to various places for preaching and spreading the message, we get different types of experiences, reciprocation and feedback. It is the experience of the devotees that when they go and speak to the families who are relatively materially stable and are pious, they receive the speakers warmly and they are very pleasing hosts also, but when they are requested to attend the Bhagavad gita classes, the response is 'we have no time'. When we request that they send their children to the Gokul nandan classes, the response is, the children are attending so many other classes like dance, music, karate that they also have no time and are very busy.

Actually we are not trying to preach to the people who are engaged in abominable activities and are grossly sinful. The people whom we approach are materially pious and good nature and educated. When I was thinking about this, I was also reminded of my own response 11 years ago, when the well wishing devotees were requesting us to attend the programs. My response was also the same 'no time' whereas I was spending the time going around the city of Abu Dhabi. When I started thinking the reason which leads to this kind of response, Krishna so kindly directed me to the following wonderful verse from Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.16

ye kaivalyam asamprāptā ye cātītāś ca mūḍhatām
trai-vargikā hy akṣaṇikā ātmānaṁ ghātayanti te

Those who have not achieved knowledge of the Absolute Truth, yet who are still beyond the darkness of complete ignorance, generally follow the threefold path of pious material life, namely religiosity, economic development and sense gratification. Not having time to reflect on any higher purpose, they become the killers of their own soul.

The purport is very nicely written and gives us an insight into the reason for 'no time' response.

"Those who are completely in the darkness of ignorance and thus bereft even of material pious life commit innumerable sinful activities and suffer greatly. Due to such intense suffering such persons sometimes seek the shelter of the devotees of the Lord and, being blessed by such transcendental association, are sometimes elevated to the highest perfectional stage of Krishna consciousness.Those who are not completely sinful experience some mitigation of the miseries of material life and thus develop a false sense of well-being within the material world. Because those who are materially pious generally obtain worldly prosperity, bodily beauty and a pleasant family situation, they become falsely proud of their position and are not inclined to associate with or accept instructions from the devotees of the Lord. Unfortunately, all material activities, whether pious or impious, are inevitably contaminated by sinful activity. Those who are proud of their piety and do not like to hear about Krishna sooner or later fall down from their artificial position. Every living entity is an eternal servant of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, until we surrender to Krishna, our position is actually always impious. The word akshanikaah ("not having even a moment to reflect") is significant in this verse. Materialistic persons cannot spare a single moment for their eternal self-interest. This is a symptom of misfortune. Such persons are considered to be killing their own souls because by their obstinacy they are preparing a dark future for themselves from which they will not escape for a very long time.’’

Srila Prabhupada in one of his lectures states how the living entity spends his valuable time. He says, "Therefore Shankaracharya, he has said, bālas tāvad krīḍāsaktas taruṇas tāvad taruṇī raktaḥ. The children, they are very working hard for playing. They’re also getting perspiration, but they are taking pleasure in jumping and this way and that way. So bālas tāvad krīḍāsaktas...yuvakas tāvad yuvati-raktah,(?) that “Young men, they are busy working very hard: ‘Where is woman? Where is woman? Where is that girl? Where is that girl?’ ” He’s also busy. The boy is busy, and the young man, he is also busy, love affairs, to find out a suitable mate...And after young life, when one becomes old, vṛddhāś tāvat cintā-magnāḥ, - "The old man is full of anxiety, absorbed in thought, 'How to do it, how to do that?' In this way everyone is busy. parame brahmani ko 'pi na lagnah - Nobody’s interested in Krishna consciousness. This is the difficulty. That they do not know."

It is a fact that in kaliyuga the struggle for existence is increasing more and more and the maintenance work by itself is consuming a lot of our time. But still apart from that, whatever time is available should definitely be invested in understanding the spiritual subject matter, considering our precarious situation. Our beloved Guru Maharaj HH Mahavishnu Goswami, referring to those who are residing in Gulf countries always used to say that Lord Krishna has placed you all in a relatively materially comfortable situation and with the comforts and time available, if you do not take up the process of Krishna consciousness, it will take no time for the Lord to withdraw all this and place you under the flyover in Mumbai. In Ishopanishad, Srila Prabhupada therefore warns us, "We are given this human form of life not to work hard like asses, swine and dogs but to attain the highest perfection of life. If we do not care for self-realization, the laws of nature force us to work very hard, even though we may not want to do so."

I pray that I remember the powerful words of Prahlada Maharaj in Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.5

tato yateta kuśalaḥ kṣemāya bhavam āśritaḥ
śarīraṁ pauruṣaṁ yāvan na vipadyeta puṣkalam

Therefore, while in material existence [bhavam aashritah], a person fully competent to distinguish wrong from right must endeavor to achieve the highest goal of life as long as the body is stout and strong and is not embarrassed by dwindling.

Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.