Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev.
In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 11.8.31 Pingala states:
santaṁ samīpe ramaṇaṁ rati-pradaṁ
vitta-pradaṁ nityam imaṁ vihāya
moha-pradaṁ tuccham ahaṁ bhaje ’jñā
I am such a fool that I have given up the service of that person who, being eternally situated within my heart, is actually most dear to me. That most dear one is the Lord of the universe, who is the bestower of real love and happiness and the source of all prosperity. Although He is in my own heart, I have completely neglected Him. Instead, I have ignorantly served insignificant men who can never satisfy my real desires and who have simply brought me unhappiness, fear, anxiety, lamentation and illusion.
Pingala has very nicely mentioned how we are negligent of Supreme Lord and keep running around everything else. In this regard, I came across a nice story.
A ticket collector in a train found an old worn-out wallet in a compartment full of people. He looked inside to find the name of its owner. There was no clue. All that there was in it was some money and a picture of Krishna.
He held it up and asked, "Who does this wallet belong to? An old man said, "That is my wallet, Sir, Please give it to me." The ticket collector said, "You'll have to prove that it is yours. Only then I can hand it over to you."
The old man with a toothless smile, said, "It has a picture of Krishna in it." The ticket collector said, "That's no proof; anyone can have a picture of Krishna in his wallet. What is special about that? Why is your picture not there in it like most normal people?"
The old man took a deep breath and said, "Let me tell you why my picture is not there in it. My father gave this wallet to me when I was in school. I used to get a small sum as pocket money then. I had kept a picture of my parents in it. When I was a teenager I was greatly enamoured by my good looks. I removed my parents' picture and put in one of my own. I loved to see my own face and my thick black hair. Some years later, I got married. My wife was very beautiful and I loved her a lot. I replaced my picture in this wallet with a picture of her. I spent hours gazing at her pretty face. When my first child was born, my life started a new chapter. I shortened my working hours to play with my baby. I went late to work and returned home early too. Obviously my baby's picture occupied the prized position in my wallet."
The old man's eyes brimmed with tears as he went on. "My parents passed away many years ago. Last year my wife too left her mortal coil. My son, my only son, is too busy with his family. He has no time to look after me. All that I had ever held close to my heart is now far, far away from my reach. Now I have put this picture of Krishna in my wallet. It is only now that I have realized that He is the eternal companion. He will never leave me. Alas! if only I had realized this before, if only I had loved the Lord all these years, with the same intensity as I loved my family, I would not have been so lonely today!"
The ticket collector quickly gave the wallet to the old man. When the train stopped at the next station, he went to a bookstall at the platform and asked the salesman, "Do you have any picture of Krishna? I need a small one to put in my wallet!"
We may put Krishna's picture in the wallet but ultimately what matters is whether we have realized that Krishna is in our heart and He is our eternal companion. As Pingala says "Although He is in my own heart I have completely neglected Him."
We have completely neglected Him by not following His instructions. Whereas the best course of action is to take directions from the Supreme Lord and act.
In the purport of BG 18.59, Srila Prabhupada says, "Arjuna forgot that the Supreme Personality of Godhead was present there instructing him to fight. That is the forgetfulness of the conditioned soul. The Supreme Personality gives directions as to what is good and what is bad, and one simply has to act in Krishna consciousness to attain the perfection of life."
I pray at the lotus feet of my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada and Krishna so that I always remember Krishna and never forget Krishna.
Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Sri Ramchandra das,
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