Balance Life with Hunger for Spiritual Life

Balance Life with Hunger for Spiritual Life

Shyamasundar Das

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva. 

In material life, we find different kinds of hunger. Some of us become hungry for eating, some for fighting, some for amassing wealth, some for power by influential politicians etc. This way we pass on wasting our precious life time totally ignoring the very purpose of our existence of human life which is to realize the Supersoul. However, by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, we know that one's life need to be organized most suitably with great hunger to attain the goal of life, which is to reach the kingdom of God. But to attain our goal and get the hunger for spiritual life, we have to be disciplined and take care of the body, mind and soul.

We have seen that most of us are struggling to balance our life with devotional service. We can achieve balance in life by rising early in the morning and doing the devotional service. Rising up early in the morning, help us get extra time and gives us satisfaction in performing the activities for that day which gives us joy instead of moroseness. But to get up early, we should be regulated in the eating habits and sleeping habit and should maintain a good health. In Bhagavad Gita 6.17, Lord Krishna himself has very nicely instructed how to take care of the body, mind and soul in Krishna consciousness and balance our life without stress.

yuktaahaara-vihaarasya / yukta-ceshtasya karmasu
yukta-svapnaavabodhasya / yogo bhavati duhkha-haa

"He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system."

To keep the body fit, Krishna advises us to eat the required amount of food stuff in a regulated way and give only the required rest to the body by sleeping. Srila Prabhupada commented that, "As far as eating is concerned, it can be regulated only when one is practiced to take and accept prasadam, sanctified food. Eating food not offered to Krishna means eating only sin. There is no possibility of one becoming yogi, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or sleeps less time. As far as sleeping is concerned, a Krishna conscious person is always alert in the discharge of his duties in Krishna consciousness, and therefore any unnecessary time spent sleeping is considered a great loss."

To keep the mind fit, Krishna encourages us to work as well as spend minimum time in the required recreational activities. We have heard that, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". Srila Prabhupada clarifies in the purport that recreation doesn't mean engaging in the sense gratification activities. "Since there is no question of sense gratification, there is no material leisure for a person in Krishna consciousness". So, devotees should plan to have Krishna conscious activities like attending parikramas, temple festivals, kirtan mela etc.. by which the mind is refreshed. This higher taste acts as the suitable but higher alternative for mundane recreation. To take care of the soul, Krishna encourages us to practice bhakti yoga, knowledge of which can relieve us of the material pains and help the soul go back to Krishna. Srila Prabhupada had very carefully chosen the word 'mitigate' here. Mitigate means, "to moderate (a quality or condition) in force or intensity; alleviate". By practising bhakti yoga, ocean of miseries in this material world, is transformed into as much miseries that can be contained by water of the size of the hoof prints of a calf. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 9.4.18-20), King Ambarisha's life is light-house for devotees to perfectly engage the body, mind and soul in Krishna conscious activities. He had first of all engaged his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Krishna; then, one after another, he engaged his words in describing the transcendental qualities of the Lord, his hands in mopping the temple of the Lord, his ears in hearing of the activities of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the transcendental forms of the Lord, his body in touching the bodies of the devotees, his sense of smell in smelling the scents of the lotus flowers offered to the Lord, his tongue in tasting the tulasi leaf offered at the lotus feet of the Lord, his legs in going to places of pilgrimage and the temple of the Lord, his head in offering obeisances unto the Lord, and his desires in executing the mission of the Lord. He always had the hunger to serve the Lord in all ways. 

It is also significant to remember Srila Prabhupada's childhood days. He was hungry to run the Ratha yatra with the support of his sister in his teen age and that has now been spread all over the world. By leading a regulated life, Srila Prabhupada was able to achieve his mission. We would therefore, pray Lord Krishna to create in us, a great hunger for spiritual life, in order to reach the kingdom of Lord and helps us follow His instructions to achieve it. 

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada,

Shyamsundar Das