Simple Vs Complex

2nd Apr 2009
Sudarshana devi dasi

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

Many a times in life, when faced with difficult situations, we keep meditating on the problem more than on finding the solution for the same. By constant meditation of the problem, we sometimes lose focus on the solution and unnecessarily complicate our life  by beating around the bush. Simple solutions simplify our lives whereas complex solutions complicate it.

Recently I came across an article on simple solution where in two different situations were mentioned.

One was the case about astronauts of NASA, who went to space and they found that pens do not work at zero gravity. To solve this issue so much of time, energy and money was spent to develop a pen that will work at zero gravity, upside-down, in water etc. But the simplest solution was to use a pencil!

Second instance was that of a Japanese cosmetic company - who were selling soaps. Somehow during packing few boxes were packed empty and this was becoming a concern to the company as it was creating dissatisfaction among their customers. The company engineering team and management - spent lot of time talking about the issue - Some people said that they need to develop an instrument which will weigh the soap-box compare it with weight of empty box and discard. Others came up with idea of passing the boxes through a XRAY machine and having 2 people monitor the content and discard the empty one. While all the above solutions were quite complex and costly for the company, an illiterate employee in the company came up with a brilliant solution. He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soapbox passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

So simple solutions are the best. Be it activities related to home, work, or devotional service or relationship with other living entities, everywhere simplicity helps us a lot. It saves us lot of time, energy and money.  More importantly Krishna likes simplicity. He is easily approachable by simple minded people. Maharaj used to give the example of Krishna's flute. The flute Krishna uses is the simplest musical instrument. As the Lord of universe, if He wished, He could have used any other instrument. But He chose flute. Why? Because it is so simple. We can easily make it out of bamboos. Just cut and put a few holes. Since the flute is so simple, Krishna likes it so much that it is fortunate to be touched by the lips of the Supreme Lord. So, if we are simple in our behaviour and thinking we can also become close to Krishna.

While explaining the process of devotional service to His mother Devahuti, Lord Kapila says,

ādhyātmikānuśravaṇān nāma-saṅkīrtanāc ca me
ārjavenārya-saṅgena nirahaṅkriyayā tathā

A devotee should always try to hear about spiritual matters and should always utilize his time in chanting the holy name of the Lord. His behaviour should always be straightforward and simple, and although he is not envious but friendly to everyone, he should avoid the company of persons who are not spiritually advanced.

In the above verse the word "ārjavenā" means straight forward behaviour. This is very important quality of a Vaishnava and is very much appreciated by Lord Krishna. Srila Prabhupada has given us a more sublime definition for "ārjavam" in his lecture at Melbourne on April 6,1972 as "ārjavam means simplicity. A brahmana is not supposed to be crooked and duplicity. No. Simple. It is said even the enemy wants to know something from him, he will clearly say, "It is this." That is called simplicity."

So simple behaviour gives us more time in our lives - which we could use for Krishna, keeps our mind free giving us more space for Krishna katha. So, when we use our time and mind more and more for Krishna, we will definitely become close to Him.

Thank you very much,
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.