Recently in one of the lectures I heard the phrase; every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. And I could just say ‘how true’.
None of us can say that we haven’t erred, none of us can say that I am spotlessly clean but the point is how you evolve, how you polish your positives and wipe out the negatives. Just like iron has to bear the heat and the beats to assume a shape, all of us have to go through the burns and the beats to assume an identity but the question is what identity do we choose.
As spirit souls all of us are eternal and also the part and parcel of the Supreme whole, so what do we choose? Some path which takes you far from the whole or the path which takes you closer to the whole?
The intelligent will choose the latter.
Have you seen the river which flows sometimes slow and sometimes fast, it is eager to run to its destination the ocean. And when it does reach it gushes and it froths because it has finally met its mother. So it is with us. We may be happy on this planet but all the comforts, the riches give us just temporary happiness. I may buy the latest Mobile and be obsessed with it for a few days but the day I master it, my interest in it is gone and I search for some other obsession. So it is with love. You love somebody, then you marry, the attraction goes less. Then the child arrives and you shift your focus. Then after sometime you focus on your child’s education and so on. Your focus, your love keeps on changing in this world. And so Krishna in the Bhagvad Gita has quoted this world to be ‘dukhalayam ashashwatam’. Meaning a house of miseries and the nature of this house is temporary and not eternal.
It is said in Srimad Bhagvatam that Goloka Vrindavan or even the Vaikunta Planets do not have any ‘lights’. Lights which we have here-bulbs, tubes, LEDs. The glow of the Lord is enough to illuminate it. So wonderful isn’t it. It has the best of everything and yet everyone is engaged in the loving devotional service of the Lord. You may wonder why.
Because serving the Lord is our constitutional position. Doesn’t the part serve the whole? So we being part and parcel of the lord are meant to serve the whole. Simple.
There are people here on this earth trying to develop bhakti, trying to live a regulated life and who are often ridiculed. ‘Life is meant to be enjoyed’, ‘Why all this restrictions now…you are still young; you can practice all this in your old age’ are the arguments that they have to hear. But the truth is nothing gives more joy or sense of achievement than devotional service.
Bali Maharaj when asked by three steps of land from Vamandev, agreed. It was the duty of the king to fulfill the demands of a Brahmana. And so when Vamandev with two steps covered all the land and asked where to put my third step, he offered his head.
Some may argue that he was such a fool to offer his head but ahh what joy in having the Lord’s foot on one’s head…………
Bali Maharaj may have lost everything material but he gained everything spiritual and he is known as one of the Mahajanas.
Quoting from the purport of Srimad Bhagvatam second canto, seventh chapter 17th shloka, ‘So, by giving everything to the cause of the Lord, one does not lose anything, but he gains everything that he could never otherwise expect’.
Have you heard about Alexander, the Great’s dying wish? His first wish was that his physicians should carry his coffin, the second was that the path to his grave should be paved with precious stones and the third was that his hands should dangle out of his coffin.
Do you understand his wishes?
Physicians should carry his coffin…..no one can really stop one from dying, The expiry date of each one of is written at the time we take birth. So value this life, do what is right.
Whatever possessions you have or acquire, cannot be carried to your next life. You will have to leave all that and go.
The third is because empty-handed we come, empty-handed we go.
But one thing we can carry with us always and that is bhakti. Keep on collecting it until your pot is full and you return to your final destination.