for ISKCON News on Feb. 7, 2013
Every individual on this planet earth very eagerly wait for the arrival of the New Year because of the hope that the New Year will bring something new in their lives. However in the New Year practically nothing changes. Sun still rises from the east & sets in the west. Earth continues to revolve and rotate in the same trajectory.
Most of us continue to remain in the same job, live in the same house, in the same neighborhood, don the same sets of clothes, ride the same vehicle, watch the same television programs, news almost remain on the same line and so on. It’s just the calendar of our house which changes.
Most of us are aware of this simple fact but still we impatiently long to celebrate the New Year. Actually it’s not the New Year which excites us but anything which is new enthuse us - a new dress, a new house, a new car, a new birthday, for children a new toy, a new job, going to a new holiday resort, visiting a new restaurant etc. It all excites us because it gives us a hope of some new excitement.
And there is nothing wrong in it!
We are pleasure seeking
As a soul we are pleasure seeking so we always look for something exciting which will bring joy to our life. But unfortunately our entire endeavor for seeking joy boils down to 4 things – eating, sleeping, sexual & sensual pleasure and defending.
However revealed scriptures warn us that our endeavor for material pleasure will always get thwarted. This is why in spite of achieving what we had dreamt for we often feel deprived of inner bliss and serenity. And so we try to find out some new means for happiness.
Srimad – Bhagavatam (7.5.30) says that our attempt for material pleasure is like chewing the chewed – punas punas carvitanam. If a child does not find anything new to play with then he starts again chewing the already chewed chewing gum. Similarly, since we don’t find any new pleasure giving substance in our life, so we start getting involved in the same mundane boring material activities again.
A rare opportunity
But we have a wonderful & rare opportunity to bathe in the ocean of eternal happiness. Krishna is eternally new (nitya navanavayamana) and so loving Him brings eternal joy and infinite bliss in our life. The opportunity is rare because out of 8.4 million specifies only human beings have got the intelligence to inquire about the highest truth.
The first aphorism of Vedanta-sutra says athato brahma jijnasa: "Therefore, inquire about the higher dimensions of life." It is very significant that the aphorism starts with the word therefore. “Therefore” means that since you are humans so “inquire for the higher dimension of life”.
So this New Year we should take a vow to do something really new. And the best way is to befriend with the eternal, infinite, lovable Krishna who is always waiting for us with great eagerness.
Let us make a new beginning
Let 2013, be the year when Krishna will occupy center stage in our life. Let us make him the cynosure of our eyes. We just need to open our hearts to Krishna and Krishna will immediately reciprocate with us. He assures us - ye yatha mam prapadyante (Bhagavad – gita 4.11) – “As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly”.
The Vedic literatures narrate the story of a 5 year old prince, Dhruva, who sought shelter of Krishna when adversities gazed him. Rebuked, neglected and insulted by his stepmother, Dhruva was heart - broken. The harsh words of his stepmother pierced his heart and he cried bitterly. His own mother’s pacifying words could not reduce his sufferings, the glitz and glamour of the palace did not attract him. During this precarious situation he decided to take refuge of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Narada, the great sage, was very much pleased with the little child’s intelligence and so he immediately decided to show him the right path. Dhruva under the guidance of sage Narada performed devotional service with full enthusiasm, determination and concentration for six complete months. Lord Vishnu, seeing the sincerity of the little boy immediately came to shower His affection and mercy upon him. And thus Dhruva achieved complete perfection.
In our life while pursuing our material goals we confront with several difficulties. Our endeavors either does not bear any fruit and the rare success which we accomplish on our journey are temporary and not ever lasting. So let us judiciously utilize our intelligence and try to follow the footsteps of Dhruva and try to bring God in our life which will bring eternal happiness.
Pleasing Krishna is so simple
Loving and living as per God’s injunctions is the simplest thing to do in this world. The only requirement is that we need to give up our desire to enjoy independently from Krishna. Krishna gives us the best. When Dhruva prayed Him then Krishna mitigated all his miseries and awarded him polestar which came to be known as Dhruvaloka, Krishna helped Pandavas to defeat the insurmountable army of Kauravas, Krishna saved Prahlad from the jaws of death, he gave his dear friend, Sudama, the most opulent gift. Never ever we hear of an incident that someone asked Krishna something with love and Krishna refused to give him anything.
The taste of the pudding lies in tasting it. So, let us do a simple exercise. Let us close our eyes, think about Krishna, chant the mahamnatra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare and in a prayerful mood reveal our hearts desire to Krishna. Krishna guarantees us in Bhagavad – Gita that those who genuinely seek His blessings He never disheartens them. Worshipping Krishna and loving Krishna is so simple. He does not demand anything from us; in fact He can be pleased if we simply offer him a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water (Bhagavad – Gita 9.26). Let us give it a try once. The result will be awesome. This is validated in all the revealed scriptures and all His devotees vouch for it.
Let us endeavor for everlasting happiness
During the most important battle of Mahabharata, the great warrior, Arjuna, completely lost his composure and was in acute misery. Completely baffled he decided to seek guidance of his dear friend Krishna. Krishna’s wisdom words helped him to triumph his emotional turbulence thus transforming his life. He got spiritually enlivened and completely re-charged for the inner and the outer battle. Arjuna expresses his gratitude towards Krishna and says karisye vacanam tava – I will do whatever you say (B.G. 18.73). In the Mahabharata war he successfully conquered the Kaurava’s mighty warriors and throughout his life he lived happily by living as per Krishna’s instructions.
Krishna’s teachings transformed Arjuna completely. So if we are seriously thinking to make this New Year happy then we need to seek Krishna’s guidance. And then we can be 100% sure that this New Year will be “Happy” for us. In fact it will open the gateway for eternal happiness.
So, this New Year let us pledge for the following:
• N: Never forgetting Krishna.
• E: Enthusiastically serving Krishna.
• W: Working for Krishna’s pleasure.
• Y: Yearning for Krishna’s mercy.
• E: Eagerly hearing Krishna’s sublime message through revealed Vedic scriptures like Bhagavad – Gita and Srimad – Bhagavatam.
• A: Appreciating Krishna’s unfathomable love for us.
• R: Remembering Krishna always.
Purushottam Kumar is a member of congregation at ISKCON Kolkata. Working as a senior executive in an IT MNC, Tech Mahindra, Kolkata, India.