God came personally on this planet to give us knowledge and speak to us and He did that by speaking the most intimate instructions on the science of the Absolute Truth to His devotee, Arjuna. But why should I submit to that God? In light of this, let’s analyze and solve some issues that we face with God with the help of some statements by God in the Bhagavad Gita.
In this world,
says, all living entities are born into delusion, overcome by desire to enjoy separately from God and hate or envy towards the Supreme. Srila Prabhupada gives the example of a child, who sees his mother cooking everyday and the child begins to ponder, that why should my mother cook everyday? Even I want to cook. So he insists and his mother provides the child with a toy kitchen set, where he can think he is cooking. But ultimately when the child is hungry and wants real food, he has to turn to his mother. Similarly, we have turned away from God and are living in this imitation house where we are imprisoned by our desire to be the enjoyer and envy towards God being the enjoyer. Krishna
Coming to the point of this prison house, this material world has been tagged by Lord Krishna as Dukhalayam in the Bhagavad Gita. Dukh means suffering and alayam meaning the abode/place. So this world is an abode of suffering. We might not readily accept we are suffering, but whenever we are a little disturbed, we can open our notebook and refer to the three kinds of sufferings that we are going to discuss below and then decide.
First is Adhyatmic Klesa (Miseries through the body and mind like bodily pains and diseases and mental issues). Second is Adhibhautic Klesa (Miseries from other living entities which can be our neighbors, mosquitoes, boss, friends, government or our very own sweetheart). Third is Adhidaivic Klesa (Miseries from natural disturbances/ calamities like heat, cold, earthquakes, floods etc).
So when we get these sufferings, we become angry with God questioning about why has He put me in this precarious condition? But then before-hand God gives a disclaimer in the Bhagavad Gita 5.15: nadatte kasyacit papam na caiva sukritam vibhuh ajnanenavritam jnanam tena muhyanti jantavah – He does not assume the responsibility of the sinful or pious activities of the embodied being but they themselves responsible and are bewildered in duality because of the ignorance which covers their real knowledge. So
makes it very clear for us to understand, that we should not blame Him for our misfortune. Krishna
So when we then get caught up illusion thinking I'm so good then we start to feel superiority over others and when we have bad body, we are blaming others but trying to blame others for our condition in this world is not correct as every embodied being is only giving us our share of happiness and distress. Srila Prabhupada says, ‘Don’t hate the instrument of your Karma.’ Everyone is but an instrument to give us what we deserve. We can practically also realize this that if we point one finger at others, three fingers point back to us.
being most kind and concerned for us declares that this material energy is ultimately under His control; Mayadhaksena Prakritir; so He is aware of everything that we go through and He provides a solution to us. When we begin to realize our misfit in this material world, and begin to tac shrunu (sincerely hear from Him or His pure representative – His devotees) then we can understand that how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Him, and mind attached to Him, we can be completely free from doubt and be situated in pure knowledge. Krishna
Yet, we continue to live in ignorance like hardened and rebellious children. God is personally speaking to us and trying to give us knowledge which can at once cut the knots of our ignorance and doubts, but we choose to live in this concept of my body and continue trying to contact this world for material enjoyment and as a result get further entrapped in illusion and ignorance.
The design of this material world as an abode of suffering indicates clearly that we are not meant to be in this world, as the quest for every embodied being is the search for eternal happiness, knowledge and bliss. This is our innate nature as we are all spiritual beings belonging to the spiritual sky but are unfortunately entrapped in this material covering. However, we maintain this illusion by doing some patchwork solutions. A nice example can be given that if a person drowns in the ocean, and we think of ideas to save him, by removing the water from the ocean in buckets, it will serve no purpose. The real help to that person will be to get him out of the ocean. So we can try to help others and get helped by others by temporary arrangements in terms of material happiness, education, wealth, charity etc, but can we save that person from another lifetime of misery which waits after death? Can we stop death even for oneself?
A fish if taken out of water cannot be happy by any arrangements made. If we offer the fish nice French-fries and burger, a nice car to drive, a nice house, some money, some music and TV, the fish will never be satisfied because the real position of the fish is to be inside water. So we are spirit souls, and if we are unable to acknowledge this fact, then the laws of nature will push us out of this present body at anytime and we won’t know where we are about to go?!
So after realizing this, when we sincerely try to surrender to Krishna seated within our heart, and thank Him for all the heat, water, sunlight, moonlight, fruits, vegetables and necessities of survival He has so mercifully provided, our spiritual journey begins and we are on the road to making a permanent solution to get out of this imprisoned state.
The first pre-requisite for spiritual life is to make inquiry – inquiry about who are we, who is God, what is our relationship with Him, why am I suffering here in this material world? What is the solution to get out of this terrible condition? God is the witness within our heart, and if we sincerely surrender to Him, He will give us the right association and knowledge and intelligence to reach Him.
Inspired from a Presentation by Rajarshi Prabhu
From Trinidad –